Women Can’t Write Techie Books

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

I wanted to learn in all ways possible since I started my journey in the tech field. As my interest was rising, I decided to buy the book Weapons of Math Destruction from Cathy O’Neal. It was the first tech publication I fully read. Nevertheless, its purchase made me have bittersweet feelings.

I always prefer to read in the native language of the writer (every time they’re available in English, Spanish, French, or Catalan). I think it’s a good way to know how the author thinks and articulates his/her/their thoughts.

I’m not a fan of buying books at big online platforms so I always try to purchase them at local bookshops. For this reason, I always go to specific stores where I know I can find these things at a fair price. I visited two and tried to look for them by myself. On my first visit, they didn’t have a copy of the book, but they told me I could order it.

The other bookshop was not far away and I thought I could find it easier as it was an important chain store. After searching for a while, I gave up and asked an employee for the book in English, but she told me it wasn’t available.

When this happens, and my eagerness for reading is stronger than my common sense, I ask for the Spanish version of the book. This also happens to me when I see a book I will seldom see again. The salesperson, who was a young woman, said it was available so I told her I was interested.

We were both astonished because the book was difficult to find. We weren’t able to find it on different bookshelves: feminism, social justice, and technology were some of the categories we thought it could be located. We both started looking at the technology area where we thought it should be, but it wasn’t there.

There you could only find books about certain programming languages like C++ and Java. And none of them seemed to be written by a woman. Only books written by men were accepted on those shelves.

I started wondering how women could write about technology and its social implications and be considered only as a social justice topic or something related to feminism.

We must understand that nowadays social and tech issues are connected. If we don’t understand this starting point, then we don’t understand how our society is built. The world has rebranded needs and demands new products, and technology offers them.

I ask myself how writers like Catherine O’New feel when they don’t see their books in the tech area of a library or bookshop. Their publications are an opportunity to approach their ideas to the public and make us understand how technology can provide better outcomes for our society. We need writers from all paths of life. We need more roles that exemplify how diverse the tech environment can be if we remove those obstacles.

Tech books can talk about many different topics, not only about coding and best practices. People don’t read books very often, but it’s still the only way humans can explain their interests without space limitation. And in the end, a book is a legacy that we leave for our future generations.

I never understood why there are more women than men involved in social justice environments and why more men than women in tech reunions? What happens when there’s an event that combines both interests? Who is willing to change the status quo?

Social media has flattened this barrier and their messages are reaching a wider audience, but when it’s time to publish a book, libraries consider their topics as not relevant for the technological space, only for the social one.



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