Author Topic: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.  (Read 70076 times)

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Offline Howardlong

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #600 on: November 24, 2018, 07:33:58 am »
as the parent of both a boy and a girl, who has watched how others interact with my kids,  I can tell you that in my experience, people start socialising girls to be compliant and quiet *way* before preschool.

Anyway - back onto the topic. here's an article about a study that shows regular people exhibiting unconscious bias towards boys over girls in early STEM education
https://www.smh.com.au/education/adults-dumb-down-science-lessons-for-girls-study-20181010-p508qe.html

I don’t doubt there is adult bias for one moment, but what I don’t agree with is that it’s completely blank slate either. The blank slate hasn’t ever been scientifically validated, not least because you’d need to have an extremely oppressive and authoritarian regime over many thousands of kids from birth to achieve it, removing them from their families. Socially speaking, it’s an unproveable theory, which makes it such a popular and endless self serving subject for the social constructionists.
 

Offline coppice

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #601 on: November 24, 2018, 02:26:49 pm »
as the parent of both a boy and a girl, who has watched how others interact with my kids,  I can tell you that in my experience, people start socialising girls to be compliant and quiet *way* before preschool.

Anyway - back onto the topic. here's an article about a study that shows regular people exhibiting unconscious bias towards boys over girls in early STEM education
https://www.smh.com.au/education/adults-dumb-down-science-lessons-for-girls-study-20181010-p508qe.html

I don’t doubt there is adult bias for one moment, but what I don’t agree with is that it’s completely blank slate either. The blank slate hasn’t ever been scientifically validated, not least because you’d need to have an extremely oppressive and authoritarian regime over many thousands of kids from birth to achieve it, removing them from their families. Socially speaking, it’s an unproveable theory, which makes it such a popular and endless self serving subject for the social constructionists.
The blank slate idea comes from ideology, not research. People who believe in it are basically saying that evolution works above and below the neck of most animals, because animals not raised by parents have characteristic behaviours with no nurturing at all, but it only works below the neck of a human being.

Whilst you can't easily show the split between nature and nurture of a grown human, studies of day old babies show a substantial difference in the average response of boys and girls to various stimuli. Ideologues either say the studies are invalid, have too small a sample size, or the baby was conditioned while still in the womb. They offer no evidence at all for their own arguments.
 

Offline KL27x

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #602 on: November 25, 2018, 04:54:46 am »
Regardless of biological differences, you have to put this into context.

We as human beings are essentially the same, physiologically, biologically, and genetically to the humans who existed 85,000 years ago. Had some of these humans been transported to modern times as a newborn and raised by average parents, they would in all likelihood be indistinguishable to any modern human. Rather than living in a mud hut and having rock as their most advanced tools, they would be just another tax payer, drinking coffee at Starbucks and complaining about their internet connection.

The only significant thing that happened over the last 85,000 years is culture. Can a change in culture produce radical results in STEM gender ratios? I wouldn't assume that it's impossible.
 

Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #603 on: November 25, 2018, 05:46:02 am »
Regardless of biological differences, you have to put this into context.

We as human beings are essentially the same, physiologically, biologically, and genetically to the humans who existed 85,000 years ago. Had some of these humans been transported to modern times as a newborn and raised by average parents, they would in all likelihood be indistinguishable to any modern human. Rather than living in a mud hut and having rock as their most advanced tools, they would be just another tax payer, drinking coffee at Starbucks and complaining about their internet connection.

The only significant thing that happened over the last 85,000 years is culture. Can a change in culture produce radical results in STEM gender ratios? I wouldn't assume that it's impossible.
Is that really true? That's at least 3500 generations and probably a lot more. We will inevitably have specialised in many subtle and less subtle ways. Breeders create new dog breeds or plant species within their lifetime and orders of magnitudes fewer generations, even if forcibly selected. Behavioural modernity is apparently only 50000 years old.
 

