PhiloMadrid - Pub Philosophy Meetings in Madrid

Thursday, March 22, 2018

from Lawrence, SUNDAY PhiloMadrid meeting at 6:30pm: Citizen feminism + NEWS meeting place

This Sunday 25th temporary meeting location:
Gran Clavel (Café-Bar)
Gran vía 11, esquina C/ Clavel, 28013—Madrid

Dear Friends,

Apologies for having to cancel the meeting last Sunday at such a short
notice; I thought I'd be alright by Sunday but rather the opposite
happened. And to make things worse I was not told that Café Madrid would
be closed for decorations.

Anyway Matilda kindly suggested the Gran Clavel bar for this Sunday's
meeting and although they do not reserve tables they do not mind having
small groups. Matilda and I will be there early to make sure we have a
decent table, so please look us; the staff wouldn't know anything about
the meeting.

This Sunday we are discussing Citizen feminism.

A subject we certainly haven't discussed and one that does not come up
is searches. So what could this citizen feminism be and do? In my short
essay I give some ideas but first think about it for yourself.

Citizen feminism

The concept of "Citizen" or citizens acting in such a way that would
have been carried out by professional practitioner is not news. The most
memorable one must be "citizen's arrest". Today this list is fast
becoming long and imaginative including citizen scientist, scientist
media, citizen photojournalist, citizen astronomers, but I haven't been
able to find citizen feminist.

For our purposes the citizen feminist model we should be interested in
is the one similar to citizen journalism. In other words, feminism that
is advocated outside the "professional" institutions such as political
parties, trade unions or NGOs. Sure, these groups keep the debate alive
and in some cases achieve progress in society for example labour
agreements. And more importantly they have the financial and membership
power to gather people for a cause at a very short notice.

The key about citizen-something is that the activities of the "citizen"
are not by definition false, unrealisable, frivolous or wrong,
professional people are guilty of these failures as well, but that the
contribution of the citizen might vary from citizen to citizen. A lot of
innocent errors and mistakes can easily creep in. One of the basic
drawbacks of the citizen model is that such people might not be up to
date with technical and even legal issues. For example the enthusiasm of
a citizen photojournalist might lead the person to do things that are
taboo in the profession: posing people, using flash in a tense
situation, over doing the Photoshopping –Lightroom is more suitable.

A good example of citizen feminism, although the official media call
them radical feminists, are the Ukrainian group Femen who protest bare
chested during high profile events. No doubt they have specialised in a
form of protest that not everyone is prepared to get involved in. But
they certainly get their 15minutes of fame; today even this group is
well organised group with international coordination.

A key factor in philosophy is information, and information shared in
information communicated with the hope of changing the behaviour or
beliefs of the target audience. An advert on tv is an attempt to create
an emotional desire to own (via buying) the product.

Today citizens who get involved in the citizen model of an activity have
easy access to information and an audience. The social media, self
publishing, video sites and so on give global or local access to an
audience. Today a video of someone being nasty to a woman in the street
can reach an audience of a 100,000 viewers within hours and sometimes
the authorities do act. Employers and commercial establishments are
always on alert for such negative publicity of their institution.

I have already highlighted some of the negative aspects of the citizen
model. A positive aspect of citizen feminism is that with an internet
connection the individual can take action on very local issues and can
still get an audience. A second benefit of the citizen model is that it
is very difficult to manipulate short of cutting off an internet
connection; traditional media can be more easily manipulated as we have
discovered in the Brexit referendum.

Does the citizen model give more freedoms to the individuals? Despite
the exploits of Femen, the internet can probably give more voice to
informative actions, as I said, such as writing about harassment at
work, inequities and discrimination. Citizen feminists have been
empowered in the age of the internet, but like all causes being
reasonable about one's behaviour and ideology can take the cause a long
way. After all, in the age of the internet we all have our own problems
and sometime problems we did not realise we had.

Best Lawrence

tel: 606081813

PhiloMadrid Meeting
Meet 6:30pm
Café Madrid
Calle del Meson de Panos in Opera

from Lawrence, SUNDAY PhiloMadrid meeting at 6:30pm: Citizen feminism +
NEWS meeting place


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