(i'm not due for a pedagogical question, I just wanted to share this!)
This Feministing post about the lack of women contributors on Wikipedia brought me right back to the first week's readings. This is yet another sly, almost invisible, upholding of white, male, educated privilege online. Also, the men who hold the majority of contributors are graduate students. Before I just re-post the entire article in my own words...
I am reminded specifically of a few articles I read on Blogging Feminsim: (Web) Sites of Resistance. "Attracting Readers: Sex and Audience in the Blogosphere," "Where Are the Women...," and "Blogging Was Just the Beginning..." all argue (via examples) that women have it really tough online. We have to fight for our space, for our voices to be heard, and to please not be judged and (not be) given privilege because our level of sexiness. Add to that "Access to Technology..." and the argument that women feel uncomfortable learning new technology with men around! Well, I think we may have our answer with the Wikipedia problem. Women already have to prove themselves with a bit more vigor than men online. Add to that an already established Boys Club that rules Wikipedia...and yeah, total bummer.
Although, I do wonder how this gender gap is unfolding. Wikipedia allows you to be pretty androgynous and mysterious with your identity (as do many facets of online networks). Is there something about the back end of Wikipedia that is intimidating? Is it something that women just aren't that interested in adding to? Or are there censors in place that allow/don't allow certain values to be perpetuated? (the post I linked to mentions discourse about violence against women being a little "sketchy on Wikipedia).
Just some food for thought. Thanks for listening (as a reader)!
Mel (mmm how do i want to mark myself as being different from the other Melody in class...I guess I'll go with all my tattoos. I am the Melody with the tattoos).