The platforms I built are not for profile, not even having any ads, just made with good mind but seems I didn't catch a real need.
Also, like I said in another comment, women tend to promote themselves/put themselves in front of others much less. The idea of Women Make is really to show them they can and they should. So basically it’s giving women confidence, and the specific support they don’t necessarily get from other places.
Can you clarify this? Anyone can sign up with an account and the whole thing is meritocratic.
It seems like you're trying to tell people what they can and cannot discuss more and more on HN.
> Can you clarify this? Anyone can sign up with an account and the whole thing is meritocratic.
This seems like a perfectly reasonable question.
Re "taking one side": it always feels like moderators take the other side. The people on the opposite side from you feel that we're taking your side; I guarantee it.
Also, I don't think it's really fair to the OP if we start putting her on the spot about Stack Overflow. She probably hasn't thought that much about it, since for most people the only way to get a project like this off the ground is by focusing on one thing for a long time.
There was a moment in college when I was participating in a Take Back the Night march, and I was leading the call-and-response chant "What do we want? Safety! When do we want it? Now!" It felt awkward and wrong. Once I stopped leading the chant and started participating vigorously in the response of the call-and-response, it felt right.
Maybe your sentiment can be enhanced by not gatekeeping participation - but by promoing a handover of leadership to more symbolic choices once the work of buuilding momentum is done. This is a rule that could be applied to any demographic-based leadership that needs to organize its aesthetic as it grows
But there is no substitute for the underrepresented assuming actual positions of real power and leadership — breaking through ceilings, becoming role models, making mistakes and overcoming them... and eventually becoming ordinary and routine.
Now put yourself in the shoes of a woman in tech/entrepreneurship/makerdom. Would you rather hang out in a community where everyone fundamentally understands the challenges you face daily, or one where you have to explain the basic premise of your daily challenges when you initiate a conversation about them? (Or rather, would you prefer to hang out in both, or just the latter, since it's not really an either/or.)
Now I'm sure there is some selection bias in the posts in this thread (i.e. they don't reflect the distribution of opinions of HN viewers), but that's kind of the point; the selection bias for posting filters the other way in communities like womenmake.
- Because you don't know "fundamentally" why
At least part of it is the same reason you might want to hang out with people already skilled in your disciplines: you get to go do the advanced stuff, instead of getting the other people up to speed.
Edit, presuming some things:
You know how it's really annoying how all your non-tech relatives think you can solve all their weird tech problems, and you have to spend all this time explaining to them you why that's annoying, or why it's nice to hang out with people that don't do that?
What I think you're saying is that the requirements don't make sense to you, or that they bother you because you're thinking that they're not requirements you can meet.
IMO, you can at least meet the requirements in spirit.
AFAIK / IMO, most groups that defined themselves as for X or Y group are mostly doing two things:
1) They want to center the conversations around topics not normally in the center
2) They want to avoid issues that people from outside the group commonly have
2b) They want to avoid issues that people from outside the group commonly have when interacting people from inside the group.
#1 is pretty normal and maps well onto any group defined by common experiences. You succeed or fail at this pretty much the way you succeed or fail in any group. Join a ham radio group to talk about not ham radio, and when you don't have any interest in learning more about ham radio? Yeah. Good way to do this on the 'net is to lurk.
#2 is a a lot subtler and harder to hear, particularly when you're likely to have those common issues. Some of them are just communication styles: Ever seen a group of guys excitedly discuss something? Interruptions are the norm. Some are massively problematic even if they're rare, like harassment. Or situation specific, like asking the group to teach you enough for #1. Some groups like to educate newcomers so they can do #1, others just want to do #1 without that.
Resolving #1 takes learning, but resolving #2 takes training, and facing hard things. Both of these are resolvable through dedicated work. Go learn enough about the group that you have something worthwhile to add for #1, go learn enough about yourself and that group so you know what the common issues are, take a hard look at yourself to understand which you have, and then train yourself so you can avoid them.
Most groups (IMO) that define themselves as for A, and/or for excluding B, are doing so to save time, effort and risk. It's a cheap and reliable way to achieve #1 and #2.
No, I am for requirements not against them. What are the requirements (or features) of the new platform which does not apply to HN - that is the question.
Edit: OP says it's all about moderators: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=22129710
Unclear to me if there's any encoded requirements.
Edit: It might not clear what I'm not finding clear. It's not clear to me who you're referring to in the first sentence, or what "get" means in "get the requirements", or what you're referring to when you say "the requirements". It's not clear to me what the "that" is in "that's what's not clear to me". I don't understand what you thought I should have clarified but didn't. I'm not sure even how to begin approaching your last sentence.
