Cyberspace is a shared space. Anyone can enter it with a new identity. Unlike real space, cyberspace allows people to explore race and gender roles without having to return to reality with these experimental identities. Laura Miller's essay on "Women and Children First" argues that women can take care of themselves online, despite the generalized "idea that women's minds are weak, fragile, and unsuited to the rough and tumble of public discourse" (RDC 220). The stereotype of women as docile creatures has long been ingrained in our society.
reading response 10
Steve Silberman's article "We're Teen, We're Queer, and We've Got Email" really opened my eye into the world that queer teens used to have to struggle in. (I'm not saying they no longer struggle, but certainly today's society is much more excepting than that of which when this article was written.)
Laura Miller's essay "Women and Children First: Gender and the Settling of the Electronic Frontier" attempts to address a gender issue on the internet when I, and maybe even she feels, that is not so much a gender issue but the bigger issue of how to deal with aggression that has no face or means to identify it. The issue of men (and probably a lot of boys) preying on women on the internet is just one form of harassment that falls within a large class.
Since it's beginning, the Internet has tended to be viewed in a very utopian manner. For many people, the Internet is a place where they can go to avoid any stereotyping based on race or sex. When creating a character in the first online MUD's, people were offered limitless possibilities because there character would be portrayed as whatever screen name they picked and by whatever they wrote in their "about me" section.
On the internet, anyone could be fooled by who they're talking to. Because a majority of internet users are assumed to be white, a racial issue was created subconsciously within itself. Because on the internet only text is presented, it's impossible to tell people's race for sure. If race is so important, than why is it being accidently excluded? Not only by LambdaMOO or any other internet company, but by every player who subconciously chooses to state their ethnicity?