Sustainable Movements

In the final chapter of By Any Media Necessary, “It’s Called Giving a Shit: What Counts as ‘Politics?’”, Henry Jenkins and Sangita Shresthova tie together all of the articles from the previous chapters while adding some final thoughts to the discussion.  They effectively discuss some of the overarching themes throughout the book, including intersections between different movements and criticisms, as well as some of the commonalities and differences between the movements that are included.

One of the ideas that they bring up is that of the contrast between the development of older social movements and that of newer ones, like the ones that are brought up in the book. They say that even though the older movements took much longer to develop, that they “came with shared identities and agendas” whereas newer movements were developed more quickly but “struggle with issues of coherence and sustainability” (263).

They recount an attempted movement to “call out… Chick-fil-A for its owner’s support of homophobic organizations” that one of its organizers thought would be easy for supporters to participate in. Because of a lack of “coordinated effort” on their side, the message got into the hands of enemies who “distorted [their] message and reframed the story” (263).

This makes me think about (again) the Women’s March and the backlash that it received. There were so many voices and concerns that went unheard and much of the criticism was that it was a march put together by white women for white women. It’s true: it was not as cohesive as it could have been, but I would argue that many women are now working to be more inclusive in future movements.


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