Refusing to be the Price: Bringing Gender to the Center of the Internet Governance Stage

Rosemary Clark is one of the eight 2014 Milton Wolf Emerging Scholar Fellows, an accomplished group of doctoral and advanced MA candidates selected to attend the 2014 Milton Wolf Seminar: “The Third Man Theme Revisited: Foreign Policies of the Internet in a time of Surveillance and Disclosure.” Their posts highlight the critical themes and on-going debates raised during the 2014 Seminar discussions.

Anna Schmidt, played by Alida Valli, is one of two credited female roles and the only major female character in Carol Reed’s and Graham Greene’s 1949 film noir, The Third ManThis made the film an especially poignant frame of reference for myself and for fellow feminists contemplating internet governance (IG) at the 2014 Milton Wolf Seminar in Vienna, organized under the film-inspired title, “The Third Man Theme Revisited: Foreign Policies of the Internet in a Time of Surveillance and Disclosure.”

The film takes place in post-World War II Vienna and tells the story of Holly Martins, an out-of-work, pulp Western, writer who travels from America to Austria, where his friend, Harry Lime, has promised him employment. Upon arriving in Vienna, however, Martins discovers that Lime was killed after being struck by a car, leaving behind his grieving girlfriend, Anna, along with a cast of suspicious associates, who soon become suspects in Martins’ unofficial investigation into what he believes to be Lime’s murder. Anna is quickly ensnared in the male-dominated web of characters spiraling outward from the center of Lime’s illicit and shadowy life on the Viennese black market. Only, unlike Lime’s coconspirators, Anna is left wholly in the dark, unaware of his exploits, his true whereabouts, and his colleagues’ intentions and involvement in his sudden death. Anna’s blind ignorance leaves her as little more than a pawn surrounded and manipulated by men who play…

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