Offline Howardlong

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #604 on: November 25, 2018, 12:50:10 pm »
The only significant thing that happened over the last 85,000 years is culture. Can a change in culture produce radical results in STEM gender ratios? I wouldn't assume that it's impossible.

You can, and it already happens. In the UAE, Qatar, Turkey and Algeria for example, the proportion of female:male engineers is much closer to parity (around 37:63) compared to the Nordic countries of Finland, Norway and Sweden (around 17:83). cf. The Gender Equality Paradox, and reflected in my own experience working in the UAE and Qatar.

But how is this achieved? It’s not as if UAE and Qater are well known for gender equality, especially when compared to Norway or Sweden. There are many reasons, such as more choice in degree courses in the Nordics, or because it’s seen as a way to financial freedom in the Arab states.

So a way that is often suggested is arbtrary quotas, but there’s only so many ways to fit square pegs into round holes. Is it right to make someone do something they don’t particularly want to do? Sure, you can encourage it which has limited penetration, but quotas innevitably mean that one group will be disadvantaged compared to another simply because of their immutable characteristics. That sounds rather racist or sexist to me, not to mention authoritarian, and in a way that seems worse and more authoritarian than the UAE/Qatar model.


 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #605 on: November 25, 2018, 01:35:14 pm »
The only significant thing that happened over the last 85,000 years is culture.

Strange about all those studies that show similar gender differences in animals as we see in humans, right down to the kinds of toys male and female baby animals like to play with.
 

Offline coppice

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #606 on: November 25, 2018, 01:49:56 pm »
The only significant thing that happened over the last 85,000 years is culture. Can a change in culture produce radical results in STEM gender ratios? I wouldn't assume that it's impossible.
Really? Neanderthals only started dying out 40,000 years ago, and there is strong evidence humans were interbreeding with them until the end. Researchers only say humans were anatomically similar to modern humans by 85,000 years ago. The fact that human remains show they were superficially similar to modern human remains doesn't mean the important details were the same. About 600-500BC there was huge surge in human intellectual progress, whether you look at the Greek philosophers in the west, Buddha in India or Confucius in China. Much of the world was intellectually exploding, but later things went off the rails for a long time. Presumably people were biologically similar to us in the dark period from the Romans tol the renaissance, so culture can have a big impact, but don't ignore the nature angle.
 

Offline KL27x

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #607 on: November 25, 2018, 08:35:31 pm »
Quote
You can, and it already happens. In the UAE, Qatar, Turkey and Algeria for example, the proportion of female:male engineers is much closer to parity (around 37:63) compared to the Nordic countries of Finland, Norway and Sweden (around 17:83). cf. The Gender Equality Paradox, and reflected in my own experience working in the UAE and Qatar.

But how is this achieved? It’s not as if UAE and Qater are well known for gender equality, especially when compared to Norway or Sweden. There are many reasons, such as more choice in degree courses in the Nordics, or because it’s seen as a way to financial freedom in the Arab states.

I am just fishing, perhaps, but I would think in more socially conservative areas, it is possible that young women are not so bombarded with the idea that physical beauty and sexual appeal are inseparable with individual success and happiness and self worth. To take an extreme example, in a country where a woman has to cover every inch of her skin in pubic and only be seen through eye holes... well, it seems natural that under this kind of restrictions a woman might be more interested in developing obvious intellectual and technical skills? As opposed to a country where to be a successful [inert talent/profession] it seems like a woman also has to be able to be talented in [insert talent/profession], they should also be able to look and dance like a stripper. In the latter area, it might feel like an admission of failure on some level, to some degree, for a young woman to want to go into something like engineering.

OTOH, you could say a boy growing up in Michigan isn't likely to be interested in cricket.

