You know what's not fair? A Teacher telling a 12 year old girl that she needs a backup plan because girls getting an engineering degree, well, that's hard. Getting one from MIT, girls just don't do that. With the very next breath telling the boy standing next to the girl that she (the teacher) knows he can get into MIT if he works hard.
I'm just sick of it. I'm sick of my little girl coming home crying because some idiot crushed her dream of an engineering degree from MIT because girls don't do that. I'm sick of the privileged idiots here, complaining that women are getting some kind of advantage because they get a free github account. I'm sick of cluelessness.
The barriers for women in the workplace are difficult enough, it's worse in tech. The sooner we accept that, and accept that some organizations really are try to make a difference, the better off we'll be. How many times have we read stories about women who are alienated by their peers because their interests align with something that isn't "girlie." Please!
I've fought hard to teach my girls that society's barriers are there to be knocked down, that they shouldn't get discouraged and that they can do what ever they want. 18 years later, I'm proud that my oldest has ignored the criticism, the "you can't do that, it's a man's job" BS and is on her way to the Coast Guard where she will train as a rescue swimmer (there's only 7 women rescue swimmers now). I'm proud that my youngest stood up to that teacher and told her: well, perhaps MIT isn't the place for her. After all, MIT engineers ask UIUC engineers for help of the real difficult problems, though MIT will make a fine backup plan.
My point is, boys, get over it. I'm sorry you didn't get something for free. Oh wait, you did. You got to be male, a much bigger advantage than a free private github repository.
We are on the internet, most of the time we have no idea which genre you are. Any women will get the same treatment as a men. I understand the issue in "real life" and it must be really awful to have to live that. However the internet should be considered safe for them and for me this action just give them a reason to doubt that they are accepted here too. Giving them the opportunity to hide their code doesn't solve any issue, it just create more issue. We could easily take any argument agaisn't code folding or commit rebase in version control and they would fit perfectly here.
You can't solve anything by hiding it.
Do you think that by removing every girl in engineering classrooms and giving them a private teacher that would help too? It's the same on the internet. Show them that they can be accepted, not that they should be separated.
The Ada Initiative is a destructive and notorious concern-troll organization that is reviled by many feminists of both genders. They hurt all real initiatives for resolving inequality and bias in technology. Supporting them is destructive.
...is one good example of their concern-trolling.
They dress up their own sex-negative bullshit in feminist clothing and use it to censor and attack people who do not engage in discrimination or sexism in any way whatsoever, based solely on their own personal agendas.
It's repugnant to every single feminist (of any gender) that I've spoken to familiar with these events.
As far as I can tell, it seems to me to be the outgrowth of various personality disorders possessed by Valerie Aurora, the founder of the Ada Initiative. It serves as a convenient venue for her to attack others under the guise of promoting equal rights. It appears that she only supports equal rights as long as you are presenting exclusively on topics that she approves of.
http://adainitiative.org/2012/09/when-sex-and-porn-are-on-to... (This post predates the BSides incident by 5 months.)
And, about BSides:
That doesn't really hold up their argument of sexualized environments in tech being inherently hostile to women participating, does it?
Anyone who examines this can see that this is simply a personal censorship crusade by Ms. Aurora, presumably as a result of her own sex-related trauma(s) and/or upbringing. (Google her and her father for her own account of it— it's not ad hominem.)
Just because her psyche has been damaged does not mean she has the right to attempt to censor others who are not participating in discriminatory behavior. The whole thing about "exploit" in the title being a synonym for rape (as in exploiting a system without the owner's consent) illustrates how ridiculous her flimsy argument against it was and is.
This sort of concern-trolling makes women in tech appear to be hard to work with or require special handling/censorship considerations, and is actively harmful to the struggle for gender equality. It has absolutely no place whatsoever at a tech conference.
My hope is that people see these statements for what they are: disgusting personal attacks.
What gave you the impression that I was attacking her?
We, as men, must stand up and start knocking the entitlement out of those who refuse to recognize their privilege.
I don't know if that's the case in the place you are living right now but, if you think that being a boy or a girl its an advantage then you are part of that problem..
Boys will always be boys, ignore them and move on.
