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The gender issue in the tech industry

This is a discussion on The gender issue in the tech industry within the General Discussions forums, part of the Community Boards category; Originally Posted by Nominal Animal If she fabricated or exaggerated the claims, don't you think she too should be punished ...

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nominal Animal View Post
    If she fabricated or exaggerated the claims, don't you think she too should be punished -- socially ostracized like the accused rapist?
    Yes, she should. I agree.
    This is not matters that are to be taken lightly. Lying about rape attempts is bad. Putting blame on someone innocent is even worse.
    Of course, if the event really did happen, it would be wrong not to point it out.

    Newspeak and PC already perverts our minds enough that we cannot see that genders are naturally equal even while different. Instead of imposing Harrison Bergeron-like social hobbles and limits and rules in order to "equalize" everyone, we could just accept people are equal. Period. No matter what their gender, capabilities, features, or social importance.
    I know what you mean. Ideally, this should work, but in reality, it does not always work.
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    io.h certainly IS included in some modern compilers. It is no longer part of the standard for C, but it is nevertheless, included in the very latest Pelles C versions.
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    You mean it's included as a crutch to help ancient programmers limp along without them having to relearn too much.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Elysia View Post
    Yes, she should. I agree.
    Yes; I edited my answer when I noticed your later post.

    A good example of the opposite attitude is with regards to Julian Assange and the Swedish interest in prosecuting him. While I applaud some of his actions, socially he is a typical male idiot who enjoys sexual attention way too much. However, if you read the accounts of what actually happened, "rape" is not a valid description. In particular, deciding a past sexual encounter was objectionable days after said encounter, is a significant red flag. Because of this, and the associated risks of being extradited to the U.S. (which Sweden has done in all cases it has been requested to in the last decade), the man has holed up in a cupboard for a year.

    Note that I'm not assuming that's what happened in the case discussed in this thread. I only mentioned JA as an example of what such accusations may mean. Even if the man himself is socially a jerk, the repercussions are often much greater than one might imagine.

    For example, if my family suspected me of rape, it would, literally, end my life -- indirectly, not via violence. I just could not live under such a shadow.
    Quote Originally Posted by Elysia View Post
    I know what you mean. Ideally, this should work, but in reality, it does not always work.
    Exactly. My own social approach is to be honest, polite if possible, blunt if necessary. It usually works very poorly initially (which is a large source for social grief and hardship for me), but rapidly creates very good working and social relationships.

    It also makes dating darn difficult.

    Other than formal occasions (business or pleasure), I actively avoid situations where I'm expected to interact with others in a politically correct manner.

  3. #18
    Master Apprentice phantomotap's Avatar
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    For example, if my family suspected me of rape, it would, literally, end my life -- indirectly, not via violence. I just could not live under such a shadow.
    O_o

    I think if my family believed I'd raped someone I'd punch my own ticket.

    I'm not joking about suicide just to add to the discussion or anything stupid like that; I just think such a thing would very literal end my life.

    I honestly don't think I could live with that sort of burden.

    Soma

  4. #19
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    1. Parties involved are paid well. No one is forcing them. I don't think most of those who do this care about what some feminist across the country or world thinks about it. As long as there are women willing to do this, there will be women that will continue to do it. Heck one quick search for webcams will reveal about a billion sites where women are willing to take their clothes off for the right sum of money. As long as women continue to do this then men will continue to pay them to do it. No one is forcing their hand and no one is a victim as long as those involved have a free choice. How can one be truly exploited when one freely chooses to exploit themselves?

    2. Obviously if it happened the way the accuser says then it is inappropriate and criminal. Nothing more needs to be said. If there is more to the story then it warrants an investigation before parties involved are deemed guilty. It used to be that you are innocent until proven guilty. Now according to the news you are guilty if someone on social media says you are which means they can broadcast lies and half truths to millions of people across the world with no recompense or accountability.

    3. Sexism, privately, in itself is not illegal in the United States any more than talking bad about another person is. It may be against company policy but in general men and women can say what they want about each other as much as one techy can say what he wants about Apple sucking while the other claims Microsoft sucks all the more. In the business sector it will definitely get you fired b/c all it takes is one overblown or legitimate scandal and the business name is mud. Freedom of speech is America and the speech police simply do not understand that by silently taking away this right they have done more to destroy the fabric of the United States than any other country ever has in a war....and yet they never fired one bullet. We are taking our own freedoms away and our forefathers warned this could happen due to the way our democratic system of government works. Democracy does not work for the easily offended.

    That being said I believe that in order for this to hold up in a court of law the person who is offended must have confronted the accused and requested they stop and/or at least make note that they deemed the comments inappropriate. After that if the jokes and/or comments continue with full knowledge it offends a fellow co-worker...then you have a court case. If this does not take place then it cannot be admissible in court.

