247055.jpg
  • 247055.jpg

New media erases borders; it allows to speak to everyone… Looks like the biggest dream of Vladimir Lenin becomes truth and kitchen maid can rule the country. But… she really can?

The boldest example of the opportunities given by web 2.0 is included in the slogan of MCI, one of the biggest telecommunications companies in the world: “There is no race. There is no gender. There is no age. There are no infirmities. There are only minds. Utopia? No. The Internet”.

Thanks to Wikipedia, Faceebook, YouTube, Twitter every woman can not only read and receive but also write and produce her own content.

The very huge problem of this “perfect world” is that still Internet has masculine face, and “Egalité” (equality so passionately gained during the French revolution) is not necessary about women. Do you know that weblogs created by men are more popular that women’s reflections? Why? In the article "Sexism 2.0" for the German youth magazine «Neon» an expert Susanne Klingner outlined the problem this way: "Media of the 21st century translate to us gender relations of the 18th century." Women are blogging about knitting, men speak out on important topics such as politics and technology. "Competence in Internet, as well as in society in general, still is seen as a very masculine quality" - outraged Mrs. Klingner.

Of course there are places in Internet where women talk how to protect their rights and fight against inequality. And still gender is one of the most popular issues in women’s discussion in internet. But so often under such posts some sexist comment appears, and is very hard to prove that your voice is strong and your ideas are great if people have this nourished by centuries vision that the best what a woman can create is an apple pie. Do you agree with this situation? Me personally no!

I live in post-USSR country. About one month ago Ms. Nuzhat Ehsan, UNFPA Country Director said in the frames of some meeting: “Gender equality for women in Ukraine is far from reality”. Women here earn only 70% from the salary of men, even sometimes women have higher qualification and better education level. I want this situation changed. I want women be strong insisting on their ideas. I want to show that in other countries women have similar problem, but there are so many beautiful examples how they achieved great results.

Web 2.0 seems to be an appropriate place for feminist projects which work together closely and strengthen each other. I want to show on my own example how internet can be used for cooperative work, discussion and opinion-forming. Working together on a common text or statement, or discussing, commenting or criticising current issues weblogs is now common practice and I believe together we will reach very high!

Take action! This post was submitted in response to Voices of Our Future Application: Empowerment and Web 2.0.

Comment on this Post

Comments

Hi, Iryna, Your perspective set me to reflecting, pondering. Your in-the-face critique of the state of women's participation in the digital culture in your country is thought-provoking. Thank you for your frankness.

Blessings, libudsuroy

''Every Day is a Journey and the Journey itself is Home.'' (Matsuo Basho)

Is always sad for me when I see women can't be heard just because they are women. But I know we can change the situation. When there are more than one of us is already enough to support each other :) Thank you for your comment, Libudsuroy!

Dear Iryna,

No more is equality far from reality. And we say that right here. Nw may be making an apple pie is... Ha ha

Good points and perspective broughtforth.

love

Merlin James

That's true, Sharonita! This is one of those rare places where you can feel free to express your thoughts and get strongest support and - why not - maybe even change the world. At least I don't mind to try ;)

Iryna, it is wonderful to hear your voice here again on PulseWire. You have the ability to shake us up and challenge our thinking. To provoke thoughts around traditional ideas and incite debate and discussion. I so enjoy your writing.

Your voice is vital to raising awareness of what life is like for women in the Ukraine. You are clearly a passionate and strong woman, and I look forward to reading more from you.

Thank you, Janice, so much for your words, so important for me! And yes, as some expression says, be afraid when a woman stops talking, because it means she begins thinking. And if she begins thinking... ;)

Its amazing how frank, to the point, and surely thought provoking this post is. It's informative and challenging at the same time. You have a critical mind and a passion for speaking out about things that matter. Thank you for voicing out what's in every women's mind. Deqa

I notices, Deqa, that sometimes we don't see the situation clear until we try to check it from the other side. And I think if open and not hide critical issues, it helps to change them. Thank you for the comment :)

Your writing style is very powerful. You is very clear what you want and that you are willing to fight for it. I love the quote “There is no race. There is no gender. There is no age. There are no infirmities. There are only minds. Utopia? No. The Internet”. The internet is very powerful took, and the work you and all the women on World Pulse are doing is inspiring great change. Look forward to reading more!

You perceptively note one of the consequences of the digital gender gap that is often overlooked, Iryna. I totally agree that new media provides us with an incredible opportunity to address this inequality, using these tools to connect, collaborate, and more freely and fully express our knowledge and creativity we will certainly bring about positive social change. I look forward to hearing more from you!

Thank you, Crystlle, for your words and understanding! The most incredible is that we realize this gap and it doesn't stop us, and we make all possible to change the situation. I believe that such women as we can do a lot to motivate others, and women with time will have the same rights as men, not only on paper ;)

A hug! Iryna

I loved reading this Iryna - You offer a very well-informed and practical perspective on the Web in relation to feminist issues, realisitc, yet motivating and positive. As much as the web has been a big breakthrough in bringing together women's voices and to further the cause for women's empowerment, I agree we still have a long way to go. And only we can make this happen. Your voice is a strident call to arms.

Your references to Klingner's research adds depth and authority to your writing, and and I particularly liked your reference to the MCI advertising slogan and its hypocrisy - The world still falls very short of this utopia, and indeed it should also be a place to celebrate difference in a positive way. Yet, as you say, we have the power to change this if we take action. It's no longer just a dream that one day gender bias might be a thing of the past, but only if we really begin to shout, not whisper, and not to tolerate being sidelined by unhelpful reactions.

I would love to know exactly how and through what media you access the web to further change yourself, and what practical steps women can take to recognise and overturn the "male face" of the internet in your own community and in the world in general. Thanks for your writing, I look forward to reading more! :)

Dear friend, Thanks a lot to read my message! Is very important for me your words! I really believe that a little bit different but very straight view of the situtation is what we need to understand where to move. Yes, is true that most of "feminine" blogs are about knitting and cooking, and "masculine" ones are about politics and "so important" issues. But... First, sometimes we forget that there are no rules in Internet and yes, we CAN talk about politics. Second, often I meet men who discuss about changes in the society but that's it. How to make these changes real they don't know. Women always know what and how to do. I've read that when a part of women in government increases, then the country begins to adopt laws on human's rights and children's protection. We MUST change the rules! I think it must go through all directions, different media, on meetings, and the Internet here is the most powerful place for discussion, support and... changes! We have so many issues we need to discuss and change all together, from different parts of the world, joining our forces: how to help girls grow not only good mothers but also influent social leaders and professionals; childrens' rights; women's rights (and this is the kindly soil for us). I really believe we can do it, and the secret weapon - all together! :)