Any form of sexual harassment should be stopped and punish and the advancement of tools to track such crime is fantastic. HarassMap is a very good idea to stop instances of violence and harassment of women in certain areas. While the campaign begins in Egypt, the concept can very well be adopted into the United States because the issue of sexual harassment is pretty bad too. The ability to use a tool like this could spark a social movement to spread awareness of not only the issue itself, but the availability of such an instrument to help track the crime. The idea of crowdsourcing witnesses is brilliant as the communities will grow bigger into stopping harassment under any circumstances. The prime goal is stopping sexual assaulters from running away and committing further damage to our communities. I also believe the idea of working collectively as a community promotes the sense of identity as a whole group of people. The potential of HarassMap is that it would bring more attention to this horrible issue and it will also give others the accessibility to work against it. It’s funny because most people understand the severity of this problem in our society yet, we don’t even know how many people are trying to take a stance against it. When Brock Turner got caught for raping an unconscious woman on his school campus, I wondered if he would’ve gotten a more justified punishment if HarassMap were to be around during his trial. Especially since only three months in jail is way too little of a punishment for such a major misdemeanor. I hope this project becomes bigger than ever so harassment and violence can be reduced to an all time low.
The term “keyboard warrior” was first introduced to me when I was on a forum for some video game or something like that. It was used to describe someone who was being extremely opinionated and in some cases acting cocky. As old as I am now, I am still realizing how important being a keyboard warrior is and that the ability to become one is neglected through the many internet users out there. Being able to voice your opinion strongly is something that I feel that people should be allowed to do especially when sending an important message. The MENA use internet blogging in a very professional and useful way to spread awareness of important news. Thinking of this reminds me how I can use internet differently or efficiently to contribute to a discussion in someway.
Bassell Khartabil’s arrest was shocking because something so masterful also got him in trouble. His contribution by his excellent works like Wikipedia and Firefox were platforms that helped people network with each other. However, it’s not all safe for Arabic bloggers due to the heavy laws of censorship. Recently, I read about the UN and how they made the internet a human right and it doesn’t seem like that in Arab countries.
Another problem in a different scale about the internet is in debate right now here in the United States. Recently, I learned about net neutrality and how we as internet consumers are getting gypped of our right to the internet. Net neutrality is the term that describes the internet being an open space without any applications or websites being prioritized nor hidden by the ISPs themselves. The reason why I thought of this while reading the article is because I net neutrality could definitely be an issue the MENA might be facing without them knowing it because guess who controls the internet service providers there? Probably the government.
The things Alicia Garza is doing is amazing and I feel that her work should inspire everyone, and not only of African American descent to strive for a colorblind society. Garza’s persistence to aim for criminal justice requires an effort from a very large group of people. What I found interesting in this article is that it brings up Barack Obama’s success to become the President as an African American, yet there are many parts in this country that disregard that. While there is a successful African American politician, and many more successful African Americans in general, the majority of this ethnicity faces many social issues. “People think that we’re engaged with identity politics. The truth is that we’re doing what the labor movement has always done—organizing people who are at the bottom.”( Cobb 1).
Reading this article also makes me reflect on my life and how I was fortunate enough to grow up in a nicer city with a lot of diversity. However, there was a downside to living in the hometown I resided in. The city of Cupertino’s population was mainly Asian dominant but issues of race were not present when it came to interacting with different ethnicities. In high school, I had friends that were white , black, asian, and many more that I can’t name on the top of my head. The bad thing about growing up in that area was the social bubble that I felt like I was trapped in. In a sense, this bubble was more of a safe space if anything. The bad thing about living in a “bubble” or a “safe space” is that you don’t learn or know about a lot of the things that happen outside the bubble. For instance, I wouldn’t know about the social movements and issues that the Black Lives Matter movement is working on. Cupertino was a city filled with millennials that worried about academics, future jobs, and pretty much money in the end of it. I don’t think that it’s a bad idea to worry about these things, but there a lot of issues in life that should be addressed or at least known.
