EppsNet Archive: Women

What Happened?

13 Sep 2017 /

According to this review by Piers Morgan, Hillary has narrowed down the list of people and entities responsible for her 2016 election defeat to James Comey, Vladimir Putin, Julian Assange, Barack Obama, Bernie Sanders and his supporters, Mitch McConnell, the mainstream media, the New York Times, Matt Lauer, Fox News, Jill Stein, men, women, white people, black people, Joe Biden, Anthony Weiner, and the Electoral College.

Notably absent from the list: Hillary Clinton.


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.

TL;DR:

  • 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.


One Thing I Can’t Tolerate is Intolerance: The Google Memo

8 Aug 2017 /

The now-famous Google memo was first published by Gizmodo under the headline Here’s The Full 10-Page Anti-Diversity Screed Circulating Internally at Google.

If you’re interested in the topic, you should read the memo yourself, otherwise you’re going to get a terribly slanted second-hand judgment, e.g., “anti-diversity screed.” I’ve read it and I don’t think it’s “anti-diversity” and it’s definitely not what I’d call a screed.

I’ve seen that word — screed — used by multiple sources. That’s one way of dismissing and declining to engage with an opinion you don’t like: give it a label like “screed,” suggesting that the author is angry and irrational and not fit to have a discussion with.

In my reading though, I found the original memo to be academic and clinical, much less screed-like than the responses I’ve seen.

As usual (in my experience), the most intolerant people in the mix are the ones presenting themselves as champions of tolerance, diversity, acceptance and mutual respect. They love people of all genders, skin color, hair color, eye color, etc., but they have no tolerance at all for anyone who doesn’t think exactly the way they do.

If you have an opinion that doesn’t fit the preferred narrative, you are harmful and stupid, you shouldn’t be allowed to hold a job and you shouldn’t feel safe in giving voice to your opinions.

The argument against expressing an opinion like the author of the Google memo is, as I understand it, that it’s considered hostile and unwelcoming to women who might want to work in the field of technology.

Google chief executive Sundar Pichai said in firing the memo author: “The memo has clearly impacted our co-workers, some of whom are hurting and feel judged based on their gender.”

If it’s hurtful to judge people based on their “gender,” why isn’t it hurtful to say that the percentage of males working in technology is unacceptably high and should be reduced? (I know nobody says it that way. They say “increase the percentage of women” but it’s the same thing.)

Why isn’t it hurtful to implement policies to reduce the percentage of males working in technology? Why isn’t it hurtful to hire “diversity” personnel whose job it is to reduce the percentage of males in technology?.

Depending on which groups you’re in, you’re either not allowed to be discouraged by anything or you’re entitled to be demoralized by absolutely everything.

Thus spoke The Programmer.

Related link: Where are the additional women in technology supposed to come from?

 

Irony alert

“By ‘diverse mix of voices,’ we mean non-white females. Look at the picture. Oh, you thought it meant a diversity of opinions?! Well, in that case, you’re fired.”

 

TL;DR from Google memo

  • Google’s political bias has equated the freedom from offense with psychological safety, but shaming into silence is the antithesis of psychological safety.
  • This silencing has created an ideological echo chamber where some ideas are too sacred to be honestly discussed.
  • The lack of discussion fosters the most extreme and authoritarian elements of this ideology.
  • Extreme: all disparities in representation are due to oppression
  • Authoritarian: we should discriminate to correct for this oppression
  • Differences in distributions of traits between men and women may in part explain why we don’t have 50% representation of women in tech and leadership. Discrimination to reach equal representation is unfair, divisive, and bad for business.

Where Are the Additional Women in Technology Supposed to Come From?

29 Jul 2017 /

The jobs report for May contained discouraging news: continuing low labor-force participation, now below 63 percent overall. About 20 million men between the prime working ages of 20 and 65 had no paid work in 2015, and seven million men have stopped looking altogether.

In the meantime, the jobs most in demand — like nursing and nurse assistants, home health care aides, occupational therapists or physical therapists — sit open. The health care sector had the largest gap between vacancies and hires of any sector in April, for example.

We hear a lot about a shortage of women in technology jobs but we don’t hear about a shortage of men in traditionally female jobs.

It’s really two sides of the same problem. Unless a lot of women suddenly appear out of nowhere, the only way to get more women into professions where they’re currently under-represented — like technology — is to get them out of professions like health care, which they seem to prefer but in which they are significantly over-represented.

In theory, nursing should appeal to men because the pay is good and it’s seen as a profession with a defined skill set.

