On a Related Note

On a Related Note

Sky Hernstrom comments on Jeffro commenting on a post he shared by Kevyn Winkless commenting yes, yet another article on how the old days of SF hated women.

I’m at the point now where I just don’t give a shit. Articles like this come out on a weekly basis. Other movements follow the same pattern. Articles and articles, Grievance + Something Must Be Done. The point is to read it, savor the delicious righteous rage, bonus round, enjoy the feeling of moral superiority. How the fuck as a writer am I supposed to make space at a table? Isn’t that horribly patronizing? Here you go little missy!

Write what want. If it sucks you fail. SFW.

It comes down to feminists never considering that while they (assuming they are women) may want to write or read science fiction, other women may not, and that interest – or lack therof – does a lot more to explain the relative percentages than anything else.

It’s the same in the computer community. At one point I was at least willing to entertain arguments about brogrammers in corporate culture, though thinking – evidence since has borne this out – it was much ado over trivialities. What really puzzled me in my more blue pill days was the argument that men were keeping women out of open source.

I get it. When I grew up, computers were expensive. I was fortunate in that regard to be in an upper middle class family and got exposed earlier than income would not too much later allow. I dug into the innards of the family II+ heedless of static straps, getting the various add-ons working to enable a lower case keyboard and the 80-column graphics card for features that would later become standard with the IIe. I also learned – and have since forgotten – the ascii tables.

But here’s what’s important. It wasn’t just something I spent some time on for games – though there was quite a bit of that – it was something I tinkered with, as opposed to the car, or in addition to plastic models, because it interested me.

Trust me, if we there were more girls interested in the stuff, we would have welcomed them.

These days you can get a computer for a few hundred bucks, less, even, if you’re willing to go used, with far more than enough power to run a linux gui and compile software, and this has been true for at least a decade. The only thing keeping anyone from learning computers, and writing software, is a lack of interest in doing so for its own sake, and the willingness to budget a year or less worth of coffee or the cost of a gaming console, if even that much. I’ve known schools that donate their old machines to needy families, and companies offload a lot of their old gear at auctions – I literally bought a PC perfectly capable of running windows 98 in 2002 for $15. Had to add a $30 stick of RAM and a modem.

There are a lot of places the complaints about brogrammers or men keeping women out ring hollow because all they have to do is show up, and for that, all they have to do is want to enough to set aside the time.

About Last Redoubt

Ex nuke mechanic, jack of all trades.