women in computer science

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Credit : DeviantArt / semisweetgracie

I’m often quite pathetically grateful when a male techie treats me like a – shocker – actual, competent human. When he’s OK with me doing a thorough code review, making suggestions if we are pairing, or just listening to my opinion and then discussing rather than attempting to 1-up me.

Do I tell these guys this? Maybe I’ll allude to it. Mostly not. It is sufficiently notable that I’ll probably mention it to a friend.

There are a group of men who expect us to be grateful for this, to clearly mark that no, not all men do terrible things, treat us badly. They want us to clearly exclaim, look at that guy, yes, the one treating me like an actual human being.

Is that really a statement that is necessary to make? No, not all men sexually assault. No, not all men undermine all their female colleagues. No, not all men are sexist jerks.

But a world where we feel grateful for those that aren’t, where we imply that it is somehow special, is a world that is so far from equitable, or safe for women.

So yeah, I might internally applaud someone for not mistreating me, but men who truly want to live in an equitable society, recognise their lack of bad behaviour being somehow special is a huge part of the problem.