Friday, December 08, 2006

  • Top Ten Geek Girls

  • Blowing Raspberries to Hegemony and Why Lisa Simpson is My Favourite Geek

    On a lighter note, I’m posting CNET’s Top Ten Geek Girls, to give a tongue-in-cheek reference to links that already exist in a positive way between women and ICTs. One of my two favourites is Ada Lovelace – the first ever computer programmer – dispelling the popular myth that technology has always been men’s domain. (I had a terrific article on her that revealed some nice interconnections and synchronies between Ada’s programmes and the palindrome of her name… but frustratingly I don’t seem to have it with me). And my other favourite is Lisa Simpson! Apparently there was some furore about hers and Paris Hilton’s inclusion in the list. But I say, lighten up! One way in which feminists and others with gender concerns have always addressed hegemonic orders of authority – such as awards and qualifications, certifications and other self-congratulatory patriarchal orders of so-called ‘achievements’ – is through humour and through not-taking-everything-so-seriously when it comes to making, and awarding those in, lists of who’s Great and who’s not. Our reputations are not so rooted in pomp and ceremony that we feel threatened by the suggestion that an ‘it’ girl’s contribution to the field of technology must be dismissed as irrelevant.

    And besides, I’d stand up and defend Lisa Simpson’s legitimacy as a subject deserving of an achievement award: she has a voice and a body, both of which are widely recognisable: if asked to describe her – you could. She, like us, has multiple creators and designers, and has been given a life of her own on leaving the studio and passing into homes all over the world – and in those homes she is socialised and constructed into multiple interpretations of being, just as we are. In her animated world she goes to school and has a family, she eats food and sleeps at night. And, if nothing else, as an irrepressible and consistent defender of the under-dog and firmly grounded in her ethical politics and compassionate wisdom, she would stand by anyone of us and defend our rights to whichever award was up for grabs, so personally I think we owe it to her!

    technorati tags: takebackthetech

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