Activities that are meant to respond to multiple learning objectives in practical ways. These include hands-on exercises and practical strategising activities.
Recognising your power
About this learning activity
This learning activity is the suggested tactical activity for “Sexuality and internet governance”. This activity is designed to encourage participants to revisit existing strategies and to think of new strategies to advance sexuality rights in internet governance.
- To identify where participants’ power lies in relation to their activities over the internet in order to be better able to strategise and advocate for sexuality rights in internet governance.
Who is this activity for?
Participants of all levels of experience.
- Flip chart paper
- Marker pens
Get participants to work in groups to think about why they remain engaged online and the difficulty of negotiating online spaces.
What is the added value of remaining online? Ask them to be specific (which spaces, why, what purposes, etc.) and to think along the terms of networking or connections, information/news, quality of interaction and building on relationships, ability to create content and distribute content, herstory/memory, having access to new contacts/networks, etc.
With the knowledge of what keeps us online and what empowers/disempowers us, get the participants to think of strategies – either improving existing strategies or thinking of new ones – to advance sexuality rights in internet governance
To encourage participants that sexuality rights can be taken up in internet governance spaces, share the following information:
- APC’s Take Back the Tech! campaign was able to build upon the visibility of sexuality rights to broaden the reach of work on digital safety and security for women and girls, gaining mainstream coverage from CNN, the Washington Post, Time magazine and Reuters, among others.
- The EROTICS research was able to provide a deeper spectrum to the analysis and strategising around the campaign for changing the reporting policies of Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube by bringing LGBT experiences into the discourse of online violence, thus making inter‐movement linkages and connections.
Facilitator’s preparation notes
To try to help participants think outside the box, suggest the following:
- Feminist digital labour (or work) in mobilising, calling out, content creating and criticising sexism, misogyny and patriarchy remains predominantly unwaged and emotionally draining and is often received with violence. How can we ensure the sustainability of the movement?
- How can we rethink empowerment and responsibility when we operate on the very technologies (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Google Docs, Gmail) that functionally surveil us and are used to obstruct our rights?
- What does free and autonomous consent look like on the internet? What aspects of our privacy and personal data are we surrendering in exchange for access to resources – and how are they gendered and sexualised? An example of this would be how many women are sharing/commercialising their private life, i.e. their relationship with family, in exchange for viewership and advertising income. Or how a woman remains on Facebook for professional networking purposes, but in exchange, Facebook has access to the woman’s personal data, and because Facebook knows she is a woman, they push certain advertisements to her.
- What if there is no privacy and privacy is illegal? [This question is just meant to play devil’s advocate and to provoke deeper thinking, especially in relation to the double standards that we so often witness.] Could that help advance sexuality rights in internet governance? Would it help us have a different perception of nudity and sexualised content? If there is no privacy, will it be easier to know if someone is being sexually coerced and exploited? Will it mean the non-existence of anonymity, and how will this help or worsen advocacy?
- Is there a bystander syndrome over the internet that we need to eradicate or reduce in terms of its impact? Why are online harassment, surveillance and policing of sexuality tolerated by online communities? How do we encourage more active/wider engagement online and how will that relate to internet governance?
- What does people power look like over the internet? Was the closest example the uprising in Egypt (2011)? How would such people power affect internet governance?
Encourage participants to think from the desired outcomes and what’s needed to get there. Attempt different approaches so that participants are better able to think differently about strategies.
Become familiar with the following APC initiatives
Feminist Principles of the Internet
Take Back the Tech! campaign
Sexual Rights and the Internet Training Kit
Role playing game on gender and internet governance
The idea of the role playing game is to think and learn together about intersectionality and internet governance in an embodied way rather than have speeches or debates which can be more analytical and not relatable.
Aim: To get participants to think about different lived realities, identities, and intersectionality in relation to internet governance and policy spaces through temporary embodiment of different identities.
Based on the space, create a set of ‘person’ cards. The cards will have an one line description of the person. For example, “You are a lesbian woman from Dhaka, Bangladesh, who uses a wheelchair,” or “You are a non-binary person from Beirut, Lebanon, who works on LGBTQ rights and digital security.”
Participants will be divided into groups with equal number of members in each group.
Each member will get a ‘person’ card. This will prompt them to think about what internet governance means to them and what they want to bring to the space. It will also prompt them to think about the physical space itself, and the challenges which may arise here.
One member in each group will be chosen as the ‘moderator’.
Each group is assigned one session from the agenda.
- Moderator will outline the session and what they will be covering the session through various hypothetical speakers.
- Others in the group will answer the following question:
- What are some interventions which you would make in this session? Please bring in perspectives based on your ‘person’ card.
After the initial round of discussion, the group will collectively answer the following:
- What would have been missing in the session without the interventions from the group members?
- How does this affect the larger dialogue on internet governance?
Each group will share their discussions and answers in brief with the room.
The person running the game can also intervene with ‘crisis’ moments which can bring in current affairs and situations from real life to each group which can escalate the discussion.
Self care and collective care is essential to this game. The person running the game needs to be careful and watch out for trigger points. Outlining care principles and requesting people to provide trigger warnings if needed can be one way to address possible trauma in the room. Ensure that there is space for people to exit the room immediately if needed. In case someone is affected badly at any point, make provisions to pause the game and ensure their well being first.
Note: This game is a work in progress, and is yet to be tested out. Please let me know about any suggestions and/or points of concern which you may have regarding this. It can be modified accordingly to