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  1. #76
    SitePoint Enthusiast Kattaryna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dorsey View Post
    Social issues and all that other blather about subconscious gender stereotyping are excuses for not pushing your kids to do the hard work.
    I can't say I don't agree with you. Parents do have to take responsibility.

    My youngest just announced that she wants to go into programming when she graduates in the spring(High School)

    I never let them think they couldn't handle math and or science but not every parent is as stubborn as I am either.

    But that being said, subconscious stereotyping is the toughest stereotyping to fight. Not just women are affected by it. There are just as many men in jobs they hate because they did what they were supposed to do instead of what they love because "thats a woman's job".

  2. #77
    SitePoint Zealot franglix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StuckRUs View Post
    No you're not. For the past 20 years I've been managing corporate IT development teams in the UK and I'd guess they were 50/50.
    Maybe it's the European Education System or maybe our equality laws.
    Well the sample I quoted is small... however if we take it to the political level, the education system may be good, however I have strong reservations about whether we can take seriously the equality legislation in France.

  3. #78
    SitePoint Zealot ejg's Avatar
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    This is very interesting. I went to college in the late 80's and got a degree in Computational Mathematics. I was never the only girl in my math and computer classes. There were more guys in the classes but never a disproportionate amount.

    After college I went to work for a Large Computer Company and my division was probably 60%-40% men to women. There were lots of young women just out of college and older women from the manufacturing lines who were trained to be programmers.

    About 10 years ago, many of the young women started leaving to have kids. Some worked part time until the dot-com bust and mass outsourcing led to layoffs.

    Because of the glut of programmers, companies were/are not willing to hire part timers so the moms that wanted to work have drifted into more family friendly careers but most have elected to stay home.

    I am lucky enough not to need benefits or healthcare so I freelanced web design which led to a permanent part time position. I can work from home if my kids are sick and my hours are flexible enough that I can volunteer at their school.

    I must be out of touch because I never realized that girls had stopped going into computer science. I will have to volunteer for Career Day at my daughter's school and scope out the situation myself.

  4. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Grossman View Post
    Why are there no women in my computer science classes at college?
    So what am I? An object?

    Ok, I confess. I don't study anymore... that was a long time ago... and anyway, I didn't start computer science but mining engineering...

  5. #80
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    I'm a female php programmer.... at university there were around 400 guys and 20 girls. I think a lot more girls would study programming if they were introduced to it at school. There are some interesting gender statistics in the 'A List A Part' 2007 Survey of Web Professionals.
    Last edited by Talita; Nov 3, 2007 at 01:04.

  6. #81
    Non-Member DelvarWorld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by molona View Post
    So what am I? An object?
    ...yes ...

  7. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by DelvarWorld View Post
    ...yes ...
    Oh... then I should have asked what kind of object I was... maybe a Java one, or an ASP object, or who knows...

  8. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by Talita View Post
    I'm a female php programmer.... at university there were around 400 guys and 20 girls. I think a lot more girls would study programming if they were introduced to it at school. There are some interesting gender statistics in the 'A List A Part' 2007 Survey of Web Professionals.
    Mining Engineering is really a male's world, and still there were quite a few women studying there with me (don't know, maybe a 35% were women). There were (and are) even more at Computer Science University, so I really guess it depends on the country.

  9. #84
    SitePoint Zealot franglix's Avatar
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    What is interesting about thread is that three women programmers are no longer lurking and have outed themselves and posted for the first time. So at risk of sounding patronising and like I am part of the furniture at 20 posts - I would like to welcome ccol, rogeku, BrookeA (and Talita) to the forum! It would be cool if you choose to say more about your experiences more formally in the introductions sections if you have time.

    And I am wondering..... Should I go so far as to stick my neck out and hope that a corner of this forum (Community Center) develops in a space for female-internet/web-worker discussions and issues? It might be one idea too far, and get poo-poohed for being politically correct, or whatever, but I get the sense that web design trends and even the phases of the web are far more influenced by gender than we know.

