It wasn’t until Safe Space training this afternoon that I realized the scope of gender identity, sexual orientation and privilege. Not all people understand the conscious efforts and decisions “minorities” have to make in their everyday life. In an activity towards the end of training, nine students rose their hands and put them down as soon as they lost their privilege. For the purposes of the activity, it was assumed everyone was a white straight male and 90 percent of the population was homosexual. One by one, everyone’s hand fell. It wasn’t until half way through the activity that I realized the roles were reversed and they were homosexual males being victimized by the heterosexist society.
People we harassed at a movie theatre in Birkdale, one person couldn’t study abroad in the country of they choice, one person didn’t connect with anyone at work, and another person was fired from their summer camp job. All of this violence comes down to gender dynamics in today’s society. Men can’t be seen as feminist and women can’t be seen as masculine. The victimization has only grown with the help of technology. Last month alone, 1 million people tweeted the word fag and 800,000 tweeted the word dyke.
These problems need to be addressed on campus and throughout the country if any real progress is going to made going forward. We can’t just expect to wake up one day and have life before us change. I thought the training was extremely provoking and interesting.
After the reading for this morning’s class as well as the class discussion has kept me thinking all afternoon. Why is it that women have to adopt a male’s mentality in order to be successful in the technology sector. In the opening section “Feminist Constructivist Technology Studies,” Catharina Landstorm says that a male’s design style is and always will be a stable factor. She goes on to claim that one of the reasons for this claim is the “I-Methodology.” This term can be defined in a couple of sentences. Over the course of time, men have grown up designing video games and other aspects of technology. Thus, when they get to the stage of designing whichever technology they are working on, they use themselves as the model user.
The “I-Methodoloy” is extremely interesting to me. I understand that the men dominate the technology sector. But, from several readings and other discussions, girls have wanted to get involved in the industry. Thus, why don’t female’s design games that they see themselves playing when they have the opportunity to be in charge of designing technology. Clearly there is something that I am missing, or else it would be happening as we speak, but this fact seems very interesting to me. I would like to know what other people thought as they read the first section of this week’s reading.
Over the course of the past several weeks, I have been considering the Final Project. The goal is to write a 10-12 page paper focusing on some aspect of gender and technology. At first, the broad prompt gave a shortage of ideas. Then, after some thought, I thought about the role of women in beer advertisements. I remember doing a very interesting project about advertisements in middle school and the topic of beer ads came to the fore front of the discussion.
I think this good be a really interesting project, but I have a few apprehensions. Will there be enough scholarly information? When picking a topic for my Final Economics Statistics course, I struggled to find a topic because of the lack of available information. I haven’t looked into the Library’s databases yet, so I am hoping that this topic will allow me to reach the minimum requirement of 4-5 sources. Will I be able to come up with a strong enough thesis? There are very distinguishable qualities that beer advertisements have, but I am growing more and more concerned that I will be able to generate a clear thesis to guide the entire project.
Overall, I am looking forward to doing some research and start writing the paper. It is just concerning to tackle a sizable project before obtaining an information.