I see this all the time in my country (I don't know if this is the case here) but females get a lot more attention in basically all areas of society and I don't think much good can come from that.
Well, I guess I'm just trying to write as a man in the extremely feministic country of Sweden I kind of feel left out and viewed as "not as important" as the counter gender. Since I am quite young and the feministic views here just has grown stronger with the years, this feeling has grown on me since I started elementary school.
Now in my twenties, I don't think it's that weird I think feminism is possibly one of the worst phenomenas in my country and the world in general.
Look around you: assuming you're in IT, unless you work in a truly remarkable place men considerably outnumber women. We (and I mean the egalitarian "we") have to do something about that.
I'd welcome your suggestion. But "start treating everybody as equals" is a goal, and not very prescriptive. How do we get from point A to point B?
(I upvoted you because your discourse is reasoned and polite.)
Why? What is that evidence of? You assume sexism presumably. Men and women are different and have predispositions to excel in different areas.
You know what would be really weird? A 50/50 split. Why is that the definition of correct?
Why are so few people rational about this?
Then how do you explain the radical skew toward gender imbalance that occurred after the field of programming came into being? Back in the 60s and 70s there were many more women in computing research than there are today. This is not because of "predispositions". It is cultural.
Women have more options now. They're choosing them.
Men have the same options now as they did then. They're choosing from a much more limited selection pool.
(For numbers see e.g. http://blog.fogcreek.com/girls-go-geek-again/)
"Right" and "wrong" are judgment calls, though most people do feel that keeping women out of a field with no natural barriers to them is wrong. Regardless of your personal values, the historical data shows that whatever barriers exist are not natural.
The fact is that CS -- or what people on HN call CS -- has changed massively in 40 years. For instance, startups barely even existed 40 years ago, and they certainly weren't as hyped as they are now. Furthermore, gender roles have changed in the past 40 years, as has female college admission.
There's something ironically conservative in democrat-styled liberals'  harking back to the CS of yesteryear where gender equality was the norm. Societies change, as do fields of work. If I had to take a pundit's guess at the reason, I'd probably say that we have similar raw numbers of women in the field now as then, but more men have flocked to the field as it's proved itself as an excellent means of generating wealth, thus upsetting the ratio.
In all honesty, if I were to guess at the reason there aren't many women in CS, I'd say it's because women don't tend to care as much as men do about generating wealth. Warren Farrell's 'Why Men Earn More' came to similar conclusions: that men are more disposed to taking nastier, more stressful jobs if the pay will be higher. If this is indeed the case, then it would seem that the easiest way to attract women to tech would be to get everyone -- irrespective of gender -- involved in CS at a young age, and allow them to see how fun it can be. If women genuinely do choose to work in careers that they find fulfilling, then this would achieve the goal of increasing the numbers of women in tech without having to discriminate in any way, simply by getting more women to self-select into tech.
 I must say, from the point of view of a UK liberal, there doesn't seem to be much liberalism in the US definition of the term. It seems closer to socialism from where I'm standing, with its heaps of top-down reforms and regulations. Yes, this is irrelevant, and no I'm not willing to defend this statement, since -- as a UK citizen -- I have no dog in this race.
Why are so many professional basket ball players black? Racism?
There is an implicit assumption in this and its validity is assumed. It is not being questioned.
I am really tired of hearing that. I do not think that is what women mean when they refer to someone as "creepy." Closer to "unattractive and won't give up in the face of no" perhaps.
Effective Strategies for Increasing Diversity in Nursing Programs
Seriously, I take your point about the differences between men and women. I saw the news tidbit a few weeks ago about the study on toddlers and the toys they prefer. I'm willing to treat those studies objectively.
Yet in the case I cited, fewer than three percent of attendees at a technical conference were women. "Predispositions to excel" or not, that's a statistic too big to ignore, and there's something else going on.
I'm skeptical when studies like that make claims about "intrinsic" gender differences because boys and girls are treated differently by adults pretty much as soon as they're born. Girls are told their dress is so pretty, boys are told they're so big, etc. I think of it kind of like, "Hey, don't you want to play with trucks? You really want to play with trucks, don't you?" And then — big surprise — two-year-old boys like trucks.
