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a female factor?
July 9, 2004 9:04 AM   Subscribe

Where are the women in web design?
posted by erisfree (68 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
You forget our MeFi friend Rebecca Blood?
posted by nofundy at 9:08 AM on July 9, 2004


Is RCB a web designer? I thought she was more of a blogger/social engineering type person.
posted by riffola at 9:18 AM on July 9, 2004


Here's one. Cute too.
posted by banished at 9:27 AM on July 9, 2004


Here's her pic.
posted by banished at 9:29 AM on July 9, 2004


Forget model/actress, the slash of the future is model/web designer!
posted by ChasFile at 9:31 AM on July 9, 2004


Where are the women in web design?

sublime directory is a good place to start looking.
posted by jonmc at 9:32 AM on July 9, 2004


^sarcasm
posted by jonmc at 9:34 AM on July 9, 2004


Not getting employed.

(is that self-linking self-pitying bitterness? Naw...)
posted by Katemonkey at 9:52 AM on July 9, 2004


banished: Here's one. Cute too.

NSFW if your work is unfriendly to very large pictures of models in underwear.

posted by callmejay at 10:06 AM on July 9, 2004


Wow, katemonkey. I admire your perseverence. (Although I guess it's not like you have much of a choice.)
posted by callmejay at 10:07 AM on July 9, 2004


Ooh, a world of female web developer slash fiction awaits.
posted by xmutex at 10:08 AM on July 9, 2004


Hard to believe you missed the DesignisKinky mugshot gallery for this.
Seems about 50/50 in there.
posted by milovoo at 10:10 AM on July 9, 2004


(BTW, only seems to me, it's really 460 f to 2412 m, curse my inexact math!)
posted by milovoo at 10:23 AM on July 9, 2004


Every web designer I've worked with professionally has been a woman. I never realized there was a shortage?
posted by falconred at 10:23 AM on July 9, 2004


Basically there's been an interesting phenomenon thats happened recently where this question has been doing a lot of circulation. And it isn't so much that people are asking, "where are the women in tech?" but more along the lines of "are the women in tech fields being under-recognized for equal achievements and skills?"
posted by erisfree at 10:30 AM on July 9, 2004


"are the women in tech fields being under-recognized for equal achievements and skills?"

or are tech people, by their very nature, under-recognized for achievements and skills regardless of gender? It's a behind-the-scenes kinda job. There should be a career guidance pamphlet "Tech Jobs: if you want fame, consider an alternate career"
posted by milovoo at 10:37 AM on July 9, 2004


I always thought web design is what the Unix admin does in her spare time.
posted by the fire you left me at 10:51 AM on July 9, 2004


Erisfree: Yes. If we are honest and objective about our assessment, yes, they are being under-recognized.

There are lots of reasons for it, but the question is so seldom entertained seriously or without some kind of patronizing cant that it might as well be taboo.

I mean, look how quickly this discussion devolved to how "hot" they were?
posted by lodurr at 10:54 AM on July 9, 2004


Here's one. Cute too.

*rolls eyes*

Entropy8 and Entropy8Zuper, for starters.
posted by jokeefe at 11:42 AM on July 9, 2004


Eris quoted an older post that's somewhat related, but the one I wrote on this specific issue is here

And lodurr, I agree with you as to the 'taboo' nature of this topic.
posted by shelleyp at 11:43 AM on July 9, 2004


I've been teaching a variety of web design related courses here and there on a freelance basis for years and in terms of the sex of the students (not with the students, I'll keep that to myself) it's been pretty much 50/50. Students vary from the staff of large, medium, and small corporatations to small businesses and independents.

Indeed, those who teach the IT courses (Unix, etc) always complain about the ratio my courses have...
posted by juiceCake at 11:54 AM on July 9, 2004


Weird. Our whole IA/visual design/template engineering/mockup and prototype team is staffed by women, except for one dude who is pretty much a CSS grunt. Based on personal experience here and among those outside the company I know, I thought that a majority of web design/info arch people were women.
posted by majick at 11:57 AM on July 9, 2004


It's not a taboo topic, shelley, it's just fucking boring and condescending.

I've been building sites since late '95 and I'm a woman. I do not care whether my gender is equally represented in the field or award categories because my gender has nothing do with my abilities or lack thereof. I do not feel slighted, overlooked or - god forbid - oppressed by so-called absence of attention toward women's web design work.

Chances are that if your work is being ignored it has everything to do with its quality; your keeping your light under a basket; or it's just not considered hip and fashionable at the moment.
posted by gsh at 11:58 AM on July 9, 2004


Whatever the field, when someone asks: "where are the women?" I wonder why we invariably hear: "why are the men keeping them down," instead of interpreting it as "why aren't they stepping up?" They're both valid questions (if indeed there is some kind of shortage - which I, personally, don't see) All stripes of civil rights warrior have had to address their own role in their subjugation eventually. Are we really thinking that promising web gals who step up to create something cool will be slapped down by a male-dominated cabal of internet gurus? Matt and Kottke are notorious bitch-slappers, I grant you, but certainly, they're exceptional.
posted by scarabic at 12:04 PM on July 9, 2004


look how quickly this discussion devolved to how "hot" they were?

Why "devolved"? Are we supposed to pretend that we don't like pretty boys or girls now?

On topic, the vast majority of web designers that I know are women, as are a significant number of web developers (programmers). Maybe people started posting pictures of hotties because the premise of the articles is just stupid?

On preview: scarabic, word.
posted by majcher at 12:19 PM on July 9, 2004


"Matt and Kottke are notorious bitch-slappers..."

I just about died, trying to imagine Matt or Jason wearing a white tank-top undershirt, cheap brew and TV remote clutched in one hand, cigarette dangling out of mouth, saying "Baby, why you gotta make me hurt you?"
posted by AccordionGuy at 12:24 PM on July 9, 2004


Well, gsh it's nice to know your needs are taken care of and screw the rest of the women, because you have what you need.

While we're at it, screw the women who don't get paid equally, because you're paid enough.

And screw the women who don't have the same visibility as the men, though according to a large number of people in this list, women in web design seem to outnumber the men, so why are not more women mentioned when book offers and other opportunities arise?

You now why-- other than exceptional women like yourself, we're all shit when it comes to design and technology. It's all our fault, baby. It's been all our fault since the dawn of time.

Even when we get beat, it's all our fault. If we didn't put our faces in the way, it wouldn't happen.

But you're fine so it has to be all the rest of us, we're the problem. Not you.

Because baby you got it made. What's out bitch?

It's all about you.

And majcher -- does no good to step up in the weblogging world. Not that we're slapped down. We're just ignored. And if we speak out, well, gsh will tell you what happens then.
posted by shelleyp at 12:40 PM on July 9, 2004


Oh and gsh -- too bad all those women in the past bitched so much about non-existent problems, so that you have your job now. We all know you'd rather not have the vote, or a career, and would rather be at home nursing your sixth child, worn out and half dead at 30.

But then, that's just wouldn't be hip and fashionable, is it? Caring for other women, that's not hip and fashionable either.

Come see me when you have a few more years in and we'll talk about inequality. Baby.
posted by shelleyp at 12:45 PM on July 9, 2004


...because my gender has nothing do with my abilities or lack thereof.

But it may well have something to do with whether or not you'll be accepted into the boys club. Though, since we can't get anyone interested enough to have a conversation about this (instead of posturing about meritocracy), we wouldn't know that, would we?

Since this seems to have become one of those conversations where "years of 'net cred" counts: I've worked in IT off and on since '91, on full-time since '96; only building web pages since '97, though, so I guess you've got me beat. But I can speak anecdotally to support the idea that (for whatever reason) there's generally a difference in style between how women work and how men work.

Or, rather: between the ideal held up for male geeks, and that held up for female geeks.

The male ideal is the opinionated egomaniac, fighting for scarce resources, be they intellectual, financial, karmic, what have you.

The female ideal is the soothing organizer, the cheerleader, the team-player.

Naturally you can find tokens to counter these typical roles. E.g., a few years back I worked with a gung-fu obsessive VB6/C++ jockey who drank, swore, and talked trash just like the boys. I've also worked with men who saw no value in ego-trips, just wanted to get the job done. But the men who favored the egomaniac, gung-fu obsessed ideal of the Hot Shit Coder tended to be particularly threatened by women -- unless, of course, those women drank, swore, and talked trash just like the boys. (...and of course, it helped if they were "hot.")

As far as I can see, these role ideals are why most women in IT/IS end up in project management or some related discipline, and the few women left end up ghettoized into things like requirements analysis, documentation, and architecture. (Mind, occupational ghettoes can be pleasant places, but that doesn't change their economic and political nature.)
posted by lodurr at 1:28 PM on July 9, 2004


regarding whether or not this topic is taboo or "fucking boring", I've noticed that in the past few days, this topic has exponentially increased as a subject of posts on womens sites. It took one or two women to bring the topic to light and then it snowballed into so many tech women talking about it almost everywhere I turned around.

Is it taboo? probably so, because even I was a little nervous about posting it here or discussing my relevance as a woman in a tech field on my site. And despite how rational I kept my voice when discussing how this issue affected me (on my site), I still got some negative backlash just for bringing it up. So not only is it taboo, but it's a touchy subject.

Is it a boring and condescending topic? I don't feel that it is, the number of techy women who are posting about this on their sites probably don't feel that way either. gsh, my worth as a web designer isn't defined by my gender. The quality of my work doesn't suffer because of my gender. To mention gender is not the equivalent of using gender as an excuse.

But I, like other techy women, notice situations that place gender before talent. LIke the fact that the first female designer listed in this thread was listed, not so much for the quality of her work, but for the fact that she has half-naked pics. The problem that I see with that isn't the pictures. Sex Sells. But what kind of impression does that put on other female designers? That to be noticed, be prepared to bare all because the quality of your work isn't enough to get you a good job and decent clients?

Scarabic asks "why aren't they stepping up?" and I think that question is an equally valid one to consider and not at all boring or condescending.
posted by erisfree at 1:45 PM on July 9, 2004


Why "devolved"? Are we supposed to pretend that we don't like pretty boys or girls now?

"Devolved" because this wasn't a discussion about "prettiness" it was a discussion about people in a profession that has nothing to do with looks or attractiveness. But whenever a discussion is raised about women in a particular niche, particularly about the dearth of women in a particular niche, someone -- a male someone -- has to say "Here's one, and look, she's hot!"

A couple of weeks ago, a well-known software developer gave a very enthusiastic shoutout on his blog to a bunch of designer girls and exhorted his readers to give them business -- not because they're great designers (they haven't met a validator worth giving any time to, apparently, amongst other problems) but because they're cute.

Is it any wonder that women in male-dominated fields tend to be content to keep their heads down and just do their work? Is it any wonder that they're not "stepping up" if that means opening themselves to discussions of their merits as good-looking or not good-looking women, not their merits as professionals capable of doing good work? Being ghettoized into less public and less praise-garnering positions because you'd just as soon not be picked apart on irrelevant bases is still a world better than getting attention based on looks first, ability second -- if at all.
posted by Dreama at 1:55 PM on July 9, 2004


"Why aren't they stepping up." Yes, that's a very valid question.

But eris, this is the 'net, where "the only thing a free man can be forced to do is die." On the net, people believe in "meritocracy", even though every day their experience shoudl be teaching them that it's force of personality that wins the day.

On the one hand, that's just life in American business. On the other...that's really not a game I particularly want to play. So, generally, I don't. I've had the good fortune in the past few years to work largely in relatively un-ego-emcumbered zones, where we were able to actually accomplish things instead of wasting time posturing over who was the most legit.

I also have some exposure to the ad business (another "gung-fu obsessed" realm); my ex of five years, now my good friend of eight more, is a writer and CD, and I've heard enough stories from her, and from mutual friends, to feel confident that the female art directors and creative directors are much less ego-driven than the men. It's interesting to note, then, that though (at least around here) there are a lot more female CDs than male, the men get a disproportionate share of the awards.

Curious. Must mean they're better designers, eh? Somehow I don't think so.

ON PREVIEW: dreama, if a woman gave a shout out to a group of male designers (as if there would be such a thing...), she'd immediately be accused of sexism.
posted by lodurr at 2:01 PM on July 9, 2004


lodur, I can agree with so much of what you're saying.

I've been in the field since the 80's, online developing for the web since Mosaic was a brand new baby -- the longer 'm in, the harder it becomes to be seen. Lately, I'm not even sure it's worth trying. I don't look that great in a bikini anymore.

As for bringing these topics up and the good of it:

This issue also was raised about women in politics, and I asked the question at my site -- which women bloggers got credentialed to the DNC. Someone just left a comment in my post that she was denied earlier this week but received a phone call yesterday that said she was now invited to particpate. If you don't think this didn't happen because of this noise, think again.

I guess no matter how frustrated we get, or discouraged--especially discouraged--, or no matter 'bored' babes like gsh become, we have to keep talking.

As an aside: when we do talk about issues such as women in tech, it's okay to get frustrated, or even passionate. We don't have to write like we're all proper ladies, sitting with our butts on a chair, pinky finger raised as we sip our tea. And we don't have to spend half our time reassuring men that no, we don't hate them, either.
posted by shelleyp at 2:07 PM on July 9, 2004


And hysterical, over-the-top, 50-miles wide of the mark reactions like your post to mine, shelley, are doing such a great job of promoting female interests. Well done! Way to strike one for the sisterhood!
posted by gsh at 2:38 PM on July 9, 2004


and gsh, how exactly did your post help?
posted by erisfree at 2:49 PM on July 9, 2004


Hysterical? Nothing hysterical about it gsh, and using that word makes me wonder -- that's what the guys use whenever women get pissed.

I got pissed at your reaction, gsh. Pissed. Deservedly so. Yours was a selfish self-centered childish 'me me' response, meant to degrade and diminish the topic. So you got exactly what you deserved. And I thought it was also important to remind you that topics about women and equality have been called 'boring' in the past -- and where would we be if people listened?

And next time, go ask the guys for another word, to use? Okay? Hysterical is getting so damn dull. Unimaginative. Try using a dictionary. Big words there. Might help.

Or wait until Matt comes by -- he'll be around to bitch slap some of us soon..

By the way - where's your web site? I want to see your hip and fashionable expertise in action.
posted by shelleyp at 2:54 PM on July 9, 2004


As for striking a blow for sisterhood...in MetaFilter?

You have got to be kidding.
posted by shelleyp at 3:23 PM on July 9, 2004


FWIW - just got done working in the internet biz for 5 years, and about 80% of that was under female supervisors. They rocked, and I'd work for them all again.

shellyp - you missed a perfect opportunity to discuss how sexist the word "hysteria" in its origin (think "hysterectomy" to get started on that one) but I have another sugegstion: why don't you calm down a little? If you have anything to say, it's getting drowned out by the very loud keyboard-banging sounds. Are you underemployed? Have you been persecuted? Why not tell us about it instead of nailing gsh up on a cross?

gsh is doing her thing and trying to stay gender-neutral about it. I doubt she's your true enemy (if you have one).
posted by scarabic at 3:51 PM on July 9, 2004


Boy, after reading this thread I sure am glad to be a guy, since no one ever judges me by my appearance and I am entirely free from gender-based stereotypes, the conformance or non-conformance to which would never affect anyone's idea of my worth or professionalism.
posted by IshmaelGraves at 3:53 PM on July 9, 2004


Thanks for posting this. I have been away from the tech scene for a while now (if you think web design work is hard to come by, try looking at the Virtual Reality software market.)

WTF is that about though?
posted by john at 4:08 PM on July 9, 2004


scarabic, being "gender neutral" is one thing, but being dismissive is something else entirely. when a guy is dismissive of a feminist topic, it stings. but when another woman is dismissive of it, it cuts much deeper.

for example, in one of the links i posted there was an article about women of the Apprentice as a small scale example of a large and noticable (by some) problem. When the women were working together, they beat out the other team every time. But when they were divided, the men on the teams were given an assumed power and the women fought among themselves to be the most highly favored for that implied power. So yeah, women are probably each other's worst enemies in that regard. fighting with each other to keep perpetrating a status quo so that they wont be seen by those with assumed power as "hysterical". to just go along with it and not rock the boat because it seems that once a woman gets that label of "feminist", she's professionally outcast. Now, why would women feel that way, that to "speak up" is a death sentence?
posted by erisfree at 4:13 PM on July 9, 2004


scarabic, gsh was arbitrarily dismissive of the topic and condescending in a very passive aggressive way of the women so engaged. You may not think so; I do.

As for telling me to calm down -- excuse me, but why?

You see, good women aren't always good little girls and talk in soft tones and ask pretty please. Some of us actually express ourselves passionately, even angrily when the subject is important to us.

If my words were heard before, in spite of the tone you find so painful and harsh (in MeFi? harsh in MeFi?), they won't be now because you used the second canned phrase guys use with women who are angry or passionate: calm down. Hush, child. Don't get so excited. Down girl.

*pat* *pat*

So, no offense, but, uh, no. I won't calm down when it comes to this type of topic. I will probably never calm down. Give me a horn and I'll shout it from the streets. Huzzah! Hear me!

I'd do the Helen Reddy thing right now, but I hate that song. I really do.

Tedious, I know. Sad, but true. Sigh, what can you do? I am trial to the men around me, and most of the good little girls, too.

Would it help if I wore something from Victoria Secret while I shout?
posted by shelleyp at 4:14 PM on July 9, 2004


Woops -- but the point of the posting was lost while I defended myself; another old trick, that: attack the accuser, sidetrack the topic.

So my response was wrong for that. Thankfully while I was posting, Erisfree came in with a much better response to scarabic.
posted by shelleyp at 4:19 PM on July 9, 2004


I don't find the tone painful or harsh, just a tad unnecessary and the generalization against the whole site make me just want to skip your raving.

I have sympathy for anyone not getting what they deserve, but assuming we are incapable of supporting this disrupts any point you are trying to make.
posted by john at 4:34 PM on July 9, 2004


I hear you, erisfree, and if you disagree with gsh, you have perfectly solid ground upon which to do so. But I wouldn't demonize gsh (as shellyp is doing) for saying that women and their work should be and are judged by the same standard as men. If her personal experience bears this out, she's got every right to advance that thought. I, too, find her message a bit naive and reductive, but it's also quite bold and no-bullshit. Perhaps that attitude serves her well in the workplace. Again: is she the problem? Is her perspective worthless?

I think it's definitely got more worth than shellyp's inarticulate personal rage, which is all we're hearing from that corner of this room. Typical in-fighting, preaching-to-the-choir, unproductive crap. I'm tempted to take up the offer of delivering a "horn" so she can actually take it to the streets. It's doing no good in here.
posted by scarabic at 4:40 PM on July 9, 2004


I've worked in engineering, computing and web development at various levels through my career and in my opinion the biggest reason there aren't more women in technical fields is that they aren't applying for the jobs.
posted by normy at 4:53 PM on July 9, 2004


My apologies erisfree for coming here and disrupting this thread. No room in the world for angry or passionate women, are there?

scarabic and john, no worries. I am out of here.
posted by shelleyp at 4:59 PM on July 9, 2004


scarabic: regardless, the tone of Shelley's posts don't take cancel out the point she's making. Or, it shouldn't as her tone isn't the issue here. In terms of the points being made, I agree more with Shelly than gsh.

normy: did you work as a hiring manager? how do you know women aren't applying for these jobs? take Katemonkey's comment, for example.
posted by erisfree at 5:03 PM on July 9, 2004


Deborah J. Mayhew is my hero. A user-centered-design specialist famous before Jakob and all the others.
posted by xammerboy at 5:06 PM on July 9, 2004


Well, I think her tone does cancel her point out, inasmuch as her posts become unreadable. You've done a fine job of articulating your thoughts, so much so that I'll be thinking of what you had to say for the next couple of days as I go about my business. That's how I learn.

I did try asking shellp to say what she has to say without attacking anyone here on a personal level, and I did that because I think she does have a point, somewhere in there. Unfortunately, it looks like she'd rather bail than refine her dialogue to the point of legibility.

I'll say to you, shelly, what others have said to me here, on occasion: it's clear you have something to say. Is there any way you can say it without causing bloodshed, so that those of us who are interested can hear it?
posted by scarabic at 5:17 PM on July 9, 2004


...shellyp's inarticulate personal rage...

What a crock of shit. Would you please just read what you wrote? Honestly? And by "honestly", I mean, "while applying the same standards you'd apply to others of similar reputation"? Jeebus. Some loudmouth asshole posts drunk and instults everyone in sight, and 60% of the "community" falls all over itself to excuse it. One woman voices a little righteous indignation, and it's 'inaticulate rage'.

And you still don't get it? Well, we don't have a search filter that does it, but I wonder how gender=female would correlate to posting frequency, hm?

And if you don't get the point of that... well, then, maybe you need to study the social sciences a bit more.

Oh, yeh, BTW: I've spent the bulk of my career supervising or being supervised by women, too. I've also been managed by a few good men. Maybe that's the difference: Maybe I'm not trying to recover my lost daddy figure from the smothering sea, hn?

And FWIW, I've observed this "apprentice effect" firsthand more times than I care to mention. Except that with a good manager, it doesn't happen, because the macho gung-fu bullshit gets nipped in the bud quickly enough to prevent the team from wasting fucking cycles on it.
posted by lodurr at 5:23 PM on July 9, 2004


did you work as a hiring manager?

Or with them, yes.
posted by normy at 5:27 PM on July 9, 2004


Not sure if jokeefe was kidding or not, but those links are horrid.
posted by bingo at 5:46 PM on July 9, 2004


Oh please,

She dismissed the community and went off expecting people to say "calm down", etc. so she could turn and play the martyr. That we can't handle an "angry/passionate" woman is pure dramatic bullshit. Maybe that's OK for erisfree, but it's not for me (and I do think some of her points were more valid than gsh's).

I never suggested she'd leave. I just think it's far more constructive to act in a different manner. She choose to attack gsh for having the audacity to think something is fucking boring when it's Shelly's theme lately or whatever.

You can stop wondering why you get ignored Shelly. You are way too angery to get certain people to listen no matter how much they agree with you and that's fucked up because I do seem to agree with you from what little you've managed to offer.
posted by john at 6:15 PM on July 9, 2004


Geez, guys. You're all sounding hysterical because you're all coming into the argument assuming you know the one reason for all of this, and not a single one of you has a single real fact backing you up. It is possible that female designers are somewhat less likely than males to be recognized, though I suspect this is one of the least of many social factors, including political affiliation and geography.

Second, it's unclear what we're even really talking about. Most of the linked articles talked about women being underrepresented as gurus and experts... which seems to me is probably because (for whatever reason) men are just more interested in theorizing and in technical issues. If men are doing most of the theorizing, that's why they're getting noticed for it.

And gsh's point is also good. There's a difference between being really high-profile and just being a success at your chosen profession, and I don't really see any evidence that women are being slighted in the latter case. I also don't believe that the lack of well-publicized female web "gurus" hurts women just trying to make it in web design.
posted by dagnyscott at 9:04 PM on July 9, 2004


First, lodurr, thank you.

Second, John, I left the 'community' if this is what you call it, in order to calm down before responding. I tend to dislike men dismissing women's anger as hysterical and inarticulate, in order to degrade what is being said. If you see what I wrote here as inarticulate personal rage, then you must not participate in many MeFi or other group commenting threads.

I would say you got defensive about my statement on MeFi and then escalated the tone of my voice accordingly. But I stand behind what I said about MeFi -- I have found that seldom is there serious discussion of women's issues in a wide open community without someone dropping in a link to a photo of a women in underwear. Such is the nature of the infrastructure.

And scarabic, 'demonizing gsh'? My goodness. I can't remember the last time I demonized anyone. I tore gsh a new one, and no regrets.

Really -- you and John, you're more than a little over the top, with your reaction. You both need to calm down, and be somewhat less hysterical with your reactions.

dagnyscott, gsh's points were that she has no problems with work, personally; and anyone who does must not do her job well. I don't believe she made any reference to women gurus not getting the attention they deserve.

As for theorizing on CSS and web design -- well, I suppose it happens. Web design isn't what I would call a 'theoretical' discipline.

During the course of this discussion this week, we found that there are a considerable number of women who offer tips and tricks and participate in various organizations and help others who do not get the same recognition as the men doing the same thing. And yes, this does impact on them getting work -- the thing that started all of this had to do with a book opportunity.

From what I've read, you don't see that women being slighted in this regard as a harmful thing -- not getting recognition. I have to disagree (and hope that someone doesn't construe this has inarticulate personal rage). What about role models? What about people getting recognized for hard work because it's the decent things to do?

When you have men and women doing the same thing, and the men get more recognition -- something isn't right. Some of us are working to make it right; others aren't because they don't see it, or they just don't care. I can understand the former, but have little tolerance for the latter.
posted by shelleyp at 8:49 AM on July 10, 2004


I take that back, gsh did say something about not caring about women's equal participation in awards et al, followed by "I got mine", or something to that effect.
posted by shelleyp at 8:53 AM on July 10, 2004


gsh's point, as far as I can tell, is that other women's success doesn't affect her own in any way, which is one of the things women are expected never to say, but is true.
posted by dagnyscott at 9:10 AM on July 10, 2004


Other women's success affects me greatly. I could talk about how the success of other women have affected my success for a good book's worth of paragraphs here.

