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Oceans Edge
985766.  Sun Mar 31, 2013 6:26 pm Reply with quote

CB27 wrote:
I don't understand something with that article.

It doesn't seem to want to address whether what she did was right or wrong - "Rather than attempting to discern whether Richards was in the right or the wrong...".

However, it seems to hold Ms Richards as some kind of heroine in the battle against sexism.

There are many people out there, men and women, who receive death threats, are actually attacked, and even killed, simply because of the kind of profession they are in or for what they say. It's a simple fact that there are idiots out there who are unhinged enough to say and/or do such stuff. The cause du jour can be anything.

The reaction she received, however wrong it was, does not make her actions right.


I don't see the article holding her up as a heroine in the battle against sexism ... rather it merely uses the events and the backlash as the latest example to illustrate the point.

Third paragraph:
Quote:
Regardless of the nuances of the incident, the fact remains that Richards faced a gargantuan backlash


Richards is not mentioned again until the third to last paragraph:
Quote:
In such a context, what happened to Richards has very little to do with the impact of her tweet and much more to do with deterring future women from speaking out.


Quote:
The misguided focus on whether or not Richards was in the right ignores the bigger picture, which reveals a well-documented pattern of women in technology being shamed, doxxed, threatened, and harassed when they speak out publicly against sexism.


That doesn't speak to me of holding her up to be a heroine in the battle against sexism..... it's repeating the statement that Richards MAY or MAY NOT have been right - that isn't the issue (in the article / or for me personally) .... the issue is the repeated threatening of women who speak out. Richards is just the latest example.

 
suze
985783.  Sun Mar 31, 2013 7:10 pm Reply with quote

PDR wrote:
Except that it demonstrably isn't, because the 1st-stage triage of applicants for interview has the names (and DoBs, and lots of other irrelevant details) deleted before the selection team even see the forms. And we monitor the process so we know that the male/female ratio of those who get selected at the interview is again (typically) within +/-10% of the ratio in those called for interview - we happen to run the same stats for "ethinicity" and "disability" as well because we have quite strong corporate values in this area, like most big companies.


It is, of course, pleasing that your company can show that it hires a proportionate number of women. (And no, it certainly isn't down to the company if it's a simple fact that not all that many women choose to enter your industry - you can only hire from the people who seek to be hired.)

Equally, it's pleasing that your company hires a proportionate number of people from ethnic minorities, and with disabilities.

But supposing that the monitoring process happened to reveal that you were not hiring "enough" women, or non-white people, or people with disabilities? Given that names are removed from the application forms before you see them, that would not be down to prejudice on your part. Assuming that you're doing your job properly - and I've no reason to suppose you're not - it would be because the minority applicants (as a class) were, for whatever reason, not as good.

Which is a very good reason for not hiring people. But would the company run scared and try to introduce some kind of positive discrimination?

Some educational environments do. It's well known that primary school teachers are overwhelmingly female. There are all sorts of reasons for that, some better than others, but when it comes down to it it is probably true that the particular skills needed for primary school teaching are most often possessed by women.

Then again, I'd be a bloody awful primary school teacher. The teaching that I do is skewed towards the most able pupils and also towards the oldest pupils. (The latter is a Head of Faculty's perq!) And although I don't plan to point this out in school, it's considerably easier than teaching five year olds to read, or teaching disaffected younger secondary school pupils.

And while no teaching course would ever admit it and no LEA would ever admit it, men seeking to entering primary school teaching do get a certain amount of preferential treatment.

 
CB27
985789.  Sun Mar 31, 2013 7:49 pm Reply with quote

OE, the point of tnhe last sentence you quote is exactly what I'm pointing to though. What this incident shows is not that all women in technology are "being shamed, doxxed, threatened, and harassed when they speak out publicly against sexism."

What it shows is that the poor decisions of one person which was condemned by some then led other idiots to jump in and act stupidly, as they do whenever ANYTHING is discussed in public.