I really do think that a more verbose rephrase would resolve all these.
In that case you can give "requirements" what is needed to work with you in your tempo, right?
What the discussion is about (at least to me) is not about the right of picking your people to go together with (ofc you can do that) but about the specific, concrete "requirements" which the "new platform" implements but HN does not.
> In that case you can give "requirements" what is needed to work with you in your tempo, right?
This part is clear. Yes. I would give those requirements, although probably not with term - not like it's a job interview or something.
> What the discussion is about (at least to me)
This is clear.
> is not about the right of picking your people to go together with
This is not clear? It's a very convoluted sentence.
> but about the specific, concrete "requirements"
This is mostly clear. What do you see as the requirements being implemented by the new platform?
Yes, that should be my question for you! :)
My thoughts from the uncomfortably unique prospective of a trans woman in tech; I can only speak for why I find these sorts of spaces valuable.
However, there is a difference between "why" and "why", right? I do not question its "existence" (user count can prove that), but the reasons behind its being used - so I might be aware of things going on (user count itself can't add information about that).
Isn't that the case that people who want "some change" based on their (not too good) experiences - maybe sometimes they can't even recognize/express what they really need so accurately and what concrete things they are looking for - are likely to engage with new groups and norms which might just be a better experience for them - without any "formal requirements" and more like based on sensation? And the words/phrases/memes they "click on" are probably the same as other similar people "click on". And in that context "woman" might be an associative meme to these other memes: helpful, empathy, understanding, caring, respectful, misunderstood, minority. So explicitly using "woman" as a "meme" might be attractive to the people who are looking for or relate this other qualities/memes.
(I say woman as a "meme", because it's not for women only, so actually it seems to me it means more than its original meaning.)
This is just an idea how I can imagine what it MIGHT be about, any comment on that is welcome.
If I take a walk into main street I will go through several different environments that many has extreme different majorities and minorities. Stores which customers (and sellers) that are 90% women. Others with 90% men. Some places catering to specific nationalities, cultures, religion, language and so on. Restaurants in particular tend to cater to one specific culture, and I am personally not part of that culture for most places I go to, making me a minority there.
There are parts of the city where I will be a minority, others where I will be part of the majority. There are activities where the majority and minority switch place depending on what the current time is, others by which day of the week it is.
So, if, as a woman, you raise a problem in a space that's mostly male (like pretty much all tech spaces), you'll get a bunch of suggestions of trivial things to try (that you usually already have tried), plus a bunch of questions that amount to "I don't see your problem, so it doesn't exist".
I firmly believe that isn't malevolence - it's lack of knowledge plus some traits that are more pronounced in people in software engineering. (We can have a long debate about why they're pronounced, but for a moment let's just stipulate to their existence)
This means, as a woman (or in general, as part of a minority), you spent the vast amount of time in majority spaces explaining things, over, and over, as opposed to actually diving deeper on your problem.
Again, this is not due to malevolence, or because men are bad - it's an outcome of the situation. Let's say we're all prone to ask questions of other people that seem basic to them if we're sufficiently different - because we just don't know.
Now, if you're in a space where you're the only one in your group (The "yous"), and there are 10 others ("others"), and we all ask on average one such question per day - "yous" get 10 questions/day, "others" get 0.1/day. IOW: You feel you get asked super-basic questions 100 times more often than anybody else. You can see how that wouldn't make feel people very welcome :)
If you want to avoid causing them, there are a couple of fairly easy ways:
* Don't make assumptions about other people. ("You're a man, you should be good at.../bad at...")
* If people talk about their own experiences, just believe them. Don't have them explain every single bit.
* Don't offer solutions if you don't fully understand a problem.
* If you want to help, Google at least basic information first. (Let's have an example: If you don't understand why women need a mother's room, head to Google first. Don't just say "I don't understand why there aren't father's rooms, too!". Sounds strange, but literal example I experienced)
* Find common ground, instead of focusing on the differences. (Here, for example: "Yay for launching this. How'd you do X" is much better than "why do you need that space". If you must ask that question, phrase it so it's still on common ground - we're on HN, people care about market fit, so ask "How'd you find out there was a need for it?")
* And if you still need to ask a question, because you truly lack the understanding and can't find the answer, do what you did: Make yourself vulnerable. Admit you really don't know, and you'd like to understand. (But really, Google first :)
I hope that's a somewhat helpful answer?
Can you give like 3 examples of this happening on HN? (Since the original question was about what the difference would be to HN), or for example StackOverflow? I mean the basic interface of those websites does even show the gender of the account, dies it? Why would the answers then be different dependent on the gender?
