EppsNet Archive: Women

Al Franken and Ted Kennedy

 

I’m old enough to remember when a U.S. senator could actually kill a woman and not only NOT resign but be considered a legislative luminary, the lion of the Democratic party. (If you’re not old enough to remember that, google “Ted Kennedy.”) I’m hearing that Sen. Al Franken will be resigning his seat within the next day. The last straw was an allegation from a woman who said that Franken, before he was a senator, appeared to be about to kiss her and she moved away: He was between me and the door and he was coming at me to kiss me. It was very quick and I think my brain had to work really hard to be like ‘Wait, what is happening?’ But I knew whatever was happening was not right and I ducked. I was really startled by it and I just sort of booked it towards the… Read more →

Matt Lauer’s Secret Sex Lair!

 

Lauer’s private office at storied 30 Rockefeller Plaza contained a secret button that could essentially turn that office into a secret sex lair. — Fox News The “secret button” closed the office door and locked it, if the doorknob was in the locked position. If closing the door and locking it turns an office into a “secret sex lair,” isn’t everyone’s office a secret sex lair? I read elsewhere that Lauer’s behavior included “luring” female employees to his office. How is “luring” different from inviting? Did he drag around a nice pair of shoes on a fishhook? One more: according to Variety, “despite being married, Lauer was fixated on women, especially their bodies and looks.” Ask not for whom the bell tolls . . . Read more →

Who Will Be Left to Scold the Scolders?

 

Some of the questions Matt Lauer asked Bill O’Reilly during their Today Show interview on Sept. 19: [Your accusers] came forward and filed complaints against the biggest star at the network they worked at. Think of how intimidating that must have been, how nerve-racking that must have been! Doesn’t that tell you how strongly they felt about the way they were treated by you?   Over the last six months since your firing, have you done some soul searching? Have you done some self-reflection? And have you looked at the way you treated women that you think now or think about differently now than you did at the time?   You were probably the last guy in the world that they wanted to fire because you were the guy that the ratings and the revenues were built on, you carried that network on your shoulders for a lot of years.… Read more →

Slut-Shaming: It’s Not Just For Women Anymore

 

Some of the recent sexual misconduct allegations seem serious enough to warrant adjudication in a courtroom, but a lot of them sound like what would be called slut-shaming if the targets were women. (Slut-shaming is the practice of criticizing or attacking [wo]men for having casual or promiscuous sex, acknowledging sexual feelings and/or acting on sexual feelings. The implication is that if a [wo]man engages in sexual activity that traditional society disapproves of, [s]he should feel guilty and inferior.) Joe Barton is the congressman from Texas whose nude photo was posted online, apparently by a jealous ex-girlfriend. (That link goes to an NPR story, not to the actual photo. I’m sure you can find the photo if you want to but be advised that Barton is overweight and 68 years old.) Some facts are in dispute, but everyone agrees that the photo was posted (by someone) after Barton told the woman… Read more →

White Privilege vs Gender Privilege

 

A USC doctoral student at the School of Social Work has filed a lawsuit against the university and professor Erick Guerrero, alleging USC did not impose disciplinary actions that she found sufficient after investigating a sexual harassment complaint she filed in January. Professor Guerrero says the student, Karissa Fenwick, is taking advantage of “her life of white privilege.” Fenwick counters that white privilege in this case is trumped by Guerrero’s gender privilege. Women or minorities — who are the most victimized victims? Read more →

Female Code Breakers Who Helped Defeat the Nazis

 

Politico tells us that more than 10,000 female “cryptoanalysts” were enlisted by the U.S. Army and Navy to help crack Nazi codes and ensure the Allies’ victory in World War II , but until now they have been mostly overlooked by history. (Politico: The Female Code Breakers Who Helped Defeat the Nazis) OK, but male code breakers have been overlooked by history too, haven’t they? Name a few famous male code breakers. Name one. Don’t say Alan Turing, he was British. Read more →

Tech Gender Bias: Men Not as Concerned

 

According to LinkedIn: Despite a string of revelations that women in tech face considerable headwinds — from persistent gender-based pay gaps (per Bloomberg), to limited VC funding for female-led startups (per Fortune), to sexual harassment (per The New York Times) — just 29% of men say that discrimination is a major problem in the industry, according to data from Pew. In fact, some 32% of men claim that it’s not a problem at all. Everything I read about gender discrimination in tech starts out by assuming it’s a real problem and that all reasonable people agree that it’s a real problem. Even the supposedly objective LinkedIn blurb above tells us that 29% of men “say” that discrimination is a major problem, while 32% of men “claim” that it’s not a problem at all, “despite a string of revelations blah blah blah . . .” I’ve worked in tech for 30… Read more →

Tech Gender Bias: Men Not as Concerned

 

According to LinkedIn: Despite a string of revelations that women in tech face considerable headwinds — from persistent gender-based pay gaps (per Bloomberg), to limited VC funding for female-led startups (per Fortune), to sexual harassment (per The New York Times) — just 29% of men say that discrimination is a major problem in the industry, according to data from Pew. In fact, some 32% of men claim that it’s not a problem at all. Here’s why I claim that it’s not a problem: Women are capable of making decisions for themselves. For the most part, they choose to do things other than work in tech and do startups. So what? (Pay gaps and harassment are not tech-specific, obviously.) Thus spoke The Programmer. Read more →

To the Daughter I Never Had

 

Take control of your own impulses, conflicts and disappointments. Don’t forfeit your freedom and independence in exchange for intrusion into and adjudication of your private life and penalizing of men who did something you didn’t like. Also: Dress appropriately. Maintain some mystique and intrigue. Don’t feel like you have to link up with another person until you’ve got some idea about what you want from life. Love, Dad Read more →

Camille Paglia on Hefner, Trump, Masculinity, Feminism, Etc.

 

The Hollywood Reporter has an interview with the always articulate and interesting Camille Paglia: Before the election, I kept pointing out that the mainstream media based in Manhattan, particularly The New York Times, was hopelessly off in the way it was simplistically viewing Trump as a classic troglodyte misogynist. I certainly saw in Trump the entire Playboy aesthetic, including the glitzy world of casinos and beauty pageants. It’s a long passé world of confident male privilege that preceded the birth of second-wave feminism. There is no doubt that Trump strongly identified with it as he was growing up. It seems to be truly his worldview. But it is categorically not a world of unwilling women. Nor is it driven by masculine abuse. It’s a world of show girls, of flamboyant femaleness, a certain kind of strutting style that has its own intoxicating sexual allure — which most young people attending… Read more →

What Happened?

 

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. Read more →

To Young Women Considering a Career in Technology

 

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. 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… Read more →

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

 

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… Read more →

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

 

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. — The New York Times 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… Read more →

Amber Alerts

 

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 . . . Read more →

Homophobic Slurs

 

Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf fined $10,000 for using homophobic slur against a ref in Game 4 — SBNation.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… Read more →

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

 

Illinois rep asks why men should have to pay for prenatal coverage — LA 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? Read more →

What is Life Telling Me Right Now?

 

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

Are You a Role Model for Today’s Youth?

 

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 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… Read more →

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