For those of you who subscribe to IEEE Spectrum email alerts, you may have seen today's snafu where there was an oopsie headline for one of their articles - "With the Arduino, Now Even Your Mom Can Program."
The article and headline were quickly revised post-publication, though I noticed in google's cache that the original article contained the following quote, "'Now, even my mom can program,' Banzi says."
The editor of the journal, who is a female engineer, was Not Amused, nor were the dozens of commenters on the article. I'm glad they fixed it.
But I think this journalistic error raises a larger societal issue when discussing ability and technology. We seem to more quickly ascribe technological inability to female elders, and technological ability to male youths.
For example, I tend to hear, "Even my grandma could use it." far more often than, "Even my grandpa could use it". And I recently saw a comic in a magazine where mother calls technical support and says, "Normally my toddler son would help me fix the computer, but he's in time out." Why wasn't that a female toddler in the cartoon? Why in movies is the clever geek / scientist who saves the day always a man?
I really would like the media to make greater strides in not playing to tropes, because it tends to reinforce these tired ideas that women are unable to be technologically savvy.