One that flies into manic rage for a week a month?

What does a feminist internet look like?

Although there is more to it than this of course:

Dance like nobody is watching, sing like nobody is listening and email like it will be read out in court. Or so Nadine Moawad of the Association for Progressive Communications (APC) joked. Feminist activists from around the world were in a conference room in Brazil, discussing what a feminist internet might look like. How did we get here?

Hmm, Brazil? Cross the Atlantic and turn left? Should work.

Rather more fun is that this is the conference that that publicly funded bird from Black Lives Matter UK was at…..and yes, it’s exactly as bad as you imagine it is:

In this future, there are more feminists and LGBT people in internet governance, making decisions and creating technologies, in contrast to the current male domination of this space. According to Facebook’s own figures released in 2015, men made up 68% of all employees, 77% of those in senior leadership and 85% of those working in technology. Twitter’s 2015 figures reveal that men make up 66% of the company, 87% of those in tech jobs and 78% of those in leadership. Google is no better – men make up 69% of all employees, 76% of those in leadership and 81% of those in technical jobs.

These three companies are indicative of the sector as a whole. There is a problem with ethnicity as well as gender, particularly when it comes to who runs companies. At Google for example, even though white people make up 57% of those in tech positions and 59% of the company overall, they hold 70% of leadership positions. This is despite women spending more time on social media than men globally – 5.88 hours compared to 4.75 hours – and the history of women in computing and technology. It was women like Ada Loveleace after all who were the pioneers of computer programming and women made up over two-thirds of those working at Bletchley Park during the second world war.

A feminist internet also enables us to challenge the ways capitalism plays out in technological spaces and underlies the drive towards profit, privatisation and control. What does it mean when the primary spaces for so many public and private interactions, including activism, are owned by corporations from one part of the world, run by mainly white men? We need to create alternative forms of economic power around technologies. Using and sharing information about free and open-source software, tools and platforms is key to this.

Look love, Dame Stevie showed how it could be done. Copy that idea – that is, get off your arse and go and do something.

And then there’s this, the principles of the feminist internet:

Women and queer persons have the right to code, design, adapt and critically and sustainably
use ICTs and reclaim technology as a platform for creativity and expression, as well as to
challenge the cultures of sexism and discrimination in all spaces.

Well, off you go then. Do write when you’ve coded something, won’t you?

85 thoughts on “One that flies into manic rage for a week a month?”

  1. “Women and queer persons have the right to code, design, adapt and critically and sustainably use ICTs and reclaim technology as a platform for creativity and expression”

    This is in code. What is really means is “Women and queer persons have the right to be given government funding to write their mediocre websites’.

  2. … or code for “Women and queer persons have the right to be given preferment over more competent/skilled persons by virtue of their gender or sexuality”.

  3. This sentiment from feminists really pisses me off.

    “more women… creating technologies, in contrast to the current male domination of this space”

    GO. AND. CREATE. TECHNOLOGIES. THEN. There is no free cheque given to white men. There is no special education only available to men. Internet start-ups (as with many other start-ups and new IT technologies) happen from people putting in the effort in their free time, around their other commitments, in their garages and bedrooms, to create and develop ideas. There is no barrier to entry there that is unique to a specific gender. The idea is ludicrous. Get online and use one of the many many resources that teach you to code. Build something. Test it. Refine it. Launch it. Market and sell it. It takes EFFORT but that is not sexism.

    All that time and money wasted at this circle-jerk echo chamber. Think of what they could have done if they invested all that instead in starting their own tech businesses. Might even solve the problem they are apparently so concerned about.

  4. I’m an IT consultant and one of my larger clients is in Germany. The first time I visited their head office, I was introduced to the team I’d be working with and their colleagues. When I got back to my hotel, something niggled at the back of my mind. Eventually I realised that of the ~50 people I’d met that day there had been just three women – two of whom were PAs to the senior managers and the other was seconded from the UK.

    Tech simply is heavily male dominated, and my UK clients vary between 90:10 and 75:25 sex ratios, but I’ve never come across anything like that German operation.

  5. Also- women I tech I’ve worked with tend to be in management or PM roles. I’ve worked with c10 women who are DBA’s or developers over ten years, whereas management and PM tended to be 50/50. This was public sector, so perhaps isn’t representative of tech in general, but my suspicion is that women prefer other positions in tech to the hard core (in my mind) bits.

    Should we be forcing them to code instead of manage?

  6. Oh for God’s sake! The Internet is the most egalitarian platform we’ve ever had! And the barriers to entry are basically nil. Free tutorials to get you started, open source and cheap code sharing to get better. Cheap hosting to start monetising. Social media for meeting clever people and getting your cv out, patreon or kickstarter to get funding. Email and free video calls allow you to work from half a world away.

