Gender and Me
  • Jill Craigie Cinema, Roland Levinsky Building

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To celebrate 100 years since women started getting the vote, Plymouth Institute of Education (PIoE) and the Institute of Health and Community (IHC) - both based at the University - are hosting a half day conference: Gender and Me

The centenary coincides with contemporary international debates on gender equality, including the rise of the #MeToo movement and the publication of data on the Gender Pay Gap in the UK. The former has sought to draw attention to the prevalence of sexual assault and harassment in different societies, particularly in places of work and education and, combined with the latter, raises profound questions about what kind of progress has been made towards gender equality in the last 100 years. While the #MeToo movement has encouraged solidarity, empathy and empowerment among many women, the sheer heat of public discourse and media coverage provide one indication of the deep contestation, disturbance and resistance associated with gender politics. Just as was the case 100 years ago, social class, ethnicity, culture and geography all intersect with gender, and serve to highlight individual positions within broader social movements of gender equality. The relationships between Gender and Me are both social and personal and new movements and counter-movements are emerging.

In this half day event, speakers will be asked to explore discourses of feminism and gender equality within the context of their implications for education (both institutionalised and informal) and the workplace. Speakers will draw on their encounters with gender (in-)equality to reflect on both the last 100 years of gender equality and what the next 100 might hold. It is intended that the event be enjoyable and affirmative with the recording of discussions being approached creatively.

Programme

  • 12:00-12:30 - Arrive and meet others
  • 12:30-13:30 - #MeToo, Us and Them: Whither Gender Politics in a Digital, Neoliberal World Order? (speaker: Dr Debbie Ging, Associate Professor, School of Communications, Dublin City University, Ireland)
  • 13:30-15:00 - Panel discussion ‘Gender and Me’
  • 15:00-16:00 - Coffee and networking

This event is free to attend - please register your place via the above link.



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Today's events

#MeToo, Us and Them: Whither Gender Politics in a Digital, Neoliberal World Order 

  • Speaker: Dr Debbie Ging, Dublin City University

ABSTRACT

Recent years have seen a resurgence on feminist activism online, coupled by an alarming rise in toxic masculinity politics. The new anti-feminism has been attributed to a number of factors, including the technological affordances of social media, the changing socio-cultural realities of men’s lives and the affective potency of a new ‘cultural politics of emotion’ (Ahmed, 2004). While acknowledging the validity of these explanations, I argue that the role of postfeminism has been largely overlooked, both in the rise of MRAs and in the shaping of digital gender politics more generally.  I contend that the dominance of a postfeminist cultural sensibility in western society for the past decade or more has functioned as a logical precursor to the emergence and shaping of toxic masculinity politics.

This, in turn, has provoked feminist responses that, while often impressive and sometimes effective, are also potentially constrained by the mutually synergetic dynamics of individualism, neoliberal capitalism and the algorithmic politics of social media. This paper asks what is at stake for contemporary gender politics and whether these kinds of ‘affective publics’ (Papacharissi, 2015) are likely to also be effective in the long term.

BIOGRAPHY

Dr Debbie Ging is Associate Professor of Media Studies in the School of Communications at Dublin City University. Her research is concerned with gender and social media. Together with Dr Eugenia Siapera, she has recently co-edited a special issue of Feminist Media Studies on Online Misogyny and a book with Palgrave Macmillan entitled Gender Hate Online: Understanding the new Anti-Feminism(s)

Debbie is a member of the National Anti-Bullying Research and Resource Centre and of the Institute for Future Media and Journalism, both based in Dublin City University.

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