    Guys have historically dominated the technology spaces, so I would like to know whether there's a whole different perspective on the virtual world that simply doesn't get heard... (until someone like Dan Grossman thinks of asking a key question...) so if there is, I for one would like to hear it/them.

    Any thoughts or reactions?

  10. #85
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    I have been working as a developer for the last 4 years and I taught some Java to failing college students before that. I love building things that work and am very proud of my work. And I am a woman.

    I do have to say that I get treated a bit like a monkey that has learned to read in some circles. And it is infuriating. I can see why lots of women don't feel comfortable in this field. But I also get treated with respect for being good at what I do by MOST people. It just takes a bit of work to find an environment that treats women who code like regular people.

  11. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by franglix View Post
    And I am wondering..... Should I go so far as to stick my neck out and hope that a corner of this forum (Community Center) develops in a space for female-internet/web-worker discussions and issues?
    I may be lucky because I don't feel the need to have a special corner for female developers. I think I face the same problems and issues as everyone else, so I think that any developer point of view is more than welcomed, with complete independence of gender.

  12. #87
    I Love Licorice silver trophybronze trophy Datura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by molona View Post
    I may be lucky because I don't feel the need to have a special corner for female developers. I think I face the same problems and issues as everyone else, so I think that any developer point of view is more than welcomed, with complete independence of gender.
    Agreed. Gender should not be an issue in any field, no special corner, no special treatment.

    I also ran into the ceiling many years ago, I studied machine design (engineering) and then car design, both were only male dominated fields. I worked with about 50 men in the department, all other people around were also male, only secretaries were tolerated females.

    It was tough, but I showed them what I was made off and they accepted. I became one of the group.

    Separating away and demanding equal treatment is a dichotomy.
    Ulrike
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  13. #88
    SitePoint Zealot franglix's Avatar
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    Lightbulb

    This is evidently a complex issue that has already reared its head in a number of different disciplines...

    Molona and Datura, thank you for your responses. It is interesting that you are both extremely experienced members of this forum (at 1,400 and 2,580 posts respectively), and so far you provide the two not-needed responses to a 'special corner for female developers'. I wonder if, amongst the other experienced female forum members who have already commented in the thread, this reaction is relatively unanimous.

    Contrastingly, I am scratching my head with the simple fact a debate begins about 'What's causing [a] gender gap?' and a sixth female developer is compelled to out herself from the Sitepoint shadows with very first post. Interesting fact. (BTW - welcome codegoddess and beyondmockups who I didn't spot much earlier!).

    ...and humour aside for a bit, if sylvatica is saying
    I really thought that by now, 2007, there would be more females in this field.
    and
    Quote Originally Posted by samsm View Post
    I've heard from a person who does international recruiting that in many places (Bangalore was an example) it's an even mix. Some places it is 90% women.
    Just in case it wasn't obvious that it's cultural.
    ...despite the great ideal of gender-free code, I really seriously do wonder whether the issue actually does need to be positively brought to the forum in a section somewhere. Especially if people's careers and futures are at stake, and worse still, because no one really wants to be the one seen making a fuss?

    Wouldn't it be just something worth trying out as an experiment in male-dominated sector forum - if only just on a trial basis? I am not advocating anything, let alone enforcement of PC policing in forums, but I would sure love to get a real insight on a read-only basis into what are the accessibility issues for women as developers (or any IT-related place), and where I as a man need to listen and respond/change.

  14. #89
    I Love Licorice silver trophybronze trophy Datura's Avatar
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    Great debate.

    Gender gap starts early in childhood I think. Girls are raised in a different way from boys in many ways. Girls are expected to perform different tasks from what boys are expected to do. I remember when I was a girl, the tendency by teachers and parents was to push me into a girl "appropriate" corner. I just did not want to go there exclusively. I liked all the girly things, but I wanted to have the other side as well.

