hystera: Girl Can Do
a girl breaks into tech [because the tech doesn't really belong to her]; a girl dreams big and works hard; a girl lifts herself out of her digital poverty; a girl fixes her inadequate girly traits and becomes a better, digitally literate version of herself; now, a girl ha no choice but to serve as an inspiring tech role model; a girl becomes a gender digital empowerment success story and fulfils her function within the neoliberalised feminist agenda; against all odds, a girl proves that a girl can do.
Globally, there are 250 million fewer women online than men. Girls and women are both underrepresented and misrepresented in/by digital technologies. To address the problem of the Gender Digital Divide*, many well-meaning social media campaigns encourage girls to ‘take up space in the digital tech industry. Many of them (directly or/and indirectly) suggest that:
- girls have to accept that the gender digital divide is essentially their fault (e.g. they are not hard-working or not geeky enough)
- girls have to become better versions of themselves – they need to become bossy, confident, ambitious, brave, passionate, and hard-working go-getters (and so on)
- girls must internalise, celebrate, and replicate the tech-related toxic optimism (e.g., “if you can dream it, you can be it”)
- girls should not think too much about the existing intersectional forms of discrimination; structural inequalities, workplace misogyny, sexism, gender pay gap, gender-based [digital]; violence, AI bias (and so on)
- most importantly, girls should work in line with (and never against) the neoliberalised feminist narratives of digital empowerment.
To what extent are girls expected to self-empower and thus fix the problem of the gender digital divide? To what extend is the neoliberalised feminist agenda influencing girls’ digital inclusion efforts? Are girls viewed as proactive agents of digital transformation or merely as passive actors of the digital empowerment regimes?
The artist won't be providing you with answers to these questions. She will, however, offer a unique [if not bruat] take on these topics.
About the artist: