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2009 January 25
by Cleo Calbot

I am a sophomore Computer Science major at Bryn Mawr from Gainesville, Virginia, taking a gender course for the first time. I came to Bryn Mawr with the intention of  a major in psychology, or in creative writing, and found myself drawn to the BMC compsci department mostly because of their promise of robots.

I never gave much formal thought to the role of gender in ANY part of modern life, and least of all to gender in technology. But, as a “girl gamer,” and as someone who engages in all things “geeky,” I figured it might be prudent to see from where the stereotypes, and the hostility come. Upon coming to Bryn Mawr, I realized that I knew nothing about gender divides, or about political correctness, so this class will hopefully be as eye-opening as previous classes have been.

I will admit that I am hoping this class will spend a good amount of time on the modern repurcussions of gender conflict, namely in gaming, online, and also adress the problem with retention of female science students.  Aside from that, though, what is it that leads women to avoid science/technology? In school, I was fed the “girls aren’t as good at math as boys” rhetoric; how much of that is true? On another tangent, in this technological world, why ARE female robots, cyborgs, etc. depicted sexually? Finally, is there a way to reconcile the tension present between genders in the fields of science?

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