Last year a man named Geordie Tait posted an article called "To My Someday Daughter". It's quite long, but definitely worth reading. The context is gaming, but the central thesis is sexism. One quote from the article that really opened my eyes to how radically different men and women view the world comes from section 7 of the article. It's a quote by Gavin de Becker, and it says
"Men and women live in different worlds. At core, men are afraid women will laugh at them, while at core, women are afraid men will kill them."
And according to my girlfriend, this is not even the slightest bit exaggerated.
The locally-defined concept of "male privilege" is quite possibly the least productive gender generalization to use in a conversation about gender equality.
This -- along with redefinitions of vocabulary to justify offense (see the comment about 'female' being offensive), and truisms that assert that any opposition to preferred policy is opposition to gender equality (see the reference to Lewis's law, or your own murder quote), are why these conversations are so pointlessly and ridiculously laden in rhetorical nonsense as to be useless.
> "Men and women live in different worlds. At core, men are afraid women will laugh at them, while at core, women are afraid men will kill them." And according to my girlfriend, this is not even the slightest bit exaggerated.
According to my wife, this is ridiculous and your girlfriend should adopt a more fact-based view of the world.
I looked it up. From 2000 to 2010, there were 128,971 male victims of murder in the US. There were 35,777 female victims.
To use your own rhetorical approach: if you disagree with me, "then I don't really know what to say". (sarcasm intended).
Well, let's clear it up then:
"Male privilege refers to the social theory that men have unearned social, economic, and political advantages or rights that are granted to them solely on the basis of their sex, and which are usually denied to women."
It's actually a fairly useful generalization, and most understand what's implied by the use of the term. Of course the real problem isn't the use of rhetoric, it's the outright dismissal of the argument because rhetoric or faux outrage was used to make a point (or, as in my original comment, _real_ outrage).
I'm sorry to say, but we're past the time to be calm, cool, and collected. It's time to get angry, and it's time to put and end to gender inequality. Especially in tech, where we claim to hold ourselves to a higher moral standard.
The useful part is "... which are usually denied to women". The rest is just divisive stereotyping.
> It's actually a fairly useful generalization, and most understand what's implied by the use of the term.
Useful how, exactly? Other than stoking the flames of online discourse, and writing off viewpoints by using "privilege" as a rhetorical bat, I don't see much that can be usefully garnered by pulling the trigger on that particular weapon.
> It's time to get angry, and it's time to put and end to gender inequality. Especially in tech, where we claim to hold ourselves to a higher moral standard.
As far as I can tell, you're getting angry at the wrong people, for the wrong reasons.
You really think the tech industry is responsible for clueless mouth breathers telling your daughters that technology is 'boy stuff'?
I'd look at the educational system and the magazine rack at the supermarket. By the time someone gets to the technology industry, they've already been subjected to a lifetime of indoctrination and have missed out on critical educational opportunities. We're not paid to be educators or social crusaders; we're here to write software, design hardware, and ship products.
We do need to have access to better candidates, and one way to do that is by broadening the pool to draw from, but divisive adults playing at identity politics won't help with that problem.
As a two word phrase which everyone understands to mean the social theory that men have unearned social, economic, and political advantages or rights that are granted to them solely on the basis of their sex, and which are usually denied to women.
> As far as I can tell, you're getting angry at the wrong people, for the wrong reasons.
>You really think the tech industry is responsible for clueless mouth breathers telling your daughters that technology is 'boy stuff'?
Directly no, but by saying it's not our job to deal with the problem, you're just as culpable. So long as there are people in this industry, or any other, who refuse to address gender issues because it's not our job, or there's nothing I can do about it, then those are the people I should be getting angry at. By refusing to acknowledge the problem and addressing it directly, we allow the problem to continue.
As an industry that embrases diversity (gender; racial; social) but suffers from a lack of it, regardless of blame, it's on us to stand up to society and find solutions. We should be social crusaders. By being a members of the society in which the problem exists, it _is_ our responsibility to work to correct it.
My job is not "to write software, design hardware, and ship products," from the moment my daughters were born my job is educator, and social advocate. Shipping products: That's just what I do to pay the bills. Don't get me wrong, I love what I do for a living. I still get excited about new toys (we have new equipment showing up next week), cool projects, being involved in cutting-edge research, but at the end of the day, it's all meaningless. None of it compares to the glow in my daughters eyes two years ago when she opened the Mindtorms kit she got for christmas, or the excitement _she_ has when she pulls out the erector set with some grand new idea.