    So I bulldozed my way into classes that were there for the boys only. I did not let preset ideas that the grown ups had prevent me from doing my thing. I did the same later on. Determination and knowledge help a lot, not accepting preconceived ideas by your male peers. The worst opposition I faced actually came from other females who found my choices utterly unfeminine.

    The child rearing is of course another serious hang up. Women are the ones that get pregnant, they are the ones that tend to have the nurturing job at home, so it falls on them to be there for the children more than the partner. Today that has changed a little bit, but it still is mostly so. I do not know if fundamental biology (hormones) have much to do with this, could be, but there are also so many cultural factors playing into this, a rather tangled ball of yarn.

    But today it is truly possible to work from your home, especially in this field. I do not work in this field btw, I decided to quit the corporate world at a relatively early age and become an artist, the only chance I had at that time to be independent and away from corporate politics that did not really have anything to do with gender, just the usual cutting of throats and back stabbing and ladder climbing over dead bodies.

    I think that females have to start very early in life to spread their wings. But it is just so much easier to accept what the norm is prescribing, especially at that early age, and when a girl reaches the age to make the decision about her career she has lost already about 15 years. Later, when she decides to go a different way, the *male* way, she has a huge struggle on her hand, not only to erase all the preconceived notions about her role, but also the preconceived notions that the males have been taught and accepted. But I think to separate away from the male world to foster a better integration of the female into a male dominated field is not the answer.

    Quote Originally Posted by franglix View Post
    Wouldn't it be just something worth trying out as an experiment in male-dominated sector forum - if only just on a trial basis? I am not advocating anything, let alone enforcement of PC policing in forums, but I would sure love to get a real insight on a read-only basis into what are the accessibility issues for women as developers (or any IT-related place), and where I as a man need to listen and respond/change.
    This thread was started in the regular forum here, the mostly male forum, and so it should be. To be part of it, there should be this seamless integration, as if there was no difference at all. In a way it might actually help the females, because males that have never thought about this will be made aware, more than they would be if you separated away into a little corner.
    Ulrike
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  15. #90
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    molona's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by franglix View Post
    Molona and Datura, thank you for your responses. It is interesting that you are both extremely experienced members of this forum (at 1,400 and 2,580 posts respectively), and so far you provide the two not-needed responses to a 'special corner for female developers'. I wonder if, amongst the other experienced female forum members who have already commented in the thread, this reaction is relatively unanimous.
    Sorry that you feel that way, but by not means I feel that my answer is not needed.It is simpy different to your point of view. I think that all points of view have their interest, and enrich a discussion. Obviously, you do feel the urge, then by all means create a forum specialised in female coders and developers.

    I don't think it is necessary, at leat for me, for various reasons:

    - I don't feel treated differently just because I am a woman, not in a forum, not in everyday life. simply, I don't feel discrimated at all, and I don't need a special corner to discuss a particular work problem that only happens to me because of my woman condition. It is simply not true. I have the same problems as any other developer.

    - In a forum, unless you tell everyone, nobody knows your gender. In a forum of this kind, nobody knows your political views not religious beliefs. Nothing can be more democratic than that.

    - Very possibly, and further more for those countries where women in the technological field are a small number, the experience of others can be beneficial, even if they are males

    - I think that creating a forum, or part of a forum, only for men, or only for women, creates more division than union. It just makes look as if being a woman, and working in the IT world is unnatural. Possibly things would be better if we simply act as it was the most normal thing in the world, after all, it is that way. Very possibly, if we act like that, it will be accepted without a fuss.

    - It is obvious that this kind of situation does not occur in all countries, and it really depends on culture.

    I do not pretend to know how other female members of the forum feel, I know how I feel, and I think I am as valuable as any other member or colleague in my work, and as any other member of the forum.