    There is literally nothing a ‘feminist’ Internet could add. If they are interested in equal access, that is.

  7. According to Facebook’s own figures released in 2015, men made up 68% of all employees, 77% of those in senior leadership and 85% of those working in technology.

    And women make up 100% of the non-jobs in HR, diversity, admin. etc. This is less about women being underemployed in tech. than whether most of them should be employed at all.

  8. “This is despite women spending more time on social media than men globally”

    This is a reason to put them on the board of Google? Huh? If women spend more time eating than men, should they be on the board of Sainsbury’s?

    Maybe the men were working instead of twatting on Twitter. You know, doing stuff and creating value.

    The fact that these useless carbon emitters spend their lives demanding the right to work in IT, instead of just working in IT, shows they haven’t got a fucking clue about it.

  9. “This is despite women spending more time on social media than men globally”

    Anyone proposing such a colossal non sequitur as that shouldn’t be allowed within a hundred miles of a coding position. Their brain is just wrong.

  10. Rob, quite so. How do you even begin to develop a productive, profitable product with that kind of thinking.

    Those who can, do.
    Those who can’t, go into consultancy.
    Those who aren’t even wrong, wail about governance.

  11. “In this future, there are more feminists and LGBT people in internet governance, making decisions and creating technologies,”

    I guarantee it’s the internet governance and making decisions bit that they really want i.e control over content, not the hard bit of creating tech.

  12. Bison, it would be somewhat reassuring if they were referring to ICANN, W3C etc. But they’re probably just thinking about the Twitter/Facebook troll-hunters and the like.

  13. I do wonder if we’re looking at something that’s hardwired into the species.
    We evolved as hunter/gatherers. They’re totally different roles. A hunter always has to be wanting to know what’s over the next hill, because if you just hunt your local patch you’ll soon hunt it out. But that’s not an advantage in a gatherer. There’s a lower energy density in plants. Range too widely & the balance between energy expended in gathering/energy gathered goes negative.
    And the roles are gender assigned. Men are explorers. Women more inclined to try & extract the maximum return from what’s close at hand. (They probably invented agriculture)
    So they see the interweb & its tech as already staked out ground. And wish to maximise their personal return from what’s already created. They can’t see it potentially stretches away to infinity, the other side of the hill.

  14. About the Author:

    ‘Chitra Nagarajan has worked to promote and protect the human rights of women in China, the United Kingdom, the United States and west Africa. She currently works to build peace in Nigeria. She writes in a personal capacity.’

    My guess is she’s deeply concerned about ‘Islamophobia’ as well – I am guessing ‘creating a feminist internet’ isn’t top of the agenda for ISIS, Boko Haram or Abu Sayyaf – and me, as a white, heterosexual, WASP saying that would cause her more problems rather than those three groups….

  15. ‘Although the violence women and girls experience online has received growing attention from the media, politicians and technology companies, what is often missing from conversations is the fact that some women are fighting back.’

    Is this some kind of ‘virtual reality’ simulation where violent acts that actually injure women can be performed online without the perpetrator having to touch his victim? Why has this never appeared on Techcrunch – must be more ‘male, misogynist censorship’ – Hat tip – you mean ‘abuse’ rather than violence….

    ‘They state that a feminist internet is one where women and LGBT people have affordable and equal access and are able to create, design and use technologies to challenge sexism and discrimination.’

    They have equal access in almost all countries in the world that are not Islamic or Run by a government which limits access universally – so the internet in the US or Western Europe is by this definition a ‘feminist internet’

    ‘It is one where feminists’ use of the internet is linked to resistance in other spaces and where the internet allows us to connect and demand accountability.’

    So I would hazard the real demand is for control of the internet – that is where the real agenda is. Limiting freedom of expression of opinions that are seen as ‘demeaning’ or otherwise ‘offensive’ by women or some such rationalisation. A truly dire article, indicative of the dearth of intellectual capability on the Left. I think if the author were to have a chance encounter with Boko Haram on her travels in Nigeria it might hopefully bring her into the real world a bit sharpish but until then, I guess she will be free to use CIF as a platform upon which to witter…

  16. Women made up 2/3rds of Bletchley Park?

    Female secretaries? Phone operators? Cleaners? Cooking staff?
    Not saying there were no women in other roles. But as a group they were more represented in certain roles.
    So saying that 2/3rds of staff were women does not tell you much about the place itself.

