In the United States, stories about computers and women typically revolve around how the male-dominated computer culture devalues women’s unique way of knowing. But in Iran, women are turning to Internet web logs to talk openly about topics that otherwise might get a woman in trouble in that conservative Islamic country.
Weblogging in Iran apparently took off after Iranian journalist Hossein Derkhshan wrote a simple guide in Persian about how to create a weblog. Seven months later, there are more than 1,200 Persian weblogs according to the BBC, with many written by women.
The women post anonymously and can talk freely about sex and other topics without the fears of violating some cultural taboo. One female weblogger told The BBC,
Womnen in Iran cannot speak out frankly because of our Eastern culture and there are some taboos just for women, such as talking about sex or the right to choose your partner. I have the opportunity to talk about the things and share my experiences with others.
At least someone appreciates oppressive patriarchal technology.
Web gives a voice to Iranian women. Alfred Hermida, The BBC, June 17, 2002.