The power of the internet is explained in Herrera’s article. Being able to browse and stay online not only allows people to connect to each other, but also allows ease in collaborative efforts such as activism. Herrera explains the power of togetherness that is obtainable through social media by introducing to us the Middle East and North Africa youth. The MENA youth was able to find these media outlets in order for their voices to be heard amongst other Middle Eastern and African citizens. The ability to bring people together promoted a sense of community and a greater idea of what the government is actually doing.
Herrera talks about Mona who was able to utilize the internet to learn about different cultures and people around the world despite her poor English. “For Mona, chat rooms provided an opportunity to talk about and spread Islam, to broaden her social circles, and to seek out contrary positions in order to form her own opinions about important issues of the day” (Herrera 341) This last quote really resided with me because I feel like more and more people are doing what Mona is doing in order to spread awareness of the past and current events of different parts of the globe.
At first, many of my friends gave reactions to shocking events through Facebook and Twitter. Then, as we got older, I’ve been seeing many informational responses in the form of paragraphs, even essays on the important issues today and I’m very pleased to see all these wonderful opinions on our country and beyond. Whether or not I agree with any of the posts or comments I see on social media, I’m at least happy that more people are starting to care about the world in a different degree. An interesting question that I came up with while reading the article is, “how does this cultural change of utilizing social media affect our views on politics/social activism?”
After reading about the Wired Citizenship article, I really wondered what my role for the future would become. Learning about the restrictions on youth activism in the Middle East is quite alarming for me as a citizen of the U.S. Due to my ability to have a voice through many different platforms and media outlets, I feel oddly yet gratefully privileged to have such tools. The We are all Khaled Said Social Movement is a positive light for Egyptians to move toward useful change as new mobilizations became available for young activists. Khaled Said is a renowned model for an act like this because he was a man that had to find his own identity on place he was born. The way I interpreted the point of view of Egyptians on Khaled Said is in both a good and bad way. “Khaled Said fits perfectly well into the deteriorating social tapestry of an Egypt where emigration attempts, drug abuse, street mistrust, and questionable friendships characterize the life of a young Egyptian.”(Herrera 92) Even though Khaled Said’s punishment was drug-related, he remains the symbol for Egypt’s cruel police force. Knowing that Said was 28 years old when this tragedy happened, I have a feeling to ask myself if I am going to put myself in a position to help stop things like this happening. Reading this also reminded me that I have different assets and resources available for me to help with a cause. The Egyptian politics are corrupt as a system to unable young activists to strive for change. As the government loses its handle on citizenship, education, and social progression, I feel that some sort of trust should be laid on the youth for brighter ideas and changes. Ultimately, the question for me is, “What is my role to help mold the future?”
What I ultimately collected from the two readings by Joel Beinin and Joe Stork was the importance of learning about social movements and social movement theories. The message that the two articles give is robust and understanding the social circumstances of different countries is vivid. Something that normally catches my attention when it comes to these social operations is the wear and tear that the citizens of a nation have to go through in order to make progress. Before I began reading these pieces, I expected to expand my knowledge on social movements in the Middle East. Of course, these articles had fantastic details on different countries and their justice movements. What I enjoyed most was reading about how these Arabic figures used their intelligence in literature and philosophy to create movements and push them forward. Also, learning about the preparations of these intense revolutions and internal conflicts between different rights leaders made for a good reading experience. One thing I’m curious about (from Joel Beinin and Frederic Vairel’s reading) is how do citizens safely advertise their thoughts and opinions against the government/military? Thinking about such a question reminds me how lucky I am to have the ability to voice my opinion through social media. However, the true spotlight I believe, is in the impact that is created by the people involved in these movements. “The element of surprise and the end of political apathy of large sectors of the population have embodied and set in motion dynamics of political change, varying from one country to another.” The article conclusively explains that the hasty spread of violence is absolutely unacceptable and therefore, people should understand the dynamics of what people are going through across the world. There are multiple countries with citizens going through hardship and understanding their social conditions is important because they need help and one day, what is happening over there could eventually hit the U.S.