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WOMEN & COMPUTING

Megan Igo megan at ucla.edu
Tue Mar 26 13:40:17 EST 1996


wahchan at liverpool.ac.uk wrote
>B.A.Shama at MCS.salford.ac.uk wrote:
>: What are the reasons for there being so few women in computer science?
>
>: Is it family ties?, Not intelligent enough?, Think differently to men?,
>: Have they not been studying in this discipline for long? The discipline not
>: being attractive enough, either financially or in a practical context?
>
>: What can be done to improve the situation?
>: More education at an early age?, Not being stereotyped into certain jobs?,
>
>: ANY COMMENTS?
>
>You are right on all account and  I am afraid there arent anything we
>can do about it. When it comes down to dedication, logical thinking
>and scientific research we dont find many women who is versatile in this
>field.
>
>
Hmmm.  Maybe I should just not even reply to this, but it is so
inflammatory as to require a response.  The real reasons for there being so
few women in Computer Science is that it is thought to be boring by girls
and they are not encouraged to go into it.  This is still a relatively new
field, and one that has always been predominated by men, probably due to
it's close relationship to math (another predominantly male field).  Until
recently, most of the people using computers have been men, so why is it a
surprise that mostly men are designing the computer and systems that they
are mostly using?  Even now, the majority of the people using the web are
men.  Girls will begin seeing computer science as an important field to go
into, and they will go there.  Women tend to be more visual, and the
increase in visibility of the WWW, a very visual representation of computer
power, will bring the women in.  The lack of women in this field will
increase with time, as it has in most other sciences, but it may never
reach the close to 50:50 ratios seen in biology.   I think this is due more
to the nature of the science, not to women's inability to think logically,
or to be determined or to perform scientific research.

I am a bit annoyed by the ignorance and blatant sexism demonstrated by Mr.
W.Y. Chan, if he is right, then no woman should be permitted to do science
in any field, because they have no determination, are not logical thinkers,
and are not versatile in the ability to perform scientific research.  Hmmm.
Maybe they shouldnt be permitted to vote either?  Or own land?  Just a
sarcastic thought.

Megan
Graduate Student
UCLA Department of Microbiology and Immunology
megan at ucla.edu





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