Classic Computer Magazine Archive COMPUTE! ISSUE 137 / JANUARY 1992 / PAGE 116

Personal Computing for Women. (book reviews)
by Jill Champion

What's the advantage women have in learning to use a PC? "Women can type." If that line doesn't convince you not to buy this superfluous course in personal computing, keep reading. I'll convince you.

My first question is why a beginners' guide to PCs should be gender-specific. Author Maria Hoath's observations such as "When we start our cars we don't know how the gas gets to the engine" and questions like "Remember how befuddled you were when your VCR arrived? " tell all.

Women are innately computerphobic, she claims. Why? We're afraid we "might press the wrong key and erase everything."

When I finally got through the pages of endless male bashing, "case histories" of women who have actually used personal computers (imagine that), and "facts" that ironically emphasize Hoath's lack of confidence in her own gender, I was halfway through the book.

Nowhere does she list a single source of information to support her statements, and yet she offers strange assertions like "software is usually regional in its popularity--what people use in one state may be unknown in another state." Tell that to the manufacturers.

Unfortunately, Hoath devotes only 26 pages to what should have been the focus of her effort--personal computers. While not in-depth, her information is at least useful to a novice, but mysteriously enough, she deems that part of the book optional. Go figure.

In Maria Hoath's world, every boss is a condescending male, and every woman an aimless airhead, perplexed by the complex. "This is an awful lot of techy terms, isn't it?" I can almost see her wink. At $9.95 for 152 pages of nothing, this book is an expensive joke.