life women in computer science

On The Miseries of Technical Women: Dating

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Credit: DeviantArt / lelfling

So Much In Common

Recurring theme where a guy who works in tech meets a technical woman and thinks “Wow! We have the same kind of job! We have so much in common!” Which I guess when you have just 20% women might be a special occasion for them… but by this metric I am surrounded by men I have “so much in common” with all day, every day. The baseline of “so much in common” is much higher for me, and even more so when I spend a lot of time feeling other. Because if doing the same kind of job was all that is required to have “so much in common”, surely I wouldn’t so often feel so alone.

Independent Woman

Some men don’t like women who earn more than them [marital problems in marriages where the woman earns more3 men talk about their experiences, young high-earning women share their dating experiences]. They also feel worse about themselves when their partners succeed [source]. So it turns out, that the dating pool is somewhat reduced for the woman who rocks at her job and makes good money doing so. And these guys with that attitude, you could say no great loss. But… I suspect there are a large number who are very nice and it’s all fine as long as they are never challenged on the money issue. Which in this industry, it’s really likely they will be.

See also: the divorce curse of the Best Actress Oscar winners.

No-one’s Magic Pixie

This is the video game trop, essentially of the “magic pixie” who comes and leads our (nerdy) male protagonist to fun and adventure.

These are the guys who put their lives on hold waiting for a girlfriend, a magic pixie, to rescue them from the humdrum of their lives. Who make, or offer, grand gestures on her account, but don’t do these brave things on their own.

It’s hard work, being a magic pixie, being the side-kick when someone else is the star. I want to be the star of my own life, and people can join me for adventures, and welcome, but I’m not running some rehabilitation program for those who don’t get out enough. There’s a huge difference between “take me with you” and “let’s go together”.

We talk about flexible work in tech, and it’s true, sometimes I can bunk off early and go do something fun. But flexible does’t mean undemanding. Sometimes I also need to have really late meetings, or take a trip, or stay late to fix something because I’m on a deadline. This is not, in my opinion, a career that is compatible when someone else’s wants and needs always have to subsume my own.

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