Monday, June 22, 2009

Privilege Check: Blogging

In a time and age where self-published media has been touted as being accessible to everyone, I have realized that in fact is not accessible to everyone.

When printed media was king/queen (Priv Check!), we lamented on how the progressives couldn't ever be heard by the masses. We had to find alternative ways to get our message out since the news was filled by conservative viewpoints, etc., etc.

Now, we have heralded in the age of the blogger, the era of free speech via the internet, where anyone can post their own thoughts, feeling, photos, etc., etc. Hell, I'm blogging right now, and I have my own website for my art, other blogs, etc., etc. However, enter the Privilege Check!

I've realized that the privilege of blogging itself is a pretty hefty one. First off, and most obviously, it reeks of economic privilege. In the communities I roll with, in the SF Bay Area, the internet is the lifeblood of many. Most of us (well, you are reading this online after all) would probably set up internet in our new apartments at a greater degree of urgency than say, unpacking the toiletries. I, for one, admit that for the first few days while waiting for the Comcast person to come install my cable internet was excruciatingly painful. "What??? No email? No blogs? OMG WHAT AM I GOING TO DO?!?!?!"

However, not as many people as I might like to think even have access to the internet. While I get pissed off when I can't check my gmail every 10 minutes, the majority of the world is still offline. According to this janky-looking site (which may or may not be the best source), about 25% of America is still offline, and 76% of the world is not connected.

That's a lot of people.

So, with our crumbling economy, who can afford the $55 a month I pay for internet? Not everyone, I assume. Even if you go to the public library, or get dial-up, do people all have the time to blog? Time, unfortunately, does usually equal money, and if you're working two jobs to support a family, do you really have the time to be dicking around on the computer (not to say that blogging is just shits and giggles, but you get my gist).

Blogging (and posting comments) is also rife with male privilege. Now there are tons and tons of amazing women bloggers, but what I'm talking about is the fact that when I blog, I never even worry about whether or not people will listen to me, whether or not I'll even find readership. I don't usually even think twice about posting comments if I feel like posting something (the exception is on blogs/sites where I'm not the intended audience, or if I feel I might be overstepping my bounds).

However, the blogosphere, as a whole, I've found to be an extension of the world as a whole, which is predominantly patriarchal. Thanks to the magic of trolling, even progressive sites have a whole litany of slurs and insults on them (this is not to say that even the content of most progressive blogs, this one included, is free from privileged assumptions). As a feminist, I get offended by all the anti-feminist shit out there, and I can only imagine how much more difficult it must be to be a non-male to take.

Anyway, I thought I had more points to make about this, but I guess that's it. Eh. What a non-eloquent way of ending a post.

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