I haven't posted on Slashdot in years, but the response to this story made me want to come out of the woodwork.
So far In the comments I've seen:
--He isn't really a nerd! NOFP!
--Nerds don't hit on girls, so NOFP!
--He's using a stereotype! I'm not that guy, so NMFP!
I'm a woman working in a technical field and I've been at this game since 1996. In my current company, the men here outnumber me 9-1. When you add in a love of geeky pursuits (at one convention, I remember counting 3 women in a group of 500 men), I've spent a lot of time being one of the guys.
In the beginning, it was exciting -- thrilling!-- to be the only woman in a meeting. I was the exception! I was going to make it! I was better than those girly-girls with their silly pursuits. But, not only do I realize that was a stupid-ass position that reinforced the perceptions of women's interests being lesser than men, I'm just tired of it. Tired of little backhanded bullshit comments. Tired of having to laugh at stupid sexist shit to be one of the boys. And especially tired of being told there's no problem. And this is not just me. Again, it's necessarily a small data pool (see % above), but I've never met a woman who didn't have at least 3 stories about bullshit at work. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04...
Again, it's not that I can't hack it. I can. This isn't a poor me, come and save me post. At this point, my hide is tempered steel -- fucking bring it, world. It's that I shouldn't have to, and as I said above, it's fucking exhausting.
And it's more than just eating shit at work: We live in a world where literally yesterday a woman was stoned to death by her family for failing to live her life they way they wanted. (http://www.cnn.com/2014/05/28/world/asia/pakistan-pregnant-woman-killed/) . Our culture shames a woman for accepting sexual advances and blames her if she rejects them (http://nypost.com/cover/#covers-1401159702). There is literally no way to win as a woman.
Look, guys. Even if you've done a ton of soul searching, and you genuinely believe you're not part of the problem, go to the next step. The women around you are hurting. They're exhausted. They're being gaslighted (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaslighting) left, right and center. So if you genuinely think you're not making things works, figure out how to make it better. Find a woman to mentor. If you're in a meeting, and a woman's voice isn't getting heard, help her (although, please avoid mansplaining (i.e. "What Jane really means to say is...."). If someone say some bullshit about women in your workplace, call them out on it.
Sorry for this long cri de coeur, but you guys are my peeps and the responses broke my heart. You're my guys, my people, my tribe. Can't you back us up?