  17. Chris Miller

    “I’m an IT consultant and one of my larger clients is in Germany. The first time I visited their head office, I was introduced to the team I’d be working with and their colleagues. When I got back to my hotel, something niggled at the back of my mind. Eventually I realised that of the ~50 people I’d met that day there had been just three women – two of whom were PAs to the senior managers and the other was seconded from the UK.”

    Is this perhaps not an extreme illustration of the Hausfrau attitude of German females. When I lived in Germany (admittedly a while ago), women were pretty rare on the ground in work positions above clerical/secretarial. This was their person choice as their domestic lives were far more important to them

  18. “Is this perhaps not an extreme illustration of the Hausfrau attitude of German females. When I lived in Germany (admittedly a while ago), women were pretty rare on the ground in work positions above clerical/secretarial. This was their person choice as their domestic lives were far more important to them”

    Certainly in Switzerland there’s no social pressure for women to go and work. (In some of the more inner-Swiss cantons, women working can sometimes be frowned apon by the older generation, but that’s a whole other issue).

  19. Van_Patten said:

    ” I think if the author were to have a chance encounter with Boko Haram on her travels in Nigeria it might hopefully bring her into the real world a bit sharpish but until then, I guess she will be free to use CIF as a platform upon which to witter…”

    No, she’d probably convert to islam like Yvonne Ridley and return to the UK to tell us that they’re just ‘misunderstood’ and lambast us for causing all the problems in Nigeria.

  20. To be fair, it was pretty devious of white men to invent the internet so that womyn and LGBTQIAWTF+ folks and coloured chappies could get hand-crafted artisan microaggressions delivered directly to their phones.

    In the bad old days you used to have to get a telegram boy to bring you messages like U R GAY LOL

  21. There’s an argument that women can’t build the feminist internet because they would need funding, which self-evidently can only come from men because only they have money.

    But aren’t women actually wealthier than men, because they live longer and thus inherit the family dough? Perhaps women stop being feminists when they get their hands on a sizeable amount of capital.

  22. Mal Reynolds – “Think of what they could have done if they invested all that instead in starting their own tech businesses. Might even solve the problem they are apparently so concerned about.”

    A degree in gender studies is poor preparation for coding. STEM subjects are still dominated by men. Women are getting more degrees but in useless subjects. It may be that we encourage women to do useless subjects. But it is more likely they just have different brains and aren’t, you know, all that smart.

    The Inimitable Steve – “To be fair, it was pretty devious of white men to invent the internet so that womyn and LGBTQIAWTF+ folks and coloured chappies could get hand-crafted artisan microaggressions delivered directly to their phones.”

    Not to mention the airplanes that flew them there, and the hotels they stayed in and the letters they used to write, and of course generated the wealth to pay for it all.

    Evolved parasitism I believe it is called. Feminists are just examples of extreme women.

  23. And women make up 100% of the non-jobs in HR, diversity, admin. etc.

    As this Nadine is so obviously wrong, IT so obviously egalitarian, and men and women so obviously different in certain ways, I’ll have to pick a fight with Tim N instead.

    HR may well be a pain in the arse, especially if done properly, but we’d all miss it if it wasn’t there. And, most of the twattish boxes that need to be ticked are the result of twattish politicians (mainly men).

    If corporate IT had 1/10th the accuracy required in corporate HR the world would be a better place. At least 50% of corporate IT expenditure is entirely wasted, with another 25% being actively counter-productive. The other 25% is making us all steadily wealthier, but no one knows which bit this is.

    We shouldn’t be surprised that the top-end is all men, but we shouldn’t forget the bottom-end either.

    Neither your mother nor mine would have allowed the Y2K scam – should they have had interest or influence. It would have been clipped ears all round, and early to bed.

  24. HR may well be a pain in the arse, especially if done properly, but we’d all miss it if it wasn’t there.

    Nice clickbait, Jack..!! 🙂

  25. JuliaM – “Well, it’ll never go down, will it?”

    Julia, you’re a hero.

    However we can’t be sure it won’t go down for women.

  26. It has been said elsewhere but so far as I can see there’s nothing stopping these harridans from having a brilliant idea, setting up a website, obtaning crowdfundng from like minded hairy lesbians, and then by the sheer brilliance of their original idea made manifest by superlative coding, dominating a particular sector of the internet, or even creating a completely new one so that after 10 years of relentless innovation, stress hardwork they can eventually become billionaires.

    However, equality is not what they want. What they want is the fun stuff, the money, the conferences and the prestige withot working for it. And to be fair that approach has benefitted them in other fields… I mean who really thinks Britain is better governed since women got the vote?