It has no basis in fact is my point really. And I'm uncomfortable in applying sexism as a solution to perceived sexism.
Im confused why everyone isn't uncomfortable with that.
The men currently in tech who support pro-female discrimination aren't going to be affected by it: they're already in tech, and they already had a chance to enter it before their asinine discriminatory policies came into effect. They benefit from feeling they've achieved some good (irrespective of whether they actually have). The same is true of powerful people who aren't dependent on an equal playing field, such as politicians, the wealthy, and current business leaders. Such people won't be affected by proposing a piss-poor solution, so if they can feel like a champ for doing so, then they'll do so.
A less cynical view is that such people are simply bad at logic; that they don't understand that you form theories from evidence, rather than using evidence to support theories. The trouble with all gender politics is that it's too emotional an issue. All parties feel threatened, and all parties feel that they're the ones being shafted. In an atmosphere so hostile to reason, I'm just grateful that no-one has jumped to gulags and gas chambers as a solution. Oh wait... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Society_for_Cutting_Up_Men
I am particularly perplexed by their discussion of what they term "the variability hypothesis", which states that because:
1- a higher statistical variance in the distribution of some attribute in one population vs another population leads to a larger difference in relative representation of the two populations the further from the mean you go (this is true a priori), and
2- men have a higher variance in "math ability" compared to women,
then we will observe a significant difference in representation between the sexes at very high levels of ability. The authors mention that there is in fact a negative correlation between gender inequality and variance in ability (i.e. the more equal a society is, by their metrics, the higher the difference in variance in performance is between the sexes), which seems to elegantly support the variability hypothesis, to my understanding. I wonder if there has been any follow-up to this paper?
It's irresponsible and misogynistic to assume this is true. Irresponsible as it's used as an axiom for powerful political movements, and you as a smart person, should confirm this (and not via feels) before stamping your name across it; there is nothing 'else' going on. Misogynistic because you disrespect a woman's agency to choose her own profession.
Something is going on.
And, they negotiate lower pay, so are less invested in the industry.
And, they find opportunities in other industries more enticing than men, so are more likely to jump ship for more pleasant pastures.
And, and, and shit that people in tech shouldn't bust a brain cell over figuring out and seeking rent to validate their feelings.
If you haven't had your warm fuzzies for today, go work a soup kitchen.
If you're the guy creeping women out, then work out and learn social skills.
This is not that complicated and it disappoints me to see it on hn.
Also w/r/t/ negotiation and pay, check out things like this: http://pwq.sagepub.com/content/early/2012/08/23/036168431245...
Policy makers, academics, and media reports suggest that women could shrink the gender pay gap by negotiating more effectively for higher compensation. Yet women entering compensation negotiations face a dilemma: They have to weigh the benefits of negotiating against the social consequences of having negotiated. Research shows that women are penalized socially more than men for negotiating for higher pay"""
At one company, I switched from W2 to being a contractor such that I could invest pre-tax in a different business. This company offered me a much higher hourly rate then I would have asked for on my own, asked me to work 40 hours/week, and then complained bitterly about how much I cost. What was I supposed to do, negotiate a lower rate?
If a woman doesn't value you, it's because of how you feel about them and not because you're not bulked up enough.
I honestly can't think of anything in the world that wouldn't be better if every skinny/fat guy started losing fat and gaining muscle.
Of course, you are correct in your statement that men outnumber women in the field of IT. But I disagree with the statement that we have to do anything special about that unless that special thing is the golden rule to treat others how you want be treated yourself.
I don't want to be put aside, or left behind just because there is less women in the job that I may apply to in the future. So I treat any such endeavor to endorse gender-promotion as a hostile action, because it is unless the goal isn't equality. I want people to have equal chance and the route we're on now is not heading in that way at all.
The goal is clear and so should the message be, the goal will be reached as any other goal gets reached. You take one step in the right direction and educate people on why it's important to treat each other as equals. If this path won't change, I will get older with the same views on the society I have now. Who knows, perhaps I will employ people in the future and I will bring my experience with it. As will a lot of other people with the same experience of getting put aside, left behind or not valued as they should because of their gender.
