Six months have passed, so American white liberals in the whitest, most liberal, most American profession, computer technology, are railing against themselves for not inviting enough wymmynz to speak at conferences.
We’ve been through this before. Your priorities aren’t my priorities – namely, increasing the participation of people with disabilities. Your priorities aren’t more important than mine; women are not more important. You’re making noise on this topic just to sound correct and liberal.
On the broader topic of wymmynz in IT, I read the same arguments over and over. To select a noteworthy one, if unreasonably long work hours are a barrier to participation, why aren’t you going after the exceedingly male 37Signals, which takes Fridays off during the summer and never ever works anyone to the bone?
Certainly no one is willing to admit that staring at a computer all day is about as attractive to most women as, say, installing roof shingles all day. Advocates for women in IT never also advocate for women in roofing. As Susan Pinker put it (I say this every time because it remains true), activists decided men had the best jobs and now demand that women get half of them. Somehow that now includes running through a Keynote deck in front of a roomful of nerds. Having done that on many occasions, I don’t see why you think it’s such a plum gig.
At any rate, if this is your pet issue and you aren’t actually a woman (even if you are the redoubtable Mr. MONTEIRO, who is just the right kind of rat bastard), you’re vamping. You mean well. Some of my best friends mean well. But neither the facts nor the outcome will change.
My complaint here is not with liberal men but with Aspergerian men, i.e., most men in the computer industry. I am not in the least bit concerned with women in that industry in this context. Guys are the problem. If you disagree, run your own experiment: Take vehement issue with the politics of the closet in technology “journalism” and see what happens. (Not [co]incidentally, Tim Cook, Apple’s gay COO, now holds the Nº 1 position in the Out Power List for 2011.)
Last month I began putting wheels in motion to do something about my complaint. I envisaged a tiny gay-only technology miniconference, something between a BarCamp and an unconference, held for a budget of effectively zero at, say, the 519. You’d have to fly yourself in and pay every expense yourself. We’d be lucky to get a projector, let alone catered luncheon. But the point is for once in our lives we wouldn’t be surrounded and overrun by goddamned straight people. We wouldn’t have to move straight people to sit down.
If it works for BlogHer it will work for us.
I combed the various affinity networks. Tom Coates, Chris Heathcote, Dan Melton, John Poisson (so unconvinced I was shocked), James Bridle, Scott Gatz. Adorable Pete LePage, who for some reason moved from one tasteless monopolist to another and once told me he has quite given up expecting Americans to pronounce his surname properly. Ted Drake. Chuck LeDuc Díaz. Perhaps Ian Jopson, who – obviously – works for Fox News.
I suppose I could have asked around more with the dykes. All I could think of was Kath Moonan, despite the fact this is the perfect industry for them. (Quit your volunteer facilitatrix position at the rape-crisis centre, ladies, and start up a Web shop!)
Not all these people I actually know and/or have met. Not all of them I even contacted, because halfway through I realized that, for this to work, it would have to happen somewhere other than here. If we tried it in, say, Montreal, at least I wouldn’t have to struggle to put together a simple boys’ night out.
Interested parties, and only those, may contact me.