EppsNet Archive: Sexism

And That’s the Truth: Modern-Day Sexism

2 Mar 2018 /
Sojourner Truth

[And That’s the Truth is a feature by our guest blogger, Sojourner Truth– PE]

I heard a gal talking about being snubbed in a social setting where she was the only woman. She says it was “modern-day sexism.”

I guess “old-fashioned sexism” was you can’t vote. Modern-day sexism is “unconscious bias,” which means I ain’t gonna ask you why you did that, because you don’t even know why you did it, but I know why you did it, and that is because you are sexist.

These gals are all a bunch of voodoo mind readers. They got one explanation for everything that happens in the world.

If I had me a dollar for every time someone just knowed why I did something without asking me and they was dead wrong, I could quit blogging and retire.

And that’s the Truth!

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Two Reasons For the Low Number of Women in Computer Jobs

15 Jan 2018 /

I saw this chart on LinkedIn with the heading “Chart: Women in tech continue to face uphill battle” and the hashtag #STEMSexism.


The first reason for the low number of women in computer jobs is that we rarely hear about women in computing except in the context of pay gaps, harassment, discrimination, “uphill battles” and #STEMSexism.

It’s self-perpetuating. “Computing is a terrible profession for women in so many ways.” Followed by “Why aren’t there more women in computing?”

You’ve answered your own question. If you think computing is a hostile profession (I do not, btw), why do you want more women to go into it?


The second reason for the low number of women in computer jobs — sometimes the simplest explanations are the best — is that women prefer to do other things.

Men and women are different and make different choices about their lives, as a result of which, women are underrepresented in some professions and overrepresented in others.

Women, for example, are overrepresented in nursing, family counseling, speech pathology, social work, education, to name a few.

Do we hear about a diversity crisis in speech pathology or social work? We don’t, right?

I worked with a nursing organization for five years. About 90 percent of nurses are women, but in five years I can’t remember a single instance where gender bias was cited as a crisis, a dilemma, a problem, or even something as mild as a cause for concern.

Women being overrepresented in certain professions is not widely considered to be a problem. But if women being underrepresented in computer jobs is a problem, then their overrepresentation in other professions is also a problem.

In fact, it’s the same problem. Because where are the women in computing going to come from?

On the safe assumption that the number of women is constant — that a large number of new women are not going to just appear out of nowhere — the women will have to come from other professions that they seem to prefer, the professions in which they are overrepresented.

Sorry girls, we can’t have so many of you working in healthcare, education and other helping professions because we need to boost the computing numbers.

Or — we could calm down about the computing numbers and leave young women to make their own choices about their own lives.

TL;DR -> Women are capable of making decisions for themselves. For the most part, they choose to do things other than work in computer jobs, which is okay. It’s possible that none of us really knows what is the “right” percentage of women in computing and it’s possible that none of us really knows what other people should be doing with their lives.

Thus spoke The Programmer

Liberalism and the Wrath of the Privileged Whites

9 Dec 2017 /
Hillary Clinton

The largely white and affluent solid liberals are notionally egalitarian and opposed to white privilege, but they include many of the most privileged whites in America. . . .

Millions of working-class whites felt that Obama was talking about them, too, when he said, “There’s not a liberal America and a conservative America—there’s the United States of America. There’s not a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America; there’s the United States of America.”

And many of those same Americans knew that Hillary Clinton was talking about them when she ranted about the “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic—you name it” deplorables.

To Young Women Considering a Career in Technology

30 Aug 2017 /

You’ve probably read a lot of articles about how sexist and awful the culture is for women in technology.

I think if anything deters young women from technology careers, it’s this glut of articles saying how sexist and awful the culture is.

Young female technologist

I’ve worked in software development for 30 years. In my experience — and feel free to discount this because I’m not a woman — the culture is not tough for women. If anything, men give women the benefit of the doubt because they’d like to have more women around.

As Holden Caulfield used to say, “I like to be somewhere at least where you can see a few girls around once in a while, even if they’re only scratching their arms or blowing their noses or even just giggling or something.”

Yes, I have seen bad things happen to women in tech, but I’ve seen bad things happen to men and I’ve had bad things happen to me. I’m also aware of bad things happening to women in other professions. We’ve all had our ups and downs.

How to explain this? Bad things happen to women because they’re women and bad things happen to men because — what? We deserve it?

You’ve probably also read a lot of articles about a “diversity chasm” in tech, usually written by women who work in tech and can’t understand why every young woman in America is not making the same career choices they themselves have made.

Women, like any group, are under-represented in some professions (like tech) and over-represented in other professions — education and health services, for example.

Is a software engineering career objectively better than being a nurse or a teacher or a therapist or any of the careers that women seem to prefer?