From my experience and if it carries on and get worse do you really think women (in this case) will benefit from that? All it says to me right now is to have suspicion against women in IT, since they're getting all kind of help to be promoted and their skills or experience may very well not be real. How may I know the difference? Will she deliver? All those questions and certainly there are a few will just make it easier for the employer to pick the employ the other gender. This is as well as true for women-dominated work environments.
I'm not saying I actually will do that if I become an employer, but as it is right now that's unfortunately the way it's headed and is the hard truth. There is a lot of people that feels like this, probably on both sides of the gender. Even if we get downvoted on community sites just because right now our thoughts are "wrong" it won't change the fact that endorsing a gender in the name of equality is not just a cruel thing to do, it's counter effective. It is easy to breed hate, it's a lot harder to get rid of it. Trust me, I am one of those people that will hate if it just continues.
Unless you have some magical way of forcing everyone to suddenly drop their prejudices, then there is a need for social activism. Sorry if that inconveniences you.
Your entire argument is a straw man. Who are these women being given more than a fair chance?
Bear in mind that the purpose of this "Female Founders" event is to show other women that there are successful women in technology. The idea is to inspire other women to get involved. We don't have "Male Founders" events because almost all "Founders" events would qualify.
Predicated on what? What's your proof that such prejudices exist, or that they're applied more so to women than men? Furthermore, what's your proof that discrimination is the form of social activism required to fix this unproved prejudice?
In any debate around this issue there seems to be a lot of working backwards from the evidence to whatever theory the commenter personally supports. People who want to believe that prejudice and sexism 'keep women down' cite the fact that men are predominant in tech. People who want to believe that men are more predisposed to enter tech than women cite the exact same evidence. This isn't how logic works. Unfortunately for the latter group, it's not possible to prove a negative (i.e. the absence of sexism), so the former group will actually have to present evidence showing that prejudice is the best explanation for the gender gap in tech.
>Who are these women being given more than a fair chance?
Ignoring the facile pretense that every tech event is somehow exclusive to men simply because more men choose to attend, I'd start off by saying that this event -- this event which is enforced as exclusively women-only -- is evidence of women being given gender-based advantages. It requires Orwellian levels of double-think to look at a female-only event and pretend such a thing isn't sexist, while at the same time decrying the sexism in tech from the mere unexplained fact that tech contains more men than women. But this event is too hot an issue for both sides for either party to concede that it's proof or disproof of a female advantage in tech.
Instead, I'd ask what you think constitutes fair, and what constitutes equality? It seems that the answer to this question is what really divides the two sides in this debate. I -- and I assume most who think events like this are destructive -- would answer that fairness and equality relate to negative freedom: the freedom from someone restraining you from pursuing your goals i.e. we would all be more equal if the only thing which stood between us and our goals were our own skill (or lack thereof). If you disagree with this goal, could explain why? And if you do not disagree with this goal, could you explain how you justify discriminatory events? (And if you could do so without sarcasm, that'd be fantastic, thanks.)
This guys has a point. Yea women where is the proof that you are prejudiced against except centuries of discrimination? The last western country to give women right to vote was in 1960s. Almost 50 years ago. The fact that you make 80 cents to every dollar a man makes is not a proof of any prejudice but a proof that women are genetically pre-disposed to making less money than men. Also, feminism is bad.
>I assume most who think events like this are destructive -- would answer that fairness and equality relate to negative freedom: the freedom from someone restraining you from pursuing your goals i.e. we would all be more equal if the only thing which stood between us and our goals were our own skill (or lack thereof).
Because this argument assumes a level playing field for everybody including no intrinsic factors like lack of role models, lack of representation and lack of societal support.
Here's another advice for you, what you are thinking are well-reasoned arguments are all the same arguments that come up time and again in Sociology 101 to being stated in every argument on gender and race related issues on Hacker News. So, go do some research make some new (but probably) misinformed arguments about how we live in a post-gender society instead rehashing the same bigoted crap all the time.
Women got the right to vote at a federal level in Switzerland in 1971.
> The fact that you make 80 cents to every dollar a man makes is not a proof of any prejudice but a proof that women are genetically pre-disposed to making less money than men.
