[Techtalk] [OT] HOWTO Encourage Women in Linux

Meredydd Luff meredydd at everybuddy.com
Wed Aug 28 16:01:37 EST 2002

Wow - talk about informative...thanks! :-)

Could I make a suggestion, though (even though I'm the wrong sex :-P):
About the section about brain differences, I don't necessarily agree that the 
studies are rubbish - the very basic sex-your-brain test at the London 
science museum was spookily accurate for such a simple test. My view on it is 
that this means precisely sod all about your ability in computing.

Take me, for example. I have a diagnosed sequencing disorder, and according 
to my Morrisby profile (which we had to take as part of a careers scheme), my 
spatial reasoning is awful (this also fits with anecdotal evidence). By those 
arguments, that means I shouldn't be able to code to save my life, but you'll 
need a crowbar if you want to keep me away from my gcc (or g++, or javac, 
or...). I think that there are probably quite a few differences between men 
and women's brains, but I think this serves mainly to add spice and more 
approaches to a problem rather than making women somehow unsuitable for 

Ooh - while this email was sitting in my outbox, waiting for our phone to get 
a dialtone again, I saw something else, in the section about advertising. The 
principal appearance of women in computer ads, I find (at least in my 
experience), is not the tightly-clad-vinyl type, but rather the ignorant user 
- implying, "Look, <product name> is so easy to use, even a woman can use 
it!"   The message seems not just to be that women don't use computers, but, 
worse, that they can only use the simple stuff, and certainly never do 
anything technical. To me, it smacks of Samuel Johnson (think that's the 
name...) and his dictionary "for Women and Other Uneducated Persons" - if 
anything worse than "women don't use computers", because the latter is so 
blatantly untrue, even to the most chauvanist eye.

I hate the phrase "just my 2 cents", but I can't really think of an effective 
replacement - anyone? ;-)



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