So, yeah, _my_ job is to educate and crusade.
How do you think people react to hearing that what they perceive (often rightfully) as hard-earned success was, in your eyes, unearned?
It's not a productive line of discussion.
> So, yeah, _my_ job is to educate and crusade.
Using divisive and emotional rhetoric just makes people stop listening.
I'd be interested in sponsoring, hosting, or otherwise contributing to non-gendered youth programs that were welcoming to girls and boys.
I don't even know where to start, but I do know that the Ada Initiative's divisive identity politics and concern-trolling aren't something I agree with, and disagreement with their organization doesn't make me a "male privileged" moral bankrupt individual.
Ahh, but that's the guts of male privilege isn't it. Their hard-earned success was much easier to come by than a women whose achieved the same level of success. That's what privilege means. It was easier for man to gain that success than their women counterpart. Perhaps not so rhetorical after all. It just stings. Sometimes the truth does that. And sometimes, the only way to break through the denial of an issue is to take a hard stance.
This _is_ an emotional issue. It's people's lives we're talking about. As young women, it's emotional for my daughters. As a father, it's emotional for me. As developers who want to "expand the talent pool", it's emotional for the industry. As people who wish to be blind to gender, it's emotional for society.
> I'd be interested in sponsoring, hosting, or otherwise contributing to non-gendered youth programs
That's great. I'm involved in several myself, including the STEM outreach program at our schools. That doesn't mean that programs targeted at young girls aren't necessary. These "gendered" programs are as much about counter-acting the social pressure the keeps them out of STEM as they are about introducing and developing interest in STEM generally.
Now, I don't know anything about the Ada Initiative, so I'll leave that alone, but will say this, as I said before, ignoring the problem may not make you morally bankrupt, but it does make you complicit in others bankruptcy.
Do you want to be right, or do you want to be heard?
But perhaps the men never wanted to be engineers and society forced them. It wasn't easy for them to give up their dreams. But they did because of evil society.
It goes both ways.
That's not the case where i live in, why? because we do not care about such things, treat woman and man the same way.
unlike the old american racism, in modern countries there are no laws that discriminate girls.. why should we teach our daughters to fight for something that's not a problem?
Education is all we need, why should they hide their code? they should be proud of it
Even if women risk more criticism as newbies, the risk still exists for everyone, and solving it for part of the group only is discrimination.
If Github really cared about intimidation, they would offer a free private repo to new users as a promo, or perhaps have a $1/month micro plan. Instead they accept a small minority of users for free who wouldn't have paid anyway and score good will PR points.
And if the Ada Initiative cared about making women a part of the community, then they would recognize that those women will want to collaborate in private with men too, who should be given the same opportunity to experiment in private.
Modern feminists are the biggest sexists around, they keep acting like women can't compete with men on equal ground, even in a place as anonymous as the internet.
Have you ever noticed how the people complaining the loudest about online abuse are always the ones with the biggest pictures of themselves on their blogs? Featuring their lovely blue hair, tattoos, piercings, shot in their Pinterest-approved bedrooms? It's princesses all over again, and most women can see through the bullshit too.
>if you think that being a boy or a girl its an advantage then you are part of that problem
Unwillingness to recognize that women are at a disadvantage due to long-term social mores is part of the problem.
"Boys will always be boys, ignore them and move on?" You really don't get it, do you? Every little comment, snide remark, finger pointing... Words are sharp, they cut deep. In the end, it's these social pressures that result in fewer women entering STEM programs and careers. Ignoring them? No, that's not what we do. We, as men, must stop ignoring the problem, and put ourselves out there. Stop being silent, the problem will not go away, unless we speak up.
Its like african americans complaining about racism, i don't get it.. they are the coolest thing on earth right now!! Ignore that uneducated minority and move on.
So guess what, privileged male, it is a very big problem where you live.
> Its like african americans complaining about racism, i don't get it.. they are the coolest thing on earth right now!! Ignore that uneducated minority and move on.
The belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race.
And I think you will agree with me when I say that it is better to have a public repository, if you want to learn(unless ofcourse github wants female programmers to become closed source programmers). By handing out a freebie to the girls, you are telling the boys the exact same thing which your daughter's teacher told her.
