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I am currently evaluating the concept of "cyberfeminism" and was interested to read your article on the issue. I would like to ask, if I may, what you think of the aspect of society being split in terms of organic/virtual realities. If this is so, do you agree with the majority that through the simple process of logging on, the gender boundaries that have become so firm in our society will dissipate? Do you agree with Donna Haraway that the organic body is not actually the locus of such body politics?

I would be very interested in hearing (if you have the time) your thoughts on the possible outcomes that have been opened up by cyberfeminism. Is this the new wave of feminism that we've been waiting for, or is it likely to become just another sub-group of the 'feminism' rubric, like "radical feminism", "liberal feminism", etc.? I look forward to hearing your views, thank you.

Thanks for your note. I haven't read the article that you refer to, so I want to excuse myself from the beginning for making any wrong assumptions. I did however want to respond--offering my "thoughts" about your questions.

To begin...I don't think that the "gender lines" have disappeared on the Internet. For instance, when I first had to choose an online "name" I thought about "Jezebel" and then I thought about the comments that I would get. You're right that they could be directed to whomever--man or women--uses that name as an identifyer. However, the comments likely to result would likely be "gender" driven. So the anonymity doesn't yet transcend real life stereotypes.

As for whether the "organic body is not actually the locus of such body politics?" For starters, I'm not exactly sure what this means. But taking a stab at it, I agree that our organic bodies--i.e. the personalities/qualities we are born with--are not limited to gender roles. However, when the "politics" or as I refer to it--the "socialization" takes over, we do become examples of "gender roles." I believe that we have examples of people transcending those roles, therefore I believe that we are all capable of remaining true to "genderless" traits---i.e. they will instead be traits based on the individual, not the group.

As for your third point......"is this the new feminism" ... I'd be cautious about saying that, because we are seeing some of the same gender based limitations existing in cyberspace that exist in real life. If anything, I think that "cyberfeminism" could be where "feminism" was 30 years ago. However, it has the advantage of being able to catch up a lot quicker. In cyberspace, we are naming injustices like "cyberrape" and "cyberporn." We are being "stalked" on-line. We don't have many "feminist friendly" outlets, because many people have bought into the notion that only "30% of the Internet users are female" therefore, only--at a maximum--30% of the resources should be for women. Family "accounts" are still primarily registered in the "father's name" regardless of who the users are. In my experience with "advice columns" on-line, I have experienced more direct women-hating than I have ever experienced "off-line." As for it being another "sub-group"--which are usually created from "outside" the movement not "within"--I don't know. It--cyberfeministm--is already a term, however, I think it's more of a medium than a political subcategory. I hope these answers are helpful. Good luck with your evaluation.


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