Women of color have a variety of responses when employing digital technologies for empowerment. New communication technologies have expanded the opportunities and potential for marginalized communities to mobilize in this context counter to the dominant, mainstream media. This growth reflects the mobilization of marginalized communities within virtual and real spaces reflecting a systematic change in who controls the narrative. No longer are mainstream media the only disseminators of messages or producers of content. Women, in particular, are employing social media to highlight issues that are often ignored in dominant discourse. However, access itself neither ensures power nor guarantees a shift in the dominant ideology (as the use of #Misogynoir by Katy Perry reveals among other examples). Operating under the oppressive structures of masculinity, heterosexuality, and Whiteness that are sustained in digital spaces, marginalized women persevere and resist such hegemonic realities. Yet the conceptual frameworks intended to capture the digital lives of women cannot deconstruct the structural inequalities of these spaces.
Kishonna L. Gray (Ph.D., Arizona State University) is currently a MLK Visiting Scholar in Women & Gender Studies and Comparative Media Studies/Writing. She is also the Founder of the Critical Gaming Lab at Eastern Kentucky University. She is expanding on the work created here to develop new initiatives surrounding Equity in Gaming (www.equityingaming.com). Her work broadly intersects identity and new media although she has a particular focus on gaming. Her most recent book, Race, Gender, & Deviance in Xbox Live (Routledge, 2014), provides a much-needed theoretical framework for examining deviant behavior and deviant bodies within that virtual gaming community.