Is AO3 a Feminist Space? by jgc_72200

Is AO3 feminist?

Yes, based on users:
– Space for communities to form
– Space for users to create their own areas/sections
– Space for non-capitalistic creation
– Space for sharing
– Inclusion of own vocabulary
– Users can self define (or not describe, if they don’t want to)
– No “assumed, neutral form – a youngwhiteheterosexualmale” (Beyer, 156)
– No monetary investment required
– Moderated by users
Yes, based on content:
– Space for queer content
– The relationship tags
– The separation of queer relationships from explicit ratings
– The lack of emphasis on heterosexuality
– Space for women-centric content

Is AO3 black feminist?

Is “no race” really neutral? Or does it default to white?
Maybe, based on users
– For the same reasons as above
– But is that enough?
Not so much, based on content:
– Content structured around gender and sexuality , but not race
– Users can include their own tags, but choosing race isn’t required as sexuality is

As danah boyd suggests in her article “White Flight in Networked Publics?”, social network sites without an explicit racial identifier (ie, Facebook or MySpace rather than AsianAvenue or BlackPlanet) still have racial overtones. As boyd notes, however, MySpace/Facebook “too are organized by race” (211). So “no race” is not “race neutral,” at least for users of Facebook and MySpace in the mid to late aughts. With the relative demise of MySpace and the ubiquitous-ness of Facebook, this may be harder to assert.

Read JC’s whole post in situ at AO3.