Sunday, October 5, 2008

"Sittin up in my room"

Girls making their own webpages,I believe, is an excellent way to get their identities, voice, frustrations,interests out to other people. I don't know how common the webpage format that was mentioned in the text is anymore, focusing on a homepage and guestbook, but I would agree that girls simulate their world into a "virtual bedroom." I had never thought of the term "wallpaper" as relating to ones own room, but pages like myspace, livejournal or any other intractive forum that you can design really allows for girls to personalize their ideas. "Web sites constructed or deisgned by girls are one of the few spaces under their control," it is almost an escape, if your home life or living situation is unbearable you have your place to vent, connect, share with your friends rather than explaining it over the phone and maybe your little brother walking in. You can also manifest your dreams, "...a girl can obtain a "room of one's own," no matter how cramped her physical living conditions may be," you can create the world that you desired in this cyber world. I think the ability for girls and boys to express themselves just by having to sign online is incredible, hopefully they have that technology convenient to them, and a way for those who have questions or need a place to getaway or simply publicize their talents and interest. Myspaces have made people famous form their own homes, and the web has given a generation a way to interact and excel like never before.

Having these outlets are great, but at the same time they can be corrupted into a source of bullying. Parents need to be aware of what their child is putting out onto the internet, especially in the area of safety. Girls can be creative and well spoken but they can also be vicious. I have seen a number of websites, live journal attacks, and comment wars that can be hurtful and damaging. As it said in All About the Girl, the cyber world can be an area that is "under girls control" but it can also be infiltrated and morphed into something very ugly. And when the computer becomes the only form of communication or interaction, that is where problems arise. In this age of great advances we need to make sure that an active roles in our siblings, childrens or, friends lives is still being done. "Metaphorically, a "serial" community is " a spaced-out queue of people rather than a "talking circle"..." I think for girl studies and for feminism we need to encourage more interactive internet communities and the ability to share but also respond to others in order to learn and continue, that is why blogs like this one are so great.

Along with internet comes advertisements, well along with living you will be exposed to them. That is where culture jamming comes in. Recently in my Third Wave class we discussed" interrupting"magazine ads with stickers that say "this insults women" (they have other similar ones) and I think it is such a good/easy way to just get people to stop and actually think critically, kind of like The website is a great tool for showing how ridiculous mainstream media can be about this ideal girl that so many are striving for. I particularly liked the "gallery of offenders" link that showed a Marc Jacobs ad of a disembodied womens legs in a purse. Then it shows positive ads, how to make changes and a little positive graffiti on an ad in a Paris metro station. Once again I get a little jealous of all this info that is so easily accessible to girls today. I wish there was more advertisements for encouraging sites like this rather than on how to change yourself/your man/your figure etc.

website for the "this insults women" stickers:

ps. Did everyone see Campus Talk? Its the magazine on our campus as well as others around FL and it would need a whole role of stickers for all the sexist language and photos used. So maybe take as many copies as you find and recycle them, becasue they just perpetuate the idea of 'typical college life' which consists of exploiting women, getting drunk, getting women drunk and being a real man etc.. (just an idea that Kelly T from my third wave class came up with :)


amanda said...

i want those stickers and i want to go crazy and stick them everywhere!

Sarah Wissig said...

Campus Talk is HORRIFYING. A lot of people are formulating ideas of what to do about it, because it doesn't belong on our campus...or anywhere. Let's talk about it!

j.leigh said...

ugh! thank you for bringing up campus talk ... i used to steal issues when i lived in the dorms and sneak them up to my room because i was absolutely horrified to be seen with them on campus ... and even more horrified to actually read them! (yet i couldn't stop myself from devouring them cover-to-cover - the absolute rage i felt was a strong boost for my early feminism). we should definitely try to brainstorm ways to get them OFF OUR CAMPUS!