Dismantle Stereotypes!

Forthnight conversations on “Gender Stereotypes and Equality on the Internet”

Dismantle StereotypesIt is impressive how diverse the discussions of the WYRED participants about gender stereotypes and equality on the Internet were and what a high level of reflection there can be seen in the threads! They have collected a lot of valuable material, pictures, videos, stories, graphics and scientific reports.

There is a shared view that media, especially social media and the internet, not only reflect social gender stereotypes, but also massively increase these through the permanent and worldwide availability of the net. They give many examples of this, such as the ideal of the perfect – often sexualised – female or male body promoted by influencers on YouTube or on Instagram and there is an interesting discussion about the connection between these stereotypes and cyberbullying and hate postings.
It is clear that as a group they reject restrictive gender categories, and support the dismantling of stereotypes and respect for differences and diversity of people.
The fornight is closed now and we thank all the participants for their fruitful discussions. We will return to the Gender subject from May 16th to 28th – Let´s work on solutions then!

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The new horizon of democracy

The new horizon of democracy

“Today, it is not that unusual to hear of people talking about e-democracy.

It is a conventional term that describes an unconventional way by which citizens take directly part in the public life of their cities and countries.

E-democracy is an opportunity to reduce the gap between citizens and the government in the difficult field of communication. As a matter of fact, it widens the communicative horizon, in such a trying time when the only words seem to be ‘’walls’’ and ‘’borders’’.

An authentic democracy should give everyone the chance (and voice) to be heard and to participate in the public life, as well as take every opinion into account in order to try to do better and make the best choice for people.

The problem is that people feel the distance between the democratic institutions and themselves; conversely, e-democracy is a virtual space in which everyone can say ‘’I exist, I vote and I would like to take part to the ‘’decision making processes’’.

I think that e-democracy is the best way we could go. I have chosen this topic because it is a constantly evolving issue on which citizens like me should express their needs, and in my opinion, we have the right and the duty to do so.

In conclusion, it seems reasonable to assume that, although e-democracy, with its lights and shadows, is a hotly debated issue, it makes it possible to debate between different realities. In the light of that, hadn’t we better if we turned off the ‘’airplane mode’’ and start to get connected?”

Camilla Caciolo

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Digital addiction

Digital AddictionA group of students (age 16) at Hof Hasharon regional high school in Israel discussed the problem of “digital addiction”.

All students said they are “living in their smartphones” a lot of time every day, some of them many hours a day. Most of them would like to occupy themselves less with their screens. However, it was understood that it is not necessarily addiction in the clinical sense, but rather excessive preoccupation and difficulty in disconnecting. So the “addiction” actually refers to how the user copes when he or she needs to log out.

The crux of the problem is the difficulty of disconnecting, even though you know it would have been better to do something else. One student noted that his parents thought he was like a “clinical addict”. He was addicted to the Fortnite game, used to play for hours each day, and only after a severe pressure from his parents he now plays only on weekends. But most participants think that enforced restrictions and prohibitions are not effective. On the contrary, they achieve the opposite result, as young people will continue to do the prohibited things.

It was mentioned that parents often give a screen to children too early, when they are too young. The problem is not just health risk (to eyes, etc.). The problem is that we give up on social activity and that’s not good.

So how can young people cope with the problem? What can be done?

One student exclaimed “Revolution! Let’s start to boycott the phones! With time more people will join!” Another student expressed an opposite view: “I have no problem with such addiction. Being occupied with the screens is good for me. If wanted to stop, I would stop!

Other participants favored the solution of “voluntary disengagement” based on applications that automatically warn the user and recommend stopping after a certain time” Perhaps not the best solution, but better than nothing. A number of participants blamed the irresistible technology: developers want to to arouse excitement. That’s the goal. The apps give us something we need, excitement. “Everything now is fast and accessible, all is excitement, you cannot prevent it, it’s part of the progress!

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Patriarchal social structure based on male dominance causes some problems such as gender inequality in social life, subordinating or silencing women and objectifying them. In this project, it is aimed to examine the effects of patriarchal social structure’s on women’s social lives and to comport the social gender inequality with the elements of women’s lives by considering the effects of patriarchal social structure’s and conditions’ place and importance in societies. In other words, traditional values of patriarchal social structure is seem to be related with the double exploitation on women by considerately continuing it presence in modern social structure, either. In order to collect the data, we interviewed 20 volunteer people (10 of them were women) who are over 18 years old from Büyükçekmece samples. Results which were acquired were analyzed via using frequency analysis method. The result of the data showed that majority of the participants advocated gender equality and the ones who did not show such factors as gender and marital status as their reasons. In order to obtain more findings, researchers who want to carry out similar studies can use different data collection methods such as detailed interview and questionnaires.


