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Representations of Race and Sexuality on Feminist Web Sites
Unformatted Document Text:  Representations of Race and Sexuality on Feminist Web Sites 14 the temptation of outright ecommerce. Its primary purpose is to provide classifieds, women-owned business directories, and job postings. With the failure of many dotcoms within the capitalist marketplace, many women-oriented sites [although not specifically feminist] have devolved to nothing more than online shopping malls [like iVillage.com and Oxygen.com]. Ms. Magazine online Ms. was launched in 1971 as a one-shot insert to New York magazine and is self-described as having “helped to shape contemporary feminism as we know it.” Many of Ms.’s founders have become household names not the least of which is Gloria Steinem. At first glance, the Ms. Magazine site ( www.msmagazine.com ) that supports the print medium seemed very similar in design to Feminist.com in regard to top-line navigation and types of links. But the differences are immediately evident. The first page featured a picture and article about Winona LaDuke, the Native American running mate of Ralph Nader in the 2000 presidential election. The title of the article was “Picture a candidate for vice president of the United States who is truly outside the system: a woman, half-Jewish, a person of color.” Also on the first page was a poll that asked for responses to the question, “Would a gay person feel comfortable coming out in your workplace?” Further down the page, an article on “Race and Reproduction” was featured. While any one visit to a particular Web site cannot offer a view of the totality of a site’s ideology, on this day, Ms. had an upfront approach to race and sexuality which was threaded, to some extent, throughout the site. Book recommendations included multicultural themes and many of the news articles had a global perspective. One area in which racial representation might be improved is in the area of the discussion boards,

Authors: Royal, Cindy.
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Representations of Race and Sexuality on Feminist Web Sites
14
the temptation of outright ecommerce. Its primary purpose is to provide classifieds,
women-owned business directories, and job postings. With the failure of many dotcoms
within the capitalist marketplace, many women-oriented sites [although not specifically
feminist] have devolved to nothing more than online shopping malls [like iVillage.com
and Oxygen.com].
Ms. Magazine online
Ms. was launched in 1971 as a one-shot insert to New York magazine and is
self-described as having “helped to shape contemporary feminism as we know it.” Many
of Ms.’s founders have become household names not the least of which is Gloria
Steinem. At first glance, the Ms. Magazine site (
www.msmagazine.com
) that supports
the print medium seemed very similar in design to Feminist.com in regard to top-line
navigation and types of links. But the differences are immediately evident. The first page
featured a picture and article about Winona LaDuke, the Native American running mate
of Ralph Nader in the 2000 presidential election. The title of the article was “Picture a
candidate for vice president of the United States who is truly outside the system: a
woman, half-Jewish, a person of color.” Also on the first page was a poll that asked for
responses to the question, “Would a gay person feel comfortable coming out in your
workplace?” Further down the page, an article on “Race and Reproduction” was
featured. While any one visit to a particular Web site cannot offer a view of the totality of
a site’s ideology, on this day, Ms. had an upfront approach to race and sexuality which
was threaded, to some extent, throughout the site. Book recommendations included
multicultural themes and many of the news articles had a global perspective. One area
in which racial representation might be improved is in the area of the discussion boards,


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