This isn't to say that quotas are an effective way to change this idea. The Norwegian countries are pretty good evidence that the social cues/culture may be way more important than quotas in higher education and industry/business.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2018, 08:48:48 pm by KL27x »
 

Offline coppice

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #608 on: November 25, 2018, 08:52:37 pm »
Quote
You can, and it already happens. In the UAE, Qatar, Turkey and Algeria for example, the proportion of female:male engineers is much closer to parity (around 37:63) compared to the Nordic countries of Finland, Norway and Sweden (around 17:83). cf. The Gender Equality Paradox, and reflected in my own experience working in the UAE and Qatar.

But how is this achieved? It’s not as if UAE and Qater are well known for gender equality, especially when compared to Norway or Sweden. There are many reasons, such as more choice in degree courses in the Nordics, or because it’s seen as a way to financial freedom in the Arab states.

I am just fishing, perhaps, but I would think in more socially conservative areas, it is possible that young women are not so bombarded with the idea that physical beauty and sexual appeal are inseparable with individual success and happiness and self worth. To take an extreme example, in a country where a woman has to cover every inch of her skin in pubic and only be seen through eye holes... well, it seems natural that under this kind of restrictions a woman might be more interested in developing obvious intellectual and technical skills? As opposed to a country where to be a successful [inert talent/profession] it seems like a woman also has to be able to be talented in [insert talent/profession], they should also be able to look and dance like a stripper. In the latter area, it might feel like an admission of failure on some level, to some degree, for a young woman to want to go into something like engineering.

OTOH, you could say a boy growing up in Michigan isn't likely to be interested in cricket.

This isn't to say that quotas are an effective way to change this idea. The Norwegian countries are pretty good evidence that the social cues/culture may be way more important than quotas in higher education and industry/business.
If you have an environment where few opportunities are available to women you might expect to find more women in the areas where they are permitted. You'll find a surprisingly small number of female truck drivers in Saudi Arabia, to offset the unusually high number of female engineers they have. I wonder how the female engineers felt about developing machines they were banned from using until recently?
 

Offline KL27x

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #609 on: November 25, 2018, 09:13:31 pm »
Quote
Strange about all those studies that show similar gender differences in animals as we see in humans, right down to the kinds of toys male and female baby animals like to play with.
Of course there are differences. TBH, as a male, I find it hard to believe that females are, as a whole or on average, are as good at males at a whole lot of things. Whether racing cars or doing math. But OTOH, I don't think you have to be particular good at something to do it proficiently. There's a base level of competency that is needed. We only need 1 Neils Bohr or Madame Curie per every few generations. The percentage of men which can do a certain job might be higher than the percentage of females, but if females were interested in being engineers and we had 99% female engineers, I think the world would still be fine.

The important bits are passed on through culture. 99% of male engineers couldn't come up with a single bit of this knowledge on their own, in their lifetimes. It's knowledge passed on through culture. There's a reason we have building codes... even a genius who understands 100% of our current body of knowledge in physics and material science... it doesn't mean he can build a safe and efficient bridge on his first try. Today's engineers have to learn, preserve, pass on, and execute this accumulated body of knowledge. One person a generation might add to that knowledge, a bit. It might be more likely that person is a male? Yeah, I'll say it. I think so. That doesn't mean is does any good to have only or mostly male engineers.

Do you think Stephen Hawking cares who is doing the rote things which have already been figured out? No. As long as other people are doing it, he can ponder whether information is or isn't erased when an object enters a black hole.

Another bit to ponder is these behavioral differences have more than likely arisen due to chance of reproductive success, largely due to intraspecies competition. Human society will eventually rise beyond that. Humans already have the ability to choose mates and decide to reproduce based on rational decisions rather than base instinct. And the future of human evolution is already... umm... well, for starters, humans have no extraspecies competition, and they haven't for 40,000 years. And today, our reproductive success is based on... well, what exactly is it based on, in the modern world? Outside of the occasional genocide in Africa, there's not a lot of direction, necessarily, to this process, anymore, where single mothers can get paid for having more babies. Or countries can mandate 1 child per couple. Etc, etc. Our future is based on politics and culture. Female vs male ability to do engineering is a moot point. Some men can do it; some can't. Some women can do it, some can't.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2018, 10:15:30 pm by KL27x »
 

Offline Zero999

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #610 on: November 25, 2018, 10:06:43 pm »
The only significant thing that happened over the last 85,000 years is culture.

Strange about all those studies that show similar gender differences in animals as we see in humans, right down to the kinds of toys male and female baby animals like to play with.
True.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2583786/
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/science-environment-29418230/monkey-test-shows-gender-choices
https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn13596-male-monkeys-prefer-boys-toys/

If it's all nurture then why are their transgender people who have been raised as one gender, which matches their body type, yet are psychologically another gender?

Many human behaviours are innate, but some are stronger in one gender, than the other. For example I find my 4 year old nephew cute, but most women will feel such an emotion more intensely, than men, because in humans females are biologically programmed to have a greater role in raising children, than males. There's also some evidence that hormone levels can affect one's perception of cuteness.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuteness#Hormones_and_cuteness_variation
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #611 on: November 26, 2018, 12:54:09 am »
Our future is based on politics and culture. Female vs male ability to do engineering is a moot point. Some men can do it; some can't. Some women can do it, some can't.

The argument has never been about ability differences in the genders when it comes to engineering. It's not even moot.
 

Offline KL27x

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #612 on: November 26, 2018, 12:57:12 am »
Quote
The argument has never been about ability differences in the genders when it comes to engineering. It's not even moot.
Well, be more specific what you want this threat to be, then?

You think there are biological difference that make women not want to go into engineering?

If you raised females in an environment that portrayed their future as an engineer as something desirable, they would want to do it.

If we dumped a bunch of very young people, somehow unexposed to any culture, education, media, and we gave them simple survival skills and dumped them on a hypothetical imaginary habitable planet, how many thousands of years do you suppose it would be before they had written language, math, physics? They would be content to live in mud huts, maybe for millenia. 

« Last Edit: November 26, 2018, 01:01:25 am by KL27x »
 

Offline coppice

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #613 on: November 26, 2018, 01:01:40 am »
If you raised females in an environment that portrayed their future as an engineer as something desirable, they would want to do it.
I wonder what it would be like for men to be raised in an environment where a career in engineering were portrayed as something desirable, and people didn't say "Why did you study engineering? You got good grade at school."
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #614 on: November 26, 2018, 01:01:58 am »
Many human behaviours are innate, but some are stronger in one gender, than the other. For example I find my 4 year old nephew cute, but most women will feel such an emotion more intensely, than men, because in humans females are biologically programmed to have a greater role in raising children, than males. There's also some evidence that hormone levels can affect one's perception of cuteness.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuteness#Hormones_and_cuteness_variation

As someone who's spent the last 8 years wandering around with two cute adorable kids in public, the evidence is overwhelming that almost all the people who go gooey-eyed at a cute 3yo kid are women.  Like 99% overwhelming. Of course that's blatantly obvious. But, you know, it's all a social construct  ::)
It's very interesting to study people's reactions to cute kids actually.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #615 on: November 26, 2018, 01:06:41 am »
Quote
The argument has never been about ability differences in the genders when it comes to engineering. It's not even moot.
Well, be more specific what you want this threat to be, then?

It's in the title, gender politics infecting engineering.
No one is discussing whether women aren't as intellectually capable in engineering as men, no one thinks that.

Quote
You think there are biological difference that make women not want to go into engineering?

It's not what I think, it's what the studies and evidence shows.

Quote
If you raised females in an environment that portrayed their future as an engineer as something desirable, they would want to do it.

Err, remove the word female from that sentence and the answer is exactly the same - "It depends on their innate interest in the subject, plus other factors".

Quote
If we dumped a bunch of very young people, somehow unexposed to any culture, education, media, and we gave them simple survival skills and dumped them on a hypothetical imaginary habitable planet, how many thousands of years do you suppose it would be before they had written language, math, physics? They would be content to live in mud huts, maybe for millenia.

Pointless discussion.
 

Online IanB

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #616 on: November 26, 2018, 01:17:44 am »
You think there are biological difference that make women not want to go into engineering?

I think that, for one.

You state it too bluntly though, which oversimplifies a complex issue. But years of observation of men and women inside and outside the workplace makes it clear that across populations there are different biases between men and women in their preferences and interests. It should come as no surprise that more men find engineering interesting than women do. It should not even be controversial.

Society should give men and women equal opportunity to do whatever they want to do, and should leave it at that.
I'm not an EE--what am I doing here?
 

Offline Circlotron

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #617 on: November 26, 2018, 02:01:15 am »
As someone who's spent the last 8 years wandering around with two cute adorable kids in public, the evidence is overwhelming that almost all the people who go gooey-eyed at a cute 3yo kid are women.  Like 99% overwhelming. Of course that's blatantly obvious. But, you know, it's all a social construct  ::)
Part of the reason for that 99% vs 1% may be that it is generally considered quite acceptable for an unknown woman to approach and make a fuss over your small kids, but for an unknown man to do the same thing without his wife present is a big no-no. Part of the reason, if you believe SJWs and feminists, is that all men are rapists and paedophiles, especially white men. Of course, these are the same men that collectively conspire to prevent women from becoming engineers.  :palm:
 
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Offline jismal

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #618 on: November 26, 2018, 03:53:37 am »
We are Engineers we dont care about gender as long as she or he does the right thing.Why the crap saying someone is discriminated by the biases of gender. I am from India My office doesnt care the gender as long you done the JOB RIGHT. You can count me as the voice of a millennial.
 

Offline MrMobodies

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #619 on: November 26, 2018, 04:21:23 am »
Look at Franlab.

Couldn't care less about her gender but she reverse engineers/ build things and shows it to the world.

The interest in the work is there, I see it on video and I see an engineer and not a self entitled wannabe.
 
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Offline Zero999

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #620 on: November 26, 2018, 09:52:14 am »
If we dumped a bunch of very young people, somehow unexposed to any culture, education, media, and we gave them simple survival skills and dumped them on a hypothetical imaginary habitable planet, how many thousands of years do you suppose it would be before they had written language, math, physics? They would be content to live in mud huts, maybe for millenia.
Even without current culture and society, it's pretty certain the women would spend more time raising children, than men, perhaps even more so than in this modern world. There would be no formula milk, so breastfeeding would be the only option, whilst the men go hunting and foraging for food. If anything modern technology enables women to behave more like men and vice versa.
 

Offline Nominal Animal

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #621 on: November 26, 2018, 01:14:45 pm »
You cannot argue with SJWs.  They do not believe in science.  Statistics, for example, are evil if they do not show a politically correct result.

I am not kidding.  In Finland and Sweden, they no longer include skin color or likely ethnicity in the description of suspects; in Finland, the police stopped publishing statistics on the origin of suspects.  In Finland, media typically won't show pictures of the suspects (but will show the victim), and if they do, the face will be blurred. In Sweden, they often manipulate the pictures, lightening the skin color before pixelating the face.  Social justice is more important than legal justice, you see.  Information that might prejudice against the social justice movement and its effects is evil and not to be published.

(If you disagree, you get labeled as a far-right extremist or a nazi.)

It is easy to make claims like "if you dropped people without any culture...", because there is no way to argue about those scientifically, only via feelings and assumptions.
Do not get pulled in.
There is nothing to be gained or learned by that sort of engagement, just entrenching whatever beliefs one might have.