I’m happy to admit that I don’t know what the “right” male-female ratio is for any given profession and that I don’t know what other people should be doing with their lives.

Programming has been a pretty good career for me — I like to build things and I like to solve hard problems — but I’ve spent most of my life alone in a room or cubicle staring at a computer screen. It’s not for everyone. There are pros and cons like any other job.

I don’t have a daughter but my son never took an interest in programming and I never pushed him to do so. He graduated college with a degree in business. I have no reason to think his life will be less fulfilling because he’s not working in a technology job.


  • Don’t pursue a technology career because someone else thinks you should.
  • Don’t pursue a technology career to make some point about gender roles in society.
  • Don’t be scared off by inaccurate (IMO) generalizations about anti-female culture.
  • Follow your heart.

Thus spoke The Programmer.

Hillary Clinton and the New Ghostbusters

16 Jul 2016 /

The Democratic party and the makers of the new Ghostbusters movie apparently share the idea that you can foist a transparently awful product on the American public as long as you have females in the lead role(s).

Have you watched a Hillary Clinton speech? I yawn and cringe in equal measure.

Here is a video from a campaign stop in North Carolina where she reads the word “sigh” — intended as a cue that she should actually sigh at that point in the speech — from a teleprompter. I cringed twice, once when she read it and once when I reflected on the phoniness of a candidate needing to be scripted to that degree.

Bernie Sanders is Wrong About Everything But He’s Raised the Intellectual Climate

4 Jul 2016 /
U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont

Socialism has been discredited about as thoroughly as possible, but one thing I greatly admire about Bernie Sanders is this: He’s never made a political issue of the fact that he’s Jewish.

He doesn’t say “It’s high time we had a Jewish president.” He doesn’t say “If you’re Jewish, you should vote for me because I’m Jewish.” And most importantly, he doesn’t dismiss criticism or critics as anti-Semitic.

And because he doesn’t do any of the above, I don’t see his supporters or the media doing it either.

It would be easy for him to do those things because it’s what people expect. Political discourse in America consists mainly of people calling each other racists, sexists, homophobes and bigots. It’s hard to complete a sentence without someone taking offense to a trigger word, a microaggression or a dog whistle.

Abraham Lincoln once said this:

If you have ever studied geometry, you remember that by a course of reasoning, Euclid proves that all the angles in a triangle are equal to two right angles. Euclid has shown you how to work it out. Now, if you undertake to disprove that proposition, and to show that it is erroneous, would you prove it to be false by calling Euclid a liar?

Today people would be more likely to refute geometry by calling Euclid a racist or attacking his position on same-sex bathrooms, but Lincoln’s point remains valid, i.e., if you disagree with someone, make an argument and knock off the name-calling.

President Obama could have taken a Lincolnesque stand on this if he had wanted to — it would have been a valuable contribution to American life — but instead chooses to use ad hominem politics to his own advantage, to further the impression that there’s no legitimate reason for anyone to oppose his agenda other than the fact that he’s (half) black.

So kudos to Bernie Sanders for his efforts, however futile, to raise the American intellectual climate.

A Loser Mentality

11 Feb 2016 /

Don’t hesitate to vote with your uterus. — Hillary Clinton (paraphrased)

“Women should vote for women” is a loser mentality. I’m glad to see that it’s not working.

The Clinton camp is also tagging as “sexist” criticism that isn’t remotely sexist, just as criticism of President Obama is routinely tagged as “racist,” as though there’s no substantive reason why anyone would not like these two people.

I’m not a Bernie Sanders fan but I haven’t heard Sanders or anyone affiliated with him even one time mention that he’s Jewish, that he’d be the first Jewish president, that all Jews should vote for him or that criticism of him is anti-semitic.

The 12th Man

17 Feb 2014 /
CenturyLink Field, home of the Seattle Seahawks

The home crowd of the Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks is known as The 12th Man. Isn’t this awfully sexist? Doesn’t it marginalize female Seahawk fans? Wouldn’t The 12th Person be a more appropriate appellation?

I’m surprised there isn’t more outrage over this. It seems like the kind of thing that someone should be really bent out of shape about.

Top 5 Creepy and Sexist Christmas Songs

26 Dec 2011 /

Maybe you can use them as a way to engage in a conversation about sexism with your friends and family over the holidays!

For example, it is NOT okay to suggest that all a woman wants for Christmas is a man (I’m looking at you, Mariah Carey). Or that women are materialistic and shallow and want lots of accoutrements.

Except earrings, obviously.

Happy Labor Day

5 Sep 2011 /
spare ribs on the barbeque

When there’s BBQ ribs to be eaten, it’s every man for himself.

Wait, that’s sexist. Let me rephrase.

When there’s BBQ ribs to be eaten, it’s every mf’er for themselves.

Happy Labor Day!