Recently one of my readers posted a link to an interview with a Redskins cheerleader who stated that mathematics was always her favorite subject. She then went on to study computer engineering “to help society in some way”. We also learn that she has worked in many programming languages, even though she couldn’t name one, but “people probably have worked with”.
Now, I’m all for women in tech. What I don’t like so much is that some women seem to want recognition just for working in a technical field. Instead of doing a good job, they have to let the world know that they do technical work. Well, feel free to check out Megan’s LikedIn profile. (She’ll probably wonder where the surge of visitors is coming from.) She is currently employed at a “woman-owned” computer company. It’s the same bullshit. Just do a good job and don’t wear your sex as some kind of badge of honor. Then again, this is the US we are talking about, where government contracts go only to companies that fulfill certain diversity quotas.
On the other hand, guys in tech tend to be rather unassuming. You may talk to some seemingly regular dude at a conference, only to later find out, for instance, that he is a main contributor to an important open source project. The problem is that nobody really cares about women working in tech per se. It’s great if women have a job that allows them to make a living, instead of needing to leech off men. Yet, if you’re a rank-and-file employee with no real contribution to your field, you don’t run around screaming that you work in tech. For some reason this is supposed to be impressive if it’s said by a good-looking woman. I wonder why, though. Is this a concession that expectations of women are so low that just having a job in tech is supposed to be remarkable? Not wanting to sound to demeaning, but Megan most likely “helped society” a lot more by being a cheerleader, which arguably puts her in the top few percent of women, than by being a non-descript techie, where she is most likely far from the top of her field.