The article “Women and men in technology: an alternative historical proposal for equals” by Renata Frade (DigiMedia PhD student) was published in the Hypothesis Historia Periodical.
Abstract: Pioneers in programming from the 19th to the 20th century, women were also responsible for the creation of ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network), one of the projects that gave rise to the Web. However, their role is usually absent from STEM official narrative, either in educational or media context. This work aims to reveal hidden aspects of women in technology at two crucial moments: the 60s (return of men to the labor market) and the 80s (influence of advertising and behavior shaped by capitalist consumption). More specifically, it intends to identify specific key aspects that were pivotal in the construction of today’s invisibility of women’s role in tech from the majority of persons. Based on ethnographic work with the online communities of women in technology, this study, while also resourcing to Alternative History, explores how a better historical knowledge of female IT accomplishements and communities could have determined present-day equal pay and professional opportunities in the area. Through counterfactual/factual historical discussion, we conclude that if they had not been emptied socially, politically, historically and economically in the 80s within IT and STEM context as pioneers, the fourth wave of feminism and women’s rights would faced an altogether more positive scenario at present.
Keywords: Technology; Feminism; History; Communication; Alternative History; Storytelling
Article available HERE