[Techtalk] Aren't boys wonderful!

Jennifer Davis jsd at jenn.ca
Sun Jan 6 20:02:31 EST 2002

This is probably an issues post.  I just thought I'd share this with you
all.  It does my head in sometimes to read what comes from the minds and
hands of others.  It's not that I am terribly shaken up by this.  I
mean, who's sex hasn't been questioned on line.  I used to play with IRC
and got tired of private messages from strangers asking my sex, then
asking if I was really a woman.  ICQ is no fun either, you can shut out
the creeps, but you still get bombarded with the creepy sex ads.  It
makes the internet so insular.  We shut out the contact with others in
favour ot being broadcast to via the web as it is the less
I just really wish I had some things in my head ready to go when I see
stupid sexism.  I was trained in Social Work at University and although
I don't practice, the one bit of training that has always stuck with me
was to never let the isms (racism, sexism, able-bodyism, ageism,
discrimination based on educational or economic status etc.) go
unanswered.  On a less altruistic level, getting back at a jerk is nice.
I also find that when I respond to idiots, I don't get enough shouts in,
like I just noticed he posted at 10.47pm on a Friday.  As fond as I am
of my PCs, we don't see much of each other on Fridays. 
I realise that this is nothing new to most of you.  This is nothing
compared to some of the nastiness, or just plain ignorance, not all of
it being sexist in nature.   I have dealt with in the past, like, hmm,
having a client demand to speak to a man because women don't know
anything about fixing computers, or being groped in a server room,
because obviously I was going to see the systems administrator and not
rebooting a server.  (I worked in an office that had no administrator
for two years, the admin was done remotely; we did the routine tasks
ourselves).  I've been lied to (condescended to by ignorant clerks) in
stores, been given the "do a scandisk and defrag and call me back (after
my shift is over)" scam by tech support at work.   
I could just imagine the nonsense that women who are more directly in
the field or who have been at it longer have seen and heard.  I'm an
admin assistant now, was a secretary who works for a major Commonwealth
government department that employs a lot of lawyers, who are generally
impressed and pleased with what technical ability I do.  I have
developed a couple of tools, one windows based and the other linux
based, and I maintain others.  I like the enviroment and although it is
not a high tech job, I do enjoy it.

Below is a thread that I participated.  Essentially, I was looking for
the name of a howto.  For all that I have learned (which includes
knowing enough to do my own research), I will always have questions.  I
also have encouraged my friends and others to have a look at linux and
other options (even if it is just mac).  I just wish the forums that
come with the territory weren't so, well, like the rest of the world.

Thanks for listening to my rant. 

Re: dialing up to my slack box 
From: "Donovan Nagel" <donovan_nagel at hotmail.com> 
Date: Fri, 04 Jan 2002 22:47:53 
References: 1  
In article <3C363119.1010708 at hotmail.com>, "Donovan Nagel" 
<donovan_nagel at hotmail.com> wrote: 
> hey, I haven't seen too many geek females lately... care to post a
> -D- 
-----------other reactions in the same thread 
Re: dialing up to my slack box 
From: "Jurgen Philippaerts" <jurgen at pophost.eunet.be> 
Date: Sat, 05 Jan 2002 04:39:38 
References: 1 2 3  
+Chiron+ wrote: 
> > hey, I haven't seen too many geek females lately... 
> > care to post a pic? 
> I *REALLY* hope that was meant to be a joke.... 
> (you aren't THAT pathetic - are you?) 
even if it was a joke... suggesting to post binaries in a non binary 
newsgroup is asking for problems :) 
Re: dialing up to my slack box 
From: "Mike Bowles" <mbowles at satx.rr.com> 
Date: Sat, 05 Jan 2002 06:15:09 
References: 1 2 3  
On 4 Jan 2002 20:21:19 -0600 
+Chiron+ <chiron_files at operamail.com> wrote: 
> ...snip 
> I *REALLY* hope that was meant to be a joke.... 
> (you aren't THAT pathetic - are you?) 
> --  
Even if it was a joke it is still pathetic or at the least in very poor 
Mike Bowles 
mbowles at satx.rr.com 
An apology for that stupid post is in order.  I get the feeling you
don't see females very often, at least not ones that will talk to you.
It's incredibly infuriating to see this sexist drivel on a public forum.
It's in poor taste.  I resent being being accused of being a fraud.  It
was a joke, but many mean-spirited things have been uttered as jokes.  I
am generalising here, but it seems that men have traditionally been
judged on what they know (hence a newsgroup can be great for discussing
ideas), but a women is judged by how she looks.  You can't see me and I
decide that I want to know more about something technical.   
If I follow your logic, Women aren't interested in computers, and Linux 
is too hard for us, so anybody posting here with a women's name must not
really be a woman.  I guess I have the right to annoy her (and some more
progressive men along the way).  Now would be a good time to use that 
overrepeated Mark Twain statement about keeping your mouth shut and  
having people think you a fool rather than opening your mouth and  
confirming it. 
I got tired of this attitude when I was doing tech support for a couple
of tech companies and went back into the public service in early 2000.  
I'm kind of glad too considering the implosion of the likes of Nortel,  
Corel and JDS and all the other companies that are hurting or have  
gone belly up. 
Maybe I am overreacting, and maybe and I am reacting to the many many 
bits of sexism that I have dealt with working and playing with computers
over the years.  This attitude should be long passe', but sadly it

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