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Sure. It's just one drop of water out of a clear blue sky. The sort of thing that is easily tolerable, hardly even a nuisance really. Maybe you don't have many female friends, maybe none of your female friends work in tech, and maybe you've never had any female coworkers. The fact is, for women in tech it's been raining, it's been raining every single day for decades. One drop is tolerable, but it's the unrelenting deluge that makes life miserable. Every day there's a thousand little pinpricks reminding women that they are the outsider, that they don't belong, that they are an intrusion, an afterthought. It ranges all the way from overt sexual harassment at conventions and in the workplace to sexualized images of women being used in slide decks at programming conferences to thousands of little locker room humor "jokes" floating around everywhere and being made every day.

Make no mistake, these "jokes" have consequences. We look around and we wonder why there are so few women in tech. A big reason is that so few women have the passion to don raingear they'll have to wear for the rest of their lives. Most rational folks will just choose to go somewhere it's not raining as much or as often.

So yeah, this joke is "funny", a little. Is it funny enough to justify adding to the deluge? Absolutely not. Not by a long shot. And pretending that the deluge isn't there is either ignorant, delusional, insensitive, or just actively hostile toward women. There's little excuse for this sort of thing anymore. It's raining. It's been raining. It's almost certainly going to continue to rain for a good long while. Don't be the sort of asshole who adds to the rain without thinking.




>Make no mistake, these "jokes" have consequences.

What's your evidence? Anecdotal evidence cuts both ways: every time this issue is discussed on HN there are real women in comments saying that they personally don't feel discriminated at their tech workplaces and find the claims of GeekFeminism et al about the pervasively misogynistic tech culture laughable. Do you actually know that there's an "unrelenting deluge that makes life miserable" for a typical woman in tech? Do you have real evidence that's not coming from self-appointed experts or members of outrage brigades? How do you know that you're not exaggerating and it is not, just to pick a possibility, a regrettable annoyance that we'd be much better without, but not an "unrelenting deluge that makes life miserable"?

>We look around and we wonder why there are so few women in tech. A big reason is that so few women have the passion to don raingear they'll have to wear for the rest of their lives.

How do you know that this is a big reason? What's your evidence?

In the U.S., the percentage of women in tech and CS has been steadily going down since mid-80s, while the society has been getting less sexist since that time by most evidence I can think of: for example, think of the number of women in Congress, representation in the media, jokes that have become too crass, gender pay gap that's been shrinking... If you're right about the reason women don't go into tech, wouldn't you expect the numbers to go up and not down since the 80s?

>Most rational folks will just choose to go somewhere it's not raining as much or as often

What are other occupations in which, like you're claiming for tech, a misogynistic culture drives women out? E.g. take the law. Anecdotally, the culture in law firms is often said to be dominated by very aggressive male partners, with abundant misogynistic jokes. I googled for sexism in law firms and found this article: http://ms-jd.org/what-no-one-tells-you-you-go-law-school-you... by a woman who says that before law school she "spent the several years in a heavily male-dominated profession (software), and never had any issues", but was shocked by the amount of sexism and sexual harassment in law school and law firms.

If she's right, and this is a real problem, would you expect such sexism to be "a big reason" for women leaving law as well? But ever since the 1970s there's been only an up trend in female representation in law. How do you explain that?


In the U.S., the percentage of women in tech and CS has been steadily going down since mid-80s, while the society has been getting less sexist since that time by most evidence I can think of: for example, think of the number of women in Congress, representation in the media, jokes that have become too crass, gender pay gap that's been shrinking... If you're right about the reason women don't go into tech, wouldn't you expect the numbers to go up and not down since the 80s?

Maybe tech has not been keeping up with the rest of society?


In the absence of evidence either way, do you think that we should assume that people are being marginalised or not? Which is the more compassionate choice?


This argument would almost make sense if the joke was at all about women. Except it's not. The only mention of women on that page is a message that they're included too. The word "bro" is making fun of college age american males, it literally has nothing to do with women at all.

I mean, I'd think this level white knighting would be excessive if it even had something to do with women, but I'm fantastically amused by the reaction here considering that this joke has NOTHING TO DO WITH WOMEN AT ALL. The "offensiveness" of this is pure extrapolation. Seriously, you're all just /assuming/ that women are going to be offended by this. But somehow, those of us that are saying that maybe you should let women speak for themselves if it really bothers them, we're the sexists.


That's the thing. That's why some women notice and others don't, and it's always split. The women who notice, notice that the use of the word bro EXCLUDES them from the joke. The women who don't notice, don't recognize or don't care that they're being excluded. In most fields, these jokes happen all the time from women AND men and everything is sunshine and rainbows. But in programming, the jokes come almost ubiquitously from men, about men, with nothing AGAINST women except for just ignoring the existence of female programmers. And at some point, it becomes really difficult not to notice the constant exclusion.


Well said.




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