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I am a senior at the University of Denver in Denver, Colorado. For a class on women and communication, I have chosen a term project on how the internet affects activist groups. A great deal of my project will rest on input from activist groups, so I would very much appreciate it if you would take some time to answer a few questions:

1. What degree of your involvement do you have on the Internet, and what non-net activities do you run? How are your non-net activities related to Feminist.com, and vice versa?

2. What limitations do you see in using the Internet as a medium of communication?

3. What advantages does the Internet hold for Feminist.com?

4. There has been a lot of criticism of the Internet as a sexist place, due to the proliferation of pornography and other sites hostile to women. Do you find that this is necessarily so? If yes, Why? If not, why not?

5. What changes would you recommend, if any, to enable more feminist activist groups to use the Internet to communicate?

I really appreciate your taking the time to answer my questions. I would also appreciate any other comments you would like to share about Internet communication.


Thanks for your note to FEMINIST.COM--and for thinking of us for your project. I have answered your questions below. I hope this help.

1. What degree of your involvement do you have on the Internet, and what non-net activities do you run? How are your non-net activities related to Feminist.com, and vice versa?
I USE THE INTERNET MOSTLY FOR ANSWERING EMAILS MOSTLY VIA "ASK AMY". I RARELY USE IT FOR SEARCHES AND WHEN I DO THEY ARE VERY SPECIFIC--FOR INSTANCE I GO DIRECTLY TO THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS SITE BECAUSE I WANT TO GET SOME STATISTICS FOR THEM. I PREFER TO SPEND MY LIFE OFF LINE AND INTERACTING WITH PEOPLE VIA FAXES, MEETINGS, ETC....

MY ENTIRE LIFE IS FEMINIST AND MY ENTIRE LIFE IS ABOUT BEING A NETWORKER--PUTTING PEOPLE IN TOUCH WITH PLACES, AND VICE VERSA. SO FEMINIST.COM IS JUST AN EXTENSION OF THAT.

2. What limitations do you see in using the Internet as a medium of communication?
THE BIGGEST LIMITATION--AND THIS IS BIG--IS THAT THERE IS NO SENSE OF INTEGRITY OF WHOSE INFORMATION IS VALID, ETC.. ON THE INTERNET. THEREFORE, THERE IS ALOT OF FALSE INFORMATION FLOATING AROUND OUT THERE.

3. What advantages does the Internet hold for Feminist.com?
THE ABILITY TO CONNECT WOMEN IN SMALL TOWNS WITH A NATIONAL NETWORK AND VICE VERSA. THE ABILITY TO BE ANONYMOUS FOR WOMEN WHEN THEY ARE SEARCHING FOR INFORMATION THAT IS OFTEN PAINFUL TO TALK ABOUT. AND FEMINIST.COM INTEGRITY--SO WE HAVE THE ABILITY TO PUT OUT GOOD RESEARCH FOR WOMEN WHO NEED IT. AND TO SERVE AS AN UMBRELLA. MANY WOMEN'S GROUPS ARE BROKEN DOWN INTO SMALL FACTIONS. FEMINIST.COM HAS THE POTENTIAL TO BE THAT UMBRELLA--TO FUNNEL PEOPLE TO SPECIFIC ISSUES. TO BE A HUB.

4. There has been a lot of criticism of the Internet as a sexist place, due to the proliferation of pornography and other sites hostile to women. Do you find that this is necessarily so? If yes, Why? If not, why not?
I THINK THAT THE INTERNET IS SEXIST, MOSTLY BECAUSE IT IS ANONYMOUS - PEOPLE CAN WRITE AND SEND THINGS THAT THEY FEEL, BUT CAN'T SAY. FOR INSTANCE, IT'S EASIER FOR A PERSON TO WRITE "I HOPE ALL FEMINISTS DIE" THAN IT IS TO SAY IT. IT'S LIKE PEOPLE'S REAL FEELINGS COME OUT ON THE INTERNET.

AND THERE IS LESS ROOM TO BE INFLUENCED BY OTHER PEOPLE ON THE INTERNET. FOR INSTANCE IF SOMEONE SAYS THAT COMMENT, IT'S LIKELY THAT SOMEONE STANDING NEXT TO THEM MIGHT SAY--WHY DO SAY THAT? WHY DO YOU FEEL THAT WAY?. ON THE INTERNET YOU CAN SAY IT AND THEN SIGN-OFF. AND YOU CAN CHOOSE TO IGNORE ANY RESPONSE A LOT EASIER. ALSO, IT'S EASIER TO MAKE THESE COMMENTS ON THE INTERNET BECAUSE IT'S DIRECTED AT AN ANONYMOUS PERSON. FOR INSTANCE, IT'S MUCH HARDER TO DIRECT AT AN INDIVIDUAL PERSON. HUMAN CONTACT MAKES IT MORE PERSONAL. SO YES, I THINK IT'S MORE SEXIST.

5. What changes would you recommend, if any, to enable more feminist activist groups to use the Internet to communicate?
LESS WASTEFUL THINGS ON THE INTERNET AND FIND A SPECIFIC PURPOSE THAT IT CAN SERVE.

Thanks and good luck with your project.


Amy

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