No. You talk about sociology 101, so how about this nugget; making less money than someone has many more variables associated with it than discrimination (for example; part time vs. full time). This is practically an urban myth at this point. You can Google for refutations of it if you want (either 80 cents, or 77 cents) and you should be able to find a dozen decent ones.
You are wrong. It's not clear-cut. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gender_pay_gap for an introduction.
Are you suggesting that women are not prejudiced again in work-place and in technology?
> You can Google for refutations of it if you want (either 80 cents, or 77 cents) and you should be able to find a dozen decent ones.
I did. Here's what I found:
So okay, women don't make $0.77 for every dollar men earn. If we discard all the stuff the GAO found that definitely isn't related, women make $0.93 for every dollar men earn. So, is that somehow okay because it's "only" 7 cents?
As the previous studies cited were a 1993 study and a 1999 study covering Sweden, I thought it might be important to add some modern statistics into the mix.
The interesting part to me is on pages 84-86. If you look, you'll see the pay gap resulting from characteristics such as experience, difference in education, and difference in occupation (the three most usually cited to explain the wage gap) have narrowed significantly.
This is important because it showcases a societal shift in workforce population, from a 'glass ceiling' problem to a far more difficult one that is harder to define and fix.
Oh, you want proof? Here you go: http://programmersbeingdicks.tumblr.com/.
Ask any female programmer about it sometime. It'll be enlightening for you.
Maybe female founders inspire women which is completely fine and maybe almost all the other founders events would qualify for a "male founders" event. But it doesn't change that there probably is a lot people that want to attend and being recognized not welcomed since they have the wrong gender which is kind of the core of sexism.
My absolute main point is that sexist events are not ok whatever you like to dress it up as. My second main point is that I felt the sexism my entire life and every time it happens it disgusts me and if it continues I am afraid that I will become very sexist myself even if I'd like not to. I am seriously afraid for it to come to a point were protecting my interests means being sexist to people that did not have anything to do with the sexism inflicted on me.
Are you female? Because if you're not, you're probably not aware of them. Ask some of your female colleagues about it sometime.
You're confusing equal opportunity with equal representation. I don't know under what definition of "true equality" you operate in, but typically it refers to the former.
The perception of IT has been distorted by some glamorous startup success stories and their photo galleries of comfy office space with free cappuccino. The daily reality of most software engineers is much different.
Time will perhaps show the truth of those words - I'm sure you'll disagree for now.
That in no way points to inequality. It points to the fact that men and women want different things, and have different strengths and weaknesses.
The idea that there aren't as many women in IT as men because of some sort of discrimination is laughable.
The last 3 female co-workers we had to replace decided to be full time moms.
So, please, explain how lowering the expectations of every woman that soldiers on and not go be full time moms/wifes is improving our lives?
This is nothing but a short term gain with longer term side effects. A few women now cling to those handicaps to reap the easy benefits, while contributing to the overall notion that woman can't still be equal because, well, they still need the handicap.
But go on. convince yourself of what you want and enjoy the brief spotlight.
"In its majestic equality, the law forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, beg in the streets, and steal loaves of bread."
If you want true equality, you must help the downtrodden to rise up and stand as equals. These days, when someone in a deep hole is given a ladder to help them climb out, it's popular for bystanders on the sidewalk above to cry "It's not fair! Why don't I get a ladder? I'm being treated unequally!" Well, no. You don't get a ladder because you're not in a hole.
That's an oversimplification, of course. We all have our own holes, of varying depths, and for all our best efforts there still aren't enough ladders to go around, nor enough people to distribute them. I'm not sure what the solution is. But I'm pretty sure that demanding that we smash all the ladders isn't it.
I personally subscribe to the ethos of "two wrongs don't make a right".
Show us the evidence that men in Sweden are marginalised and I'll jump right on that anti-feminism bandwagon. I suspect I'll be waiting a while.
What irks me about modern feminism is the claim that women have it so bad in society, when really they have privileges everywhere. Including less pressure to make a good income, and therefore more freedom in choosing jobs (jobs that are more fun often pay less good). Some of those less attractive jobs include IT...
I mean I think it is OK if women have privileges - I've watched my wife give birth. That makes up for a lot of things. But to give privileges and then be accused is not appropriate.
On the assumption that you mean something else when you say "feminism", what do you mean?