    Also, let me remind you that mining is a classical "only men" thing, and it is not a career that many study and it is a very tight and closed group, hard to get into (wether you are male or female, it doesn't matter). Most engineers do not like to be deep underground to build a tunnel, so why to consider a woman to bomb a particular area to expand the mine, or to build the elevator that will be used by the miners?. And yet, there are, not many but that's also because mining is not a popular choice among engineers (only 30 per year end their studies in my country, and only about 6000 start studying it, but then, there are only a few mines here and most of them have to work abroad) and even less among women.

    But if I didn't feel discriminated in the mining world, why should I feel discriminated in the IT word?

    Anyway, I know many friends (female friends) that work in fields that are atypical for women like construction, pavements, and energy and, even being mothers and all, they do not feel different to their males colleagues.

  16. #91
    SitePoint Zealot ejg's Avatar
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    I agree with Molona and Datura, there is no need for a special "women's section".

    The web is about as gender-neutral as it can be. I never give a thought about whether the person who answered my post is male or female. For all I know Dan Grossman could be a 28 year old woman.

    Women in IT don't want to be accommodated for their gender. They want to be recognized for their work and respected for their ideas.

  17. #92
    I Love Licorice silver trophybronze trophy Datura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ejg View Post

    Women in IT don't want to be accommodated for their gender. They want to be recognized for their work and respected for their ideas.
    That is right.

    To play the gender card is creating only separation, not integration.
    Ulrike
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  18. #93
    I Love Licorice silver trophybronze trophy Datura's Avatar
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    There is also another point I just wanted to bring up. Here on SitePoint I was embraced by the guys, they did not ask if I was female or male, when they found out, it did not make a difference at all.

    I am also not a young woman, so the idea that they might have just wanted to *play* around with a female does not apply either.

    Watching other women here and how they relate to the males and how the males relate to the females, there is just not a visible difference, only in GC where you have a little intentional fun now and then. I think to create a female corner would be counterproductive.
    Ulrike
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  19. #94
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    I guess I'll join the group of women who have been lurking here for a few years and just "outed themselves" in this thread.

    I'm in my forties, live in Western Canada, and have been working with computers for about 25 years. The first 22 years in real time control software, the last few in web design/PHP/SQL. (Yeah, strange transition, I know. But I've moved to a small community where there's not much call for my RT skills, and I've discovered I LOVE working from home and doing creative stuff.)

    What keeps us chicks from going into computers? I have a couple of thoughts on that.

    Educational choices: I'm old enough to have been barred from the "shop" class at high school, which sent messages about what girls did and didn't do for a living. From what I hear from my pre-teen nieces, that has changed, which is great.

    Role models: Both my parents were physicists who became engineers, and worked at least a bit with computers. (My mother was the only female physics graduate in a class of 400 in Glasgow, Scotland.) They never tried to push my sister and I into science, but the two of us both got physics degrees (mine a BsC with computing and my sister a PhD), both work with computers, and both love our careers.

    Sexism: I have only occasionally encountered in-your-face sexist prejudice, but I have definitely found that in situations where I am working with a group of 20-something male engineering graduates, I get less respect and cooperation. I haven't noticed this problem with older graduates or physics graduates. I think engineering (which launches a lot of software careers here in Canada) tends to breed more sexism than a lot of other areas. There's a whole macho culture thing in Canadian engineering schools. One time I walked into a 3rd year computer hardware class at school (where I was the only female among lots of young engineering students) to find all the other students trashing various female members of the faculty. Fortunately, our totally cool instructor walked in and gave them a serious tongue lashing, saying "It's no wonder women don't want to work with people like you!".

    Interests: Most of the women I meet (of all ages) indicate a distaste for math, computers and physics. I'm not sure how much of this response is based on fair knowledge of the subjects. When I signed up for my first physics class in high school I had no clue what it would include, or how much fun it would be. Hopefully required computer classes in high school will bring more chicks into the field.

