You say Type-A, I say Typo

Gregory Alan Bolcer (
Thu, 06 Aug 1998 11:35:46 -0700

> yes and no. if a woman wants to be a software programmer, a computer
> graphics wizard, a networking guru, a tenured cs prof, etc., then she
> has to go through the ranks, like everyone else. there are no
> hurdles that prohibit a talented woman from doing that -- at least
> not intellectually. the hurdles are whether or not you mind being
> engrossed in a foreign culture. foreign in the sense that women
> are in the minority. any minority feels the glare of being the odd
> person out. things about the setting are just "different" than if you
> were in the majority. and there are plenty of gender differences to
> highlight how foreign you feel (this coming from someone who has
> persisted being in cs, despite the shrinking numbers of women).
> sure, i'm "used to" the maleness of my environment, but do i embrace
> it or look forward to it or think its ok that it is self-perpetuating?
> i try my damnest to change it in subtle ways, but also to understand
> how i too can change to be more effective within this foreign place.

My turn to insult everyone. Let's look at the traditional mechanisms
women use to suceed in business and figure out why they don't work in
the technogeek arena. How exactly do women control a conversation
or grab the floor?

a) sexual appeal. Women in high positions of responsibility
will appeal to the opposite sex. They are slave drivers,
domineering/dominatrix, they use their femaleness as a
differentiator. Have you seen the average computer science
babe? You don't succeed in computer science by your looks.
You succeed by your technical skills. The weirder you look
the smarter people think you are.

b) Self esteem. If sexual appeal is the stick, this is the ruler.
Women, in order to take control of a conversation will attempt
to play upon the self-esteem of their counterpart. My your dress
looks handsome today. "Handsome?? Today?? <<run off the the
bathroom for 15 minutes of self reflection>>". Did you get
your hair styled? <<same reaction>>. They alread start out
from a position that 1) they are told that girls aren't good
at math, 2) there aren't a heck of a lot of role models, 3)
there aren't a heck of a lot of women who want to be in computer
science. If that doesn't make them feel like they have something to
prove above and beyond, I don't know what does. Take your
average male computer scientist. Hey, Jim, is that a coffee
stain on your shirt you are wearing to our big important meeting?
"Yeah, it's my new Java(tm) shirt. Pretty bitchin' huh?"
Try another angle on the self-esteem, more male-dominated:

Wini: Hey Wiki, how about them Dodgers?

Wiki: Who cares, why is the network down? You need to take care
of this yesterday you idiot.

Wini: Hey, did you see the new virtual ads at the Dodger game?
They only show up on television, so I went to the ballpark to see
if that was true but I didn't see any ads so I didn't have time
to fix the network.

Wiki: Why don't you stick your dick in your ear and fuck some
sense into yourself, we are losing a million dollars an hour
with this downtime. You should hear the bullshit coming out of
you. Maybe you will give birth to an inkling of an idea if
your mental cavern wasn't such a barren rocky place where your
seed of reason could find no shelter.

Wini: Here's the problem, you kicked the power cord out from
under your desk.

Tell me such an exchange wouldn't send any woman in computer science
into 3 weeks of therapy. "She likes me, she really likes me".