Was explaining to her class
that in Spanish, unlike English,
nouns are designated as either
masculine or feminine.

for instance,
is feminine:
“la casa.”

is masculine:
“el lapiz..”

A student asked,
“What gender is ‘computer’?”

Instead of giving the answer,
the teacher split the class into two groups,
male and female,
and asked them to decide
for themselves whether
should be
a masculine or a feminine noun.

Each group was asked
to give four reasons
for its recommendation.

The men’s group decided that
should definitely be
of the feminine gender
(“la computadora”),
1. No one but their creator
understands their internal logic;

2. The native language
they use to communicate
with other computers is
incomprehensible to everyone else;

3. Even the smallest mistakes
are stored in long term memory
for possible later retrieval; and

4. As soon as you make
a commitment to one,
you find yourself spending
half your paycheck
on accessories for it.


The women’s group,
however, concluded
that computers should be Masculine
(“el computador”),
1. In order to do anything
with them,
you have to turn them on;

2. They have a lot of data
but still can’t think for themselves;

3. They are supposed
to help you solve problems,
but half the time
they ARE the problem; and

4. As soon as you commit to one,
you realize that if you
had waited a little longer,
you could have gotten
a better model.
The women won.