10.17.12

Write a letter to Ada Lovelace; celebrate women in computer programming

The tradition of letter-writing hasn't yet died. On dearada.com, anyone can write a letter to Ada Lovelace, the first programmer. Lovelace was the daughter of poet Lord Byron and inherited some of his aptitude for creating scandals; Lovelace wasn't afraid to do things that were considered improper. Perhaps because of her life history, she's seen not only as the first programmer, but also a feminist.

Mattie Brice's letter to Lovelace is intensely personal:

When I see the women and sexuality of Mass Effect 2 and Catherine, I am reminded of how I’m treated as an exotic sex object as a transgender woman. How I endure messages from dating sites curious about my body, left frustrated from first dates that try to grope me in their cars without my permission, cried when someone tried to pay me for what I thought was finally the first time I’d get into a relationship. When journalists, developers, and average gamers tell me gaming is for just for people who play games, looking for that escape, what they are actually doing is requesting me to settle for someone else’s escape, where I am still marginalized. They are telling me to sacrifice my enjoyment and my safe place for the hedonism of others. I know journalists, writers, and developers are reading this: can you still tell me everything is just fine?