Is technology feminine? It is a slim chance. Well, some people believe in the neutrality of technology: “guns don’t kill people, people do’, or that a knife can be used to ‘cook, kill, or cure.’” (Ali, 2009). I don’t. I don’t believe that technology is socially constructed by innocent society (Ellul, 1991), nor to follow the thesis of technology’s autonomy (McLuhan, 1964, Shallis, 1984) that believe technology strongly shape and control social institutions then human.
Rumor says, technology is masculine – male dominated environment. Blah!
Science constantly reports women’s lack of interest and ability as well as lack of self confidence in using technology, including the internet. This is totally full of crap. Taken for grantedly, society (women are included) digest this cheap implicit myth. As a result, people tends to believe in and nourish a myth or glorification of men’s preeminence and high level of competency in technology, notably ICT (Cockburn 1983, 1985; Faulkner 2000; Wajcman 1991, 2004).
This is banality of evil, that mutes substantial contributions by females in the development of information technology such as Grace Hopper (1949), the ‘Mother of Cobol’, Jean E Sammet, the developer of FORMAC programming language (1969), and even Ada Lovelace (1842), the first computer progammer way before the ARPANET project.
In Indonesia case, for example, it is hardly ever to hear people mention about Nur Aini Rakhmawati. She is an Indonesian woman who was successfully compiled software to develop Joomla, an open source application that is now being used worldwide. She was the only woman in Google Summer of Code (GSoC) 2007 . She also has administrated a women mailing list for accommodating women’s forum to discuss Linux, one of the open source operating system. This group was formed because in fact many women want to understand Linux. She named this online administrated community Kluwek. Kluwek’s members are ranging from students to full time housewife, and uniquely each member has a nickname of a kitchen spice.
Sylvia W Sumarlin is another name that is invisible in Indonesian internet infrastructure historical records. Sylvia is one of the pioneers in WiMax chipset product establishment. This chipset will be called Xirka, and will be used all over the world. This product is very important to access internet, both via mobile devices or by hotspot technology. WiMax coverage covers radius of 40 mile of Internet access.
The existence of these two women, at least, considering their contribution in science and technology, signals how hard it is for male territorial domination to acknowledge woman. This silent echoes of Indonesian achievement, contribute nothing to Indonesian women’s courage in exercising their power to the new technology.
Ladies, believe me, women’s stereotype of incapable in technology which caused by their fear towards technology is global myth, especially for those living in ‘developing countries’ (see Houdart-Blazy, 1996). Therefore, prepare the beautiful wings for your daughters. Let them be doctors, specialist, engineers, IT ladies, astronouts, professors, fire fighters, every thing 🙂
Pic taken fromhere