    What they did was inappropriate for the work place but what the whistleblowers did was also inappropriate for the work place. You do not confront people on social media about such matters....you confront them in person. If you are not comfortable with that you confront your boss and then he or she will confront the employees. There are legitimate decent ways to handle such matters.

    So in my book both are wrong and all parties should be let go. If one is willing to blog or tweet about fellow employees with no thought for the consequences....what else about the company are they willing to blog and/or tweet about?

    When are people going to learn that private business matters should never be discussed, tweeted, texted, emailed or blogged about outside of the workplace. That is never appropriate and is grounds for termination. Loose lips sink ships (in this case all involved suffered loose lip syndrome). One would assume this is common sense.
    Last edited by VirtualAce; 06-24-2013 at 11:01 PM.
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  5. #20
    Still A Registered User DISGUISED's Avatar
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    In my years in industry I have worked with tons of women in technical positions. In my current company we have many females working as developers as well as in UX/UI, DBAs, Sys Admins, etc. I could literally name a dozen famous women that are at the top of this profession (MS MVPs, CTOs, Architects, CEOs, Authors of popular technical books, PhDs at top universities, etc.)

    Not saying that sexism doesn't exist, because it certainly happens. I'm just saying that if you work hard and strive for achievement each and every day gender is not going hold you back from reaching your goals.

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by DISGUISED View Post
    gender is not going hold you back from reaching your goals.
    I'll go even further: In my experience, the best workplaces tend to have people of all genders or other features -- not by decree or design, but because the best creative teams are made up of people with complementary views.
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  7. #22
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    I honestly did not read all you posts but I thought someone might want to read this
    Thoughts on GitHub Giving Free Private Repos to Women | Snipe.Net
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    In C++14 you just write "auto auto(auto auto) { auto; }".
    The compiler infers the rest from context.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aslaville View Post
    I honestly did not read all you posts but I thought someone might want to read this
    Thoughts on GitHub Giving Free Private Repos to Women | Snipe.Net
    Can those repos be forked?
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  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ada Initiative
    In working with women in open source, the Ada Initiative found that many women are reluctant to post their code publicly when they are first getting started in open source software. This reluctance has good reasons behind it: fear of being told they are bad programmers, fear of being publicly mocked or harassed, and even fear of losing job opportunities. All of these are greater risks for women on average than men.
    I'd like to see anything that backs that claim ("All of these are greater risks for women on average than men") up, because my perception of the situation is different. I sincerely hope they didn't just assume that that statement is true, because I have a hard time accepting it as true.

    Most open source projects I've participated in, ignore participants' genders. At minimum, there are many participants whose gender is unknown to me; and unless someone themselves brings it up (usually indirectly, like mentioning they will be away on a holiday with their partner or something), it just does not come up at all.
    I like it that way; it's not like your gender is going to affect what kind of code you write.

    I do think it's true that some employers have HR drones that don't think women are as good programmers on average as men, but that has nothing to do with open source, and everything with incompetent and sexist HR interviewers.

    In fact, based on my admittedly very limited experience, companies that are friendly to open source, are less likely to have such HR idiots. (Mostly, because they have already had to overcome a LOT of inertia against open source, they tend to have altogether fewer anachronisms left.)

    As to being told they are bad programmers: I do not know if there is a difference between genders on accepting criticism and negativity via written text.

    Constructive criticism is obviously optimal, what everyone sane prefers, but it requires good communications skills -- and quite a few programmers do not have that kinds of skills. So, in order to be a successful programmer, you must learn how to handle direct and blunt comments and responses.

    In areas like programming, where the tools evolve constantly, one must keep evolving -- and that means you have to learn how to handle criticism: ignore the irrelevant bits as communications bugs, and incorporate all useful info to the best of your ability.

    The way I've come to understand "bad programmer" sentiments wrt. open source projects, is someone who is unwilling to better themselves, or expect others to do their work for them. Those who write bad code because they just don't yet have the skill, are called "newbies", or some similar variant. I like "learner" and "new programmer" terms, myself.

    It is possible it is easier for males than females on average to understand that the criticism is directed to the work at hand, not to the person, and accept such direct/blunt responses. (I pretty much believe so, because I think better social skills also mean communications are examined in more detail to uncover any social clues, as the normal body language and other unspoken clues are unavailable. I consider the research that has shown women have better social skills on average believable, so in this case the advantage might be a disadvantage.)
    On the other hand, research does suggest that females on average have better social skills, so they could have an advantage in responding to the criticism.


    There is a real problem if things like this Ada Initiative affect perceived fairness.

    We have to remember that humans are social animals, and the fairness issues affects us at least as much as they affect Capuchin monkeys. (If you don't know what I'm talking about, watch the Capuchin monkey fairness experiment video on Youtube.)

    Giving a boost to one set of people, may turn the sentiment against that set, if the boost is perceived unfair. This is the risk, and the real issue.

