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Is Computer Science Education Racist and Sexist? 612

Posted by timothy
from the what-the-does-the-magic-8-ball-say dept.
theodp writes "What's wrong with this picture?" asked Code.org at its launch earlier this year, lamenting the lack of Computer Science students in a race and gender reference-free infographic. But as the organization has grown via public/private partnerships and inked agreements to drive the CS curriculum for the Chicago and NYC school systems, the same stats webpage has adopted a new gender and racial equity focus, positioning Computer Science education as "a chance to level the playing field" for women, Hispanic and African American students. The new message is consistent with the recently-forged Code.org partnership with the NSF-funded Exploring Computer Science (ECS, "a K-12/university partnership committed to democratizing computer science") and Computer Science Principles (CSP, "a new course under development that seeks to broaden participation in computing and computer science"). According to The Research Behind ECS, an "insidious 'virtual segregation' that maintains inequality" is to blame for keeping the number of African Americans and Latino/as CS students disproportionately low. So, what might the future of Code.org's proposed equity-based U.S. K-12 CS education look like? "Including culturally relevant instructional materials represented a driving focus of our course development," explained ECS Team members who now advise Code.org. "Cultural design tools encourage students to artistically express computing design concepts from Latino/a, African American, or Native American history as well as cultural activities in dance, skateboarding, graffiti art, and more. These types of lessons are important for students to build personal relationships with computer science concepts and applications – an important process for discovering the relevance of computer science for their own life." And — ironically for Code.org — it could mean less coding."
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Is Computer Science Education Racist and Sexist?

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 22, 2013 @03:29PM (#45761395)

    Is Computer Science Education Racist and Sexist?

    Well, no. Unless there are roaming gangs of white nerdy kids beating up anyone with the wrong color that I haven't heard of.

  • sexist? pah! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gbjbaanb (229885) on Sunday December 22, 2013 @03:31PM (#45761415)

    I don't see anyone complaining that nursing or primary school teaching is sexist, yet those professions have a definite bias towards one sex.

    So men tend to like computers more than women, does anyone seriously think this is somehow the industry keeping women from participating? (well, ok, but only because a lot of the "men" in the industry tend to be about as mature as the primary school children I referred to earlier!)

    Racist? I can't answer that so readily, but I know a lot of foreign chappies working in IT, and my last company actively discriminated against white guys by only hiring Indian developers - though admittedly they were located in India, and cost a lot less. The one previous to that recruited a lot of Lithuanians, so they could hardly be said to discriminate against the usual native causcasian population.

    Now ageist... that is definitely a problem in IT.

  • by perpenso (1613749) on Sunday December 22, 2013 @03:36PM (#45761461)
    Computers science is a poor fit as a vehicle to level the playing field. Its not the sort of job you can do well if you don't have some sort of inherent interest or curiosity in.

    Certainly any group can have members that have such an interest in programming. Finding those individuals would be a good thing. I just have severe reservations against trying to push anyone into this field. I've seen too many programmers who got into the field not because they have any inherent interest or curiosity rather somebody told them it was a good career path. They don't do well.

    Should some sort of CS or programming classes be availably to anyone in K-12 that is interested or curious? Sure. It would be a great elective class.
  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Sunday December 22, 2013 @03:39PM (#45761485)

    From near the end of the ECS Team Member [exploringcs.org] link:

    The learning environment of the more advanced computer science classrooms has supported the culture of these students and often made others to feel as "outsiders," as if their concerns, perspectives, were not valued in the field.

    So what exactly does that mean? I don't remember any CS classes having a "culture" of any kind. Unless they are saying that "dry and sometimes boring" is "white culture"?

    The whole reason you TAKE a CS class is because you are a relative "outsider" to the concepts being presented and want in.

    They talk about the solution being "vision of success" for all cultures. But in the end the only possible "success" from a CS class is a better understanding of how to build software. Not only is that not tied in to a culture, ideally it's not even tied to a language! It's totally abstract, yet they seem to want to make it more concrete somehow...

    I don't understand how the deride access as "not being enough" when access is EVERYTHING. Grafting hip-hip or graffiti into a college CS class is way, way too late. You want to help people from "other cultures" - well then figure out how to get them something they can and will program on when they are five years old up until college age. Then if it takes they will happily end up at the "dull" CS classes years later to learn mastery of the thing that they love.

