Irene Archos, the founder of www.greekamericangirl.com, has been a journalist, writer, editor and teacher for over two decades. The idea for the site was spawned after a very stoggy, conservative and male-oriented media outlet killed her weekly column, “On Being a Greek American” because it was not “politically correct.” Not discouraged, she compiled her weekly essays into a longer memoir published under the same title. After getting fed up with pitching story ideas and essays to the narrow clique of male-dominated news organizations, she decided to take matters into her own hands. Thus, www.greekamericangirl.com was born. The impetus for the site was spawned by the need for a targeted journal who took the needs, issues and accomplishments of women of the Hellenic diaspora seriously. While Greek Americans and other Diaspora groups have been in the country for centuries, there is as of yet no magazine or other media product that broadcasts the female voice. The Greek media machine amounts to little more than blurbs about which organization or society met and had dinner, gave an award, or cut a “basilopita.” It was hard to find a publication where the real issues that plague our cultural group, especially from a woman’s perspective, were talked about honestly. Additionally, because Greek women are so underplayed in their patriarchal societies, a site which featured their accomplishments and gave them the credit they deserved was crucial.
Relaunched two years ago, www.greekamericangirl.com is the only online publication of its kind that caters to the concerns, interests, and issues of a unique cultural group. As such, it forges the forum whereby Greek-American women and others of the Diaspora can express their voice, rekindle and cement cultural bonds, and build a powerful community together. At last, Greekamericangirl.com establishes a virtual presence for this overlooked but dynamic group. Geared for young women (aged 17-40), the site provides the expected departments in a woman’s monthly on-line journal (features, fashion and beauty, relationships, reviews, events calendar, etc.), but with a Greek slant. It also allows for reader contribution and self-expression with a “Greek American Girl Stories” column, a “Reader/Member Profile” page, and an “Announcements” page to publicize important social and professional events. To accomplish its cultural community-building function, it showcases a “Culture Corner” and a “Today’s Your Saint’s Day” page to educate and reintroduce this audience to its heritage and promote the unique contributions Hellas has made in the arts, history, language, and ideas, especially by women. It also hosts on-line weekly live chats during which the topics covered in each issue are discussed. GreekAmericanGirl.com strives to strike the right balance between “fun and fluff,” “the straight-up and serious,” just the right mix of entertainment and thought-provoking exposition. Finally, as the only virtual presence for Hellenic women on the Web, it is the first and fastest portal for disseminating news, spearheading change, providing advocacy and public awareness of Hellenic women’s issues and causes.
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