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  • growing up I bought into the bullshit that girls are bad at computers. I ate it up and whined and complained and twirled my hair while dudes fixed any computer problems I came across. I made them cupcakes to thank them for having the prowess to skillfully navigate the very scary world of computers.

    I’m old enough to remember playing oregon trail in black and green but young enough to remember computers always being present in my life. I remember being taught how to use quotation marks in searches to ensure that ask jeeves gave you the best result. I remember making tea to the soundtrack of dial-up. I remember rainbow apples.

    I used computers to play solitaire. I used computers to write harry potter fan fiction. I used computers to wikipedia the shit out of my reports.

    never once in all of those formative years did I think about fixing computers. or creating things for computers. never once was I forced to take a computer class. never once did I question the magic that made the internet possible.

    I sat in my bubble of ignorance all through college and watched as everything evolved, never thinking about joining in, never questioning my inherited lack of tech savvy.

    I don’t remember what the turning point was, but one day I realized I’d been fed lies all my life. and maybe, just maybe, I wasn’t bad at computers, I just didn’t know what the fuck to do with them. maybe even though I had a vagina I could still try to figure out the magic.

    so I did. piece by piece I taught myself shit. little by little I grabbed nuggets of wisdom from dudes. and pretty soon I’d worked my way up to being a genius at a little glass store we liked to call the fruit stand.

    I was never the best, but by god, I was also far from the worst. I learned all the little bits and pieces that make those glorious machine whir and hum and create.

    I took things apart. I fixed them. I put them back together.

    I learned fast and shared that knowledge with dudes who knew less than me. DUDES! who knew less than me! the idea would have made me laugh a year earlier.

    I finally got it. just because I have a vagina doesn’t mean I’m inherently bad at computers. and yet, I’d help dozens of girls like me every day who’d come in and say, “I’m just so dumb with all this stuff!” and giggle and twirl their hair and flirt and try to get their way because they thought I was a big ‘ol lesbo. because someone with a vagina couldn’t possibly know anything about computers and like dick.

    these days us females are bred to believe that dudes write code, dudes fix computers and dudes run “that stuff.” yeah, I know it’s the 21st fucking century and all that, but trust me, it’s everywhere.

    I see it in the average percentage of lady geniuses (which hovers around 10%), the all-dude engineering teams and the multitudes of brogrammers. I don’t blame them. they’re good at that stuff.

    I just hope that one day women realize they can be good at that stuff too.
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