They found women accounted for 59% of acknowledged programmers -- so 41% were men and got the same treatment. The obvious conclusion would be that programming wasn't acknowledged the way it is now, but instead they push the narrative that they weren't acknowledged because they were women. Giving overlooked women in science some due attention is perfectly fine, but unwarranted conclusions about the causes for various situations aren't, in my opinion.
And the same with their explanation for how it changed. They state that it's in part because the work started being done by graduate students and postdocs, but then still conclude "Programmers, essentially, only became rewarded with authorship when they started becoming male." (and this "when" here is clearly intended to be read as a causal when). Of course there is a more plausible explanation, namely that men started becoming more interested in programming when it started presenting better opportunities for high-paying and high status jobs. Fully what is expected based on evolutionary psychology.
Nice way of glossing over that section.
At some point you just have to reject the argument that it was "best intentions" or "that's just evolutionary psychology". It was only 45 years ago that the "Equal Credit Opportunity Act" was passed. There are still tons of weird attitudes about women and their contributions to society. One that I see often is that "Women select lower paying jobs", but I rarely see the obvious counter argument "why in the hell doesn't our economy reward women for raising the next generation of workers?", as they do 80% of the house work. Women are often ignored in history books, Texas even made an attempt to have Hillary Clinton completely removed.
This discussion is just one such example. There are mounds of evidence of the sexism in our society. There might be scientific reasons that it exists, but there is no scientific or ethical defense of it's continued existence. Whether in the workplace or at home, women have been supplying half of economic output for the entirety of our history, and it's time to stop pretending that it isn't the case, or that historically those in power were powerless against some natural economic state.
I didn't say sexism didn't (or doesn't) exist, there's plenty of other evidence that it did/does. I'm just saying it doesn't follow.
And if I say something can be explained by evolutionary psychology that doesn't mean that therefore it's fine, or that it couldn't be changed given the right system of incentives.
Perhaps programming work is really well paid now because Nintendo of America decided to advertise to boys, and then those boys grew up to become men who were interested in programming, and because men pay other men more than they offer women. Or perhaps because, as the SV folks like to say "They aren't a good culture fit" when interviewing female candidates.
> We used wage data and productivity data from the whole of New Zealand to look at the reasons for the gender wage gap. We found that sexism (where employers prefer to hire men rather than women, are more likely to reject equally qualified women, or offer women less) is likely to be the most important driver of the gender wage gap. This is opposed to women working in low-paying industries or firms, being less productive, or being less successful at bargaining. 
Of course it follows. It is undeniable that many centuries of sexism are going to take a lot of work to undo, and it isn't exactly easy when most religions followed the world over, by huge swaths of humanity, also belittle their contributions to society, and actually devalue them to be below men. These beliefs and stories have a major impact on what we do.
So I'm going to stick with sexism because it is most likely the correct answer.
 - http://theconversation.com/women-paid-less-for-same-contribu...
> So I'm going to stick with sexism because it is most likely the correct answer.
Personally I am sticking to the incentive model. A woman who prioritize other aspect in their work and personal life over income does not have fewer children, has the same social network size as other women, and get similar respect in society at old age. For men the opposite is true, where a man who make the same choices would end up (statistically) at the bottom of society, alone, childless, with no respect in old age. As a result low income men also has a lower life expectancy. Pretty strong incentives if you ask me.
I thought the obvious answer to this is that the benefits women provide through parenthood are externalized. This is the case with education as well. Elon Musk's 9th grade science teacher doesn't get any shares in Space X.
And from what I can see, women overwhelmingly dominate careers that have a lot of positive externalities: teaching, (prenatal/neonatal) medicine, social work, philanthropy, environmentalism.
On the other hand, you don't see a whole lot of women hedge fund managers, oil and gas explorers, mechanical engineers, etc.
I've seen it argued endlessly that fields began paying less when women entered a field. Why isn't anyone asking if it's men exiting a field because it started paying less?
I have a question. ppl often say housework is "unpaid work" but how can that be since each spouse gets 50% of wealth accumulated by the family. For example spouse would get 50% of the family fortune in case of a divorce, if anything housework is overpaid not underpaid.
Ofcourse your future earning potential takes a hit the longer you just do "housework" prbly not very different than ppl doing menial jobs.
That's what I do. My salary goes into my wife's bank for her to dispose of as she sees fit. I figure I wouldn't be able to do my job without her help and she does take on most of the housework, so I figure she's entitled to the primary decisions on how money should be spent.
