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More or less about gender

2010 January 3
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by Baibh Cathba

Hi ladies and gents… I realize no one is really reading this thing anymore… or are they? Anyway, more gender conversations for your perusal:

A Continuation into the next School Year…

2009 September 9
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by Baibh Cathba

Okay, so the class is over, but not learning. I haven’t seen any activity on this page towards the end of the summer and at the beginning of the school year, so I thought I’d try freshening up with some links… if anyone is even still reading this blog.

First is this one from Funny or Die: Gender Auditors. Yes, I know, the issue has already been voted on and all that, but what I was interested in was the idea that there is still a possibility of “gender auditing”. Also, what would that mean in terms of the genderqueer, intersex, or transexual marriages? (I know it is a bit of fearmongering on both sides, but really… gender inspection?)

And then on another note the link to Porn for New Moms. Wow. I mean, okay, anonymity on the internet allows for me to say crazy things, but the idea that women find a well-dressed man cuddling babies to be “porn” is disturbing on a few levels. Also… does anyone else find the use of the word “coed” to be confusing? I always thought it meant either a guy or a girl, but apparently it is solely in reference to a girl, preferably horror-movie cute and looser than a seven-year-old’s tooth. Is it scary to think that I escaped such a descriptor by the mere fact of attending a women’s college?

Along the lines of “gender acceptability” type things (and continuing in the “porn” theme), we also have this lovely little link that references a spoof site for the ideal fantasy of every woman… only if she’s heterosexual and married. The married part seems important (even on the spoof sites), because it just seems odd to have a woman who has a sexuality other than “married and wanting husband to do household chores”.

And then, because random questions always come up the later at night it gets, what would it mean to be a woman or a man with no sexual drive as implied in the “porn for women” gag sites? I mean, I think we discussed whether or not it made one more or less of a woman or a man in regard to heterosexuality and homosexuality, but I guess I was just curious about what everyone else thought regarding gender identification if a person felt that they were Asexual?

Okay… that’s probably enough for now. I’ll leave you with these thoughts and hope that I might provoke conversation.

P.S. One Last Final Project

2009 May 29
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by AH

Hey everyone! I was sick during finals so I didn’t get a chance to do this until now. I thought that I should post to say that I just put up my final project/paper. The other reason that I thought I should post is that everyone who has ever posted here or viewed the website before was a part of my final project. My project looks at the actual level of diversity that we managed in all of our posts and papers on the blog. You don’t have to read it all (although that would be nice), but I do highly suggest hopping over to my page and skimming through to look at the graphs. It’s pretty interesting.

You can reach my project here.

Here’s a little sample:

I had a great semester and I really enjoyed the class. Sorry that I wasn’t there for the last week!



2009 May 14
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by Anne Dalke

I’ve just finished listening to the live-feed of the plenary session that Laura led @ “The (Un)Common University,” a Faculty Academy being offered this week @ The University of Mary Washington. Lots of good stuff there (some of it very well fed by this class!). I was especially intrigued by Laura’s description of a prof who invites students to edit his class notes (and by the counter-story offered by an attender, who has several students take notes simultaneously, and then solicits feedback from others).

I was also intrigued by the implication of such innovations that a co-written project is always going to be stronger than one crafted by an individual. As a long-time and inveterate collaborator (in teaching, in writing, in thinking…) I am wondering about this. I was speaking yesterday w/ a colleague who works in theater, and participates in (among other things) an experimental program in which three choreographers have worked together on projects for over a decade. Recently advised that their collaboration was actually keeping them from being as creative as they might, they’re experimenting this year w/ “unbraiding”–that is, each of them is pursuing an independent course, an independent project–before coming together again to “re-braid.”  So my question is: what exactly might enable collaborative work to be more creative, and what dimensions of collaborative work might have precisely the opposite effect: more limiting, more “damping-down,” more “middle-marching”?

