New Criticals

Feminism at the Speed of Light


Being born at the arse-end of generation X, I didn’t use the internet until I was 18, or a mobile phone until I was 21. I realise this probably sounds completely impossible to many of the students I teach, younger friends and most likely a number people reading this online, but it’s quite true. And I’m not even *that* old. As far as I can remember, life at that point was quite a bit slower and deeper in some ways, though it was a pain trying to meet someone if one of you had the time or place wrong, but perhaps that was more interesting in some ways too. It used to be possible to sit in a room without a telephone or internet and have the possibility of not buying anything. Most of the information in the world came from people you knew, books, radio, TV and newspapers. It was probably just as one-sided, but there was a lot less of it to have to process, or at least it came at you through fewer streams. I think we spent a lot of time processing the fewer things we did come across. But now processors belong to the machines and we just sit at either end of them, inputting or receiving, all the while being watched by spy agencies and having our data harvested by ad firms. But it’s not all bad, as the rise of online feminist consciousness attests.

But first some pre-history...