There has been a debate online about misogyny experienced by women bloggers. I’m not going to write extensively about it, as I believe others have done it very well, already.
As a counterpoint to the debate, I would like to talk about all the fantastic things that women are doing so brilliantly online. Despite the misogyny, women have taken up residence all over the internet, and are changing the world for the better, one fantastic project at a time.
On Twitter, we use the #ff to offer suggestions to others of people who are worth following for their updates, which hold useful or interesting information for the benefit of the whole community.
What follows is a short list of women who I believe are worthy of a #ff, because of the great projects they have initiated or are contributing to. It’s not in any order, and it”s not going to be complete. Epic women are springing up all the time, and so I expect to revisit this theme again.
@LouLouK is one of the first women I came across online who made me take a step back and just enjoy seeing her expertise spilling out across her keyboard. She is a geek (well, from where I’m sitting) and is able to apply technological tools to devlop new ways of approaching her job in Local Government. She can haz maps, apps, and can work almost anything out if you give her the dataset- I’m quite sure of it. She writes for the Guardian and has developed the #lgovsm Tweetchat for people in local government to share good practice.
@HelReynolds Helen has been really inspirational, as she set about effecting huge change in Monmouthshire, where as a direct result of her efforts, the local government has now given all employees access to communicate with the residents through Social Media tools.
@ShirleyAyres is a remarkable individual who seems to know everyone, and be a part of every conversation I’m interested to join on Twitter! She has years of knowledge and experience of Social Care, Social Work and Local Government, and yet seems to have retained the ability to keep looking at situations with fresh eyes, in order to see fresh solutions.
@Ermintrude2 is a Social Worker who has recently started to blog at “The Not So Big Society“. She is reflective about her own practice and the national and local drivers that are impacting on it. She is sensitive to the power differentials within her relationships with the people she works with and has brilliant, strong opinions about politics and how it impacts on her practice. Especially interesting about personalisation, mental capacity and mental health.
@SalmaPatel has been engaged with her doctoral research at the University of Warwick which relates to digital tools in healthcare. She blogs about her ideas and opinions related to this area, and has a fabulous brain to examine the issues involved. Always questioning, and really helps me to develop my own ideas through discussing things with her.
@LoveArtsLeeds Victoria has recently developed the first festival in the UK to explicitly celebrate the links between mental health and wellness, and the arts. This festival has been a huge success story here in Leeds, and has really got our community talking about mental health and breaking down the stigma attached to such discussions.
@ChristineBurns is a specialist in equality issues, and she has been a critical source of information relating to diversity and best practice for me since I started Tweeting. She feels it is important to develop the business case as much as the human rights case in support of diversity in the workforce, and supports her arguments very persuasively. She has strong opinions, and is not afraid to voice them- a very refreshing characteristic!
@amcunningham is a GP who teaches Medical Students in Cardiff. She is a blogger, and raises interesting issues about online identity, medical ethics and social media opportunities consistently with the health and digital communities. Recently the centre of an online dispute with other medics about professional behaviour online that was termed #hcsmukgate and which I blogged about some time ago.
@Re_connection is an early Social Media friend, when we first started to discuss the possible links between health, wellness and digital technology, we were two islands in a whole sea of incomprehension! I am glad to say that we are no longer so isolated; Katie has gone on to win a fantastic tender to deliver the Innovation Labs to develop online and offline resources to support young people’s mental health and wellbeing- a fantastic acheivement.
@JanelWood is another @Leedsgirlgeek who I met some years ago. She has worked staeadily at her mission, to improve health and wellbeing outcomes for women who are experiencing breast cancer, for whom she has developed an online “virtual friend” in the form of MiHealth. MiHealth, is now being rolled out across hospital cancer departments. Check it out, it’s really something.
@Katie Bacon is a youth worker with an evident passion for online technology. Her company is called Online Youth Outreach. She works with education, health and the private sector internationally to develop the skills and confidence their staff need to be effective in online youth outreach. She is really great at what she does, and regularly vlogs about it, too, which I find to be a fantastic, accessible resource.
Lastly, a mention for the group of OTs who developed the #24OTvx the 24 hour Virtual Exchange for OT. @SJB2 (Sarah) and the other group members have managed to develop a fantastic online community for OT, which covers Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, Second Life, and the Virtual Classroom. This development has helped my confidence to grow as I navigate these spaces, and they continue to offer support and encouragement to a global community of OT.
So, please do feel free to get in touch with me if you feel that you know an epic woman who I didn’t include- maybe leave a comment and tell me a bit about them? Let’s big it up for the sisters!
Edit 07/11/11 Just to give context for this post, please read recent media coverage of the online harassment and misogyny many female bloggers encounter. I particularly recommend the original observer article, and the Sianandcrookedrib post giving the commonest justifications for misogynist abuse, and the response