I had to go back and find this original post (or was there more that I
missed? ... not watching this list so closely at the moment), to see
what the fuzz was all about.
My 2 cents:
The picture per se is not so much the problem, I think, the alternative
picture suggested (jokingly?) by the person using as nickname
would be problematic. But more importantly, I get the impression (from
his remark about the angry wife) that the person using as
nickname in the IRC has a serious problem with his wife, and respect
towards her, and maybe women in general, and I can't escape the
impression that his marriage is suffering from it. But alas, there's
only so much you can interpret into a short chat history that you
didn't partake in.
As for the remarks concerning portraying women in burka's or not...
(somewhere in the discussion) I read this book by a Dutch author Joris
Luyendijk, who had been to Egypt to learn more about the culture there,
specifically the muslim culture. One of the most striking things I
found the rationale about the restrictions in women's wear, which I
found to be more degenerative towards men than women. The rationale
seems to be that men cannot control themselves, and therefor need to be
protected from seductions. In this I interpret that they consider men to
have less self control than women...
Of course, Western society is totally exploiting sex and sexuality for
advertising purposes, and this is quite problematic as it causes
problems in terms of self-image and media-imposed role-models - of
which both men and women are victims.
Both music and free, open source software communities are IMHO both
fields, where a countermovement against mass-media practices can take
place and can have an impact, so please let's not waste this
opportunity to do so. (in that sense, one should consider whether
taking an image from popular culture is the right thing to do for a
Sexism in informatics/engineering does occur; most worryingly reflected
in the difference in payment between men and women for the same job.
I've heard stories of couples graduating from the same university
course of computer science, where the man got hired at a larger start
salary than the woman, even though she did better in university (as
reflected in her grades) - statistics reflect this story on a much
larger scale. This is where the real problem lies.
Personally, I've had both good and bad experiences; I've lead a team of
wonderful programmers to work on the WFS system in Berlin, but I've also
encountered some situations where I had to drop a few technical terms
before I was taken seriously by a fellow programmer. I've also had many
situations where I was fixing the hardcore techy stuff, which the men
involved in the project weren't able to figure out.
I'm still wondering whether positive discrimination is a good or a bad
thing - it does feel strange sometimes.
To shift the balance:
- to those of you raising kids, make sure that you don't impose a
specifically male of female role model onto your kid. If a boy wants
to learn to sow, let him; if a girl wants the electronics kit, give
it to her (I sure had lots of fun with it).
- in teaching, give equal kind of attention to any person you teach. As
a teacher you should try and get the best out of any person
regardless of gender.
- in general, be respectful to any kind of person, and try not to
generalise people based on gender, sexuality, social class, race,
or whatever. :)
Anyway, as I've mentioned before to the lads at the LAC, I've found it
a pleasant enough company to be around in; see you at the next one!
I've got to get back to work now ;)
On Sun, 10 Feb 2013 18:51:09 +0100
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