From oct 2010 my educational posts are published only on Pip

26 mars 2010

You are never alone

I got a little perplex yesterday, reading a striking post on our role model Lady Lovelace. Although it is my mantra and foundation in all I do, it’s still the strangest feeling everytime you realize how true it is that you are never alone. I’m stuffed with studies on why girls often/normally don’t take interest in techniques, and yet this post again put the finger on my own personal history up til today.

The author Audrey Watters describes how she in the late seventies got her first inspiration from Princess Leia, was more into geek things but yet ended up as the girl ‘who minored in Women’s Studies but took the “easy” science and math classes for graduation because somewhere along the way I’d got the message that science and technology weren’t really my thing.’

I did all that. My second daughter is not named Leia for no reason. The impression of the original has never vanished. I’ve always been all brains in school although my friends never expected it and got just as surprised by the exams every year. I hid it well, and did my best not to stand out as a swot. I wanted to be the cool, soft type hanging outside the school gates (even though I didn’t smoke, smoking was too stupid for me) and did well on that role. Also I wanted to become a photo model, it was the times of Paulina Poriskova, Claudia Schiffer and Emma Wiklund – or winning the Nobel Prize – kind of split idea of who I was, typical to most young girls today I guess…

Of course I followed friends and other normal people for the standard studies of economy. Tech school never even came close to my mind. The image of me amongst hundreds of geek guys was just not realistic (today geek has quite a better status even amongst girls then it had before the Internet era). Yet the interest for computers and programming was persistent and after years of studies in the more female populated classes of communication, media, pedagogy and hr, I ended up in the right spot of the by the time so called ‘Multimedia’. Creative presentations on CD-ROM lead me further to social medias as MUD’s and MOO’s, lead me further to programming chat bots.

Probably due to my split goals and feeling of not going in the fully right direction being steered by powers above my own head, I early developed the deepest interest for genus studies and realized how much work there is still to do on the boys vs girls thing in all fields. The origin for me working with MOO’s was a friend and partner who considered himself not to be neither a girl or a boy, but a sex not defined, but in the virtual existence he could be what is felt he was. When programming chat bots the genus aspect arised again in the dialogue between a real life person and a fictive man or woman.

When I finally got the offer to inherit 200 dress up dolls (a genius idea by the founder Liisa) and expand them to a complete ‘game’ for young girls, there was no risk. There were no such great places for girls at the Internet 5 years ago. There was an empty hole to just fill. When offering young girls what they are interested in within the computer we are one step closer to allowing them to further develop the possibilities. Today girls know that they are on the right spot, doing the right thing when they sit by the computer. It’s a small but good start.

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