The Pin Junkie: Pinterest and Feminism

Pinterest and Feminism


An article in Buzzfeed by Amy Odell complains that all the pretty pictures on Pinterest are killing feminism.  Although I can agree with her that the majority of Pinterest users are women, I can't agree with much of the remaining points of the article.  

In How Pinterest is Killing Feminism Amy complains that much of the user generated content on Pinterest relates to recipes, crafts, fashion, and fitness tips.  She compares this to content traditionally found in women's magazines.  She laments that the pictures of food, clothes, and overly perfect body images collected on Pinterest are superficial and not intelligent or intellectual enough for feminist women.  "This isn't were the Internet was supposed to take us" says Odell.

Yes, there are pictures of food, crafts, fashion, and weddings.  I have a board for each of these topics myself, as a matter of fact, and I consider myself to be a feminist.  However, I think what is important to note, and what Amy seems to be missing, is that Pinterest contains user generated content.  Which means women are pinning these items for themselves.  Not only do Pinterest users decide what to pin, but they also have control of what they view in their feed.  Users can curate their feed by what and who they follow.  Which is certainly unlike women's magazines in which editors control and edit the content for readers.

I also think Amy doesn't have a clear understanding of what feminism is.  Basically, feminism is the belief that women and men should have equal political, social, and economic rights.  Therefore, an interest in crafts, cooking, or interior design, doesn't mean that you don't believe in equal rights for women.

Here are some other articles in response to Amy Odell's article if you are interested in further reading:


And if you're a college student who needs to write a paper, I just gave you a great topic and tons of resources!


Let's get a discussion going!

What do you think?
Do you agree or disagree with the idea that Pinterest is killing feminism?
 or
Do you pin on Pinterest?
What do you pin and why?    

16 comments:

  1. Newest follower here! Found you on the blog hop. I look forward to reading more!
    -Melanie @ meandmr.com

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  2. I am a feminist and I pin on pinterest. I'm surprised that this even came up. Is pinterest somehow tricking us into thinking we should be docile, stay in the kitchen and never speak out in politics? I'm really confused. So what if I love food and want to make yummy food. So what if I want to be creative and be inspired to creativity? Yar. I don't think Amy gets it.

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    1. Also. What about all those bloggers who are breaking down the traditional male roles? Blogger women who are doing upholstery, carpentry, home remodels. On their own! This definitely hit a nerve with me. I mean, it's a user created feed, so if women are being oppressed, we are oppressing ourselves. Which I don't doubt is happening. But to blame pinterest, a tool, is like blaming Google.

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    2. You make a good point. One aspect of feminism is that woman can choose for themselves what they want to do and what they are interested in rather than letting society choose for them. Whether women want to cook and craft or work with tools and do home improvement projects is really up to them as individuals. The author of the article seems to think that to be a feminist, you must disregard anything that is traditionally viewed as feminine, such as cooking, sewing, or fashion. One of the reasons why I like Pinterest is that EVERYTHING is there. You can find pictures of women who are curvy, rather than stick thin, as well as cars, sports, and tattoos which can be viewed as traditional masculine topics.

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  3. I just found your blog on the Aloha Friday Bloghop and I'm a new follower. I pin, too!

    As far as this issue goes, sometimes I feel like this attitude is demeaning toward women. Saying that Pinterest is ruining feminism is insinuating that what women who are pinning- crafts and home projects are stupid and frivolous because unless we're doing what men are doing, it's less than.

    And if you've been on Pinterest, HELLO! DIY projects, drill, hammer, nails...it's actually very empowering!

    www.MommaCandy.com

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  4. Seeing as how Pinterest sends a ton of traffic to my blog and my blog helps me to make a living, I would say no. Pinterest is helping women put their ideas out there and in some cases make a living. BTW, I just pinned this!

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  5. It's odd that people are still complaining about feminism...don't we have more important things to do?

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  6. Great post. I do see both sides: Sometimes I also feel that Pinterest encourages women to pressure themselves to be more domestic... The same way fashion magazines encourage thin bodies.

    In the end, I appreciate having the right to choose which hobbies I pursue and I don't define myself by how I measure up against those I follow on Pinterest.

    In the end, my feminism is not undermined by my love of art and crafts any more than my womanhood is undermined by my love of camping and fishing.

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  7. Found this via Pinterest, ironically. I personally *want* to cook delicious recipes (and have made several I have found on Pinterest), I *want* to get healthier (so I post tips that *I* find useful), I *want* to have a nicely decorated home (and if I can find ideas for cheap upcycles, DIY, or otherwise, I'm gonna pin that mess!). I also have boards for travel (places I've been or want to go), fashion, beauty, tattoos, teaching and classroom planning (I am a teacher), preparedness, saving money, organization, all things that interest me. Then there is a board devoted entirely to sarcastic and funny posts. If I don't like something, I don't pin it.

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    1. I have many of the same boards. You make a good point that Pinterest users choose for themselves what boards to create and what to pin. Since Pinterest consists of user generated content and users pin what they like, Pinterest really isn't forcing anyone to like certain things or subscribe to any particular ideas.

      I'm a teacher as well, and I think Pinterest is an excellent resource!

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  8. I love Pinterest and I consider myself a feminist!

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  9. Great post - the most amazing thing about Pinterest is the diversity of content it supports, and surely this celebration of diversity is absolutely key to feminism, Alice x

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