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Invisible Women

John Dowdell extends Doug Bowman's question of "Who/Where are the Women" in web standards. Why are women almost invisible in the flash community?

Sites like FlashGoddess show that there are indeed women Flash developers and designers. So, why do the boys ignore us?

A number of comments to Doug's post mention that women may not wish to "out" themselves, but let their work stand for itself. Rings true to me.


Thanks for posting this, Kristin. I thought I'd say this - it's sort of related :) ...:

My proposal was accepted for the FlashIntheCan festival!!!

Woohoo! Congratulations Vera!

Didn't an 80-year-old Marine chick invent Cobol?

To me, my fiancee, when she wasn't nesting like now, was all vocal as heck about CSS at whatnot. Full As A Goog wasn't around, then, though, nor were a majority of aggregators. It's kind of like, there are a ton of cool femmes in Flash & technology, you just didn't have a way to notice them until now.

However, bottom line, guys like to argue.

Yes, yes... I know there are female lawyers, but your missing the point if you say that; basically, guys are aggressive and afrontal about stuff, strictly to be aggressive and afrontal more often than women. Thus, the frequency in which we do this gets google, lists, aggregators, etc. to record these, and many surmise from the data that it must mean women aren't arguing about technology.

Duh. Like K said, work speaking for itself.

Yep, Admiral Grace Hopper was a pioneer in computing. http://www.cs.yale.edu/homes/tap/Files/hopper-story.html

Another pioneer in computing did all her programming before modern computers were even invented: Ada Byron Lovelace (1815-1852) http://www.galaxygoo.org/scientists/kristin_log.html#ada_byron_lovelace

Yup, Ada, and don't forget about Hedy.... ;-)

I don't think the conversation is as much about actual contribution as about online discussion... I know I wouldn't want to stay long in some of these "my RSS is better than yours" or "you're not webpure enough" debates, and I imagine many other sensible people feel the same...?

Good point, John. I think that the two go hand in hand though. The invisibility factor fosters the myth that women aren't "into" tech.

Personally, I find the nit-picky debates boring :-) And I tend to stay away from them.

At the end of the day we're all geeks...

I can only speak from personal experience. I try to be visible and vocal in the industry. However, there are times when I just hate talking to people in the industry. I often get the "you're a programmer!?" And I also get the "it's so great you're a programmer, because we all know that woman are just as good at programming as men." (So now I'm only just as good as the average man.)

Those are my personal reasons for not wanting to be involved in the community. It's really tiring to deal with these old-fashioned attitudes. So there are times when I just want to hide in bed rather than going to a conference full of men.

I used to love it. I remember one time yelling at a Sun employee who was handing out t-shirts at a conference because I really wanted one (okay, this was when Java was first announced) and they only had a size XL. I told him we all weren't the stereotypical fat guy programmer who never left his desk. I also once had a site listing boycotts of sexist video games.

Maybe I've just gotten soft.

You hit the nail right on the head, Kim. Sometimes it's just easier to do my work, quietly.

But if I stay too quiet, things won't be any better for my children.

I'm still trying to find that happy middle road, where I strive for ideals but take the time to enjoy life and do good work.