Sunday, October 23, 2005

Steriotypes (Disitation outline Number 2)

We all use steriotypes in our day to day life. We talk to some one on the phone they say there a Managing Director your brain instantly thinks of the Managing Director Steriotype - male, suit, breaf case, about 40ish years old, drives a big car has a family and lives in a big house. These steriotypes can be a mis jugment and most often than not they are. How ever they are a good survile technique. We see a strang looking person acting odd in the street our brain flicks though the steriotypes in our head and we do a risk analasis to see if its safe to go near that person.

Steriotypes are part of our every day life and the 4 steriotypes and representations of these steriotypes that im looking at are Geeks, Heros, Villens and Sex Objects. Im going to add another little twist to this steriotype Im going to look at the Female versions of these steriotypes and how they are represented in Cyberculter and how a new breed of Cyber femanists have started to make a mark on our Cyberculter.

The Geek

So what do we think when some one says geek or more specificaly female geek? There the skiny, shy characters with thick glasses hair tyed back librarian type with hardly any friends, they tell binary jokes and have funny teath. When we look at this character in Cyberculter we would call these characters the techno geeks and they have been jushed up and given a make over.

Willow from the well known tv show "Buffy the Vampia Slayer" is a book worm come hacker. She acts as tho she is not comfortable in her own body but when it comes to work and computers she is in her element. She turns out to be a lesbian witch and a powerful one that turns bad. This seams to be a trait repeats. A female character can not be strong and powerful with out there being an element of faleier involved. Willow ends up not being able to controle her powers and so turns bad, killing people and getting to a point when she may distroy the her self or the world with her powers. It is as tho a female character can not be portrade as strong and independent with out a male character eather over shadowing her or that her strenth lets her down in the end.

Another good representation of a female geek is Angela Bennett aka Ruth Marx in "The Net" she is a computer programer who spechalises in braking virases. She is very insular she does not have a partner and only comunicates with the out side world though emails and phone. She hardly goes out. The internet and chat rooms are her life. In the film her identity is changed using computers and so she becomes Ruth Marx who is wanted by the FBI for murder and so she has to run for her life. This character is simular to Willow from "Buffy the Vampia Slayer" as she starts of being very geeky and insular and in the end they both come out of them selves and become these strong hero type characters. How ever they both have more dominent partners that controle them in some way. They are not pure heros simular to male characters such as Neo from "The Matrix".

This may be due to the fact that these characters are created by male wrighters and the steriotypes of women are to be strong but sensative. If the creaters of these characters were to create female characters that broke these steriotypes then they would be persived more as male than female. As Willow become stronger and more powerful with her magic she was persived more masculine and this is also the same time we find out that she is a lesbian. She has become powerful and also falling in love with another woman she is forfilling a male steriotype. This could be why these women are not created strong and inderpendent compleatly from male characters.

Another character that this has happend to would be Xena from "Xeana Warior Princes" she started out being a strong Amazonion warior type woman. She would rome the antiant world with her side kick Gabriel killing monsters and saving villages from the bad guys. She also delt with the Gods and Godesses and for a time she worked along side Hurculeas. How ever later on in the series after her sexual encounters with a few male characters suspisions started to arise in the media that Xena was actualy a lesbian and involved with her side kick Gabriel.

The steriotypes were being broken again and again a strong independent female character had crossed the line again and was becomeing a male character she therefor had to be a lesbian. And shore as eggs are eggs the script righters created a relationship between Xena and Gabriel who become lovers.

The Hero

Heros are the character we all want to be like. They always get the girl or guy, there good looking everything turns out right and there in the right place at the right time. Female heros tend to be tall, sexy and strong but they all eather have a weekness or are supported by a stronger male hero character.

A good example of this is Trinity from "The Matrix". In the sceen when Neo meets Trinity, the legendary hacker responsible for braking the IRS dbase, for the first time in the bar after following the wight rabbit. He is shocked to find she is a woman. She is a talented hacker and the sterio types for a hacker is a whight male in his early teens to late twentys. Not a female. She is portrade as a tall, strong and sexy female chacter who can fight along side the male characters. However she ends up needing Neo and depending on him for her life. She goes from being the dominent character over Neo to the submisive support love interest. Unlike Willow or Xean she does not cross the steriotype line and become male she stays female but loses her dominance and strenth keeping her inside the female steriotype.

Looking for real life cyber hero women I looked for a real life aquivalent of Trinity, a female hacker. This took me on a long and interesting mission. I found a Forum that was discussing "Girl Hackers" there were some very intersting points made.

"I doubt most girls go about bragging about how they are hackers, they go about doing what they do, they kick ass, where as guys brag and show off." (Reaper 05-19-2005, 5:39pm )

This is a good point and if girls are changing there identiys so that they apear male they will not want to draw attention to them selves. Another positive point was made after the above quote.

"Whenever girls enter into an intellectual & male-dominated field, they garner a great deal of attention and (usually) respect. This is because, well, guys love girls, especially cool & smart ones. Girl chessplayers are also remarkably rare, and we guys love to see them." (The Mighty Eggplant 05-19-2005, 6:25pm)

This coment would lead to suggest that girls should be less worred about being a hacker and working in the cyber world how ever reading on though the forum you can see negativity towards females in the hacking world.

"Girls in the world of hackers have 2 out of 3 qualityes:
They're Sane
They're Single
They're Good Looking" (Osiris 05-09-2005, 10:32pm)

This quote posted by Osiris shows how female hackers are perseved in the real world. However when it comes to the big screen they are glamed and glist up to become "hot female hackers" They become a male fantasy as in the example of Trinity from the Matrix, an ass kicking, leather-cladd supper hacker played by one of Holywoods most atractive female actresses Carrie-Anne Moss.

Trinity has one big advantage over other female hacker representations in other films such as "Hackers" and "the net". Trinity has real life hacker credability all because she uses a reall life hacking tool in the Matrix sequal "Reloaded". Trinity uses a free and popular scanning tool called an Nmap, created by Fyodor. She uses this tool to reveal the exsistance of a vulnerablity in a computer she is targiteing. She later goes on to use a real -world loophole called a "SSH1 CRC32" to gain the highest level access to the target mashine.

This use of reall world hacking tools has make the cyber community bow down to the Wachowski Brothers. Unlike past films such as "Hackers" were reall life hackers and people with computer knowlage cringed at the unrealistic portrail of the internet and people who use it. The Matrix brings reality to our screens.

The Villen

The Sex object

Cyber Femanists



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