Re: [Scientific American] Gender Gap in Computer Science continues.

Eve Schooler (
Thu, 6 Aug 1998 12:47:19 -0700 (PDT)

>From: "John M. Klassa" <>
>>>>>> On Thu, 6 Aug 1998, "ES" == Eve Schooler wrote:
> ES> there are systemic problems with the navy that are entirely
> ES> different than the field of cs. in the past women have been
> ES> explicitly prohibited from holding certain jobs. the culture MUST
> ES> adapt to allow women those opportunities. if along the way some of
> ES> the traditions have to change, so be it. the enduring, important
> ES> traditions will prevail. i for one am comfortable with hazing
> ES> rituals persisting, but it is inevitable that they will become
> ES> more gender neutral.
>I guess I don't mind gradual, mutual change to a place where all parties
>can agree and be happy. What I resent, however, is when group A decides
>to crash group B's party, and attempts to enforce new rules and new ways
>of doing things, wholesale, with seemingly little respect for the ways
>things have always been done. Tradition isn't always bad.

i think we're in agreement here. it's the recalibration of tradition
to be acceptable, or at least not offensive to those wishing to

>I'm not a Neanderthal, really... My philosophy runs more to the "live
>and let live" than the "beat 'em over the head with it" mentality.
>To tie in an earlier message (from Nelson), while I don't believe in
>"whoring and queer-bashing", I also don't believe in proverbial rug
>out from under established institutions in order to suit the whim of
>somebody new who wants to join the game.
>To investigate the reasons why women don't seem to enter (or stay
>with) the CS is fine; to act on those findings in a way that will make
>the profession less attractive for those who are already in it isn't.
>I'm not saying that one implies the other, simply that that's the
>eventuality I'd rather not see.

you're right. investigation is fine and recommendations are fine.
even criticism is fine. if the profession becomes less attractive
(to those in the profession or even thinking of joining the profession)
because a study reveals that there is gender discrimination and harrassment,
then that's ok. hopefully this kind of criticism will force the rest of
us to examine and eventually to change the things that are truly broken,
while allowing the bulk of the culture to remain intact ("foreign" to me
or not) and to evolve at its usual snail pace :-)