Futurism Needs More Women
In the future, everyone’s going to have a robot assistant. That’s the story, at least. And as part of that long-running narrative, Facebook just launched its virtual assistant. They’re calling it Moneypenny—the secretary from the James Bond Films. Which means the symbol of our march forward, once again, ends up being a nod back. In this case, Moneypenny is a send-up to an age when Bond’s womanizing was a symbol of manliness and many women were, no matter what they wanted to be doing, secretaries. Why can’t people imagine a future without falling into the sexist past? Both the World Future Society and the Association of Professional Futurists are headed by women right now. Somehow, I’ve become a person who reports on futurists. It turns out that what makes someone a futurist, and what makes something futurism, isn’t well defined. Zalman defines a futurist as a person who embraces a certain way of thinking. Some people think of science fiction authors as futurists, while others don’t.
• A Room of Her Own...