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Girls Like Linux Too 220

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the stuff-to-read dept.
BootHead sent us the article at ZD-Net that appears most designed to draw a link from Slashdot in quite some time. Its about Women and Linux. Course they call them "LinuxChix" (cough) but its just sorta the standard tirade on "Girls can be Geeks Too" (which no geek argues with in theory, we just never be able to find girl geeks of our own ;)Update: 09/16 09:29 by H :Check out the additional linkage about the debate of whether "Women need an OS of their own."
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Girls Like Linux Too

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  • by sclatter (65697) on Thursday September 16, 1999 @12:31AM (#1678810) Homepage

    As far as I can tell, there are as many women in IT as really want to be in IT. I wish it were otherwise, but the aspiring techie women that I have worked with have typically lacked the "fire in the belly" that drives guy techies to be really successful in the business.

    I don't think this is because women are stupid, or that IT is intrinsically hard. Women are just socialized with different values and priorities, and geeking out is not usually one of them. ;-)

    That said, women who bitch and moan about the glass ceiling bug me. In my experience my advancement has been pretty much based on how hard I worked and how smart I am. If you are good enough, your gender becomes irrelevant. Sure, every now and then a poorly socialized male makes a stupid comment, but that's what a sense of humor is for!
  • Having the good fortune to be married to a girl-geek, I can tell you that they are a most interesting and entertaining tribe.

    It is especially disconcerting when you fire off a stream of techno-babble and she ripostes smoothly. For example:

    Me: Honey, I really need to get another 256MB of RAM.
    Leisa: Why?
    Me: Because it will make my computer faster and I need to do some software development... for work. yeah.
    Leisa: You already have 128MB of memory... What kind of software needs more? And isn't that a game???
    Me: Well.. you see it's a new C compiler and...
    Leisa: A new C compiler? Whaddaya think I'm stupid?
    Me: Uh... Please?
    Leisa: You don't need more memory. When are you going to get me a CDR?

    Having said that, the she-geek is a wonderful creature. Because, ultimately, she understands the technology lust that drives the true geek (I'm going to make her read this post :)) Even better, all my friends are jealous that my wife actually understands what I say.

    Of course, the biggest downside of female geeks are that they are hard to find. You just gotta hang in there guys.
  • It's the *ratio* that sucks, right?
  • Great idea! As long as he also posts a list of
    all the male slashdotters so we can write some
    appropriate procmail recipes:

    :0:
    * ? formail -ISubject | grep -iqsf $SLASHDOT_GEEKS
    /dev/null
  • From what I've seen, it's not the male geeks that
    are the problem as much as school and university
    teachers, parents, and non-geek/hacker/etc workmates.
    All the male geeks/hackers I've known have been
    pretty good, but the other problem is just the
    sheer numbers. I heard from a women the other day
    who walked into a LUG meeting to find that she was
    one of only a couple of females in a room of 100 males.
    She nearly ran out again. Luckily she stayed, and will no doubt
    become a keen member of the user group, but you can no doubt imagine how intimidating it might be for a newcomer. Oh, and while most geeks are pretty cool in RL, some people in certain online fora can be complete assholes.
  • Yup that sounds pretty sexist, but then again, I'm inclined to agree with you. I'm female but I'm not even slightly interested in talking about girlie topics, however the majority of females I know are and it bores the crap out of me.

    I do have a number of intelligent female friends though who are capable of going to the toilet on their own and who don't talk about makeup or weddings (my workmates favourite topics) all day long.

    I'm sick of being asked when I go for interviews how I feel about working in a mostly male environment. It makes absoloutely no difference to me whether I'm working with males or females. If they're intelligent and have something interesting to say then I'll get on well with them, if they're assholes then I won't. Gender doesn't enter into it.

    Kathryn.
  • JPS said geeks aren't supposed to have a social life, making geek couples even more unlikely to. Very true, but there's an upside to it, more time to be naughty....
  • Ayup. Women just aren't usually that obsessive.
    Ellen Spertus, who wrote a paper on women in
    computing that was slashdotted recently, comments
    that maybe women just aren't insane enough to spend
    all their time eating, sleeping and breathing computers -- and that maybe that's a good thing.
    Personally, I think that since women in our society seem to be better trained at "having a life"
    and doing all those communications kinda things that might keep some of us from hacking as obsessively,
    perhaps we should put those skills to use in the geek/hacker/OSS field. I wrote a whole rant on it, but /. didn't see fit to post it, so check out [netizen.com.au]
    http://netizen.com.au/~skud/articles/chick2/ if you're interested in reading more.
  • Much as I hate to say "me too", Me Too!

    I'm with you 100% on this. Well, 99%. I'm on
    linuxchix until it drives me up the wall. Which,
    with the number of posts today, is about to happen
    in the next hour or so.
  • I suppose it's probably settled down by now and there's some interesting topics on it. I just got really pissed off because of the amount of crappy mails I had to go through at the start so I unsubscribed.

    I don't think I'd dare subscribe again now after posting that last message, so I'll just have to take your word for it that it's improved...
  • Me, I joined linuxchix because I have a passion
    for Open Source meta-issues. Pity there's so
    little discussion of that on linuxchix.

    Is there any good mailing list for such topics?
  • All the geek girls I know played with dolls, had tea parties and did all that other "girl stuff".

    Yeah, but that doesn`t mean we`re not ashamed of it now. I was into Flower Fairy dolls when I was eight, and I`m dreadfully embarrassed about it now..

  • I've been getting an overwhelming attitude among geek guys recently that women geeks are just a toy like their new 21 inch moniotr. with a "Where can I buy my own?" attitude. You guys go on about petrifying whatever female geek catches your fancy for the day, you talk about 'creating' your own linux nerd, you suggest female geeks as great beowulf clusters, you say "I wish I could show her my box, heh heh heh". You guys pride yourselves on your intelligence, and you want to be respected for your mind, well so do I. Geek respect is earned, no matter what gender you are, and you're never going to find a female geek if you can't give her the basic respect you'd give any other geek.

    That's very true -- it's a common attitude. (The statue thing is just creepy.)

    That attitude isn't confined just to geek guys, though. It's present in guys in general. Just think back to the junior high or high school locker room. Sure, the metaphors are different. Lots more sports euphemisms... but it was there, and in all sorts of people.

    Now there may be a larger percentage of geek guys with underdeveloped social abilities than the percentage of non-geek guys with the same lack of personal acuity, or there may not be. That's not really my point. It's just too common everywhere.

    I do wonder if other industries went through the opposite growth pains. Did the flight attendants of the 60's lament the lack of men in that role? How about in nursing?

    I also wonder if the geek tendency to let his job and related interests dominate his life has anything to do with the curious desire so many of us have to bring more women into our field. It's probably not as altruistic as the simple desire to even the playing field.

    I'd prefer to meet someone with at least some divergent interests. Keeps me challenged with something other than the latest O'Reilly book. You can only recompile your kernel so many times, but arguing over "opera or action movie?"* lasts forever.

    * My pick depends on the opera.

    --
    QDMerge [rmci.net] 0.21!
  • I guess that makes sense. Being a male, I don't quite grasp the extent to which females find it hard to integrate into predominantly male groups.
    Personally though I would welcome females, and it isn't even a case of "looking for a mate" kind of welcoming that was expressed elsewhere. Males and females think so differently in some situations that a male approach isn't always the answer - women have a lot to offer. We have a lot to offer women too!
  • Wow... I think I just had that conversation last week. It goes both ways, though...

    ---

    Me: So... when can we upgrade the video card in this thing? Everquest won't run any of the spellcasting effects without totally crashing. And without more memory, Photoshop just drags.

    Mike: Well, I wanted to upgrade the sound card in my machine first, and I need more memory too. So... you think we should upgrade the ADSL to platinum? Then Everquest would go really nicely.

    Me: Ooooo.

    ---

    I'm sure technical and non-technical people can get along, but I much prefer being able to actually participate in conversations rather than just nod-and-smile. I've been working with computers longer than he has, and he's programmed more than I have (by default - I don't program). We work out together really well. Keep looking, folks... a true geek girl is definitely worth it. Besides, you get better presents. :) "A Rio! Wow, just what I wanted!"

    Leilah
  • Help me out here. What are us males doing that's so chauvenistic or sexist?

    I'd ask the female geek types I know, but unfortunately I don't know any. Not one. I work in a hardware / software company with just under 50 employees, 5 of whom are female. They are not geeks.

    Now it's not like my company is hiring only guys for technical positions -- we just can't find qualified female tech types. We have a hard enough time finding qualified people to begin with. Half our recent hires have been hired from overseas after a phone interview.

    Outside of work, all the women and girls I know are pretty far from being geeks. Most of them know how to use Windows, Word and Netscape, but not much more than that.

    When I was in University I knew a few girls who may have qualified as "female geeks" so that's my only real experience with them. From my perspective it didn't seem that they were being treated unfairly or even differently by either the profs or the other students. Now in one sense they did have to "sacrifice their femininity" a bit, but not because of discrimination -- rather because of time. We were so overworked in our program that girls didn't have time to style their hair or paint their nails -- but then again the guys had to go days without shaving.

    In my (albiet limited) experience the opression against female geeks is just as imaginary as the forces trying to make girls into barbie dolls. I don't like the "barbie doll" look and most guys I know don't either. Yet I seem to constantly hear whining about how I (as a member of some larger group) am pushing girls to anorexia, or into having boob-jobs, or discouraging them from doing science, etc.

    There are only three ways I can explain the huge discrepancy between my experiences and what I'm always hearing:

    • Everyone else in society really is repressive and unfair to women, I'm just utterly blind to it
    • I'm a male chauvenist pig and I just don't realize it
    • The girls who are complaining are overly sensitive and see a problem where there really isn't one

    Now my preference is to go with the third option, because it implies no great failing on my part. But also because it matches my experience in other areas.

    I have a (very nongeeky) sister. And I've spent enough time around her to know that males and females experience the world very differently. What passes as "friendly ribbing" among guys, is serious inults among girls. And where girls tend to be loving and supportive of eachother -- the closest you see to that among guys is friendliness.

    As for the original source of complaint, it didn't seem too sexist to me at all. She-Geek to me is more inane journalistic "headline eye-grabbing stupidity" than sexism. So I'll leave with a question -- what would have been a non-sexist appropriate title that's just as "eye grabbing"?

  • I've decided that I will only date women can kick my ass at quake DM and can recite the voiceovers from the theatrical realease of bladerunner.
    So far I havn't met any so I think I may have to settle for women who don't ask computer related questions and then get that glazed look in thier eyes when I answer. I may even have to settle for a woman who can plug in her own i-mac
  • Because it IS primarily about issues relating to women. This doesn't mean that men are excluded from contributing but I've noticed the percentage of men on Linuxchix has seemed to decrease over time. I suspect it went up today, but I'm also reasonably sure that'll change.

    There are men who are sincerely interested in issues of sex, gender and also gender bias and I suspect those sorts of men will stick around.

    And then there's of course the transgendered and transsexual crowd, who are also welcome for their unique perspectives on gender and sex.

    _Deirdre
  • I'd be willing to bet that they are still a tiny minority, which I feel is a shame.

    I have seen this with other 'hobbies' and technology in general. "Not that I am saying that Linux is a hobbie", but I have noticed that there are certain things that are considered 'male' and certain things that are considered 'female'. Now don't take this out of context, I don't agree that tech is male, but the fact is that not many women got into tech until the last 20 years it seems. In my engineering classes there were 3 women, as opposed to 50 men.

    I watch Star Trek Voyager, religiously every wednesday. Many people don't watch it because the captian is a woman. I do. I think it portrays our future as rather 'mature'. A future where woman can be captians of star ships, engineers, and lets not forget 7 of 9 ;-).

    I think that the fact that there are women in Linux or Linuxchix is actually a precursor of things to come.

    The future is technology. We cannot deny this if we are to survive as a species.

    Without technology many people would have died from hurricane Floyd that were given time to evacuate. This is a fact folks. Tech is good.

    Tech brings people together. However we as a species still need to learn to 'control' tech and not abuse the power that it gives us like certain companies do just to make money.

    This is just my opinion on the subject. I am a male not a female. So send all flame and hate mail to > /dev/null. :-)

  • has it occured to you that maybe we'd rather not be found by you guys?
    nyah. :)
  • by Amphigory (2375) on Thursday September 16, 1999 @12:36AM (#1678835) Homepage
    I think that there are many geek women -- their area of geeky interest is just usually not computers and they are usually a bit more practical than we are. For example, This article [207.178.22.52] from Alan Cox's wife was published in LJ a few years back.

    Just thought you guys would find it interesting.
  • by Mithy (30439) on Thursday September 16, 1999 @12:37AM (#1678836) Homepage
    This is essentially true. There was a very good BBC Open University programme on the history of computing which seems to be repeated annually which outlined this phenomenon. In the early days of computing when "coding" was very much a menial task, viewed in much the same way as data entry is seen today - often consisting merely of converting machine language into holes in a punch card (for example) - there were a lot of women filling this role. With the advent of assemblers, compilers and larger secondary storage, the need for these coders dwindled, IIRC, and "coding" became more and more the province of engineers and scientists. The original coders were eventually pushed out of the picture, it would seem.

    --
    This isn't the post you're looking for. Move along.
  • > they tend to view programming as a job and an
    > interest - not a lifestyle

    Actually, this point WAS brought up at the meeting
    (I was an attendee). One of the women said that
    she has lots of female co-workers, but very few
    true "geek" co-workers - a kinship that she likes
    to have and an attitude that I understood.

    There are quite a few of us out there. It's
    jusk taking time for SWE and SysAdmin to become
    a goal for more younger girls.
  • When I grew tired of Windows crashing and slow running aps, my geek boyfriend introduced me to Linux and Perl scripts. Now I am learning to manipulate data with blazing speed. There are geek girls out there for you geek guys. Just don't expect us to look like a supermodel.
  • Why a *closet* TS? What's wrong with an out TS woman? They're more fun, IMHO. Ya can't get reassignment surgery while you're still in the closet, for one thing.
  • I can live up to those standards, with an average FPH of 210 (on Q2, that is).....And own my own copy of bladerunner.....
    Too bad I'm a lesbian....sigh..... But I feel the pain! I can't find any geek girls either!

    Cybergrrrrl
    www.capital.net/~dwa/dwa.htm [capital.net]
  • Heeeeeloooooooo baaaby!

    Erm...

    Now, do I believe you? ;)
  • *sigh* I sense a circular argument....

    Okay, so you have found no evidence of discrimination against women in the classroom (I shall suspend disbelief and take you at your word). That does not make the fact that several women I know have found evidence of discrimination any less valid.

    ...the fact is that computers becoming a more interesting thing to what little girls are taught to like will be the thing that brings women to the field...

    "what little girls are taught to like"? ;)

    Bravo, sir. I believe you just made my case for me.

    --
    This isn't the post you're looking for. Move along.
  • Well, maybe after they do that, they can make an
    OS for people like me who have scottish blood.
    Us Scots need an OS all our own too! :)
  • Hehehe...
    Exactly! ;)
  • I have to forget about looking for girls here on campus and find one in a Linux users' group instead :) Any female Linux fans here?
  • If geeks are know to be chauvinist pigs then lets stereotype more and say LinuxChix are fat
    -Kris
  • Well, geeks are known to be chauvinist pigs...

    Oh this macho feeling of the true man riding in the plains of the TCP/IP stack.

    :)
  • 18, Female, S.u.S.E 6.1, WindowMaker, kernel 2.2.7 + upgrades, National Diploma in Computing Studies.

    It may be suprising, but in my class of 26+ students, there are only 2 geeks... Me, and one male, already taken *sigh*

    Forget looking for the appropriate geek girl... where are all the geek men hiding?!?

    ~Amanda L
  • I noticed Systers was mentioned on LinuxChix, too. That was a mailing list I bailed on rather quickly after I flamed someone for posting one of those 2M "send this to all your friends and save the headers" deals. All the other women jumped up and had a hissy fit because I was a "meanie".

    WTF? We're supposed to be techno-savvy women and you're pulling a June Cleaver on me because someone acted worse than an AOL luser?

    I think women sometimes have a hard time in this field because you really do have to buck the traditional female enculturation. Hanging out with geek guys is not about being passive and ornamentive and *nice*; it's about being a right bastard who slings data with the best of them.

    I've noticed that women do tend to get whacked career-wise often - but it's mostly their fault. In our team, the women tended to get the scutwork and maintenance type tasks. Why? Because the guys wouldn't touch it with a bargepole and the gals caved and did it. Well, except for me. I'm good at metrics and documentation (a LOT better than any of the guys), but until my manager demonstrated how highly he valued those tasks AND how much he admired my work in those necessary areas, I refused to let them saddle me with "secretary work". The gals would cave and do the meta-work (the curse of the BigCorporation) and the guys would get all the plum tech jobs.

    I talked to my manager and together we made sure that, although my work was critically important to the team and I enjoyed it, I would also get plenty of tech training and always have at least one new tech project on my plate. But you can't just be passive and expect to get the career you want - and too many women in my team expected the managers to magically see that they were martyring themselves and fix it, even when they weren't complaining.

    While I didn't have to be "one of the boys", I do speak up for myself, clearly declare my needs and desires, and go after my wants and interests. Too many women are taught otherwise.
  • Don't forget this related story [zdnet.com]. It's talking about a Linux distribution for girls..
  • Well, that depends on what planet you've been hiding on. ;-)

    {shrug} Here, the Computer Science department's thrilled that it finally got a ~37% or so freshman class. Better than what it used to be; think when I enrolled in '94, the M:F class ratio might have been something like 100:9 or so.
  • Well, not that Deb or the LinuxChix list needs any defence but it seems obvious your girlfriend didn't read the welcome message. It clearly states "There are no posting rules. There are some guidelines, and as long as people follow the guidelines, we'll be able to avoid having to set out any hard and fast rules." which makes things pretty clear to me.

    So, instead of complaining please get your facts straight first. As far as I am concerned, LinuxChix is most probably the most helpful list for women and men who are fed up with answers like "RTFM!" every time one may have a question and may be so new in the game that one might not be a star in reading man pages and HOW-TO's.

    Sincerely,
    Johan T. Lindgren

  • So you think the only "non-geeky" things that women might talk about are their asses or periods? Come on, you can troll better than that.
  • by georgeha (43752) on Wednesday September 15, 1999 @11:53PM (#1678857) Homepage
    She's three, and right now her favorite computer activities are painting with Gimp or Paint (she prefers adding strokes to Teletubby images), searching the web for cat pictures, or posing for my parallel port camera.

    The other day I captivated her by playing a wav of her crying at 2 months, she couldn't get enough of it.

    Once she can read, I think I'll teach her to rebuild the kernel.

    George
  • I'm not gonna flame ya.

    But saying you can't be a feminist is like saying you can't be against racism if you're not a minority. (well, you are, and heck, I growl when people refer to me as 'white' -- and then take out the pics of my mom, who is definetly japanese)

    And I've never seen a guy flamed because he was a guy (actually, flames are rather rare period) on the grrltalk@linuxchix.org list, and I've been there awhile.

    Come on down. Join us. We don't bite (often..or hard :) )

  • by rde (17364) on Wednesday September 15, 1999 @11:53PM (#1678859)
    My girlfriend signed up to Linux chix a while ago, and signed off shortly after because most of the talk was about linux-unrelated matters.
    She show me a few choice messages, and I sniggered mightily.
    Of course, I haven't signed up to a mailing list yet that didn't have some non-zero signal-to-noise ratio, but I do like some of the messages to be relevant.
    Another point: are nerd grrls really as marginalised as once they were? Most of the developed world is suffering from a shortage of qualified IT staff, and even the most entrenched chauvinist has to consider the unthinkable; females or even -- gasp! -- saggitarians.
  • I totally agree with you about having a more "friendly" distribution for non-geeks, however I still don't believe that there should be a separate distribution specifically for girls. What would be the purpose?
  • Well, I think they should call it

    Bitch'n'Linux

    But, alas, I fear nobody else will realize
    that such a double-entendre name would gain
    the distro instant fame and glory...

    Someone also just suggested to me that they
    change the name of the man command to woman...
  • > we just never be able to find girl geeks of our own

    That's because the geek girls are all home glued to their screens, just like any other flavor of geek.

  • by Mithy (30439) on Wednesday September 15, 1999 @11:54PM (#1678865) Homepage
    ....about how few women there are in I.T., but with the word "Linux" thrown in to make it sound trendy and up-to-date.

    There's a simple reason why there are few women in I.T. A lot of the "alpha geeks" of today (to rip that awful phrase from the article) tend to be in their late twenties and thirties - which means they were first using computers, on average, back in the late Seventies or early Eighties when home computers started coming into the mainstream - and at a time when education was still so backward that even those schools which had any kind of I.T. curriculum certainly wouldn't dream of having girls on their course.

    Geeks have to be caught at an early age. You want more women in I.T.? Get your four-year-old niece/daughter interested in how to code, and sit back and wait twenty years.

    --
    This isn't the post you're looking for. Move along.
  • Ditto, me too - high standards.

    Not giving up just yet though
  • by drwiii (434)
    You know you're addicted to Linux when you see a group of female Linux users and think, "man, these would make a great Beowulf cluster.."

    Sorry. It had to be said. (:

    Quite frankly, I'd go for any woman, as long as she's not from the Windows clan. :P

  • Wish I knew of a few female linux enthusiasts in the DC area. I'd love to show them my box.
    (no alternate meanings implied ;)

    Seriously though... they took the Linux Expo from us; the least they could do is charter a LinuxChix around here, or hand out computer science scholarships or something... we need more geek grrls!
  • For the most part though our customers did not care if the person on the other end of the phone was purple and from outer space

    I don't know about tech support, but I know that many men treat women quite different in topics of conversion where gender should not be an issue. A few years ago my e-mail name was "Helenize", and folks therefore assumed me female. I got replies that began "Listen here lady..." and were filled gender biased belittling remarks. (We'll ignore the dozens of pathetic pickup attempts.)

    The accidental experience really opened my eyes.

    Regards,

    Tim

    FWIW, "Helenize" is a word James Joyce [robotwisdom.com] used in Ulysses, as in "Helenize it."

  • by Raleel (30913) on Thursday September 16, 1999 @12:42AM (#1678870)
    I went to a small university with a small computer science program (about 10-20 active members) and roughly 1/2 of the students were women. It was quite neat. They were just as geeky as the rest of us, but they concentrated on entirely different aspects. While most of the guys were hardwre junkies, most of the girls were software junkies. I think this is actually a trend. We sat down and talked avout it one time, and most of them said they didn't care how the hardware worked, as long as it let them get their job done.

    On the other hand, and I'll use my wife as an example, they did care intimately about how the software worked. My wife is a software engineer at heart. She cares that the software is PERFECT. She will rake you over the coals for the littlest error, which is good. Other girls in the group followed a similar line, being programmers at heart. I know the program was wierd, because the math dept, which was linked to the CS dept, was also half women. One of my professors commented that that attittude of "women can't be geeks" had not gotten to that section of the world yet. Lets hope it stays out.

    I think, though, that this illustrates an important point, that women geeks may not look like the traditional geek, but still are technically oriented. Work with it. Having that different view point will only help you. Girls out there reading this, do not be afraid of geek guys. They respect knowledge most of all, and will probably get all horny at the thought of a woman who can code them under the table ;)

    BTW, my wife uses linux. Just last night we dicussed her doing her senior project on open source software and software engineering. She RABIDLY hates Microsoft. I mean RABIDLY. SHe was saying to me that when she gets her new computer (she has picked it out, yea she picked it because it was cute, but it comes with linux, from buypogo.com) she was going to put BeOS and OS/2 warp on it, and Linux. Oh yea, and she can Calculus me under the table any day.

    If you are interested in the school, check my email address.

  • "I think Malda should post a list with all girls on slashdot (where else would the geek girls hang out?) complete with emails so everyone can choose his own geek girl :)"


    This would be really unethical and I'm sure Rob would never do this. Besides, Rob is already doing his part by funding The Rob Malda Hot Chicks in CS scholarship fund.

  • Don't make me laugh. It's easy to point the finger at men and discrimination but it is not, and was not, true.

    I'll grant that there is certainly little problem with discrimination against women in applications for I.T. jobs. The problem starts long before that - in the classroom.

    It may have been different elsewhere, of course, but I know several women in the 20-30 age range in the UK who expressed an interest in computers at primary or secondary school and were actively discouraged from pursuing a career in the field.

    And for what it's worth, this prejudice was not the sole province of male teachers.

    Okay, in these slightly more enlightened days the discrimination against women in I.T. education may no longer hold, but of course for a lot of women the damage has already been done, so to speak.

    --
    This isn't the post you're looking for. Move along.
  • >On the eve of the twent-first century men do
    >still dominate most walks of life. But given the
    >massive advances in attaining equality for women
    >in this century, I don't think it will be long
    >before the issue of women in computing becomes a
    >non-issue.

    That's pretty damned optimistic. Where the hell do you work/go to school?

    In any job I've had, there have been many many fewer techie women then men. Is that because I've worked for places that hired on a sexist basis? No, it has to do with the supply of women entering the field.

    When I did my BCS (graduated ~ 5 yrs ago), the babe ratio was about 6:1

    Last year I taught MCSE and CNA classes. The female ratio was better... about 4:1 or 5:1. (Shouldn't really be referring to students as babes, eh? :) )

    We've got a hell of a long way to go before we have anything close to equality.

    As a previous poster said, we've got to change the attitudes of the preschoolers and elementary kids, that's our only hope of getting more women in the field.

    Speaking of attitudes, the guys who are interested in getting more women in the field because it'll give them more women to look at/hit on/whatever.... You aren't helping.
  • *Chuckle* as i look upon the linuxchix mascot. Do all female linux users dress in such a navel-exposing fashion? Maybe I should go to a meeting. But seriously...
    This chix thing is definitely a good thing as far as i'm concerned. An industry run on testosterone is a one-sided industry. You're right about girls not being encouraged to participate in anything technical. This kind of bias is extremely obvious at my school where the librarians will instinctively turn to the nearest male student when they encounter a 'problem' with a puter. I fear that the educational system has unknowingly brainwashed me (and others) into thinking that only guys are proficient at technical stuff. Hence, I was surprised when more than one of my friends(chix) told me they wanted to do comp sci next year at uni or something equally technical.
    The subsequent discussions we had on techy stuff was refreshing to say the least. ie, refreshing from the usual dribble I hear from guys.
    From my observations, it seems that technically-adept guys i know talk about their puters like a bunch of rev-heads talking about cars. They always boast about how they managed to clock an extra 33mH from their new celeron, etc.
    The chix I talk to tend to talk more about how puters can actually be used for cool stuff. (interesting to note that more than half the users on icq are female, but maybe this is related to something else).
    Don't get me wrong, I love a good discussion on making my machine work as fast as physically possible in order to get that extra fps in q3test. But it's nice to hear someone whose opinions aren't testosterone-induced.
    Viva la chix!
    BTW, I'm a guy...
  • It's hard to find a good geek girl.. I think there needs to be match maker board, just for geeks.

    But back on the subject, it's cool that females are getting into the linux scene, but there are going to be alot of fights becuase the whole male ego going on about how 'guys are better' at such and such.. I never agreed w/ that. So I back the whole female particapation.
  • Well, that is an interesting notion. Why would
    women need a distro of their own? What inherent properties of current Linux distributions would provide any kind of barrier to a woman working with Linux?
    Would a Woman's Linux be a pandering "Distribution for Dummies" that sought to remove all the "manly difficulties" in setting up and maintaining a real Linux or UNIX distro?
    I don't think the difficulties of an OS like Linux, as compared to, say, the MacOS are experienced only by women. I know plenty of men who are computer idiots and probably have difficulties operating a light switch, never mind Linux...
    Would, say, Evi Nemeth want to use the Linux for Women distro? What would make it just for women?
    Why wouldn't women just want to integrate more fully into the existing Linux community? Why not contribute to the Linux kernel core? Show the men that they can compete on equal footing, without a special Chick Linux... What is the point of building some kind of separatist distribution? It seems counter to my anti-segregationist, "we should all get along" inclinations that I have about everything. It would just give the lamer men an excuse to give women a hard time ("Oh, you just use chick Linux, what do you know?") and separate women from "real" Linux users...
    I see no advantage to it, other than some kind of pride of having "their own" Linux, but lots of disadvantages that outweigh the advantage...
  • OK, can we have a URL for *your* page please? Oh, that's right...anonymous...coward...Sorry, I forgot. Ah, to be both young and 31337. The mind boggles!
  • Wasn't it just a day or two ago that /. had a link to the ghost [geekculture.com] of the great Ada Byron [altavista.com]. Yet I haven't seen her mentioned anywhere in these posts.
  • Who says geekgirls need to find geekguys?

    I found a nice guy who isn't a geek. We get along great. I fix his computers when he breaks them, and I fix mine when he breaks them, too.

    Though, I admit, it would be nice to be able to have him install software on his own without help. And for him to be able to install it in the right location.

    But just as guys mentioned training girls, so am I training him. Slowly, but he's learning...

    Julia
  • I think that having a Linux distribution specifically for girls is so totally missing the point. As far as I am concerned, the whole "supporting and encouraging women in computing" thing should be about encouraging people to think of girls who are geeks as being no different to male geeks with regard to computing ability/interests. Creating a Linux distribution that is specifically for girls will do absolutely nothing for this.
  • Alot of points have been raised, there's the issue of the lack of women in the industry. (I loath the acronym "IT" sounds like suit-talk to me.), and the legendary Glass Ceiling(tm) issue.

    I don't have alot to say about the second one. I'm a white male, glass ceilings don't effect me. They certainly used to exist. Do they today? Perhaps. I haven't actually seen anyone smack into it, but I'm just out of college. I tend to think of the high-tech industry as "enlightened" when it comes to that kind of shit. (Pulling stunts like enforcing a glass ceiling is shit, pure and simple.) That doesn't mean that it doesn't exist, I'm just not "in the know" if it does. (I tend to think more about racism, instead of sexism.) Unequal pay certainly exists. It's a dispicable act, and I don't see how anyone could possibly justify it in their own minds so they could sleep at night.

    As for the lack of women in the industry that's a totally seperate issue. (In fact I see it working against Glass Ceilings(tm). Afterall it's going to be INCREDIBLY obvious if the sole woman on the staff never gets promoted.) There's not alot of women in the the industry because there's not alot of women majoring in CS/Engineering. Why? I don't know; not alot of men major in elemetry education either. Why? I don't know. I'm sure a similar machanisms are at work in both of these phenomena.

    There's not alot of blacks in CS either. Why? I don't know. There isn't though. I came across 2 in 4 years of college, and I can only think of 3 where I work (One of them is in project management and runs the change control meetings. That impressed me. (Well not necessarily "impressed", but it made my inner integrationalist/liberal happy.)).

    Of course not all CS/engineering women are geeks, just like not all CS/engineering men are geeks, but I'm confident that the geek to non-geek ratio is the same for both groups. (No I have no data, just a feeling.) I don't think you can intentionally set out to make a geek like the one guy is trying to do. Geeks are born not made. All the geek girls I know played with dolls, had tea parties and did all that other "girl stuff". Sometimes it suprizes me ("You had a Cabbage Patch Kid?!?") but it only make sense when you think about it. A geek grrl is a girl first, and a geek second. Just like how a geek guy is a guy first, and geek second.

    Just some random line noise I thought I'd throw down about this.
  • Why do so many people assume that Pamela Lee is some sort of paragon of superhuman beauty/attractiveness? I've never understood why anyone would find her attractive (short of a knee-jerk genetically programmed reaction to blond hair and inflated lips and breasts).

    Maybe I'm just strangely wired, but the abovementioned meat-sculpture does nothing for me.
  • On Monday's Slashdot there was an article on "Why geek geniuses may lack social graces". If (as the article states) most/many geeks do have a mild form of Autism (ususally known as Asperger's Syndrome), then this may explain the lack of female geeks in the world. Asperger's Syndrome affects 4 times as many men as women.
  • I think it's a fascinatining idea. I didn't know there was an organized entity like this for women who use linux. yey slashdot.

    I think I might subscribe at least to be able to meet other girls who use linux (IRL, there's one girl I know who use it, me and it can get pretty depressing) but of course, I do like on topic mailing lists.

    The first time I learned the word "mailing list" I must've subscribed to at least a dozen. I'm sure my isp hated me :P But now I have one (the slackware mailing list which is very very good IMO) It's just too hard to sort through all the noise sometimes...

    back to work.

  • But saying you can't be a feminist is like saying you can't be against racism if you're not a minority

    No, actually, it's not. It's more like saying that you can't be a part of the black panthers if you're not black.
  • I don't know about tech support, but I know that many men treat women quite different in topics of conversion where gender should not be an issue. A few years ago my e-mail name was "Helenize", and folks therefore assumed me female. I got replies that began "Listen here lady..." and were filled gender biased belittling remarks. (We'll ignore the dozens of pathetic pickup attempts.)



    Now listen here lil' mama... :)



    I teend to see sexism in tech support usually when male tech-support-lacky and has to deal with a female victim/luser. The man tends to talk down (not overtly like, "Now lil' mama, that wouldn't happen if you were at home barefoot and pregenant in the kitchen, like you belong." more subtle, like with they words they use.) Men tend to be less patient (i.e. "Here. *bang* *bang* *bang* Now it's fixed.") and they DEFINATLY don't explain what is going on behind the scenes to cause the problem.



    P.S. Where I went to college, the CS sysadmin was a woman. She was quite cool.



  • Hmmm, only problem is a ring lasts forever, while a notebook computer lasts about as long as a mayfly - six months later, she'll throw away your expensive token of love and buy another.

    Much as I love computers, I think I'd stick with the ring - the computer symbolism just doesn't work.

    Sadly, I can't stand flowers - what's the romance in giving someone something that's already dead? I'll never get that one ...

    D

    ----
  • It doesn't make sense to find geekesses unless they want to be found. I think that if you did a survey, you'd find the overwhelming majority of female Slashdot readers already have significant others and aren't keen on changing them. Even if one happened to be single and available, there's the matter of geography - every woman I've found interesting on the net has lived circa 3,000 miles away, and the woman I found most interesting lived in another country entirely.

    That being said, I think User Friendly [http://www.userfriendly.org] has a matchmaking section someplace that might prove useful.

    D

    ----
  • It's not like most people don't use the words "geek" or "nerd" in a derogatory manner to describe us in the first place.. I suppose it's easier for them to cope with than saying, oh, the "intellectual elite" or the "future rulers of our world to whom all must submit or face their technological wrath".. Er, ah.. I mean to say.. :)

  • Um, is this a satire piece? I really hope so..

    Daniel
  • Personally, i feel that the anti-sexist movement is stonger than sexism, at least in my workplace. We have a female in desktop support who really doesn't have a clue. She can't even troubleshoot routine win95 problems. She calls in sick once a week on average, is always late, and often leaves early. This has been going on for months and I think that management is afraid to fire her from an otherwise 100% male department because of the threat of being accused of being sexist and the posibilty of a lawsuit. There are bad employees both male and female, and she's one of them. But i really think that if it were a guy in that position, he would have been long gone.

    And yes, i do work with Win95 and NT, at home i run linux (Debain) you have to PAY me to use M$. ;)
    (we have a roomful of NT servers, but unfortuantely, i am not in a position to make decisions on what software we use, i'm but a lowly Co-Op)
  • Just don't expect us to look like a supermodel

    The single young geekguys I know all have unrealistic expectations of beauty. They tend to watch porn/tv/movies where girls are "enhanced" by computers/surgery/hours of makeup|exercise or selected by simple casting. Said guys then have difficulty relating to real girls (she's not liv tyler therefore she's not a great girl). Said guys then talk to girls even less and watch porn/tv/movies even more.

    Vicious circle.

    Typical conversation:

    ME: have you talked to that girl yet?
    OTHER GEEK GUY: no way! (shuffles feet nervously). Have you seen the latest FHM? Gail Porter is lush.

    However, talk about pot calling kettle black. There's a gorgeous geek girl working for our Y2K team, but can I pluck up enough courage to talk to her? (the answer rhymes with "hoe")

    :-(

  • Same Here, I have 2 girls, 2.5 and 4 yrs. Both know how to operate thier system (Windoz98) to run thier games. I need WINE to run games for them. They like using paint and printing it out on the color printer, They don't surf, yet...

    They may not turn out to have geek tendancies(sp?) but they will have a lot of exposure! Any geekyness that they get from daddy will have every opportunity to make its way to the surface. :-}

    ~Sean
  • Erm.. if they're all glued to their screens, why don't I encounter more of them online?
    You're not looking in the right place. Just log into any chat room on the planet and say 'Are there any women here?' You'll be inundated.

    Coincidence: I've a life of brian .sig, and I've just noticed a life of brian quote in my message. Spooky.
  • by meersan (26609) on Thursday September 16, 1999 @01:01AM (#1678902) Homepage
    Why are geek girls so hard to find? The IT field is one of the most interesting, dynamic and exciting in the world today! Why aren't women interested in computer science? If there really is no societal pressure involved, is something biologically different with women's brains? As a female geek myself, I'd have to say I think it has more to do with education and the expectations of our status-conscious culture.

    Just like males, we go through the pressure cooker of high school, with all the emphasis on conformity and appearance that implies. Even worse, girls in my high school were routinely encouraged (both by teachers and other students) to take algebra instead of trig, trig instead of calculus. And if you plan to major in a scientific field in college, you really need to start in high school. It can mean the difference between majoring in electrical engineering or information management. Women seem to get "steered" into less math-rigorous fields.

    The result? Whenever I meet a geek guy and start talking about my computer-related interests, his eyes goggle out as though he's found the Promised Land.
  • I think there needs to be match maker board, just for geeks

    There is:

    Peer2Peer [ufies.org]

  • Your woman reciprocates?

    Mine are turbine-driven. :-)

    Come to think of it, in addition to being gender-biased, this discussion is awfully hetero-centrist too...

    Bi/trans/poly/geek/grrl...that's me.

  • I totally agree that women need to make an effort to integrate into existing Linux groups. However, as an experiment go to a local quilting bee (imagine that you really like to quilt). Now imagine a quilting bee where the quilters were predominately male (assuming you are male). It would be quite a different experience and while both would be fun, the second would make you feel more at home and "normal" as it were.

    Hopefully that lame analogy helps just a little.
  • Do all female linux users dress in such a navel-exposing fashion?

    Only on appropriate occasions.

    BTW, I'm a guy...

    No kidding...

    BTW:

    MHz=megaherz (frequency)

    mh=millihenrys (inductance)

    73s de KB3DXS

  • I have yet to find one geek girl (Linux/*BSD/UN*X using female if you prefer ;-) in my area (Bellingham, Washington State or anywhere in Washington State for that matter). The only ones I ever run across are Windoze or MacInSquash users... I don't think there are any, if I'm wrong, PLEASE CORRECT ME! I can be reached at the address above, *hint* *hint*. Be sure to remove the .no.spam.please from my address!
  • What is it in particular that you don't like about what I said?
    You don't think that guys will belittle women who use a woman specific distribution?
    You think that there are not enough Linux distributions?

    You might need to re-read the article, but the overwhelming consensus was that it is not a good idea to create a new distribution. The reason that we had this discussion was that someone wanted to talk about it. Like any mailing list you take the wheat with the chaff; we have had good discussions about security and how to get a DAT drive to work.

  • by JPS (58437) on Thursday September 16, 1999 @01:10AM (#1678914) Homepage
    Look everyone, if you are a geek, then don't look for a geekette. That's a no-no. Oh sure, you'd have plenty of things to talk about first, but then... Two friends of mine are living together and they are both (good) sysops. When I discuss with them on monday, it's like:

    - [Me] So what have you been doing this week-end?
    - [Him] Oh. That was cool! We spent the whole saturday night debugging our new kernel driver! By the way, did you know that there was a bug in the file /usr/src/linux/foo/bar.c? Let me explain, blah blah blah blah blah blah...
    - [Her] That's not perfectly accurate, in fact, it turned out that we found the bug by analyzing network traffic using the tool we developped last month and that the module was sending a bad IP header when blah blah blah blah
    - [Him] Well yeah, it was lot of fun! [to her:] talking about networking, have you solved the network problem in our company, you told me that a box was loosing a very high number of packets.
    - [Her] Well, no I spent the whole day yesterday to change cables but nothing, the problem must be coming from somewhere else. Any idea?
    - [Him] mhhh
    - [Her to me] how about you?
    - [Me] err. I went to see a movie on saturday :)

    Geeks are stereotypedly (what a cool word) supposed not to have a social life. I thing the stereotype would apply even more to geek couples :)
  • Those choice messages included things like a discussion about whether the linux chix or their boyfriends did the housework, some 18 year old guy going on about wanting to 'give one' to one of the female list members, an announcement of one girls engagement to her boyfriend and his fiance... need I go on?

    There's plenty of room for those kinds of discussions on the web, but a linux mailing list id not the place for them. Any other mailing list I'm on would have banned a good half of the posters to that list.

    Amazingly enough I think I must have been the only one who found the discussions off-topic. Nobody else complained once, infact the polygamous marriage announcement was met with congratulations and supportive messages from other polygamous people and the replies to the 18 year old on the pull consisted mainly of the phrase "hehe :)".

    Ggrrrr....
    me.
  • by Electra (78589) on Thursday September 16, 1999 @01:20AM (#1678922)
    Very well said indeed....Anyway, as a girl, I find all the sexist attitudes towards technically inclined women very frustrating! But I won't rant and rave about that one since it's been said so many times. But I would like to let my fellows know that they need to take a look at their attitudes about girl geeks.
    Everone knows that geeks tend to be very chauvanistic, and I don't think many girl geeks speak out about what it does to us ! Not only do we have society's hang ups about geeks to deal with-but our own kind gives us shit. Alot of girl geeks feel they need to sacrifice their womanhood and femininity to be accecpted as a serious member of geek society. Which is a motherload of shit!!! Most women don't talk about it but it's the truth Take a GOOD look arond at the girl geeks you do know, and you'll see what I mean.
    I am one of 4 women in one of my classes and 2 of them are total mud-ducks. In the beginning of the class-the teachers took a bet on which of the students would fail-and of course I was in the list of do-nothigs and the two ugly chicks were said to do well. All because I have long red nails and I'm quite good looking(not to be conceited) and I REFUSE to give up any of my feminine traits to be taken seriously! Needless to say those ugly chicks routinely fall behind me, and one of the teachers actually apologized to me.
    All this girl geek, boy geek stuff is ridiculous. We are ALL geeks, and should stick together!
    Death to ZDNet for publishing that article.


    ~~
  • I read slashdot practically every day, but rarely post. You lot are fairly capable of covering everything under the sun to do with the subject without my banter :-) ..but linuxchix?? it's nice to see another 'we-like-linux' site, and the fact that it encourages girls is good too, and hey - the logo rocks - but I'm not sure it's heading the right way. the thought of a 'female' distribution (why?) is worrying.

    I'm sorry to see that linuxchix was formed after some comments on Slashdot. I've never read anything that really put me out on here. perhaps rather than creating our own niche, we should look at the root of the problem, though?

    I like the idea, and will probably subscribe to linuxchix. but i wouldn't want us girls (sorry, but i can't stand the term geekgirl - does every male user say 'geekguy'?) breaking away to start our own thang and completely miss the point that linux is for everyone together. all hold hands!! lalalaa, etc.
    sooo...could we have a mission statement from linuxchix pls?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 16, 1999 @01:25AM (#1678944)
    Ok, I'm gonna be a little provocative here, but think about it.

    Well, well. You wonder why there's so few female geeks? Hmm, just look at this /. post for example - it is rather typical of the system:

    "it's just sorta the standard tirade..." means to me "stop whining, girls, it's not an issue anyway". You men want us to stop "whining"?

    Well then start by taking an unfortunately still valid issue *serious*. btw: why is it that when women complain it's always viewed as "whining" while when men complain ist "protest" or "justified anger"? Could it be that that is because you just don't *want* to take us seriously? Because that would mean thinking about whether you have to feel guilty yourselves and maybe (gasp) having to change your attitude a little? Ohmigawd, that would be WORK - can't have that, right?

    "which no geek argues in theory but..." means to me "they don't really exist anyway because _I_ (read: cmdrTaco) never had one let me have sex with her" Tell me: why's it that all the techies who surround me, even those who have far superior knowledge are scared shitless of me because I know my stuff pretty well ? They all LOVE to TALK with me about computers/EE/technology and stuff but when it comes to dating who do they pick up?

    Some "barbie" to whom they can feel superior to because she'll come to him with the "please do this and that for me you big strong man I'm too weak/dumb for it" routine for each and every crap.

    You want a geek-girlfriend? Here's the 3 step easy solution:

    1. open your eyes. Chances are there is one around you already but everyone is playing her achievements down or she just doesn't boast about herself which makes her invisible between all the loud shouters

    2. respect her for what she is. She's probably no "barbie" so don't expect her to spend 5 hours in front of a mirror every morning - that's not what you said you wanted anyway, right? And she's not in the world "to get laid by _you_" - she's not a target but rather wants to choose her mate among *equals*.

    3. don't be frigthened yourself. As I said - most men I know are *terrified* to "loose their face in front of a woman" and therefore are damn tough to the geek women they meet. Result: many geeky women are very tough in return as self protection.

    Just 2 cents from a geek woman.

  • I can't be a feminist.

    I would like to be one, I really would. But I lack the one quality that would, without question, allow me into the folds, the inner circle: being a woman.

    Now, before I get slammed for being either naive or cold-hearted, let me explain. I am (mostly) white, (mostly) male, (mostly) hetero and (mostly) Protestant. But I'm also compassionate, empathetic, and eager to help those around me. God knows I've been helped in the past in one way or another, and I know what it's like to be marginalized and oppressed. Do I know what the world is like from a woman's perspective? No. Just like I don't understand what it's like to be black in a white society, gay in a hetero culture, and a spirtual person where temples and mosques and forests and skies are not considered "real" places of worship.

    Does this mean I can't be a feminist? Seemingly. Because not only am I not one of "us" (the women), I am one of "them" (the men) -- a member of the group of oppressors.

    I understand the perspective: it's important to have a group of people that you feel safe with, and when that group is a collection of people with a common suffering, the last person you want in your group is someone who reminds you of that suffering.

    It saddens me, but I'm afraid that's just the way of things. In a world I try so hard to make better, I ended up, by no control of my own, being part of the dominant, oppressing group.

    And sadly for me, I'm not totally white (I'm half Asian), I'm not totally hetero (won't get into that...not ready yet. ;-) ), I'm not totally Christian (lots of leanings towards Buddhism and others).

    But I am totally male. *sigh*

    --jeddz

    P.S. I have a feeling I'll get flamed for this, but I just had to get that off my chest. Be gentle.

  • Come on, they could take this distribution and bundle it with the new Barbie computers, and make it so that every time you started up q3a, it would say, 'wouldn't you rather play house', or when you started MAPLE, it would say 'math class is hard'. They could bundle the LinuxPPC for Girls with the Strawberry iMac, too! think of the possibilities!
    (And then puke.)
  • by HSinclair (64082) on Thursday September 16, 1999 @03:41AM (#1678956) Homepage
    I am a female geek.

    I've been getting an overwhelming attitude among geek guys recently that women geeks are just a toy like their new 21 inch moniotr. with a "Where can I buy my own?" attitude. You guys go on about petrifying whatever female geek catches your fancy for the day, you talk about 'creating' your own linux nerd, you suggest female geeks as great beowulf clusters, you say "I wish I could show her my box, heh heh heh". You guys pride yourselves on your intelligence, and you want to be respected for your mind, well so do I. Geek respect is earned, no matter what gender you are, and you're never going to find a female geek if you can't give her the basic respect you'd give any other geek.

    But just when you thought I was going to bash men my whole comment, let me say: Women are worse. They whine that there aren't enough women in management, that they can't get along with the male geeks, blah blah blah. Damn, get over it! I can get along with geek guys just fine, and so can you if you just stop thinking it as "us" vs "them". As I said before, respect is earned, and you're not going to earn any respect by talk instead of action. Oh yeah, and girls, if you're fat and ugly, stop trying to convince the guys that just because you're a lardball that all of the rest of us are too. "Don't expect us to be barbies!"

    You'll never find any self respecting female geek in a group like "linux chix", for one, by this time they've gotten so used to male company that they often prefer guys to women, they don't want to talk about "how can we get more girls into computers! (I like having no competition), and they don't give a damn about how there aren't enough women in management. Don't try to look for us in groups like "nrrdgrrl.com" either. I can't stand that name, and besides, the whole board is about 13 year old girls complaining "Booh hooh! I'm so fat! I'm so ugly! I want to kill myself!" I really have a hard time resisting giving them some encouragement, heather style.

    On a final note: As the Misanthropic Bitch [shutdown.com] says when people ask you "How can you be a woman and think the way you do?", "How could anyone but a woman think like me? Men rarely see the nuts and bolts of womanhood. I see it on a daily basis, and I'm expected to behave in a similar fashion because of my gender. Nothing can make one a misogynist faster than being born a woman. "

  • I am one of the fortunate few to have a Linux babe that fixes anything I can break and then explain how she fixed it so I don't do it more than 3 more times.

    She is incredibly patient with me and only gently suggests I read the Readme or Install files before simply charging ahead and installing packages and expecting them to work the first time.

    So I repeat....Nya Nya ! I got a Linux babe :)
  • Yet 20 years ago when I started working in a mainframe programming site, there were plenty of women both as programmers and team leaders. So the very strong male bias seems to be more recent. But again, there were not many IT college courses in those days, so most people were qualified in some other discipline and "transfered" into computing.
  • My neice (3 yrs) was mad because her new (pre) school won't let her use the computer by herself, and they said they don't have an internet connection. Kinda sad, since she knows more about it than my mother. ("No Nana, you put the cd in here and push there!")
  • Good for you! I hope more parents out there follow your example.

    Personally I grew up with daycare in the back of a ComputerLand store (remember those?). My dad was the manager there so he brought me home all sorts of techy posters and freebies. BTW the caps that are used to cover ends of keyboards and mice during shipping work really well as cups for doll houses.

    It is unfortunate that there was the gender bias and my brother was the one taught about programming and got to play computer games. I had limited access to the computers and never was encouraged to really learn how to used it. Do you really think that would stop me?

    I finally did build my own computer and got on bbs/internet it was pretty cool to be one of the only girls around. And at my last job, I had virtually the entire bathroom (including shower) to myself during the day shift. However, I would gladdly give up such luxuries to have more chicks around.

    For anyone who cares of my opinion, I don't think there is more of a gender bias in the techy world than any where else. Sure I've faced sexism and racism, but it's never stopped me from getting a job or being promoted. The unfortunate fact is that not all of the world believes women and men are equal, but that shouldn't keep young girls (or old ones!) from trying to do great things. If anything, the internet is a great place for females to try and beat the bias. Nobody may ever know your sex, race, or nationality.

    Your future is in the hands of simply one person, you. It's your choice to advance in the world, or be scared and work at mc donalds for the rest of your life.
  • I just joined LinuxChix, not because I want to whine with other women about the glass ceiling and how much it hurts my head everytime I try to stand up, but because I thought it may be interesting to take part in a mailing list which has other women interested in linux in it.

    If I am a feminist - I am the Camila Pagila type - I don't get along with Womyn - but grrls and chix are quite fun. From my experience Chix and Grrls tend to like being female and like men, Womyn don't like men, and don't even tend to be that feminine.

    I have always had more male friends than female friends, I love male geeks, perhaps a tad too much - nothing turns me on more than a tall sexy intellegent man. I found one who I can play Lan with. (Private Joke - normal couples play house, geek couples play LAN when they get together).
    I think I joined linuxchix because perhaps they will petition for small t-shirts with linux logos, perhaps some mini-T's with tux on them - it is just such a bother to make my own. Just kidding.

    Actually I think I joined because I want to talk with other women in the industry - I would like to meet other women who think of programming as C, perl, java, etc, instead of HTML. I would like to meet more women with brains. There are so many clueless women out there!!

    On the glass ceiling, I really don't know what to think of it, most women who complain about the glass ceiling tend to be Women's Studies majors. How do they expect to find a job in a most male enviroment without learning the proper trade. I have met female mechanics, even Heavy Machinery Mechanics, I have met female welders, female geeks, and none of these women have complaints about a glass ceiling, only the Women's Studies Majors.

    On the men's attitude, perhaps some of them are a tad young, and inexperienced. A geek girl, is still a girl, treat her with respect, woo her with some ram, or perhaps a new sound card if she doesn't like flowers. For an aniversy present ask if she'd prefer a ring, or a laptop, they cost about the same. A geek girls looks are likely to be about the same as any cross section of humans, there will be dolls and dogs. Perhaps if we are working 12 hour days infront of a computer we may not be wearing as much makeup.

    I met a geek girl at school who was a model part time to go to school - so perhaps there are a few barbies. I did some modelling when I was 18 myself - so I know my looks are pretty good. Just as not every man fits the geek sterotype, not every woman does either.

    Anyways - Us geeks perpeuate our own sterotypes on what a geek is and what they look like. If we want the rest of the world to stop seeeing us as the stereotype, why don't we start breaking through the sterotype in our own circles!


    --
  • I couldn't take the article seriously after the headline, in which it calls female geeks "she-geeks," and then whose subtitle was about battling sexism. I'm sure the article was informative, but it just seemed to laughably hypocritical to, right off the bat, make female geeks seem like something to be belittled.
    ---
    "'Is not a quine' is not a quine" is a quine.
  • To think I was talking about there being too many distros in response to /Corel/! You know, there is a very good reason why there are only a few "real" distros.. That's because only a few actually serve to fill a particularly niche that needs to be filled, and the rest is just another pile of ammunition set down on the table with the "big boys".. except that they're firing blanks rather than the full-force cannon shots of Debian and Red Hat.

    To be honest, a distro (much less an OS) targeted toward women makes less sense than anything else I've heard lately (ever..?). This isn't body wash or perfume we're peddling here, people!

  • Stephane Miller joked about the perks of being one of a handful of geeky women at work. Because she's a tech worker, the ratio of women to restrooms is about one-to-one on her side of the building. "Every woman there could have her own toilet stall," she said. "I'm thinking of labeling mine."

    Heh heh! This was the case in the early days of the company I work at. There was a one-to-one ratio of female-employees-to-stalls.

    Late one evening, the girlfriend of one of my co-workers was visiting. She came out of the women's bathroom laughing and dragged her boyfriend into the bathroom to show him something...

    Not only were each of the stalls individually decoratively labeled, they also had color printout pictures of their "owners" :-)

  • by anthonyclark (17109) on Thursday September 16, 1999 @12:23AM (#1679025)
    You do.

    It's just that most geekresses|geekettes|geekgrrls use a nick that doesn't scream out "I'm female!" I know several female geeks that use male names and nicks to cover themselves against online abuse.

    PS. if geek is male, then shouldn't it be fegeek? (joke)

  • by LizardKing (5245) on Thursday September 16, 1999 @12:23AM (#1679026)
    One thing that I have noticed about women computer programmers as compared to their male colleagues, is that they tend to view programming as a job and an interest - not a lifestyle. Many male computer people, and especially wannabe ones live and breath computers, from hardware to software. For the average male geek it's reflected in the books that they read and the clothes they wear - typically cyberpunk and sloppy casualwear.

    Obviously this is still a generalisation, but walk around any IT office, and the female staff will be less distinguishable from their counterparts in say accounts or human resources, than the males.

    Maybe that's why women are a less vocal, but rapidly growing part of the IT workforce. As men tend to be more openly and loudly competitive than women in most walks of life, they leave the impression that they dominate the field.

    On the eve of the twent-first century men do still dominate most walks of life. But given the massive advances in attaining equality for women in this century, I don't think it will be long before the issue of women in computing becomes a non-issue.


    Chris Wareham

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