But the NYT cites a study from UMass Amherst, showing that not only will most unemployed men resist taking a “feminine” job, but that those men who might have been willing to consider it encountered resistance from their wives, who urged them to keep looking.

So much for diversity . . .

Speaking of which, here is a screenshot of the current board of directors of a nursing organization that I used to work with.

https://www.aacn.org/about-aacn/board?tab=Board%20of%20Directors

Nursing is a white female dominated profession, much more so than technology is a white male dominated profession, but I worked with this organization for about five years and never heard word one about a lack of diversity in nursing.

It’s hard to imagine an organization in 2017 having a 15-member all-white, all-male board of directors without drawing a lot of negative attention but all-white, all-female is okay.

I see a tremendous number of proposals for “empowering” women to get into technical professions that they may just not be interested in, but if the number of women in technology is considered problematic, then the number of women in nursing (and other over-represented professions) has to be considered equally problematic.

Where else are the additional women in technology supposed to come from?

Thus spoke The Programmer.


Amber Alerts

7 Jul 2017 /

I got an Amber Alert on my phone last night. The same Amber Alert is posted today on those lighted freeway billboards.

How did we decide that child abduction is the one activity that merits a notification to the entire country?

In this case, the woman in the photo, Kandice Johnson, stole a car at gunpoint with a 16-year-old boy in the back seat.

I’m going to feel ridiculously bad if this ends poorly, but for a 16-year-old boy, being kidnapped by a femme fatale like Kandice Johnson is maybe not the worst way to spend a few hours of your life . . .


Homophobic Slurs

20 May 2017 /

Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf fined $10,000 for using homophobic slur against a ref in Game 4SBNation.com

I thought he must have called the ref a faggot. That’s the one that usually gets you in trouble. Kobe Bryant was fined $100,000 a few years ago for calling a ref a faggot, but $10,000 is the maximum allowable fine under the NHL’s CBA.

But in watching the video, it looks like (there’s no audio) Getzlaf yells “Wake up” at the ref on the rink, then when he gets back to the Ducks bench, says “fucking cocksucker” to nobody in particular.

I don’t see “cocksucker” as being “homophobic.” Cocksucking is a respected activity of long standing. Women do it, men do it . . .

I’m not aware of anyone in hockey or other sports being fined for slurs like “cunt,” “pussy” or “motherfucker” that might be disrespectful to women and/or mothers, only for slurs with homosexual overtones.

It seems inequitable to me . . .


Why Should Men (or Women) Have to Pay for Prenatal Coverage?

10 Mar 2017 /

Illinois rep asks why men should have to pay for prenatal coverageLA Times

Evidently the LAT thinks this a hopelessly stupid question, but why? ObamaCare requires that all health plans cover pregnancy and childbirth, even though pregnancy and childbirth insurance is expensive and many people (including women) don’t need or want it.

Why is a man or woman not afforded the option to buy a less expensive health plan without pregnancy and childbirth coverage? Why is that not an option?

Even though the LAT frames the issue as a stupid question asked by a stupid white male, why should women in their 50s or 60s or 70s be paying for pregnancy and childbirth insurance? Or women of any age if they don’t want it?

Why is this law restricting our options and forcing people to pay for expensive things that they don’t need or want?


What is Life Telling Me Right Now?

15 Oct 2016 /

“You married a crazy person, you got old, there are women out there hooking up with everybody and you missed it, you dumb fucker . . .”


Are You a Role Model for Today’s Youth?

9 Oct 2016 /
George Carlin

The first question in tonight’s debate was “Are you a role model for today’s youth?”

I suppose this was the leadoff question because we found out this week that Donald Trump said some bad things 11 years ago.

I’ve been surprised by the amount of phony outrage about that given that

  1. Hillary Clinton’s husband set the bar for how crudely an American president can behave toward women. Or maybe JFK set the bar — he was a pimp and a degenerate but politicians were afforded a lot more privacy in those days so it’s hard to say for sure who was the bigger lout. As far as Clinton vs. Trump, we have actions vs. words. Big difference to me between saying (for example) “I’d like to fuck an intern with a cigar” and fucking an intern with a cigar. The spectacle of Hillary Clinton saying that a lack of reverence toward women indicates a lack of fitness for public office is surreal.
  2. If there’s a heterosexual man who hasn’t made remarks about women that would harm his reputation if recorded and played back to the nation, I don’t believe I’ve met him.

Also, as George Carlin used to say, “If your kids need a role model and it’s not you, you’re both fucked.”


Your Attitude to Women is a Disgrace

26 Jul 2016 /

Jesus and Mo


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.


