Politics gets lady bits (sort of) right for once

So, Mike Huckabee recently said something about how women who want birth control can’t control their libido or their reproductive system.

I find this hilarious because he’s spot-on; just not in the way he thinks he is.

I mean, no shit; libido is not a static thing!

Really, how many times have we heard the defense of a rapist (NOTE: I chose my word with care here, because I’m pretty sure I have heard this exact thing heard used in the defense of both male and female rapists) say “I just couldn’t control myself”? Sure, you can’t control who you find attractive. Most people have someone. I had cute teachers in high school. I’ve had crushes. Just because you can control the actions resulting from that—Which, hey, is exactly what most of these women are doing, I’m pretty sure; it’s just that their control results in consensual sex that is far less likely to produce children. Where’s the condemnation of the guys who engage in this? Oh, right, they’re “sowing their wild oats”… which is code for “can’t control their urges”. Forgot about that. My bad… *coughchokeDIE*—doesn’t mean you can control exactly when you’ll find yourself ready to go. Yeah, women are supposed to have that famed “on/off” switch for those *ahem* romantic feelings, but Hollywood lies to us about a lot of things, and I’m pretty sure this is no exception…

To be clear, I believe that men are just as capable as women of controlling their urges. People are, by and large, pretty decent. For some reason, we give the ones that aren’t the most press. Kinda sad if you ask me.

(What I find absolutely hilarious is that I’m watching this little exchange in the 1993 “The Three Musketeers” right now:

Aramis: [teaching female student about the fall from the Garden]

Student: [leans over and kisses him]

Aramis: Madam, I’m flattered, but I am here to tutor you in theology.

Student: Forgive me, Monsieur Aramis, but when you started talking about original sin, I lost control and became impassioned. It won’t happen again; go on.

Aramis: [puts down Bible] Well, there’s nothing… unholy about… expressing one’s emotions. On the contrary, religion should be experienced in an all-embracing way. Feel free to express your spirituality.

Student: Yes, darling. [They start making out]

Husband: [Turning door knob] LET ME IN!

Student: [panicked whisper] My husband!

Aramis: You’re MARRIED?

Student: Yes, I’m married!

Aramis: Oh, we must pray for our sins. [They bow their heads; door bursts open, husband takes a shot at Aramis, who ducks] On second thought, God is often busy… [runs as Student tries to hold off Husband])

As to being unable to control my reproductive system, God, I only wish I could. I can’t just go, “Oh, hey, uterus, my homie; I had a rough go of it last month–think you can tone the cramps down? Actually, all you bits and bobs down there, can we just not do this this month? Actually, can we just not do this until I’m ready to have a baby*? That’d be swell, thanks!” (* Funny story: that’s actually how fertility works in Terre D’Ange in Jacqueline Carrey’s Kushiel series.) Is there some sort of black magic by which men control their bits and bobs? Given the conversations I have had with those of the biologically male persuasion, I’m pretty sure there isn’t…

Oh, right; they can’t actually control it and they’re sowing their wild oats. Anyway… *coughchokeDIEAGAIN*

More seriously, I can sort of see the point he’s making in his other remarks. I don’t agree with it, but I can see how he got his slant on it. The thing is, I don’t feel like a victim when I can make my own choices and when I’m not debilitated by cramps three days a month. (And apparently 3 days is me getting off lucky. Either that, or my friends have some really crappy luck…) I actually feel really empowered. Something about not having to excuse myself from work, especially in an industry that is still largely male-dominated, just makes me feel good. I mean, not that I try to wave banners and announce it to the world, and it’s not like the guys I work with ask or are jerks about me being female. It’s just one of those facts-of-life-that-we-just-really-don’t-want-to-think-or-talk-about things. As long as that’s understood, it’s all cool.

Rather like abortion, I’m not going to force birth control on someone who doesn’t want it; it should be a choice. It is that choice that is empowering. It’s a choice that does give me control over things I otherwise can’t control.

…At least we agree on that point?

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That’s Offensive!

There was a very interesting email thread that went around the workplace the other week. It started with a thread about everyday sexism in the workplace.

Now, being in a male-dominated field, you’d think I’d get comments about my gender all the time. I’ve gotten them, but they’ve usually come from outside people in my field. All the ones I remember can, anyway. I’ve dismissed that as ignorance, and that’s been that. I know that there’s no truth to girls being worse at computer science than boys, or that girls who go into science just want to be guys.

It was about everyday sexism. You know, not the big things, like people explicitly saying “But girls just don’t DO computer science!” or “Why don’t you get back to the kitchen? Hurr hurr hurr…” (Like most offices I’ve been to, we have a small kitchen, sans stove or oven. It is kind of relevant…) But the little things, like “the wife test” (How would you explain this to your wife, who we assume knows nothing about computer science because she’s a woman?), or telling an audience of women that bit about how a good report is like a woman’s skirt—long enough to cover the essentials, but short enough to be interesting, or the guy who apparently compared the life cycle of an order to a woman’s reproductive system, and in quite vulgar terms, again, to an audience of women.

I think we can all agree that those are, more or less, things one should not say if one wants to encourage women in the workplace. However, there was a subtle one that raised a lot of controversy. We’re talking a couple hundred fired up emails, here. (Okay, about 25% of it was me and a few others being moderate and asking why we can’t just all get along.) It was about the term “guys”.

It’s hard to say whether American culture at large is making the shift towards gender-neutral language. It certainly has its benefits. Several trans women (male-to-female, just so I’m clear) joined in and said that to use “guys” to address a group of people they are in is a complete undermining of their gender identity. Many cis-gendered women agreed. There was a lot of talk about how language has always been slanted toward the male gender, and a pretty huge debate over if and how the use of “guys” is offensive and exclusive to women.

I can see their point. However, (and I say this no matter whether the woman is cis or trans) it seemed like some of them were looking for a reason to jump down people’s throats and say “That’s offensive and you should never use that word to address anyone ever again!” A few went so far as to say that they correct their colleagues every time because that’s how you change language.

They’re not wrong; that is how you change language. But only if the speaking community wants to change it. I really don’t mind being addressed with “guys” in a group. I use “dude” with some of my closer female friends, and they do with me. These are terms we grew up hearing as more or less genderless, and so they don’t bother us. That, in and of itself, shows a shift in language.

And more than that, it really doesn’t help a cause to harshly police people who many be unaware of it. It’s one thing to have someone purposefully and maliciously ignore your wishes as to how you like to be addressed. It’s quite another when someone addresses you with a word they have been using all their life that has never been presented to them as derogatory or unfavorable. How are they supposed to know that it’s wrong if they’ve never been told that this is so? Furthermore, “wrong” is a bit subjective in this case. (Case in point: some of the trans women felt that they were speaking for all trans women, and even all women. While several cis women jumped on them for that, there was one trans woman who also indicated that she thought wiping out the use of “guys” was going a tad overboard.)

Obviously, if someone says “Hey, I don’t like it when you use that word to address/describe me. Please use _____ instead”, I’d gladly do so. If I got yelled at for using a word that I didn’t know was offensive, however, though I probably wouldn’t use it again, I’d be a lot more defensive about it. It’s a nature thing.

I treat others as I would want to be treated: with respect. However, I don’t want to live in fear of hurting someone all my life because I choose one word and not another. You can’t please everyone all the time; you just can’t. And really, the whole crux of this argument is that people need to speak in order for change to take place. So, I’ll speak. And if people don’t like the way I’m speaking, I’ll change it. Usually.

As for my experience, my team’s been amazing. It’s not that I’m one of “the guys” (although I’ll willingly admit that I am that at times and I thoroughly enjoy it); I’m one of the team. We all afford each other the same respect. Earlier today, one of my male co-workers was telling the only other woman on our team (Yeah, an eighth of our team is female… In some respects it sucks, but since we’re a fairly gender-blind team, it’s honestly hard to remember and get worked up about it.) “Well, you’re the one with the doctorate in computer science. I couldn’t do that!” He wasn’t building her up because she’s a woman; he was building her up because she’s a great developer in her own right, and that has nothing to do with gender. In another incident, a former member of our team (who wasn’t former at the time and was teaching me to take over one of his tasks) joked that three columns of data would overwhelm me. When I (jokingly as well) fired back “Oh, little white girl can’t handle it?!” He actually looked horrified and said no several times, just to make sure he got his point across. (For reference, this was three columns of data out of about 75. As a new hire, that really would have overwhelmed me.)

The company I work for also has a lot of outreach programs for women. We have our society of women engineers, and a lot of workshops dedicated to women. I’ve met a lot of guys who are passionate about having more women developers. (A rather casually dressed, middle-aged British guy who works on my floor pretty much spearheads the movement from the male side of things, and he is adamant that anything he can do, women can do.) There are places where we could use improvement. In fact, there was a lot of debate about some of the company’s core tenets and how they encourage more stereotypically male competitiveness and just going with whoever’s in charge versus how those same tenets actually also encourage collaboration and speaking up when something’s wrong. It was fascinating.

This is another one of those issues for which I don’t have the answer. I have my own answer, as I’ve explained. I’m content to go with it for now. I’m secure in my own femininity, and also in the parts of me that are more masculine. I am who I am, and calling me a dude or a lady isn’t going to change that. Telling me to get back to the kitchen won’t, either, unless you count me turning into the Hulk.

But that’s another story.

That which we call a Chickadoodle by any other name…

So, I’m really tired of everything being an attack on women/feminism. In a recent op-ed piece, Jill Filipovic takes on women who take the last name of their husband when they marry, saying that their reasons “don’t make sense”. She says that your name is your identity, while pointing out at the same time that if we all have our father’s last name, then nobody’s name is really their own.

Sorry, Jill, but just because it “doesn’t make sense” to you that some women actually don’t like their last name, and just because men don’t change their last name as often as women doesn’t mean that they deserve shame for it. (I know I’ve referred to this in at least one prior post—there’s a damn good reason my mom took my dad’s last name. It’s not a name I’d’ve wanted to keep, either, with how much teasing I’d’ve had to put up with.) I’ve known several women who have changed their names (whether through marriage or just by a legal process outside of marriage) because they were abused by someone who shared that last name. Are you going to tell them that that’s anti-feminist? As for men, maybe they just don’t care about their last name as much. Maybe it never occurs to them that this particular avenue is open to them, but I don’t think that’s due to malicious intentions.

Filipovic goes on to say that there’s a power in names. This is very true. But we are allowed to express how we all feel in different ways. Maybe I’d feel more powerful in taking my husband’s last name (when I get married) because I feel that it makes us as a couple also a whole, single unit. Maybe I’d feel more powerful keeping my own. And I’d hope that every woman makes her own choice, because the point is that this is a personal choice. Choosing to take my husband’s name will never mean for me that I am submitting myself to my husband’s authority, or that I will give up my identity. Making the choice not to will not mean that I think I’m better than my husband, and that he should submit to me. At the end of the day, no matter what my name is, I will still be Chickadoodle.

Saying you’re a feminist, but then saying “Oh, no, you can’t choose that”, or assuming without any information that something a woman does is not a choice, flies in the face of freedom that feminists have fought so hard for. It’s just as condescending when someone who claims to be feminist says that I don’t know what’s best for me while assuming that I just haven’t explored all my options. Many women in my life have done many different things with their maiden names upon marriage. Some hyphenated, some kept their maiden name, some made it their middle name, some just chose to take their husband’s last name. (Note that I used the word “chose”—Unless there’s something I’m not being told, I’m pretty sure nobody I know was forced into whatever they eventually wound up with.) You can think it’s wrong all you want, but trying to force—or shame, as is the case here—someone into doing it your way is just as wrong as saying “Well, since I’m the husband, you’ll take my last name, massage my smelly feet every night, and put up with all the shit I’m entitled to put you through as a man without a peep of protest.” (For the record–and I think I mentioned this in the other name-change post–my parents have a friend who took his wife’s last name upon marriage. I don’t know the reason, but I’m pretty sure she didn’t force him, so with that said, it doesn’t really matter to me why he did that.)

One other thing: How does a man changing his last name make more sense? Filipovic says that this is the case several times toward the end of her op-ed, but does nothing to explain why this makes so much more sense, other than that she’s a feminist and she says so. She does not come right out and say this, of course, but it is strongly implied. I can see the argument that the woman bears the children, but hey, there’s got to be some male somewhere in that equation. I’m not saying that women don’t do the majority of the child-bearing work, but there are a lot of men out there who do everything in their power to make that work worth it, both during the pregnancy and after the birth. The point is that it took two people, and so you can’t just say, “The baby is only the wife’s” if you really believe in equality. And what about childless couples?

Me? I’m not married yet. When it happens, I’ll pave my own path, thanks very much, whether it’s as Chickadoodle [REDACTED] or as Chickadoodle [Husband’s last name] or some combination thereof. I’m not going to judge my friends on their choices either. Well, unless it’s McGillicutty-Fitzgibbon-Jingleheimer-Schmidt. Then I might. But only because I’d wish for a name that awesome, myself. The point is that I’d stay quiet because I’d be happy that two more people have found happiness with each other, and if someone else judged them or me, I’d tell them that everyone’s name is their own business, thanks for your concern and good freakin’ day.

If you want people to respect your choices, respect theirs. Don’t tell me that I can’t change my last name from [REDACTED] (which I am liking more and more as a last name, brackets included) to McGillicutty-Fitzgibbon-Jingleheimer-Schmidt if that’s the name of the man that I marry, and it’s a name I like more than my own. Don’t tell me that I’m compromising my identity when you have no idea who I am.

I Might Be an Unconventional Feminist

There are several common misconceptions about feminism out there. One is that feminists want to become men and/or usurp their places. Now, I can’t speak for anyone else, but I don’t at all want to be a guy. I enjoy being female, and I’m quite comfortable in my own skin. Another common one is that feminists think men are useless and should either be treated as second-class citizens or not exist at all; basically, that women want payback. I’m not happy about the way women have been treated throughout history, but you know that saying about how two wrongs don’t make a right… And anyway, I don’t think men are useless. I mean, there’s a biological reason why there are two genders, and though even beyond that, you could make the argument that there should be only one gender or the other, how could you make that choice? In a phrase, misandry is not the same as feminism. (Nor, in my opinion, should feminism involve misandry to begin with.)

I consider myself a feminist, but not everything I do is based in a distaste for complete patriarchy. I don’t wear makeup often, but when I do, it’s usually very light. That’s not because I think makeup is a social construct based on making women objects—it’s because I have sensitive skin and don’t like the caked-on feeling it leaves on my face. I like that it enhances beauty—really, I do. It makes me feel confident and sexy, which are things I want for myself. In other words, I don’t put on a dress and makeup because I want to impress men. I do it for me. And I take total umbrage at the thought that, if I do these things, I’m “asking for it”. Um, no. I’m not even going to say “nice try” on that one. Men and women alike can control their urges, and what I’m wearing or drinking or doing in general does not make your rights trump mine. It does not mean that a “no” means “yes”, or that I’m just playing hard to get.

I’m also perfectly okay with being romantically attached to one of the male persuasion. I know that this one’s a touchy subject for some people, so I’m going to reiterate here and now that this is just from my perspective, and I really don’t care who likes whom outside of my relationship in terms of gender identity. (An asshole is an asshole, regardless of gender or sexual orientation, so that’s a completely separate issue.)

I’m not attracted to my boyfriend for money. I don’t expect him to support me while I make sandwiches and pump out babies and shop for shoes, nor do I aim to make him financially dependent on me. My boyfriend’s personality is attractive to me, as are his looks. (Hey, I never said people couldn’t appreciate each other’s looks—I just dislike it when looks are the only thing that matters in any relationship!) We have a relationship based on trust and love, not on gender roles. I think that’s quite all right. We have taken a lot of teasing about my wearing the pants, me being rather more extroverted (and thus outspoken) than my boyfriend, but believe me, if my boyfriend thinks I’m wrong (or just has a different opinion), he will call me out in no uncertain terms. He won’t do things that make him uncomfortable, even if it’s me doing the asking. And that’s something I love about him. I don’t want a guy who bends to my every whim; it’s boring and very bad in terms of selfishness. Along with trust and love, relationships involve compromise, no matter the identities of the parties involved.

As far as jobs go, I’m of the opinion that each gender can hold any job that the other can, so long as that job does not involve the use of the other’s reproductive organs. (For instance, one who is biologically male cannot donate eggs or carry a baby to term—let alone at all—as a surrogate, and one who is biologically female can’t be a sperm donor. Facts of life.) Any woman can train to bulk up and heft weight around in a job, or learn how to program, and any guy can train to be a nurse or elementary school teacher. And don’t even get me started on how women are perceived as too emotionally delicate to be in politics.

I’m a huge believer in equality. I believe that, all other things being equal… well, we’re all equal. So maybe that’s not me being feminist, but me being… I don’t know. Not egalitarian. That doesn’t quite fit me, I think. I just believe that regardless of skin color, religion, gender, age (to some degree, obviously—with age does come the ability to do certain things), hair color, language, phone type, astrological sign or anything else, we’re all born with the same stuff—the same basic human essence—and so we all have the ability to think and do the same things. However you call it, whatever you think about it, that’s what—that’s who—I am.

I might be an unconventional feminist. I’m really not sure. Tell me what you think! (Why yes, I am going to start shamelessly begging for comments now!)

Letting Your Kids Watch Disney Won’t Ruin Them, I Swear

Watching Disney movies in college gives you a rather different perspective on them than you had when you were little. Or, at least, the movies are a lot more understandable in light of the knowledge you gain as you go through school.

Some people are okay with this. It makes movies more enjoyable and easier to watch multiple times when you going, “Hey, I never noticed that before!” But I’ve also heard friends say, “Oh my God, these movies are horrible! I’m never letting my child watch them at a young age!”

When remarks like that are made, I’ve often said, “Hold on just a second. How much of that can you honestly say you understood when you watched that at five?” and about as often gotten back some stuttering about how it’s still in there and that’s not okay before the eventual grumble of “None of it…”

Often, it’s that people don’t want their children to learn bad behaviors. There’s also a protective instinct to shield young ones from scary or sad scenes. Honestly, I remember being upset at Mufasa’s death in The Lion King. I remember being scared out of my wits at Aladdin’s escape from the cave of wonders. I remember the Beast teaching me that anger can be a scary, ugly thing. I remember Gaston teaching me that being arrogant can get you your way, but it will make a lot of people think you’re a tier-1 jerkface.

See, the world isn’t perfect, and in those movies, no matter how dark they get, there is happiness. Often enough, the ending is happy. That’s the reward to the viewer for sticking with it. And when you think about it, things are happier now than they were when fairytales by the brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Anderson were what children were expected to read or listen to. (We get such watered down versions of them today; if you read the original versions, there’s some REALLY dark stuff in there!)

Then, there’s also a huge feminist argument against a lot of Disney movies. I completely understand where that’s coming from. Really, I didn’t want to watch Snow White or Sleeping Beauty because I thought they were really, really boring.

Then again, with two older brothers and no sisters, I also grew up watching Star Wars and The Real Adventures of Johnny Quest and playing with Legos and Hot Wheels. I played Star Wars at recess with the boys, and I enjoyed my fair share of rough-housing, but I also loved to watch the pretty Disney princesses. It never occurred to me that society thought any one of those activities was “wrong” or “right” for little girls to want to do—I was just having fun! I invented stories with my dolls and stuffed animals, and I had fun dressing up in a tutu just as much as those activities I mentioned that are more thought of as boys’ activities.

Disney didn’t teach me how to be a girl, and that’s definitely not for lack of exposure. I freakin’ loved those movies and would watch them every chance I got. Heck, I don’t think I ever actually learned how to be a girl, which explains a lot, if you know me. What Disney taught me—what everything taught me when I was little—was how to be me, and to accept myself for who I am, and not let some Gaston mold me to his will or some Scar try to intimidate me into doing things I did not want to or should not do… you get the picture. (Side note: Disney also did not give me body-image issues. I came by those long after I stopped watching a Disney movie a day, and even now, I’ve never cared about how “fat” I am relative to an animated character. Or a live-action one, for that matter.)

I’m okay with the color pink. I like princess stories (though the princess can’t be a damsel in distress for half the book, or I just give up). And there’s a certain je ne sais quoi about the kitchen that keeps me in there probably far more often than is really healthy for me. But I also like the color blue, watching things explode, and working with power tools. Disney never said I couldn’t do both. But if they—or anyone—were to say that? I’d have a few rather rude suggestions for what they should do before continuing on my merry way.

So yeah, when I get around to having kids, they’ll totally be allowed to watch Disney movies. In fact, I might make them, even if they don’t want to.

Kidding.

Sort of…

Anyway, these hypothetical children will be allowed to watch and ask questions and form their own beliefs about what they can and can’t do, and I really hope that they, like me, don’t do things just because “that’s what girls/boys do—and the other gender doing them is wrong”, but because they want to. And I will try to keep my laughter at the less appropriate jokes down until they’re old enough to understand, then watch them possibly go through that same phase of horror/shock when they realize there’s a reason why adults find these things funny, and THEN watch them realize that it’s okay because they didn’t get it, and Disney didn’t ruin them, either.

WHAT is required to fix a computer? Apparently, not women… (a rant)

Note: Due to the name of this article, it’s linked at the bottom, lest anyone be grossed out or otherwise offended by the naming of more select parts of the male anatomy. Also, there are a couple of swears (3 total, I think) in here–you have been forewarned.

“This is another “without fail” story. And if you’re a woman who speaks that binary computer mumbo dot jumbo, spare me. Go fix a good pot roast or something; then we’ll talk.”

Yup. Taken, verbatim, from the article.

Hi there. I’m a woman. I speak that binary computer mumbo dot jumbo. It’s what I want to learn. I can also cook/bake like nobody’s business, so, Kathe Skinner, there is no way in hell that I am going to spare you anything.

First off, I believe you’re not a stupid woman. (Well, generally not stupid–posting an article that demeans your own gender as not having that je ne sais quoi that it takes to fix computers, however, makes me question that juuuuust a little bit, though.) You don’t have to be stupid to not be of the mechanically-inclined persuasion. You wanna know who’s also living proof of that? My dad. Yup. My dad. One of the least tech-savvy people I know, and I love him for it. He admits he doesn’t have the know-how. So, guess who his go-to person is when he does need help with computers? My mom. She can trouble shoot just about anything that will commonly pop up, and when she can’t, she… Looks it up! Oh, wonder of wonders; this magical thing called the internet actually has helpful stuff on it?! Since when?

My mother never studied any computer-related field, either. All she knows, she’s bothered to learn over the years because it makes her life that much easier. And she’s far more patient and involved than most IT people I’ve had to deal with. Oh, and she also makes some of the best food I’ve ever tasted. This not only includes pot roast, but also a variety of other dishes, some far more complex than something anyone can chuck in a crock pot or oven for a few hours. Yeah. I just went there.

As for me? I chose to go into computer science. As a major, and, in just a few short months, a career. For real. I apparently impressed the company I interned with so much that my manager told me the day he made his hiring decision that I was in. Yeah, I worked on an all-male team of software development engineers, and I got in. And I have many female friends in the major in the same boat. (Many of them are excellent cooks, fashionistas, and masters of other more traditionally “womanly” arts, by the way. And yes, I will keep bringing this up because you seem to think the two completely incompatible.)

Another example from my soon-to-be-(re-)employer: the amazing IT lady who fixed my laptop on the first day of my internship. Really, I walked in, she had me barely describe the problem, and then, wonder of all wonders, without even looking up the problem, she fixed it in about 2 minutes. Like magic, I tell ya! And then, she did the unthinkable: she actually let me in on how to fix it so that, should this ever happen again, I could take care of it myself! I wonder if that’s ever even crossed your mind, to ask your husband, “Hey, can you walk me through that?” and then, as he does, write down the steps. Saves a lot of time, and a lot of hassle for him. Or, better yet, have him explain as he has you work through the problem, yourself. This is actually what my dad insists upon, and has, surprisingly, been proven to help learning. (I know–who’d’ve thought it?)

Suffice it to say, I come from a family of strong women in every sense. Some are engineers, some are not, but all of ’em make damn good food. They are also beautifully feminine women, which I add since I’m sure you’re imagining that the engineers all muck about in ripped jeans and holey sweatshirts all day. They have shown me that being a woman does not limit my capabilities or options in any way, saving those where being biologically male is an absolute requirement. In this case, one does not need a y-chromosome to fix computers. (Side note: if you’d do a little reading up, you’d know that both men AND women have testosterone. Guys just happen to have more of it.)

Shame on you for saying that having a penis does the trick. Were that true, I’d bring my computer over to my cousin’s 18-month-old son every time it broke, for surely, he has the anatomy that I, a woman, do not, so he must therefore know what I could not possibly fathom! Shame on you for implying that women just aren’t mechanically inclined, and that guys are. While I can see where you’d make this assumption, I have plenty of examples very much to the contrary. Shame on you for saying outright that women must be good at one or the other, but can’t possibly be good at both. Shame on you for basically telling women out there that their positions as engineers, techs, programmers and the like don’t matter because we aren’t male and therefore can’t know. Some of us (myself included) have had to overcome not only your attitude, but not having a natural inclination towards our fields, which, by the way, if I haven’t said it enough, has JACK SHIT to do with our biological gender. Though I hate myself for it, however, I will also thank you because it is people like you who make me even more determined every day to push past all this crap and make something of myself in the field I want to be in, rather than settling for something that I would not be nearly as content with.

(I am not saying, by the way, that all women should drop whatever they’re doing and go for computers, by the way. They–and everyone, for that matter–should study what moves them, no matter whose nasty attitudes and stupid misconceptions and prejudices get in the way.)

An after-school program director loves to quote me as saying that nerds retire better–something I said when I was, oh, 12 or 13. You want to know who I snapped that back at? Someone who told me girls just don’t do this sort of stuff. These times, they be a-changin’, and, for your sake, I hope that any female engineers you may encounter set you straight.

And for my sake, and the sake of all women in computing-related fields, I hope attitudes like this become far less prevalent, especially among women. After all, if we cannot get support from within, how can we hope to achieve support from without?

The link to this… thing.