Archive of UserLand's first discussion group, started October 5, 1998.

Re: Communities for tech women

Author:Lynn Siprelle
Posted:9/16/1999; 5:19:37 PM
Topic:Today's scriptingNews Outline
Msg #:11175 (In response to 11158)
Prev/Next:11174 / 11176

Dave, where did I say all Horny Net Geeks are men?! Did I use a male pronoun anywhere in there? Did I use any male word at all? I could tell you stories... Well, apparently you could tell me some, too. :)

As for would I be offended if you called women who'd come on to you Horny Net Geeks: You can call it as you see it, Dave, doesn't bug me because it doesn't describe me. If they were coming on to you to sell you stuff and/or otherwise exploit their sexuality for a business advantage, I'd call them worse things than that. That's disrespectful both of you and of themselves. It makes me both angry and sad to see a person do that. I've seen both women and men do it. Heck, I had it happen to me, at a time in my life when I was too young to catch on to what the guy was really interested in (the TV station where I worked--he had a girl going at every station in town).

And are women less honest about sex? Yeah, I'd say *in general* that's how we were raised. I'd also say that's changing and thank whoever for that.

Some HNGs are male. It does not follow that all men are HNGs, nor that all HNGs are male. Nowhere do I say that. I just said that some women are nervous about unwelcome approaches, either from direct experience or rumor--these days, mostly rumor, and when not, easily dealt with by anyone with a lick of sense and a delete key.

I used to give talks before women-in-business groups and would get so exasperated by the inevitable "is the Internet safe for women" question. It's safer than a downtown street at 10 pm, I'd say, and if you don't have any trouble leaving this meeting and walking to your car, you shouldn't have any trouble online. "What about the porn?" Well, I said, since some of the biggest net pornographers would qualify for this very organization of entrepreneurial women (I can see the name tag: "Hi, my name is Danni Ash"), what about it? No wonder I never get invited back. :)

The obligatory "I don't hate men" spiel (why do I feel I have to do this whenever I talk about gender issues?): I like men. Some of them like me. I have male friends. I'm married to a man. I have a 50% chance of giving birth to a male next time around, if I'm so blessed, and since I have a daughter, I'd like that. (If I have another girl, I'd like that too. I like babies.) I like talking with men, it's usually different than talking with women--not better, not worse, just a little different, especially senses of humor. Men crack me up, in a good way. Most of what I know about computers I've learned from men, very nice men who've taken the time to help out a woman they don't know from Adam--uh, well, you get the idea. None of them were HNGs, I can't imagine any of them would say I was an HNG (or worse), some of them are now friends.

And you're right, probably 95-99% of the Linux leadership is male. For some women, that's a little intimidating. Are they right to be intimidated? Doesn't matter, they just are (as you say, none of us is wrong for our perceptions). It's their job to get over it, but sometimes being in a group that's more (not even exclusively) female for a while helps them get to that point. I don't much care for exclusive groups myself; even the women web entrepreneurs group I mentioned in another message has a few male members--it's really for parents who are in business and it just happens that mostly women subscribe. Heck, even the moms list I'm part of has a couple of dads on it.

One reason a woman might (just MIGHT) have written that cover story other than meddling: Often some men feel more comfortable talking about personal stuff with women than with other men. Perhaps that was the case. Perhaps not. (I didn't see the story.) I for one WANT to hear from men about men. As time goes on and I get better at listening and men get better at talking (and listening), I hear more and more.

Keep talking, Dave. I'm listening.

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