A couple of weeks ago, there was a totally fabulous talk at Google: Dr. Cornelia Brunner of the Center for Children and Technology spoke about gender and technology. Fascinating and compelling stuff, and now you can all see what she had to say by watching the recording of her talk on Google Video: "On Girls, Boys, and IT Careers."
I knew I was going to enjoy the talk when Dr. Brunner pointed out in her first slides that she was not talking about biological ideas of "female" and "male"; that she was instead talking about the socially constructed notions of "feminine" and "masculine," but that it's easy to slip into thinking of those as female and male if you use those terms, so for this talk she was going to use the terms "femme" and "butch" instead. This is the first time I've ever heard anyone use "butch" and "femme" in the context of technology, and though in later discussion she acknowledged that the terms aren't quite perfect for what she's talking about, I think they're nonetheless very useful.
A bunch of us stuck around and talked with her for another half-hour after the talk, but sadly, that part wasn't recorded.
Anyway, she's an excellent and dynamic speaker, with a lot of great things to say. I highly recommend taking the time to watch this if you have any interest in this stuff.
Thanks much to Rebecca S for bringing her to speak!