blogging solo: new media, ‘old’ politics
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- Taylor, A. Fem Rev (2011) 99: 79. doi:10.1057/fr.2011.33
This article focuses on the blogosphere as an oppositional field where the meanings around contemporary Western women's singlehood are contested, negotiated and rewritten. In contrast to dominant narratives in which single women are pathologised, in the blogs by, for, and about single women analysed here, writers aim to refigure women's singleness as well as providing resources, support and a textual community where others can intervene and contribute to the re-valuation of single women. These blogs also function as alternative forms of knowledge, seeking to (re)legitimise women's singleness and to trouble their aberrance and social liminality. Rather than only considering the form in isolation from its content, this article analyses the discourses deployed by bloggers and within blogs and how women bloggers publicly perform their very singleness as part of a personal and political strategy of re-signification. In this way, while cautious not to overestimate the democratic potentialities of the so-called blogosphere, it underscores the important cultural – and indeed political – work being undertaken by single women therein. Moreover, by demonstrating how these blogs use discursive tactics commonly associated with feminism's second-wave – women's consciousness-raising; identity politics; deploying and reiterating the famous feminist dictum: ‘the personal is political’; naming discrimination; and empathy and community-building – it argues that they are using so-called ‘new’ media for what is now problematically believed to be ‘old’ (feminist) politics.