"Hackers, gamers and cyborgs" by Brendan Keogh
"The story of computers transitioning from the flesh to the digital, from the clerical (feminine) to the militaristic (masculine), provides a compelling origin myth for the digital computer." is a great sentence. where clerical (feminine) is in the context of women being the first "manual computers", where the name "computer" came from - it was good to see that the writer acknowledged this.
BUT this paragraph needs to be clarified:
"Even as computers became increasingly significant devices in the last decades of the twentieth century, they remained entrenched in broader patriarchal structures that inscribed them as mathematical, scientific, important – that is, as male. They were embedded, more often than not, in parts of society already explicitly gendered: the science lab, the maths classroom and, when they moved to the home, the son’s bedroom rather than the daughter’s."
I think the writer should add a "predominantly" to next paragraph: "that is, as male" --> "that is, as predominantly male" & another clarification in the next sentence also. it was not "explicitly gendered", it was "predominantly gendered".
because there were and are some women who fit his example, myself being one. it was always annoying to be classed as "male" in this regard, when clearly, I and other women are not male. university researchers even did studies on us (two) female engineers at work in late 1980s/1990s asking how we felt to be doing "male jobs" which I found to be strange since I was doing my job, so how could it be a male job. & since I did physics (albeit only girl in class), chem, higher maths when at high school the statement is not true that it's male only. it needs to be clarified: "predominantly male", yes ok, I can agree with that
these statements are still annoying. as if we don't exist / are invisible.
and there are many more girls & women doing these things these days also - just as there were other women when I started, and women before me too. plus I did have a computer at home growing up (it was in the loungeroom so both I and my sister could use it, not the bedroom), not only the boys did. I programmed it too. as everyone did back then. and I'm sure there were other girls doing it too, across the world.
I can't see where to comment of the article, so ranting here (& twitter). if anyone has the writer, Brendan Keogh's contact pls let me know so I can let him know. if he's a PhD candidate at RMIT University then surely he should know better. I'm surprised his supervisor allows these declarative statements, and the editors of Overland Literary Journal too. with all the articles every day about women leaving technology you'd think people would start writing the history more accurately. adding one clarifying word can make a difference. women have been written out of history already too much!!
and now that article is in print, for yet another inaccuracy to continue. it seems things will never change.
I find it completely ironic that Brendan Keogh should write an article about gamergate and women in gaming "in the context of the broader patriarchal structures" and yet he write about women in computing / technology by applying those same patriarchal structures, leaving them out of history, and even though he admits that the article is flawed, does not want to correct the mistakes or improve it. how different is this to gamergate really anyway? to me, it's the exact same attitude.
it's just annoying and disappointing. when people write the history of tech / computing without women, and especially the exact examples used in that article which I know to be incorrect (as I was doing them) it feels like they are dissolving the past ~30 years of my life. why wouldn't they just add 1-2 words to include women in tech. someone else complained about his comments on gamers being male-only too, so I was glad to read it wasn't only me taking issue with it. not that it made much difference.
and yes, I was playing games during this time also - it's not a male-only characteristic as is implied later in the article.
I'm disappointed in overland too - I expected more, especially after reading their values on 'about' page. so much for "democratisation of politics and culture, providing room for diverse and marginal voices alongside the established and the authoritative" & the rest
update: I posted this on the Overland Facebook page for the article also. I was sent the author's contact details via twitter and had a conversation with him about changing the article. it may be possible to have the web version updated, but sadly the printed version will still be inaccurate.
Brendan Keogh @BRKeogh · 11m 11 minutes ago
@AliaK Hi! Saw your tweets but didn't wanna just jump in. Ultimately, yes I agree. I leave things implied that should've been more explicit
update 20/04/2015: I asked the author, Brendan Keogh, how the update was going and he said he wasn't going to update it.
web version of the article archived 21/04/2015: http://www.aliak.com/files/Hackers_gamers_and_cyborgs-218_Autumn_2015-Br...