  27. “HR may well be a pain in the arse, especially if done properly, but we’d all miss it if it wasn’t there. ”

    But, like socialism, I’ve yet to see it done “properly”…

    Currently in a small firm sans-HR. Not missing HR. At. All.

    Last place I was at, the HR department seemed to think its role was excusing the sh1t (and sometimes allegedly minorly illegal) behaviour of upper management to the underlings, and never understood that it should have been trying to avoid people a) leaving in droves, and b) suing the employer.

  28. Bloke In Italy – “However, equality is not what they want. What they want is the fun stuff, the money, the conferences and the prestige withot working for it.”

    It is simply another shake down. And likely to be very successful. Why bother learning to code and actually writing sh!t if you can imitate Ironman’s angry toddler temper tantrums and Google throws money at you?

    There is a small corner of the internet known only to angry and embittered men and they have been claiming with the decline of marriage, the government will have to draft men to force them to pay alimony for women they refuse to marry. This seems to be their prediction coming true.

  29. abacab,
    Small firms are always better than big ones, pound for pound.

    Besides, you may not have HR – and I’ve been there myself – but there are always HR functions. Or whatever the correct term was before we arrived at “HR”.

    Employee admin can be pretty scary these days, and let’s not forget payroll. Would you let the average coder anywhere near that? I think not.

  30. Bloke in North Dorset

    What you are missing is that those men at the top of IT and doing the coding all got their jobs because they were mates with the boss or the boss was a misogynist or probably both.

    A major problem is that women are generally more risk averse than men and don’t like the perceived shame of having failed. For every Zuckerburg there’s a 1,000 wannabe’s who’ll never make it.

  31. Bloke no Longer in Austria

    My late missus was quite exceptional in that she could use both sides of her brain. She could proigram and understand traces and dumps at the bit-level. She was also very good with languages and arty stuff.

    The number of women that I have met in IT consultancy who could undestand what an IP Packet is, let alone decode one are very very few indeed ( and also generally quite ugly). Mention disk sectors and their eyes glaze over. Even my niece who is a web programmer only knows the higher-level functionality and will never sully herself with the interfaces or operating system.

    Another point: if IT is so anti LGBTSPQR, what about the poor sod who became Mozilla CEO and was bullied out of his job because he wasn’t all that keen on gay marriage ?

  32. Jack C – “Besides, you may not have HR – and I’ve been there myself – but there are always HR functions. Or whatever the correct term was before we arrived at “HR”.”

    Sure. I might need my prostate checked every now and then but I am sure I would prefer a medical professional to do it and not someone who just does it for the fun.

    HR is a cancer on society.

    “Employee admin can be pretty scary these days, and let’s not forget payroll. Would you let the average coder anywhere near that? I think not.”

    Is there a single medium sized company in the West that does not use a payroll package written by those very self same coders because the HR flakes can’t be trusted to add up properly?

  33. STEM subjects are still dominated by men. Women are getting more degrees but in useless subjects.

    That’s not true, though. There are plenty of women in biology and medicine, and no shortage in chemical engineering. But these are the competent women. The issue here is the feminists want cushy jobs for the incompetent women, and pretend the competent women don’t exist.

  34. TIm N

    I am 99.9 recurring percent certain Boko Haram didn’t ask her certainly, and they are the future if the feminist internet ever gains currency

  35. HR may well be a pain in the arse, especially if done properly, but we’d all miss it if it wasn’t there.

    Perhaps. But I doubt I would miss it if it were downsized to what used to be called “Personnel” and departmental managers empowered to manage the rest.

  36. Is there a single medium sized company in the West that does not use a payroll package written by those very self same coders because the HR flakes can’t be trusted to add up properly?

    A good example this.

    We use payroll packages because they are super-efficient in comparison, because they can prevent error, and because they can provide huge amounts of easily accessible information (and make additional information capture possible – a fact not lost on our glorious rulers).

    That’s once the package is complete, ready, tested and working. Which, will usually be after delays, budget increases and all the rest.

    Are you one of those flakes that can’t be trusted to use a library properly? So uses google instead?

  37. What they want is the fun stuff, the money, the conferences and the prestige withot working for it.

    I know of a fat, tattooed, purple-haired feminist who does video editing for a feminist lobby group, which has a website where every other word is “fuck”. On her LinkedIn page under “Opportunities looking for” she has put “Joining a nonprofit board”. No doubt one with generous government funding.

  38. Perhaps. But I doubt I would miss it if it were downsized to what used to be called “Personnel” and departmental managers empowered to manage the rest.

    The work would still be there, no? I’ve just had a fairly drawn-out recruitment saga myself. I won’t bore you with the details, but it was all to do with enforcing certain corporate standards and protection against possible future ramifications.