  • by CodeBuster (516420) on Sunday December 22, 2013 @03:46PM (#45761531)

    This is totally bullshit and it's being done for bullshit political reasons. Nothing good comes from the politicization of science and yet the politicians cannot resist making a political issue of the lack of "diversity" in CS education. In my own CS experience nobody gave a shit about whether you were black, white, asian or latino and yes we had all of those races represented in the program. What mattered was whether or not you could hack it and continue advancing through the curriculum. The grades were always on a curve and the competition was intense. If you weren't smart enough or fast enough you washed out. In CS, as in other sciences, people respect knowledge, ability and intelligence, not the color of your skin or your cultural background. If you wanted to major in foo-fa the Humanities department was on the other side of campus.

  • by Max Threshold (540114) on Sunday December 22, 2013 @03:59PM (#45761617)
    I think CS has a culture, but what culture it does have is all its own. There is nothing intrinsically white or male about it, as evidenced by the fact that it's totally alien to the majority of white males.

    But perhaps the white males who thrive in CS do have one quality that enables them to succeed where others fail: the ability to assimilate into an alien culture without considering yourself a victim of its unfamiliarity. I suspect that all humans are born with this ability, but some people are taught that every difficulty they encounter in life is some form of victimization.

  • Re: IQ (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 22, 2013 @04:11PM (#45761705)

    Actually, you have to be able to think very logically. However, good logic skills also correlate with higher average IQs. There is also a bias in the black community that devalues education as it "trains you to be like the man" and ruins street cred.

    As a manager in IT, I used to go out of my way to hire attractive women in CS, but they are just super rare. They hardly exist, and the smart ones are very expensive.

    All in all, people need to relax and understand we are all different. Just like most pro sports are dominated by blacks because they kick ass athletically, the geeky "brain" sports are dominated by people who spend more time developing their brains (Chinese, Indians, and whites typically). If we would stop judging people for being "weak" or "stupid", humans wouldn't have such a big issue with this simple fact. Fact is, we make fun of dumb jocks and geeky nerds. For a long long time, it was totally uncool to be a weak geeky nerd (Revenge of the Nerds anyone??). It's only because geeks make the most money (on average) that we are cool now. Otherwise, we'd still be outcasts as we were for 30 years.

    So, again - if you want to be great in CS, you have to exercise your brain. And it helps if you are introverted and truly enjoy sitting in front of a computer screen for 13 hours a day. Simple as that. If that isn't you, you aren't going to be a good programmer.

  • Re: IQ (Score:5, Insightful)

    by epyT-R (613989) on Sunday December 22, 2013 @04:21PM (#45761755)

    Interesting how biasing hiring towards women is not considered sexist yet biasing towards men, is? All in the name of 'equality' of course.

  • by epyT-R (613989) on Sunday December 22, 2013 @04:24PM (#45761779)

    Men avoid working for public school systems because their policy is now dictated by feminist trained soccer moms who think all men are potential rapists/pedophiles.

  • Re:No. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 22, 2013 @04:26PM (#45761783)

    Wrong. You can't change advertising. Advertising comes in many forms: novels, television shows, films and so on. No matter how hard you attempt to shield your children, girls tend to want to be pink princesses because that's how women are portrayed in a majority of children's media. It's not a matter of bad parenting either, you can actively ignore mentioning this stuff and little girls still want to be pink simply because their friends do and everywhere they look it's ingrained in society.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 22, 2013 @04:34PM (#45761833)

    in my company. We prefer real science or engineering grads to CS people.
    The difference is that CS people (from my interviewing over the past 4 years) don't have a clue about real world problem solving.

    CS grads seem to think that they know everything but in reality they know very little that is of practical use at the sharp end.

    Then there is their inability to understand that Flight Avionic Systems must be tested properly and 'near enough' is nowhere near good enough.

  • Re:No. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by epyT-R (613989) on Sunday December 22, 2013 @04:36PM (#45761841)

    no.. Girls innately prioritize socialization, which, for whatever reason, is given more respect these days than abilities (like computer programming) that actually accomplish something. Give girls toy trucks, and they treat them like dolls, anthropomorphizing them.. Give dolls to boys and they'll treat them like space ships, or have them fight or whatever..

