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Comment: Re:Semantics (Score 1) 541

by tylikcat (#48219629) Attached to: The Inevitable Death of the Internet Troll

The professional colleague? I broke his hold - more or less reflexively, and stingingly - and wondered whether I needed to introduce his face to a nearby wall. Not that I said anything, and I doubt he had the background to really read the stance change, but he clearly got the "that was a really terrible idea" and backed off. It honestly didn't occur to me to press charges.* He's in a different department, and so he's not someone I have to deal with on a regular basis, which helps. (This was just a couple of years ago. Though I think he might have moved on, as I haven't seen him in a year or so.)

I wonder a bit more about the groping in social situations, to be honest. I mean, at the time - this was mostly a decade or more back** I had a fairly well established reputation as someone to treat with respect, and it was socially considered kind of funny that occasionally someone would push the line and I would firmly and somewhat painfully explain to him the error of his ways. It was downright hilarious that there was one guy who was such an idiot as to try it twice. This was back when I still worked in industry, and seriously, while I rarely dealt with coworkers with inappropriate touching issues, dealing with (mostly mild) inappropriate behavior from male coworkers was really common, I was good at it, and saw that kind of toughness as part of doing well as a woman in software - especially in a leadership role. (And yes, I'm skipping back and forth between social and work responses - but then, I worked a lot, most of my friends were also in software, and each response shaped the other.)

Now, looking at that all, I think my approach doesn't port and doesn't scale. I mean, I'm tall, muscular, socially confident, a trained martial artist***... and mostly what the more clueless guys seemed to get from our interactions was not to push the line *with me.* Most of my fellow geek women are smaller, shyer and not as well trained for these situations. (And less used to having to get into people's faces on a regular basis. One of the things I enjoy most about not being in software is that research gives me so much more room to be a nice person...)

Other than refusing to have anything to do with social contexts that don't throw folks out for that kind of behavior, though I'm not entirely certain what to do. I mean, when is it appropriate to press charges? When will you be taken seriously (considering how hard it is to get taken seriously for a rape charge much of the time "someone grabbed my tit at a party" seems like a non-starter). And, of course, there are all the semi-social things - say, geek conferences that one attends on one's own time.

BTW - on that whole "Men are expected to make the advances..." So, I know there's generally speaking an expectation there (and I know that a number of my female research students don't follow it). But personally, I've initiated the majority of relationships (and, for that matter, one night stands) I've been in. So it's really frustrating when I hear this kind of thing brought up in the context of bad male behavior (especially since considering my generally social affect it's hard to imagine anyone convincing themself I was playing the coquette).

* Okay, truth, I was more thinking of things like dislocating his elbow. And whether I was going to survive my time in Ohio, which has a lot more rampant street harassment, without doing someone serious bodily harm. And I don't tend to hurt people as a first response, and de-escalation is pretty deeply engrained, but yeesh - I mean, clearly I want people calling obscenities at me, I went out wearing my breasts.
** I don't get out much, between the research and martial arts, and most of the parties I do attend will throw people out for that kind of behavior and make sure they're never invited back.
*** And I still run into some of this shit, and doesn't that say something right there?

Comment: Re:Semantics (Score 2) 541

by tylikcat (#48214299) Attached to: The Inevitable Death of the Internet Troll

That's mostly the one I work with.

Mostly, because there are exceptions. Guys who come up behind me, hug me and grab my breast? I put them in a joint lock right off.* Maybe it's the difference between harassment and assault.

* Though a male friend opines that if they did that to a guy, he'd most likely slug them in the jaw, so a joint lock that's only really painful if you're stupid enough to fight it while I explain that you don't touch me without asking first** might really count as one free try.
** Though I cut folks a lot more slack if it's not outright groping. Well, or trying to restrain me. (No, seriously, after turning down a professional colleague a few times, he came up and tried to chat me up, so I told him I didn't want to talk to him. Clear, simple direct. So he grabbed hold of my arm. Which was not only highly inappropriate, but he also knew that I'm a martial arts instructor, making it incredibly stupid.)

Comment: Re:No chance (Score 3, Informative) 541

by tylikcat (#48214039) Attached to: The Inevitable Death of the Internet Troll

Hear, hear.

Trolling is obnoxious, and different forums can have different ways of dealing with it - and there are and should be forums where it's just ignored and tolerated. (Because dealing with idiots is part of free and open communications. And going into walled gardens to get away from idiots is always an option.)

Stalking, harassment and threats are a bit more than that, and confusing the two does a disservice to both - but more importantly, to all of us.

Comment: Re:More feminist FUD (Score 1) 238

by tylikcat (#48148343) Attached to: How Women Became Gamers Through D&D

I wonder about routes of exposure. I was going to write about how my best friend (also female) first got me into gaming via D&D - and then it occurred to me that no, really my first exposure was when my dad introduced me to Collosal Cave Adventure (which was right then bring the entire CS department to a screeching halt) when I was five. My later vectors were my aforementioned SF geek best friend and my hacking buddies.

