In 1999, there were only five people working in our Center: three women and two young boys. Oh!!! How proud we were to have two dynamic, active representatives of “the stronger sex” working alongside the “fighters for women’s human rights”! At that time, our guys were students, and they could not spend all their time at the Center, so, nearly half of each day, they just weren’t around. They were very diligent and responsible, but we also noticed that they were as cunning as foxes: they never missed an opportunity to point out our weaknesses in the field of ICT… The “arsenal” of so-called “e-skills” among the women in our Center was limited (at that time!); we were inexperienced and had only mastered the simpler uses of Microsoft Windows… This situation seems so amusing now, and, yes,even, a little bit stupid…
So… One day Galina, our Center’s director, and I, certain that women can do everything (and it’s true!), tried to access the Internet without our guys because they weren’t around. We had never seen how they did it. In fact, if I asked them to show me the procedure, they would respond: “You don’t need to know that because we’re always nearby!!!” Galina is always optimistic, and she said: “I’ll call my husband. He will ’familiarize’ us with new informational technologies! Don’t worry! My husband will train us via telephone!”
We started! Step by step, he guided us through what to do… And, following all his instructions, we “conquered” the Internet! Finally, we were lost in the “Internet jungle.” Happily, we wrote e-mails and visited some interesting sites, and we were surprised how easy everything was to do… Naïve girls!!! After two or three hours we decided to go home, but we didn’t know anything about the procedure of logging out… Suddenly I seized the telephone, but – vainly! We have dial-up connection! The line was busy… You can’t imagine how desperate we were… However, there remained a “spot” of hope. Remaining optimistic, I went out into the street (no mobile phones then…) and called Galina’s husband, and the problem was solved! Since than we do these operations with our eyes shut.
Men are afraid: if they offer the “weaker sex” the same opportunities and knowledge as they have, women will start treating them similarly... Don’t you think so?!!!