Web 2.0 Female edition: saving lives, asking for advice and… getting married
Few days ago Ukrainian web society exploded with rage – famous company “Prostoprint”, which produces T-shirts with different prints, was suddenly attacked by police. As my boyfriend works for this company, I knew: recently they created prints with ironic slogan about Ukrainian President, so the forces were quick to react.
I discovered this situation from Facebook, when my friend stream fulfilled with messages in few seconds. “Lying on the floor”… “Confiscated property”… I wanted to arrive immediately, but my boyfriend disagreed, because it was too dangerous for a girl. That was a moment when I realized – the web communication can be my only power.
Me and my friends use Web 2.0 for protecting city monuments and organizing protests. Social networks saved the life of my colleague, 23-year-old journalist Iryna, who had a serious form of cancer. Ukrainian journalists created a group in Facebook, where girl’s friends commented on each step of treatment process. This “live show” helped to collect the required amount.
Why do Ukrainian women join the Web? Many of them grew up behind the iron curtain of Soviet Union, where it was uncommon to discuss intimate spheres of their lives with friends and even doctors. In virtual space women share their experience without any risk of being recognized or blamed. Sex, pregnancy, forbidden love stories – there are no secrets and limits. And that attracts for sure.
Maybe it sounds funny, but many Ukrainian girls from villages and small cities find husbands in the internet. It’s not about wedding agencies which only make money with the help of naïve foreigners, but forums, Facebook and even random ICQ/Skype search. The most important thing– not to be disappointed after meeting each other in “Outernet”.
Of course, there are some women, who have a vital need in online anonymous helplines and female communities. It’s not a secret, that women in Ukraine are seriously discriminated. Statistics is awful – 30-40% calls to the police are caused by incidents of home violence. 35-50% women are taken to the hospital with injuries, received in domestic rows.
According to the social researches, about 1000 women in Ukraine die each year because of the home violence! Web becomes the way to share the sufferings and receive an advice, while traditional media are often silent or just indifferent. It’s ironic, but the most computer literate politician is… Julia Tymoshenko. She performed a web revolution in the political world. when started using Twitter for publishing her own ironic comments during the court hearing.
Speaking about myself, I write articles and investigations about using social media and web resources for journalists. I mostly use web for searching for topics and speakers. Despite of this I’m absolutely sure: the main goals of web communication are personal realization and collective assistance. One real woman, who found her salvation in the internet, is a hundred times more valuable than any researches and professional advices.