Friday, 8 June 2007

Computers and feminism

I thought that, in the interests of consciousness raising, it might be worth repeating this comment on my own blog.

On this thread, an insufficiently politically aware commentator made light of a structural gender inequity embedded in binary thinking. Since this paradigm has rendered hegemonic by the male power hierarchy that dominates computer science, it is necessary to explicitly point out the chauvinism here:

The use of “1″s represents a phallocentric privileging of the upright over the inherently feminine “0″. In a typical male valuation embedded at the very heart of biased mathematics, a “1″ is considered to be of infinitely more value than a “0″. This is a form of intellectual fascism made almost transparent by a lack of criticism.

A truly feminist binary system would use nothing but “0″s to make up for decades of domination by male-centered misogynist mathematics. That this hasn’t been implemented yet just goes to show just how entrenched the patriarchy really is.