My argument is that our entire economy needs to reward this behavior, because the entire economy benefits from it.
Localizing the solution prevents those who gain the most from not having to pay for child care, education, food and shelter for a future workforce from helping to pay for this extremely important part of our economy.
The money that I earn at work is the money of my wife and I already. My point is that the economy should be rewarding the work that she does during the day while I'm doing my office work.
Legally, your premise is correct in most states. Practically it tends to play out differently in a divorce situation.
The Computer Girls is another interesting article about this attitude and how programming became masculised:
"I find it bizarre that people use the term "coding" to mean programming. For decades, we used the word "coding" for the work of low-level staff in a business programming team. The designer would write a detailed flow chart, then the "coders" would write code to implement the flow chart. This is quite different from what we did and do in the hacker community -- with us, one person designs the program and writes its code as a single activity. When I developed GNU programs, that was programming, but it was definitely not coding.
Since I don't think the recent fad for "coding" is an improvement, I have decided not to adopt it. I don't use the term "coding", except if I were talking about a business programming team which has coders." - https://stallman.org/stallman-computing.html
Your narrative is historically incorrect. Women invented many of the things that made software engineering _less_ tedious, such as debuggers (Betty Holberton, 1945), subroutines (Kay McNulty, circa 1947), assemblers (Kathleen Booth, 1947), linkers (Grace Hopper, 1952), and compilers (Grace Hopper, 1954). Programmers have always strived to make their job easier. If you don't see these inventions as creative effort, I don't know how to help you.
Even the parts of programming that were tedious were still important. If you saw someone tediously programming in assembly code today, you might celebrate the effort.
The flowcharts that these women were handed by their managers were not "program logic". There were many difficult details to work out about how to implement a program given the limited computing power of the time. You would not describe a manager today who draws a flowchart as having "written a program".
It was boring though. Programming 50's is nothing like programming in 2019. They were doing tedious data entry.
You are doing exactly the thing the article describes.
This is one reason the guidelines ask us to increase substantiveness on controversial topics.
When ideology-laden topics are discussed on HN, I often struggle to find the right amount of detail to put in a post. Erring in either direction seems to cause problems. My OP was apparently too light.
Women deserve a focus.
Other people also deserve a focus. They should also get it.
But for now, this article is about giving women a focus. Talking about giving other people a focus seems to be an attempt to get the focus away from women or denying that they deserve it. It seems a bit like derailing. Given HN's overwhelming male demographics because computers and software are overwhelmingly male, it's a bit harmful to be talking about other people whenever women are mentioned.
For now, just read about women. That's a big chunk of the population. Later, read about other non-women people who also were left out. But give women a chance.
I think I understand where you're coming from, and I sympathize. I recognize the tension between competing ideals here.
Unfortunately I don't know of a solid, reasoned answer for why we should prefer one or the other. I'm left with just a sense of humility (regarding my command of metaphysics, logic, and empathy) and personal tastes.
My personal taste is that, at the moment, I'm feeling annoyed with so much focus on "girl power" at the expense of other social injustices. Which is why I was interested in knowing what other aggrieved groups were being neglected in the same way that women were in the scientific literature.
But honestly, I can't give a solid reason for why someone should prefer my take on it to an unwavering pro-women approach.
And as to broad cultural values: I should have brought up gingers then, because I am sure you can agree to it that they are. Plus, you really cannot claim anything about the relevant people's cultural values and if they really have been a major influence on the decision of putting people in the footnotes, and that it was due to this people's biological sex. Why do you so want it to be the case? Why cannot it be something else, like something related to the contribution itself? That would definitely make more sense and would be more likely than some random, arbitrary attribute.
This is patently and obviously false:
>A 2017 study by Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago economists found that the practice of redlining—the practice whereby banks discriminated against the inhabitants of certain neighborhoods—had a persistent adverse impact on the neighborhoods, with redlining affecting homeownership rates, home values and credit scores in 2010.
>Low income black communities that have been segregated by social forces through city design have higher levels of criminal activity rates.
>According to U.S. Sentencing Commission figures, no class of drug is as racially skewed as crack in terms of numbers of offenses. According to the commission, 79 percent of 5,669 sentenced crack offenders in 2009 were black, versus 10 percent who were white and 10 percent who were Hispanic. The figures for the 6,020 powder cocaine cases are far less skewed: 17 percent of these offenders were white, 28 percent were black, and 53 percent were Hispanic. Combined with a 115-month average imprisonment for crack offenses versus an average of 87 months for cocaine offenses, this makes for more African-Americans spending more time in the prison system.