    (Consider human history, and various uprisings and revolutions. When an unfairness becomes too much to bear, it is not only the unfairly favoring entity tha gets attacked, but also the favored set. Perhaps it is because the favorer and the favored set are perceived to be in collusion? There are large cultural differences on this, of course.)

    This cannot be counteracted by blanket statements (like the Ada Initiative claiming that on average, these issues affect more women than men; especially when they state earlier that they worked with women [only?]).

    You need to provide simple, social proof. Not statistical proof necessarily, but something that proactively counteracts the possibility of perceived unfairness.

    The simplest way is to provide references to back up the blanket statements. For social issues, personal stories and references to personal stories work quite well, just consider how short news pieces about a single person affects general perception of people that have just similar features.

    If it leads to perceived unfairness, isn't even positive discrimination bad discrimination?
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  10. #25
    Master Apprentice phantomotap's Avatar
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    I like it that way; it's not like your gender is going to affect what kind of code you write.
    O_o

    I don't know where you live, but have you ever seen the video "Celebrating Diversity in the Workplace" starring AlarminglyWhite McRacist?

    The same video is/was required viewing for "people of color". How must a black guy/girl feel seeing that video?

    "Wow. These guys are so racist they have a video reminding them to force themselves to tolerate our presence."

    What a wonderful message to send, AlarminglyWhite McRacist; I for one am happy knowing that my boss will be tolerated by all of you.

    No joke, I was actually a little afraid for my boss after seeing that video. I wasn't afraid for myself; I'm white, male, have blue eyes, and was still blonde: the best kind of white.*

    Soma

    (*): Yes, I made a Hitler joke and an "American Dad" reference. There was a joke. I'm not proud of it, but it had to be done.

  11. #26
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    I don't know where you live, but have you ever seen the video "Celebrating Diversity in the Workplace" starring AlarminglyWhite McRacist?
    I have not, could you summarize it?

  12. #27
    Master Apprentice phantomotap's Avatar
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    I have not, could you summarize it?
    O_o

    The whitest woman on Earth spends the entire video describing some ideas for "celebrating diversity", and let me tell you, AlarminglyWhite McRacist couldn't fart without sounding condescending.

    One of the first things she says (from memory as this was many years ago): "Team building exercises is a great way to celebrate diversity and bring unity to individuals of different backgrounds.".

    Now, I completely agree with finding common ground among associates; it would be foolish to say otherwise. Unfortunately, she immediately follows that up with "White employees should be forced to participate in team building exercise.".

    That's the way it goes for the first ten minutes: good idea, bad idea.

    Sadly, the good ideas don't last long; by the ten minute mark she's already exhausted her good ideas.

    After the last bit of good advice we get gems like (again from memory):

    "If the only suitable candidates for promotion are white, management should consider a global search for qualified persons of color."

    "A white individual should refuse a promotion if no persons of color are in a managerial position."

    "Diversity can be maximized by specifically looking for applicants of color."

    Eventually she slams logic so hard in the face I don't know if it will ever recover:

    "The, shall we say, disadvantages of diversity can be minimized by putting individuals with similar backgrounds on the same team."

    I'd love to say it gets better of even worse, but it really doesn't change from that point which implies she had a good thirty minutes of completely terrible, incredibly "ist" ideas to share.

    [Edit]
    Now, you know, some of these may not seem so bad so let me share my thoughts on the video.

    $(The_Video):$(I_Imagine)

    "White employees should be forced to participate in team building exercise.": "The white people here hate "colored people" so much they have to be forced to play games with us? I don't know if I want to play games with someone who hates being around me that much."

    "If the only suitable candidates for promotion are white, management should consider a global search for qualified persons of color.": "If I work hard they are going to promote someone else anyway because I'm the wrong sex/race? I'll work at a minimum pace; that other people on my team can work for someone else's promotion."

    "A white individual should refuse a promotion if no persons of color are in a managerial position.": "I should refuse a promotion because the managers are all racist dicks? That may be fine in "Shouldland", but I live here where I have a kids and a mortgage."

    "Diversity can be maximized by specifically looking for applicants of color.": "I made good grades and worked hard, but I got the job because I'm black? How many of my bosses are "KKK" members trying to hide behind "Politically Correct"?"

    "The, shall we say, disadvantages of diversity can be minimized by putting individuals with similar backgrounds on the same team.": O_o

    Nope. I'm not touching that one.

    The video almost specifically focuses on ways to make everyone feel like crap. Sure, I guess that brings balance, but it doesn't bring anything of actual value.

