The politics of math are of newfound concern today, due to the outsize influence of algorithms and code in contemporary life. While only a few years ago, tech authors were still hawking Silicon Valley as the great hope for humanity, today one is more likely to hear how Big Tech increases social inequality, how algorithms are racist, and how math is a weapon. Do algorithms discriminate along gendered lines? Do mathematical systems harbor an essential bias? This essay shows that mathematics has long been defined through an elemental gendering, that within such typing there exists a prohibition on mixing the types, and that the two core types themselves (geometry and arithmetic) are mutually intertwined using notions of hierarchy, foreignness, and priority. The author concludes that whatever incidental biases it may display, mathematics also contains an essential bias.

You do not currently have access to this content.