    I got the guy I wanted on good terms, and they did all the paperwork, including related rejections (a big plus). I did have to take a few deep breaths, but that was hardly unique.

  39. NielsR – I’m sure you’re right. They’re not even thinking of the ‘sinister’ world of the NSA or GCHQ (which are probably choc full of women in any case).

    JuliaM – brilliant 🙂

  40. Tim Newman – yes there are plenty of women in the STEM fields. Not necessarily in the highest positions or with the same ambitions.
    Have met some extremely competent women in their own fields. In a few cases the only woman at that level in the company, others perhaps choosing not to have the hassle, the time, the ambition, the other skills, the travel or simply preferring a quieter life.
    Many men the same way of course – though we don’t necessarily have the same choice between family and work.

    Something the feminists appear to miss out when they go off on a subject. That people can and do choose.

  41. The work would still be there, no?

    Yes, and most of it would be far better handled by competent managers at the departmental level, not a load of mediocre diversity hires sitting in an altogether different office. I’ve run a small company and done most of the HR management myself (but not the administration, i.e. paperwork), it’s not that difficult. And I’ve also worked in sprawling behemoths where HR have a seat on the board, FFS. There is probably a happy medium, but it will definitely be towards the smaller end of the scale.

  42. Forget about setting up a website. Darknet has show we can use the backbone to set up parallel internet universes. Why don’t they set up a FemNet internet fully funded by themselves and any firms that want to sell to them.

    No with so many *cough* smart coders and internet geeks they could do that fairly easy.

  43. Legions of post bewailing these evil bags miss the point.

    They are out to destroy us. We must destroy them.

    Where is the cash being ponied up from for this Brazilian fun-bags festival? It is known the UKBLM hag is being paid by the “3rd sector”.

    We must cut their cash supply.

    Of course if they are such tech genii they will soon be turning out software etc worth billions so that might not be so easy.

    Ha fucking Ha.

    Action is needed to squelch these bitches. That is what they have planned for us.

  44. Tim Newman,

    “Yes, and most of it would be far better handled by competent managers at the departmental level, not a load of mediocre diversity hires sitting in an altogether different office.”

    They’ve even managed to get their nose into hiring freelancers. It used to be (and still is in small places) that management decides they need a contractor, sort out the budget and then call an agent telling him what they want. He advertises, gets CVs, they get sent in to the manager and you’re interviewing that week, starting next.

    Now, HR have wrapped themselves around the process, so all communications go via them. It can take 4-5 weeks to get through for a freelance role. Generally, I’m gone by then…

  45. So Much For Subtlety

    Jack C – “A good example this. We use payroll packages because they are super-efficient in comparison, because they can prevent error, and because they can provide huge amounts of easily accessible information (and make additional information capture possible – a fact not lost on our glorious rulers).”

    So basically you agree with me – payroll is too hard for HR and has to be left to the code written by those dorks you seem to despise so much? Those code writers produce something that is more efficient, more accurate and makes using it much easier?

  46. So Much For Subtlety

    Tim Newman – “That’s not true, though. There are plenty of women in biology and medicine, and no shortage in chemical engineering. But these are the competent women. The issue here is the feminists want cushy jobs for the incompetent women, and pretend the competent women don’t exist.”

    Well it is. Sure women dominate biology. But apart from the occasional Jane Goodall the important names in biology remain men. Even Goodall does a very female form of biology – basically she collects chimpanzee gossip. There has been a deliberate push to get women into medicine and to a lesser extent into chemical engineering. But they have had to dumb down the courses to do so.

    Competent women can be found in all aspects of life. Especially if those aspects are close to what women do best – Kinder, Küche, Kirche. But on the other hand any organisation dominated by women is a disaster zone. Look at Britain’s state schools or social services. Is it any surprise to anyone that the executive in charge of Wells Fargo recent disaster is female?

    My earlier point remains – if these women were concerned about this problem, they should have done a course in programming not in gender studies. They did gender studies because programming appeals to a certain type of brain. More commonly found in men.

  47. Now, HR have wrapped themselves around the process, so all communications go via them. It can take 4-5 weeks to get through for a freelance role.

    Oh, don’t I know it! And HR decide they’re reviewing the CVs and conducting the first round of interviews despite not knowing the first fucking thing about what the job entails. And they’ve also decided to set the day-rates centrally, which is out of whack with the market rates, and so they don’t just send you the wrong candidates they send you wrong candidates who are also shite.

  48. But on the other hand any organisation dominated by women is a disaster zone. Look at Britain’s state schools or social services. Is it any surprise to anyone that the executive in charge of Wells Fargo recent disaster is female?

