So I’m reading through my RSS feeds on my Pulse app for the iPad and I came across this article from Gizmodo. I’m really not sure how to interpret it. At first glance it has some cute humor, but the more I thought about it, the more I felt that it just perpetuated the gender stereotype that women are not good with computers or technology. I understand that the author may have a mother that is not tech-savvy, but I don’t think that it’s fair to say all mother are not tech-savvy, to say the least.
Growing up, I was told that I could be anything I wanted if I worked hard for it, that education was the key to my future, and that girls and boys were equal. My mom mowed the lawn, my dad did the dishes, and vice versa….it didn’t matter what sex you are, things needed to get done, even if society thought it to be “man’s work” or “woman’s work”. I graduated college with a minor in Women’s and Gender Studies, and am now at women’s college, working on my Master of Arts in Teaching for special education. My classes consist of females, a good number who are mothers, and who are future-educators that are using technology with ease. My professors are female; they are highly educated and are in no way naive when it comes to using the computer. So, it makes me wonder, how fair is this article/cartoon? Is it really “funny”? Or is it an easy laugh, in which society is perpetuating an antiquated, and sexist stereotype?
My heart aches a little because I know that some people still believe that women cannot do as much as men, especially in the STEM fields. (For those of you who don’t know what STEM is, it stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). Why do we have an over abundance of males in these majors in college, but few females? Are we sending messages to our girls that they are not skilled in these areas of academia? Even on the Gizmodo site, there are 16 males on staff, and only two females. What is going on here? Maybe, just maybe, society needs to stop and think about the things we publish that may be considered “humor”, especially when it encompasses gender stereotypes and one’s sex defining one’s ability.