At the risk of upsetting someone…
I’ve seen the ‘Women in Tech’ debate flare up over and over again and each time, despite agreeing that equality is a basic and obvious human right, I’ve felt very uncomfortable participating because...
- It’s not really a subject I feel I can speak authoritatively about.
- It’s very easy to say the ‘wrong’ thing and get attacked.
- I don’t actually think the issue is as straightforward as the loudest voices seem to think.
- We still have people like Bill O’Reilly questioning Hillary Clinton’s eligibility for president because… you know… once a month. We clearly have a LONG way to go.
I do think, however, that the problem with the world is not just that it doesn’t have enough women in certain roles, the problem is that the world was designed by men.
The lack of women in certain roles (and other important issues like equal pay) is the result of a wide and varied mix of causes that are historic, cultural, biological and more. As a tactical problem, it’s certainly important to solve in the short and medium term.
For me though, the problem is much, much deeper than that. As far as I can tell, the roles and institutions of the world were constructed almost exclusively by men. They are based on masculine concepts and world-views like competition, violence and dominance. It is structurally and fundamentally “a man’s world”.
I'd very much love to engage in a design process that conceptualizes institutions and societies with equal parts masculine and feminine structures, modalities and mechanisms. Imagine societies that are co-designed by women.
What does that look like? I have no idea - but I have a suspicion it might look quite different to what we have now, and open up all sorts of new possibilities - possibly (likely) making for a better, happier world.