We don't want girls/boys to become programmers, we want them to become whatever they want to. Having promotional activities for females may send a wrong impresion about a particular field to boys - who are also as human and as impresionable as the girls are in school. How many boys do you think take up engineering, just because it is seen as a manly branch and the society expects them to? I would argue many and that is a massive disadvantage to the boys who want to pursue something else.
We should aim at leveling the field instead of providing some people a helping hand at the cost of others. If helping girls take up CS is done by having girls-only CS colleges, free tuition for female CS students or free course material or as in this case free services based on gender, I will say stop. Because boys who are thinking of taking up CS will cry foul. What did your neighbour's son do to not deserve a free github private repo?
Instead, try changing the society. Tell your sons and daughters they can do anything. Tell your students that gender means nothing. Tell the teachers at your daughters school to back off and complain about her to the school authorities.
To be honest, I have no idea if that will work. But what I do believe is if you start handing out freebies to someone based on gender, it will poison the well for the boys, who will cry foul. It wasn't their fault they were born as boys. Equality - yes. Preferential treatment - no.
Up to this point, I've not taken a stance on this particular program, but I will not. There's plenty of research that suggests that the impact of public ridicule on young women is different than the impact on young men. While the reasons for this aren't, necessarily, clear, the reaction is different. Allowing young women to develop their skills in a "safe" environment where criticism can be sought from trusted sources prior to making that work public has been shown to be beneficial. So, in the end, I do support the idea of making it easier for young women to to get private github accounts. As I also support "girls only" clubs that help develop their skills, and counter act the social pressures that push young women away from technology in the first place. These programs do exactly as you suggest, they attempt to level the playing field by giving women certain advantages and encouragement to balance the social, political, and economic advantages that men already have. Until such time as we actually have gender equality, these programs are necessary.
The backstory: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/16029337/goldieblox-the-...
Edit, to expand on the kneejerk reaction: I find it difficult to accept the premise that this is a female-only problem. I've been reluctant to post my code before as well, and I'm male. The sometimes ruthless mockery of code isn't confined to code written by females.
It doesn't need to be a woman-only problem. It just needs to affect women disproportionately.
Scratch that, it doesn't need to be _anything_. Giving free repos to _anyone_ does no harm to anyone who's not getting them, so the only thing this does is help a group of people.
Now, you may argue that GitHub should be helping a specific group of people over another one, but they've chosen to help who they've chosen to help.
If you say "getting your code ripped to shreds in public sucks," I'd wholeheartedly agree with you. If you say "getting your code ripped to shreds in public as a woman sucks more," that's where I get skeptical. And if that's the case, why is it a bigger problem for women?
Note that I'm not arguing against GitHub giving private repos to whomever they please. They can sponsor who they like. I was just looking for some explanation of that "women are more affected by this than men" claim.
... that’s what happens when we hold events for women in IT when there aren’t that many women in this industry – we tend to broaden the definition of women in IT.
The software industry exists to write software, and ideally it's good software. We're not here to engender happy feelings about bad code. If you're worried about immature people non-constructively mocking your code, then the solution is to realize that those people are unlikely to be particularly great developers themselves, and aren't worth paying attention to.
Any sufficiently experienced and mature developer ought to know better than to throw stones from the glass house of their own imperfection. It's better to join or create a welcoming community of experts, than trying to create a coddling safe-space where equally inexperienced people can provide each other with congratulatory pats on the back.
No. The major hurdles to becoming a programmer are crossed long before it becomes time to put code in a github repository.
> Or is it more likely that due the systemic method of education, girls don't get interested in programming because by the time they are taught it, the boys are in the computer lab making a ruckus and they'd rather go socialize elsewhere.
Given that there aren't any well-considered studies that show fundamental non-socially-caused cognitive differences between men and women, and that behavior seems to be entirely mutable and culturally-driven, then the fact that "they'd rather go socialize elsewhere" is likely the result of considerable cultural programming outside the immediate realm of putting code into a machine.
Of course, it's not that simple -- yours is a broad and inaccurate generalization of what girls want in school, and of how boys behave in school. Personally speaking, I didn't want to spend any time in the computer lab either, because the only people in there were super-nerds playing video games for hours.
I know! It was really annoying. I just wanted to get stuck into computerized maths, CAD and plotting when I was 14 but it was uncomfortable being the only girl in the lab during lunch hours. If there had been another boy or girl I respected as a friend there I might have joined in, not to be sociable but just knowing there was someone else there who wasn't geeking out on gaming.