    Gender is not a social construct. Society is a gender construct.

  • by The Snowman (116231) on Sunday December 22, 2013 @04:39PM (#45761859) Homepage

    Unless there are roaming gangs of white nerdy kids beating up anyone with the wrong color that I haven't heard of.

    Wrong race. In my experience, whites are one of several minorities in Computer Science. Both in my B.S. and M.S., more than half of my classmates were Hindu males.

  • My other thoughts (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Velex (120469) on Sunday December 22, 2013 @04:49PM (#45761945) Homepage Journal

    Ok, Code.org. Ok, feminists. You want to solve this thing?

    We're going to need to conscript womyn-born-womyn into STEM classes. Demand that they at least get an associates degree in something STEM related before they be allowed to graduate with their Women's Studies or English major.

    Sterilize them until they're able to do that. Take away the option of being a Single Mother.

    If they don't enroll in a STEM class by the time they're 19, require their parents to throw them out of the streets until they starve.

    Womyn-born-womyn are TOO PRIVILEGED, and THAT is why they don't enroll in fields that are "too technical."

    If we given womyn-born-womyn the same options as assigned males, as I outlined above, we'll see an improvement in enrollment in that demographic.

    Otherwise, what the fuck ever. Let womyn-born-womyn continue to choose to be Single Mothers or to marry to a man who will provide them with an income instead of EARNING IT THEIR FUCKING SELVES.

  • Complete nonsense (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Chris Mattern (191822) on Sunday December 22, 2013 @04:50PM (#45761949)

    These types of lessons are important for students to build personal relationships with computer science concepts and applications.

    I don't have personal relationships with concepts and applications. I have an intellectual relationship with them. I have personal relationships with people.

  • Re:sexist? pah! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by VortexCortex (1117377) <`VortexCortex' ` ... -retrograde.com'> on Sunday December 22, 2013 @04:50PM (#45761953) Homepage

    Hey! Most people in the hospital are SICK! Hospitals make folks sick!

    Most people in $FIELD are ( $GENDER | $RACE ), that field is sexist to folks not of ( $GENDER | $RACE ).

    I agree, it's moronic to endorse these simplistic and ignorant notions. Especially since they have no evidence. [youtube.com]

    Are romance novel publishers sexist towards men because there's not 50/50 male:female ratio? Why not ask men if they want to be romance novelists. Oh, look at that, a resounding, "No." Should we force folks to do shit they don't want to do? Want to be a teacher? Sorry, we need more female coal miners. Want to be an engineer? Sorry we need more male counselors. Of course it won't play out like that. There will be a rule saying you just can't accept more men than women, and fields that women don't want to work in will just be under employed -- maybe H1B visas can do something about it? It'll start with minimum quotas for gender ratios ignoring any evidence of the percentages of sexes applying for the positions... Hmm, wait, don't we already Title IX? Ah, everything is going according to plan.

    OH! I know! It's that romance literature as a medium is sexist towards men and needs to be changed to be more accepting of male male authorship! Let's mandate that every other page a visual depiction of sex -- Wha? That destroys the current medium? Ah. I see. If folks want to make visual romance novels they already can... right. So, no one's being prevented from doing a job, just that men and women like different things? THAT'S SEXIST! Brains should be heterogeneous lumps of mush! Variety is the poison of life!

    I see this same gendered preference when asking women if they enjoy or even stand doing the work I'm doing: Being ditch diggers, construction workers, even indie game developers -- Not if they think they would like to be these things, but if they actually enjoy it (I have done so at these jobs). At my local gamedev group we're open to all and friendly, not hostile, we're about 20% women. Geme development is zero-barrier-to-entry, we have free engines, free assets, free tutorials, free assistance. We went out of our way to recruit more female developers, because some social justice warrior folks thought maybe other societal restrictions were keeping the women from signing up. OK, so we repeatedly got 50% of new attendees as female. Guess what? Nearly all the women quickly quit their projects, and far more men stayed. They said they just didn't feel it was a good use of their time. Some women LOVE game developing, and we celebrate them, but most women don't like doing the unglamorous thankless tedious work of developing games that no one will play but other devs.