There is zero scientific evidence of personality type being affected by culture (other than via psychological damage, and there is a lot of that). There is a lot of robust statistical evidence of interest being overwhelmingly based on personality type.  There is also a lot of statistical evidence showing that personality types have significantly different distributions in the two genders, and that cultures granting more personal freedoms, rather than minimizing those differences, tends to increase those differences.  This is anathema to SJWs, and they will never acknowledge these facts.  They will never argue based on science, but based on their feelings and assumptions stemming from their political dogma.  It is like arguing with a chatterbot.

It is important to note that social justice warriors also deny any statistics related to personality types.  They do not believe they exist, because everything, including gender and personality type, must be only a social construct to them.

So, non-SJW people who find quotas odd and unfair, because it means that interest and knowledge is less important than group membership, should not argue about it with SJWs, because they will never admit to the underlying reality, and instead twist it into an emotional argument and hypothetical scenarios.  It leads nowhere.

The worst thing is that SJWs usually recommend changing the culture "for better".  Culture arises from human interactions; it is not something planned or designed.  Attempting to change it according to some dictat, is like demanding people change their language.  It might or might not work, but definitely is not painless; doing so because a minority who dislike science thinks it might be useful, is sheer madness.
 

Offline apis

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #622 on: November 26, 2018, 04:17:45 pm »
In Sweden, they often manipulate the pictures, lightening the skin color before pixelating the face.
:bullshit:
 

Offline Zero999

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #623 on: November 26, 2018, 04:24:30 pm »
As someone who's spent the last 8 years wandering around with two cute adorable kids in public, the evidence is overwhelming that almost all the people who go gooey-eyed at a cute 3yo kid are women.  Like 99% overwhelming. Of course that's blatantly obvious. But, you know, it's all a social construct  ::)
Part of the reason for that 99% vs 1% may be that it is generally considered quite acceptable for an unknown woman to approach and make a fuss over your small kids, but for an unknown man to do the same thing without his wife present is a big no-no. Part of the reason, if you believe SJWs and feminists, is that all men are rapists and paedophiles, especially white men. Of course, these are the same men that collectively conspire to prevent women from becoming engineers.  :palm:
It's plausible women are innately wary of men they don't know approaching their children, since men are more likely to abuse them than women
 
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Offline Howardlong

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #624 on: November 26, 2018, 09:22:57 pm »
Part of the reason for that 99% vs 1% may be that it is generally considered quite acceptable for an unknown woman to approach and make a fuss over your small kids, but for an unknown man to do the same thing without his wife present is a big no-no. Part of the reason, if you believe SJWs and feminists, is that all men are rapists and paedophiles, especially white men. Of course, these are the same men that collectively conspire to prevent women from becoming engineers.  :palm:

Actually this is very true.

It’s not at all uncommon for a few (admittedly a minority) of the women at the places I work at to be quite touchy feely on occasion, in a way that I wouldn’t ever dream of, not least because if I did, not only do I find it inappropriate in a work environment, but you can be 100% sure the HR arseholes would be all over me like a rash.

In its extreme, the touching comprises of neck massages, which are not uncommon, but more common are brief hands touching/stroking the knee or arm, unnecessarily as far as I’m comcerned, but women tend to be different to men in that respect.

Being a nerd I laugh it off as best I can, but it annoys me that if the shoe was on the other foot I’d be out the door within the hour. I personally find the massage thing to be really quite unnerving, and I would not be surprised if that’s why they do it, to see my reaction. The thing is I have a lot of respect otherwise for those who do it, I work with them very regularly, and not,only are they very good in their roles, I like it that we can enjoy a bit of harmless office banter (that’ll be banned soon I’m sure). I would much rather work in an environment with witty banter, in-jokes and self-deprecation than a soulless work environment, so I take the rough with the smooth in that respect.

As a datapoint, some years ago at a social function outside of work after few tinnies I asked one of the women why they did it to me. They said it was because I was “harmless”. I still don’t know whether to take that as a compliment or not!

I wonder if third wave feminists would think this behaviour appropriate?
 


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