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Sexism in Tech Not a Problem Because of Coal Mining, Redditor Suggests

Women: Easily confused by technology
Before Facebook, Women Used Computers Only for Weaving

Over on the Men’s Rights subreddit, elegantchorus has provided the definitive mansplaination as to why the apparent sexism in the tech world isn’t really sexism.

He starts by addressing one recent controversy: the lack of any female presenters at a press event for Sony’s Playstation 4. Sexism — or just the whimsical finger of  fate?

Sony not having female presenters at its console announcement because Sony doesn’t have any female executives, MIGHT be sexist, but its more just coincidence … .

What a strange coincidence that is! Sort of like, I don’t know if you’ve ever noticed this, but all the popes so far have been men. Weird! What are the odds? Anyway:

[T]here is certainly great examples of women in leading positions in important tech companies. Marissa Mayer of Yahoo comes immediately to mind.

That certainly is great examples!

Yet people spent a lot of time talking about how sexist the Sony conference was, while giving relatively few props to women who have actually succeeded, I actually think that’s more sexist than anything the IT industry can conjure.

Yeah. I mean, Kotaku ran an actual article about that Sony thing. Yet where — WHERE!!!? — are the articles about Marissa Mayer, or about that Sheryl chick from Facebook. What’s her last name?

sherylsan

Sheryl Sandberg! That’s right. I wonder how Google knew that. I mean, it’s not like she gets much press coverage. Oh well. Kudos to the male programmers at Google for figuring out which Sheryl I meant!

Anyway, enough with the discussions of actual women in tech. Elegantchorus moves on to the truly important question to deal with when we talk about women in the tech world, which is: where are all the lady coal miners?

The complaints about apparent inequality are always directed towards jobs like Computer Science and Engineering but never towards something like Coal Mining.

You’ve got to admit he’s got a point there. I mean, why are these selfish ladies all worked up about being excluded from high-paying jobs that involve sitting on your butt in front of a computer in a nice office instead of the really dangerous ones that take place deep underground? Why are women more interested in good jobs than in not-so-good jobs?!

It’s quite the GOTCHA moment. I mean, feminists NEVER EVER talk about getting more women into mining, except, you know, when they do.  And it’s quite telling that there are ZERO organizations devoted to expanding the number of women in the mining industry except for, you know, the Women’s Mining Coalition and Women in Mining International, and maybe others, I don’t know, which obviously don’t count because of reasons.

Why aren’t there more Coal Mining women? Is the coal mining industry inherently sexist? If you can’t take that question seriously, why should I take the concern about the IT industry seriously?

Seriously, what a ridiculous notion! Sexism … in the mining industry? Pshaw! Women have always been welcomed into the mines with open arms — and some good-natured ribbing! Consider this amusing anecdote I found on the Internet.

The women who broke ground as coal miners faced discriminatory hiring practices from the owners as well as sexual harassment from men who felt threatened by the demands of the women to be treated as human beings, equal in every way. Barbara Angle, a mining woman, said, “There were three women and 300 men in my mine. They used to ‘joke’ with me. “Hey, just set up a cot at the pit mouth and you’ll make more each shift than if you mine.”

It’s funny because women are really only useful as vagina suppliers to men!

Meanwhile, I’d like to add, while feminists sit on their butts and don’t do anything about the lack of women in mining, except organizing and filing lawsuits and all that, bold and courageous Men’s Rights activists have been active indeed in trying to increase the number of men in glamorous female-dominated professions like, you know, housekeeping. Selfish ladies, bogarting 89% of the housekeeping jobs! And 97% of the secretary jobs!

You may recall the chants that filled the air at last year’s Men For Crappy-Paying Lady Jobs rally* in Washington DC.

What do we want?

To be secretaries!

When do we want it?

Right before your 11 o’clock appointment, sir!

And besides, though elegantchorus doesn’t get into this, women are simply not biologically suited for high-paying jobs in tech, just as men are biologically incapable of taking jobs as dental hygienists.

As a Redditor named lbzip2 explained in a comment posted in the thread, women

lack the necessary attention to detail. They are simply not interested in it. Guess what, they have no place here, just like I could never be a historian or translator or lawyer or doctor, because I hate meeting new people. I’m not “enforcing” this or some shit like that, I simply accept that most girls are like this for whatever reason and I’m not trying to force them into IT.

As for those ladies who for some crazy reason actually want to work in the tech world, lbzip2 offers nothing but respect, and the occasional sexist joke:

I treat my female coworkers with respect, I politely discuss technical stuff with them if they feel like. I do make sexist jokes if I was able to get to know them sufficiently before, like any healthy male. They mostly laugh and if they don’t, I apologize and tune it down.

They mostly laugh!! So obviously the sexist jokes are fine, and probably not even sexist. Did you hear the one about the lady miner and the cot?

Yet some ladies bizarrely think that the deck is stacked against them in tech:

“Missing out on best career opportunities?” Well, concentrate on the fucking task at hand, not irrelevant details. Suppose I’d like to work in a fuckin’ bakery but hate that the clothes are white (which doesn’t mean in the least that they are clean). So who will start a crusade for me? If the circumstances of your otherwise coveted dream-job are accidental, try to change them. If they are intrinsic, live with them or leave.

Oh, and speaking of things that are stacked:

In my college class we had this beautiful girl with huge boobs. She was smarter than any guy in the whole class. Did we envy her? Did we hate her? Hell no. We respected her and we constantly tried to bring her in discussions for her insights. Did we talk about her body among ourselves? Hell yes, we’re no monks!

Boobs.

Boobs boobs boobs.

Booooooobs.

Oh, sorry.

Anyway, all you gals  who don’t like sexist jokes at tech conferences, consider this: lbzip2 doesn’t like to travel!

Women consider sexist jokes repugnant in conference presentations? Well, I don’t go to no fucking conference, because I hate to travel, I hate to spend money, I hate the crowd.

Q.E. fuckin D! Male logic defeats weird lady feeeelings once again!

So, in conclusion, ladies don’t belong in the tech world, and there’s nothing whatsoever sexist about that.  Also boobs.

*The Men For Crappy-Paying Lady Jobs rally is imaginary. The chant is real, though, in that I said it out loud a couple of times to my cats.

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Uncle Elmer
Uncle Elmer
7 years ago

Howard, punchcards were the major conceptual leap of the 19th century and the first true instance of machine programming. Look up Jacquard.

hellkell
hellkell
7 years ago

Don’t read the comments–same shit, different day.

Howard Bannister
7 years ago

The goalposts shift! Now it’s how great they were, not that we were stuck with them if only women were programming. And, hmm, the history of punchcards, let me think, no women in there, right?

*sigh*

You know we can read what you said the first time, right?

Bagelsan
Bagelsan
7 years ago

Ah yes, the punchcards perfected by men. Truly the first and last word in programming. XD

hellkell
hellkell
7 years ago

Elmer, go away. You’ve come to this battle of smarts completely unarmed except for your confirmation bias.

I’d ask you for citations to your nonsense, but I fear you don’t know what those are.

hellkell
hellkell
7 years ago

Elmer’s so cute when he scrambles.

Howard Bannister
7 years ago

Uncle Elmer is disingenuous at the best of times. His hands wave and flail to try to form computing as an all-boys-all-the-time club.

When the truth was that even in times when these things were considered the unique and sole province of men–when women were kept out by a sexist society that was strict and stringent–even then there were women up to their eyeballs in it.

BUT THEY HUNTED THE MAMMOTH FOR YOU YEEEEEAAAAAARRRRGGGGGHHHHH

Creative Writing Student

Isn’t it the case with programming technologies (and their predecessors) that the people who use them refine them to make the work simpler, easier, and more efficient? Which means that the women who used punchcards and early programming did a hell of a lot of the unsung work to make these technologies viable and evolving.

