What is Broken
Posted Aug 15, 2005 8:09 UTC (Mon) by xoddam
In reply to: What is Broken
Parent article: Getting in touch with the feminine side of open source (NewsForge)
> Furthermore, even the anecdotes you point to often don't describe
> any sexism at all when I read them.
You are looking at mild versus grave expressions of a systemic bias.
The dividing line is very subjective. Since you go so far as to
deny there's a problem at all, I am not surprised that you don't
see sexism where someone is pointing it out explicitly.
> Real instances of sexism do exist, and they deserve to be taken
> seriously. But what you're talking about is something entirely
> different, and quite bluntly, none of your business.
What I'm talking about is a systemic bias, and since I'm a part
of the system of course it's my business.
You acknowledge that there is a bias against women in engineering,
but you say that I have no right to argue against it, because you
know some women who aren't offended by its milder expressions.
I'm not saying everyone ought to be offended by, and to rail against,
the least offensive examples of that bias. I *do* say that it is
possible and desirable to get past the point where one profession or
another is thought of as a man's realm.
> When you weasel around with your definitions and make [trivial
> sexism] sound like [gross sexism], you do a grave disservice to
> the real victims of [gross sexism].
When someone has been actively victimised, certainly she should have
recourse other than to cry 'fix the system'. But that doesn't mean
the system doesn't need fixing, nor that I'm weaselling.
It is my firm opinion that a systemic bias is a bad thing, and that
reducing the bias is the best way to help the large number of real
victims -- whether they're in the personally-victimised minority,
or have merely decided that fighting for recognition isn't worth
the effort and they'll be happier in "feminine" occupations.
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