Okay, so if you were smart enough to buy Zing Tsjeng’s Forgotten Women: The Scientists, you would know that Ada Lovelace appears on page 198.
However, that isn’t actually the reason why I wanted to do Ada Lovelace this week.
I’m not going to lie – I am a huge royals fan.
I love being part of the Commonwealth. I love my Queen. I love Prince Charles, and I believe he will make an amazing king. Despite his reputation, Charles actually does the most out of all the royals.
I loved Princess Diana. I am obsessed with her. The earrings I wore on my wedding day, borrowed from my mother, is actually a (cheap) replica of Princess Di’s set. (My dad bought my mum the matching earrings and ring for my mum, who also loved Princess Di, for one of their anniversaries. I think it was their 25th or something special.)
Below: The closest photo I could find where you can kind of see the earrings. Yes, I’m aware that I’m white.
I love Princess Kate and Wills, I love Prince Harry and Megan, I even have a small, soft spot for Phillip (though it’s rare, and it’s more because of the affection he shows Elizabeth).
As a result, TV series like The Crown and Victoria are among my favourite. (The Crown shares all the history of the monarchy, whereas Victoria not only fills that, but gives me the romantic obsession of Victoria and Albert that I think, personally, is inspirational on so many levels.)
So, you can imagine my absolute delight when Prince Albert (and then, later, Queen Victoria – though I think the latter was exaggerated, though it seems more than likely Prince Albert would have at least known Lady Lovelace) started working with Ada Lovelace in Victoria.
It was like all my happy places converging in on each other. (There were even dogs.)
Okay, so who was Ada Lovelace, and why is she important?
Well, she is the founder of modern computing and is the world’s first computer programmer, so the next time MRA man-babies want to storm the internet insisting that if feminists don’t want men, then we can’t have male inventions (because somehow they’re connected), I’d like you to hand in all your phones and laptops and tablets and shit because they don’t belong to you because a woman fucking invented that shit.
It was pretty clear that Ada was exceptional from a young age; in fact, one of her tutors feared her intelligence at twelve years old because he believed that the strain of her thinking about mathematical problems would somehow destroy her mind.
Because learning, you see, has long been a common denominator in women dying in an untimely manner.
I bet he also believed that women might lose their uteruses on trains because of how fast trains move.
Which is a very real thing that people actually were afraid of, but obviously, as we have not had widespread reports of women losing their uteruses every time they board the tube, I think we’re fine.
However, Charles Babbage, who was the co-founder of the Royal Astronomical Society and a renowned mathematician, wasn’t afraid of Ada. In fact, upon meeting her, he stated that she was an:
“Enchantress who has thrown her magical spell around the most abstract of Sciences and has grasped it with a force with few masculine intellects (could) have exerted over it.”
Ada’s best invention was, without a doubt, what most people refer to as the first computer. Her machine was able to predict more things than anyone during the Victorian era could have ever predicted.
According to Tsjeng (p201), Ada’s technology is now used to power: “underground trains, Boeing 777s, satellites and rockets: a fitting tribute for someone whose first scientific forays were inspired by flight”.
It seems MRAs are right to fear women. They really do seem to be nothing without us.
— Sources —
Bachelor of Education: English and History
Diploma in Criminology and Profiling
Diploma in Forensic Science
Background in law and psychology
Teacher 7+ years
Background in special needs, learning support – other specific teaching fields that required hands-on development.
NB: This is a declaration of the background of my personal knowledge, collected over the years via a professional form of education and development. Some of these take the form of actual degrees and others come in the form of necessary professional development. When doing your own, you should always try and verify the person’s credibility. My credibility, nor anyone else’s, is not with their education. Everyone has biases and no one is infallible. I am deliberately including some of my background education to highlight this, because you should be questioning information you are receiving.