March 11, 2008

Activism on the Web

Jenn Fang, from, launched a letter writing campaign from her blog last week with this post:

The story was that there is an "Asian Fusion" restaurant in Boston which decided to advertise its food and services by placing an advertisement with a naked Asian woman (You can see the ad by going to her blog). Calling the restaurant on their objectification of Asian women, Jenn advised her readers to contact the owners with her complaints. Her campaign was so effective that it made the Boston Herald:

It may have also brought more attention to the restaurant itself, but hey, change always starts with dialogue. I don't know about you all, but I think it's exciting that the internet has sparked so much activism and real action.

Now props to Jenn, of course, but I also think there is a disadvantage with "web activism": real activism must have much more than just action; it also requires thoughtful strategizing. With this particular incident, the angry mailing and phone calling took place because people were already angry with orientalism and the issues that Asian Americans deal with day to day. For real strategizing--and I've said this often on this site and on other sites--there is no substitute for face to face strategizing.

(Double posted on the 44's.)

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