Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 28th May 2012 19:25 UTC
In the News This topic comes up quite a lot on technology websites, but I generally try to steer clear from it as much as possible, since I'm not the one to talk about it (you know, with me being a man and all that), however, I feel it might be a good idea to just get my opinion out there and be done with it. The topic of women in IT is a hot-button issue, so let me just go out guns blazing: assuming women need special treatment, help, protection, and affirmative action is just as insulting and degrading as outright claiming women have no place in IT - maybe even more so.
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kwan_e
Member since:
2007-02-18

What these programs show is that women can be successful... as long as they get special help.


What, and us males don't get special help by the prevalence of precognitive bias for males in technical roles?

I don't know about you, but I don't feel threatened by correcting for precognitive bias against women.

Reply Parent Score: 3

Dave_K Member since:
2005-11-16

I don't know about you, but I don't feel threatened by correcting for precognitive bias against women.


I'd question whether that's all affirmative action is designed to do. Its proponents often go much further than that, for example pushing for quota systems intended to manufacture equality of outcome.

In addition, I think that crudely attempting to balance things by providing advantages to women could reinforce any biases. You can say that it's just making things fairer, but it certainly makes it look like women can't succeed without special treatment. When women are employed in preference to more experienced and qualified men it's bound to create resentment too.

Reply Parent Score: 2

kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

"I don't know about you, but I don't feel threatened by correcting for precognitive bias against women.


I'd question whether that's all affirmative action is designed to do. Its proponents often go much further than that, for example pushing for quota systems intended to manufacture equality of outcome.
"

Sure. But affirmative action opponents are in dangerous territory when they implicitly assert there isn't even any precognitive bias, or even postcognitive bias, as a reason to get rid of it. Improve it by all means, but to even reject it I think is crazy.

In addition, I think that crudely attempting to balance things by providing advantages to women could reinforce any biases. You can say that it's just making things fairer, but it certainly makes it look like women can't succeed without special treatment. When women are employed in preference to more experienced and qualified men it's bound to create resentment too.


In my experience reading these kinds of discussions here, on Slashdot, on entertainment "news" and such-like, the only people to whom it would seem that affirmative action equates to women (or blacks or gays) not being able to succeed without special treatment are those who ignore the facts and have some bias against women (or blacks or gays) in the first place.

Hey, a great number of men get hired over more experienced or qualified men too. We should address the problems of nepotism and favouritism, but they are orthogonal to gender affirmative action.

And if someone resents another person being hired or promoted above them and jumps to the conclusion that it's "reverse sexism", I question their ability to think logically. A lot of male techies like to think they're logical and factual, but they often end up using their own very narrow view of the world as though it were representative of everywhere.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Kivada Member since:
2010-07-07


I'd question whether that's all affirmative action is designed to do. Its proponents often go much further than that, for example pushing for quota systems intended to manufacture equality of outcome.

The quotas are in place because of the basics of human psychology, nobody wants to be the only one at the party, it's like calling up someone and saying "Hey, we're having a party, but not allot of people are showing up, wanna come?"

If you say there are no women in IT, then no girls will want to go into IT.

It's sad to see that something so basic as this even has to be discussed in a profession with such a high education level, as you wold believe people with this level of intellect would be able to see this plain as day.

Reply Parent Score: 2

rr7.num7 Member since:
2010-04-30

What, and us males don't get special help by the prevalence of precognitive bias for males in technical roles?

I don't know about you, but I don't feel threatened by correcting for precognitive bias against women.


"Us"? I don't know about you, but I've always worked very hard, even in my free time, to be good at what I do. I've never felt like I was underqualified for any job I've had, so I don't have any reason to believe that I've received special help. If I knew there's someone better suited than me for a job, but I'm getting it because of someone doing me a favour, I would reject it. And I don't want to sound arrogant, but I've never felt threatened by anyone, male or female. That's one of the good sides of being semi-obsessed with your career, I guess.

My problem with affirmative action is exactly what Thom (and others) already said. That's all. It doesn't have anything to do with the fact that I am not a woman. I do have a sister, nieces, and maybe I'll have a daughter one day, so, I'd have to be very stupid, selfish and short-sighted to oppose to it just because it made me feel "threatened", or because it doesn't directly benefit myself. Every time I read or hear something along the lines of "oh, you just say it because you are not a woman/black/whatever", it makes me feel like I'm back in elementary school. I'm better than that, and I hope you're too. For instance, I don't like tattoos or piercings, but I really, really hate it when tattooed/pierced people get discriminated. And, of course, I would be against banning tattoo shops, and against affirmative action too.

Reply Parent Score: 2