predominantly male versus male

"Hackers, gamers and cyborgs" by Brendan Keogh
https://overland.org.au/previous-issues/issue-218/feature-brendan-keogh
"The story of computers transitioning from the flesh to the digital, from the clerical (feminine) to the militaristic (masculine), provides a compelling origin myth for the digital computer." is a great sentence. where clerical (feminine) is in the context of women being the first "manual computers", where the name "computer" came from - it was good to see that the writer acknowledged this.

BUT this paragraph needs to be clarified:
"Even as computers became increasingly significant devices in the last decades of the twentieth century, they remained entrenched in broader patriarchal structures that inscribed them as mathematical, scientific, important – that is, as male. They were embedded, more often than not, in parts of society already explicitly gendered: the science lab, the maths classroom and, when they moved to the home, the son’s bedroom rather than the daughter’s."

I think the writer should add a "predominantly" to next paragraph: "that is, as male" --> "that is, as predominantly male" & another clarification in the next sentence also. it was not "explicitly gendered", it was "predominantly gendered".

because there were and are some women who fit his example, myself being one. it was always annoying to be classed as "male" in this regard, when clearly, I and other women are not male. university researchers even did studies on us (two) female engineers at work in late 1980s/1990s asking how we felt to be doing "male jobs" which I found to be strange since I was doing my job, so how could it be a male job. & since I did physics (albeit only girl in class), chem, higher maths when at high school the statement is not true that it's male only. it needs to be clarified: "predominantly male", yes ok, I can agree with that

these statements are still annoying. as if we don't exist / are invisible.
and there are many more girls & women doing these things these days also - just as there were other women when I started, and women before me too. plus I did have a computer at home growing up (it was in the loungeroom so both I and my sister could use it, not the bedroom), not only the boys did. I programmed it too. as everyone did back then. and I'm sure there were other girls doing it too, across the world.

I can't see where to comment of the article, so ranting here (& twitter). if anyone has the writer, Brendan Keogh's contact pls let me know so I can let him know. if he's a PhD candidate at RMIT University then surely he should know better. I'm surprised his supervisor allows these declarative statements, and the editors of Overland Literary Journal too. with all the articles every day about women leaving technology you'd think people would start writing the history more accurately. adding one clarifying word can make a difference. women have been written out of history already too much!!

and now that article is in print, for yet another inaccuracy to continue. it seems things will never change.

I find it completely ironic that Brendan Keogh should write an article about gamergate and women in gaming "in the context of the broader patriarchal structures" and yet he write about women in computing / technology by applying those same patriarchal structures, leaving them out of history, and even though he admits that the article is flawed, does not want to correct the mistakes or improve it. how different is this to gamergate really anyway? to me, it's the exact same attitude.

it's just annoying and disappointing. when people write the history of tech / computing without women, and especially the exact examples used in that article which I know to be incorrect (as I was doing them) it feels like they are dissolving the past ~30 years of my life. why wouldn't they just add 1-2 words to include women in tech. someone else complained about his comments on gamers being male-only too, so I was glad to read it wasn't only me taking issue with it. not that it made much difference.

and yes, I was playing games during this time also - it's not a male-only characteristic as is implied later in the article.

I'm disappointed in overland too - I expected more, especially after reading their values on 'about' page. so much for "democratisation of politics and culture, providing room for diverse and marginal voices alongside the established and the authoritative" & the rest

update: I posted this on the Overland Facebook page for the article also. I was sent the author's contact details via twitter and had a conversation with him about changing the article. it may be possible to have the web version updated, but sadly the printed version will still be inaccurate.

update 20/04/2015: I asked the author, Brendan Keogh, how the update was going and he said he wasn't going to update it.
he also questioned why I replied to his tweets so my followers could see - well, it's not so they could reply also (although one friend did), it's because I believe it's safer for women, online and offline, to have witnesses when dealing with difficult men, which he proved himself to be

Brendan Keogh @BRKeogh · 11m 11 minutes ago
@AliaK Hi! Saw your tweets but didn't wanna just jump in. Ultimately, yes I agree. I leave things implied that should've been more explicit





