In recent years, female students start to take advantage of the technology era and make great efforts to create online platforms for women’s voice. Amani Al-Khatahtbeh, a young Muslim student, launched MuslimGirl.net, which challenges stereotypes of Muslim women. Another group of Harvard students is even more high-profile by designing an online magazine website, Her Campus, exclusively for domestic and international female students.
Her Campus has more than 300 chapters, each called “My Campus,” at universities in the United States and across the globe, including Finland, Japan, Australia, United Kingdom and Puerto Rico.
Founded by three then-undergraduate Harvard women, Her Campus is an online magazine website. It posits itself as the No. 1 global community for college women, boasting more than 6,000 contributors. The idea is that the website allows young female students to create their own “magazine” specifically for their colleges or universities, making potential bloggers the editor-in-chief in charge of their very own editorial teams. Women working for Her Campus could also have the opportunity to be hired by prestigious media including Glamour, Vogue, Buzzfeed, Vanity Fair, People, The Huffington Post, Teen Vogue, and so on.
Out of curiosity, I clicked on the Her Campus – U Penn site. The articles are usually short, personal, with a lot of photos and pictures. Instead of seeing women’s voices to be heard, I would rather categorize the website as women’s fashion website. What’s worse, the news articles present photos along with only one or two sentences.
One of the students, Danielle Gorton, from Kanyon College criticizes her “college chapter” of Her Campus, saying that “the voice being heard is a very specific voice. It is most often the voice of a single type of feminism”. So true. I do not see an underprivileged or alternative voice of young female college students. On the other hand, the layout of the website is too colorful, which is hard for readers to find a focus. The interruption of memes, stock images and colorful text hinders the conveying of message and idea.
Building an Internet platform is only the starting point of making women’s voice heard. It is the content and idea that matter the most. Her Campus has the potential to create an open atmosphere for female college students, but what it needs most is the quality of content, the idea that strike directly into reader’s hearts.
Carlotti, Paige. (2014). Bridge The Gap in Women’s Journalism by Bringing HerCampus to Your Campus. Forbes. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/paigecarlotti/2014/08/07/bridge-the-gap-in-womens-journalism-by-bringing-hercampus-to-your-campus/
Harvard, Sarah. (2015). How This 23-Year-Old Is Busting Negative Myths about Muslim Women and Dominating the Internet. Teen Vogue. Retrieved from http://www.teenvogue.com/story/amani-al-khatahtbeh-founder-of-muslimgirl-website
Gorton, Danielle. (2015). Her Campus Falls Short of Its Goal. The Collegian. Retrieved from http://kenyoncollegian.com/2015/11/19/her-campus-falls-short-of-its-goal/
Her Campus. (2015). About Us. Her Campus. Retrieved from http://www.hercampus.com/about-us
Ryan, Malone. (2015). 4 Groups Journalism or Communications Students Can Bring to Campus. USA Today. Retrieved from http://college.usatoday.com/2015/08/13/4-groups-journalism-or-communications-students-can-bring-to-campus/