Faced with the dilemma of buying a new computer (its a tough decision for me given that 1. My old comp is working fine, though battery-less and wifi-less, its perennially on life support and keeps having these multiple organ failures everynow and then which it recovers from after giving some shocks and defragmenting. 2. Mac is actually within reach now.)
So I asked my friends for some help. Invariably I realized some startling cases of gender discrimination crept up even while buying a computer! So here goes:
Person 1: You are a girl, a pink Vaio should be your choice.
Me: Duh! ( I do love the colour :P). I am not impressed by the Vaio hardware. It has always conked off for all the people I know.
Person 1: You are a girl, basically any computer should do. Why are you worried about the hardware?
Me: What does that mean? I am a girl so any computer…
Person 1: I dont think girls need computers for anything other than checking mail and playing songs or updating facebook statuses. Anything else you’d invest is plain waste of money.
Person 2: Buy a Mac, buy a mac.
Me: The config of the 1000$ one isnt that fab, its just 2GB ram with a 160 GB harddrive and virtually no upgrades.Is it worth it?
Person 2: Oooh, so you know technical stuff eh? But for a girl, 2 GB ram is good enough for the solitaire games and the songs.
Also, I know my friend who is a girl and she is very happy with her 2 GB mac. Though my other guy-friends have a problem.
Me: **Very Sour Expression.**
I wondered what has gender got to do with a computer’s configuration. In many cases, it is true I think. The sexes use their respective computers for totally different things. It surprises me a great deal when I discover how technologically incompetent so many girls around me are, who are more than happy to give their “screwed” up computers to the guys who after a night-out of driver downloads, forum searches and formatting, fix the bugs. Why don’t they do it themselves? It is sad to think that in this era, girls are still not at ease with computers. When I complain of a low RAM or processor speed or how maybe Linux will help me solve issues, people go like “Whoa..so you actually use the computer for all this coding work.” My computer (being a girl’s) is expected to be all clean and devoid of anything except music, photographs and Microsoft Office. But not all girls have pink computers with frilly covers and desktop wallpapers of some bollywood hero.
I dont blame the perception entirely because I know at some level it is true. But hey there are girls who do live stream games on ESPN, watch football matches and tennis matches, use their comps for simulations and photoshop work and even play heavy duty games (apart from attaching external woofers and jamming loud metal music), who can maintain their computers and who can handle computers without “external” support.
And next time one such girl asks/tells you about some computer’s configuration or the lack of it, all you guys, dont let your eyebrows disappear into your hair.