Thursday, February 10, 2011


"Slacktivism" is an apt term to describe feel-good online activism that has zero political or social impact. It gives those who participate in "slacktivist" campaigns an illusion of having a meaningful impact on the world without demanding anything more than joining a Facebook group." 

(from this article -- head on over and read the whole thing) 

I read that article a few days ago, and gosh did it ring true. We are all guilty of this in some way or another : don't tell me you've never joined Facebook groups that didn't actually do anything real for a cause.

And it really is starting to get to me. For example, I call myself a feminist, but what am I really doing about it? What is my purpose as a feminist?

Well, for one, I attempt to write about it, and that can help create awareness. But I've never been to a rally or petitioned authorities. I do try to educate myself about the issues and participate in discussion forums such as Feminist Mormon Housewives. But I'm really not all that vocal. (well, I do speak up a lot in Sunday school... he he, just keeping everyone on their toes :) 

There are plenty of things that make my blood boil, but I think I keep it in for various reasons. One is that I haven't sufficiently developed my opinions on some topics. I don't want to publicly say things I could regret later after having matured in my worldviews. Another is my worry that if I am too virulent, my effectiveness to influence opinions and make a difference, however small it may be, will be reduced because I would automatically get myself branded as a man-hating bra-burning embittered activist for matriarchy. And that's not really what I want. 
I want to be a rational voice for women, and if keeping my temper is the price to pay, I'm more than willing. 

And of course, I want to teach my daughters to value their womanhood and my sons to respect women as their equals, to develop a close relationship with God and to learn to make the Spirit their companion in their quest for truth.

But in the end, do I really accomplish much?

Anyway, back to slacktivism... 

I ran across this project recently, and it got its little spotlight in the Daily Universe today: it's called "I am equal" (never mind the linguistic issues with that name... equal AS COMPARED TO WHAT!) and guess what it does: well, it's a bunch of people that decided to tour and take photos of people "taking a stand for equality" by... getting photographed with the nifty logo stamped on them. Whooptee do! You can donate money too, yay! To what? It's a big mix of advocating gay rights, no more racism, women's rights... holy mash-up of vastly different issues, so... where does your money actually go? Good question. The money goes to a foundation for education, which is great, but... how exactly does that aid the cause the project is based on? Anyway. 

I thought it was a perfect example of slacktivism: a fancy-sounding cause, no tangible goals, and it's really trendy because they take your picture and you can make it your Facebook profile pic and... Make a difference! Yeah!

Do forgive my sarcasm...

1 comment:

  1. I loved this! Thank you for the post. It's really well written too! And, I adore the sarcasm.

    I'm really glad that you don't open your mouth unless you feel you have a real handle on how you feel about something. Sometimes I find myself in that trap of not knowing enough about myself or the issue. I'm trying really hard to be better about that.

    This post really hit home with me too, because I have had a few friends really piss me off when they send me emails about stuff that is completely opinion based rather than actually being backed by fact and research. For example, emails promoting the anti-vaccination campaign in the US. I wish people would go look at the research and notice that infant deaths our on the rise and a possible reason is that more people are getting sick and spreading sickness because they are not vaccinated. They don't know enough facts and they just jump on the band wagon without considering everything.

    Anyways, thank you for the post.