Safe and Unsafe Subspaces: Tumblr

By Zoey Greco

Tumblr is neither a space nor not a space for feminists of color. Rather, it is a microcosm that reflects the attitudes of its diverse users. Some spaces are specifically pro-feminism whereas others are specifically anti-feminist. Other spaces celebrate people of color and feminists of color while others choose to remove themselves from any politically charged dialogue and focus on personal issues, thoughts, feelings and inspirations. Tumblr is less of a place for open dialogue and more of a place for individuals to occupy their own territory online and interact with others on a one-on-one level and focus on acquiring numbers of followers rather than fostering personal relationships. It is a space that has safe and unsafe subspaces for feminists of color but like the world at large, exhibits signs of erasure because one must actively search out these safe spaces.

When thinking about Emily Ann’s space, Omeagle, I think of an opportunity wasted. I think about the fact that her space allows a chance to interact with people from any and everywhere and connect socially, culturally and politically and engage in constructive discourse. Sadly, that is not the case and instead she has suffered verbal abuse for attempting to discuss feminism. Both Tumblr and her site are meant to curb boredom yet Tumblr, although not explicitly feminist, is not a space where one has to feel threatened.

I can post these conclusions in my space because *my* personal Tumblr is followed by only 55 people who I believe are open to hearing this, may or may not agree, and most certainly will not respond or create a backlash. I believe I will suffer no consequences and will not lose any followers because this will most likely be seen by few, ignored by many, and forgotten quickly.

My fellow site-mates have already begun to teach me things about the ways in which users of tumblr think about or do not think about feminism and issues of color and through one-on-one conversations, I look forward to learning more about the difference perspectives on this issue that exist on Tumblr.

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