Comment: Re:More feminist FUD (Score 1) 238

by tylikcat (#48148307) Attached to: How Women Became Gamers Through D&D

"...and if you don't have that skill-set..."

Or if it's just not your favorite thing. Game style preference doesn't mean lack of skill (though if one is bored enough by a particular style one is less likely to acquire the skill, but there's a lot of room for playing this while I wait for something better to come along.)

Comment: Re:This wont work because... (Score 1) 482

by tylikcat (#48069585) Attached to: Online Creeps Inspire a Dating App That Hides Women's Pictures

Things got a little easier with my mother when my sister had a kid when she was nineteen... but then, my mother is actually pretty weird, and is this among the most normal aspects of her. I applaud your parental management. (Holidays were always at their least strained when I hosted them, because everyone knew if anyone behaved too badly I would throw them out. Having thrown my sister out of my mother's house - in her defence, she was seventeen - and my mother out of my sister's house, no one crossed me on my own turf.)

"Well, that's not good. A lot of men feel they need to be the dominant one/primary breadwinner and/or easily feel threatened by a partner who is better than them at something they consider important. A mix of insecurity and weird socialisation about what it means to be "a man"."

It was really weird. He announced that he should be better at the two things we both did - martial arts and coding. Because I had so many other skills. (And, in fact, one of new criteria is to avoid getting into serious relationships with people who just can't keep up with me.) And would freak out if I had lunch with friends and we talked about generic programming - he like the idea of me coding iff I did it in some kind of positions of subservience to him. And... it was like, have you met me? And this after I had been the primary breadwinner from the start, bought us our house, etc. etc. Not to mention kept him on my awesome insurance plan as he bounced from startup to startup. I mean, none of this sounds weird, but (and I'll admit not for the first time) in theory part of the attraction was that I was smart and capable, etc. etc.

"Sounds like you get students who can already program a bit, which is handy. But yeah, hardware has the capacity to just destroy time like it isn't there."

Sort of. My established students have at least a rudimentary knowledge of Python because one of my students (the same one who finds soldering so relaxing) decided that the required Java course left her feeling like she had no practical knowledge, and so she asked me to tutor her in Python. Then she told a bunch of her friends / my other students, and we started Python club. Which is really all about practical applications. (Do you know what is pathetic? One of my Googler friends invited me to send any of their resumes in his direction, as he thought they sounded like a cool group if this was their idea of a fun summer... and it's entirely likely non of them will take him up on it because they're all going to medical school - or in the case of one our highschoolers, elsewhere for her BS.)

"It can be, though the number of new devices needing paste-and-reflow seems to be increasing."

Yeah. We (by which I mean my home rather than the lab) have a reflow oven, though I've so far mostly been able to skate by on surface mount. And my beloved hot air rework station, OMG, I have never loved a tool so much. (Actually, it's at least have the quality of the attached soldering iron, but darn, everything got better after I bought that.)

"Now that is something I know nothing about. My forays into the world of bio stuff is limited to a bit of fluorescence microscopy (mostly super resolution)."

Electrophys is only part of what I do on the bench side, but it's most of what I troubleshoot for my students, because it's fussy and most of them don't have the strongest electronics intuition. (And I still haven't written the guide to de-noising a rig.) It's pretty fun coming out of protein dynamics to electrophys, where suddenly it's all electrical signals. (There's substantial overlap in the area of ion channel conformational changes, and I might be writing a grant to try to make it all look like it was planned. Though really, while I'm attracted to certain kinds of problems, mostly I wander around looking for fun stuff to work on.)

Comment: Re:Not where *I* work. (Score 1) 342

by tylikcat (#48068783) Attached to: Blame Tech Diversity On Culture, Not Pipeline

I don't think many shy geeky women have random men approaching them in airports. (Nor do I expect many shy geeky girls have the lack of shame that it takes to practice martial arts forms in airport terminals.) I may have been poorly socialized all those years ago, but these days I'm outspoken, socially fearless*, and... well, I'm almost six feet tall, I train a lot, and if I'm awfully utilitarian about my clothes, I do know what suits me. (Of course, I also would expect that few shy geek men have random strangers across the street calling out to bring that ass over so they can stick their dick in it. Ugh, Cleveland. For a while I really didn't think I was going to get through my work here without doing someone serious bodily harm.) I am not conventionally beautiful, not do I participate much in beauty culture, but I'm smart, verbal, look decent enough and do a good charismatic. I'm not contrasting their problems with mine - really, if all I wanted was attention and to get laid, I've generally been spoiled for choice. But I'm a terrible example. (Finding someone who can keep up with me and doesn't eventually decide that actually they aren't really that thrilled with me being smart and competent - that's a bit more of an issue. Or decide that they have rights to my body that are not predicated on my consent, for that matter. But, y'know, I persevere somehow.)

