7 Leaders Talk Race, Gender, Feminism, and the Internet at the BlogHer '14 Closing Keynote

BlogHer Original Post

In 2013, with the killing of Trayvon Martin and the subsequent trial of George Zimmerman, talk about race, privilege, and what to do about it exploded on the Internet. In addition to the important discussions about race, gender and feminism came to the forefront in the past year on social media, most notably in the appropriately viral hashtag #yesallwomen.

Meanwhile, gender and feminism also bubbled to the forefront of social media with regularity over past year, most notably in the appropriately viral hashtag #yesallwomen—and then the tag #yesallWHITEwomen placed a spotlight on the intersection of gender and race.

The women who spoke at the BlogHer ’14 closing keynote are leading the conversation about the intersection of race, gender, and the internet, and they showed why that Saturday evening. They stepped on stage with the intention of shedding light on all that has happened, what brings us together, and what still tears us apart. If you listened, you learned. No two ways about it.

Closing Keynote

Chery Contee moderated the discussion with Feminista Jones, Kelly Wickham, Natalia Oberti Noguera, Grace Hwang Lynch, Kristen Howerton, and Patrice Lee. Each came to the stage with her own experiences, their own beliefs, her own point of view, and we, the audience, benefited as they shared those things with us.

But since this amazing panel of women spoke, more questions as to race and privilege surfaced with the shooting of Mike Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and the resulting mistreatment of citizens by the police force. I've watched these women on Facebook and Twitter discussing the facts, the questions, the need for answers, the injustices. I watched Feminista Jones stand tall as the driving force behind the National Moment of Silence (#NMOS14). I shared their writing and the writing of others that they chose to share, in hopes of continuing the necessary conversation about what still needs to happen in our supposedly post-racial society.

So as you watch this important keynote, know that this happened pre-Michael Brown. Know that these women are still doing the work, still fighting the fight.

If you are not following these strong women on Twitter, I encourage you to do so now.

It is vitally important that we continue to have these conversations: for ourselves, for our future, for the sake of the children we don't want judged, passed over, harrassed, shot in the middle of the street. I encourage you to listen closely if you don't quite understand what's going on, as Kelly Wickham suggests in the panel discussion. Watch this video, listen hard, and work to bridge any gap between your own experience and understanding and what's going on in our society for other equally important human beings. The more we listen and work to understand, the better the chance for our future.

Thank you, panel of amazing women, for sharing your voices.


BlogHer Editor Jenna Hatfield (@FireMom) blogs at Stop, Drop and Blog.