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>> I find it a little hard to believe that a professional dominated
>almost three-quarters by females could have a pattern of discrimination
>against them. But I suppose it could be.
I admit that I speak as a man, but I hope that you won't discriminate
against me until you hear me out! 8^)
I researched this subject recently (I also aspire to fiction), and I found
some interesting facts. Not speaking for techwhirlers specifically, but for
white-collar business as a whole, discrimination did not turn out to be as
clearly gender-based as I first assumed (oh what a feminist I was). It is
in fact simply power-based. It turns out that when you take the number of
men in "positions of power" and compare the *percentage* of them involved
in sexual discrimination, the result is almost identical to what you get
when you take the number of women in "positions of power" and tote up the
*percentage* of them involved in sexual discrimination. Discrimination is
all about power, and sexual power happens to be one facet of power that is
easily identified, as is race.
Of course, there is still the issue that there are so many more men in
positions of power than women, but it does answer the puzzlement above. The
issue is not how many of one gender or the other *works* in the industry,
but rather how many of one gender or the other is responsible for *hiring*
those of us who techwhirl.
I have experienced discrimination in this industry, too, but as I age (and
since I've grown a beard, increasing my apparent age), this age
discrimination against me lessens. I have also seen other subtle and
not-so-subtle discrimination involving race, weight, religion, and politics
practiced against others and me, the worst of which was when a company I
was working for was looking for a technical guru and I suggested a friend
of mine who happened to weigh 385 pounds. My boss told me outright that he
could never hire such a fat person. I told him that this thinking was
against the law, not to mention ridiculous, but he considered me "one of
the club" and I pretended to go along. I also began a campaign against that
boss in the form of daily reminders that nobody else was even remotely as
qualified as my friend. Eventually the boss hired my friend despite his
weight, and everybody was happy.
My friend would never have known these circumstances if I had not been
privvy to them, and I could have blown the whistle on the boss, but as it
turned out, everybody ended up satisfied, and my boss learned that
someone's weight problem doesn't have to affect their job performance. He
would not have learned that had I screamed and ranted.
Anyway, please don't jump to the obvious conclusion, and please don't
react, because reaction will only "prove the point" of the people who are
discriminating. We're not just boring writers, we're techwhirlers! We
should be able to come up with creative solutions to a thorny problem, right?