Posts Tagged ‘humans are complicated’

“Gentlemen…and Kim”

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

At the beginning of my career, it seemed like every formal meeting I attended would begin with the same formal call to attention: “Gentlemen…and Kim”. Each one opened with a reminder that my existence was shocking and bizarre, even to the men I worked with.

I don’t have a lot to say about the recent porn/Ruby talk issue. Or, rather, I don’t have a lot of impersonal stuff to say that hasn’t already been said already, and I don’t have a lot of personal stuff to say that I’d be willing to share with the Internet at large, especially after seeing the responses other people have gotten. The jerks are out in force for this one.

Instead of my words, I’m going to link to some of the people whose words I found the most value in.

Liz Keogh’s thoughtful post on associations, and why seemingly trivial things can be powerful.

Martin Fowler’s links and discussion. I think he’s asking, and to some extent answering, the question: “Who do we want to be? What kind of world do we want to live in, and make by our actions?” They’re good thought-provoking questions for any complicated issue.

Dana Jones’ description of how the shoe might feel if it were on the other foot. This reminds me of the times when I’ve noticed the profoundly male framework of our culture’s communication: of how men who compete with each other to tell even more hard-core rape jokes (at work, in an open workspace) get offended by my joke about an (unused!) menstrual pad. Of how I’ve stopped telling the best timeboxing story I know, because the timebox in that case was a manager’s pregnancy and impending maternity leave, and it just doesn’t resonate with the (male) people I talk to. Of how when I anthropomorphize a linked list or a thread, the person I’m talking with immediately refers to it as “he”.

One last thing: look up stereotype threat.