Bagelsan
Bagelsan
7 years ago

YEEEEEAAAAAARRRRGGGGGHHHHH

I definitely read that as, like, the Zerg attack noise… appropriate. :p

Bagelsan
Bagelsan
7 years ago

Elmer, go away. You’ve come to this battle of smarts completely unarmed except for your confirmation bias.

He brought a feather bed to a nuke fight.

emilygoddess
emilygoddess
7 years ago

If the circumstances of your otherwise coveted dream-job are accidental, try to change them.

Unless you’re trying to change the sexism, of course.

@Buttman

The easy jobs go to women – the cashier and such. The MEN do the heavy lifting and backbreaking work.

You’re welcome to come and try my job sometime.

What is it you do for a living, anyway?

You can’t get men involved in any childcare because of paedohysteria.

Your repeated harping on “paedohysteria” and how it afflicts the poor men may not be conveying the image you want to convey…

@SpaceCat

It’s not limited to housekeeping. Teaching/childcare; retail; food service are all female dominated and all have higher rates of injury than, say, mining.

Yup, I got an RSI (my neck/shoulder) baking for a bagel shop. Was a year and a half before I was cleared to work again, two before it stopped hurting every day, and even now, three years later, it still gives me trouble with frustrating regularity.

On the plus side, benefits like workers’ comp have renewed my support for the labor movement and all it’s done for American workers (and still has yet to do).

Howard Bannister
7 years ago

On the plus side, benefits like workers’ comp have renewed my support for the labor movement and all it’s done for American workers (and still has yet to do).

PREACH IT!

Ahem. Yeah. Without unions my dad would have been totally screwed after the medical incident he had no control over. And he’s damn good at his job. As it was he ended up in medical debt so deep he was barely able to make it through. He’s still way behind because of it.

emilygoddess
emilygoddess
7 years ago

@Nopestories, why u so mad tho?

cloudiah
7 years ago

Yonkers, I made nopestories so mad zie created a fake blog and a cartoon about it.

cloudiah: Pissing off “edgy” ableist asshats on Man Boobz since 2012. 😀

cloudiah
7 years ago

Also, raising fist in the air and singing labor songs with Howard and emilygoddess. Now I am off to go birding with my sister, who is visiting from CT. Have fun with Uncle Elmer!

emilygoddess
emilygoddess
7 years ago

Here’s my choral group performing at the 100th anniversary of the Bread and Roses strike in Lawrence last year. The full show was super cool, a combination of singing, narration, and interjections by Occupy Boston and local unions. This song is one of the chorus’ oldies, and the main reason I joined.

http://youtu.be/Dcv2tb1Uc44

(The Yiddish, “makhnes geyen”, means “the masses are marching”)

emilygoddess
emilygoddess
7 years ago

We also did a really cool remix of The Internationale/Di Shvue/Which Side Are You On. I know I have audio; lemme see if I can find some video…

Bad_dog
Bad_dog
7 years ago

Miners / drillers/ riggers are paid very well here (North American perspective, I cannot speak for some other countries, although I highly doubt the conditions of workers in developing nations are of any concern to bigoted assholes). These are demanding jobs, but they are well compensated for the risks involved. Now, my friends (men and women) who work in warehouses, kitchens, gas stations, etc I would argue work just as hard for less than half the pay, no benefits and no healthcare. Stop using mining as a shitty example of man slaves… It just isn’t like that. Mining is a pretty damn coveted career here. Geologist rant over now…

Shaenon
7 years ago

One of my college’s claims to fame is that the term “computer bug” was supposedly popularized there. It was an all-women’s college at the time.

I’ve posted this before, but this article on the history of UNIVAC goes into some of the bullshit that female programmers faced when big business started getting into computers, replacing the academic and military cultures that had ruled computer science until then.

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2011/09/univac-the-troubled-life-of-americas-first-computer/

In a nutshell: the Remington Typewriter Company bought UNIVAC, the first supercomputer, and was very successful at marketing its technology to the public. But Remington executives were so obnoxious to head programmer Grace Hopper and the other women on the UNIVAC team that they jumped ship en masse for rival IBM. And that’s why you’re not reading this on a Remington computer.

Shaenon
7 years ago

Miners in many parts of the US are paid and treated badly, because the local mining companies broke the unions decades ago and have been running roughshod over the workers ever since. Usually they’re in economically depressed areas where the miners have no alternative for work. It’s a serious problem, but it’s a workers’ rights issue, not a sex discrimination issue.

Bad_dog
Bad_dog
7 years ago

Thanks for follow up shaenon. In Canada here and things are pretty good for miners, but again I have little experience elsewhere. There are plentiful workers rights issues and if some of the bigoted jerks we see here would develop some perspective and recognize that they could help a lot of men (and women) and actually make real positive change… Instead of just blaming women for… Well everything wrong in the universe

Argenti Aertheri
7 years ago

Not caught up here but “I dunno if you picked up on it Argenti, but what ze said, in addition to being a shit comeback was also totally ableist in and of itself.”

…oh, that’s why “downy” was attached to your standard fare [shit] dot tumblr dot come. Did I mention that I’m oblivious sometimes?

reginaldgriswold — congrats!!

lightcastle
lightcastle
7 years ago

@freemage and kitteh re: the social science sociopath thing.

My dad has an expression, “Something that is rational is not always reasonable.” (The nuance works a bit better in French, but I think it still carries.)

As a scientist, it’s sort of his reminder to himself against that exact problem you’re observing that you can abstract it completely away from real-person impact.

Deoridhe
7 years ago

You guys rock! I brought up the women in computers point last night in a discussion and had to backtrack because I didn’t have the cites. Now I have pages for emailing – go me!

Well, go you, really.

Also, ableism is bad, mmmmmmkay?

Bagelsan
Bagelsan
7 years ago

One thing I like about biology is that, when seeking grant money, etc., you always have to talk about how your research will benefit people. Sometimes it’s a total stretch (glowing mice will be cool cure cancer) but at least it keeps you thinking about the important stuff.

reginaldgriswold
reginaldgriswold
7 years ago

Thanks, Argenti Aertheri.It’s really heartening to get something funded. I’ve experienced first-hand the types of erasure Uncle Elmer et al. peddle, and a not-insubstantial part of the grant was about working with elementary-aged girls and programming. People like Elmer can’t keep women out of the clubhouse forever.

lightcastle
lightcastle
7 years ago

@Bagelsan – True, it is easier in the life sciences. But my dad was a neurobiologist, and he can still list you LOTS of crappy behaviour by people speaking in the abstract. 🙂

Marie
7 years ago

@argenti aertheri

Until reading David’s commentary I was questioning how, even by idiot standards, she could make more by simply sleeping, didn’t even occur to me that the cot here was not the sort for taking a nap but rather a “joke” about getting paid for sex.

Why yes, I am oblivious, thanks for asking >.<

I’m oblivious too. If it’s of any consolation, I assumed the cot was just supposed to catch rocks or something… I kind of took it way too literally. *blushes*

@reginaldgriswold

Not to hijack the convo, but on the topic of women in tech/”male” fields…

I JUST GOT A HUGE COMPUTATIONAL GRANT FUNDED!

…and back to work.

Yay! Congrats! 😀

@nitram

David, you always have the perfect image and hilarious caption to go with your posts! I don’t have anything substantial to contribute, just wanted to give you props.

Agreement! 😀 I just normally forget to comment on the pics cuz I see them first and then I get other comments in my mind.

@nopestories

But there is no point, i already argued this on /pol/ and /new/, white men will not even admit africans invented the piano. (mbira)

I…I can never tell what your trying to say, since you seem to be just boring ableist troll, but I think a lot of things have been invented by Africans (in different cultures, Africa is not a monolith) besides piano, so it seemed random to me. /ramble

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
7 years ago

there is no point

First totally true thing that nope has said.

Katelisa
Katelisa
7 years ago

I’m in Northern Sweden, and here miners are DEFINITELY well paid. I have a five-years-at-university-degree type of job, and I will never make as much as the people in the mining industry.

Also, the pay in my profession has steadily declined as the percentage of women has grown.

I do wish I had the miners union instead of my own. Mine are weak and has the employers running roughshod over them in every single negotiation.

lightcastle
lightcastle
7 years ago

Also, the pay in my profession has steadily declined as the percentage of women has grown.

That seems to be the general pattern.

katz
7 years ago

One thing I like about biology is that, when seeking grant money, etc., you always have to talk about how your research will benefit people. Sometimes it’s a total stretch (glowing mice will be cool cure cancer) but at least it keeps you thinking about the important stuff.

Why not go with “glowing mice will help pet owners avoid stepping on them in the dark?” (JK, I know they only glow under UV!)

I did PChem and the biologists always wanted to know what good it was determining the intrinsic volumes of nickel complexes.

Uncle Elmer
Uncle Elmer
7 years ago

“He brought a feather bed to a nuke fight.”

Actually I bish slapped all of you. Amateurs.

hellkell
hellkell
7 years ago

Elmer, if that’s your best “bitch slap,” I’d hate to see your worst. Stop bringing knives to gunfights, shitwit.

The Kittehs' Unpaid Help

Maybe Elmer meant fish slap. Though if that’s the case, he’s definitely Michael Palin and not John Cleese.

http://youtu.be/IhJQp-q1Y1s

joanimal
joanimal
7 years ago

One thing (among many) I do not understand is even if the trolls were correct (and they are not) and men invented programming, that does not prove or even imply superiority. Are Italians better than the English because the Romans conquered England? The whole argument is stupid…in addition to being wrong.

Bagelsan
Bagelsan
7 years ago

He “bish” slapped us? Does that mean he slapped us with pretty anime men? :p

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
7 years ago

Aw, Uncle Elmer’s magical thinking is so cute. Keep trying to create your own reality through visualization, dude, I’m sure it will all work out some day.

Argenti Aertheri
7 years ago

Bagelsan — Bisho slapped works for me. Well, certain bisho characters anyways.

My vote’s on the fish dance though.

The Kittehs' Unpaid Help

“Are Italians better than the English because the Romans conquered England? ”

What have the Romans done for us?

Argenti Aertheri
7 years ago

Kitteh — a whole bunch of shit we’ve lost over time…you know the radiant heating craze? Yeah, Rome had under floor heating, found it in Pompeii. I guess volcano heat makes for toasty feet.

More practically, enjoying Easter? Or would explaining that be too crass… Ah well, the crucifixion story is Roman soldiers. (And the eggs and bunnies? Rome really loved stealing pagan religions, they’re hold overs from fertility rites.)

katz
7 years ago

Argenti, she’s just quoting the Pythons 🙂

Argenti Aertheri
7 years ago

Oh…well I still rank Saturnalia among Best. Holidays. Ever. (Romans sure knew how to party!)

joanimal
joanimal
7 years ago

What have the Romans done for us?

Well, they invented Latin instruction: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IIAdHEwiAy8

The Kittehs' Unpaid Help

joanimal, that’s my favourite scene from that film!

http://youtu.be/IIAdHEwiAy8

pecunium
7 years ago

Elmer: Actually I bish slapped all of you.

Amateur indeed.

Uncle Elmer
Uncle Elmer
7 years ago

Bish : a cross between a fish and a bicycle.

cloudiah
7 years ago

Uncle Elmer, I know that counts as humor where you come from, but we have much higher standards here.

cloudiah
7 years ago

Especially since a cross between a fish and a bicycle is a fishsicle. Look, it’s JohntheOtter enjoying a refreshing fishsicle!

The Kittehs' Unpaid Help

Enjoying? JohntheOtter enjoying? Nah, can’t be him.

I was prowling some old Pharyngula threads yesterday and saw that he *cough*challenged*cough* PZ Myers to a debate. Can you imagine the laughage if that ever happened?