Posts in Women in Technology
You may be wondering, “Who is this Ada Lovelace, and what can I do to have such a badass name?” And we’re glad you are because this woman is way too underrated for our taste. Let’s put it this way: if the AO3 you know and love was like a church, Ada Lovelace would be one of our patron saints. Daughter of Lord Byron (yes, THAT Lord Byron), she was a prolific mathematician thanks to her mother who, afraid she would be a little crazy like her father, always pushed her toward a more logical way of thinking. However, being her father’s daughter, she was… Read more
DNAInfo reported on workshops that use Sci-Fi, Fan Fiction to Teach Girls STEM and Writing Skills. “‘A lot of the series that are popular today, like ‘Hunger Games’ or ‘Divergent,’ feature white characters…We think it’s really important to expose girls to visions of the future that have girls that look like them in leading roles doing the changing.’ The project’s namesake, author Octavia E. Butler, inspired the founders to use science fiction as a way to talk about broader issues in social activism, gender, class and race. ‘She looked at society through a real critical lens and didn’t sugarcoat anything…It blew me away because I never saw how sci-fi could be used to make me think of history and my own role.’”
An increasing number of companies are marketing toward girls and women in tech, but not every attempt to capitalise on the trend is well-executed. NPR covered widespread criticism of Mattel’s Barbie: I Can Be A Computer Engineer. “‘It starts so promising; Barbie is designing a game to show kids how computers work,’ said Ribon. […] Brian and Steven take over — and, at the end of the day, Barbie takes credit for the boys’ work.” OTW Legal staffer Casey Fiesler, whose feminist remix went viral and was featured in the NPR story, took to her own blog to explain why non-commercial remix is allowed under US copyright law. “It is so amazing how many people care about representation of women in computing, and I’m thrilled and humbled that something I created helped to expand this conversation. I wrote a piece for Slate about the process and the ideas behind Barbie, Remixed, but something I wanted to discuss in more detail was the act of remix itself rather than the critique behind it.”
While ‘Fangirl’ is a much less used term in the media than ‘Fanboy’, both often come in for a shellacking when they do appear. WhatCulture.com used it when citing 10 Moments That Gave Fanboys A Bad Name. Perhaps, for once, women benefited from being erased since at least half the examples they cited occurred in predominantly female fandom circles.
Mother Jones wrote about Jennie Lamere, who recently won the “best in show” award at the national TVnext Hack event by helping fans avoid spoilers on Twitter. She did it by writing “Twivo, a new program that allows Twitter users to censor their feeds from mentioning a certain TV show (and its characters) for a set time period.” She was the only solo woman participating. “Hackathons (which have nothing to do with illegal hacking) bring together programmers, developers, and designers, who compete to code an innovative new program in a limited amount of time.” Lamere has already been approached by a company to market her creation. “She came up with the idea for Twivo the night before the competition, and it took her 10 hours and 150 lines of code to complete.”