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Hello everyone!

2009 January 24
by Mista Jay

Hey! I’m a freshman at Bryn Mawr, and I have no idea what my major is. I think I’m leaning towards English but who knows? I don’t!

Anyways, I have to admit that I sort of stumbled onto this class in a: “OH NO. I NEED A FOURTH CLASS!” kind of a way as I was frantically flipping through the BMC course book. It caught my attention, however, because I don’t think I’ve ever linked gender and technology together. Maybe, it’s because I grew up with one of those mother’s who believed that “women should be seen and not heard” (it’s a bit embarrassing how many times she told me that one!), and thus I was scolded any time I tried to learn how to whistle (side note: I eventually learned!) or when I played too rough with the other boys.

As much as I disagreed with my mother in that aspect, I can’t really say that I went out of my way to be technologically savvy either.  I didn’t start playing video games until I was about 13, and to this day I don’t play them very frequently—it doesn’t help that I’m horrible at a lot of them, too. However, because I didn’t live with my father (who loves computers, and technology in general) growing up, I did have to know how to work the computer at home because neither my mom, my aunt nor my grandmother were particularly good with it, so I was usually on my own when it came to that. From since I was around seven or eight it was my trial and error with the computer that allowed me to be fairly okay with computers today. But now that I’m taking this class I’m starting to wonder, that if I DID live with my father would I know how to use my computer so well? It’s almost if I was FORCED to learn how to use one, because there was no alternative.

My other questions for this course are: if a women is good with technology, do you think this strikes a sort of “fear” or “resentment” in both men AND other women? Why do you think other women may feel resentful if they see another women being able to hold their own against another man? 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? Finally, how does race and class play into this? Is it more surprising (or maybe “alarming”?) for a working class woman of color to be technologically savvy?

See everyone next class!

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