girls and computers, was: Gendered Communication

Subject: girls and computers, was: Gendered Communication
From: Steve Owens <uso01 -at- EAGLE -dot- UNIDATA -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 15 Apr 1994 15:19:37 +0700

> This is great! I've just finished reading approximately 40 postings on
> the subject of gender and tech writing. What has it all come down to?
> We have a man and a woman engaging in a public flame war over a bunch of
> made up numbers.

Okay, I let the first post pass without comment and I
responded privately to another, but now I'm getting tired of these
slurs. Karen and I are discussing a valid topic in a mannerly
fashion. The fact that we are disagreeing with each other does not
make it a flame war[1], nor does it make it an inappropriate topic[2].

I have already taken my conversation with Karen to private
e-mail, on my own initiative, for my own reasons. Whether I do so
again in the future or not is entirely up to my judgement. I live by
my conscience, not by yours[3].

Steven J. Owens
uso01 -at- unidata -dot- com

[1] You're spoiled; you haven't *seen* the depths of viciousness and
incidental personal assaults that constitute a flame war. I hope
techwr-l never degenerates to that level.

[2] The disagreement isn't over made-up numbers, it's over
misinterpretations of statements. Karen asked for clarification
of LaVonna's comment about the higher proportion of boys in math
classes. I responded with some comments, also saying that I
thought the proportion is inclusive, vs. exclusive. Karen asked
how one group can be *more* likely without making another group
*less* likely. I illustrated an example of the concept using a
percentage point spread. She took exception to the numbers I
invented for the example, whereupon I decided that further
clarification belonged in personal e-mail.

[3] Lest anybody point to my own comments about appropriate topics of
discussion in the past, I point out that I have never ordered people
to DO anything, only commented on the appropriateness or
inappropriateness and suggested other, possibly more appropriate,
lines of discourse. I find such behavior ethically repugnant.

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