March 26th, 2008


Hidden gender

My post about intelligent writing for women seems to have started a bit of an argument; apologies to those whose comments I haven't answered as a result.

This afternoon some student wants to interview me about "geek culture" and "the IT profession", for his research. He says "I am especially willing to interview you to find out why IT is still a male dominated territory". Hmmm. I'm keen to find out:

- what he defines as "the IT profession"
- the extent to which it is still "a male dominated territory"
- whether he's asking men about the gender balance in IT, too

I fear it will be too much of a digression to start going on at him about the idea of geek as a gender.

FWIW I don't feel that I'm not a woman, or not female, just that gender really isn't the most important filter for my personal or professional interactions with other people -- geekiness (for want of a better word), literateness, and (now I come to think about it) age all feel like much stronger factors. (Of course, that's when you pull the false-consciousness card out of your hat, and say "ah, there seems no gender because it is all gender! And AS A WOMAN you can't be expected to see clearly that your femaleness informs everything you do at a subconscious level". The only winning move [and I'm not talking about fluttering my eyelashes here] is not to play.)

Lots of other half-formed thoughts, the clearest of which is "why on earth did I say I'd talk to this chap in the first place", which isn't very helpful. :-/