We should ask for evidence to justify claims like this.
Someone doesn’t have to justify their feelings or opinions or observations of how they are being treated. If someone says they are always experiencing something, then we should listen instead of asking them to prove to us that they are allowed to feel that way.
> If someone says they are always experiencing something, then we should listen instead of asking them to prove to us that they are allowed to feel that way.
I think it is important to be precise, to reason correctly on this issue. What is it, exactly, that they are always experiencing? The simple fact that they were treated a particular way, or the experience of a disparity of treatment? Those are two completely different types of experiences to discuss, and should be treated differently.
Consider this from the big picture perspective, in which a community of people wants to care for its members but wants to do so on the basis of reality, not just indulging whoever, for example, tells the best story. If I have the strategy of jumping between subjective and objective types of claims, and then refusing to give evidence when an objective claim is questioned by invoking my right to have my emotional experience validated - at what point will you learn the difference between what is objectively true, and what is simply my unsubstantiated belief?
By insisting that everyone's lived experiences are always fully validated, while simultaneously suggesting that a factual investigation is invalidating of that experience, then we have made it impossible, as a group, to discover the truth.
If it is not true, but the person believes that it is true, they may even be harmed by their false belief.
In general, we should take great care not to confuse our subjective impressions or our emotional experiences with objective reality.
Listening to a person (or even caring deeply for another's experience) is not mutual exclusive to taking steps to determine if their emotional responses are rooted in actual reality, or just their perception of reality. Both can happen together, by the same person, in the same conversation.
Presenting this as a choice of mutually exclusive options does everyone a disservice.
In my opinion, there are situations where you should prioritize a person's emotional experience, and situations in which you should prioritize the facts.
In my opinion, everyone should be encouraged to question the evidentiary basis of any of your beliefs and claims which deal with objective reality, not be discouraged from doing so, and not have this conflated with invalidating your experience.
My objective reality is that they're not interested in actually having a conversation, but instead trolling. I require proof of work that that's not so.
Also what does my name has to do with this conversation?
I'm not here to do your homework. That was the whole point of the above.
Where are you getting these assumptions? Why would the same advice not be given to a male? If a male and a female ask the same question, they are given the same answer in my experience. Maybe it's that they are not having the same problems or asking the same questions?
Of course people would respond differently to different questions. It sounds like maybe not knowing the right questions to ask or where to look for those answers, or an inability to communicate about concepts in clear terms. And that's not a knock against women, there are plenty who can do this well. That seems much more straightforward and plausibe than saying that HN gives you trivial answers and gives you the run around because you have female experiences.
That's just different answers being given to different questions.
Let it as is! :D
... And to your comment below...
... I already responded to why, because it's Bs to post a claim with no questions allowed. I'm not calling her a liar I'm disagreeing with the conclusion she comes to.
Sorry I don't blindly believe conspiracy theories. You shouldn't either. I don't care if they posted NO QUESTIONS, IM FEELING UNWELCOME. Like that's great, I'm still going to ask questions, you don't get immunity especially with nonsense theories. That's something to qualify arguments with clear holes in them. I'm trying to get a real answer not make a sheltered bubble.
This is a hollow opinion to hold. If you can't defend or discuss your beliefs, especially inflammatory and controversial ones, then don't spout them off with a disclaimer of no questions allowed. I happen to disagree with the explanation op gives, but they won't even accept feedback. We're at an impasse because you want your own rules.
Otherwise it's just an opinion contest and no progress will ever be made. Thanks for pointing out the obvious repeatedly though. I don't want to e welcoming to everyone, I want to be welcoming to those who deserve it.
Having a community specifically targeting a small sect of people can be a great thing. They feel like they'll get answers from people just like them.
Model S owners need to populate something like /r/TeslaModelS and then your issues are solved.
Is there a particular tool you're using/that you'd recommend? Headless Chrome, PhantomJS, NightmareJS? Do you just wait an arbitrary amount of time to assume the necessary visuals have loaded/rendered, or is there a feedback mechanism to indicate when it's ready to be captured?
Don't get me wrong I do believe it works, I am just curious about the psychology.
"People from who you can inspire from" - do you mean you might have higher "basic level" of connection with the same sex?
Or are there also topics you can get into?
Seeing im downvoted up there: these are honest curious questions, I want to understand better how these social things work. And I'd be glad if I could understand more here, because unfortunately my previous attempts to understand similar social constructs failed (unfortunately I've been told multiple times by women that as a man something is not my business at all and I was not even let understand the nature of the relations.)