I think in most ways the random approaching strangers on the street - or even relative strangers, such as coworkers or classmates one does not already have a social relationship with - is a major red herring. It is the spam of social interactions, where it takes a bazillion queries to generate one hit, because even women who aren't automatically fearful of strangers who are hitting on them are seldom interested in following up on such encounters. (And yo, I once seduced a man who bought me at an SF slave auction - a charity fundraiser, he won dances with me - because he seemed nice and I was at loose ends. Still run into him sometimes, actually, he really is a nice guy.) And guys who take getting turned down from that kind of request are kind of the equivalent of a business who has sent out five pieces of spam and can't understand why they don't have customers. It's multiple levels of fail, not in the least because it's a lousy way to meet people in the first place.

But worse, it create this whole sense of false equivalence, where women are seen as being spoiled for choice, without having a clue about the experiences of actual women.

* This might come from fatalism, or just not having the damns to give, but it certainly seems to read as fearless.

Comment: Re:Not where *I* work. (Score 1) 342

by tylikcat (#48067449) Attached to: Blame Tech Diversity On Culture, Not Pipeline

Well, actually, I know quite a few women who have - but let's just start with me, because I've most often initiated relationships, and I've been turned down pretty frequently too. (And while this seems to be highly regional, my research undergrads, at a very geeky midwest university, seem to do a lot of trading back and forth on the asking. And to me the gender roles here seem a bit on the calcified side.)

One of the things I wonder about is the social context from which dating relationships emerge. I mean, I assume that there are people who ask out relative strangers (I have certainly been asked out by relative strangers, and honestly, it weirded me out*) but the dynamic I most often see is that you'll have a larger social context, a group of people who hang out together and get to know each other fairly well (this can be a pretty geek group of people who watch anime together, play RPGs, carpools to cons, or what have you) and have casual flirtations in that context. So the whole "asking someone out" often is a lot less of a fraught proposition. (I mean, it's still pretty fraught, especially if you're nineteen and crushed out on them.) And if you have much of a social clue at all (and yes, this is a major factor) you probably have some idea how well they're inclined towards you.

This is a lot of what I see from our undergrads, to the extent I'm aware of their dating relationships. (I seem to alternate between being assumed to be old and clueless to being a stand in older sister.) It's fairly consistent with my own college days. (I mean, I was a bit of a menace, if not in a mean way. But... Oh, just imagine me and one of my girlfriends trolling for quiet young geek boys to take home and blow their minds.)

So yeah, there's a whole set of skills to learn, but the idea that everything is all on the guy... is at least not true in many contexts. And women can fail just as hard, though there isn't a subculture about how men are colluding to control them by withholding the cock they have so obvious earned. There are a lot of skills for everyone to learn. No one is born knowing this stuff. And it takes work.** And while some people are more socially inclined, it's perfectly learnable with work. And I suspect if you (I mean the generic you) aren't actively putting yourself in a social situation in which you'll be interacting with folks you're sexually attracted to, you will never learn these skills.

The entitled whining just drives me up a tree. For that matter, the idea that if some random guy asks a random woman out, and she says no - oh, no, the trauma! Yeesh. I mean, first off, that's a pretty stupid set up. And yet, most of us have been through some variant of it.

* Especially when it was from relatively strangers who were clearly not part of my subculture. Major culture shock of moving to the midwest, random guys in suits would ask me out on the train. Or in the airport. While I was practicing martial arts forms in an empty terminal. *blink*
** Do not draw the conclusion from any of this that I was born socially adept, oh, no. I mean, I generally had more male friends because a lot of my interests (computers, electronics, RPGs) skewed that way, but, no. And then I went to college when I was 13 (well, the first time, it's complicated). But, y'know, hard work and paying attention - these things can be learned.

Comment: Re:Not where *I* work. (Score 1) 342

by tylikcat (#48064529) Attached to: Blame Tech Diversity On Culture, Not Pipeline

I hear you. Second or third day of reading about gender issues on /. in a row, but you don't deserve that frustration. So tired of all the special snowflakes going on about how they've been traumatized by female rejection, because the world has coughed up their promised female trophy.

(Seriously, back in my SCA days, there was an informal big sister program where someone would take newly arrived nerd boys under their wings and talk them through everything from personal hygiene issues to how to ask a girl our or what was the secret subtext of this or that conversation.* But though that was great and all, that's a lot of care taking.)

* My personal bias: probably none. Okay, maybe there was one, but you'll only drive yourself crazy trying to figure it out. Be clear, be sane, and if she can't reciprocate you're so much better off without.

[Crash programs] fail because they are based on the theory that, with nine women pregnant, you can get a baby a month. -- Wernher von Braun