Discussion with a close friend about sexism in our industry.

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friend:Ugh fuck electron. People need to stop using it
monstermac77:Who else?
monstermac77:Does Discord?
friend:She just listed slack and github in the talk
monstermac77:lol ur still listening to it nice
friend:Pretty lady with a nice accent talking about milsly interesting stuff, could do worse
friend:Milsly lol
monstermac77:...this is why therer aren't more women engineers
friend:I'm sorry, would you rather I not watch it
monstermac77:I'd rather you watch it but not refer to her attractiveness when describing her(edited)
friend:I was explaining why I'm still watching the video. Leaving out facts is misleading at best
friend:If it was a handsome guy with a fun accent I'd have said the same thing and you wouldn't have commented on it
monstermac77:yeah because men aren't being chased out of the engineering industry from sexual harrasment
friend:If your goal is for men and women to be treated equally you should think about what just happened
friend:You're the only one treating them differently here
friend:I would "sexually harass" a good looking dude just as much as I did her
monstermac77:I'm saying that the industry at large definitely treats men and women differently, resulting in a large disparity between the percentage of male and female engineers, and so we need to do our part, even in internal discussions, to not make it seem like women are part of the industry or being listened to just because they're "pretty".
friend:white knighting isn't helping anyone. if this lady is supposed to be respected based on her talent, why don't you let her demonstrate it
friend:which she is doing in this talk. you may recall I also said that what she was saying was interesting
monstermac77:It's a feedback loop that needs to be broken: by you describing her as "pretty", it causes the people who hear that descriptor to think that that's a trait they should be considering when they're evaluating whether they listen to a woman engineer.
monstermac77:You also said "mildly interesting"
friend:because this talk honestly isn't that great. she's just listing technologies and then saying they worked great for her
friend:dude I wasn't writing a resume for her. I was explaining why I was watching a youtube video
friend:yeah she sounds like she knows what she's doing and obviously knows a hell of a lot more than I do about this. probably she's a great SRE, whatever that is. I'm not talking about her qualifications as a professional, I'm talking about a youtube video
monstermac77:Yeah, but I was explaining why your language is problematic.
monstermac77:I think we should be doing our part to over-correct for the people who do sexually harass in our industry or think about women engineers not only as coworkers but also potential mates, by making sure that we don't bring the fact that they're a person we could be attracted to into the workplace.
monstermac77:Yes, this isn't the workplace, this is a private Discord chat.
monstermac77:But I think it's a good idea for us all to at least be aware about how women feel when they're judged by their looks rather than their pure intellect.
friend:there's a difference between being professional and this:
making sure that we don't bring the fact that they're a person we could be attracted to into the workplace
friend:women aren't some porcelain doll that you have to walk on eggshells around and make sure that you never let them realize that you know they're a woman
friend:I also feel that you are misrepresenting this situation with this description:
But I think it's a good idea for us all to at least be aware about how women feel when they're judged by their looks rather than their pure intellect.
friend:if I only wanted to look at a pretty face, I would have paused the video
monstermac77:I didn't say that they were. I'm saying that you should be cautious not to reference that you could be attracted to them in the workplace.
monstermac77:Just because you didn't take it to the extreme of just looking at her pretty face doesn't mean it's not problematic.
friend:so are you saying that, for example, if I were on an interview board and she was giving us a talk, I might say something like "Pretty lady with a nice accent talking about mildly interesting stuff, could do worse"
monstermac77:You don't have to be 100% into looks and 0% into intellect (by pausing the video). It's still problematic if you are 60% into looks and 40% into intellect, meaning you would continue watching the video.
friend:I make jokes about hooking up with your sister, hell I make jokes about hooking up with you and Li. earlier I told my buddy that he's handsome and i'm gonna steal his photos to put on my tinder profile
friend:as you say, this is not the workplace and I can't see why we're even talking about this other than you think I might start railing off about hotties while I'm in the office
monstermac77:No, I'm not saying you would actually say that to her face, but I do think you should be aware that talking about a woman like this in an actual workplace setting would probably make her feel uncomfortable. In fact, even talking to your buddy about another woman in the workplace could be problematic, because it could cause them to see them differently.
monstermac77:I don't think you would start railing off about hotties while you're in the office, but I think you might make a comment to a coworker about how you think xxx is cute, too bad she has a boyfriend.
monstermac77:And how that might not be appropriate. Especially in our industry where women are already being chased away by very explicit sexual harassment. We don't want to do anything to encourage that culture.
friend:I guarantee you that for every guy saying "too bad she has a bf" about a girl, there is a girl saying the same thing about a guy. professionalism is how you act, not what you think
monstermac77:That may be true, but you can't look at the actions/thoughts of men and woman, though they may be equal, in isolation.
monstermac77:The fact is that the existing system is 25% women engineers and 75% men engineers.
monstermac77:If we want to close that gap, we should be extra careful, even if women aren't going to be extra careful about saying "too bad he has a gf"
friend:alright well this is getting into a broader issue, but I think gender imbalances are not necessarily an issue. who's complaining about oil rigs and trash truck drivers being overwhelmingly male?
friend:nursing pays hella good and is overwhelmingly female
friend:maybe sometimes there are things that aren't 50/50 and that's okay
friend:I think women should be ALLOWED and WELCOME to join CS, but I don't think we should specifically target a 50/50 ratio
monstermac77:I think if all stigma were gone, as well as all social conditioning, that there would be very close to a balance representative of the population
monstermac77:The fewer women that are in CS, the less likely a young girl starting college is going to think she can do CS, when she goes to class and she sees that there are only 10/150 women in the class, or when she goes to her first internship and sees that nearly all of the engineers are men, the CTO and CEO are men.
monstermac77:That's why I'm saying it's a feedback loop. Disparity breeds disparity.