There are many ways you could have framed the question, but the way you did sounds like you're challenging the premise of what OP is trying to do.
Someone built something. If your first response is "Why did you build this thing?" or in your case "Please elaborate why you think building this thing helps?" it comes across as being intentionally and unnecessarily negative, even if perhaps your intent is not to do so.
If you are actually curious, a few similar ways to frame the question:
- How have you seen your work impact women?
- What are the most meaningful ways this community has helped your users?
All positive ways of framing the similar "I'm curious how or why this works" question.
Every single HN thread is comprised of people challenging the base assumptions of the post and demanding that new projects justify themselves.
Every. Single. One.
"Don't get me wrong I do believe it works, I am just curious about the psychology."
Another example is exposure. Even in a purely meritocratic environment, those who get exposure will be heavily weighted, even sometimes exclusively, towards men. This can give the impression that tech is explicitly for men. Carving out a space for women's minority voices to be seen and heard over the hoards of men is useful for those women and other women considering getting into tech. Representation matters, and seeing people like you succeed gives you confidence that you can succeed as well.
I think this is part of the issue - the subject of women's business groups and their psychological efficacy, and at a larger scale women's under-representation in tech, has been a conversation in cyberspace/meatspace for several years. At some point, asking the same questions about the premise of a movement become an affront to the movement itself. You can compare this to other identity-based movements; asking the question "why are there all-black congregations? Are those even psychologically beneficial for black people?" or "why are there gay bars? Do they actually promote well-being for gay people?" are not questions that people ask (in the part of the world that I'm in) because those questions seem like non-issues: of course black people want to feel community with other black people. Of course gay people want to connect with other gay people. It's perceived as almost rude to ask!
Maybe this has to do with a cultural mismatch. For many, gender politics has been a frequent conversational topic in their information spheres for many years. For you, it may have not been. Just a perspective for moving forward.
If you're interested in understanding the female perspective in tech, I would recommend being a fly on the wall in communities of women:
And also reading these essays:
Basically, the idea is that you often identify better to someone who has common points with you, including sex.
However I'd also add (this is just a personal opinion) that words, phrases which do relate to underrepresented groups might be more exciting for everyone because of the definition: it's not common but more unique.
(I suppose the terms entrepreneur, maker, and business(wo)man are interexchange in some sense)
> Don’t mansplain, be respectful and remember to give the floor to women. That being said, all members are welcome to participate in all discussions... And keep in mind that the purpose of Women Make is to put women at the forefront.
Presumably the site is primarily for women, may I suggest perhaps a better choice of words? Although I find it unfortunate that we have to create a separate community based on gender, I hope you succeed in creating a positive community for women.
Why? Freedom of association is an important human right. According to wikipedia "Freedom of Association is both an individual right and a collective right, guaranteed by all modern and democratic legal systems".
I think it's great that they are just exercising their rights.
I think likely there are quite a few reasons, but personally I'd say it's because it seems like there's this big push for inclusiveness and political correctness and anything that doesn't include everyone is bad.
I think the word "mansplaining" is sexist and pejorative.
>If you have a point beyond just wanting to lash out [...]
I read this as, "If you have a [perspective] other than one I agree with [...]".
Please don't turn hn into a community that just echos opinions you agree with.
I described your comment as being a jerk because mariedm asked for copywriting suggestions, specifically in the context of being a non-native speaker, and you responded with a polemical smackdown. That's not good-faith discussion.
> This community is open, meaning everyone can join (even men), as long as people joining are here to empower women. We believe a change is only possible together.
I'm a man working in the tech industry, and I feel like I still don't 100% understand the concerns or frustrations that motivate a project like yours. I'd like to better understand where you (and presumably some other women) are coming from.
> Gathering us is an opportunity to find allies, but also models, people from who you can inspire from and find the strength to do what you want to do.
IIUC, you're saying that you see value in having (specifically) women as allies and sources of inspiration / strength. If that's true, why would that be?
> But I’m glad I have a place like Women Make for certain topics and to know I’m not alone in this.
Would you mind sharing a bit about what those topics are?
I can't tell if your question to me was rhetorical, but I'll try to answer it just in case you're interested. (Apologies that it's long-winded, I couldn't find a way to make it brief.)
The comment you linked to includes this: "Would you rather hang out in a community where everyone fundamentally understands the challenges you face daily, or one where you have to explain the basic premise of your daily challenges when you initiate a conversation about them? (Or rather, would you prefer to hang out in both, or just the latter, since it's not really an either/or.)"
