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Web 2.0 connects me to Global women, but also to men who are now empowering me!

Two things about Web 2.0 that most excites me are unlimited information and indefinite space for sharing and discussion information! Availability of all kinds of information is just magical. It is like every time I search for something, it is always there. One of my professors talked to me and asked, “Saren, have you ever wondered what we did previously in order to get information we want, before we have Google.” I gave her a huge smile. We both smiled. The professor was a victim of gang-rape at a very young age, in Australia. She just loves the fact that she could constantly tell her story to other women and other victims of gender-based violence through her blogs and different kinds of social online networks, to be strong and courageous to fight this patriarchy together with her.
Besides connecting and creating a huge network between women all over the world and giving them space to communicate, discuss, debate and figure out ideas and strategies to empower themselves, Web 2.0 also helps pulling men into helping empower women as well. One of my friends joins a facebook page where members there discuss the root of rape. A male member in that page states that it is because of the short clothes that provoked men. My friend got offended but she tried to stay calm and continue to discuss about it in a respectful way. The man eventually changed his tone, became more respectful and started to agree with my friends that the root is not that example. The guy is a very out-spoken person, who knows how many other men he might have mad to discuss about the issue in a more insightful way that might lead to better awareness about women issues? And finally they might join us in this women empowerment journey.
Connecting with men through web 2.0 applications is very essential. Because all kinds of information is disseminated everywhere, men nowadays are much more aware than the past about the advantage they are entitled to just because they are men and disadvantages women are facing just because they are women. This is very important because in order to empower ourselves, we women need men to cooperate with us. Men need to know and acknowledge that our societal structure has brutally oppressed women. I totally agree with Kavita Ramdas that in order to cook rice, there must be pressures from both bottom and the top on the pot. Likewise, we need men who are now top leaders to be our allies. When men get to hear different stories through voices of women online; discussion and debate among them will be generated and eventually they will understand the ugly reality about women being ‘second’, oppress-able, beatable, rape-able etc. Hopefully more and more men will join us fighting this patriarchic system.
For me, I would say just facebook alone already have empowered me in a great deal. Since I am now still a student with daily overloaded assignment, I can hardly get time to talk about all sorts of issues I care about with friends around, especially about women issues of course. It is the online life that gives me the space to do that. I add men to be my friends, I confirm men who send me friend request regardless of their age or nationality. I do that because I want to have a free discussion space about women issues with them. Every time I share news or articles related to women issues, I get to make them think and start to care about the issue as well. Sharing news, articles pictures related to women issues online get more attentions from men also because your male friends do not face you, but merely see your written words. Because of social construction, all my male friends expect me to only care and talk about my feelings, beauty salon or family issues, which they consider as trivial. As the result, often they do not give me space to talk about social or political issues; thus they never hear me. But online, the written words do not show my face, my “constructed” gender that would devalue me anymore. The men read, they hear it and they respond. This is how and why my voices are heard. Web 2.0 has given this magic space for me where my words are not given a ‘constructed’ gender.


JaniceW's picture

Love this perspective

I love this!

You have raised a very important point – that women cannot rise up without the support of men. Men, in this patriarchal system, cannot remove themselves from their power and privilege in relation to women but they can use their positions and power to suport the call for equality and women's empowerment.

You have a strong inquisitive and probing mind. You provoke new thinking with your writing which is so refreshing. I look forward to reading more from you.

Thanks Janice for reading and complimenting a lot. I always gain more strengths and motivation in writing after reading your comments. I actually had very constrained time to write this piece. As always, I'm just too piled up with assignment.
I'm glad you find it interesting and refreshing. Like what I said in my profile, I'm always a believer that not all men are bad and that they can actually be a very great source to support us call for equality.


nifkinz's picture

Thank you for writing this

Thank you for writing this for us! You bring up a very excellent point that sometimes we may forget. Men can help empower us too and since their voices are the ones already being heard the most, they can scream even louder! Very insightful and awareness promoting and you have only written a few paragraphs. :) Well done.

Becky Frary

I love how you put so much originality into writing this piece. I can understand and identify with your point of view, coming from a south-east asian background too. In our region, men are perceived as domineering, and they always expect to win arguements or even dominate simple discussions. The idea that you put forth is interesting, the fact that through the web, or social media platforms, words are powerful on their own. They are without the baggages of any constructed social gender. It is the content and literary meanings that give definition and strength to the words, words. The web has definitely empowered women by giving you and i the opportunity to speak and raise issues, stay connected through a network etc. Thank you for your sharing!

Saren- Once again, I hear a strong and passionate voice from your writing. Your overall writing structure has a good shape or arc to it. That you provided a story as an example instead of just providing facts brings color to the article. Your point of view is undeniable in that you see yourself equal to how society generally views men (and well you should!). You will help to elevate women's voices so that all will hear.

Let us Hope together-
aka: Cali gal


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