 
Neotenic
985801.  Sun Mar 31, 2013 9:00 pm Reply with quote

Yeah - it seems to me that the backlash has nothing to do with the person being a woman, but because she acted, well, like a narcissistic self-righteous intellectual tyrant with an offence fetish.

People reacting in an absurdly over-the-top fashion is par for the course when everyone can do so anonymously, and is as inevitable as any two perfectly well-adjusted individuals making cock jokes whenever they hear the word 'dongle'.

To desperately try and make the story about the backlash is to overlook the reason for it - which is a person with some form of public profile using their internet footprint to attempt to humiliate two previously anonymous people for having a private conversation. Which is a despicable thing to do.

 
PDR
985831.  Mon Apr 01, 2013 5:17 am Reply with quote

suze wrote:

It is, of course, pleasing that your company can show that it hires a proportionate number of women. (And no, it certainly isn't down to the company if it's a simple fact that not all that many women choose to enter your industry - you can only hire from the people who seek to be hired.)

Equally, it's pleasing that your company hires a proportionate number of people from ethnic minorities, and with disabilities.

But supposing that the monitoring process happened to reveal that you were not hiring "enough" women, or non-white people, or people with disabilities? Given that names are removed from the application forms before you see them, that would not be down to prejudice on your part. Assuming that you're doing your job properly - and I've no reason to suppose you're not - it would be because the minority applicants (as a class) were, for whatever reason, not as good.

Which is a very good reason for not hiring people. But would the company run scared and try to introduce some kind of positive discrimination?


Yep, this get's discussed frequently - because as a company we are the sort of "big scalp" that the various agencies would love to have, be it SHE, WTD, Diversity & Inclusion or whatever and we have to work that much HARDER than most to stay out of the courts. It's laughable really - everyone else who is worried about (say) the Working Time Directive either contracts out of it or defines a tripwire at 47hours on a 17-week rolling average. We are so often asked for figures (because the agency is clearly gunning for us) that our management tripwire is at 46 hours in any one week, with and continuance of more than 6 weeks requiring individual clearence from the main board (the one that owns the 45,000 UK-based staff); clearly barking.

Every now and then someone (usually from HR or similar) will look to make a name for themselves by demanding that we use positive discrimination to encourage minorities, women or disabled people into our company. It invariably involves using different "pass" marks or weighting criteria for different people. And that's the point at which the working parts of the company (the bits that actually generate the money) tell these politically-correct dicks to just fuck off. The Group Technical Director (the one who holds the Product Integrity signature, and most of the formal approval signatures) has put a stake in the ground that says "we will never vary the assessment criteria between candidates at any stage in the recruitment/appointment/promotion/delegation process". He regards this as a safety/integrity/airworthiness issue and has threatened to resign over it (which would render the company unable to deliver anything for the 12 months it would take to get his successor approved).

What we DO do is allow the HR department to apply whatever criteria they wish to the recruitment "catch net", and to the initial triage stages. If they want to start only advertising the vacancies in the "help wanted" column of Shouty Afro-Lesbian Wheelchair Gardening and Anti-War Campaigner Monthly then that's up to them. Of course if we don't get enough candidates through triage or selected into the jobs then they may get asked a few questions...

But that's as far as it will ever go. We are an engineering company in the Defence sector. If engineeing and defence systems ain't someone's thing then they probably ain't gonna like it here. It's neither my job nor my right to try to chainge that...

PDR

[Editted for speeling in the shade of a palm tree on a beach on the island of Typos]


Last edited by PDR on Mon Apr 01, 2013 7:42 am; edited 2 times in total

 
suze
985835.  Mon Apr 01, 2013 5:49 am Reply with quote

PDR wrote:
And that's the point at which the working parts of the company tell these politically-correct dicks to just fuck off.


Glad to hear it! You're doing everything you can to eliminate the possibility of bias in your hiring decisions; I certainly wouldn't be advocating that a bias should be introduced just because the statistics are inconvenient.