But I think I would be more interested in understanding your perspectives, dagnyscott and gsh, on how the success of other women hasn't affected your own.
posted by erisfree at 9:56 AM on July 10, 2004


Hmm. I agree with the earlier posters in the thread (I, uh. Ran out of time to read farther) in that, in my experience, there hasn't been a dearth of female web designers. There has been a dearth of, say, encouragement, for young sexy females to get into those techy toys ;) but then, it is part of a larger scale, apathy and discouragement toward technology in general.
posted by firestorm at 9:57 AM on July 10, 2004


Oh yeah, I'm a total newbie that has barely participated here let alone anywhere else. I got my rage on that you would dare to dismiss a whole site's potential based on a few users. After all, you have contributed far more to this site than I and your knowledge of how topics like this have been treated here is perfect. You would never sabotage the potential usefulness of a thread to vent a bit over a single user like I'm doing right now.

My extensive use of "hysterical" and "inarticulate" (which I am obviously too hysterical myself to find examples of) with regards to your reaction towards gsh was in no way based on my desire to suggest that not attacking her personally might be more constructive. It was merely an excuse to be condescending.

Seriously though, I think this is just a matter of "When pet peeves" collide. Yours just happened to be gsh not caring about what you care about and mine is people that barely contribute to a forum that feel the need to suggest things about it that, while might be true of some of its users, serves to diminish the efforts of those wishing to counter that (and sometimes in doing so screw up as well-sigh.)

I will make my excuse work week stress, which a Saturday morning sleep in has managed to help. Now it's time to mow the lawn.
posted by john at 12:00 PM on July 10, 2004


Susan Kare is the shizzle. She designed most of the early Apple MacOS icons.
posted by wackybrit at 12:01 PM on July 10, 2004


John, I don't quite rank lack of acknowledgement of women's contributions, particularly in the technology fields, as a 'pet peeve' -- but to each their own.

And my lack of posting to MetaFilter does not equate to lack of reading MetaFilter.

Regardless, I hope you had fun mowing the lawn.
posted by shelleyp at 1:46 PM on July 10, 2004


Well, when you shrink the sample by thinking in terms of professionals working for business and industry, that's where the apparent discrepancy comes up… many of the most creative layouts and beautiful designs I’ve seen online have been lovingly crafted by what would be considered ‘amateurs’: maybe high-school girls on their personal weblogs, or women making a site for some personal interest? That’s possibly where many of them are, putting their efforts into the personal zone instead of the corporate.
posted by SenshiNeko at 3:55 PM on July 10, 2004


I've been in the web application development field since the early '90s. I've worked with quite a few women in my company, and I've generally been extremely happy with the quality of their work. I've taught many classes on web development, and the students typically are split about evenly between the sexes. In my experience, it hasn't been that they've been less appreciated, or that men are more likely to be hired.

However, it's also been my experience that men are more likely to be self-aggrandizing enough to be considered "stars" in their field, even though they're not necessarily any better qualified. A lot of this is simply self-promotion. Men are more likely to submit book proposals, attend and speak at conferences, and so on. Generally, you have to seek out those sorts of opportunities - they don't just come to you because you excel within your field.

A lot of men seem to be willing to sacrifice their personal lives for their work to a degree which most women seem unwilling to do. A lot of men seem to define themselves by their work. Equally competent women are happy to work to live, rather than live to work.

In the long run, who's the wiser?
posted by me & my monkey at 9:53 PM on July 10, 2004


wackybrit beat me to it, props to Kare and her great mac icons.
posted by dabitch at 3:31 AM on July 11, 2004


gsh's point, as far as I can tell, is that other women's success doesn't affect her own in any way, which is one of the things women are expected never to say, but is true.

Well, I think you should give this some though. Becausse it's obvious nonsense.

When you are a member of a marked category, the success or failure of other members of that category does affect you. If you don't think that's true, you're not paying attention.

But -- and of course, I could be wrong -- I wouldn't expect someone who goes by "dagny t." to believe in the existence or relevance of marked categories...
posted by lodurr at 8:03 AM on July 11, 2004


Susan Kare is the shizzle.

Agreed. Also, Brenda Laurel. Geez, you could pretty much make up a list of influencial tech women just by digging through your pile of Mondos and Wireds from more than a couple of years ago. (or even creative computing if you want to go that far back)
posted by milovoo at 10:28 AM on July 11, 2004


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