I understand the appeal of working in a team where, on an interpersonal level, I can easily and naturally relate to every one of my teammates. And it sounds like that's the vibe you're going for, IIUC.
When I'm leading a team in the tech industry, part of my job is to remove obstacles to the team's happiness and productivity. The kind of homogeneity mentioned above would undoubtedly prevent some of the problems that can arise in a diverse team. But my job is to make find ways to make a heterogeneous team happy and productive; turning it into a homogenous team (e.g. all members being the same sex) isn't an option that I have (or want).
So I'm hoping to understand, in as much detail as you're interested in sharing, what the factors are that make you more comfortable doing maker work with women than with men. Because perhaps that knowledge would help me create a better work environment for everyone on my teams.
That is entirely different from the community that is being built here. It is more a support group, and the goal is to enrich the lives of the member of the group. Support groups tend to be made up of people who have experienced similar hardships. They do have an exterior goal: try to make others experiencing that hardship in the wider community less likely. But that goal is secondary to the primary goal of being a place for people who have had similar experiences to support each other.
As an aside: when someone has said, "I experience this bad thing," it's bad form to continually questions them on the dimensions of their experience of that bad thing. I assume you are doing this in good faith, and haven't thought about it from this perspective. Since mariedm created an entire community around this, perhaps a better way of gaining an understanding is to read that community for a while.
> As an aside: when someone has said, "I experience this bad thing," it's bad form to continually questions them on the dimensions of their experience of that bad thing. I assume you are doing this in good faith, and haven't thought about it from this perspective.
It seems I need to find a better way to recognize when a conversation has gotten into this territory. This could be one of those social-interaction observations that many find intuitive, but I need to have explained. I'm genuinely grateful for you pointing this out.
When someone makes a "Show HN" post, I've been assuming that they're interested in discussing the project's motivation in some depth. I gave some thought about whether or not I was drilling too far into the motivations, but I couldn't think of any likely answer that would be too painful to bring up in a public forum.
I also hoped that phrasing my question as "Would you mind sharing a bit about what those topics are?" would clearly indicate that I wasn't sure how far down this topic the author wanted to go, and that I didn't mean to pry. I figured worst-case scenario, the OP would ignore any questions she felt went too far.
This is exactly what I don't get. What does this mean? The moderation team will be all female? Biased towards females? Because to me it just seems like all you need is for everyone to be decent to each other. I don't see the women centric angle here.
This is an extremely vague definition, which is very likely prone to corruption and preferential treatment within the organization.
Thank you. I wish you the best of luck with your project.
Any reason why you chose to build your own vs use existing infrastructure (ie your own subreddit you moderate, closed facebook group, etc)? I’m not intending to sound critiquing, I’m interested in learning more about your insight.
If some of the various online communities of, um, hard to pick a term here that someone won't take offense to, but you probably know what sort of communities I'm talking about - if they take an interest in your site, you'll need heavy defense, and quick reactions, to avoid major disruption. Maybe all comments from newer accounts should go through moderation before being posted? Or have that as a switch that can be turned on when the attacks happen?
On one hand, like the single-sex schools of yore, they may provide an opportunity for disadvantaged who can’t access “mainstream” communities.
On the other hand, their existence appears contrary to the general inclusivity trend, and if “mainstream” communities as a result acquire an excuse to be implicitly pro-male (since there are female communities, and explicitly male communities are considered unacceptable) then it must suck for those who do not strongly identify with either female or male gender.
It is hard to admit that our society really is still at a stage where gender exclusivity is necessary—but, given the number of female-only communities, it must be the case.
I will never try to get VC funding because it's just not worth the time investment for those odds. Therefore I welcome communities for women entrepreneurs because we unfortunately on average must have different game plans compared to men.
We also have to deal with different BS, such as employees hitting on us. Fortunately this has not happened with me with any customers yet. I put forth effort to avoid that.
@mariedm - congrats! Love the design.
Edit: One suggestion - a personal peeve is when a site flashes up a "subscribe" modal when I've only been on the site for a few seconds. Not sure what the conversions are like on that, but personally I'd be more likely to do that if I'd had a chance to look around.
I don't know how most people react to these popups. I think there are stats since I guess that people who put these on their websites also put all sorts of trackers, but for me, it is often a signal to simply close the tab and never come back.
The reason is that it completely breaks my focus. I am reading an article, browsing stuff, and find it interesting. Then the popup pops. Now, I am distracted and start to think. Is it that interesting? What am I doing here? Then tell myself I have better things to do than stay on a website with aggressive popups.
And if the content really is good, I will just close the popup and continue reading. I mean, I am in the middle of a good article right now, I have better things to do than filling some form.