PDR wrote:
"we will never vary the assessment criteria between candidates at any stage in the recruitment/appointment/promotion/delegation process". He regards this as a safety/integrity/airworthiness issue and has threatened to resign over it.


A principled position, certainly. I hope that he would take an equally robust stance if - for instance - a foreign client required that, for "security reasons", no Muslims were to be employed on a particular project.

PDR wrote:
If engineeing and defence systems ain't someone's thing then they probably ain't gonna like it here. It's neither my job nor my right to try to change that.


No indeed. And OK, there probably are more women than men who just don't see your company as "their thing". Nothing you or anyone else can do about that, and I'm sure that defence companies all over the world (except in Israel, maybe) have the same experience.


All on a much smaller scale, but in the first half of next term I shall be hiring an English teacher for September start. Applications haven't closed yet, but indications (i.e. what I was told on the last day of term) are that early applications are nearly all female. This is not at all unusual when the job is that of English teacher in a girls' school, but one of the governors - it's always the same one - will make noises about hiring a man.

And as it goes, I wouldn't mind it being a man. My English department is currently all female, and only two of eleven are younger than me. There are a couple who really, really need a rocket up the ass, and believe me they'll be getting it as from September. Hiring a man under 40 might well help me with achieving the group dynamic that I want, rather than the one that I inherited.

But one hires English teachers to teach English, not to take up places in a group dynamic. So I shall tell that governor what we always tell him. If the best applicant put before us happens to be a man, he'll get the job; if it happens to be a woman, there will be no "token man" hired.

 
dr.bob
985836.  Mon Apr 01, 2013 5:53 am Reply with quote

Oceans Edge wrote:
I've given you 8 well known well publicized examples - I tell ya what, I'll make you a deal. You give me ONE example and I'll shut up


Probably not quite what you were asking for, but here's an example of just how many fuckwits there are on the internet.

Here is a YouTube video of kittens. That's it. Just kittens. Not offensive or controversial in any way. Nice, cute, awwwwww! Who wouldn't love that, right?

Now check out some of the comments below. One that I found says:

"I feel a definite need to collect all of these animals and drowned them in the toilet one by one!"

What an unusual way to react to something inoffensive and cute. Still, just one person being an arsehole, right? Wrong! Someone took it upon themselves to reply to this comment with the following:

"I feel a definite need to find out where you live so i can make a video of me caving the side of your head in with a hammer and posting it on facebook. :)"

The same person, upon finding out that the original "drowning" comment came from someone in the Philippines, posted:

"you would need a sniper rifle wouldn't you? I now feel the definite need to drown all philipines one by one! muahahahah"

If this is the kind of sickening comments that can be inspired by a video of some kittens, I don't find it very hard to imagine the kinds of sickening comments that can be inspired by someone saying something that people would actually disagree with.

However, unlike the Wired opinion piece that you posted, I don't see such comments as evidence for "The use of mob justice to punish women who advocate feminist ideals." I see it more as conclusive evidence that a depressingly large number of people in the anonymised environment of the internet are happy to behave like asshats.

Witness, for example, the shitstorm that whipped up on twitter when Alan Davies disagreed with Liverpool football club's decision not to play a game on the anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster. Here are some of the responses he got on twitter:

 
PDR
985849.  Mon Apr 01, 2013 7:37 am Reply with quote

I was going to post something very similar to that which the Doc just posted, but he has done in more elloquently and concisely than I would have done so I see no point in adding to it. Post pretty well ANYTHING on the internet and someone somewhere will react offensively, usually with references to physical violence, and hatred. It's a function of the internet community and the much prized "freedom of speech" [can't find an irony emoticon] rather than anything to do with misogyny.

I also feel (for me, personaly) that it MASSIVELY detracts from any feminist cause (or indeed any other cause) to claim that it's somehow uniquely directed at women.

PDR

 
'yorz
985854.  Mon Apr 01, 2013 8:08 am Reply with quote

post 985850

I often see obituaries of men who, apart from their accomplishments in the fields where they gained their notoriety/fame, also often enjoyed other pleasures/pastimes; perhaps they made music, bet on race horses, or wrote utterly filthy limericks. Who knows.
I cannot understand why, if her boeuf stroganoffs were that brilliant, Yvonne Brill's skill couldn't get a mention as well.
I really get the feeling that women nowadays go over any topic that concerns women with a terribly fine-toothed comb, and ring alarm bells for every (again, perceived) sleight.
This particular woman had a career in science, and (not: but!) also was a wife and mother, and a bloody good cook to boot. To me, it makes her even more interesting, and I wonder where she found the time.
Good for her.

 
PDR
985855.  Mon Apr 01, 2013 8:10 am Reply with quote

suze wrote:
Glad to hear it! You're doing everything you can to eliminate the possibility of bias in your hiring decisions; I certainly wouldn't be advocating that a bias should be introduced just because the statistics are inconvenient.


It's the difference between "Equality of opportunity" (which is good and should always be encouraged) and "directed equality in actions" (which is badder than a bad thing on a bad day, and should be discouraged with extreme prejudice) - as Neo has said many times, but in more moderate language.


Suze wrote:
A principled position, certainly. I hope that he would take an equally robust stance if - for instance - a foreign client required that, for "security reasons", no Muslims were to be employed on a particular project.


We don't get that one, but as you will be aware there is one of our more significant customers who might have asked for his projects not to employ either Jewish people at all or women on authority positions, and might have tried to enshrine this in contracts. We have always made it quite clear that will will not accept any contract with those sorts of clauses, and we will not oblige any such requests if they are made informally. For UK contracts there will be the usual HMG security requirements (in a range from the basic BC/SC up to the full "sign-on" for "Black" projects), and we are at the mercy of the agencies that offer, delcine and sometimes withdraw those clearences without explanation. But having worked on projects at all those levels over the last 25 years I can honestly say that I have observed people of all (and no) faiths working alongside me. There are some projects for which you have to be a UK National (even dual-nationals are not acceptable), but that's fairly inherent in the defence sector. All I can say is that British atheists, Christians Moslems, Jews, Hindus and [AFAIK] Zoroastrians and Jedis do not find their faiths a barrier. Obviously we'd like to draw the line at Northerners, but apparently even they are acceptable.

Sometimes we have projects for foreign customers who have their own security clearence requirements, and again we are at their mercy in this regard. But whilst I wouldn't be surprised if a project classified at "Secret" or above for the KSA to refuse clearence for someone of Israeli origin, I have observed people on these projects who are Jewish (both in terms of cultural background and current practicing faith).

Suze wrote:
No indeed. And OK, there probably are more women than men who just don't see your company as "their thing". Nothing you or anyone else can do about that, and I'm sure that defence companies all over the world (except in Israel, maybe) have the same experience.


Also Russia, and becoming so in the USA - part of the growing culture of female involvement in things Combative IMHO, but yes - that's the point I was getting at.

Quote:

But one hires English teachers to teach English, not to take up places in a group dynamic. So I shall tell that governor what we always tell him. If the best applicant put before us happens to be a man, he'll get the job; if it happens to be a woman, there will be no "token man" hired.


I absolutely agree on tokenism, but I'd be more circumspect on hiring purely for technical skills. As we've discussed before (and as I referenced above) provided the personal can actually do the job then sometimes you will select for team-fitting or team-building characteristics - I regard this as perfectly legitimate. If you feel a male teacher would add something in that regard then I would think that's something you'd be looking to find, but ONLY from the triaged shortlist of "those who can clearly do the job". But I suspect the number of men looking to work in a girl's school would be limitted - if for no other reason than the feeling that they'd be laying themselves wide-open to accusations of inappropriate behaviour. If I was such a man then I would feel that I'd have to insist on a female colleague being present in any situation where I was to be alone with one or two of the students. I also remember you saying you sometimes have discussions with your girls on subjects like "BJ technique" - can you imagine the response if it was discovered that a male teacher did the same...!

