[hackerspaces] An interesting point of view : "On Feminism and Microcontrollers"
quemener.yves at free.fr
Sat Oct 2 12:27:16 CEST 2010
On 10/02/2010 11:04 AM, Alexandre Dulaunoy wrote:
> For sharing with you,
> Leah Buechley and Benjamin Mako Hill made an interesting
> comparative paper about LilyPad and Arduino.
> To complement their view, Benjamin Mako Hill wrote a blog
> entry about it and some additional thoughts to extend
> or redesign the "clubhouse".
> Maybe useful when designing/improving hackerspace.
>  http://hlt.media.mit.edu/publications/buechley_DIS_10.pdf
>  http://mako.cc/copyrighteous/20101001-00
Honestly, I am tired of this sexist crap...
"Even if computing and electrical engineering communities were perfectly
welcoming (which they are not) most people (both male and female, but
disproportionately female) will choose not to participate."
In all hackerspaces I have seen, girls are more than welcomed. I would like
that people stop stating the contrary as a fact. They just don't come in
the same number as men, for some reasons, but the lack of welcoming is
certainly not one of them.
"Building new clubhouses requires creativity of its proponents and risks
charges of reinforcing stereotypes and existing status hierarchies. But,
executed carefully and well (as I believe LilyPad has been), it suggests
ways to reach the majority of people that no "unlocking" project will ever
seem relevant to."
Here is my point of view on this : hackerspaces tend to reject stereotypes
and existing status hierarchy. If you are doing cool stuff, people do not
really care wether you are male or female, white or black, young or old,
rich or poor, academically educated or self-taught. In fact, most of your
audience will know you only by a pseudonym and won't care much about the
rest. Now, the people who come in and say "you should attract more girls by
doing sewing", are the people who are trying to bring in some old
stereotypes in places that lack them. I don't know, am I the only one
shocked at the idea that hardware hacks, robotics and software security are
supposed to be "men's stuff" while sewing blinking leds in clothes are
supposed to be "girlie stuff" ?
Sure, there are less girls in hackerspace because it is perceived as a
boy's hobby. I personally think that this is wrong and that just shows a
prejudice existing in the society as a whole. To change that, what we need
is more female security experts, more female hardware hackers, more female
robot makers but we don't need to make a new segregation between men's
hacks and women's hacks, that would be just admitting defeat.
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