Shopper Accused of Taking Pics of Woman in Target Changing Room

14 Jul 2016 /

If the post didn’t say that the photo shows a woman named Shauna, I could have easily mistaken her for a man. 😮


How to Beat UConn Women’s Basketball: Transsexuals

21 Jun 2016 /
Geno Auriemma

University of Connecticut head women’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma

High School Boy Wins All-State Honors In Girls Track And FieldThe Daily Caller

Girls will be boys and boys will be girls, it’s a mixed-up, muddled-up, shook-up world . . .

I’m actually old enough to remember when female athletes were disqualified if they turned out to be male.

Self-identification, i.e., if a boy says he’s a girl then he’s a girl, could take women’s sports in a crazy direction, given that males are better than females at any sport I can think of.

For example, if a women’s college basketball coach wants to end the UConn dynasty, why not suit up a team of transsexuals, i.e., men who “identify” as women? Other teams would have to follow suit in order to be competitive.

The only downside I can think of is that there would soon be few (maybe zero) biological women playing college basketball in America, or any other college sport.

Or high school sport. Or professional sport.


Is There an “Anti-Queer” Climate?

16 Jun 2016 /
Doogie Howser

Christian conservatives are responsible for the mass shooting at a gay bar in Orlando because they “created this anti-queer climate,” according to American Civil Liberties Union attorneys.

Agree that the summer climate in Orlando can be pretty oppressive but it’s just as bad for straight people.

Haha, but seriously folks, is there an “anti-queer climate” in America? I don’t see that. Can you think of 10 or 12 recent examples of “anti-queer” behavior that you’ve observed in your own life? Six? One? I can’t.

Quite the opposite: If a bakery doesn’t want to put two men on a wedding cake, it’s a national outrage. If a state doesn’t want penises in women’s bathrooms or locker rooms, it’s a national outrage.

America loves gays. Who in America is more beloved than Ellen and that Doogie Howser kid?

Now if you ask me “Is there an anti-Christian conservative climate in America?” I would say — and I’m neither a Christian nor a conservative — definitely yes.


Fight

27 May 2016 /

That is the difference between me and you.
You pack an umbrella, #30 sun goo
And a red flannel shirt. That’s not what I do.
I put the top down as soon as we arrive.
The temperature’s trying to pass fifty-five.
I’m freezing but at least I’m alive.
Nothing on earth can diminish my glee.
This is Florida, Florida, land of euphoria,
Florida in the highest degree.
You dig in the garden. I swim in the pool.
I like to wear cotton. You like to wear wool.
You’re always hot. I’m usually cool.

You want to get married. I want to be free.
You don’t seem to mind that we disagree.
And that is the difference between you and me.

— Laurel Blossom

Celebrating Women and Pancakes

8 Mar 2016 /

Today is International Women’s Day AND National Pancake Day! It is a day of celebration!

Woman eating pancakes

Tags: ,

What Is the Evidence for Unconscious Bias?

21 Feb 2016 /

What is the evidence for “unconscious bias,” since it’s, you know, unconscious?


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 People v. O.J. Simpson

31 Jan 2016 /
O.J. Simpson

There’s a miniseries coming out called The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story. I’m not going to watch it, not for any singular reason — I don’t watch other TV shows either — but I don’t remember the Simpson trial having a great deal of entertainment value.

  1. The trial proved beyond a reasonable doubt that Simpson was guilty, even though a guilty verdict was not returned.
  2. Eight of the 12 trial jurors were black women. The prosecution believed that the jurors would identify with the female victim. The defense team believed that the jurors would identify with the black murderer. The defense was right.
  3. Conventional wisdom says that anyone who can’t get out of a lengthy term of jury service is not very bright. Only two of the Simpson jurors had a college degree. One never finished high school. The prosecution bored and confused them with DNA evidence. The defense gave them a nursery rhyme. You know the result.

Why Jennifer Lawrence Makes Less Than Bradley Cooper

14 Oct 2015 /
Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence

Jennifer Lawrence is complaining (Why Do I Make Less Than My Male Co-Stars?) that she and American Hustle co-star Amy Adams received 7 percent of the profits for the film, while male actors Bradley Cooper and Christian Bale and director David Russell received 9 percent.

The only explanation I can think of for this inequity is that Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Adams were willing to work for 7 percent. It doesn’t make sense to sign a deal for 7 percent and then complain that you didn’t get 9 percent. If you want 9, ask for 9. If it’s going to bother you to make less than a male co-star, ask for the same deal as the male co-star.

Does Jennifer Lawrence have an agent? This doesn’t seem super complicated . . .


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