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Chix and Technology

> From: Javier Miranda V. [mailto:gnominus@earthling.net]
> Sent: Saturday, October 30, 1999 1:03 PM
> I think this relates to what Jim Poppen said today about male 
> tendencies.  Women tend to seek mutual satisfaction rather than their 
> i.e., "You don't share your feelings," "But honey, we don't talk," etc.  
> would predict that women will get into looping only in the context of a
> group, where their looping interacts somehow with others.

Javier, this is a very interesting theory.  While it may arguably prove to
have validity in a more generalized population, I must say that as a
techno-nerd-chick, I'm as much (if not more) "satisfied" just looping with
myself!  %^)  That's especially true if the other musicians are male-types,
cuz they tend to jack off musically more than chicks do!!  Just kidding,
xy's, just KIDDING.  No in-defense-of-musical-ego-masturbation flame wars,

As a bassist, using techno and looping toys has in fact allowed me to
finally, uh, play with myself solo, and do so in a manner that (hopefully)
engages the listener.   Before looping, I invariably saw myself as being
(for the most part) restricted to ensemble performance, at least to be
commercially viable as a bass player.  Now I have more options, and it's
tremendously liberating.  Don't get me wrong: I do love ensemble playing --
the intimate, interdependent co-creation and interplay is an extraordinary
and unique communication.  A sum far greater than the parts.  But I know I
don't require that interaction to be able to twirl those knobs and loop my
ass off.  It simply has never occurred to me to think of it in terms of

> From: Mark Sottilaro [mailto:mark@cdm.sfai.edu]
> Sent: Saturday, October 30, 1999 12:52 PM
> why do we
> find so few women interested in working with new tools (such as loopers)
> in Music?

At the risk of oversimplifying an extremely complex subject, I think the
relative absence of women in tech/electronic music is a subset of the 
imbalance one sees in virtually all tech fields, at least here in the US.
Although some fields are finally becoming gender-blind, I do believe it's
gonna be a while before being a woman in most technical fields is not in
_any_ way unusual.

Why and how those imbalances came to be is another topic, another list, but
I would briefly hypothesize (and over-generalize):

>From a very early age, girls (in some cultures) do not receive the same
encouragement to go into technology as do boys.  In cultures where women do
not, or historically have not had equal rights politically, economically,
and sociologically, they typically were/are tracked into more traditional
"feminine" roles.  Those who have chosen alternative paths have usually
faced considerable impediments.  (Although sometimes that's made us 

I would like to mention a few examples from my own experience.  In my late
60's high school physics class of 25, only two were girls.  Same with
advanced math.  On the other hand, the balance was about even in band and
orchestra classes, although very few girls played more "masculine"
instruments like bass, trombone, tuba, etc.  Even fewer played electronic
instruments.  If you were a chick in a band it was automatically assumed 
were the vocalist.  (I _still_ find that bias today.)

~~Which brings up what was a strong undercurrent when I was growing up:
being expected to fit into the "ladylike" category.  For instance, girls
were not allowed to wear jeans in school because it was "unladylike"!!!  
still proud that a few disgusted jeans-clad high school chick friends and I
were suspended for protesting that blatantly sexist rule.  We didn't change
our jeans, and they did change the rule.

Even now many females don't receive the same encouragement to excel in the
sciences and other technological fields in the same way that males do.  I
was fortunate because my parents didn't program me to fit into typical
gender roles of the time.  But even with that advantage there were a lot of
societal biases and barriers to overcome.  Thankfully, however, it's been a
while since I've heard "you play really good for a girl."

And finally:

> From: Mark Sottilaro [mailto:mark@cdm.sfai.edu]
> Sent: Sunday, October 31, 1999 9:46 AM
> I'm pretty sure most of us know that woman, can, will, and do loop.
> That wasn't the point.  The point is, I don't think that there is a
> single woman on this list.  I find that bothersome.  It seems
> unnatural.  There were females on this list at one time, why did they
> leave?  Are we creating a hostile environment towards women?  Are we a
> bunch of boring tech geeks?

Relax, be yerself, be a guy, talk tech geek looper talk.  It's all cool.
That's why Tara and I, and everybody else -- regardless of gender -- are
here.  %^)

And thanks for asking~~

loopin' laurie
(FYI, I've been on the list continuously for several years, but I don't 
very often.  It remains my fave, for precisely the same reason that Claude
Voit so perceptively expressed a few threads ago:

>this has never been an aggressive list but a deep and funny
> crowd of individuals

right on!