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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 6 rival commodities, to forge themselves a social status that compels recognition, to earn their living in order to escape from the condition of prostitute…these are certainly indispensable stages in the escape from their proletarization on the exchange market.” 12 In either complete or temporary segregation, the Internet provides the ability to create spaces of one’s own to carry out the discourse that one pleases within a group that one desires to communicate. Perhaps the Internet provides the best of both worlds, allowing women to have a temporary space [like Irigaray proposes], without having to make a complete exit from society, thus having a parallel process of articulation and introspection and then action. This approach is similar to that discussed under the socialist feminist critique in which a double strategy for media publication is advocated, “reforming the mainstream media as well as producing separate feminist media.” 13 However, by providing exclusionary spaces, this is defeating the original purpose of the Internet, which is information sharing and universal access. There is also the argument that women’s spaces will only serve to “ghettoize” and marginalize women further outside the mainstream. Cyberspace has distinct possibilities and limitations in regard to feminism. The concept of cyberfeminism, first coined by Sadie Plant, refers to exploring a diverse range of non-oppressive alternatives to existing power relations through the manipulation of information technology. 14 Plant argues that while men developed cyberspace, its nature is specifically female and can serve to undermine men’s traditions and ways of thinking. Plant argues that “cyberspace is out of man’s control: virtual reality destroys his identity, digitalization is mapping his soul and, at the peak of his triumph, the culmination of his machinic erections, man confronts the system he built

Authors: Royal, Cindy.
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Representations of Race and Sexuality on Feminist Web Sites
6
rival commodities, to forge themselves a social status that compels recognition, to earn
their living in order to escape from the condition of prostitute…these are certainly
indispensable stages in the escape from their proletarization on the exchange market.”
12
In either complete or temporary segregation, the Internet provides the ability to create
spaces of one’s own to carry out the discourse that one pleases within a group that one
desires to communicate. Perhaps the Internet provides the best of both worlds,
allowing women to have a temporary space [like Irigaray proposes], without having to
make a complete exit from society, thus having a parallel process of articulation and
introspection and then action. This approach is similar to that discussed under the
socialist feminist critique in which a double strategy for media publication is advocated,
“reforming the mainstream media as well as producing separate feminist media.”
13
However, by providing exclusionary spaces, this is defeating the original purpose of the
Internet, which is information sharing and universal access. There is also the argument
that women’s spaces will only serve to “ghettoize” and marginalize women further
outside the mainstream.
Cyberspace has distinct possibilities and limitations in regard to feminism. The
concept of cyberfeminism, first coined by Sadie Plant, refers to exploring a diverse
range of non-oppressive alternatives to existing power relations through the
manipulation of information technology.
14
Plant argues that while men developed
cyberspace, its nature is specifically female and can serve to undermine men’s
traditions and ways of thinking. Plant argues that “cyberspace is out of man’s control:
virtual reality destroys his identity, digitalization is mapping his soul and, at the peak of
his triumph, the culmination of his machinic erections, man confronts the system he built


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