Intro to Women's Studies 2010

etsu: 2011-2014

Virtual Gender / Judy Wajcman

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     In this article, Judy Wajcman dissects the way cyberspace has allowed people to live their lives as ‘someone else’. She tells us the story of Lewin, a middle-aged male psychiatrist, posed as a woman online. He found that women were more open to him as a woman, Julie Graham. By the time he was exposed, Lewin’s responses, as Julie, were no longer taking much thought or effort, and he was “in the process of becoming Julie”. Pretending to be something that you are not can be quite problematic. 
      Wajcman wrote that, ” Cyberspace provides a risk-free environment where people can engage in the intimacy they both desire and fear.. and that people engaging in Internet relationships really want the full, embodied relationship.” This was what I agreed with least. Over the last twenty years, numerous rapes, murders, and other horrible crimes originated online. Cyberspace is FAR from safe and the people who pose as someone they are not is often dangerous. I can understand wanting to live life through someone elses shoes. But, living a lie for an extended period of time will most often lead to psychological discomfort.


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