Use of Sexuality Online

Posted: August 16, 2012 in Uncategorized


In Dobson’s article of “Femininities as Commodities” she talked about the nature of “cam girls” and the uses of feminine characteristics that are used online as a way of achieving the girls’ goals. The cam girls’ main goal is to gain attention and popularity. The audience consists of mainly male viewers.  As a result, the girls could generate income from these sites. Some of these girls have fans that send gifts and such just for having a glimpse in the cam girl’s private life (what she allows to be seen). The girls’ private life is seen as a fantasy that entices people to watch these girls because it is taboo. Generally girls’ life or “bedroom” is private.

Dobson theorized that these cam girls are creating their own self identity online to be seen by viewers in the online community. Dobson also argues that some of these girls create a persona that appeal to the audience, whether it is being a cute cam girl, a cam whore or cam artist. Some people would argue that these girls are “selling” themselves out, as an alternative pornographic entertainment. Basically they are selling their body and image online as commodities.  However, other people would argue that these girls are enabling their girl power, by being in control of their images and body. These girls choose to participate in such activities, knowingly full well what they are doing.

It raises the question that if these cam girls are selling their femininity online, does that mean they are reinforcing the idea of women/girls being in submissive sexual roles in society? After all, they are objectifying themselves as sexual objects (some of them are). They are making themselves the object of male fantasies in order to gain online popularity. It could be argued that these cam girls are exercising their freedom to portray themselves however they wish, even sexually.

Everyone will always have an opinion about how girls/women should be participating in online activities. If a girl is open about her sexuality, she is labelled as a “whore”, but if she refuses to share her personal identity online, then she is seen as restricted (relating to the article about the Arab girls on Face Book). I believe that a girl/woman should only justify their identity to themselves and no one else. For the most part, we do not question how a male would portray himself online or what he does on the Internet. Yet, we question when a woman does anything online, categorizing it as negative or positive. Whether cam girls are seen as degrading themselves or seen as empowering themselves, it remains to be debated.

~Tien V.

I’ve attached a link that shows how we as society have become more self conscious of our appearances and how they are portrayed in online communities.


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