Don't worry, if your content is so good that I want to subscribe, I will find your button, you don't need to shove it in my face.
The thing that invariably makes me click away is a huge full-screen GDPR notice on an article that I've clicked because I might have a passing interest in it. It's quite a good attention filter!
I think if you want to have a female only site then no one should really get offended by this. I do think females probably have many different experiences than men in the tech space and having a place where it's more normalized to share them is a good idea. Without rules for a community like this it will just get diluted and you'll end up with Hacker News 2.0.
I've seen communities like this work really well in the past but only with good moderation and clear rules. Having a place like this is also a great way to understand people a little better - i.e. listening instead of speaking (if you're not a female.) just my thoughts. let them downboats flow~
Currently men make up approximately a third of victims but have approximately 0% of the shelters.
If you scroll through the comments here, you may find that it's not a foregone conclusion that the mainstream spaces are necessarily male-oriented. Quite a few people feel the opposite, in fact.
The argument is not that some groups have a sort of ephemeral power. The argument is that they had actual systematic power, and that minorities within a given sphere often lack actual power because their specific needs go overlooked.
Would you join a wheelchair users group and ask for a stairs advocacy subcommittee in the name of equality?
You are arguing with a platform I didn't cite and did not have in mind until you mentioned it. Arguments for basic fairness can be found in the Declaration of Independence, the US constitution, and numerous contemporary writings. The academic work you mention seems mostly to be an effort to investigate the degree to which those theoretical concepts are realized in practice.
Any Celtic person demanding 'rights for whites' is essentially ignoring their own history in favor of being the guard dog on a social estate.
Besides which, I don't think expecting a moderator to look at the context is unreasonable.
The only one that needs to be told not to enter threads looking for ideological arguments is the person who reacted to a username with the word 'celtic' in it.
Professionally... there is no benefit to separate men from women for me. I don't need to know how to be a good male developer, I need to work on being a good developer, period.
That said, I'm not going to fight against a group or organization like this. I think that as the internet connects us, it's harder to find small groups. Additionally, I think some people have experiences they need to discuss, positive and negative, that are of social relevance for them and others. So, if women feel a certain way in the workplace and need to make a place for discussion, that is totally fine. It shouldn't be seen as a slight to others. I think it's just part of what makes us human. That's why we naturally separate into groups, tribes, families, nations, etc.
This isn't some argument for men vs women or nationalism, please don't take it that way.
I'm only saying that a space where you can iterate/discuss/be heard is important. More often than not, the size of the group is a primary factor.
And I assume there are men-only gay bars and erectile-dysfunction support groups.
† https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White%27s not strip clubs.
My hunch (no evidence) is that it was fine until people started using these groups for discussing business/politicking. So, basically the groups were corrupted. Once business or decision making starts to happen, the groups become exclusionary.
That's my best guess.
Personally, I am pro-groups of any kind. People should be free to associate in life or in business with others who share their views and values. However, I do wish that there wasn't such a negative view of groups/systems men create or join. Another commenter mentioned men's shelters, but that's just the tip of the iceberg on that particular issue.
For the most part, leaving that one because there is a whole rat's nest of complexity to untangle that varies by jurisdiction and region of the world. Religious freedom is a generally well-respected (from a legal perspective) philosophy in many countries, but at the end of the day, in most of these countries, those freedoms are seeing a great deal of erosion due to the progression of human rights.
> poor social skills with women
Frankly, if someone is bad at speaking with women, then there is an issue of individual social skills. I would argue that if someone is "bad at speaking with women", they are bad at speaking with people in general, but they just assume that because of gender, that they can set aside or be forgiven their poor social skills.
> avoiding sexual tension that naturally arise
No. Sexual tension does not "naturally arise" between men and women any more than gay sexual tension arises between men and women participating in gender exclusive communities. If "sexual tension" is a problem for a heterosexual individuals when they are in a mixed gender environment, but not in a restricted gender environment, then those individuals have a self-control problem, not a sexual tension problem, since there is always the possibility that someone from the same gender will find them attractive and create "sexual tension". I don't know if you meant something else, but
Sexual tension occurs in all situations that pit people together for any significant length of time, regardless of sexual orientation. It is by definition a result of self-control, I'm not sure your definition of sexual tension is the same as mine based on this statement. It is unexpressed attraction usually because the situation may be inappropriate.
You seem opposed to the idea of gender-exclusive spaces. So I have to ask, do you disagree with women's only gyms? Men's only? Gender specific locker rooms?
