My comments on Knight’s “Making Space: Feminist DH and a Room of One’s Own” and Gajjala’s “When Your Seams Get Undone, Do You Learn to Sew or to Kill Monsters?”
I liked Knight’s example of how the notion of minimal invisibility can clash with feminist practices that spawn different forms of transparency. It is interesting to see how she plays with the notion of minimalism, as she posits how a non-minimal tool such as the LilyPad – involving processes that are not minimal either, be it for lack of economic resources and administrative infrastructures, or for the amount of time and space it requires – can turn itself into a minimal one, for it can be easily integrated into the humanities and needs modest administrative and financial resources.
I think that her notion of in/visibility can be extended to Gajjala’s article, as it addresses the question of female unwaged labor in digital DIY spaces. I like how she stresses the fact that professional spaces are by default geared to the heteronormative male free from childcare, thus (implicitly or explicitly) excluding women from those work places and confining them to the role of angel in the house. And I also find very important the point that she makes about the fact that, when women enter such male dominated spaces, they are the ones who have to adapt to them, and not the other way round – thus emphasizing how such environments erase those (female) individualities which are allegedly at odds with male standards.
However, I wish she expanded more on how privilege, access and class play a role in the newly-born concept of “new domesticity.” Drawing a parallel with Pierre’s article “‘The Myth of Oneness’: Erasure of Indigenous and Ethnic Identities in Digital Feminist Discourse,” I think that Gajjala could have addressed in a more intersectional way the repercussions that Western trends (such as this “new domesticity”) have on non-Wesetern/underprivileged/lower class individuals and how they position themselves accordingly.
Finally, since Gajjala affirms that men who practise female-identified activities are usually feminized, is it legitimate to ask how a male individual would be welcomed in one of those digital communities dominated by female fiber-enthusiasts/gamers – what effect do you think that this would have on the dynamics of such networks and how would they respond?