Mirk's (2014) article “An Epic Feminist Edit-a-Thon Takes Aim at Wikipedia's Gender Gap”, featured in Bitch magazine, prompted an investigation on the interplay between gender and Web 2.0 platforms. According to this feature, there continues to be a significant lack of representation of female artists on Wikipedia and those women with entries are scantly described. On February 1, 2014 an international “Feminist Edit-a-Thon” was undertaken as a remedy to this gender bias. This contemporary issue of women's representation and contributions on sites, such as Wikipedia, thus provokes questions about the ways women engage with information technologies. To explore these issues, scholarship on feminist theory technofeminism, implications of design, gendered variations of use of online environments and education are examined in this paper. The “Feminist Edit-a-thon” is a decisive step to narrowing this gendered gulf; however, systemic barriers continue to fragment women's participation and interest on Web 2.0. A sample of the existing literature related to this issue will be discussed in detail below.
Understanding the theoretical relationship between gender and technology is the first step to critiquing women's underrepresentation on Wikipedia and other Web 2.0 websites. In Wajcman's (2004) seminal work, Technofeminism, she urged her readers to examine this relationship beyond a fatalistic or utopian lens. These polarized viewpoints, demonstrative of a technological determinist perspective, posits technologies as having over-reaching effects on human agency. That, for example, technologies posses the ability to “make us do” something because it holds “power” over us. Wajcman suggested that feminist analysis should avoid idealizing tech...
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...s Gender Gap. Bitch. Retrieved from http://bitchmagazine.org/post/an-epic-edit-a-thon-takes-aim- at-wikipedias-gender-gap
Oudshoorn, N., Rommes, E., & Stienstra, M. (2004). Configuring the user as everybody: Gender and design cultures in information and communication technologies. Science, Technology & Human Values, 29(1), 30-63.
Vasilescu, B., Capiluppi, A., & Serebrenik, A. (2013). Gender, representation and online participation: A quantitative study. Interacting with Computers, iwt047.
Wajcman, J. (2004). Technofeminism. Cambridge: Polity Press.
Wasburn, M. H., & Miller, S. G. (2006). Still a Chilly Climate for Women Students in Technology: A Case Study. In M. F. Fox, D. G. Johnson & S. V. Rosser (Eds.), Women, gender, and technology (pp. 60-79). Chicago: University of Illinois Press.
Wikipedia. (2014). English homepage. Retrieved from www.wikipedia.org.