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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 16 resources and information particularly geared toward educating young women on the causes of feminism. These links appeal to the pop-culture orientation of youth while providing a historical perspective, although race and sexuality were not featured prominently here. The NOW discussion boards were not widely used and did not have much content on the topics of race and sexuality. Like Ms., NOW provides the main topics (i.e. “Issues”) and the participants set up the individual threads. While NOW attempts to provide content and representation of diverse issues, the boards are one place to determine the representation of the audience of the site. Even if white women are the primary consumers of such information, it is important that the messages conveyed are broadly representative. As a non-profit organization, NOW has no external advertising present on the site. It utilizes the site to promote local chapters and solicit donations. Conclusion While each site offers a unique approach to feminism, it is interesting to look at the nuances and representations within each to uncover motivations, biases, or oversights that can impact the overall dialogue regarding women’s issues. The power of the Web to reach not just women, but men, and humans of all races, orientations, and backgrounds, provides great potential for an expanded comprehension of issues and for the consideration of experience as critical to our understanding. In these early stages of Web usage, however, criticism regarding the digital divide within the U.S. point to the non-egalitarian nature of the Web. According to the U.S. Commerce Department’s Digital Divide Survey, only 29.3% of African Americans use the Internet

Authors: Royal, Cindy.
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Representations of Race and Sexuality on Feminist Web Sites
16
resources and information particularly geared toward educating young women on the
causes of feminism. These links appeal to the pop-culture orientation of youth while
providing a historical perspective, although race and sexuality were not featured
prominently here.
The NOW discussion boards were not widely used and did not have much
content on the topics of race and sexuality. Like Ms., NOW provides the main topics (i.e.
“Issues”) and the participants set up the individual threads. While NOW attempts to
provide content and representation of diverse issues, the boards are one place to
determine the representation of the audience of the site. Even if white women are the
primary consumers of such information, it is important that the messages conveyed are
broadly representative. As a non-profit organization, NOW has no external advertising
present on the site. It utilizes the site to promote local chapters and solicit donations.
Conclusion
While each site offers a unique approach to feminism, it is interesting to look at
the nuances and representations within each to uncover motivations, biases, or
oversights that can impact the overall dialogue regarding women’s issues. The power
of the Web to reach not just women, but men, and humans of all races, orientations,
and backgrounds, provides great potential for an expanded comprehension of issues
and for the consideration of experience as critical to our understanding. In these early
stages of Web usage, however, criticism regarding the digital divide within the U.S.
point to the non-egalitarian nature of the Web. According to the U.S. Commerce
Department’s Digital Divide Survey, only 29.3% of African Americans use the Internet


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