They feel the sexism is acceptable given the circumstances. In a world where college enrollment for women is significantly higher than enrollment for men I don't agree, and I think many others don't agree either.
Or for true equality we should all just be assigned our roles!
Sounds radical, I know.
Do you know whose role was to stay at home, keep her man happy, dinner cooked, and the house spotless? Grandmothers. Is there anyone in tech who expects that from a woman?
It's not that simple. As a society, we exert a lot of pressure on individuals in order to force them into stereotypes, categories that are socially approved. The pressure to conform is still especially intense on women and there are many social mechanisms through which this pressure is exerted. I also get the feeling that pressure has increased in recent decades as we're moving back to a more conservative society.
"Men" may thankfully have stopped telling women what they can be, but women are still heavily influenced by our society's collective expectations. For example, female nerds are even more strongly seen as negative than their male counter parts. Both sexes have developed a defensive subtype to combat this with some success: the sporty and extroverted brogrammer in the men camp, and the 9-5 no-nonsense "programming is not my hobby" female software developer.
So I think it's fair to say that statistically we're telling both men and women exactly what they can and can't be when they grow up - and I believe men still have an easier time opting out of that.
Programs like this one are just saying "put down the damn sandwich fixings and go kick ass". Being opposed to them, at this point, seems incomprehensible to me.
You probably really think that's a really compelling argument, don't you?
In a post-donglegate world where we must be forced to examine the sexual connotations of everything we do and say it shouldn't surprise that hackers callously analyze the entire situation.
Yes. It's sexist. Just like affirmative action is racist. People tend to think that using sexism/racism this way counterbalances the other side of it, forcefully, for a time, until it's not necessary.
I'm not disagreeing with those kinds of practices or speaking ill of those who support them. But they are what they are, technically speaking. (The best kind of speaking).
 I find it amusing that the wikipedia article on affirmative action helpfully reminds us that the practice is known as "positive discrimination" in the UK. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Affirmative_action
In other words, 20% of women end up changing their major. I'm guessing it was worded this way to trick those that skim read into thinking that 80% of women change their major.
But the "1/3 as many women go into the program" is a meaningful stat. The most meaningful stat is "how good are the graduates", and from what I've seen, the graduates of Hackbright have been quite good.
Actually, the problem is that some people use the phrase "all but" in its well established idiomatic sense which is conventionally used to modify a non-quantitative description (where it means "almost" -- e.g., "He all but went bankrupt) when it is modifying a quantitative description, where it has a very different meaning -- from the individual words -- as "all except".
Note that the former definition (but not the latter, which is just a fairly direct combination of "all" and "but") is in most good dictionaries, and has examples in print stretching back to the 16th century, so its hardly reasonable to say that people saying it don't mean "all but". Its very much a long-established part of the language.
Its confusing and should be avoided in quantitative contexts because of the way it conflicts with the normal use of the individual words, but likewise "all but" in the sense of "all except" should be avoided in preference to, e.g., "all except" in the same circumstances, because of the danger of confusion with the idiomatic sense of "all but".
> (where it means "almost" -- e.g., "He all but went bankrupt)
I see your point that because in a non-quantitative description, it effectively means "almost", people might confusedly use it to mean "almost" in quantitative descriptions, without thinking about what it means.
> Actually, the problem is ...
> In other words, 20% of women end up changing their major.
Or very nearly 80% . Its generally just better to avoid "all but" in quantitative contexts; in qualitative contexts its clear, but in quantitative ones its clear-as-mud.
The corresponding stats for male majors would be 140 declare the major and 64 graduate, so they lose 55% of declared students. Also pretty high, but the difference is large enough to be worth looking at.
disclaimer: these numbers are from the internet, definitely not dealing with the same cohort at each step, and may be quite wrong. If anyone has better ones, do share.
While a true discussion of morality is more nuanced, I think you really only have to have the discrimination discussion there are NO other sources or ways to achieve whatever it is that is that is being offered...
Men have options, so it's fine? idealistically it doesn't sound great, but in real life, dudes don't have a problem finding a place to code/learn about coding that will accept them pretty much wholeheartedly (as in it's not even an issue that they're there), women do not. So this lady built a place for women to do these things. The place she built is not the last bastion, there are other similar options (maybe even better options), NBD.
