Last quarter, I took a class on Gender and New Media at the University of Cincinnati where we discussed the female relationship with the internet and the physical computer itself. One of the articles that we read that brought insight to this topic was "Television and the Internet" by Ellen Seiter. In this article, she cites a study conducted by Silverstone, Hirsch, and Morley in 1990. In the study, the researchers studied a well-off British family who owned many new technological appliances in their household. While the family encouraged the children to use technology, the mother of the family remained distant (physically) from the family computer and felt no draw to use it at all.
A similar study (cited in the article) conducted by Giacquinta, Bauer, and Levin in 1993 found the same results studying 69 hetrosexual New York families where the women (wives and mothers) felt estranged and uninterested in learning to use the computer, even though 2/3 of them worked outside the home.
What has happened in the last 20 years to change womens' minds? Perhaps, blogging allows women to connect through a means other than just face to face or the telephone. It allows womens' voices to be heard and displayed throughout a world wide network, where those voices might otherwise be silenced. I am a part of the women's blogger community in Cincinnati, OH, called Cincinnati Women Bloggers.
This community has its own home blog where they link other Cincinnati women-written blogs. They hold monthly meetings where different topics about how to improve your blogging are discussed. These meetings and the network of Cincinnati Women Bloggers also allows for women to meet and communicate in a forum that they feel a part of. Women from all different areas come together under this one united interest; some who otherwise would never have had the chance to meet.
A national community of women bloggers also exists called BlogHer. This community, similar to Cincinnati Women Bloggers, links women member blogs, allows women to post on the BlogHer home site, and holds conferences to discuss how to improve your blogging.
What was once might have been a foreign and mysterious nuisance to some women has now become an integral part of social interaction. New doors are opened and new voices are heard. In many cases, such as with FMF, blogging has sparked change in people and stir up action to fight for equality.
Blogging, for me, is a way to talk about issues and topics important to me in an open forum. I find it to be a very cathartic and therapeutic experience. The blogging community has allowed me to find a safe place to express my feminist voice and connect with other feminists around my home city and around the nation.