Y-Pulse National Mashup 2008: Are girls the new geeks?

Sitting in the panel, “Are girls the new geeks?” with Nancy Gruver from New Moon Girl Media, Allison Keiley from Girls, Inc., Holly Rotman from eCRUSH/eSPIN and Courtney Macavinta, Founder and CEO, Respect Rx.
They start with the knowledge drop: 55% of web content is created by women. Other things overheard, “Girls need to know that their voice is being heard and respected.” “Even celebrated.”

The focus is on girls as content produces and the use of internet and new media as a moment of empowerment and a place to have your voice heard. I completely and totally agree with this sentiment. Feministing has given me the tools to spread my message, opinions, ideas and thoughts to a huge and diverse audience.
But the questions of creating a safe space inevitably comes up. How do you create a safe space for young women content producers? All the panelists agree that it is very important to create safe spaces. But is this possible?
I asked the panelists this question and they had varying ideas and suggestions and the creator of New Moon emphasized that for youth it is imperative they create safe spaces.
Unfortunately, if I have learned anything about feminist blogging, the idea of a safe space kind of flies out the window. I don’t really do this to feel safe, I do it because there is a lack of women’s voices in media and a lack of feminist analysis. And while I see the positive things blogging has done for me and other women, it has been a very difficult road due to anti-woman, anti-feminist hate that is thrown all over the internet. We are attacked on a daily basis, which of course shows us why we need to do what we do. But that doesn’t mean it is not hard.
So I ask you, how do we create spaces where women’s voices will truly feel respected and part of the conversation? Feministing has done this in many ways, but it has taken a lot of work, discussion and monitoring.
Oh and thanks for the Feministing shout out panelists!

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