I Don't Like Articles about Women in Technology
Subject:   Perspective?
Date:   2007-09-12 20:10:58
From:   shelleyp
Response to: Perspective?

In what way are women who fight for a better way of life for future generations being victims?

By this standard, then, were the blacks who walked the streets for civil rights victims and not worthy of your regard?

You measure success by your work and what you have obtained. What about success for all women? Or is it each woman is on their own, and may the best one win?

I don't know all the writers for this series, nor do I know what they'll all write. But I can guarantee, there won't be one who will portray themselves as a 'victim'.

What I will say, though, is that there will be more than a few who sacrifice time and that 'success' you seem to value just so others have opportunities.

You mention Frederick Douglas. Frederick Douglas devoted his life so that others would have the opportunities denied him. By your reckoning, he fought for 'victims', and therefore can't be deemed a 'success'.

You think I'm going about this the wrong way? Why? Because I don't spend all my time fighting for my own success? According to your measure of success, then yes, I shouldn't have even spent time writing this article. I should have, instead, sought work that paid me, or work that contributed to my fame, or contributed to my own self interests.

As for flouting traditional roles, we who write to this series have one and only thing in common: we're all women in technology. There isn't one of us who hasn't, and continues, to flout traditional roles.

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  • Perspective?
    2007-09-12 21:49:16  AmyHoy [View]

    Whom are we fighting? And for what, exactly?

    Frederick Douglass is an example I picked for a reason. He combatted actual, legalized oppression, not simply the alleged "cultural" sins of society. Moreover, he wasn't a bitter man. And he helped himself first. He gained his own freedom by his own path and then began his work, rather than, for example, writing tracts and publishing them anonymously while still a slave... and he became both famous and respected, and through that he was able to foster change.

    Let me say it again: I very explicitly picked him as an example. I wanted to point out something very important. To conflate slavery or actual women's suffrage with what—at best—is a "somewhat unfriendly climate" is ludicrous, but it is a common comparison. If a man can raise himself out of slavery to become what Frederick Douglass became, then what excuse have we? It's beyond logic.

    I don't even think of what I do as "flouting traditional roles." I'm just being me. In my opinion, the more you frame your daily life as a fight, the more scuffles you'll come across. It's like magic.