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I don’t want your help

The famous Michael Arrington post about women in tech and several of the comments and blog responses have been rolling around in my brain all day. There were some thoughtful insights as well as some really stupid responses on all sides of the argument.

I don’t know if the reasons are nature or nurture. Personally, I don’t feel like I’ve been the victim of discrimination. And I don’t think we will ever see 50/50 gender representation in tech fields and that really doesn’t bother me. I like to educate girls about the opportunities available in technology, because I think young women eliminate tech from their career options for false reasons, like that they won’t be able to interact with humans or that they will spend every day completely at a computer.

But here’s what I do know: I really don’t want any “help”. Men trying to “help” women get noticed because they think women can’t do it on their own. Men holding special recruiting drives to find more female speakers. Men trying to be more “inclusive”.

Ick.

Doesn’t it feel condescending and yucky? It sure does to me.

If I’m writing something useful and smart, someone will find it. If they don’t, perhaps it is because I’m not promoting it very well. I certainly don’t want any charity promotion from someone. If you think it is good, then tell people. If not, ignore it. Fine by me.

Small addendum: Women who complain that people who disagree with them on the internet are “raping” them DO NOT SPEAK FOR ME, and in fact make me ashamed to be female. Really. (Even if you are being called filthy names or threatened, it is not the same thing AT ALL, and makes you sound like an idiot.)

Posted by Avonelle on Monday, August 30, 2010.

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