Bell: On my second day in the office at Intel, my very first boss sat me down and said she needed my help with two things. One of them was what the company in those days called “Rest of World.” It meant everything that wasn’t America. The other thing was “Women.” I remember asking her, well, which women did she mean? She said, “All of them. If you could work out what they want, that would be great.”
Since then, I’ve maintained an interest in looking at how “women” use technology. It’s been a scholarly and intellectual interest as well as a historical one. In the last 150 years, women were the ones who domesticated electricity, for better or worse. They worked out how to cook with it, how to iron with it, how to run their households with it. They were the ones who sorted out what it meant to drill holes in walls and turn on or off the lights.
And then the data from the telecom industry suggests that women were the early gatekeepers of telephones when they came into the household. They made the phone calls. To this day, they’re the ones who call their in-laws, talk to their own families, keep up with all the social stuff. In the 1980s, Telecom did these amazing studies that proved that women knew where cordless phones were in the house when no one else could find them.
All of which is to say: There’s been a long history of women as the tamers of the big technologies—electricity, telephony, television, and arguably, I think, the Internet. For them, it’s not the glossy new thing, but something that becomes part of daily life.
Woot! One of my fabulous librarian friends had a great idea to help inspire girls to get involved with / show their MAKER pride. It started when she and a colleague had both noticed that MAKE magazine and the MAKER community is largely identified as a guy-zone by the mainstream - right down to the magazine be shelved with the “mens magazines” at their respective local Barnes & Noble.
But girls are MAKERS too! Crafting, sewing, welding, MAKING - we do it all (of course!) So to get people to realize this - especially GIRLS who think maybe this community isn’t for them - Librarian Kate is calling for all #makergirls to snap a picture of themselves with their copy of MAKE magazine and tag & Tweet it.
Read her blog post! and snap your pic!
ANOTHER FABULOUS BLOG FROM TOR.COM
So, the most recently released image of Catwoman in The Dark Knight Rises kind of got me worked up. The moment I saw it I think I said something to the nature of, “If I have to see one more woman posed with her behind in my general direction, looking smouldering-ly over her shoulder, I’m going to punch someone in the face. And you two [my Tor.com officemates] should be worried, since you’re the closest people at hand.” My co-workers generally prefer a non-violent environment, so I decided to work through this the only way I know how: with lots of photographic evidence.
It’s not that we all haven’t noted how prevalent titilation is where women in the media are concerned, but this pose in particular is everywhere. And why should that be?
Well, it typically does a good job of showing off all of a lady’s assets for one. And I’m sure if an actress isn’t quite so curvy, showing off her posterior (wow, how many synonyms for “butt” will I have to use in this?) sounds like a good way of ramping up sex appeal. It’s also a pose that tells you, in no uncertain terms, “I’m here for you to objectify me. It’s okay, you don’t have to feel bad about it.”
Now, there is no problem with women being sexual, of course. But when you begin to see certain trends over and over, it’s not hard to figure out who is the benefactor of the imagery. Also important to note, this doesn’t happen to men with anywhere near the same frequency.
And it happens all the time. Observe….
In 1967, Kathrine Switzer was the first woman to run the Boston marathon. After realizing that a woman was running, race organizer Jock Semple went after Switzer shouting, “Get the hell out of my race and give me those numbers.” However, Switzer’s boyfriend and other male runners provided a protective shield during the entire marathon.The photographs taken of the incident made world headlines, and Kathrine later won the NYC marathon with a time of 3:07:29. [Wiki]
[via Cultures of Resistance]