Gender Biases in Cyberspace: A Two-Stage Model, the New Arena of Wikipedia and Other Websites - Shlomit Yanisky-Ravid & Amy Mittelman | Fordham IPLJ
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Gender Biases in Cyberspace: A Two-Stage Model, the New Arena of Wikipedia and Other Websites
Shlomit Yanisky-Ravid & Amy Mittelman

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26 Fordham Intell. Prop. Media & Ent. L.J. 381
Article by Dr. Shlomit Yanisky-Ravid* & Amy Mittelman**



ncreasingly, there has been a focus on creating democratic standards and norms in order to best facilitate open exchange of information and communication online―a goal that fits neatly within the feminist aim to democratize content creation and community. Collaborative websites, such as blogs, social networks, and, as focused on in this Article, Wikipedia, represent both a cyberspace community entirely outside the strictures of the traditional (intellectual) proprietary paradigm and one that professes to truly embody the philosophy of a completely open, free, and democratic resource for all. In theory, collaborative websites are the solution for which social activists, intellectual property opponents, and feminist theorists have been waiting. Unfortunately, we are now realizing that this utopian dream does not exist as anticipated: the Internet is neither neutral nor open to everyone. More importantly, these websites are not egalitarian; rather, they facilitate new ways to exclude and subordinate women. This Article innovatively argues that the virtual world excludes women in two stages: first, by controlling websites and filtering out women; and second, by exposing women who survived the first stage to a hostile environment. Wikipedia, as well as other cyber-space environments, demonstrates the execution of the model, which results in the exclusion of women from the virtual sphere with all the implications thereof.



* Dr. Shlomit Yanisky-Ravid, Professor Fellow, Information Society Project (“ISP”), Yale Law School; Visiting Professor, Fordham University School of Law (2012, 2014); Senior Professor of Law, Ono Academic Law School, Israel (“OAC”); Founder and Director, The Shalom Comparative Legal Research Center, OAC.


** Amy Mittelman, Associate, Herrick, Feinstein LLP; J.D., 2015, Fordham University School of Law; M.Litt., 2009, University of St. Andrews; B.A., 2008, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor; former Managing Editor, McGraw-Hill Higher Education.


Many thanks to Catherine MacKinnon, Sheila Foster, Jack Balkin, Vicky Schultz, Frances Radai, Joel Reidenberg, Alberto Aharonovitz, Karen Topaz Druckman, John Curran, Shir-el Nakdimon, Justice Elisheva Barak Ososkin, Rivi Cohen, Amichai Cohen, Shwartz, and Sivan Saban-Hacohen, for their encouragement, insights and important contribution along the way. Special thanks to several institutes, who gave a stage for the discussions, such as Yale Law School; ISP; Fordham University School of Law; World Intellectual Property Organization, Geneva; the Swiss Institute of Comparative Law, Lausanne; and OAC. To my research assistants and gifted editors, Laura Lagone and Elizabeth Ledkovsky, Esq., gratitude for your wonderful assistance. Last but not least, thanks to Katie Rosenberg for her outstanding work and her thoughtful comments and suggestions, as well as to the Elizabeth Walker, Editor-in-Chief, for her devoted work. Any errors are our own.