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Re: Women Programmers, Sex, Tai Chi and Reincarnation

by Cubes (Pilgrim)
on Aug 18, 2001 at 03:06 UTC ( #105824=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Women Programmers, Sex, Tai Chi and Reincarnation

While I'm all for monks keeping themselves healthy, I doubt it will do much to attract more women to technical fields. OK, it can't hurt, but being ogled by pale, unwashed geeks is the least of the discouraging factors I've encountered in the past 15+ years.

If you want more women in computing -- or any traditionally male-dominated field -- you'll need to work on changing the men who don't want us here -- the ones who make subtle and not-so-subtle sexist comments (I've had these go as far as threats of physical violence if I didn't quit a particular job -- a "man's" job), the ones who assume we're the receptionist when they spot us in the office lobby, and even the ones who rush to help us lift a heavy monitor onto a desk (I know they meant well, but it was rather embarassing to have complete strangers "rescue" me -- in public -- from tasks that were part of my regular job duties). You'll have to change the bosses and teachers who single us out and place extra demands on us in the classroom or office because they don't think we belong here in the first place so by god we'll have to prove we've got what it takes, and the subordinates who challenge our authority at every turn because who wants to take orders from a girl? You'll have to change our boyfriends and husbands, whose egos rebel when confronted with a partner whose career is more successful than their own.

Then you can go to work on the women -- our mothers, our sisters, our peers -- who laugh behind our backs because we're involved in such an un-ladylike profession, or who frown and wonder why we can't just find ourselves a nice husband, settle down, and raise kids like they did.

Things are improving -- it's gotten a lot better since I started out. If I follow the trend back before my time, I can't imagine how any women at all got into technical fields. And I have a lot of respect for those who did. But we're still getting over those attitudes. Young women still have mothers who wish they'd be proper ladies, and old chauvinists are still in positions of power. The blatant sexism is mostly gone, but the subtle pressure from society in general will take another generation or three to fade away.

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Re: Re: Women Programmers, Sex, Tai Chi and Reincarnation
by ozone (Friar) on Aug 19, 2001 at 13:11 UTC

    I'm sure it's been said before, but I think you might find that a lot of the discriminatory behaviour is a direct result of conditioning that occurs throughout our lives. You know, the blue/pink baby clothes, the toys we get, the little two yr old girl pushing a miniture pram along side her mom (who is pushing a big pram)...

    Because we're conditioned like this from a very young age (and we tend to pass these attitudes on), I don't see those people changing overnight or even for the next few generations. After all, you can't easily dictate to a parent how (s)he is going to teach their child.

      Sorry for this off-topic post here, but I've always been curious, what is a pram? I hope I'm not the only american that doesn't know what one is.


        A pram is a a push chair for babies - I don't remember what you call it in the US. It's actually a miniture bed on wheels - I was thinking of a buggie which is more of a chair! But maybe the two are interchangeable.

        BTW - I'd have /msg'd this but others might be iterested.

        Error: Keyboard not attached. Press F1 to continue.

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