1.26.2011

You've come a long way, baby

It's no surprise the prerequisites to be a "geek" by society's standards are to be male, middle class and white. I've never watched The Big Bang Theory but I know the blonde is probably not portrayed as one of the smart characters or geeky characters. And none of the show's cast appear to be anything other than northern european.

Over at SheThought, Heidi Anderson shares a geek flowchart with us showing the path from 16th century geek to computer/tech geeks, to star wars/star trek, and in the end the disappointing path leads to trivialization of the geek label with food geek and fantasy football geek.

The flowchart is all male with 3 out of 26 "geeks" being persons of color (or people of non-whititude at least). Lest the womenfolk feel left out, Heidi points us to "Which Female Tech Influencer Are You?" in fantastic pink. Whiteness is still a requirement here, and traditional roles of femininity and hints of frivolity are encouraged to get you through their flowchart. It seems like women in tech can't just be about women in tech. No shame to the women they featured there, I'm sure they are talented and smart and technically competent- you just wouldn't know it.

This got me thinking about a recent search I did. You see, things are going well over at EngineerBlogs. Finding engineers who blog about engineering and are also halfway decent bloggers is not an easy task. It gets even more hairy if you want to expand your electrically-dominated blogging circle or reach beyond to try to get people with more unique perspectives. So I'm hunting around looking for top bloggers and find several lists, 100 Top Female Bloggers and such like that. I click it thinking, well, a few of these women have to be engineers, right? Wrong.
Okay, a few were engineers, but none blogged about engineering. (Too boring for the internet in general?) Most were blogging about "social media" or "marketing" or even "blogging." How do you blog about blogging? A post here and there sure, but your whole focus? Seems like there's a good number of people out there blogging about technology and making stuff and then a whole lot of women who've been pushed into the blogging about fluff category. The only fluff I think should be regularly blogged about is adorable animals.
So anyways, graphics departments, feel free to make some geek flowcharts that show how diverse the real field of being a geek is. And women bloggers, don't be afraid to blog about the technical stuff you know and kick ass at. And we're still looking for a few good engineering bloggers so if you think you're up to it visit our site, check out the write for us link, and you can contact us there or email me (see my profile on the left) if you have any questions.

5 comments:

  1. chall09:42

    the only thing I think after reading this is that comment made awhile back.... in an American bar, watching football and talking about the fantasy league and toss in a few "when i was a teen and played D&D"... the comment came back "How come you are still single*??"


    *apparently he meant that I knew these things that guys want to talk about with their guy friends but I still was hot as a woman and wanted in bed... perfect combo?!?! well... I'm just saying....

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  2. chall09:43

    this was all in the thought process since "girls" are not supposed to be really interested in sports. We're supposed to "seem like we like it for the men" but once you know stuff, they still try and pat you on the head. "there are no sports commentators who are men you know" ...

    and I'm not a engineer, and I don't blog about science all the time. Just stuff ;)

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  3. Great points. I agree men often appreciate geekiness in women, but it must be still seen as playing at being a guy since we can't possibly define the category. And so long as you don't start blogging about only blogging I'll keep reading you.

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  4. I vote that we have a geeky lolcat or cuteoverload post of the week at Engineer Blogs. Okay, not really...but it is a fun idea. :-)

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  5. chall09:57

    FT> I think I will refrain from that. Although, I did have something "bleh" about the whole blogging for attention and doing FB and twitter for the same reason.... then I just turned off the computer and took a walk in the sun :)

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