[Linux-aus] Special support for women

David Newall davidn at davidnewall.com
Tue Oct 29 23:21:44 EST 2013

(:-P   (tongue in cheek)

Apparently we need special programmes to address an imbalance between 
the sexes; in politics, employment, management and elsewhere, this is 
widely accepted as appropriate.  Linux Australia is not immune to this; 
we give opportunities and support to females.  This puts an elephant in 
the corner: women gain opportunities at the expense of more capable (or 
more needy) men. This undermines their credibility; it raises reasonable 
doubts about their competence.  Are they there from merit or merely to 
make up the numbers?

Maggie Thatcher was never PM to improve numbers; she was destined to be 
leader of UK; she earned the role.  Affirmative action needed no part in 
her glory.  She was the best candidate.  Yet I think she must have 
struggled to overcome doubt.  (Arguably she was better because of the 
doubt, but that's for another day.)

I say merit is blind to sex; it shines from inner strength.  I say 
special programmes damage the interests they purport to serve.  How can 
someone be taken seriously if there was obligation to give a women the 
place?  We do them naught but disservice by gifting favours that are 
intrinsically merited.  We do naught but disservice by filling seats 
with lesser competence.

We see ourselves as a meritocracy; for sake of honesty and transparency, 
our special programmes for women should candidly admit patronage of 
incompetence over political correctness.  Let's cancel our "women in IT" 
programmes and replace them with programmes that reward "incompetent 
women in IT," or at least to widen eligibility to include hamsters and 
fish.  That way, competent women, of which we have plenty, can leave no 
doubt that they won prestige merely on shining ability.

Chew, swallow, digest.

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