    Quite. As I said today over at David Thompson’s in the context of a woman who has royally fucked up a school in the US:

    Two or three years ago these thoughts would never have occurred to me, but as the evidence mounts up I’m beginning to wonder if shoving all these incompetent women into managerial and senior administration positions across society is not having some awful and permanent effect. I work with plenty of competent female engineers, but the results of a generation of women being parachuted into positions way above their competency level are becoming clear and it is not pretty. At this rate, I’m going to be a complete and utter misogynist within 5 years.

  49. “Oh, don’t I know it! And HR decide they’re reviewing the CVs and conducting the first round of interviews despite not knowing the first fucking thing about what the job entails. ”

    I failed to get on the BAe graduate scheme because the HR drones put the engineers through the same exercises as the secretaries, sales people etc.

    I was under the impression that they were interested in hiring me for engineering. Guess not. My “customer focus” wasn’t good enough (my current direct clients don’t seem to have any problem with it). Although, from what I later learned, I dodged a bullet with that one – an absolutely dysfunctional, HR-lead company, apparently. (Stories include: some HR drone discovering someone was a target shooter and effectively harassing him – in a company that makes weapons of war, ffs, and punishing engineers for being 45 seconds late clocking in and ignoring the fact that they stay long periods after-hours… Box checking HR-dronery of the first water).

  50. So Much For Subtlety

    Tim Newman – “At this rate, I’m going to be a complete and utter misogynist within 5 years.”

    It is not misogyny – not that I would care if it was. It is simply accepting the world as it is. We will all die one day. There is nothing we can do about it. Recognising that doesn’t make death any less awful much less acts as an endorsement. It just is.

    In so far as there is a moral judgement here, it is pointless to force women to do what they do not want to do, are not properly equipped to do and when they would be happier if they were doing something else. It is actually cruel to employ them in positions beyond their abilities.

    Some of them realise there are more suitable and rewarding roles in life. Some become ranting feminist cat ladies. I don’t think it is misogyny to say this woman made the right call but should have made it much earlier:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3786067/High-flying-M-S-executive-not-return-work-taking-maternity-leave-baby-50.html

  51. “Using and sharing information about free and open-source software, tools and platforms is key to this.”

    Well of course it is. That’s what we all do.

    Carry on girls, there’s nothing stopping you.

  52. From the article: “… a feminist internet is one where women and LGBT people have affordable and equal access”

    This is surely just a cash grab. QWERTYs need subsidised internet!

    As to what a femminist internet looks like, if that article is anything to go by it’ll be a load of 404 pages and “This comment was removed by a moderator”

  53. I just read the manifesto thingy.

    It’s 80% reasonable statements, smeared over with the usual wibble (“use FOSS”- fine, “because capitalism is bad”- wha?) and 20% idiocy (namely the access and patriarchy parts quoted above).

    What I don’t understand is why anyone thought it necessary. A feminist manifesto for the internet seems pointless. ‘A structuralist manifesto for cycling’, ‘A brutalist manifesto for stick control’… ‘an x manifesto for y’. It’s all stupid ace grinding, full of sound and fury etc

  54. From the article: “… a feminist internet is one where women and LGBT people have affordable and equal access”

    Sooooo, they already have it. The Intartubes is affordable for all, and nobody is charging LGBTKSDFJASLKJD’s more or denying them access. Where’s the problem?

  55. SMFS:
    So basically you agree with me – payroll is too hard for HR and has to be left to the code written by those dorks you seem to despise so much?

    Err, what?

    Payroll wasn’t impossible before computerisation, but it was much less efficient. It’s possible for men to benefit from computerisation as well.

    Nor I have I said I despise the “dorks” doing the coding. Though I would say IT generally has a huge problem with quality control.

    This Nadine’s wibble is wibble because what she wants is already available. She just wants some free cash.

    It’s not wibble because, Oh! Look! HR is bloody awful!!!

  56. I failed to get on the BAe graduate scheme

    From what I heard from my engineering colleagues who worked there, you had a lucky escape.

    One guy I knew who eventually worked for McKinsey & Co before starting his own company turned up from London to the NE of England for his scheduled interview with BAe, and found himself left waiting in a porter cabin at the main gate for an hour. Then he got a phone call from somebody saying there had been a mix-up, and can he come back tomorrow? McKinsey’s got their man.

  57. To explain the lack of women in tech roles and to paraphrase Chris Rock (all hail the Rock)
    Men think – how can I solve this problem?
    Women think – how can I get a man to solve this problem for me?

    @ Niels R – There are plenty of women already monetising content, but they tend to be nice upper working class American women writing blogs on homemaking, and so are invisible to this feminist crowd.

    WTF is internet governance?

  58. “bloke in france
    bis
    Women invented agriculture? Fascinating idea.
    Got any evidence for it?”

    No, but it seems pretty obvious. If you’re gathering, certain things will start to become obvious. Plants produce seeds & plants grow from seeds & these things have seasons. Stripping everything bare this year means less to gather next. Weeding out the plants you don’t want gives you more plants you do. You’re on the way to gardening & agriculture.
    It’s a lot more likely than Ug the mammoth slayer converting his stone axe into a plough because he’s just envisaged wheat-fields.

  59. @Tim Newman, “From what I heard from my engineering colleagues who worked there, you had a lucky escape.”

    Oh, I definitely dodged a massive bullet there.

  60. magnusw,

    The real problem with women in tech is lack of initiative. A male programmer will read about a new thing and have a goof around with it, maybe build his own little thing with it. He learns something and improves his performance. Women expect to be told what they’re going to be doing, to go on courses for days on end at huge expense and then do that thing for a long time.

    It’s like feminists complain about funding of movies. But there are no women doing ultra low budget filmmaking, knocking out $10K movies with what’s around them. Men will just do something. Kevin Smith’s Clerks was set in a convenience store because that’s where he worked, and the boss didn’t mind him using it after hours. He used local theatre actors who would do it for basically nothing.

  61. Feminism- the fear that some man, somewhere, is enjoying himself.

    Hence the temperance movements, the breaking of men’s clubs, and demanding of entry into organisations without appropriate qualifications. They’re all scared they’re getting talked about and they’re not there to hear it.

  62. Speaking as a software engineer, we do not care what your do with your genitals, as long as it’s in your spare time and you don’t make us watch. We do place a very high premium on being able to do your fucking job, and that means turning out stuff that works, without any bullshitting. We are, when we think about it at all, glad there are people who make sure our paycheques get deposited when and where they should, and that there are people who come around and mop the joint from time to time. If we can avoid actually interacting with any of these people, then all well and good. Their existence is only net-positive to the extent we do not have to expend energy on accommodating them.

  63. @ BiCR
    Well said!
    When I last tried to write programmes, 50 years ago (UK programmes still had two ‘m’s in those days), I was supervised by a Girton graduate; my translation into Algol 60 of one of her programmes hit a problem when I used 0 as a real number, so I reluctantly did a fudge that would only distort the answer by 10 to the minus x. After I went back to college she wrote to me telling me that she had sorted it out and the fault was in the Algol compiler for the KDF which didn’t visualise the possibility of anyone using 0 as a real number, not in my programme, so they were amending the compiler to correct their error (Wow! As a teenager, I just accepted that, but now I am astounded that they rewrote the compiler because she told them her undergraduate trainee’s programme didn’t work.)
    Women *can* be programmers, in some cases very good programmers (she was one of the handful who would, after the compiler had translated their programme from conventional language code into machine code, go through the machine code amending it to optimise performance).
    But very few of them are and those that I know are not rad-fem feminists (as every woman has her own definition of “feminist” I cannot be certain that none of them thinks of herself as a “feminist” by her own definition). For instance, last weekend Janet, who has been an IT specialist for over 30 years, was quite happy for me to take an axe to the ugly and unwanted Leylandii left by the previous owner but not for me to wash up*. She also, like you, cares about whether her colleagues are able to do their job.
    * Yes, I am quite competent at washing up.

  64. So Much For Subtlety

    john77 – “Women *can* be programmers, in some cases very good programmers”

    As the cliche goes, anecdote is not data. However it does not matter in this case as no one is denying that there are a few exceptional individuals who want to/can/whatever be proper programmers. Humans exist on a spectrum and there are extreme individuals at either end. There are just a hell of a lot more men at either end.

    It boils down to two simple choices. Either the lack of female programmes is because people like BiCR think they are not sexists but they really are and so create a hostile workplace for the Special Snow Flakes, or there are some cultural or genetic or whatever reasons that prevent most women from doing it competently. Some people, like Rusty, like the first answer. I think it is obviously bullsh!t and so it must be the second.

  65. Women…aren’t, you know, all that smart.
    Interestingly, it’s rare for people who are, you know, all that smart to make this sort of generalization. Mostly it’s the less able who feel the need to assert some sort of status from having similar genitalia (or complexion, or whatever) to what they perceive to be the smart group.
    __

    I agree with both the feminists and commentators here that women, and anyone else with a computer connected to the internet, have the right to write code, and free access to the tools and information they need to do it.

