[hackerspaces] An interesting point of view : "On Feminism and Microcontrollers"

Maria Droujkova droujkova at gmail.com
Mon Oct 4 16:46:17 CEST 2010

On Mon, Oct 4, 2010 at 9:23 AM, Matthew Forr <matthew.forr at gmail.com> wrote:

>  Some of the best female hackers I know are more into hacks of various
>> kinds in the pursuit of art and expression.  Not to over-generalize but
>> there does seem to be more of that.
> In talking with my girlfriend about this (a non-technical woman in tech)
> she explained that she doesn't fully grasp what the point/purpose/goals of a
> hackerspace are. I turned around and called it a makerspace and she
> instantly understood and then went on to describe some things she wants to
> make.

Statistically, women are more inclined to do activities that have some sort
of a maker goal. The accomplishment of a solved puzzle is much less
attractive to females than the accomplishment of a created project. So, for
example, optimization game mechanics or task design, where the whole point
is to do a task over and over again till you do it faster (or otherwise with
better parameters) won't appeal to women as much. Many computer science
courses are built around parameter optimization problems, which female
students disproportionally dislike. On the other hand, striving for a more
beautiful design, which is about a qualitative change in the project - a
maker task - can be more appealing. But this is not the only example of
"maker appeal."

This, by the way, has very little to do with how applied the task is! It's
not about real-life applications, it is about values.

Maria Droujkova

Make math your own, to make your own math.
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