Date: Sat, 10 May 1997 11:25:10 +0200
From: Vladislava Gordic



On the net nobody knows how sexy you really are, writes Mark Amerika in his electronic poem "Grammatron". You can put whatever you want on your web page and claim the right to be cute. An important strategy of postfeminism: "Tell me I’m cute or else..." Who can tell for sure who you are and what you are? On the net nobody knows how cute you really are.

Are gender issues obliterated or reinforced when it comes to netting? Who would even think of gender distinctions with all those usernames which do not give a clue about the sex of the account’s owner? You could be an excessively plump woman; you could be a star; or a cyborg.

Every single human being (and cyborg, for that matter) is prone to flirting. Even encouraged to flirt when his/her/its inconspicuous looks and drab surroundings are hidden behind the screen-saver which imitates dark skies pricked with stars (you can decide on the number of them; I chose twenty-five). You can cheat, lie and seduce, you can be impertinent and obnoxious if you choos. You can send lov-e-mail to everyone, and somebody may pick up the thread. You can harass, but you cannot harm anybody.

There are the HE-MAIL and FE-MAIL, distinctive branches on the same rhisomatic tree, displaying the mild flame war which burns wherever male and female sensibilities meet or clash. They are rooted in the same both cryptic and transparent language of catch phrases, acronyms, signs, abbreviations. They share the tension of a relationship and the temptation of change. Electronic epistola. Have your own e-lover. Or become a harassee of your own Loch Net, for that matter.

E-mail supports the mechanism of our desire. Our intuition is as neutral as Joyce’s god indifferently juggling his joystick — it has nothing to do with wishing, for wishing twists our sobriety. E-mail makes us feel carefree and casual. The dread of the solitary room and the blank sheet of paper have been finally erased. E-mail eases deleteability, it can be called off any time, and it is super sonic. E-mail unites romantic quest with virtual reality. Letter is truth adjusted to its receiver. Every message is a virtual world of its own.

If your vagina/penis/implant runs away from home, so what. It will float in the electrosphere somewhere on your screen-saver, following you only if you do not turn back... Join the Flirtnet and you may catch a glimpse of it! And nobody will ever guess how de-sexed you really are.