The graduation thesis Syster Systems unfolds the phenomenon of gender exclusions appearing in current male-dominated tech and hacker culture, and it presents various feminist approaches that respond to this issue.
At first, it looks at the genealogy of hacking to interpret and contextualise the creation of a massively white male field. It observes how the complexities of hacker ethics and aesthetics brought the rise of the hacker as a title of honour. It questions who fits in hackerspaces and unpacks abstract claims for openness that rather hide the reproduction of privileges in existing power structures.
Finally, the essay presents practices of feminist hacker communities, emphasising the value of supporting their work. Not only because they create safe spaces for excluded individuals to gain agency with technology, but also because they redefine who counts as a hacker, and what counts as hacking (Dunbar-Hester, 2020). Their efforts to encourage collective knowledge production and Do-It-Together practices in inclusive and diverse environments envisage a technological future where I could see myself fitting in.
Adviser: Marloes de Valk
Second Reader: Clara Balaguer
Proofreader: Lídia Pereira
Graduation thesis, XPUB, Piet Zwart Institute, Rotterdam, 2020.