Culture is the wallpaper of human interaction.
You have to come from a different room or be concentrating hard to see it.
I would like to highlight the perhaps unintentional sexism in this post.
See #11 in http://notapattern.net/2014/10/14/ways-men-in-tech-are-unintentionally-sexist/ which is currently on the front page of lobsters: Repeating generalizations about gender essentialism.
and then consider this end of Uncle Bob’s post in that light:
“Several years ago I sat at a bar with Desi McAdam (@desi) who was a co-founder of DevChix. I told her that when I get a program to work, I feel like I’ve slain the beast and I’m bringing home meat. She responded by saying that she felt that she had nurtured something into being.
I love that story because it’s a celebration of the wonderful difference between men and women; a difference I think we need and should cherish. I have told that story several times to several audiences. It always elicits a laugh. Why? What’s funny about it? Is it funny because it’s resonates so well with common experience? Is it funny because it’s an instance of a common stereotype? And is it funny to the women in the audience; or is the laughter I hear just the laughter of men in a male dominated room."
I think his concluding sentence implies he’s questioning the gender essentialism of that story. That’s progress.
Though, I could see an interpretation where he’s questioning why people are laughing. Regardless, coming to that point is also progress.
That stood out to me and I’m a guy who isn’t perfectly attuned to such things. Surprised it flew under the author’s radar. :\
Someone on the Internet:
Throughout time, many sailors have spoken of their ships as female because at sea they depended on the vessel for life as a child depends on his mother.
I had a moment in my life when, despite being a 26 years old adult, I have felt so insecure, so hurt, that only the knowledge of infinite love of my mother gave me hope that everything will be fine. I have actually uttered that “I want my mammy.” and meant it.
If I were to name a ship that would carry me into sea or space, it would be named after her.
Rest of the article I agree with.
All I see is people getting offended too easily.
Seriously? A joke about Grace Hopper is hurting women? Then all the jokes about Silvio Berlusconi should have made my whole country go extinct!
I’m not saying jokes can’t hurt people, but it can’t be that any times you mention “women” you get marked as a misogynist.
The thing about jokes like that is that they work along with a culture that works better for one group of people than another. If we lived in a perfect world, a joke about Grace Hopper would be the same as a joke about Donald Knuth, but we live in a world where women in tech are a minority and have to deal with not just that joke, but an entire culture that’s built for men.
If I have a friend who’s financially stable and a friend who’s broke and I need to borrow money for a cab from one of them, even though it’s the same action, the circumstances of the person who it effects make it extremely different. The same thing happens with jokes about Silvio Berlusconi vs. jokes about Grace Hopper: No one thinks it’s unusual for a man to be a politician, no one’s inspired by a man who dares to work in politics despite a hostile climate, and one man in politics isn’t seen as representative of all men in politics, so a joke at the expense of a man is much less harmful than a joke at the expense of a woman.
This is the best description of why these jokes can be a problem that I’ve ever read. Good analogy!
As I said, Culture is the wallpaper of human interaction….
The room is nicer if the wallpaper isn’t grimy.
As far as I can tell.. I don’t have an accent.
New Zealander’s would say I have a South African accent.
You would probably say I have a New Zealand accent.
To you, your work place doesn’t have a culture… you can’t hear it, it is just part of the environment like the carpet.
However, if it is implicitly part of your workplace culture that it is superior… to a person from another culture, your workplace culture is painfully obvious and reeks.
If Jokes don’t hurt, the solution is simple…. only make them about yourself.
If the point of a Joke is to hurt, you better be sure the butt of them is deserving of hurt and you fully intend to hurt them.
I think the Planet Money podcast episode ( Planet Money: “When women stopped coding” ) that Bob Martin started his piece with is really worth a listen. They investigate why women left the field in the 80’s, and actually talk to a few women who were good fits for CS, but changed their major because of the male oriented culture that made them feel unwelcome.
One joke about Grace Hopper’s hat might not drive someone away on its own, but it will certainly add to the pile of things that might eventually make you decide you’re more comfortable working in statistics or physics or whatever, instead of computer science.
Searching “italy gender equality” certainly doesn’t paint a pretty picture.
Uncle Bob, you, and I are not misogynists. But our shared culture is misogynistic.
It doesn’t? We don’t get it perfectly, but it’s not that bad either, I googled it up just like you did and I got things like
“The gender pay gap is one of the lowest in the EU (5.8%) and this accounts for the lack of interest for this issue.” or this.