"Hey there, young man: let me help you with that." Another rare and wonderful role-reversal, this time from the Commodore Interface magazine, 1981. From the fabulous collection of computer magazines at the Internet Archive. -NLE
American Institute of Electrical Engineers and Institute of Radio Engineers joint session at San Francisco Exposition, 1915. The two societies merged in 1963 to form the modern day IEEE.
There are at least 9 people dressed as women and one person in a wheelchair, among the sea of suited pants. I count about 70 people, so that would be about 15% women. The ratio probably doesn’t look too different today. -LI
The ad almost looks as if it focuses on the woman because the computer lets her focus on being a careworker and consumer of expertise, rather than an expert in her own right. I don’t know if the man is an ITT# technician, a fellow doctor, or perhaps a technical worker that would have to intermediate between the user and machine during this period of tech adoption.
Personality Appraisal Form for US Marines in 1940s. This is Bea Arthur’s assessment, but I find the form fascinating in itself. Cocky is scratched out, maybe because women can’t be cocky even if they can be over aggressive? There are also checkboxes for gushing and meticulous good taste.
For the male identity of science is no mere artifact of sexist history; throughout most of its evolution, the culture of science has not simply excluded women, it has been defined in defiance of women and their absence…. How did so strange a scientific culture emerge, one that proclaimed so boldly the power of the species while at the same time shrinking in horror from half the species?
David Noble, quoted in Harway’s Modest_Witness@Second_Millenium. From his work World Without Women: The Christian Culture of Western Science (1992:xiv).
More analytical leads on why leaning in and attracting women to STEM ethically complicated at best.
After I cut my hair short, a male friend of mine told me it looked bad. I responded with polite disagreement, saying that I liked it and it made me feel confident, but even after several of my female friends at the table said they liked it too, he wouldn’t shut up about it and eventually told me that I shouldn’t have cut it because I used to be ‘kind of hot’. Because short hair isn’t hot, and the only thing I think about when cutting my hair is impressing men.
This article reminds me that when I first started this Tumblr I was really thinking about charity, capitalism, and, yes, even Toms. I have a video somewhere that has some Toms operative (the founder?) talking about how great it must be for poor kids in other countries to experience (wait for it) a white person placing shoes on their feet. I can’t find it on Youtube, but if I do, I know where to put it.
I just found Model View Culture, an engaged and wise quarterly on issues of technology and culture aimed towards a general public.
Now I have something to send to everyone who cares about getting more women into Computer Science.
When we consider feminist and anti-racist activism in the tech world, we ought to ask ourselves what will make the lives of the most marginalized and underrepresented groups in tech better. While as a woman programmer, the weight of brogrammer sexism feels overwhelming to me, a part of me asks: how many women’s lives will I actually improve if I focus only on fighting brogrammers? What would the women who made my iPhone think if I spent all my time fighting for codes of conduct at conferences I go to, and none fighting for better labor conditions for factory workers?