Journal articles on dating overly accommodating personality
It showed a massive, wall-sized computer, with hundreds of blinking lights, ejecting a tiny paper card with a red heart on it for its operator, who was dwarfed by the computer’s hulking form.
The drawing of the computer was supposedly based on the huge SSEC (Selective Sequence Electronic Calculator) mainframe that IBM had shown off in its Madison Avenue showroom in New York City from 1948-1952.
The idea that these masculine-identified machines might sexually harass women workers as proxies for real men often figured into jokes and cartoons of the era (see cartoon below).
A reminiscence from a worker at LEO, an early British computing company—and the company which created the first dedicated electronic business computer—described how LEO bucked the norm of hiring female operators and hired men instead.
Services also aimed to pair people up using the most conservative measures of compatibility—matching like with like in the realm of social class, race, and religion, and focusing exclusively on a demographic constructed as, and assumed to be, heterosexual.
Much of the historiography of gender in computing relies on an implicit understanding of the power of heteronormativity in structuring women’s lives and careers.
Up to this point, however, historians of computing have paid relatively little attention to the ways in which sexuality molded outcomes and determined patterns of change in the history of computing.
Yet, the field of computing history has been slow to integrate sexuality into its historiography or theorize how sexuality plays an important role in computing’s past.
The history of computer dating is a good point of entry because it is a topic whose very nature requires a discussion of sexuality.