Hacker Newsnew | comments | show | ask | jobs | submit login

Scholarships based on need or because the person comes from a poor socioeconomic background helps build equality by helping remove an inherent barrier/bias.

Scholarships based purely on the persons gender or race is by definition sexist/racist... it discriminates who gets it solely on the fact that the person was born a certain race or gender.

That being said, the motivation for such scholarships are because the entity investing that money believes an inbalance already exists in the opposite direction, so they hope to balance the scales.

The hard question is whether doing the same thing (biasing support based on gender/race) on the opposite side of the spectrum is really helping the situation.




By your logic, scholarships "based on need or because the person comes from a poor socioeconomic background" would be considered classist.

Grants based on gender attempting to correct an imbalance are not sexist. Classifying them as such is ignoring the greater context: a severe lack of that gender in that field. It also diminishes examples of actual sexism.

I'm not sure why you think scholarships based on gender are sexist but scholarships based on socioeconomic background are fine. There exists a very real bias against women in the tech industry.

-----


> By your logic, scholarships "based on need or because the person comes from a poor socioeconomic background" would be considered classist.

Of course the selection of recipients is classist... so is $100k tuition. The whole point is to reduce the impact that class and socioeconomic background has on who can attend the institution.

The result is a more meritocratic application process, which I believe is a worthy goal in the context of universities.

> Grants based on gender attempting to correct an imbalance are not sexist.

You twisted my words. I said the selection of who gets the grant is sexist by nature. I admitted the motivation for doing so is to help reduce sexism via creating biases on the other end of the spectrum.

Kind of like in war when one country kills a thousand of the enemies because the enemy killed a thousand of their soldiers. It may seem like a fair reaction, but is it solving the root of them problem (for ex making sure another thousand won't die again)? Or is it creating a larger divide?

> I'm not sure why you think scholarships based on gender are sexist but scholarships based on socioeconomic background are fine.

It's simple.

The problem which socioeconomic applicants is that they can't afford to apply, regardless of their ability. A grant is a monetary award that was voluntarily donated to allow them to compete based on merit/ability with the wealthier applicants.

With gender and (pure) race-based scholarships the problem is usually ignorance or bias of the administration - the school ignores the ability or merit of the applicant simply because of their race or gender. Giving the applicant a monetary award for (potentially) being left behind due to the administrations ignorance isn't solving the root of the problem.

-----


> The whole point is to reduce the impact that class and socioeconomic background has on who can attend the institution.

And the whole point of Etsy's scholarship is to reduce the impact that gender has on who gets into the tech field.

> You twisted my words. I said the selection of who gets the grant is sexist by nature. I admitted the motivation for doing so is to help reduce sexism via creating biases on the other end of the spectrum.

It's not sexist the same way a scholarship for kids coming from households with low incomes isn't classist. Sure, if you want to stretch the definition, it's "classist" (or "sexist"), but truly it's not. It's there to correct already existing classism (or sexism) or to assist a specific group of people.

I didn't twist your words. You specifically said the scholarship is sexist. I said it is not.

> Kind of like in war when one country kills a thousand of the enemies because the enemy killed a thousand of their soldiers. It may seem like a fair reaction, but is it solving the root of them problem (for ex making sure another thousand won't die again)? Or is it creating a larger divide?

Your (rather poor) analogy would make more sense if the first country was constantly killing enemy soldiers for thousands of years, and then the second country tries to take a little bit of land back and the first country screams, "Look! Look what they're doing! This isn't fair! We should be treated equally!"

The only divide it's creating is in people who don't think women belong in those fields. We call those people "sexists" and I don't enjoy their company.

> The problem which socioeconomic applicants is that they can't afford to apply, regardless of their ability.

The same is true of women. Regardless of their ability, it is much more difficult for them to get into the field versus men.

> With gender and (pure) race-based scholarships the problem is usually ignorance or bias of the administration - they ignore the ability or merit of the applicant simply because of their race or gender. Giving the applicant a monetary award for (potentially) being a victim of the administrations ignorance isn't solving the root of the problem.

And, using your same logic, income-based scholarships ignore the ability or merit of the applicant simply because of their income level. They are all in place to bridge a gap. This attempts (rather well) to bridge the gender gap in the tech industry.

Here are a couple of comics that summarize the gist of my points: http://i.imgur.com/fMIRr.jpg http://i.imgur.com/xEiL4.jpg

-----


Fair points.

Theres different ways to approach them problem. I'm much more inclined to figure out what the deeper problems are and address them (ignorances, biases, misconceptions etc)

I feel that grants may only be patching the surface and don't really address the higher level problems.

My cofounder is a female hacker and I recently mentored a "Ladies Learning Code" event.

From that I've learned its best to communicate why programming is fun and interesting. To get past their misconceptions that its all geeky male culture and actually a really rewarding skillset.

Reducing those misconceptions on both sides will have a long term impact. Humans have been effective at evolving and changing "common sense". Newer generations are incredibly more tolerant of race/gender than older ones. I believe that happens through changing peoples understanding of the issues and trying hard to not further segregate it into us vs them groups.

-----




Applications are open for YC Winter 2016

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | DMCA | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: