New Media provides a number of hidden platforms which work below traditional media and has the capacity to share ideas and spread concepts far beyond the shallow reach of traditional mediums. This is ideal for the enhancement of innovation, the development of discussion and the strengthening of ideas and resolve. The power of this medium has been acknowledged by governments and organisations alike, it is only the fear of social networking that has led to the ‘Great Firewall of China’, and to expansion of counter cyber terrorism in many western defence budgets. This in itself makes web 2.0 an exciting platform, as it has such power and so many powerful people are afraid of it. Web 2.0 has the capacity to democratise voices across the globe, and to introduce new ideas far across the world whilst strengthening communities looking for positive change. To share the challenges faced by those far away and to aid the burden of the problem solving process.
For western countries, and women in particular, the new media has the capacity to help us realise the need for equality and change. By no means do we face the same level of discrimination and abuse as found in other places, we are mostly free to drive cars, to vote and to study and work as we please. Those battles were fought and won, women burned their bras and we believed that women’s liberation had freed us that we had every right just as a man. Which is what happened, whilst retaining the right to raise a child and be a housewife, we also had the right to work, control our finances and have a career. No men took the responsibilities that we had, instead we kept our burdens and accepted new ones, in the desire to be free. We are now left with pay inequality, work and social inequities while the media pressures us to be stay at home mothers with no male involvement in domestic issues, no true partnership. Whenever these issues are raised we are shouted down, our issues are nothing in comparison to what people face elsewhere so why should we complain? New Media provides us with the capacity to fight subtlety with subtlety, to work our way back into the mindset of the world and find true equality and democracy.
Whilst we use the array of tools available to battle for our sisters facing such horrors of abuse, mortality and disease that we can barely imagine simultaneously these tools can be utilised to free those women with an easier path from their gilded cage. Then not only can we be freer to help those less fortunate, but we can also hold our heads high when we say that there are better roads ahead, not simply new barriers to overcome and not just new invisible shackles to hold us back. Through these new media we can network and build strength and momentum in a way never done before, equality through democratic power.
Take action! This post was submitted in response to Voices of Our Future Application: Empowerment and Web 2.0.