Sunday, September 18, 2011


I just found a wiki that I can't decide if it's funny or not: geekfeminism

It's true; it's not true; it's slyly amusing; it's angry and fascinating.

For those women with a career in tech, the debate continues... While the stats continue to show that we're in the minority and paid less, the anecdotal evidence points to a better experience and gender weighting less than smarts. I know I don't feel at a disadvantage as a woman in IT but others do. I do know that seeing women in leadership positions is still difficult but I also advocate the right person for the job vs. filling a quota.

Anecdotally and statistically, it's all still a struggle in many other professions.

So what role can humour play? How can a wiki like that hurt/help the conversation?

The world will never be fair and equitable - the debate over whether everyone should be given exactly the same things regardless of circumstance or awarded based on impartial criteria that not everyone meets will rage on for many decades more. The library will not lower its bookcases because I'm short and peanuts will still be a commodity regardless of allergies.

That doesn't mean the conversations about how to evolve the criteria shouldn't continue. It was not long ago that simply having the wrong gender (colour/religion/etc.) cut us from certain jobs. Criteria has evolved. Humour can be a gentle way to further the conversation.

Humour can also distance folks. I've made many a gaff as a result of finding something funny but hadn't really thought through. That also prompted a deeper conversation.

So I carefully circulated the wiki to my 'choir' and am sharing it with this blog now. I only ever mean to further conversation, not beat any issue about the head with a shovel. Find it amusing or angry, continue the conversation wherever we find ourselves, using the tools as they arrive - including the humourous ones.

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