I was also particularly struck by the description, during discussion after Laura’s talk, of “peer review as its own network,” and by the characterization of peer-reviewed journals as entities that “want to stay closed, to stay protected.” How to deal with these effects, that peer review–because gated, guarded–may perhaps not be inviting the most interesting or exploratory or edgy work? In Natural-Born Cyborgs, Andy Clark draws on the work of James O’Donnell to propose separating the idea of validation from that of prepackaging: “In the electronic world, major journals might instead add (after the usual kinds of peer-reviewing process) a kind of seal of approval to certain articles. A single article could carry the seal of multiple major journals, encouraging consumption by a wider audience” (this would help Clark, who himself is often dismayed in having to choose between publishing a certain paper in a philosophy journal, vs. one on artificial intelligence, when it might well appeal to the audiences of both). And it might help all of us, to have a more open network, w/ intersections among the various “silos” in which we all operate.

gender changers

2009 May 9
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by Anne Dalke

Laura and I have received some correspondence from an artist and teacher currently based in Rotterdam, who had stumbled upon our course website. She is part of the genderchangers network, and has been working on a piece that deals with women’s relationship to technology. I thought all of you might be as interested in these projects as I am; see both The Genderchangers Manifesto: Women, Technology and Freedom, and threads/ –a tool for the growing collection of women’s stories, talking about their use of the computer, and feelings towards it.

I’m Still Posting!

2009 May 9
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by Baibh Cathba

MWAHAHAHAHAHA! I’m posting still!

A watchman comic that I found on the intertubes.

What I got (from gandt)

2009 May 9
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by dekman

(part of my self evaluation)

I decided to take this class because I’ve been interested in gender and technology for awhile, and I was interested getting to learn more about it. I’ve been surprised at how little factual information I’ve learned this semester, though I did learn a few things, and was exposed to some pretty interesting literature/movies that I never would have read/watched otherwise. What I have really learned from this class is how to look at things in a new way. We have looked at lot of problems in different ways, relating them to theory, studying individuals, studying the cultures of groups, and looking at issues in fictional representations. We have also examined problems from many different points of view, we approached things from a mathematical point of view, an anthropological one, a film studies one, and so many more. I think that learning that there are pretty much an infinite number of mediums and points of view to look at problems through was the most important thing I’ve learned in this class, and is hopefully something I will be able to apply throughout my life.
I said in my introductory post that what I was most interested in was “how technology complicates things in terms of gender.”, which I now realize is a pretty vague statement. What I meant was, how technology works to widen the gap between male and female, and how technology both simplifies and complicates gender. At the beginning of the semester, it never would have occurred to me to think of gender as technology, I just always thought it was part of who you are. Now I think of the inherentness of “who you are” much more skeptically, this class had really made me think about how nothing grows out of a vacuum, and that includes people.


2009 May 8
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by Baibh Cathba

If I keep finding these things when I look for “robots” I’m never going to finish the final paper on time.

Oh College Humor…

2009 May 7
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by Baibh Cathba

In response to that long-ago post…

Then some randomness:

because I’m supposed to be working, but my brain has shut off.

want to help with my final?

2009 May 7
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by Problem Sleuth

Hey, everyone! So, for my final project, I’m making a fake Facebook page. The project is about exploring an identity that only exists online, and not in any actual person. … 264&ref=ts

(you’ll have to log in, but there it is.)

So, this person I’ve created is Elizabeth Amanda Flynn; she goes by Amanda. She is from Valparaiso, IN, and is a Quaker sophomore at Haverford. She’s majoring in Fine Arts, concentrating in painting. She’s pretty outgoing and friendly, has a good memory, clean, keeps appointments and promises. She also gets uncomfortable when things get awkward; not a great peacemaker, tends to fall to pieces a little bit in stressful situations. Overall, though, she’s pretty cool.

I’ll be posting more later about what this person is like, BUT! What do I need from you! She is new to Facebook, and doesn’t have any friends yet. SO! If she sounds like the sort of person you would like to be friends with, friend her! Write on her wall, be nice to her, discuss events that the two of you have planned or are considering planning. At the VERY LEAST, friend her – admit it, you friend people you don’t know all the time, why not friend someone who doesn’t actually exist?

