Tag Archives: Hilary Clinton

Technology Sees Political Disruption

Eyeglasses

Political disruption!   This election season seems quite different from previous Presidential campaigns and it’s not just because its a Leap Year.

Similar to the phenomenon of “Innovative Disruption”, a term coined by Clayton M. Christensen 1995; it’s a changing of the guard.  An abrupt move away from long standing established markets by new ways of marketing and new network markets.

But it’s also about voters in a digital world, their data collected and stored is failing to tell their story.  When did Americans begin to feel left out, pulled in and tossed about, every which way but loose?

I’m not sure, but I think I became a little less passionate about politics in 2008, during that historical election when a woman and an African-American ran for the most powerful office in the world.  Back then, news outlets hand pumped information via their own agendas and grew with advertising dollars.

It was then that I noticed my rose colored glasses weren’t tinted, they were tainted.   And in true visionary fashion, I’ve been squinting in the dark ever since.

So, as this political season started out in mass confusion, that is too many candidates, I shrugged and thought, who cares?   Hell, we’ve been buying technology in beta format for years.  Troubleshooting, hacking and fervently downloading bug fixes and we’ve become accustomed to incomplete software and swiped malware into our homes.

It stands within reason, that we’d accept candidates who are trending on social media platforms, as if “Likes” and “Follows” gauged the qualification of a U.S. Presidential candidate.  As if streaming live video and on-demand news would expose a candidates’ flaws like pixels in the image.   And without our having noticed, the political arena became ripe for disruption, like a cracked system failing its citizenry.

But, what would happen if we sat this election out?   If being weary kept us off the battle field?  What would happen to the gains we’ve made?  Even now, as we revisit Roe versus Wade for the umpteenth time and protestors scream at Planned Parenthood sites… under scrutiny still, after so many years… really?

How slow do we go before we realize we’re going backwards?

Voting, it seems is becoming another chore, and a rather huge inconvenience.  Cynicism has weighed heavily, like an anchor and keeping dreams afloat a little longer by faith isn’t sustainable. Truth is, technology doesn’t even care.   Like everything else, politics is ripe for change.

Off in the distant horizon of what was once a prairie, the American flag is waving…  hello or good-bye?  The digital world doesn’t need daydreamers, it demands visionaries.  Be that!

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Filed under Gender Equality, Google Glass, Politics

Women & Technology Again

$ 0 Talk radio

It’s no longer the Golden Age of radio in America and finally girls will have more than a cracked fairy tale to be her moral guide.

All around her are images of womanhood, independent and clear.   Live-streaming, in movies and in newspapers, women are being positively depicted, and a young girl sees herself, without feeling uncomfortable in her skin.  Successful women like Hillary Clinton, Mae C. Jemison, Sara Blakely and Oprah Winfrey smile from the covers of glossy magazines.

The narrative has changed, she can do both- be a mother and have a career.  There’s no sky and no limit to her dreams; from pink sneakers to blue high heels, she can perform!   Hopefully she’ll think outside the gender box, because there’s no social corset and hairpins to keep her tied down, unless she wants to wear them.   Now, metaphorically and literally, she can breathe.

Technology has made life better for all, by freeing her from domestic drudgery to a life of luxury– washing machines and egg beaters gave the gift of time, to read books and to learn.  Because we always knew she could code, given the opportunity to learn code.

The apron has been spun around and the letter “S” reveals two things, one it always was a cape and two, it’s washable.   She has choices!  And while there’s much to get excited about, there’s still a wall to overcome.  Gender orientation is such a huge part of society’s psyche, that it’s not easily cast aside.  And maybe that’s why it continues to be practiced in maternity wards across the country, where the gender color-code begins, when our babies are separated by little blue bands for boys and a little pink bands for girls.   Shouldn’t we start out with the same, equally?

Instead, adults complete the gender code cycle, by unwittingly buying into the color system, toys that should be tools of development create subtle pigeon-holes.  We as a society still respond when we see a little boy playing with Barbie dolls, because we ourselves have been raised to adhere to the gender color code.   And so the stage is set and the cycle continues, gender orientation is passed awkwardly along from one generation to the next.

But things are changing, I did see a little boy playing with a pink truck.  And on Dacia Street a little girl was busy fixing the wheel of her baby carriage, her hands were dirty with axle grease.  I smiled, this is the stuff of her fairy tales.

And hopefully, babies will eventually all be allowed to grow up according to what’s in their heads, and not by what’s inside their diapers.

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Filed under Coding, Gender, Gender Equality, Girls

New Fairytales and Girls Spin Code

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The Age of Technology, with its Internet of Things and Big Data are game changers.

And it seems that we’re going to need more players. Luckily for us, we have a whole lot of girls who are willing to play. But how serious are we about getting girls into coding? Not very, if we’re not changing the way society views and treats women.

