On 11/02/13 11:16, Louis wrote:
I don't think it is the maths that is the factor here ... going by numbers
described below the electronics is what is of least interest most teenage women.
I've spent many years in the technical side of theatre and performance and I've
worked with very many women who are very interested and skilled in the field,
but at the moment I'm doing an undergrad degree in maths and computing (though
I'm almost 3 times the age of most of my fellow students).
The gender balance in the various classes is very clear, though of course just a
sample from a single institution. The really small numbers of female students is
striking. The classes with most women are the highest level pure maths (about
35%), next comes the other maths, then the computing classes with maybe 10%,
then the electronics and digital logic a long last with only a handful of women
in first year classes of 150 to 200.
Both the final year pure maths units I've taken so far were taught by women, and
several of the computing units, and though there are more men on staff than
women the numbers are much less biased than the student numbers. The high school
results here show women consistently doing better than men in maths.
So given the above it does not seem to be the maths component that is the
significant one ... but there is certainly something that has led very few
teenage women to choose studying computing and especially the embedded
electronics side as the way to spend their next few years. Most of the women on
the computing staff are senior staff members, the younger staff are mostly men
... so this problem may be getting worse with so few very young women interested
in spending time in the field.
I suspect it has a lot more to do with what is considered cool or fashionable by
teenage boys compared to what is considered that way by teenage girls, and that
probably has a lot to do with the way gender and identity is presented in the
media, entertainment and cultural sources that are read/watched/listened to by
So in regards to this thread is Linux Audio better served by presenting a face
that fits with the current fashionable images, or is it better served by
actively rejecting current fashion and consciously presenting stereotypes that
we think are better and more moral, and that musicians SHOULD be portraying?
Should we be broadening our appeal to include more fashion conscious young
people, or should we be something different, something outside the mainstream
and take a more didactic stance against fashions we dislike and find
inappropriate. But what could "we" mean anyway!
The image in question is, I believe, from the on-stage presence of a group that
projects the animated image as the lead singer with a synthesised voice. There
is a lot of music out there which does not conform to my idea of a good thing,
but I certainly don't want to keep it out of Linux because it does not have what
I consider a pure and correct line. You may dislike the artists for their
choices and reject their music as performed, you may also think that such a
group is wrong-headed and should be removed from distributions due to their bad
message and inappropriate social stereotyping. But you would be excluding a hell
of a lot of music, musicians and audiences from Linux if you followed that line
Even so, apart from your strong personal dislike of their message, their image
(which takes a few seconds to swap for your preferred wallpaper) and presumably
their music they are still quite relevant to a computer music distribution ...
they make fairly interesting and popular use of music and audio technology, and
they appeal to a much younger audience than most of this list. In the context of
this thread it would be interested to know whether the character/group has more
male or female fans.
Linux-audio-user mailing list