What LGBTQ Students Want Their Professors to Know

Teaching starts tomorrow. This is a timely reminder to ask the class participants how they identify instead of making assumption based on class rosters.
‘Ask Me’: What LGBTQ Students Want Their Professors to Know

Simple beginning for identity identification. Ask preferred name, preferred pronoun.

FSCONS 2009 part 2 Free Software and Feminism

Sunday morning begins at nine with the keynote Free Software and Feminism given by Christina Haralanova. Despite the party last night, the earliness of the hour and the difficulties in getting to the venue on a Sunday there is a good audience which shows the dedication and interest of this public to their cause. Haralanova asks why are there still so few women into technology. One answer is that they are discouraged and opposed. Boys have first contact at 12, girls 14.5 their first own computer boys at 15 girls at 19.

The social aspects of technology prove to be the key. The introduction to technology as toy for the boys provides them with a reason to interact with technology and share & discuss them with their friends. But since women begin later they do not have the confidence and the space to share and discuss. Naturally this then develops and is reinforced within the groups of tecchies and non-tecchies alike. Women are often subjected to jokes/insults and their contributions to projects are subjected to a more scrutiny.

As in many other aspects of life the contribution of men and women are not valued equally. This means that men are the coders while women are the documenters, teachers, promotors, gui-designers etc. We may have computers and Free Software but we still have not left the caves and hunting mammoths with rocks and sticks! The role of women is marginalized and made invisible – a role which re-inforces the negative position. By this we all lose.

Men lie more than women… or maybe women get caught out half as much?

Men lie more than women! Hardly a newsflash from the Daily Mail. But they do list the top ten lies from men and women:

Top ten lies men tell:

1. Nothing’s wrong, I’m fine
2. This will be my last pint
3. No, your bum doesn’t look big in that
4. I had no signal
5. My battery died
6. Sorry, I missed your call
7. I didn’t have that much to drink
8. I’m on my way
9. It wasn’t that expensive
10. I’m stuck in traffic

Top ten lies women tell:

1. Nothing’s wrong, I’m fine
2. Oh, this isn’t new, I’ve had it ages
3. It wasn’t that expensive
4. It was in the sale
5. I’m on my way
6. I don’t know where it is, I haven’t touched it
7. I didn’t have that much to drink
8. I’ve got a headache
9. No, I didn’t throw it away
10. Sorry, I missed your call

What men die of

Came across this over at Tcritic where Karl writes “I think this is an incredibly interesting graphic that would make a stellar T-Shirt. Unfortunately I have no idea of the origin, does anyone know what designer did this?” Contact him if you know the answer.

It is a great graphic representation which leaves (or creates) many questions. I wonder if the numbers are correct and what are the corresponding numbers for women? 47 men die of diving into shallow water?

what men die of

what men die of

UPDATE: The designer of the graphic is Julia Hoffman for Mens Health magazine.

Women in Science

The numbers differ between the disciplines but there is a basic sad truth in academia and that is that the higher up you climb the less women are left. Anna Kushnir writes in Wired:

Take my graduate school for example: My class was made up of eight people — seven women and one man, or 7 to 1. He was Snow White and we were the seven dwarves — each with a remarkably appropriate nickname. I was Grumpy, should you be curious to know.

Snow White and at least four of the dwarves have continued on to postdoctoral research jobs. That is a 4 to 3 ratio of women who went on to do a post-doc to those that chose alternate career paths.

Everything is adding up so far, right? Lots of women are around. Lots of science is being done. All is well.

The next set of numbers is slightly puzzling, however. That is the ratio of female to male professors in our department, at a well-respected academic institution, is 48 to 7 men to women.

Interesting reversal, isn’t it? We go from 7 to 1 in grad school to roughly 1 to 7 in professorships.

There are plenty of reasons and explanations but none that adequately explain the whole process. One of the reasons is that, unfortunately, academia for a long time been a boys club where girls are not welcome. This is a really silly reason but who said that professors were not silly?

Calvin & Hobbes G.R.O.S.S. club (get rid of slimy girls)
by Bill Watterson