>Blacks were more than twice as likely as whites to be searched after traffic stops, even though they proved to be 26 percent less likely to be in possession of illegal drugs or weapons.
>The results show significant discrimination against African-American names: White names receive 50 percent more callbacks for interviews. We also find that race affects the benefits of a better resume. For White names, a higher quality resume elicits 30 percent more callbacks whereas for African Americans, it elicits a far smaller increase.
Focus on people in general, not people who belong to the group G. Focusing on people in general is not an attempt to get the focus away from women, since women are humans, too. Focusing on women alone reeks of discrimination to me. You cannot "fight" discrimination by more discrimination.
"All Lives Matter" is a truism. Of course they do. It doesn't even need mentioning, so why did you mention it? "Black Lives Matter" highlights an actual problem that needs to be addressed, so why are you shouting "All Lives Matter" back at it when you weren't saying anything before?
"All Lives Matter" is just a bland retort to try to get the spotlight away from "Black Lives Matter".
In the case of women, their sex is not irrelevant, because the demographics of people in science overwhelmingly show a skew in sex and gender. Highlighting how women were relegated to footnotes much more than men were is an interesting bit of information that shouldn't be shut down with "what about the men?"
It sounds like you're confident that you understand the motives of the persons in the "All Lives Matter" camp. Could you explain what lead you to that conclusion?
> "Black Lives Matter" highlights an actual problem that needsd to be addressed
So what is that problem? Does it have to do with exclusion? If so, why do not you promote "All Lives Matter", to make sure no one is excluded, then?
> "All Lives Matter" is just a bland retort to try to get the spotlight away from "Black Lives Matter"
And I could say that "Black Lives Matter" is just a bland way of trying to get the spotlight away from the fact that everyone deserves equal treatment, and that we should not discriminate people, or exclude them for their skin color, which is what it is actually doing. It is doing exactly the same thing it is fighting against.
Fighting fire with fire is not a good way of doing it. You do not even have to create such groups or whatever to address these issues. In fact, I cannot think of a reason of why shouting "Black Lives Matter" is a solution at all.
> In the case of women, their sex is not irrelevant, because the demographics of people in science overwhelmingly show a skew in sex and gender.
There are men who have been underrepresented, and there are women who have been underrepresented. Why focus on women only? What is the point here exactly?
> Highlighting how women were relegated to footnotes much more than men were is an interesting bit of information
So were men. How is it interesting?
Back to the matter at hand, what could be the reason that some men and women get shoved into the footnotes only? Does it have to do with the merit of quality of their contributions? Why do we assume that it has to do with their sex to begin with? Maybe it has to do with the contributions themselves, or something completely different.
The problem is that Black Lives manifestly do not matter as much as others, and particularly white lives, in the accountability structure that actually functionally exists.
> If so, why do not you promote "All Lives Matter"
Because a bug report needs to point as specifically as possible to the way the actual behavior is defective.
> I could say that "Black Lives Matter" is just a bland way of trying to get the spotlight away from the fact that everyone deserves equal treatment,
You could say anything, but as a matter of fact you would be wrong to say that.
Is it not concerned with black people only?
As a matter of historical fact, both All Lives Matter and Blue Lives Matters are reactions in defense of status quo inequities from slightly different angles.
> defense of status quo inequities
Well yeah, the point should be to solve this issue. "Black Lives Matter" is not the right way of doing it as it excludes other people. If you get "All Lives Matter", then you can focus on lives that are not being treated equally, while not excluding other groups of people. My point is, that exclusion is really not necessary to recognize and solve issues, even if those issues' victims are predominantly a specific group of people.
Applying the same logic to software development, a product manager shouldn't assign a development ticket that just says "make the application better" and bug reports shouldn't just say "the application is broken". Those themes may be true, but it's not an effective way to solve problems.
On Veteran's Day, do you point out that all jobs matter?
We proclaim "more focus to women" and we immediately forget "more focus to black people" we put on our banners ten years ago. We then jump to "more focus to lgbtqrst" and completely forget about women.
Should we indeed focus on personalities and abilities, not on whether a person has a vagina or a certain skin color?
Yes, we should recognize abilities and contributions irrespective of sex or race. The problem is that this historically has not been the case and to argue otherwise is to imply that people of a certain sex or race are inherently less capable.
The problem hasn't been naturally corrected without deliberate intervention so far, so it seems reasonable to think a deliberate, targeted approach is required to make sure we're getting better at recognizing and cultivating talent from the entire population.