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Everything I Have Learned About IT Began With My Mother
October 4, 2010 - 3:15pm

This post is dedicated to my mom and every woman who has had to fight to be recognized as an expert with technology.

I read a tweet this morning that immediately caught my attention: "Hey, #highered technologists -- Can you explain #IT to your mom?" It was posted to the IHEtech account. The tweet asked the same question as the title of a new post on the Digital Tweed blog: "Can You Explain IT to Your Mom?"

My response via Twitter was that my mom totally gets Information Technology (IT). In fact, she's the reason why "I" get IT. My mom taught me to be fearless when it came to tackling technology. I learned how to troubleshoot from watching her troubleshoot technology issues. I am a student affairs techie today because of everything that my mom taught me.

There are not enough women who are in technology leadership positions. Every time someone frames women (especially moms) as being less than tech experts, it adds to the heaping pile of patriarchy that brings women down. It is not okay to ask if my mom gets IT. It is not okay to ask if anyone's mom gets IT. The underlying assumption that your dad would understand IT while your mom would not is flawed. I get that Digital Tweed is trying to make the point that technology is complicated and that we need to do a better job of communicating what it is that we do. However, I think that Christina Dulude nailed it when she tweeted: "Using "your mom" as the de facto example of a non-tech savvy person makes me cringe."

We all should cringe. Our moms deserve better.

My mom showed me how to program on the Commodore 64. How cool is that? Thanks Mom! Now if we could only get Dad to stop printing off his emails.

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