My Iron Lung
In 1992, Radiohead released their first single; Creep. The song became very popular and they had to play it at every gig to satisfy their fans, and it wasn’t long before the band became sick of their creation. They brought out new songs, but people just wanted to listen to the old ones, and they will forever be remembered as the band that wrote Creep.
In 1994, Radiohead released Iron Lung. An iron lung is a life support chamber (made of iron) helping a person to breath by increasing and decreasing the air pressure inside.
The band may be glad that they wrote such a popular song that brought them to fame, but at the same time, it feels like a curse.
And we are grateful for our iron lung
I often regard my age and my gender as my iron lung. It has helped me stand out because teenage developers who are women are uncommon, and I doubt I’d be where I am today if were a man, or a little bit older, but I also regard these labels as a curse.
I’m worried that I will only get asked to speak at conferences so that people don’t complain there aren’t any women speakers. I’m concerned that the work that I do will be less important than my “female developer” label. No matter how good I am at what I do, there are some clients who don’t want to work with me because they think I’m too young, and then they go and pick someone else with ‘more experience’ to build their site in tables. There are events that I can’t go to until 2011 like SXSW, because I wouldn’t be allowed in any of the bars where social events are held. I find it hard to socialise when I am at events because everyone there is usually a lot older than me, and then when I am round friends my own age, I feel like we can’t relate to each other because we’re leading such different lives.
I hope this doesn’t sound emo, I guess I just wanted to get it off my chest.