@AliaK: Apr 16 @BrendonKeugh hi, I think there should be a few clarifications rather than declarative statements in your article.
@AliaK: Apr 16 @BrendonKeugh I enjoyed the history you wrote about, but it's not 100% male. I wrote my comments on overland fb page https://www.facebook.com/overland/posts/912913555397284
@BRKeogh: Apr 16 @AliaK Hi! Saw your tweets but didn't wanna just jump in. Ultimately, yes I agree. I leave things implied that should've been more explicit
@AliaK: Apr 16 can you have the article changed? @BRKeogh it makes a difference
@BRKeogh: Apr 16 @AliaK possibly tho it's just a reprint of a print article. Do you just want 'overwhelmingly' replaced with 'predominately?'
@BRKeogh: Apr 16 @AliaK Or am i misunderstanding which part you take issue with?
@AliaK: Apr 16 @BRKeogh overwhelminly is fine. the paragraph starting with ""Even as computers became increasingly significant devices" needs clarifying
@AliaK: Apr 16 @BRKeogh "that is, as male" -> "that is, as predominantly/overwhelmingly male" whichever word, just to clarify not imply 100% male. +
@BRKeogh: Apr 16 @AliaK Right I getcha. I meant 'inscribed as male' as in 'naturalised by society as male' not 'only males use computers' but i see how...
@AliaK: Apr 16 @BRKeogh + "in parts of society already explicitly gendered" this needs clarifying too. explicitly reads as though it's 100% male, when not
@BRKeogh: Apr 16 @AliaK ..that is unclear. Really I should've used 'masculine', not 'male'.
@AliaK: Apr 16 @BRKeogh even masculine is not correct. I think if you wrote 'inscribed as male' even, it would have been better.
@AliaK: Apr 16 @BRKeogh as there are women/girls doing these things too, how can it be male-only or masculine-only. it's not logical. majority, sure
@BRKeogh: Apr 16 @AliaK well my intent was to say 'inscribed as male'! 'Inscribed as x, y, z--that is, [inscribed] as male'
@AliaK: Apr 16 @BRKeogh each declarative statement saying male only, just belittles women's work. we are ignored enough as it is without continually being
@BRKeogh: Apr 16 @AliaK but maybe. I should've repeated the verb rather than have it implied that's the verb the clause is linking back to
‏@AliaK: Apr 16 @BRKeogh written out of history
@AliaK: Apr 16 @BRKeogh I've made suggestions on how to improve the wording. I'll leave it up to you to decide what is best to use
@BRKeogh: Apr 16 @AliaK But i don't think I ever say 'male only'. Huge difference between a space being inscribed/naturalised as male and...
@BRKeogh: Apr 16 @AliaK no women at all being in that space. I say as much explicitly further down to stress that point.
@BRKeogh: Apr 16 @AliaK And I appreciate the feedback. Thanks!
@AliaK: Apr 16 @BRKeogh "that is, as male" - where are the female here? explicitly gendered - the son’s bedroom rather than the daughter’s.
@AliaK: Apr 16 @BRKeogh each sentence should be correct or it's wishy washy anyway.

update 20/04/2015: I asked the author, Brendan Keogh, how the update was going and he said he wasn't going to update it.


@AliaK: Apr 20 how did you go changing the overland article @BRKeogh to be more inclusive of women in tech? it still seems unchanged?
@BRKeogh: Apr 20 @AliaK I respect & appreciate your critique of the piece but I don't agree that edit needs to be made and I won't be changing it, no.
@AliaK: Apr 20 that's different to what you said last week? why the change of view? @BRKeogh
‏@BRKeogh: Apr 20 @AliaK I still agree the piece overall could be better, which is what I said last week.
@BRKeogh: Apr 20 @AliaK Also, I'd appreciate it if you didn't move my @ to the end of the tweet to try to get your followers onto me.
@AliaK: Apr 20 why would that worry you @BRKeogh. I also don't appreciate lip service "respect & appreciate" - actions speak louder than words
@AliaK: Apr 20 you also said the web version could be updated and then proceeded to talk about what word to use over numerous tweets. then nothing @BRKeogh
@BRKeogh: Apr 20 @AliaK Well I do appreciate the feedback even if I disagree on the particular sentence. Anyway, have a good evening.

web version of the article archived 21/04/2015: http://www.aliak.com/files/Hackers_gamers_and_cyborgs-218_Autumn_2015-Br... (ZIP)
letter to Overland editors 22/04/2015: http://www.aliak.com/files/predominantly_male_versus_male-email_to_overl... (PDF)

::: location: