A few days ago, Obie Fernandez:
commented on the advert found in the current Linux Journal which features a photograph of an attractive woman with the slogan “Don’t feel bad, Our servers won’t go down on you either.” Obie threw together a mock ad for a document management company which showed a bunch of latinos being harrassed by a US Customs and Immigration patrol with the slogan “Don’t worry. We’ll keep all your documents in order.” which made his point rather well I thought.
Then I read the comments.
A couple of respondents thought Obie’s mock ad was genuine and a good, funny ad. There were the usual cries of “Dude! Political Correctness gone mad” and some belittling of a female respondent who had explained how the Linux Journal ad made her feel. Laughing at someone and and telling her she “totally missed the joke” is such a sensitive response to someone’s hurt, don’t you think?
Another commenter wondered why there wasn’t an “obsession… with schemes to get men into teaching or nursing”, and wondered if it was because women were less interested in computers, a question which Obie felt was worth dealing with in a followup post. The response being, essentially, that there are several schemes aimed at improving the gender balance in those professions; the traffic is not all one way.
Now, if you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you’ll know my opinion: If women in most western cultures are indeed less interested in computers than men, then that’s a purely cultural thing. It’s a bloody embarrassment that our culture is that fucked up. Thankfully, the people who’ve commented here when I’ve sounded off haven’t descended to the fatuity of Obie’s respondents. The second response to Obie’s followup post closes with:
Anyway, on a personal not [sic] after seeing your picture I wonder in which western movie you played the bad guy? Please give me a hint :)
If you want to know why there’s a dearth of women and minorities working in IT, I reckon you’ll find all the evidence you need right there.