Women's Studies 30

student comments on Wired, October 1998 issue

Wired is a magazine which clearly covers a male culture. It is a world whose legendary figures and current superheroes are businessmen, their renown acquired through very male practices of entrepreneurship and corporate raiding. However, Wired also sees the world of computing as a world of the arts and creativity beyond capitalist maneuvering and innovation for innovation's sake. This instantly made me, a woman who is not at home in the realm of computers, feel as if the magazine left space for people on the margins of the computer world (e.g., women) to fit in; in fact, Wired seems in many ways to champion outsider culture.

Women are also a definite presence in Wired. I noticed many female names on the masthead (see above statistics), including in the editor-in-chief spot. Feature articles had been written by women, and efforts toward non-gender biased language had been made. I was not expecting this before I opened the magazine, which is particularly interesting because I was expecting the magazine to be very different from other, more technical computer magazines, due to Wired's radically different visual approach. Though the figure on the cover of Wired is neuter and its "hip" layout clued me in to the magazine's alternative stance, I was not expecting its edginess to carry over into more open-minded attitudes about gender. I was pleasantly surprised!

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last updated 11/3/98