Hacking the Hacktivist: An Examination of Gendered Social Activism in Digital Spaces


This paper interrogates the use of digital spaces to promote gendered agency in social action. Specifically, this presentation will examine the kinds of issues that are commonly taken up by “hacktivists”--activists who use digital expertise to promote social change by altering public perceptions and material usage. Hacktivism has traditionally been viewed as a predominantly straight, cis, male-dominated movement due to strong associations with presumptions about the gendered nature of digital code/interface. Recently women & LGBTQ individuals have begun to push back against this understanding, developing sub-movements (i.e. AnonyMISS, TransHackFeminist) that emphasize the needs/goals of these groups as embodied individuals by encouraging their primary concerns to develop out of body-centered issues. This presentation asserts that such movements bridge the divide between online and “RL” by making use of the affordances of digital spaces to further embodied causes.

Meeting Name

4th Biannual Gender, Bodes, and Technology: (In)Visible Futures (2016: Apr. 21-23, Blacksburg, VA)


English and Technical Communication

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


File Type




Publication Date

01 Apr 2016

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