Girls, Girls Studies, & Platform Feminism: Feminism in the Digital Age

May 11, 2019 - All

The feminist climate today has been characterized by its dependence on the internet and the belief that gender equality may be achieved if policies and practices are intersectional. Contemporary discussions and theories often focus on the role of technology in feminism and the activism present on social media. However, feminist studies have been largely adult-centric, leaving out girls and their perspectives. With this in mind, girls and girlhood should be a critically examined and incorporated viewpoint in the discussion. Through a literature review, this paper aims to explore the inclusion of girls in current feminist discussions and highlight the perspective of girls and their relationship to feminism as built through social media platforms. I will begin by briefly recounting the history of feminism and then introduce Lawson’s “platform feminism” as an accurate representation of the state of feminism today. I will then examine the marginalization of girls in feminism and youth studies. I then posit girls’ studies as a feminist field that is youth-centric. I will then look at the intersection of girlhood studies and social media studies and how they have been incorporated into modern feminism, highlighting girls’ issues of concern and relationship with feminism. A built understanding of girls’ relationship with feminism as corralled and constructed in the digital space by social platforms may be a key component to current feminist scholarship and the monumental task of achieving gender equality.

Author information

Tina Chesterman

Tina Chesterman

MSLIS student at Pratt Institute | Aspiring librarian | Known to hug trees | Lover of oysters, the internet, and show tunes | Quite possibly the next Avatar

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