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Causes of Sexism in the IT World?

It’s not 100% certain, but it’s 99% certain I’ll be attending a one week boot camp for python programmers between January 8 and January 12. It’s called Pycamp Houston. Here’s the upcoming.org event announcement.

I found a good python blogger. Phillip J. Eby. Here’s his python blog and his lifehacks/self-improvement blog. Looks like he’s compiled some of his lifehacks/self-improvement essays into a book.

Here’s Eby with a provocative essay on women in the IT industry. He’s responding to an anecdote of a clueless developer who includes an offcolor script in a business presentation.

Sure, displaying porn in the workplace isn’t right or sensible, outside the relevant industries. But that’s got nothing to do with women! It’s merely a matter of good taste and common sense. Diversity in religious opinions regarding sexuality, as well as individual sexual preferences, means it’s just plain respectful not to pin up your favorite nudes at the office or use them in a slideshow. Not because it might “offend women”, but because your coworkers might be of a different sex preference or religion than you, regardless of their gender, and because the material isn’t work-related to begin with. (Unless of course, it is.)

Then, a nice postscript:

Does anybody know why it’s supposed to be so gosh-darn important to have more women in IT? I mean, does anybody in medicine practice this sort of hand-wringing about why there are so few men in the nursing profession, and what should be done about it? Isn’t this merely a matter of personal preference? When women in the porn industry didn’t like how things were being done, they set up their own businesses and conferences and competed. Is there something that stops women in IT from doing the same?

I mean, if changing the nature of a profession to make it more gender-accommodating is such a good idea, perhaps it would be better to spend time campaigning for better pay and working conditions for male actors working in heterosexual porn. They work longer hours for considerably less pay than their female counterparts, despite having more demanding jobs! Clearly, something must be done so that more men can participate in this important industry, because they obviously need protection in this exploitative, female-biased business!

Here’s his solution:

The real problems are:

1. Women don’t apply for the jobs,
2. When they do, they aren’t hired (or at least not for the best positions), and
3. When they are hired, they’re sometimes driven out by having to deal with a**holes of whatever variety

The way you fix problem #3, however, is by not hiring a**holes. Not by trying to teach them Social Skills 101 (like “don’t use porn in a slideshow, a**hole”).

I stumbled upon this post from planetplone, an aggregator for several plone-related blogs. I love these little aggregators. Metuxcafe . It’s always fun with these “planet blogs” slip into personal meanderings or things totally unrelated to the ostensible subject of the aggregating site.

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