Social media has provided a platform for women to communicate about intimacy in a way that was never possible before. Across all races and gender, social media has promoted cohesion by driving spontaneous affection, intimacy and informality (Zacharias and Arthurs 214).
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A majority of studies reveal more women than men use social sites. It has also been deduced that consumers of such media are always in the lookout for similarities with others users that promote “at home” feeling. Such similarities may include gender, age, location, race/ethnicity, and education (Zacharias and Arthurs 214).
Examples of social media include social networking sites, online communities and blogs (Zacharias and Arthurs 197). For intimate groups such as lesbians, online communities provide a refuge from outside homophobia.
Aside from protection, they are also offer ground for contestation, debate, identity formation and reinforcement, self exclusion and even bigotry (Zacharias and Arthurs 203).
Social sites have appealed more to women because it has provided them with a platform to explore issues and make personal contributions free from censure of the rest the world (Zacharias and Arthurs 221).
However there some who argue that women have not adequately or even attempted to harness the power of such ubiquitous and powerful medium to champion their course and bring lasting change (Zacharias and Arthurs 221).
The anonymity provided by the social media makes this medium very appealing to both women and men as they are able to “reconstruct” themselves to a level they deem “cool” enough to garner more desired responses. Because this may not be practical in real life, social media thus come out as a viable tool to challenge established norms in regard to gender especially in a conservative society.
In the present times it is popular for friendship and intimacy to be conducted online. This kind of relation contrasts the traditional physical type in that it is characterized by constant monitoring by friends and colleagues (Zacharias and Arthurs 208).
In this context, to be friendly means updating your status with photos, text post, events among other features of the particular medium one may be using. Typical social media such social networking sites require users to input personal details. This information can be exploited by third parties for commercial gains.
In largely patriarchal societies, women are rising to challenge male dominance using the social tools of the internet.
Even in conservative societies women have taken to presenting obviously controversial views via the web. Of course such moves always elicit strong reactions but altogether it has served to bring to the fore the revolutionary power of the internet.
Women have used the social media to display intimacy with unprecedented boldness. Lesbians, bisexuals, gays and transgender individuals have embraced social media to connect with their likes and lay bare their lifestyles to the general public. Friends and lover are aggressively sought online.
Communication is also virtually online and physical contact, if it happens; occur long after the first encounter. This kind of relationship relies solely on loyalty; that the other person is who he/she claims to be.
Once a relationship is established it is maintained through chat, posts, emails, discussion forums, voice/video calls among others. Most women participants in social media belong to the university -educated and affluent backgrounds.
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They are tolerant to members of their online communities even though sometimes online talk may exacerbate to harsh exchanges (Zacharias and Arthurs 212). Designers of social media have realized their appeal to women and have endeavored to import more “terrestrial” features online through virtual gifts, hugs, kisses and even lovemaking to make them as accommodating as possible.
The ever rising number of women socializing online perhaps points to their contentment with the offerings of such media. This may result in serious implications on young women. As MacRobbie has pointed out, they may miss on major event of life such as finding a life partner and raising children (262).
Sisterhood and non-sexual relationship between women
I am of the opinion that sisterhood and non-sexual relationship between women represent one of the closest intimacies between persons. This type of relationship is not superficial. It is grounded firmly on the dependence on each other and the notion of having a “shoulder to lean on” in difficult times.
Both parties are the confiding partners to each other and are free to share the most intimate of personal details. I also believe the allegiance and commitment in such relationships are much stronger than any similar blood relationship could be. Such relationships also tend to have lasting effects on a woman. This is because such partners influence the other’s choice of say boyfriend, house, car, career etc.
- Discuss factors contributing to the waning of feminism campaign in the late twentieth century.
- Compare and contrast the impact of social media in men and women since the beginning of twenty first century.
MacRobbie, Angela “Post-feminism and Popular Culture.” Feminist Media Studies. 4.3 (2004):255-264.Web.12 Nov.2011.
Zacharias,Usha, and Jane Arthurs.”Commentary and Criticism: The New Architectures of Intimacy? Social networking sites and genders.” Feminist Media Studies.8.2 (2008):197-223.Web 12 Nov.2011.