Okay, kiddies, gather round. Auntie is going to explain to you little soandsos why this is a good thing and not TEH EVUL REVARSE DISCIRMINASHUNZ like about 85 people have already cried. And I think I do mean cried.
Let me lay you down some truths about being a woman in IT: I love programming, me. Been programming since I got my hands on a TRS-80 during a summer gifted program. I've moved from BASIC to Pascal to C / C++ to
See, the thing is, sexism is like racism--you get the big ugly obvious kind, everyone can see that, but then as well you get much more the subtle kind, where the person doing it doesn't even realize it. Like that friend of yours in college who went and did blackface for Halloween that one year (and yet swore up and down that he, like, totally wasn't a racist, dude) vs the hiring manager who is more likely to hire someone their own color, not out of malice or anything, just because human beings tend to take a shine to people that resemble them. It's built in to us. And it goes out into the culture we live in, and we soak it up like radiation. And the cycle just keeps on going.
So. Enter things like Affirmative Action, and this here bounty thingie. The idea behind these things is not to discriminate, rather it is to *compensate for the discrimination that is already there*. We already know the bias rolls in favor of men over women, or whites over blacks. We know this. We don't like it. We wish it would go away. But it's there. No matter how nice it feels to pretend we are above that sort of thing, if we are honest we know it's in there. Lurking. Lurrrrrrrking. And so we throw these things into the mix to try to tilt the needle back toward the middle.
Look: I would love to live in a world where these things were not necessary. That would be great. But this ain't that world. If it makes you feel any better, know that no amount of things like this will ever push you from your top slot in computer classes. You'll *always* be the teacher's pets. You got it made. Seriously. We ain't looking to displace you: we're just trying to give our sisters a boost-up. That first rung on the IT ladder is rather higher up there when you're a girl (and they're spaced farther apart as you go up, I might add). There's a lot of potential tech talent lurking on the distaff side, and it takes a hell of an initial push to get it moving against the flow of how we've been raised.
And I'll just leave you with one more thing: to those who say that girls who come through a system like this--be it teacher bounties, be it special scholarships, whatever--don't have what it takes to be a coder, or are just in it for the money or whatever, I want you to understand that we go to work every day outnumbered. We're in a field--and have been since the beginning--where no matter what we do, how much we build or accomplish, some people still can't quite believe we're here. We have to fight like mama bears for every bit of respect we got. And any woman who plows through all of this B.S. and is still there, doing it every day, kicking code and stomping bugs, you better BELIEVE they love what they're doing. And that's why we get up and go every single damn day, putting up with all of it. And if you know what that is say amen, and if you don't well you never well. And I wish you success in management.