Re: You say Type-A, I say Typo

Joe Barrera (
Thu, 6 Aug 1998 18:19:58 EDT

In a message dated 98-08-06 15:30:16 EDT, you write:

<< > 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.
Couldn't agree more.

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.
So what else is new.

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.
You are certifiable. You make the mistake of thinking women think like you
(sexually obsessed) or at least rely on their attractivity to get where they
want. That's YOUR scale, Bucko. It might surprise you to learn that women
are often oblivious to what kind of "vibes" they're sending out. In fact,
we're not responsible for why you interpret an exchange of "Hey, nice tie,"
into "I'll bet you have a great cock, too."

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.
NOOO, YOU differentiate.

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?"
What freaking pod did you develop in? Typical question directed at me "Hey,
Geege, when's the last time you combed your hair." Response: "Hell if I
know. Hey, check out this report - Philipe fucked it up again. You want to
tell him this time? He hates hearing it from a grrl."

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".
Sounds like business as usual . . .
If you're dealing with women like the examples you provide then I'd guess
you've given them enough positive reinforcement to keep up the stupid game.
Sometimes it's just easier than trying to change all the rules AND get your
work done.