Female coders, lighten up

female-sign

The Real Katie

Today I stumbled upon the following blogpost:
The Real Katie - Lighten Up

Katie talks about the sexist jokes and remarks she regularly gets in the IT/programming world, and she is sick and tired of hearing “Come on, lighten up”.

The post is moving and shows how easy it is to offend people, not by a single remark, but by hundreds of similar remarks heard before.

Not an IT problem

There is one point I don’t agree with though. I don’t think it is fair to call this an IT/programmers problem.

Let me explain:

Obviously there are a lot of jerks, assholes and plain rude people around. Most of them are men, some are women. They pick on easy targets, the minorities. Sometimes the minority is a heavy male co-worker, sometimes it is the rare female programmer.

I fully agree, we should call the bullies out more. We all should do something about this problem. Her blogpost has re-opened my eyes again to that problem. But this isn’t a IT problem… it is a minority and rude people problem, a global social problem. It happens in all professions. Katie is just unlucky to be the minority in the field of work she loves.

More women in the IT

Also, I do agree that we could use more women in the IT world. At a young age we should teach boys and girls that there is no such thing as boy-jobs and girl-jobs, and both should learn the joy of programming! If we do that the problem of women being a minority in the IT world will disappear.

BUT that won’t solve the global social problem of assholes picking on minorities.
That is something we are all responsible for.

There will always be minorities and there will always be rude people (male or female). This is something we can’t change. You can however call them out and disapprove the behavior.