The FEM Bible: feminist critiques of social media

The FEM Bible is a new initiative set up by some undergraduates in philosophy, and it’s great. Here’s their description:

“We are a feminist community fed up of the offensive posts being shared via Facebook & the internet. Our mission is to de-construct these posts by offering factual reviews on their damaging and oppressive nature.”
– FEMBible

The way the site works is simple: users submit a post or article of the kind often shared on social media that they found offensive, specifying who was harmed by it, how, and why it matters. . Posts intelligently discuss issues of sexism, classism, heterosexism, and shaming of survivors of sexual violence, among other issues. Websites purveying self-described ‘lad’ humour come in for a lot of justified criticism, as do various ‘clickbait’ type articles. Examples of material criticized includes facebook posts that sexualize breastfeeding, articles that applaud boys who have been sexually abused by female teachers as ‘lads’, and a Christmas card that offers ‘ten reasons why Santa must live on a housing estate’ (sample reason: ‘he only works once a year’ … yes, I know).

This initiative seems to sum up a lot that’s great about the kind of feminist activism that I’m seeing around my university at the moment: engaging, inclusive, intersectionally aware, media savvy. It’s fantastic to see such smart pushback from young activists against oppressive online material – check it out!

RCUK gender equality expectations

Here’s something really interesting I learned last week. The UK research councils have specific expectations for all who are in receipt of their money. This will (presumably)include anyone with a research leave grant, a project grant, PhD funding, etc.

RCUK expect those in receipt of Research Council funding to:

    promote and lead cultural change in relation to equalities and diversity
    engage staff at all levels with improving the promotion of equality and diversity
    ensure all members of the research workforce are trained and supported to address
    disincentives and indirect obstacles to recruitment, retention and progression in
    research careers
    provide evidence of ways in which equality and diversity issues are managed at both
    an institutional and department level

From here.