Still Curious, Still Learning

Enjoying life as it is, changing it when I can.

Addressing Sexism

Takeaway: Thoughtful presentation on sexism in the programming community and the challenges in addressing it.

Why Address This Now?

to build a better Ruby community


Hanna Howard @techgirlwonder

Evan Dorn @IdahoEv

Logical Reality Design

Gender in Technology

Men defensive:

1 Binary (guiltfree via guilty)

Objection: Not all MEN are like that!

Why are we defensive? Want world to be binary (good guys vs bad guys) In reality, it’s a spectrum.

So you don’t need to say it. Everyone knows already. Seriously, everyone knows. It’s changing the subject. It’s your fear of being thought of as bad guys.

2 Unwanted sexual attention

It’s a compliment, you should be flattered. You’re overreacting. etc.

Don’t tell Someone Else How They Should Feel. Your point of view is natural but toally irrelevant to their feelings.

3 How am I supposed to respond?

Option: don’t say anything; just listen. Listen to your own feelings of response.

4 I’m a nerd, people picked on me my whole life.

“I can’t oppress other people, because I’m the one that got stomped on.”

Binary thinking: 1 ton oppressors vs others.

Many axis of polarization

5 “Women evolved for multitasking and compassion, men evolved to solve specific problems”

“That makes men better programmers”

Because programming and hunting big game with spears have just so much in common.

Don’t use evolution as a holy book.

6 IF we always assume victims are telling the truth we will destroy careers and lives over false accusations…”

Natural fear: This just doesn’t happen. Women are reasonable people, too.

Making it about you, and doubting them, is hurtful.

It values the abuser’s career & life over the victim’s.