:-)

PDR


Last edited by PDR on Mon Apr 01, 2013 9:35 am; edited 1 time in total

 
tetsabb
985866.  Mon Apr 01, 2013 9:07 am Reply with quote

PDR wrote
Quote:
Post pretty well ANYTHING on the internet and someone somewhere will react offensively, usually with references to physical violence, and hatred

That's complete f**king bollocks, you twat, and I'll smash your f**king face in for saying it might be f**king true.

Oh....

 
Efros
985867.  Mon Apr 01, 2013 9:08 am Reply with quote

I agree he must be Russian.

 
PDR
985877.  Mon Apr 01, 2013 9:36 am Reply with quote

tetsabb wrote:
PDR wrote
Quote:
Post pretty well ANYTHING on the internet and someone somewhere will react offensively, usually with references to physical violence, and hatred

That's complete f**king bollocks, you twat, and I'll smash your f**king face in for saying it might be f**king true.

Oh....


Don't stop now - just when you were beginning to embrace your feminine side...

:-)

PDR

 
suze
985905.  Mon Apr 01, 2013 1:08 pm Reply with quote

PDR wrote:
We don't get that one, but as you will be aware there is one of our more significant customers who might have asked for his projects not to employ either Jewish people at all or women on authority positions, and might have tried to enshrine this in contracts.


I rather had that client in mind when I wrote the previous post, but worded it differently just in case you wouldn't want to be drawn on that particular client.

I believe your organization has done work in Poland though, and under the Kaczyński government (2006-07) they'd have tried to specify no Muslims and no homosexuals if they thought they could get away with it.

PDR wrote:
But I suspect the number of men looking to work in a girl's school would be limitted - if for no other reason than the feeling that they'd be laying themselves wide-open to accusations of inappropriate behaviour.


That is the #1 reason why rather few men apply for jobs in girls' schools, yes - and in fact, a significant proportion of the men who do apply are gay. (There are not very many workplaces where men go around proclaiming "Look at me, I'm a poof" in a Julian Clary sort of a way, but it's not unknown in girls' schools.)

The #2 reason is that English teachers are predominantly female everywhere. 88% of all primary school teachers are female; it's about 60% in secondary schools, but you really do tend to find that math, geography, and science (except biology) teachers are men, and English, history, and biology teachers are female.

PDR wrote:
I also remember you saying you sometimes have discussions with your girls on subjects like "BJ technique" - can you imagine the response if it was discovered that a male teacher did the same...!


I don't think I've ever gone quite that far, although we did once touch on - shall we say - options for the disposal of the end product of that activity. Mind you, that was under the heading of sex education rather than English; a male teacher in a girls' school will rarely-to-never be asked to teach sex education. (Furthermore, when I do teach sex education, I make it plain to the girls that what is said in the classroom - whether by me or by the pupils - stays between those four walls.)

But yes, it has been known for English classes to touch on matters of a sexual nature. I won't allow a class in the uniform-wearing years to go down that road, but in the sixth form it's OK up to a point. (After all, I do try to live in the real word. And the real world tells me that some sixth form girls are having sex, and most of the rest will be within a year or two.)

And for sure, a male teacher would need to handle that sort of situation in a rather different way than I do. I would hope that the girls wouldn't try to put a male teacher in an awkward position ("Sir, do you think I've got nice boobs"), but that sort of thing is not unknown.

 
Awitt
985955.  Mon Apr 01, 2013 5:41 pm Reply with quote

At my all girls school where I've just finished up, there are some who try and use their body beauty/bits to try and 'suck up' to male teachers, particularly in the area of holiday homework.

 

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