Personally, I'd rather have us working on eroding the stereotypes, the arbitrary lines of separation, and the behaviors that got us to this point - I'm just not sure anymore that is even an option. Maybe building another, exclusive and discriminatory counter-club is the right move. Extended into the future, if programs like this turn out successful it basically amounts to opening up a whole parallel career support network for women, potentially a complete replica of what we have as the "good old boys club" for men right now, including the harassment and the peer pressure to stomp on everyone who doesn't belong.
Gender segregation is something a lot of people seem to be becoming fond of (again). There was a moment in history where briefly it looked like we might break out of these shackles, but it seems that moment has passed and is quickly being forgotten. I believe if this trend continues, it will be one of the biggest failures of Western civilization.
The depressing thing is I can see how initiatives like this might be needed right now as a lesser evil compared to the alternative (which is having no women in CS at all).
What I'm curious about is their stance of only accepting the top 5% of applicants.
She says that there aren't a lot of women in tech because they don't have a lot of friends, and that most women don't know about what programs are available to women in tech. To combat that, they go ahead and reject 95% of women who _did_ find out about their program.
Sucks for you, lower 95%.
And then she talks about how that's promoting the idea that women are as good at CS as men, but wouldn't the top 5% of GENDER_A in _anything_ wipe the floor with the average GENDER_B in that same thing? How is that promoting the idea that men and women are equal?
This all seems really strange to me and damaging to the brand (I've never heard of it before). What's the goal of this post, to help or to harm Hackbright?
Looking at the HEA numbers from 2003-2006, the difference in graduation rates between whites and black students at MIT ranged from 22pts in 2003 to 10 pts in 2006.
Why? Because there are a bunch of expensive (and almost entirely white) private and state schools that are very good at teaching their students to do well in exams and interviews and the other factors Oxbridge use to assess candidates. What they're not so good at is teaching them the underlying skills and aptitudes required to succeed there, and those are rather hard to measure directly. So by biasing their application process based on the background of the applicants, they'll hopefully get a less biased selection of the actual top students.
I think that implies that most of the problem is not in the application process but rather the alienating effect the elitism of such institutions has. I really think that in their case a selection bias is not the solution.
We only take the top 5% because we only have space for the top 5%. We're not a huge organization that can just spin up 20 new dynos and laterally scale. We scale horizontally, which is frustrating for everyone, including us. The rest of them we try to direct to resources that DO scale, like http://teamtreehouse.com/ and learnpythonthehardway.com/book
But yeah, we'd love to help the other 95%. Got any thoughts?
Actually, there is no reason not to only accept women. I mean, apart from choosing best possible candidates but that's apparently not the primary concern.
And, really, who cares? Start worrying if she succeeds.
> I don't want to be cynical, but boy oh boy is it hard not to observe that at the very moment in our history when we have the most women in the Senate, Congress is perceived to be pathetic, bickering, easily manipulated and powerless, and I'll risk the blowback and say that those are all stereotypes of women. Easy, HuffPo, I know it's not causal, I am saying the reverse: that if some field keeps the trappings of power but loses actual power, women enter it in droves and men abandon it like the Roanoke Colony. Again we must ask the question: if power seeking men aren't running for Senate, where did they go? Meanwhile all the lobbyists and Wall Street bankers are men, isn't that odd? "Women aren't as corrupt or money hungry." Yes, that's been my experience with women as well.
They're all sexist, sure. But they aren't hurting anyone; they're just providing opportunities to under-represented demographics that weren't there before.
Equality benefits everyone in the long run. I support anything that promotes that.
| That mission is to bring equality to computer science
Please tell me I'm not the only one who sees through such transparent bullcrap?
To ignore the greater context is to miss the forest for the trees.
They are part of the solution.
Once the representation starts to change, the calculus shifts so that the assholes become the outliers and they are the ones who start to experience pressure to change, rather than women experiencing pressure to drop out of the field due to harassment.
There's no real reason to assume that the two opposing forms of gender discrimination will cancel each other out rather than reinforcing each other though - especially given that traditional gender roles say women are inherently weaker/stupider/... than men and need special treatment and protection that men don't.
Isn't that the flip side of this politically-correct coin?
This kind of zero-sum-game thinking is shameful.
However, this might be more harm that help. One big problem is the gender centric culture of the industry, and these kind of initiatives are just trying to hide the sun with a finger. The culture problem would still be there and what will happen after the program ends? Are the alumni going to start women only companies? IMHO that is far away from the solution.