    Everyone wants to be a prestigious game designer, but the folks more willing to do what it takes to get there in general are men. I hypothesize this is because women value their time differently than men. There's evidence to suggest women are better at multi-tasking in general [wikipedia.org], so perhaps sinking a large portion of your time into a hobby that has low likelihood of yielding money or social standing and eats into the time you'd spend with your friends and family just isn't women's thing -- Or, maybe that men care less in general about the social impact and are more suited to the introversion it practically requires to produce a successful game in a reasonable time frame, as the science of personality trait distribution among sexes would suggest?

    NOPE! Gamers HATE women! GAME CULTURE IS SEXIST! Ugh.

    No one taught me how to write code. The Apple IIe in the computer lab booted to a BASIC prompt, and I figured that shit out despite having to turn it off and go back to Oregon Trail or Number Munchers when they looked my way. No one could prevent me from learning computer science: I was too youn

  • Re:No. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ebno-10db (1459097) on Sunday December 22, 2013 @04:51PM (#45761957)

    Girls innately prioritize socialization ... Give girls toy trucks, and they treat them like dolls, anthropomorphizing them.. Give dolls to boys and they'll treat them like space ships, or have them fight or whatever ...

    To you, and all the others on this thread arguing for either the nature or nurture side, a simple question: how do you know this? I'm not interested in your personal observations, because they're horribly biased. If it's based on scientific work, please cite it. As an exercise, then proceed to cite the scientific work that says the opposite. The whole question is far from settled.

  • by ebno-10db (1459097) on Sunday December 22, 2013 @04:55PM (#45761987)

    which impediments their efforts to become literate

    Clearly that's true.

  • by lucm (889690) on Sunday December 22, 2013 @04:56PM (#45761995)

    It's wrong but it's easier to understand what is meant without having to mention "with the dot not the feather".

    Ethnicity overloading can be a bitch.

  • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Sunday December 22, 2013 @05:15PM (#45762111) Journal

    There's nothing wrong with helping women (and other minorities) deal with actual bullying and dismissive attitude that does, in fact, exist.

    The problem with this program is that what they propose instead is basically to sugar-coat CS itself to attract more people from the desired minority groups. Which is not really solving the problem, and is going to backfire big time when a guy who went into the program because it let him "artistically express his cultural background" faces a manager who wants him to write some mundane piece of code by the end of this week.

  • Re: IQ (Score:2, Insightful)

    by novium (1680776) on Sunday December 22, 2013 @05:27PM (#45762203)

    Oh, I'd say that deciding to hire "attractive" women for jobs (bonus if they're smart!) is ridiculously sexist.

  • by roc97007 (608802) on Sunday December 22, 2013 @05:28PM (#45762215) Journal

    Oh, probably, as much as anything is.

    Can People Make Money Off This?

    You betcha.

  • by fozzy1015 (264592) on Sunday December 22, 2013 @05:45PM (#45762337)

    IT/Software Development is one of the rare, if not unique, fields where people can be very paid well, the job market is currently hot, and one can learn everything from inexpensive books(or even free online courses) combined with motivation. It's positively egalitarian. If the premise had to do with medicine and law, where there's required expensive schooling and potential for a "good ol' boys" club atmosphere, then I'd find it more believable.

    When I've interviewed for development positions where the person went to school was of little importance. In fact, our CTO(who has his BS and MS in CS from Stanford) even jokes that it's the people straight from academia that sometimes seem the most incompetent. The only things we care about are if you know your stuff and have some body of previous work you can point to and talk about. But then I work in Silicon Valley where a competent developer can pretty much write his own ticket right now.

    My experience in commercial development the last 13 years had me working with females. They were almost always foreign born, often with English as a second language. Yes, it's mostly males, but a large part of them are East Asians and Indians, not all white males.

    In short, the bar of entry in my experience is low as long as you're motivated and competent. Why aren't there more women? Look at practically every engineering and scientific accomplishment in human history. Are you going to tell it's just culture that has kept those accomplishments relegated almost entirely to men?

  • Re: IQ (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 22, 2013 @05:50PM (#45762369)

    I hired professionals and fired the hackers. If you couldn't pass maintenance grades in code reviews, then you didn't keep your job. As for hiring attractive intelligent people, I don't care about the law. I care about a well balanced highly functional team. Laws don't pay the bills, productive happy people do. That includes both genders and multi cultures. I love how in sales all women are model quality hot, but in IT it's somehow dirty to want to hire attractive people. Oh the humanity!! Regardless of my bias, that didn't change the fact that 90% of the resumes on my desk were Indian. I did not want an Indian dominated team. I wanted a balanced team. If that is bigoted, fine. Also, not once in 7 years did I ever get a qualified black applicant. I hired a few but they simply could not keep up. That doesn't mean it's the color of their skin, it does mean it was the quality of their mind for this particular work.

    Something else too. They are "black" - NOT African American. There are white people from Africa who are Americans - so they technically are African-American. Then there's the fact that MOST blacks cannot claim African heritage - or maybe I should be claiming my German, Scottish, English heritage?? We have a lot of built in discriminatory biases in our country. It's sad that people let it divide us. I have black friends who are some of the most spirited and loving people I know, but they will never write computer software - it just doesn't interest them. That doesn't mean they can't do it, it means they would rather work with people than sit in front of a computer. Therefore, they will never learn languages and practices needed to succeed in this field. What's wrong with that? Nothing! It is how society values our different skills that causes so much jealously.

    If people can't see facts as they are without being offended by it, I don't know what to say. The cold application of logic is most often devoid of emotion. It is nice that way for me.

    Oh yea, attractive women in IT are rare, so they often command greater salary due to supply and demand. Economics still applies. This is not always the case, but on average - as all of my assertions apply - it is true.

  • by PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) on Sunday December 22, 2013 @06:06PM (#45762479)

    Racist and Sexist?

    The labels "Racist" and "Sexist" are like ketchup . . . you can put them on anything.

    Even where it is neither appropriate nor warranted.

    University CS programs will now be required to include these "culturally relevant instructional materials" . . . otherwise, they will be judged "substandard" by the government, and the university will lose any government funding.

  • Re:No. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ebno-10db (1459097) on Sunday December 22, 2013 @06:06PM (#45762481)

    Unfortunately, personal observations and theories are all anybody's got on this issue.

    In other words, they've got squat. It's better to admit you have no useful information, than to pretend that the very poor and easily biased information you do have is useful.

  • Re:sexist? pah! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by gbjbaanb (229885) on Sunday December 22, 2013 @06:43PM (#45762729)

    oh no, I'm fine - although I'm an old white guy, I have moved my career towards more consultancy where its an advantage - nobody wants to hire a young kid who will tell them how do to things, especially when management paying for such are old white guys too.

    Still, its a well known problem for the industry that anyone with experience and skills are passed over in favour of kids who are cheaper and only know the cool new stuff, and end up having to re-learn things the old guys figured out and fixed decades ago. Until that situation gets sorted out (ie the industry becomes more professional rather than a hobby filled with flavour-of-the-month technology that never quite gets to mature) software will continue to be bugged, insecure and perform poorly, if it performs properly in the first place.

    I would have hoped that upper management would be filled with guys who used to be the techies, but it seems management are getting younger (and less experienced) too, especially the ones brought in who can only talk the talk but do nothing else.

  • by iamhassi (659463) on Sunday December 22, 2013 @07:03PM (#45762899) Journal
    Think he means Arabic. And you are right, worldwide I would say there are probably more Arabic and Asian programmers than Caucasian. Does that mean computer science education is racist or sexist? No.
  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Sunday December 22, 2013 @07:18PM (#45763015) Journal
    While I entirely agree with you on that one (I've been in more 'some sort of technical group/club/class' contexts than I can remember where having the temerity to join while female was treated as an implicit invitation for every optimist in the place to hit on you(well beyond the bounds of taste, being asked to fuck off, etc. so spare me the 'feminism is killing fun!!!') until you gave up in disgust and left.

    What concerns me is that the assorted 'multicultural' bullshit described in TFA sounds more like some kind of racist farce than like an actual inclusion strategy: "Hey, black kid, you 'urban' types like skatesboards and graffiti, right? How about some programming with skateboards and graffiti?" and will do absolutely nothing to address the 'entire class looks you up and down, because you are not one of us and/or we are interested only in fucking you' school of dissuading people from taking up technical subjects.

    It's not as though pasty white guys take up comp sci because it "expresses their anglo-saxon heritage".
  • Re:No. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by LoRdTAW (99712) on Sunday December 22, 2013 @07:34PM (#45763109)

    "and poor children (which includes many racial minorities, although not because they're racial minorities) going to shitty schools where they're lucky if their education is only twenty years out of date."

    tl/dr: Without a stable household with at least one educated or mature parent, poor children will fail regardless of their schools environment.

    I would say many poor children do not have parents who actually give a damn if their child is educated or not. More often than not, public schools are used as baby sitting services. That is why public schools in bad neighborhoods look like they are war zones, no one cares, not even the faculty as they are powerless. After the kids get home its time to let them run wild in the streets so as not to bother mom, who is single any might have two or more kids from multiple men. There is also no male figure in the house nor someone who can provide a steady income.

    So most poor kids don't care about school let alone a career path or genuinely becoming interested in something. If the poor minorities want education it must start at home with at least one parent who gives a damn and tries as hard as they can to ensure their child rises up above the ignorance and poverty to make a successful life. But having known many poor and ignorant "minorities"(mainly Hispanics), I see a huge a problem because the parents are often so ignorant its hard to distinguish their behavior from their own children. So without a parent who is educated or even mature, how can they possibly inspire their children?

    This isn't true for everyone but for a majority, yes it is the truth. Even a 20 year outdated education would benefit them. They need English, writing, reading and basic math skills first. Then worry whether they will be the next John Carmack, Dennis Ritchie or Linux Torvalds.

  • by Taco Cowboy (5327) on Sunday December 22, 2013 @09:06PM (#45763571) Journal

    When I started learning programming, back in the early 1970's, there were 3 main races that I could see - Indians (from India), Caucasians (from Europe/America) and East Asians (Japanese, Koreans, Chinese, Vietnamese)

    As the years gone by, more races were added, from the African continent and from South America (mainly Argentine, Brazil, Chile and Peru)

    As for those "hyphenated-Americans" such as "Latino-Americans" or "African-Americans", yes, I saw them too, but their number is small.

    Their number is small not because of racism - as far as I know, we in the tech field treasure people with skills, not people with a particular skin-hue - the main cause of their number is because of their culture do not care for people with brains.

    I have had co-workers from the Latino-American and African-American communities and they told me of their struggle to "survive" the daily gauntlet from their own people - taunts, bully, threats and physical assaults.

    It's okay to be a nerd if you are a white, an Indian, a Japanese, but if you happen to be an African American, a nerd is someone to be stepped on, to be pushed around, to be beaten.

    If there is "racism" related to computer-science, the "racism" came not from the nerds, but from those who want to kick the nerds around.

  • by Eskarel (565631) on Sunday December 22, 2013 @10:02PM (#45763837)

    Some feminists are misandrists, in particularly some really famous ones are(the press loves misandry all the drama of misogyny with none of the backlash). Feminism and feminists in general are generally not. Overall in my life I've encountered far fewer misandrists than I have misogynists, casual or otherwise, you're a pretty good example for instance. You get your hate on for feminism because a few members are a bit misandrist and you use it as an excuse to denigrate attempts to genuinely improve the lot of women because you can tar those efforts with the "feminist" label and then push it back.

    There are a hundred thousand reasons why there are very few men in teaching, particularly primary school teaching, the most important being that it's incredibly poorly paid. There's also the fact during the second half of the last century male teachers religious and otherwise actually being kiddy fiddlers was tragically common. It's not feminists pushing men out of primary education it's parents and they have some justification, not all men like to abuse children, but for decades men who do have been gravitating to school teaching.

  • by russotto (537200) on Sunday December 22, 2013 @10:19PM (#45763903) Journal

    Some feminists are misandrists, in particularly some really famous ones are(the press loves misandry all the drama of misogyny with none of the backlash). Feminism and feminists in general are generally not.

    As far as I can tell, when an attack is made on men in tech about the gender imbalance in tech, it tends to come from feminists who espouse the views I described.

