This collection of essays, Wired Women is, appropriately written by women, women who have established a presence on the Internet examines the issues of what is involved in participating in a culture that is notoriously masculine. Some contributors are writers who have explored the net for magazine articles, but most are academics studying the sociology, public policy, linguistics, and engineering of the Internet from the perspective of gender. Despite the academic background of many of the contributors, the essays are informal and very readable.
The contributors provide a detailed look at usenets, newsgroups, the computer underworld, censorship in cyberspace, harrassment, bulletin boards, internet relay chat, and interactive role playing in an environment which is generally only about 30 percent women. In certain computer groups, women make up far less of the group. Netta Gilboa, who in her essay explores the hacker world and explains her fascination with it, says she has met about 1000 hackers, but only about 10 of them were women.
L Jean Camp discusses a mailing list for women computer professionals who consider themselves geeks, though they aren't guys. Michele Evard looks at the differences between the way women and men react to criticism online. Paulina Borsook describes her feelings at having to participate in the game playing required to be a writer for Wired.
For those who tend to use only a part of what's available on the Internet, the essays in this book provide a good description of what happens in all those other areas no one has time to explore -- regardless of their gender.
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