[Noisebridge-discuss] Girls Hack
romy at snowyla.com
Thu Oct 31 09:29:33 UTC 2013
I feel like I'm butting into two people having a weird fight but there's actually a grain of truth in this mail
It's not so much lack of opportunity as it is social pressure and cultural norms. Programming and science have always been there for most adult women :: there was logo on apple etc
But yes despite these opportunities a great deal of the lack of women has been social pressure. This is something I've tried to verbalize but was never much good at ..
It bothers me when female focused stem education is sometimes less intense or when the branding has to be awash in pink.
They play into social norm & don't address the real mental social barriers women face when they choose the male gender norm of achievement versus the female focus on appearance
It reminds me of music. There are certain social constructs a woman in music plays into to be accepted : singer , groupie, music promoter, maternal club owner ..,with her appearance always the main focus.
but break those unspoken rules and become outspoken and as aggressive as the guys and all he'll breaks loose.
That being said all this intense analysis of elizabeth and her intentions is kind of heavy .power to educate young girls comes with responsibility but making people feel like they're going through an inquisition makes them disinclined to bother trying
Sent from my iPhone
> On Oct 29, 2013, at 7:58 PM, Brink Of Complexity <brink.0x3f at gmail.com> wrote:
> To be clear, it's awesome that you've volunteered, and that is why it's especially important to let you know that improperly associating availability of technical opportunities for girls and young women as a recent (this decade) historical development is disingenuous -- that the volunteerism is great, but that an attitude predicated on false information is more harmful to the cause than helpful.
> I posted this to the list because you aren't the first or only person to voice this idea, and in fact it's a *really common misconception*, which results in making STEM women invisible "unicorns".
> In any case, I didn't make any assumption about you beyond that you are an adult born between 1970 and 1995 -- a range I'd be willing to bet money on based on your photo alone. I'm not from a large tech-centered city either, and it doesn't matter. And yes, your educational opportunities are very largely your parents (and later your own) doing.
> That latter sentence is really the point. STEM women got their early skills by playing with engineering toys instead of dolls, by trading easy bake ovens for space legos, by going to the library and calculating ballistics and oscillator frequencies while other girls were flirting with boys at the pool. They got their skills by making and taking every opportunity to develop those skills, just like boys, often alongside boys...
> ... And many got ostracized for it the whole way through, mostly by girls (and others) who rejected or ignored those opportunities in favor of social acceptance.
> ... And if you don't realize that part, and then "accidentally" assert the impossibility of existence of women who've technically educated themselves, you're contributing to the very exclusion you're complaining of, specifically to the sharpest young women with the most technical potential, who will reflexively do the math on that claim!
> Claims of unavailability of technical opportunities for young women diminish the social challenges previous generations of women dealt with and overcame in order to take all of the *actually totally available* opportunities that shaped them. It asserts that *today's* women in STEM fields are inherently less educated than the men because of some kind of gender divide in technical education opportunities that existed in the recent past. This just isn't true.
> Your intentions seem pretty noble, and I know it seems like a minor and harmless faux pas, but the effect *really matters socially*, especially if you're volunteering yourself into a powerfully influential position with regard to future adults.
> Power comes with responsibility. If you volunteer for it, expect criticism.
> When I choose to volunteer to help mold the minds of the future with regard to topics explicitly stated to be outside my experience, please feel free to criticise accordingly.
> On Oct 29, 2013 4:25 PM, "Elizabeth Hubbard" <annie.nutt at yahoo.com> wrote:
> > Brink of Complexity, it is so awesome that you had such great educational opportunities where you grew up. I'm frankly jealous. My parents aren't to blame for me not knowing of any hackathons to go to as a child, and I don't go around perpetuating stereotypes. I did a google search on tech opportunities for kids in my home town. It came up with a bunch of job leads for (surprise!) adults. One for San Francisco came up with tech camps. Who'd have known that San Francisco is more technologically advanced than some rural town in Georgia? Honestly, that part of Georgia is impoverished, so it makes sense that they would have less programs.
> > Maybe you shouldn't assume so much about people. You honestly make a person sorry they volunteered to do something nice for some kids they don't know. I don't see you volunteering to chaperone.
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