Gender exclusive spaces are perfectly fine as a general concept, provided that the overall access to opportunities or resources aren't reduced by the exlusivity. Women and men only gyms make sense, however I would be concerned if there was a shift too far in either direction by a significant switch to male or female exclusive facilities that would result in a lack of access due to gender. There are an abundance of classes and resources that are generally available to learn code, and I can say that community events I have organized and attended have been, until quite recently, heavily biased towards men. Creating similar events that cater to women to increase access and visibility of opportunities is not discriminatory, since there is a negligible impact on availability for men, but a net increase in availability for women (by way of example, I did a quick check of 10 events local to vancouver that are general access, with approximately 600 seats, and contrasted this to a women only event that is 30 seats. This means that there are, at most, 10% more seats specifically available to women at learn to code style events over the period of those 11 events, but I can say anecdotally that of those 600 general access seats, they will be 75% or more filled with men, so the actual impact on more seats available exclusively to women is much smaller on the actual attendance of women. This isn't rocket science, and with more time I could actually source the data [with the proviso that my data will be taken from assuming the gender of folks from the communities I have organized for which I still have attendance data from the last several years])
I also think that it is well past time for gender specific locker rooms - it doesn't respect privacy, and creates a landmine of risk. A mix of private bathrooms or change rooms, with family change rooms where appropriate to the facility makes more sense. Having distinct male or female washrooms has created no end of problems for LGBTQ+ folks, and have caused a great deal of drama at all age levels (community centres and schools, etc) for children. Beyond that, as a simple preference, I don't want to share a bathroom with anyone, even if I am just standing up to take a whizz.
The solution is: we don't delete comments outright unless the author asks us to. The most we'll do is kill them, which means they get marked as [dead] and are visible to users with 'showdead' set to 'yes' in their profile.
That's why I turned showdead on, but I find it's also helpful to calibrate to the norms of the community. I'd recommend everyone at least be aware of the option and give it a try for a bit.
Also if all this is documented somewhere, please feel free to point me to it. I couldn't find any on my own.
@dang, I believe you need a day off :)
But seriously, just in case you're feeling a bit down about HN lately, I really appreciate the work you guys do to make this a good place for discussion. I'm sure I'm not alone in that. Well done.
Yeah, well, I'm kind of oblivious sometimes :)
But I don't regret taking the time to thank y'all for the work you do, regardless. Rock on.
given your authority and status on this site, I wouldn't count on getting honest replies from users.
In other words : just because it isn't said doesn't mean it isn't thought. Few people want to be honest and defend their opinion in the face of an 'admin', anywhere. It's potentially self-defeating compared to just staying quiet.
You may want to review the HN guidelines, they discourage discussing downvotes.
I had forgotten HN discourages it!
It's also illustrative of a very common occurrence in tech circles where the moment a woman mentions competence in a certain technology the first response of men around her is to throw technical questions at her in a way they simply don't in instances where a man mentions the same thing.
I'd done the same regardless of gender (or experience level); it's really been that much of a game changer.
Edit: Do you know of any ways to share this sort of enthusiasm that won't come off that way? Or is just something that's not possible?
It's kind of weird to respond to "Hey I did this cool thing that I'm really proud of" with "[nothing about that specific thing] have you ever done this very specific thing in the programming language that you happened to be using".
It'd be like going to somebody's university graduation and instead of congratulating them, you ask if they have a detailed opinion on some obscure philosophy text. It's potentially a fun thing to discuss, but it's a weird time to bring it up.
I do think it's possible, but it's difficult to provide you with exact steps to follow that I'd class as a catch all.
Enthusiasm is great, but try to make sure that your enthusiasm isn't riding roughshod over the context - in your example it was easy to read your enthusiasm the wrong way because it was so tangentially related to what the OP was discussing. You kind of latched on to a throw away part of the primary topic and rushed into wanting to discuss that small part of. In that context it's easy to assume you're a type of bad actor rather than just enthusiastic. Make it harder for people to assume the worst by taking their conversation seriously before jumping in with your off-topic excitement.
A bit off topic, but I recently discovered [...]
One of the biggest problems with male dominated communities is men imagining what women would say instead of just listening to the women in the community. I'd be interested in hearing responses to parent from actual women.
Trying to imagine how women might feel isn't a problem. Posting about what you imagine woman might feel to the extent that it crowds out actual women saying how they feel (e.g. being the top response) is a problem.
Doctor, heal thyself.
I don't control where my response sits, so it sounds like you're saying the problem is that I decided to speak at all. I am having a hard time reading the comment any other way than "don't express opinions about how you imagine a woman might feel".
The theory is that providing encouragement specifically to women will help women "get their foot in the door".
