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Comment Re:Feminism Confronts Technology ---- by Judy Wajc (Score 2, Insightful) 648

I have been a programmer (NOT a lousy one!) for about 11 years now, and am a woman. I am not so arrogant as to call myself a "guru" or whatever (because there is always someone else out there to learn something from), but I certainly feel that I am a good programmer - and so do all of my clients - many of whom have been with me since my start into programming - although I think my code & applications prove that point more than me just saying so - I feel my work speaks volumes for itself. HOWEVER, regardless of how good a programmer I am, I absolutely have been the vicitim of gender politics, quite often throughout my career, and most recently just in this past month on at least two seperate occasions by tech-Y's (males)!! While both of these recent situations have not actually happened inside of the office atmosphere, or with people that I work with on a daily basis, other incidents certainly have been in office or co-worker situations.

I was out at a bar, with two other tech-Y's, sitting having a drink after we ate... A guy came up and started talking to us, and while we were talking, he mentioned that he was a computer programmer. I leaned forward and replied that all (3) of us were also "computer people" - myself & my boyfriend being programmers, and my other friend is a network guy... When I mentioned the programming part, he immediately asked specifically what I did... When I gave him my reply - he LAUGHED AT ME - and said "oh - I'm sorry!!", and then moved on to ask my boyfriend what he programmed in... My boyfriend gave him pretty much the same exact response as I did - and to my utter amazement, he was like "oh wow - that's cool!"...

UMMMMM - How is it that he feels sorry for me and laughs at me, yet a guy tells him he does the same exact thing like 2 seconds later, and all the sudden it's "wow" & "cool"??!!!! That seems to me to be another excellent example of the kind of gender BS that DOES affect the IT industry.... That guy has no freaking idea what my level of expertise is (and neither do you) - yet he still treated me like I was someone to feel sorry for or be laughed at, just because I'm female... and funnily enough, I've got about 6 years more experience than my boyfriend in the industry - I was actually the one who got my boyfriend programming by mentoring & teaching him - so I really feel this guy's reaction to me was pretty degrading & couldn't understand how it could have changed so radically when he got the same answer from a guy...

In another situation recently, a customer was having issues reaching our server network, and it was due to their own ISP's network having some issues... I was attemping to speak with some guy over the phone at the ISP about the problem, he first asked me if he could speak with someone technical - I replied that I was the tech person, that I was the correct person to be speaking with... I tried to start explaining that there seemed to be an issue within their network, but the guy started telling me that there was no problem in their network, and that our own servers were down (they certainly were not - I am 110% positive of this)... I was trying to explain what was being returned with the trace routes that I had just run from multiple networks back to them and that each showed problems within their network - however in the middle of this conversation, the guy starting YELLLING at the top of his voice on the phone to me to "get your tech people on this because you don't know what your talking about and your servers are down", and then basically hung up on me... All this after I ALREADY told him that our servers were CERTAINLY not down and that I WAS the tech person, I defenitely felt that his rudeness to me was based on the fact that in his mind, I was just a stupid girl who had no clue, and I couldn't know what I was talking about - I mean how dare I say there was a problem in his network!!?? I MUST be wrong!!

While neither of these people made any direct mention of their disdain for me as being because I was a female, I do feel that is where the root of their issues with me were at. I mean, certainly these guys were assholes, and they may be assholes to men as well, but I really doubt the type of response would have been anywhere near what they were if I actually had of been a dude. I mean, I KNOW that if I was a dude the first guy would have told me my job was cool & wow - he proved it to me with his response to my boyfriend. And the second guy, he may have been a little rude to another guy on the phone, but I REALLY doubt he would have yelled and hung up if I had actually been a guy. And I'm not saying that all guys or geeks are like this, but there certainly are men (INCLUDING LOTS OF GEEKS) out there who are, and in general I think it's a total crock of shit. I know I have NEVER been treated like this by any woman, in any of the jobs I have worked, including outside of the IT industry.

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