I think the solution (for schools, anyway) would be adult-led structured activities where intelligence and hard work are rewarded: electronics/robotics/programming clubs, with long-term group projects where people with varied levels of experience can be accommodated.
I'd naively like to believe that gender can be left out of it, other than making a structured effort to recruit students irrespective of gender.
I had never had it explained to me like that - maybe girls and boys separate themselves so much as teenagers there's just a huge amount of information we don't have. If I was back at school and I knew that I would have had no problem hanging out in the computer lab, knowing that what was going on was a male-growing-up thing and outside of my participation.
I believe that we can have gender-neutral education. Sports is good at it but women and minorities fought hard in the 20th century for equal right to the field. Something to think about.
This is not to imply that they are dainty creatures that must be protected, but rather that the way they learn and the influence of that environment is very much different than it is for men.
I applaud github for taking this step, but I would applaud them more for giving it to everybody. Then it isn't about whether a woman needs a "safe place", but whether somebody new to programming needs a safe place. And that would be better for everybody.
I just watched The Color Purple last night. It rings true in me because it's not that people aren't free - it's the constant, constant underlying of fear from all sides. If you have fear as a man then women don't want that either - you should be proud and comfortable as only fear begets fear.
When your standard bearers are the famously freaky rms, or the famously acerbic Linus, the tone set tends to be rather concerned with "truth" and absolutely unconcerned with "feelings".
Not making this right or wrong. Just saying.
Right now that's just reading like a baseless claim and it sounds ridiculous to me that "females" is derogatory. I've never heard of such a claim before in my entire life.
1. It refers to sex, not gender. I know many women who do not possess a vagina.
2. It sounds very clinical and sterile. It's appropriate for, say, a scientific survey, but not for addressing other humans with the respect they deserve.
I don't refer to 'men' as 'males,' either.
Your reply demonstrates some standard rhetorical landmines used by fringe groups:
1) Redefine words within your subculture (in this case: 'gender', 'sex', 'male', and 'female') and then use the new definitions to claim externally inconsiderate use of those words.
2) Assume that whether or not someone was offended ultimately defines ethical norms (especially when tied to #1, redefining vocabulary to create reasons for offense).
1) There's no 'redefinition' going on here. Sex is a biological thing, a scientific term. If you say "male" and "female," I'd argue you're being a bit clinical, but if you say "man" and "female," you're obviously demonstrating something. It may not be conscious, but you are.
2) You're free to have whatever ethical norms you want, but just like 'free speech,' that doesn't mean you're free from criticism. You can call anyone whatever you like, doesn't mean that I (and others) won't think you're a shitty person, _especially_ after having an explicit conversation about it.
"Hey, this thing hurts me." / "I don't care, I can say whatever I want."
"However, Money's meaning of the word [gender] did not become widespread until the 1970s, when feminist theory embraced the distinction between biological sex and the social construct of gender. Today, the distinction is strictly followed in some contexts, especially the social sciences and documents written by the World Health Organization (WHO). However, in most other contexts, even in some areas of social sciences, the meaning of gender has undergone a usage shift to include "sex" or even to replace the latter word."
That's just 'gender' and 'sex'. The first responder proceeded to redefine 'female' and 'male':
"Females as a noun is used to refer to lower animals, I believe you mean women."
> 2) You're free to have whatever ethical norms you want, but just like 'free speech,' that doesn't mean you're free from criticism. You can call anyone whatever you like, doesn't mean that I (and others) won't think you're a shitty person, _especially_ after having an explicit conversation about it.
Which one of us gets to tell the other how to behave on the basis of how we feel about it? I find it offensive how you use rhetoric to label those you disagree with as 'shitty' people; it doesn't leave any room for discourse.
I'm reminded of the Stephen Fry quote:
"It's now very common to hear people say, 'I'm rather offended by that.' As if that gives them certain rights. It's actually nothing more... than a whine. 'I find that offensive.' It has no meaning; it has no purpose; it has no reason to be respected as a phrase. 'I am offended by that.' Well, so fucking what."
Indeed, being offended provides no insight into understanding why you're offended, and without explaining why, there's no basis to make a rational evaluation of whether the behavior that offends you is actually ethically wrong.
Let's put it this way: words change over time, and if the word changed in the 70s (that was before I was even alive), then it's changed, and the words we use _now_ matter _now_. Language is _never_ static.
