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I don't believe I'm reading this tripe...

by Drew "Cutriss" Lanclos

http://www.cnn.com/2000/TECH/computing/04/11/girls.computer/index.html
[Editor's Note: For those too lazy to click on the link, here's a short summary of the article. Because roughly 1/5 of the high-tech work force are women, the American Association of University Women think that the high-tech field should specifically cater to women.]

<soapbox>
My opinion is this - The education field is NOT to blame. I don't think there's any way the classes can be changed to accomodate more girls without seriously damaging it for the guys. And besides...the majority of those girls who actually DO go through this program are the group that is normally disgusted with the "Look at me! Look at me!" population (You'd understand that better if you saw "10 Things I Hate About You").

I think this has gone too far. I'm not normally sexist on things like this, but I think this is just a power battle now. Come on...make it like: "The report suggests teachers need to incorporate technology concepts into a more diverse subject areas -- like music, history, or the sciences -- in order to spark girls' interest."

So...what...They'll all LOVE it if they're being taught to make a program that randomly generates appealing music? To hell with that! They have to learn the basics first, and if they don't understand the basics, they're screwed. And we can't cater the basics THAT much. If they don't want to learn math, we're not gonna doll it up for them to make it more interesting. If they're gonna compete...by dog make them do it on an EVEN PLAYING field.

There's a more fundamentally-incorrect principle underneath this theorization, and that must be corrected first - The underlying status quo in society today which dictates the roles played by growing kids and teenagers. Lengthy discussions have been made regarding the "coolness" of technology on the part of boys and girls. More boys get into this sort of stuff because guys on a whole tend to be more mechanically inclined and interested. Girls are given the image that this sort of thing isn't cool, and so they avoid it to prevent detracting of public image. If a girl in high school has an interest in computers, she usually hides it and practices it in secret. There are many exceptions to this generalization, of course, but on the whole, it must be admitted that popularity and peer pressure ultimately undermine whatever efforts may be made to introduce this field to more women.

Even if this proposed change would help to bring computing into a more publicly accepted position with women, once again, it would do so at the expense of the men, since the technical edge would be lost. As stated before...let them compete on an even playing field. Don't change the rules...just encourage more people to try.

</soapbox>

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