Reply to post: Re: Memo is factually incorrect

Your top five dreadful people the Google manifesto has pulled out of the woodwork

JcRabbit

Re: Memo is factually incorrect

DanielBarker -

> I'm sure Swedes do not choose their education and jobs in a social vacuum, any more than anyone else.

How is that even relevant? Women are *freely* making their own choices on a society that actually *encourages* them to choose careers typically associated with men. And still they don't.

Does it really matter if the reason why is biological or cultural?

> in World War 2 [...] digital computing began largely female

The war effort is what opened the gates for women to join the work force, because most men were busy fighting in that war (and dying). So women did the work, men did the dying. Fair enough?

> Neither the biology of men and women, nor even computing, have changed much during this short period.

I'm not sure how you can say that computing hasn't changed much since the 40's. Anyone who has been involved with computers, or knows the history of computers, knows that is absolutely not true - computing was, back then, VERY different than what it is today.

To start with, computers used whole rooms and in those days programs were entered using punched cards up until the mid-70's. Unlike today, there was a VERY clear distinction between analysts, programmers and computer operators. Analysts did the flowcharts, programmers converted them into sets of instructions, and operators punched in the cards via a keyboard. Operators were therefore not much more than 'glorified typists'', in an era were being a secretary (i.e.; typing letters) was considered a woman's job. These women were called the "keypunch girls".

Furthermore, computers weren't very powerful back then - a typical pocket calculator these days has exponentially more computing power than mainframe computers of the era. Programs then were thus necessarily very simple and short, because they wouldn't even fit in the extremely limited mainframe memory otherwise (we're talking 1 KB *total* RAM).

With the development of computers, the jobs of analysts, programmers and operators essentially merged. These days you do your own programs and also type them in via a keyboard. With more powerful computers, programs became ever more complex, requiring extensive use of logic and math skills.

There was a time in the late 70's were many women flocked to computer sciences, and in 1984 the women earning computer science degrees reached it's peak: 37%. In the next two decades, women left computer science in droves, their numbers dropping to 20% by 2006. This shows that women with aptitude for computer sciences are out there, they're just not choosing computer science.

It's not that they are not capable, it's just that they prefer doing other stuff. Pretty much the same way most men are also perfectly capable of doing jobs typically dominated by women but simply prefer to do other things (are we going to blame women for this choice, the same way feminists blame men when the shoe is on the other foot?).

Capabilities aside, the fact is that women and men have different preferences, and this is in no way a bad thing. This simply means that men and women *complement* each other.

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