I am a Bryn Mawr sophomore and soon-to-declare English major. Hello to everyone who has already introduced themselves and I can’t wait to meet the rest of the class. I was lying in my bed, all snuggled up in my blankets just about to fall asleep when I remembered that we are supposed to blog our introductions. Granted, this is not due until Sunday, but what motivated me to get out of bed is that as my eyes started closing I finally thought of some questions to ask.
Honestly, before reading the course description and before our first class exercises there was never really any awareness on my part that technology can be affected by gendered notions or that having gendered appearances, thoughts and knowledge can be affected by technology. Technology is so ingrained into our society that most of its uses are ignored or thought to be mundane. But when I see how, in the short period I knew my father, he was the only one to ever be in charge of setting up major electronics in the house and I know now that it is because he felt it was his domain. No one was ever allowed to touch the cables, especially my mother and me. Why is it that now my mother is so afraid to work with computers, to set up DVD players, and to fix a paper jam in the printer?
Why is my own faulty knowledge in these technologies considered normal and my brother’s similar lack of knowledge considered abnormal?
How did this “segregation” (as Professor Dalke calls it) come to exist? What do other scholars think of this segregation, or if they even feel that it exists?
And to finish off, why are there strong emotions such as fear, anxiety and stress attached to a person working with technology that does not fit their gender’s expectations?