obama-arrogant-sneerNSF spending big bucks to design a “feminist computer”

Is your computer sexist?

Obama thinks so.

“The National Science Foundation (NSF) is spending over $300,000 to create ‘feminist theory’ for human interaction with computers, and aims to make computer systems more ‘gender sensitive,’” The Washington Free Beacon reports.

“A project led by a researcher at Drexel University theorizes that there are fewer women in computing fields because computers are made by men,” the Beacon reports.

Even though it’s named the National Science Foundation, the NSF apparently rejects the scientific finding that more men are in the computer field because male brains tend to do better with spatial skills, while female brains do better with language, expression and impulse control.

The project’s grant is a left-wing word salad.

The [Principal Investigator] PI’s long-term goal is to create theory to inform [Human-Computer Interaction] HCI design practices, to ensure the production of egalitarian designs that reflect all users’ values.

In particular, she aims to create feminist theory for HCI, which she hopes will close the gap in women’s participation in computing.”

Previously, the PI has shown how approaches to designing for women are questionable when viewed in light of feminist theory.

Feminist scholars argue that the lack of women in computing further discourages women from pursuing programming-related careers, and that women are also excluded because technologies created by men better address male needs.

The PI believes the problem lies not only in who is excluded but in that the design processes inherently alienate women.

Her approach is to address the problem by bridging previously unrelated aspects of the learning sciences, human-computer interaction, and the science and technology studies of gender, which will be combined with findings from a multi-year ethnographic study to acquire a deep understanding of how girls co-construct their gender and technical identities, how technologies come to be associated with one gender or the other, and how this affects girls’ career choices.

So far the NSF has spent $345,019 studying how to build a “feminist computer.”

The project claims computers have a gender, and it’s male.

Researchers hope to learn how “young women co-construct their gender and technical identities, what appeals to them about technical careers, and the process by which technology artifacts acquire symbolic gender.”