Internet, Cyberspace and Cyberfeminism with Focus on Afghanistan
2.13 Constraints and Opportunities
2.14.1 Cyberfeminism in Afghanistan
blunt aim at deconstructing the patriarchal conditions that currently produce the law, languages, pictures and network structures (Wilding1998: 46-59).
Sadie Plant dealt with the dependencies between digital networking and solidarity among women. She compared to the metaphor of weaving to women‘s relationship with computers and cyberspace. Plant has collected a long history of women as inventors, manufacturers and operators of personal computers. This date holds a meaning and importance for Plant since she believed the computer networking is a base for something natural women has been doing traditionally (Consalvo 2012: 2).
Enthusiasts for women intellectual, often point out that the relationship between networks and women is in fact a myth binding just like the Greek goddess
Therefore, the world‘s spread‘s network for cyber feminism has metaphorically interpret into the myth and the link between home computers and females has extended to the point that cyberspace turned into a spiritual space.
Cyber feminism simultaneously stands against men who want to control it and also fight with re organization of the world against women through a technology that aims at pressurizing and dominating them. Cyber feminism deals with empowering.
Some women start using the Web to show themselves. Through personal blogs and chat rooms, these women could debate and discuss on issues such as identity, racism, university, social relationships and sexual issues from their own perspectives.
how to organize and support the feminism project networks in country. The great achievement of these collaborations includes trust, friendship, deeper understanding of each other and differences, increasing tolerance towards differences, ability to lead a discussion on controversial issues without causing any dysfunction within the groups and mutual education about the women issues. These are the main concerns of these so-called cyber feminists in Afghanistan.
Digital field has become a way for women to show their power of production of ideas without any male dominance. Internet has given women a speaker for communication; women who didn‘t have a chance to stand behind a speaker and bring their voice to men and to the society. The cyberspace has freed them from the judgments based on the feminine body. Freedom of judgments which determined what kind or how much power they should have in the society.
Women find a chance to be seen for their thoughts and mind only. The cyberspace gives some women the choice to select their geographic workplace and creates home based job and opportunities to create balance and coordinate the tasks while they are raising children -of course that does not mean raising children is mothers duty only but an alternate solution when its mothers turn to take care of their children- also internet provide more opportunities for women to be the manager and run the business from home.
Cyberspace enables women to create a network and publish information for each other to exchange the research and scientific materials, also for political activity that encourage social changes. But all cyber feminism tools are linked to women with income, education and economic foundations and also sufficient lines of electricity and telephone access to the Internet to makes it possible.
Although now in Afghanistan, more women can access to a computer and internet especially via their Smart phones but even these women face problems sometimes, like the electricity problem in Afghanistan as some villages are still under the control of the Taliban and there are limited hours of electricity for them. Despite these obstacles, many women fascinated by it and use the internet for organization. In Afghanistan, women exchange their ideas and opinions via weblogs and Facebook online and more in the interior domain of Afghanistan. Women even interpret religious text book and challenge the tradition which doomed them to be submissive.
In any case, it is important to mention that in this research and in larger scale women who have access to computers generally belong to upper level of society and are educated. Since most of the information online is in English while most of the women in developing countries, especially in the Middle East, are not familiar with any other language but their mother tongue mainly due to economic pressure and facilities shortage, their command over English is limited.
The existence of feminine social networks itself cannot challenge the current situation spontaneously, though it may for a short time through scattered debates but that energy needs to be parallel with political theory and practice. The main objective of cyber feminist‘s is giving more solidarity to these creative, talented, reckless and smart women author for the exposure of new body, language and intellect through cyberspace. Currently in Afghanistan, there is a little unity among academic, artists and cultural feminists but weblogs and Facebook among all the existing social networks could manage to create a link between the various female users with the aim of exchanging information about the conditions of work and life. Such function in time definitely can combine the flawless vision and politics of cyber feminism.
Butler stated that unlike the social environment in which language can rely on other physical aspect of body and convey meaning along with visual and body language in cyberspace there is no other power but the language and discourse as a compelling force to shape the facts (Butler 2009: 18).
In the online environment of Afghanistan written language is very common.
Women chose written style of communication due to the fear of Taliban and some other traditional restriction. Cyberspace is now known as the new site of resistance especially for those victimized people who can now step beyond physical, cultural and social prejudices.
Planet reasons that women are drawn to internet as it makes male dominance on them totally unstable; cyberspace is beyond men‘s reach. Cyberspace removed the male identity (Dubrovsky & others 1986: 157). Donna Harvey says: ―you need not to be a social cyber feminist from west, young or educated to be able to use your position to explore and crack the patriarch hegemony, all you need is internet access to share your story and be a part of this cyber world‖ (Dubrovsky & others 1986: