[Linux-aus] Special support for women

Tennessee Leeuwenburg tleeuwenburg at gmail.com
Wed Oct 30 10:43:13 EST 2013

What do you mean "accept"? I would I accept something I think is just
wrong? It's not a matter of being defensive and refusing to accept, it's
just I don't agree.

On Wed, Oct 30, 2013 at 10:31 AM, Luke Martinez <me at luke.asia> wrote:

> How about, we actually accept that less women enjoy doing I.T. than men
> and _that's_ why they're not in I.T.? And we don't need to go on a quest to
> find women to join IT?
> Just like how we're not going on an "Affirmative action" quest to gain
> male teachers, nurses etc.
> Maybe, just maybe, there _is_ a difference between genders. And It's okay.
> On Wed, Oct 30, 2013 at 10:21 AM, Michael Cordover <la at mjec.net> wrote:
>> I know one shouldn't feed the trolls but I think it's important that
>> not just the trolls have a say.
>> I've only been an LA member less than a year. I'm barely active. I
>> don't know membership statistics. I can't speak for anyone but myself.
>> Here's what I think though. I think women are as capable as men. I
>> think there is a serious shortage of female participation in STEM in
>> general and in computing in particular. I think this is because of
>> systematic disincentives to participation put in place by society. I
>> also think some of it is probably direct discrimination - though
>> thankfully not within LA.
>> I think the end result is we don't have the meritocracy we'd like. We
>> have people with potential and people with merit not participating in
>> the community. The best sign of that is the differing participation
>> levels of men and women despite no inherent difference in merit.
>> There's an obvious and simple solution to this: targeted programs
>> which provide incentives to people affected by this. These can provide
>> support to overcome the barriers that exist and restore baseline
>> quality. The idea is that this permits meritorious selection and
>> participation. The reality is, however, that the incentives almost
>> always fall short of truly addressing the barriers. What use is a
>> supportive space when some idiot will criticise that support in
>> public? It helps but it isn't transformative. It's a stepping stone to
>> a situation where eventually, hopefully, there's not a differing level
>> of participation.
>> And you know what? IT WORKS. We can identify a problem by data
>> analysis - consistent, statistically significant differential
>> participation rates by gender. We hypothisise as to the cause -
>> differential incentives caused by social mores. We try a solution -
>> equalising incentives by providing targeted support. And all of a
>> sudden participation rates rise -- and continue to rise, beyond merely
>> the level the support provides. The data is clear. Targeted support
>> programs help to address inequality.
>> People who don't support targeted support (affirmative action, special
>> programs, whatever you want to call it) do so because either they
>> don't think women are underrepresented, or because they think women
>> deserve the be underrepresented. I used to think that because direct
>> discrimination was effectively eliminated there was no inequality. On
>> that basis I thought there was no need for any affirmative action. But
>> then I looked at some data and it became clear that there was some
>> systematic problem. The disparity is too consistent and too pervasive
>> to be an accident.
>> I've ranted enough. I've not articulated well. I've not addressed the
>> depth or breadth of the issue. I haven't touched on unfair
>> inequalities other than gender. But I think it's important to have at
>> least said something.
>> Michael
>> --
>> http://mjec.net/
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> --
> Luke Martinez
> me at luke.asia
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Tennessee Leeuwenburg
"Don't believe everything you think"
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