2, You keep going back to that 'offense' bit, and referring to 'feelings.' I am not offended. That doesn't come into this at all, as I'm not a liberal. Please read my part about wage gaps, rape culture, and equal rights again.
> Indeed, being offended provides no insight into understanding why you're offended, and without explaining why, there's no basis to make a rational evaluation of whether the behavior that offends you is actually ethically wrong.
As I said before and above, there has been endless explanation of material harm caused by the cultural situation that women (and other minority groups) face today. If you don't know why, at this point, you're just being willfully ignorant.
I wholly agree. But the usage is not universal (by far), and the reworked definitions are used to hit people over the head.
I call a trans person by their preferred gender because it's the polite thing to do, and I try to be a polite and respectful person. However, bringing it up in this context to hit someone over the head for their word choices is not polite.
> As I said before and above, there has been endless explanation of material harm caused by the cultural situation that women (and other minority groups) face today. If you don't know why, at this point, you're just being willfully ignorant.
Which is why using logic-defying rhetorical anvils is just so counter-productively trite and trivial. It leaves me wondering whether these forms of divisive identity politics are really about the equality they claim to be trying to achieve.
If someone writes/says "men and females" or "women and males" it sounds weird.
Was it really so unclear that you needed a whole scolding comment here?
Edit: Reading the article more closely, I'm not as bothered as as I was. Technically, Github granted unlimited private repositories to the Ada organization, who (I suppose) delegates their use to its members. It's not as though you can go to github.com and say, "I'm a woman, give me free private repositories."
I get how this group may feel hesitant to post something in the open source world, but so was I, and I'm a guy.
Here's an analogy that maybe fits: Consider you meet someone that's afraid of flying. Do you say "come with me, I'll show you its safe" or do you say "here's a bunch of train and bus passes"
That's exactly what's happening. Plus they are paying for the tickets.
Perhaps Github is merely a business doing as they see fit?
(Note that this is merely a reply to your comment in a vacuum, and shouldn't be construed as me supporting either "side" in this thread.)
Ex: You should have the legal right to believe that all green-skinned humans are inferior to blue-skinned humans. But that belief makes you a jerk and I will judge you for it.
But we should confuse how you or I feel with the aggregate behaviour of HN in toto. My observation is that as a herd, HN approves of the legality, morality, and sanity of businesses, especially tech startups, making unconstrained choices that may appear "discriminatory" to others.
Mennään saunat, miehet!
2. I meant neither Nazis nor Hitler. I merely pointed out that if they were giving free accounts to a group that is not (considered to be) discriminated then suddenly it wouldn't be so cool.
And just in case: there are many white males with blond hair around, I know quite a few personally and I've never suspected them to be Nazis. If you have any proof that some of them are give me a shout so that I can unfriend them!
What I'm sayin is that justifications like this one:
"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."
are IMO simply not cool. You discriminate one group of people, favor another group and all that in the name of equality.
Also, does a transwoman count?
Personally, I think the Ada Initiative is doing far more harm than good. They're pushing a strange brand of coddling and gender privilege.
If the Ada Initiative didn't affect the rest of the industry at all, then they wouldn't be considered effective at their mission.
Whether or not you agree with the way they approach their mission is another question.
Additionally, it's not like we have a dearth of men in programming. They seem to be doing just fine.
GitHub is full of great people and poor choices like this are incongruent.
PS: This isn't male privilege speaking - The Ada Initiative is disliked (for very good reason) by feminists of both genders.
Is there anything that prevent a men to work in this field ? I know a guy who did, so I can tell you: Nothing.
If we lack of women in CS it's mostly because women themselves thinks it's not attractive, just like they don't see trucker, or construction worker as attractive jobs.
For the same reason teaching, widwifing, etc lack of mens.
IHMO: It's the culture that drive the inbalance in a given field, and the inbalance that create some macho mens, not the other way.
Is it not possible that the cultural imbalance in all of these fields is due to sexism?
That's not every woman, but a very big chunk that I witnessed.
Our school began participating with various groups to secure funds to help encourage women to come into the CS, MIS, or SE programs. I can count on my hands how many additional women joined. Nowhere near enough to call the effort a success. More women chose the classical major choices instead of the various computer fields, even if they didn't show a lowered cost of attendance. Why?
