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Ask HN: Women of HN?
41 points by Mz 1349 days ago | hide | past | web | 30 comments | favorite
I am just curious who here is female. Past discussions have made it clear that some female members hide or downplay their gender. If you are fine with publicly admitting to being female, please answer here. If it isn't a Secret but you also don't care to call attention to it publicly, you can shoot me an email. (My gmail account is talithamichele.) If it is a Secret, please just keep your secrets.

Thanks in advance.

(I realize this can be a hot button question for the LGBT crowd. There is no intent to be insensitive but I also am hoping to not open up a huge can of worms. For many LGBT folks, discretion is the better part of valor.)




Oh, for the record, I am female. I sometimes forget not everyone realizes that. My bad. I also have a second user name that I don't use. I can list that if folks just desperately gotta know.


What has LGBT got to do with this? An individuals sexuality has nothing to do with asking gender questions.

This Ask is really creepy, what do you intend to do with a list of women hn members? What's next? Sexual orientation? Ethnicity? Religious affiliation?


I have no idea why you feel it is creepy for a woman to wonder what other members are female in a clearly majority male setting where it isn't possible to just look around the room and readily identify a few women visually.

I also have no idea why you are reacting so negatively to my footnote. People in the LGBT community often feel "left out" (i.e. discriminated against) when questions like this come up. It was only intended to suggest that, yes, I know the world is more complicated than the standard male-female dichotomy and I was hoping the question wouldn't turn into an excuse for someone to grind their favorite axe. If someone wishes to volunteer they are trans or some other category in order to scratch some activism itch, I don't care. All I am saying is that I am not intentionally excluding other categories and I respect the fact that most transgender people are better served by keeping that information private than by wearing it on their sleeve, which doesn't prevent them from being annoyed at being an invisible minority in such discussions. They are not invisible to me, but I don't care to spotlight them either and thereby cause trouble. I am aware I am treading on dangerous enough ground as is, with just inquiring as to who is willing to admit they happen to be female.

Furthermore, I am pretty sure there have been polls regarding religion which didn't cause any problems. So I find it odd that you think it would be nefarious to ask that question.


"I respect the fact that most transgender people are better served by keeping that information private than by wearing it on their sleeve"

Uh, what are you saying here exactly? If someone's FTM they're just not going to bother with your post since it doesn't apply to them. They don't consider themselves female, that's sort of the whole point. If they're MTF, they're not exactly going to submit some sort of disclaimer to you saying that they aren't "really" a woman or something.


I don't know how I can make myself more clear that the intent of the footnote was to avoid having the post derailed by conversations of this sort. I considered asking "who here is not male?" and leaving it up to the people replying how they wanted to interpret that, but I felt that would be even more weird.

So, to restate: Who here is female? (no offense intended to anyone who feels they are even more in the minority than women).


Actually what's creepy is you demanding to know what she's going to "do with" the "list" when she's obviously just being sociable and curious.


You don't see how transgender people might have some strong feelings about gender identity?


Hello! I'm female. I don't post a whole lot, because I usually get about halfway through writing a comment before deciding someone else has already said the same thing and abandoning it, but I've never hid that I'm a woman.


I'm female and have never posted a comment. Until now.


Based on the profile (24 minutes or so old) and the remark, I am interpretting that to mean you are a (longtime?) lurker who created an account to reply here (in this thread). Is that about right?

Thank you.


From the comments on this thread in general it seems like a lot of us are more on the lurker side. Cultural conditioning that girls don't speak up as much?


Very likely, combined with, honestly, men often close ranks when a woman is "too opinionated". I don't think they do it consciously, but it does happen.

I am considering writing a blog post related to your inquiry. I have been intentionally not commenting on that in this thread and would prefer to leave it be for now.


Wow, there are so few comments on this. Are there really so few women on HN? (I'm female).


There are other women here. I know of a few names but will not list them. If they don't want to call attention to it, that's their choice. A lot of the women here downplay their gender, and with good reason.


I guess we're a small group, though I wouldn't take this thread as an accurate count.


Chiming in, hello! The two or three I personally see most frequently don't seem to be aware of this thread yet.


I'm a woman. Only comment occasionally but do a lot of lurking.


I'm a female I just tend to lurk more than post. And I usually read HN on the bus or while walking to class and typing can be difficult in those places. =)


We were just talking about this at work yesterday. My quote was "I bet there are a bunch of women on HN, but it's hard to tell by their username". This thread might help prove me right.


The names I already knew of have not chimed in. I know for a fact some women actively hide or downplay their gender. I tried that briefly when I first showed up. I was not comfortable with it so I fairly quickly dropped it. I tried it on the theory that if posting in a gender neutral style did not work, it would be relatively easy to "come out of the closet" and just being more open about my gender but if being openly female was a problem, it's a lot harder to downplay after the fact.


I'm female, but I pretty much just read HN, don't really post much.


To the women who are replying: Thank you very much!


Wasn't there a poll on this? (I'm male btw)


I believe it has been polled at times. I was curious to see "names", not numbers.


Another woman here! I think HN readership is more varied than it first appears.


I'm a woman. I don't comment or post here, but I lurk.


I am also a girl


I'm a male.


Have an upvote. I am curious why you decided to volunteer that. Not a criticism. Do you think it would be better if I (or someone else) asked "What's your gender?" Perhaps that's where I went wrong?


Aha, I just said that to be the odd one in all the "I'm a female" comments. There is nothing wrong with the question you asked, it's simply a survey. I guess knowing you're not the only female, in a (obvious) male dominated industry, is comforting.




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