Key Words: social gender, woman, patriarchy, gender inequality.



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How do social networks influence feminist movements?

SoniaTaking advantage of the fact that this week, Friday 8 March, we celebrate International Women’s Day, I wanted to talk to you about what influence social networks have had on feminism and feminist movements.

When? in 1911. Where? in the Triangle Shirtwaist factory in New York. How many people? 123 working women and 23 working men. What happened? they couldn’t leave the factory, they had been locked inside. They died in that fire. And that marked the before and the after.

Every March 8 we commemorate those women who tried to leave, and we commemorate the rights for and by EQUITY. So that each person, without distinction of gender (or other conditions) is undervalued or marginalized, by the mere fact of being of one gender or another.

In a social and historical moment where technological (r)evolution is so strong, and at the same time, the struggle for equality in rights is so overwhelming, necessary, and powerful… How do social networks influence feminist movements? How many social networks do you take into account, how many do you have installed in your mobile/tablets/computers? How many do you use every day, or every week? The influence these channels have on us and on social events is incredible.

Feminism no longer hides, it no longer fears. Feminism has already been uncovered, it has removed the layer of invisibility that it wore in case someone stigmatized or mythified it. Now she has a face, and a voice, and legs to walk, and a soul to fight. And her face, her voice, her soul and her legs are those of many people who fight every day.

Social networks have made visible what urgently needed to be visible. We have let sorority enter our likes and our trending topic column.
Social networks have opened the door to voices that were silent. And they have joined forces to reach our common goal, regardless of what language we speak, what country we are, what we do or what our experiences have been: equity in rights, wage equity, social equity. The struggle is that no person is afraid to be who she/he is.

SoniaAprovechando que esta semana, el viernes 8 de marzo, celebramos el Día Internacional de la Mujer, quería hablaros de qué influencia han supuesto para el feminismo y los movimientos feministas las redes sociales.
¿Cuándo? en 1911. ¿Dónde? en la fábrica Triangle Shirtwaist de Nueva York. ¿Cuántas personas? 123 mujeres trabajadoras y 23 hombres trabajadores. ¿Qué pasó? no pudieron salir de la fábrica, les habían encerrado dentro. Murieron en aquel incendio. Y aquello marcó el antes y el después.

Cada 8 de marzo conmemoramos a aquellas mujeres que trataron de salir, y conmemoramos los derechos por y para LA EQUIDAD. Para que cada persona, sin distinción de género (u otras condiciones) sea infravalorado o marginado, por el mero hecho de ser de un género u otro.
En un momento social e histórico donde la (r)evolución tecnológica pisa tan fuerte, y al tiempo, la lucha por la equidad en derechos es tan abrumadora, necesaria, y potente…

¿Cómo influyen las redes sociales a los movimientos feministas? ¿En cuántas redes sociales tenéis cuenta, cuántas tenéis instaladas en vuestros móviles/tablets/ordenadores, cuántas utilizáis cada día, o cada semana? La influencia que estos canales tienen sobre nosotros y sobre los sucesos sociales es increíble.

El feminismo ya no se esconde, ya no se oculta, ya no tiene miedo. El feminismo ya se ha destapado, se ha quitado la capa de invisibilidad que llevaba puesta por si alguien le estigmatizaba o mitificaba. Ahora ya tiene cara, y voz, y piernas para andar, y alma para luchar. Y su cara, su voz, su alma y sus piernas son las de muchas personas que cada día hacen su lucha. Las redes sociales han permitido que se visibilice lo que urgentemente debía ser visible. Hemos dejado que la sororidad entre en nuestros likes y en nuestra columna de trending topic.
Las redes sociales han abierto la puerta a las voces que estaban calladas. Y han aunado fuerzas para llegar a nuestro objetivo común, de forma independiente de qué idioma hablemos, de qué país seamos, a qué nos dediquemos o cuáles hayan sido nuestras experiencias: la equidad en derechos, la equidad salarial, la equidad social. La lucha para que ninguna persona tenga miedo a ser quien es.

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We are not wrong or alone

Hi there, I am Umut and I come from İstanbul. I am a student at Mimar Sinan Fine Art University. My university department is statistics.

I’m not just a student, I also work with LGBTİ+ group, women research’s, refugee children’s, women and LGBTİ+ in jail.

I am a LGBTİ+ activist since 4 years. I made conference about gender and equality in Boğaziçi, Koç, Sabancı, Marmara, Yıldız Technical, İstanbul Technical University. I am a defender of law for women, LGBTİ+, disabled people. Unfortunately in Turkey we don’t have much laws but we are still working on this. I am a queer person. Queer means basically someone who doesn’t have any gender or sexually orientation. I am not a man or women because I don’t need any socially gender identification.

If I love a person it means I fall in love with somebody who cares about me, he, she or any other kind of gender in the world. When I was I a child I knew myself but I could not tell anybody how I really felt. Like everywhere in world of course you can’t confess you are a LGBTİ+ person, because of your social community.

When I was 18 years old and went to university I refreshed my soul and I confessed that to my family and friends. They really supported me during that hard time. And I realized I had been through too many bad periods, but they had ended, so now I have to help other people who are alienated from their social community. My story began.

After those days I started working so that all people could live in peace and I will be working until the end because I know all persons are special and deserve to live and be treated as person. I will be working until all alienated people will be protected by the law. We are not wrong or alone.

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Privacy and safety on the web

Summary of  two meetings with 10th graders, Hof Hasharon High School, Israel.  22 students participated: 7 girls and 15 boys. 

Most participants seem to be concerned that various entities are monitoring their activity in cyberspace and are using private information about them without their consent.

Some participants even called it “espionage.” The concern was raised that smartphones “listen” to participants without their consent. They believe that the proof of their opinion is that they often see targeted advertisements that match what they said on the phone. To some of them this seems scary. On the other hand, some of the participants said they had no problem with it, because it directs them to products of their own interest and this “makes life interesting”.

There was a short discussion about possible solutions. Although some think that the solution is possibly technical-regulatory (it is possible to prohibit such “espionage” by law), some participants noted that the economic motive of commercial organizations is too strong, and this makes it very difficult to deal with the problem.

Some participants said they would prefer social networks without advertisements, but they are aware that today this would be very difficult to achieve because advertising is the economic basis for such networks.

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Real vs False information; Fake News

Summary of meetings with 10th graders, Hof Hasharon High School, Israel. First meeting: 20.1.2019. Second meeting: 3.2.2019. 22 students participated: 7 girls and 15 boys.

First meeting:

The issue is problematic due to the multiplicity of sources of information, especially in social networks. Some participants noted that in many cases the problem is not necessarily false information but information that is only partially true, or biased.

Some students think they have the ability to distinguish between true and false info, and some of them say they do not have such ability. Some participants said that they have the ability to distinguish between false and real information only in subjects known to them thanks to personal experience. One participant said that in his opinion, this is the only way to distinguish – even though not everyone can personally experience everything.

Therefore, another participant recommended that one should rely on the knowledge and personal experience of others.

Some participants said that the problem also exists in non-digital media (printed newspapers or television), and that it is not advisable to rely on journalists. They believe that most information in the media (any type of media) is either biased or only partially true.

With regard to the example of people avoiding vaccines due to the distribution of false information, one participant noted that there is also a positive aspect: this phenomenon may encourage the development of vaccines with fewer side effects.

Second meeting:

Participants were asked to express their opinion on the expected situation in 10 years. To this end, three alternative scenarios were presented for the year 2029:

1. Fake news are dominant. The majority of news is distorted, you cannot trust any source on the net.

2. Reliability of information on the Internet is guaranteed by new technologies (e.g. artificial intelligence) and other means.

3. People who were born and matured with the Internet know very well how to distinguish between real and false information.

Most students think that Scenario 1 is too extreme. They think that in the future a lot of information will be false, but not all of it. The majority may be false, but it is more likely to be about half – half.

Some students believe that the situation will be quite similar to the present situation.

Some students tend to agree, in part, with Scenario 2. They think reliability will increase, but it is not certain that reliability will really be guaranteed. It is possible that for a significant part of the news, perhaps for most of them, reliability will be indeed guaranteed by new technologies.

One participant believed there will be more trust in information thanks to technology, but not only because of technologies. The change for the better will also happen because more and more people will want to be able to check and verify.

One participant mentioned Wikipedia as a possible model for improving reliability. On Wikipedia all false things are filtered and corrected within a short time. It is possible to develop a kind of correction mechanism for news items.

Some participants think it is more likely that in the future there will be a combination of Scenarios 2 and 3. That is, there will be many more experienced people who can distinguish between real and false information, and also the new technologies will help to increase reliability. Overall, the ability to distinguish real information from false information will improve, mainly through cumulative experience. But it will never reach 100%.

Regarding Scenario 3, one of the students commented (contrary to the views expressed in meetings with other groups) that actually adults today have more experience than young people and can better distinguish between false and real information.

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