    Work Environment: I've worked in places where the women were treated completely evenly with the males, both technically and socially, and have become team leads and make up 50% of the technical staff. I've also worked in places where women were stymied both technically and financially by what could only be called a "boys club". I think the key difference in these two places was the maturity and social skills of the management team.

    Thanks for starting this thread. It's been an interesting read for me. Personally, I wouldn't mind a thread/forum that focuses on issues of being female in the business, but meantime there are tons of other threads and topics out there where I'm happy to participate in this wonder gender-neutral web society, even if I am just lurking...
    Last edited by alison_taylor; Nov 3, 2007 at 20:36.

  20. #95
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    Ok count me in the "outed" as well LOL.


    I do believe in the idea of being an equal non-gender member in most forums generally, however from my experience in some other male dominated forums (not web related), a women's section seems more for the benefit of newer women in that field and a place for women to come out of the shadows of internet anonymity... not for themselves but rather to encourage other women. To show other women that there ARE women in the field.

    I can tell you that even though I had been learning web dev/design in my spare time (for fun) for a few years, it wasn't until the network at the office where I was working had a major meldown and the "computer guru" from corporate came in to save the day... and it was a woman, that a lightbulb went off for me. She was great encouragement and taught me so much those few days. She really opened my eyes. She was also the ONLY woman I had ever seen doing actual real coding / computer programming before this! Thus I am in school now for web/dev because of that relevation. (Btw, it's been about 3 women in each class of ~30 in the programming courses so far.)

    I certainly understand not wanting to create a separatation per se, but by and large we don't know who is female here, so as a lurker... I pretty much assumed most everyone to be male here since it's a male dominated field. That's just my perception of course.

    Maybe a women's section would help to bring more women into the forums and into the field? Since the guys here do embrace us and don't care if we are female, I don't see how a "female corner" could be a negative really. Maybe if more forums did this, a few more women would take the leap into development. The thing is, in the US at least, there is a wide gap in many fields by gender and so programs are created to encourage people to come into those fields to help lessen that gap. "Take you daughter to work day" is along that line. There are more women entering medicine, science, engineering, construction etc. (and more men in nursing, etc.) because of these programs and the support groups. I see a women's forum "corner" more along this line, rather than as "playing the gender card". Just my 2cents

    I'm also in my 40's and was banned from "shop" class too! Home economics / cooking was where ALL the girls went, not shop. LOL. That's just how it was and no fighting it. My dad was an engineer like his father and hoped I would follow. Almost did. I've always been interested in "male" fields, always enjoyed learning and working and being involved in them as well... and of course had frustrations due to the "junk" that can come with it. But I still always gravitate to those type of fields. Most of my girlfriends leaned more towards the social / helping fields. Of course that was the expected path... and the few friends who had similar interests as I did, most ended up giving up and migrated into more "female" roles and focused on family instead. There was alot of pressure to conform to the gender roles.

    I think some of the resistence for women in taking these type of classes may come from their mothers saying how hard they are... tooo hard. So you have so many female role models echoing that around the young girls, they just don't even attempt it or even check it out. They just assume it's beyond them.
    Last edited by SWM; Nov 3, 2007 at 20:57.

  21. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by alison_taylor View Post
    I guess I'll join the group of women who have been lurking here for a few years and just "outed themselves" in this thread.

    I'm in my forties
    In truth honesty I fail to understand why this happens. The world is not perfect, and there are things to be changed everywhere... but the feeling I get here is that there a number of women that do not participate actively because... well, they assume that everyone here is a man and that they will not be well accepted because they are women.

    I am not much younger than you (I am 35) and lived in a much more traditional country where the 20th century didn't really start till late 70's and still I never had a problem in doing what were traditionally male roles. And I have many female friends in the IT world, as well as others, in the same situation and they do no have a problem at all.

    Maybe it is true that a female corner would bring benefits to those women that do feel lonely and bullied working in a only male's world, if only to see that there are more women like them. But that's the only real benefit I see.

