The readings from Monday enlightened me to the “new” digital divide, if you will. I hadn’t thought of the divide in terms of what people are using the Internet for – capital enhancing activities, entertainment, news, health information, etc. That is, as opposed to access in general. However, this isn’t what I want to talk about. I’m more interested in the idea that Cooper finally suggests in “The Digital Divide: The Special Case of Gender” (2006). Cooper notes, “Also difficult to discern is the impact of such software [Barbie, cooking, sewing games for girls] on reifying socially problematic gender stereotypes, an important issue that is beyond the scope of the present analysis.” It seems as if we have been skirting this issue all semester. We’ve looked at gender in terms of many things this semester:

 Getting more girls into computer science,

Video games designed for girls,

 Eliminating the “computer geek” image of the profession, etc.

However, we never go into what the stereotypes are actually doing to girls (and boys). Don’t get me wrong, I think it is important to understand how gender plays out stereotypically and how we can use the stereotypes to benefit those underrepresented. But, what about getting to the heart of the stereotypes? I’m guessing that this is a subject for another class? Perhaps it’s time I pulled out my copy of Butler’s Gender Trouble?

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