So, they’ve been handing out this award for 40 years. For 39 of them, they couldn’t see fit to find any woman qualified to receive it. But FINALLY! Yay! Three cheers for Frances E. Allen, 2006 winner of the Turing Award and its $100,000 prize!
She only had to wait until she was 75, and retired for 4 years, to be honored for her work. I guess they just didn’t notice her anytime during the last four decades. Lucky for her she lived long enough for the judges to find her.
Plus, she must be the ONLY woman up until now who has done anything deserving of the Turing Award. Unless, sometime in the future, they discover some other retired old woman who did something genius back in the fifties or sixties. It’s just so hard to tell about these things until you’ve had time to study them thoroughly and be sure that the quality of work is there. Breasts, ovaries – they’re so distracting. Get in the way of evaluating things properly.
Poor Frances. Even though she’s clearly deserving of the award, and even though it’s clearly time that the judges stopped being so sexist and opened up their eyes to the fact that women, too, are qualified to receive this prize, she still feels compelled to assure the press that she did NOT receive this award as a sop toward the affirmative action crowd.
Allen called it “high time for a woman [to win],” though she quickly added: “That’s not why I got it.”
Goddammit. Even in our moments of triumph we can’t rest. We’re always under suspicion of not being good enough. Either we aren’t good enough to be nominated for and given the prize in the first place because we’re women, or, if we get the prize, we “only” got it because we’re women. Never, never are we allowed to just “be”.