Gendering Technology

Thus Spake Zuska

Category archives for Gendering Technology

I failed to produce this post in time for DNLee’s Diversity in Science carnival – Black History Month: Broadening STEM Participation at Every Level. That’s mostly because I had a bunch of personal stuff going on in the past couple weeks that just wouldn’t leave me alone. I think I’ll be back to more regular…

How Do You Review Avatar?

Maybe you tell us why they’re blue. First the name. Avatar–if you play computer games, you may know this very well–is a character you use inside an unreal world. The word Avatar has its origins in Indian mythology. An Avatar (ava-tara in Sanskrit) is god’s visit to earth to fix something that is broken. Vishnu,…

Can We Talk About Science? I Mean, Really?

You should never, ever criticize something a New Atheist says about science and religion. Never tell them maybe it’s not the best idea in the world to just go on about science/evolution + religion in whatever way, at whatever time, in whatever manner, for whatever reasons. In fact, you cannot criticize the speech of New…

What’s With The Makeovers?

You are a male physics professor, and you want to improve science education. What could possibly be a better idea than to team up with a bunch of professional cheerleaders and make a video of them shouting out science tidbits while they shake their pompoms? Science cheerleaders! I know, right? You wish you’d thought of…

Cooking: A Primitive Protection Racket

Bloggingheads.tv has John Horgan interviewing Richard Wrangham of Harvard on a variety of topics related to his new book Catching Fire. The part of interest to me – and to our ongoing discussion on patriarchy – relates to cooking as a “primitive protection racket” in which men agree to protect women’s food supply in return…

When I was a young girl, I used to watch my mother at her ironing board. There was always a lot of ironing to be done. She kept a big clear plastic bag of clothes waiting their turn at the ironing board, and would sprinkle them with water – there was a special bottle for…

Question: Did you know that there are National Historic Chemical Landmarks? Answer: Yes, there are. Question: What did the American Chemical Society declare to be its first National Historic Chemical Landmark, and where can you find it? Answer: “Old Faithful”, a Bakelizer or steam pressure vessel, vintage 1909. Phenol and formaldehyde were hardened at 150…

Gender Smog – Dell Version

Hat tip to reader James Ramsey… What do women really need in computer? Because, what with our vaginas and all, our computing needs are so, so different from those of men. Thank the goddess Dell is looking out for us, with its helpful marketing strategy that emphasizes “color schemes, cases and dieting tips”. Oh my…

The Iron As Technological Art Object

Ironing is women’s work. And women’s work, we know, has nothing to do with engineering or technology. Irons are not technology; they are domestic appliances. Collect a bunch of them, though, and they start looking like technological art objects. Then you can write a book about them. Which is exactly what Jay Raymond has done.…

PC vs Mac: Race and Gender in Advertising

There was something that always bothered me about the Mac commercials purporting to show me how hip Mac computers are. It’s that I never really felt included in the world of those ads. Mac computers are personified by a uber-cool geek-chic attractive young white man. PCs, of course take on the flesh of a somewhat…