It's a perfectly plausible theory and it seems to have worked in medicine and law. Will it work in tech? Time will tell -- but you can't blame people for trying.
This community is open, meaning everyone can join (even men), as long as people joining are here to empower women. We believe a change is only possible together.
> is building a community where one class of gender is prioritized over another healthy?
I've worked for and with a large number of successful women in my career. They all had an attitude of "my being a woman is not a thing and there's no reason at all to take note of it".
The issue is that society already prioritizes one gender over another. A community which prioritizes one gender over another is merely attempting to tip the already unbalanced scales of society towards equality.
Pro-womens' organizations don't lead to systemic anti-male oppression or to women having the equivalent power to the white establishment of the civil rights era, but merely to one with less gender bias. Men are not made an underclass by women having equal power to them in society. And... we're in a thread about one such organization that doesn't discriminate against men, yet is still seen as sexist.
There is no way to create equality in an unequal system without taking some power from the privileged and giving it to the unprivileged. To do otherwise is to accept the status quo as justified.
Even the anxiety of knowing someone can decide to show up to use you as target practice for "taking these females down a peg" has been enough that I've watched friends decide to not go to events.
And damn straight, that guy will show up in events if the event runners aren't actively trying to filter bad actors out of the community. From my own experiences running a Meet-up, that guy always shows up, always offers to help the event runners, and immediately uses their status as a blunt object on people they deem unworthy.
It's not perfect, and I look forward to community-standards getting better for organizations so these enclaves are unnecessary. (If anyone has a good way to handle community complaints that have worked under strain, please for the love of the gods PM me. An Ombudsman office is the best I've found, but it tends to have a lot of burnout.)
Right now, we're in the Trump era. The individual health of the members is more important than trying to reach out and make a larger, healthier organization. It's a bad trade off, but there isn't a good, scalable solution yet.
(Adding, am a woman, ran a gaming Meetup.)
As an example of broad gender-based filtering, malls and movie theatres in my country have reserved days that they call "family days". They're essentially days when men, unaccompanied by females, are barred from entry. It's sexist, technically Unconstitutional, and plainly unethical, but on those days, single male parents can't go to the mall alone and male-only friends can't go watch a movie or have to settle for tickets in the male-only section (yes, it's a thing).
In their quest to filter out "bad actors", businesses have filtered out almost all men. As I said before: "I find these to be well-meaning but ultimately sexist policies making it okay to treat people differently based on gender"
I genuinely have no idea, but that's not a great test for MenWork-like community. The community would have to explicitly encourage Men's participation over Women's. The idea of such a community is abhorrent to me.
The reason a community like WomenMake is valid and important while something like MenMake is not, is because women have and still do face systemic discrimination in society, and in the workplace (and especially tech workplaces). You referenced this yourself (Global Gender Gap Index) so I assume you’d agree with that.
So women have a much harder time breaking into and progressing in the tech community, either systemically or even more explicitly through direct discrimination or abuse. WomenMake provides a valuable place for women to help each other through these issues that are specific to them, support each other in general and try to improve this imbalance. Men do not face these issues (although of course race, ethnicity etc are also issues, so many men face discrimination, but not because they are men, for other reasons).
Once women face no structural societal discrimination in the workplace, then something like MenMake and WomenMake might be equally valid, but until then you are not correct to make this comparison. (And at current rates this won’t be true for a very very long time).
To give an analogy, I think that a community aimed at people in tech less than 5 feet tall, which prioritises contributions from those people, is equally justified. A community for people over 5 feet tall just... doesn't make sense... it would seem like it was just making fun of or excluding short people.
> Men do not face these issues (although of course race, ethnicity etc are also issues, so many men face discrimination, but not because they are men, for other reasons).
What I don't understand is how adding more discriminatory rules/events/companies/club reduces overall discrimination.
>The reason a community like WomenMake is valid and important while something like MenMake is not, is because women have and still do face systemic discrimination in society, and in the workplace (and especially tech workplace
The defense is always "Women are treated terribly, so what of it if men receive some abuse.", I don't agree with the logic. Creating animosity, which things like this generally do (just given the comments..), doesn't seem ultimately useful for ending sexism; it just reinforces it the other way.
I don't want to think of what the swing-back will be like, and that's what it seems we're setting ourselves up for as a society.
Might as well bark up the AARP tree for discriminating against people under 55.
Why do we need a society of black engineers when we already have a society of engineers? Willingly Segregating yourself off from the rest of the engineering community does nothing to help the general engineering community to accept black engineers.
That was the other posters point. You may not agree with it, but don't act as if there's no validity to it.