Through it all, I'd have to blame the culture. You don't fix the problem by throwing money at it. You fix it by showing that Penny is just as comfortable around computers as Sheldon is to Theoretical Physics. A field doesn't have to be stylish, and a playing with a computer doesn't have to make you a nerd.
I assure you there's no concerted force working to eschew women from the sciences. If the culture fits and is likened by its followers, I'm sure the numbers will grow to equal measure of the men. If you start from the root, you can fix many of the problems we see today.
Now, I can understand some of the reactions, from both men and women. On the one hand, I can see why guys might say "isn't this just a different form of sexism?" and I can see how even some women might be offended (the same kind of women who freak out if a man holds a door open for them, probably). But despite all that, this has a chance to get more people involved in, and contributing to, the F/OSS world. For that, I think we can accept a small measure of "reverse sexism", given the context, and I think the radfem types can like it or leave it, while their female peers are busy writing code.
Yeah, it would be nice to live in a world which is more or less totally gender-blind, but we're not there yet and this move may at least help level the playing field a little bit.
We are on the internet, I can't see you, I have no idea who you are.
EDIT: Oh, do you mean that women should hide the fact that they are women online when contributing to OSS? I imagine many do.
If the gender is not apparent, then there's no real way to discriminate is there?
This especially goes for HN. I have no idea who is man and who isn't, as most use some sort of username/alias instead of their real name.
If the code's good and you can advocate for it - great.
If it sucks - it won't be used.
A benefit of this is clever on Ada and Github's part: a lot of women don't participate in code sharing because of reasons that are discussed here enough. So women will get to find each other and work on code together and hey, the world gets software, and Github makes some happy new customers. I, for one, am signing up even though I barely have the time - I'm eager to meet other women coders in a working environment and I'd like to find a small way to pay back the massive debt I have to the open source community.
I visited a church recently and some college students spoke about why they chose that church. Uniformly, the kindness of the church community was a common thread through their comments. It's a human thing: we lean towards people who show kindness to us, especially in forms we can relate to. These bridging activities such as what Github and the Ada Initiative are doing provide a great deal of value in my opinion.
Changing the culture to something "kind", if that is what the community truly wants, will take more than a few donated repos. It will be interesting to see the impact it happens.
 One of many examples http://www.muktware.com/3703/linus-torvalds-nvidia-fuck-you
This seems comparable.
I'm pretty damn sure GitHub can't affect the salaries of women that aren't direct employees of them. In what way does GitHub doing what it can do, which is donate to an organization like the Ada Initiative, cause offense?
The comment about hiring was mostly an aside as something else I wish they were taking more active efforts with in addition to efforts like this one.
(And please no one post that tired old $0.73 number that is averaged over all jobs, all roles, all hours-per-week!)
One thing I'm curious to know is, of that 9-12%, for people hired at the same salary band or experience level, would there be differences between men's and women's salaries? And if so, what would they be? In such a case, the comparison would be meaningful.
 for example, comparing within salary bands or job titles: Associate SE, SE, Senior SE, Principal SE.
Reading this makes me think: if women make more in the programming sector than any other field, why do we feel so downtrodden? To be honest, aside from a few experiences when I was young I've not experienced any misogyny from my peers, but I do almost daily from customers. I think I may be really happy because I'm with an amazing team who care about each other. I take the time to build my team's character and it pays off when I need the extra support.
Since so many times, people in open source projects wonder what they can do to help, and given the incredibly positive response I've seen so far today from women who've read the blog post and who say it is going to help them, I'm feeling hopeful -- and proud to be part of TAI's efforts to contribute.
I love supporting anyone's learning, especially in free/open tech and culture, and spend a lot of my time trying to do exactly that. Some of that time, I make sure to focus on supporting other women. Taking the time to support other women is often something that has to be a deliberate act, because it is all too easy to just pay more attention to men, who expect and to some degree demand it, so, I have tried for many years to make that an essential part of my life.
So if this is a demographic Github wants to see an increase in, does this mean they don't care enough about others?
If $7-12 / month (github's two lowest cost paid plans) is 'too expensive' for a person getting started in open source software, that person might want to rethink how interested and/or committed they actually are.
It's fine if Ada / github want to give female programmers a leg up to accomplish some social goal. But don't pretend it's due to some insurmountable financial cost.