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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 2 by the sexes. Even in discussion groups, when women’s postings are equal in numbers to that of men, a comparison of words shows that men are dominating most of the bandwidth on a discussion. 2 It is also important to understand that cyberspace was originated as a male domain during a time when women were not encouraged to participate in technology. Women engaging in online activities now are inheriting the structure, design and language of the Internet that were passed down by its male founders within certain imposed cultural values, economic standards and political decisions. And, in this light, women are subjugated to the traditional role that they have played in regard to technology throughout history, as consumers of technology, as users of telephones, typewriters, household appliances, and now computers, but not as creators of technologies that have the capabilities to transform. 3 Now that women are using the Internet in equal numbers as men, there is still a divide in the quality of online experience and the agency with which one uses the technology. Publisher The second level of participation and one of the Internet’s key differentiating features is the ability for users to also become publishers of content. This can be done in many ways. It can be as simple as sending an email to an author of a site to provide feedback. It can entail joining a discussion group or chat room and posting messages about one’s own experiences. One can participate in virtual environments or play computer games with opponents throughout the globe. It can also mean creating content through one’s own Web site, becoming editor and publisher of one’s own domain. The power of being able to quickly and inexpensively publish to a medium that

Authors: Royal, Cindy.
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Representations of Race and Sexuality on Feminist Web Sites
2
by the sexes. Even in discussion groups, when women’s postings are equal in numbers
to that of men, a comparison of words shows that men are dominating most of the
bandwidth on a discussion.
2
It is also important to understand that cyberspace was
originated as a male domain during a time when women were not encouraged to
participate in technology. Women engaging in online activities now are inheriting the
structure, design and language of the Internet that were passed down by its male
founders within certain imposed cultural values, economic standards and political
decisions. And, in this light, women are subjugated to the traditional role that they have
played in regard to technology throughout history, as consumers of technology, as
users of telephones, typewriters, household appliances, and now computers, but not as
creators of technologies that have the capabilities to transform.
3
Now that women are
using the Internet in equal numbers as men, there is still a divide in the quality of online
experience and the agency with which one uses the technology.
Publisher
The second level of participation and one of the Internet’s key differentiating
features is the ability for users to also become publishers of content. This can be done
in many ways. It can be as simple as sending an email to an author of a site to provide
feedback. It can entail joining a discussion group or chat room and posting messages
about one’s own experiences. One can participate in virtual environments or play
computer games with opponents throughout the globe. It can also mean creating
content through one’s own Web site, becoming editor and publisher of one’s own
domain. The power of being able to quickly and inexpensively publish to a medium that


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