    If the video stuck with good ideas like finding common ground and giving people an excuse to hang out in neutral territory it would be fine, but following almost any other bit of "advice" in the video would leave white people feeling they are in an unfair position and black people feeling that they are surrounded by completely racists idiots. I'm sure a lot of black people around here well remember being surrounded by completely racist idiots; we don't need to make people feel like crap by shoving the possibility down their throat, and sure, a lot of people are going to feel entitled to a promotion anyway, but with codified rules, in video no less, saying such things, even the way they are said, is just going to give a lot of white people an excuse to be racist, and that is a huge issue in my opinion. You get just one entitled idiot yelling about a black guy being promoted instead, true or not, basically no one cares. You get just one entitled idiot yelling about a black guy being promoted instead while having video evidence that such a thing is policy and people start listening.
    [/Edit]

    Soma
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  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by phantomotap View Post
    I don't know where you live
    Helsinki, Finland.

    Quote Originally Posted by phantomotap View Post
    but have you ever seen the video "Celebrating Diversity in the Workplace" starring AlarminglyWhite McRacist?
    Fortunately not!

    I do know that the City of Espoo (also in Finland, shares a city line with Helsinki) used to have these very funny-looking concrete barrier piggies ("concrete barrier" == "concrete piglet" in Finnish) designed by Pekka Jylhä, but they were removed.
    (I think the original ones were of a different color, too; light blue, maybe?)

    Ostensibly, the city leadership was worried about kids climbing on them (they were tall enough to trip you), but the real reason was that they were afraid it would offend the Muslim community. The most concerned one was a white female Christian chaplain.

    The Muslim community had no objections to the piggies. As far as I know, they didn't even comment on them at all. The city executives simply assumed it would offend them!

    Of course, the end result was an unfortunate debacle, where the Muslim community had to defend themselves against the counter-objections, to explain they didn't object to the piggies; they're just concrete barriers, after all -- and a very resilient negative urban legend about how the cute piggies had to be removed due to Muslim objections. All because of stupid assumptions and "wanting to be politically correct".
    It's a good example how good intents and positive discrimination can backfire.

    In general, trying to fix a problem that does not exist usually leads to negative results.
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  14. #29
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    O_o
    You use this a lot and in some odd situations, by my estimation. What emotion is it supposed to convey?

    That said, thank you for the summary, though I'm still confused about how old this video is. Given the tendency to be over politically correct, I cannot imagine such a video making it past a review board within the last 40 years.

    However, now I can feel comfortable saying that you've conflated two quite different things. This thread is about gender, not race. Equating the largely imaginary oppression of and prejudice against women with what appears to be a shockingly racist video (in all directions, as I imagine just about anyone watching it would be deeply offended) is either ignorant or intellectually dishonest depending on how gullible one is to feminist tropes.

  15. #30
    Master Apprentice phantomotap's Avatar
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    However, now I can feel comfortable saying that you've conflated two quite different things.
    O_o

    I hope you are comfortable being wrong.

    This thread is about gender, not race.
    Yes. And? Do you have a point? Are we just stating facts?

    Fact: My comment was about race, not gender.

    That was fun; I'm glad we did that.

    Here is a news flash for you: I wasn't the first person to bring generic "Politically Correct" nonsense warping our perspectives into this discussion; I simply responded to them. People talk about things. People even take discussions in different but related directions. Heck, people even take discussions into entirely unrelated directions based on the individual participants understand of and appreciation for the issues being discussed. That's how discussion forums work; the growth of discussion from discussion is natural and to be preferred, but it doesn't mean that the participants have somehow conflated unrelated issues.

    Well, that is interesting; I guess it was you all along who "conflated two quite different things".

    Equating the largely imaginary oppression of and prejudice against women with what appears to be a shockingly racist video is either ignorant or intellectually dishonest depending on how gullible one is to feminist tropes.
    I also didn't equate racism and prejudice against women, but I will raise the ante: saying prejudice against women is "largely imaginary" is extremely ignorant and intellectually dishonest. Prejudice against women isn't imaginary; it is just different than other prejudice, and it is also not worse in technical fields than in other fields.

    I asked about the video because someone said "it's not like your gender is going to affect what kind of code you write." making the point "it's not like your race is going to affect what kind of code you write." thus also making the point that such nonsense social constructs (Physical sexual traits aren't the same as the social construct we call "gender".) as gender, race, religion, sexual identity, sexual preference, or even preferred Scotch do not have any affect on a persons abilities, and so in making the point using such a poorly conceived video again blame the incredibly foolish assumptions of the "Politically Correct" movement for warping our perspective. I referenced the racist video to blame the society that produces such nonsensical rules for perpetuating a poison of constant prejudice background radiation that prevents us all from growing.

    Let me "bring it home" for you: I referenced the racist video as a source of reinforcing prejudicial behavior thus agreeing and also attempting to strengthen the view that claims, rules, and assumptions as those from the "Ada Initiative" article reinforce prejudicial behavior because the perception, expectation even, of unequal treatment begets a sentiment against the very individuals such things aim to help.

    Soma

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