Hamburg, Germany, december' 2001

The women's place in the México City subway
A story about the compulsory gender border

Cindy Gabriela Flores

I find some parallels between the subway of the metropolis wich I live, and the internet.

Every body has access to the subway in the city, cause it is so cheap, as the internet. We'll see why in this work.

The grass-roots population, the dot-com workers, the female cyborgs (who work with high technology but who aren't exactly hi-tech themselves), all of them interact in the subway somehow.

The underground system connects and mantains a productive city, just as the internet does.

The subway transports lots of information: genetic information.

This particular network covers almost all the geography of the metropolis: the urban area.

In the underground space, all social classes get connected, like in cyberspace.

And it reproduces a political patriarchy, like allmost all spaces inhabitated by human beings, and when it's completely indispensable (in this case because of sexual harassment against women), then a space will be suited for woman: they will create a small space. Like, for example: the first two wagons of the subway will be only for women passengers.

It is just like in cyberspace, we women, deal with all these harassment -I call it gender violence-, because when a man discovers a woman online, he can only, automatically, see her as an object, and it's the same thing in the subway.

But the mexican society needs the undergrownd system transportation to move itself.

A man cannot respect, doesn’t know how to respect the otherness
. In this case, the female otherness.

So, we have to deconstruct this role image, but for now, we have to keep ourselves behind a contained wall. In the subway, this female's wagons (like women only spaces on the internet) function as our “own room” -as I call it: our collective places for women.

In Ciberfeminista (a women only space) we are feminists (experienced and beginners alike), activists, students, senators and congress woman, politicians, housewives, journalists, communicators, internet users, etc., etc., we are interested to talk about ourselves: like women, and about how we deconstruct ourselves like women, day by day. We use this space for reflexion about what it means for us to be feminist, and how are we learning cyberculture and cyberfeminism. We try to put together theory and practice, even if we have to start some times from "how to attach files to e-mails".

We are there trying to learn together, about ourself and about cyberfeminism.

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