Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Child returns to nursery, mom returns to the world at large

It has probably not escaped your attention that I've been absent since July. Hey, what happened in July? Oh, just my lovely daughter 24/7!

I don't begrudge her, but it's been a tough time.

Anyway, anyone interested in little girls and gender roles should go read this blog passed on to me via a lovely friend, who got it from the beautiful and talented Felicia Day who I didn't realise had done anything awesome since Buffy, but she did, and she is (awesome, that is).

A taste of what Jolie O'Dell has to say on the subject of Women in Tech (from the first link):
"So, to all the special interest groups and fine individuals with fine intentions, I ask you one favor: Please stop pushing for more women in tech, and find a young girl to mentor instead. When she is young, give her “boy toys” and video games. If she wants one, get her a laptop instead of jewelry for her birthday. Tell her not to worry about flirting or her hair. Send her to a computer science camp or space camp. Encourage her to take advanced maths and sciences in school and to enter a computer science degree program."
Awesome too, right?

I'll try and write more soon, but I have another project I'm working on, which I might end up linking here, or I might keep anonymous, not sure yet.

Leave a comment guys if you're still here, please help my overwrought-mommy-ego!!

1 comment:

  1. Getting women into college computer science is only one way of getting women into the tech scene. A lot of software nowadays (particularly base system software) is open source and not all of that comes out of corporations or universities. The Linux operating system kernel, for example, was developed as a hobby project originally. If you're a major contributor to a big open-source project, it may be as good for your CV as a CompSci bachelor's degree. They don't necessarily teach you what you need to know to do basic systems programming at college; they teach you what you need to know to work in industry.

    There's also a big problem with the culture of some tech circles. At some conferences you'll find a lot of vulgarity and that might put a lot of women off, even young women - it's pretty intimidating, and the people responsible for one such incident I saw kept telling people who complained about the language that they should start their own show. A while back I saw an article (by a woman!) in Linux Format, castigating women for taking offence to sexist comments on the Linux kernel hackers' mailing list (I wrote my response here. You might like to watch a presentation called "Form an Orderly Queue, Ladies" by Emma Jane Hogbin, which is available on Google Video.

    As for the whole business of getting your daughter a laptop rather than jewellery: fair enough, computers were much more expensive when I was a kid, but I was in my 20s before my parents did that for me! And I'm not sure what the contradiction is between having an interest in computers and wearing jewellery or experimenting with hairstyles, although there's nothing wrong with encouraging girls not to spend too much time on the latter.