    Overall in my life I've encountered far fewer misandrists than I have misogynists, casual or otherwise, you're a pretty good example for instance. You get your hate on for feminism because a few members are a bit misandrist and you use it as an excuse to denigrate attempts to genuinely improve the lot of women because you can tar those efforts with the "feminist" label and then push it back.

    Opposing feminism as I have described it does not make me a "misogynist". Not being willing to accept the reasoning that "There are relatively few women in tech, therefore you horrible male nerds are discriminating against them and must be punished and/or discriminated against to level the playing field" also does not make me a "misogynist".

  • Nonsense (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Eravnrekaree (467752) on Monday December 23, 2013 @12:12AM (#45764309)

    This is liberal political correctness run amok. It is a bunch of meaningless politically correct, victimization complex garbage. If the aformentioned groups fail to avail themselves of college education for these IT subjects, there is only one group for them to blame, themselves. No one is stopping them from doing so. The article is basically full of a nonsense, meaningless drivel and window dressing. The idea that they cannot learn what a b-tree is without a dicussion of graffiti and gang identification is absurd. The constant obsessive compulsive drive to find sexism and racism in everything is nauseating. Nowhere in computer science textbooks do I find anything that suggests that this field is off limits to the aforementioned groups. This is an example of someone inventing a controversy to both falsely accuse someone of non-existant infractions and create a scapegoating of people for whom are not responsible for whatever they are complaining about. I believe in personal responsibility, of group X or group Y feels they need a computer science education, do it, the fact computer textbooks do not have a discussion of hip hop music is not an excuse for them not being motivated to do so. Some wish to shift blame to others for these groups not doing X or Y, when these groups only have themselves to blame for not being motivated.

  • Re:No. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dcollins (135727) on Monday December 23, 2013 @12:55AM (#45764477) Homepage

    Less than 100 years ago, the obvious-accepted colors were reversed:

    "In 1918, an article in Ladies Home Journal advised: 'The generally accepted rule is pink for the boys, and blue for the girls. The reason is that pink, being a more decided and stronger color, is more suitable for the boy, while blue, which is more delicate and dainty, is prettier for the girl.' ... In 1927, department stores like Filenes and Marshall Field were still suggesting pink for boys. The current fashion didn’t get established until the 1940s."

    http://brooks.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/04/22/pink-and-blue/ [nytimes.com]

    Now think about how many other behaviors which are "obviously" biological may not be.

  • by gtall (79522) on Monday December 23, 2013 @07:14AM (#45765611)

    Not beer, but social norms and the male/female preferences. While the social norms were covered above, I noticed in a lab for which I was an assistant director that the women in the lab were social beings that needed much interaction to feel at home. The males were typically laconic and wanted to do their own thing. The mathematical sciences prize individual achievement and so attract males. The other sciences value more communal research because it takes a team to get it done, and women naturally gravitate towards them when they are science minded. A math problem does not lend itself naturally to group interaction, figuring out how an organism does a certain thing involves many different specialties.

    The humanities in general value group work, so women gravitate toward them and males gravitate away from them. However, science in general is bit more austere than the humanities and so women do not feel attracted to it. Over time, the sciences become populated by males and so that makes females even less attracted to them because males just aren't particularly sociable. And if they are male dominated, any female is going to feel like she's fresh meat on the hoof because, being male dominated, she's probably one of the few prospects the little Poindexters are going see. And the little Poindexters, having spent their young lives working around other males, do not develop the sort of charms a woman might appreciate.

    These are not hard fast rules, like most things in the real world, there are probability distributions involved even if it is difficult to pin down precise figures.

  • by bonehead (6382) on Monday December 23, 2013 @10:45AM (#45766563)

    What utter crap - your statements that certain races behave in certain ways is by its very nature racist.

    The observation was that different CULTURES behave in different ways.

    And it's not a racist observation. It's an inescapable one.

  • by Chris Mattern (191822) on Monday December 23, 2013 @01:58PM (#45768025)

    Getting a programming assignment about football scores is a hint that you don't belong.

    And yet nerds who would sooner gargle ground glass than go to a football game don't seem to have any problems with it.

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