We need to begin by providing girls with a safe environment for spinning code; we need to tell her better stories that will enrich her mind. And most important of all, we need to start her off with the right toys, the proper tools to build with, not just baby dolls. Yes, America is in need of a gender make-over.

Once upon a time, fairytales were enough to placate children and to teach them life lessons. Stories like Snow White and Sleeping beauty excited a girl’s imagination, with their common damsel in distress motif.

Fairytales were especially great if you were a boy. Good for the ego and chauvinistic in nature, they lifted him up and his imagination thrived with dreams of greatness.

But it has a different effect on girls. For her, fairytales unwittingly skew the image of women. The subliminal message is always the same, that women are weak and aren’t as important as men. In nearly every Disney movie the mother dies in the early scenes, as she does in Bambi; or she’s the mother completely missing, as in Rumpelstiltskin. Most recent attempts at changing the format fall short and revert to the modern version of the ineffectual mother, as in The Princess and The Frog.

Perhaps we should limit a girl’s exposure to Disney movies; maybe shorten the amount of time she spends playing with Barbie dolls and Easy Bake ovens. Maybe we should give her more video games to play, ones that will engage her intellectually.

Or maybe we can tell her a different fairytale, one in which a woman saves a man that’s in distress. It happens.

And then there’s still that bit about “equal pay for equal work”. Yes, we have to fix that, so a girl will believe that women are worthy; it establishes a level of respect. And in a healthy society, a boy or a man also needs to know that a woman who does the same job is being compensated for a job well done. It establishes a level of respect.

And finally, if we’re serious about girls doing code, we need to provide her with a safe environment for spinning code; we need to tell her the proper stories to enrich her mind; and we need to start her off with the proper tools to build with, not just baby dolls.

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Filed under Baby boomers, Big Data, Code, Coding, Gender, Gender Equality, Girls, tech, technology, Women

Social Media: A Women’s Right

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There’s that part of me, who like a child continues to believe that America will get it right.  And then a day like last Friday happens, when politicians are more representative of Lucy’s opinion of Charlie Brown, they’re “blockheads”, than they are of their own voting bloc. 

Women are smart, innovative and also very good at negotiating, (ask any congressman how his mother got him to eat his vegetables).  It’s not rocket science, but rather the slow evolution of the Equal Pay Act, that was signed in 1963. So slow, that it’s almost as if time is standing still! 

And then there’s that whole pesky thing about taking time to be mothers, to grow a nation.  And to be daughters, to take care of an aging nation.  And to be wives, lovers, partners and caretakers of a nation that requires nurturing.  

It requires a great stamina, especially when you’re expected to do the country’s nurturing for free, during wartime, after wartime and in between time.   And then to never be paid, it begs the question:

If women aren’t encouraged to build and nurture the nation, then who will? 

And that’s when I got it.  Really, really understood the reason why women are systematically held back, it’s not because we’re unworthy, but because we’re the caretakers; the nurturers.

So, there have been no union rousers, no shouts of foul play and no labor strikes, no bus boycotts for women’s rights.  There’s been no substantial outburst from Oprah and no concise explanation from Hilary.  In fact, it was Mrs. Lilly Ledbetter who had gathered with a group of women to observe President Obama’s signing of the Equal Pay Act that gave us our only photo op, before the deed was done and quickly undone.

I’m only remembering now, because I tweeted about it on Twitter. 

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April 24, 2014 · 2:01 PM

Technology Outside the Pink Box

pink box
It’s no longer an Easy Bake Oven Era for little girls in America. Finally, fairy tales and Barbie dolls will be less effective in shaping her future. Thank goodness!

Successful women, like Hillary Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, and Arianna Huffington are inspirational and proof positive, that women are capable of making it on their own merit.

Where once little boys dreamt of sports and little girls dreamt of tap dancing and song to get ahead, both dream of sports. A direct result of professional sports, like women’s soccer and basketball. And NCAA successful athletic programs like the University of Connecticut’s women’s basketball team.

All of this has given girls other options, a chance to think outside the pink gender box. Technology, as a societal tool has done more to advance her, even if it hasn’t led to a great many CEO positions. It has a transparency, a distraction that has allowed women to progress, that is she’s no longer held back.

Girls can now be their own hero. She can change the engine oil in her car, or more empowering she can pay to have it done for her. The princess and the little damsel are no longer in distress, victims of an unbalanced society. She has choices.

Sadly, it’s not equal, yet there’s much to get excited about, there’s a conversation going on and policies do, will and must change. Gender orientation in American society will change. It has to, for as much as it’s an integral part of our lives; it’s also a part of the problem.

Believe it or not, it begins in the maternity wards, where little color-coded bracelets separate the babies– a little blue one for boys and a little pink one for girls. Good intentioned adults respond to the colored bands, which then allow gender orientation to be pressed upon a baby.

Maybe we would do better to raise our babies according to what’s inside their brains, instead of what’s inside their diapers. It’s time to think outside the pink box.

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Filed under gadget, Gender, Gender Equality, tech, technology