Remembering My Hat

16th September 2009

Cyberspace still patriarchal shocker

Filed under: Uncategorized — rememberingmyhat @ 16:29
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I’ve just been to a meeting of the OU’s Feminist Reading Group. As always, I almost didn’t go, because it doesn’t feel like an essential part of my day-to-day job, it feels like a self-indulgent luxury for when I’ve plenty of time (which is never). And as nearly always, I’m so glad I did.

The paper being presented was itself interesting – Andrijasevic, R. (forthcoming 2009) ‘Sex on the move: Gender, subjectivity, and differential inclusion’ Subjectivity, 29. Special Issue on ‘Conflicts of mobility: Migration, labour and political subjectivity’. A topic on which I knew nothing and now feel as if I know something, and can see some interesting connections to my own field and theoretical concerns.

But, again as often, we had a really interesting conversation beforehand. One of the things we talked about was the experience of receiving pornographic spam on your blog, and how upsetting and malicious that can feel. I was particularly struck that one senior academic, an experienced blogger, was thinking of closing one of her blogs because she found the amount and content of the spam she was receiving so distressing.  As we commented, this perpetuates the exclusion of women from cyberspace, but at a personal level it can be too much psychic cost to be worth the battle.  It linked in my mind to this interesting post by an acquaintance of mine on similar issues.

This blog is too new yet to have received any spam, but I will bear this in mind as it ages (hey, that’s like the opposite of real life – broadly, the older you get as a woman, the less likely you are to be catcalled in the street, due to the prevlance of the view of older women as asexual. But the younger your blog is, the less pornographic spam you get because nobody’s found it yet. Well, it’s a bit more complicated than that in both cases, but I couldn’t resist bringing it back to later life sex.)

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