Gender Awarness Raised in Imaginary Community

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Gender Awarness Raised in Imaginary Community

"Post-feminists," they call themselves. They disregard Freud and all the other"Feminist Commandments," bringing the old "personal is political"theory into action. These are the girls involved in recent feminist cyberactivism.

They are perky but not shallow. Full of vivacity, and to an extent, naivete, these young women speak just like other teenagers. Surfing through their website for more than five minutes, however, one starts to question whether their image matches their ideal.

The non-profit women's Internet sites, recently gaining public's attention, are designed by and for young feminists in Korea, but if you feel uncomfortable with the word "feminists," that's perfectly acceptable, too.
The site simply invites you to have fun.

Unlike other women's information sources that put most of their emphasis on diet tips and trendy listings of fashion outlets, these sites are known to carry practical information that is not available to young women.

Unnine-net, otherwise known as sis's net, is a bi-weekly web magazine (otherwise known as "webzine") which defines itself as "a space dedicated to the despair and hope of the women in their 20's." To visually familiarize the site, the entrance page of Unnine-net greets the visitors with a cozy drawing of a neighborhood map, identifying each link according to places around the neighborhood: "His laundromat," a self-critical piece written by male participants, and "Kiln Sauna," where girls talk about hot issues in a female-only discussion room.

"Women in their early twenties or late teens are now the second largest group among the Internet users, second only to the men of that age group. However, there are not enough places yet where they can freely and 'safely' explore their thoughts on-line. Our team hoped to create that 'imaginary community'," said Cho Ji-hye, 26, the representative of the Unnine-net.

Dalnara Talsaepo (Moon Land & The Gene of the Daughter), abbreviated as "Daltal", is the first feminist webzine to be established by young women in Korea. Daltal is slightly different from other female portal sites in cyberspace in that it engages in gender-based political activism, especially concerning on-line harassments.

In "Alice in Cyberspace," where there essays written by female participants relate to the experiences of on-line harassments, one may be convinced about their assertion on anonymity in cyberspace.

More playfully, Sudanet encourages young women to develop their own ways of expressing their desires. The site even provides eccentric tips like "10 things you can do in an elevator," and games in which players throw cups at male colleagues' heads for ordering them to make coffee.

Though some may complain about their strategies as being "too immature," such responses may perhaps be what the girls had intended. After all, what they aspire to achieve is not to provide practical alternatives to sex oppression, but to find a cozy space where they can freely share their thoughts without the burden of being harassed.

by Soo-mee Park

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