    As for the rest, when I have a problem that I can't solve by myself, I simply want an answer, and I really don't care where the answer comes from. So if in your country, IT is a male world and there are few women in it... why don't just take advantage of the experiences of those men to solve your coding issues? Chances are that they would have more experience than the developer women around you.

    I guess my approach is different. When I participate in a forum it is because I am interested in the subject discussed, but I never think if I am dealing with men or woment. I don't care, I care about the topic in discussion. Same with every activity I do.

    It is also amusing to note that it was a man who draw attention to this subject

    Thanks, Dan. I hope that, after all this time, you are not going to surprise me and tell me that you are woman...

  22. #97
    I Love Licorice silver trophybronze trophy Datura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SWM View Post


    I do believe in the idea of being an equal non-gender member in most forums generally, however from my experience in some other male dominated forums (not web related), a women's section seems more for the benefit of newer women in that field and a place for women to come out of the shadows of internet anonymity... not for themselves but rather to encourage other women. To show other women that there ARE women in the field.
    To show other women that it is alright to be a women in a world where males dominate is not to separate away, but participate within. Be forthcoming in revealing that you are a woman, indicate this maybe by signing your posts with your female name (can be fictitious if you prefer) and do not make an issue out of it. You can give your *secret* away with just one little remark. Just be one of many that voices their thoughts, that help out. That is a role model for a young intimidated female more than hanging out in a separated section of the forum (or school/ job).

    If you stumble upon a male that expresses his *traditional* role stereotyping, just ignore him or trump him in revealing your knowledge. In a way he has accepted this idea about the difference of the genders just the way you have.

    The brains of humans, male and female, are the same, but the thinking in particular directions is implanted early on by our surrounding. Most small people adapt what is told to them without question, that is when the devision starts and then it just continues. We are split into different roles. To top this off, many people believe that there is inborn knowledge (as in talent), so it is easy for them to accept that males and females have inborn abilities that are gender specific. And this is where the dilemma lies that Dan mentioned in his original post. Because of this acceptance the females tend to shy away from the male dominated fields, because they feel that they do not belong there. It applies in the reverse as well. Males stay often away from traditionally female roles.

    In the early days of humans when survival was hard, those gender roles made a lot of sense. The physically stronger male went out to hunt, the female who bore the offspring and had to feed it stayed closer to home. Those roles are not necessary today any longer, as humans we can be in the same roles now, technology and general advances have made this possible.

    So, mix it up and do not except what a few remaining guys think about this. Be who you are, do not hide.
    Ulrike
    TUTs: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

  23. #98
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    It is still a woman who invented the first modern programming language: Grass Hooper so do not desperate

    http://news.zdnet.com/2100-9589_22-6142101.html

  24. #99
    I Love Licorice silver trophybronze trophy Datura's Avatar
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    Story

    To show the kind of conditioning parents do to girls, here is a little episode that I went through when I was 12 years old.

    I had a terrible accident riding my bike, I tore open my left arm down to the bone. The scar it left is not pretty, but by now it has faded and it is just part of me.

    The first thing my mother said when I came home was: "Oh no, now you will never find a husband. It will be hard enough as it is being so tall (i was fully grown to 6 feet), but you are ruined now, maybe you have to wear a wide bracelet to hide it."

    What kind of message is that to a little girl?

    And I lay my money on it that there are similar conditionings in many ways. To make a girl feel as if her whole life depends on her physical appearance, not on her ability to think, and that is also why many girls stay away from the challenging fields of math etc.
    Ulrike
    TUTs: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

  25. #100
    SitePoint Zealot franglix's Avatar
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    Molona, I get the impression that you thought I wrote that your answer and contribution was unnecessary. I used italics on the words 'not-needed' in the context of my understanding that you indicated the 'the special corner was not needed'. In trying to bring things together, I guess I may not have been super clear. My apologies.


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