    .

  66. I agree with both the feminists and commentators here that women, and anyone else with a computer connected to the internet, have the right to write code, and free access to the tools and information they need to do it.

    I’d be curious to know which commentators on here believe women have a right to free coding tools.

  67. Sorry, I expressed that ambiguously. “…have the (right to write code), and (free access to the tools and information)…”

    In the sense that I’m currently developing a program using a powerful free editor and compiler, and I can look up on the internet anything I need to know about the language and operating system I’m working with.

  68. So Much For Subtlety

    Social Justice Warrior – “Interestingly, it’s rare for people who are, you know, all that smart to make this sort of generalization. Mostly it’s the less able who feel the need to assert some sort of status from having similar genitalia (or complexion, or whatever) to what they perceive to be the smart group.”

    I may be as thick as six Irish bricks laid end to end. It will not raise the average female IQ level by one point.

    I know you have little to offer except the standard shaming tactics from the SJWs little colouring book but this is lame even by your standards. So here is someone with a different set of genitalia:

    “If civilization had been left in female hands we would still be living in grass huts.” – Camille Paglia

  69. Tim Newman,

    In the sense that you can download stuff like Visual Studio or a text editor like Notepad++ and GCC for nothing, they already do. Although technically speaking, that’s at the whim of the creators rather than a right.

    There’s almost nothing I pay for today. A few addons for Visual Studio, and I’m considering getting Webstorm because it’s a really nice Javascript editor. My total outlay a month for tools and my own test hosting is less than £50/month.

    Game development is similar. Unity 3D is free, unless you start making lots of money or want to remove their splash screen on your games. And even then, it’s only £75/month. Selling games on Steam? Free, but they take 30% of the price. The App store? Similar, although there’s an annual license of around £100. Google play? A one-off £30 and then they take around the same cut. And they don’t care if you’re a 1 legged, 1 eyed Chinese transexual. Just follow their rules (in the case of Google Play, the rules allow almost anything).

    The only reason I’m not building a couple of things I should be building is me. When I get home from client work I go bowling, drink beer, watch a movie, play with the dog.

  70. BiW, not sure when I actually last paid for any software at all, domains and hosting, sure, but software? Got to be at least ten years ago.

    IME, female IT people are just as good as the males. But something like Sturgeons Law applies. About 80% (both men and women) are competent. About 5% are stunningly good. 2% could probably knock out a new OS or language in a couple of weeks without breaking sweat.

    The rest shouldn’t be allowed to operate a fucking washing machine. And identifying them and then doing something about it, before they do something catastrophic, can be tricky. And they will do that something. It’s just a question of time. And it’s running out for you.

    But the curves are different. There’s more men than women in that 5%, quite possibly none in the top 2%. There’s fewer women in the bottom 10-13%.

    And the women at the top end don’t have the personality failings the men do. Some of them make Sheldon Cooper look normal (seriously, why are there more than zero kettles under your desk?). And they are easier to keep on track (why exactly did you decide to rewrite the network stack?).

    On the other hand, not come across any women in that 80% who go home and fiddle with computers in their spare time. And while their code tended to be more readable, they tend not to code defensively, so you get more bounds errors and over/underflows and stuff, giving longer test/debug cycles.

    (All this is corporate IT stuff)

  71. @ DuckyMcDuckface
    I am curently working my way through Steve Silberman’s “Neurotribes” because #2 son is high-functioning (with a degree from the local university) autistic, so I have an interest.
    The book was a result of the author looking at a claim that there was an epidemic of autism in Silicon Valley. There is a high correlation between ASD and programing ability. Guys with Asperger’s Syndrome are better at writing programmes and at a lot of other research-oriented jobs – when Asperger’s syndrome started getting attention as an alternative view to Kanner’s feeble-minded doctrine, people claimed that large numbers of Oxbridge Dons suffered from Asperger’s – I could instantly think of an example (not my tutor).
    There are far fewer women than men on the spectrum wherever you install the cut-off point. I was, briefly, a programmer (and subsequently have worked in another maths-oriented field), my wife thinks I am on the spectrum; #1 son is a programmer, but there is no particular reason to think that he is on the spectrum except that as a schoolboy he was good at dealing and communicating with ASD boys ion his NAGC group.
    So, some of the difference between male and female numbers is down to how many suffer (or benefit from) Autistic Spectrum Disorders.
    When I started work at 17, I met, and worked under, a guy who DID create a programming language because the works computer wasn’t big enough to run an Algol compiler. Slightly weirder than I, these days someone would demand that he got checked out for autism but 50 years ago he was just a nice, very mildly eccentric guy.

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