Additionally, if you want to lend a little extra time by being a close friend of hers, that would be awesome – you’d get your picture taken with her in several places, and I might have you write something about her, too. I’ll see how it goes. If anyone has any ideas, input, or suggestions, feel free to let me know. I know a lot of you are BMC students and probably wouldn’t have a chance to come get a picture taken, but please write on her wall, say hi, tell her how much fun you had with her at some event, etc. Treat her like a real person you hang out with. I’ll be writing on people’s walls, too, so we’ll see how it goes.

Again, the link for those who want to help out is … 264&ref=ts and you’ll need to log in to Facebook.

what new questions?

2009 May 3
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by Anne Dalke

Another way to do this retrospective…that might give it a forward direction?

After asking if your earlier questions have been answered,
ask what new questions have evolved for you,
over the course of the semester…I’d be very curious to see
if a different set interests you now, and what they are.

(For me, they have everything to do with how to create new possibility spaces,
how to help my students go on beyond what both I and they know…)

following Rebecca and Ruth…

2009 May 2
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by Mista Jay

Cool idea, Rebecca 🙂

 One of my questions was…

Also, how much does a woman have to know in terms of technology in order to strike this “fear” or “resentment” or for it to seem just plain unusual? Is it easier to handle that a women knows how to change the oil in her car as opposed to being able to write software?

I think after representing administrative assistants during the second set of panels, I am able to at least half-way answer my question. When it comes to administrative assistants, the majority of whom are women, they handle technology (such as word possessing applications) on a day to day basis and are expected to be rather skilled at these technologies in order to maintain their jobs. However, the job is still looked down on as “women’s work” and as I researched about this group, I got the feeling that many people felt that it was definitely a “do-able” job, regardless of the technologies one had to be familiar with in order to be well-rounded. Thus, I believe that even if women are highly skilled with, say computers, as many administrative assistants are, just being women seems to “water-down” that credibility, in order for it to not seem so “unusual,” especially if men are not dominant in the filed.

This leads me to believe that for a women to be considered technologically savvy, she must illustrate her abilities in a male dominated environment in order for it to mean something….which is such a frustrating (partial) conclusion! I may need to rethink it…

I also agree with Rebecca– a lot of my questions did not get answered either, however, I that was one of the things that I too learned from this class: the conversation really is never-ending and unanswered questions only contribute to the on-going conversation even more. The questions and ideas that stem from this intersection of gender and technology are ones that can stay with us for a long, long while, and I know I’ll take these questions on with me (seeing as how this blog isn‘t going away)…even if they never fully get answered, as long as the conversation I have with them keeps going, I don’t think I’ll mind.

taking after rebecca…

2009 May 1
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by Ruth Goodlaxson

Did technology have anything to do with this change in the idea of the female body, or does it simply reflect societal changes?

I thought Rebecca had a great idea, to look back at her original questions from the class. This is the question I ended my first post with, and I’m not sure I have an answer yet – but I do think, after this course, I would frame the question differently.

Coming in, I was really interested in gender as a societal construct, but not so much interested in the technology part of the course. Now I’ve completely changed my mind; gender is still interesting, but technology has so many ways of operating in the world. Before, I asked if technology was what changed the concept of an ideal female body, or if technology reflected societal changes. Now, I see it as more of a reciprocal relationship, and I would ask “What is the relationship between technological changes and societal changes?” However, I’m not even sure how I feel about this question, because it’s difficult to draw a division between technology and society. I guess I don’t have answers yet – but maybe I will when I finish my final paper!

here we all are!

2009 April 30
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by Anne Dalke

Robots attack

2009 April 30
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by Laura Blankenship

Kind of a sad tale, but funny, too, when you think about how SF has come true.

via Bryn Alexander at Infocult