Neurosexism

 Neurosexism

Presented at Haecksen miniconf, Linux.conf.au 2011.

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Brianna Laugher

January 17, 2011
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Transcript

  1. neuro sexism Brianna Laugher | Haecksen miniconf | LCA2011

  2. “Delusions of Gender: How Our Minds, Society, and Neurosexism Create

    Difference” by Cordelia Fine, 2010
  3. None
  4. yeah, but why are there so few women in open

    source??
  5. women are a minority in FLOSS/CS/ technology ???

  6. Slashdot 2006 on a story about the founding of Fedora

    Women
  7. Women tend toward more social careers. Of course there are

    exceptions and there are women who choose fields which are more male-oriented by their nature (construction, military service) just as there are men who choose jobs traditionally held by women. Unlike some other fields, women aren't being kept out of programming through any sort of imposed discrimination. [...] Yes, they're a minority, but only out of choice. No one is telling women not to code. http://linux.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=192551&cid=15806271 (2006)
  8. women are a minority in FLOSS/CS/ technology Men & women

    choose different careers and hobbies
  9. women are a minority in FLOSS/CS/ technology Men & women

    choose different careers and hobbies ???
  10. women are a minority in FLOSS/CS/ technology Men & women

    choose different careers and hobbies “Nurture” experiences, societal norms, culture (sexism) “Nature” “innate” differences ? ?
  11. women are a minority in FLOSS/CS/ technology Men & women

    choose different careers and hobbies “Nurture” experiences, societal norms, culture (sexism) “Nature” “innate” differences ? ? XFeminism has succeeded! No overt discrimination!
  12. Well, actually... • Still overt discrimination • Sexual harassment –

    hostile workplace • Unconscious bias in hiring, esp. against mothers • The “second shift” • “We like what (we think) we are good at” • Numerical minority, lack of role models • Stereotype threat • Leadership – "competent but cold" vs "nice but incompetent"
  13. Also... Hard to keep female and work identities compatible in

    male-dominated domains - “The easiest solution to the problem of being female in a setting in which women are made to feel that they are inferior and do not belong is to become as unfeminine as possible.” p52 Can encourage “antifemale attitudes”
  14. women are a minority in FLOSS/CS/ technology Men & women

    choose different careers and hobbies “Nature” “innate” differences – different brains different minds – cognitive abilities, personalities Different how?
  15. Different brains? • angles in faces • cephalic index (ratio

    of skull length to skull breadth) • brain size • brain weight • neuroimaging to the rescue!
  16. "The female brain is predominantly hard-wired for empathy. The male

    brain is predominantly hard-wired for understanding and building systems." -- p1, "The Essential Difference" by Simon Baron-Cohen, 2003
  17. None
  18. “Blobology” • Measures proxies for brain activity, not brain activity

    directly • Not clear what activity implies re involvement • Brain structure => psychological function is obscure – making reverse inferences is fraught • "Some neural differences are inconsequential, because they are offset by other compensatory differences. Other neural differences are alternative pathways to the same behavorial end." – Celia Moore, quoted p 143 • “file drawer phenomenon”
  19. Brain responses != “hard-wired” – brain differences are not specially

    pointed towards "nature", but also effects of socialisation and experience The brain is malleable! “Hard-wired”?
  20. 'Greater Male Variability' hypothesis The idea that there is greater

    spread in male populations (more idiots, more geniuses) Even if it is so now... it is not inevitable or immutable. e.g. not seen in all countries. intellectual ability as a fixed gift vs earned quality that can be developed p 184
  21. “Equal but different” What's wrong with that?

  22. "Gender Equality 2.0 justifies a status quo in which politics,

    wealth, science, technology, and artistic achievement continue to lie primarily in the hands of (white) men." p 91
  23. "It is not an accident that there is no Nobel

    Prize for making people feel included." – Neil Levy, quoted p 91 (from Hochschild "The Second Shift" 1990)
  24. This work is © Brianna Laugher and licensed under the

    Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike license, except where otherwise noted: • Book covers and logos © their respective owners • "Abolish gender” graffiti: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kristofher/4198179990/ CC-BY By Kristofher Muñoz • pink and blue cupcakes: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stuartwebster/4775041577/ CC-BY by Stuart Webster • "gender machine works": http://www.flickr.com/photos/trevorblake/3147797753/ CC-BY-SA By Trevor Blake • FMRI image (right): http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:FMRI.jpg released into the public domain. • PET image (left): http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:PET_Normal_brain.jpg Public domain, US government work. • Bell curve: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ci_generos.png CC-BY By User:Xjmos • Quote person: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Quoting.gif released into the public domain.
  25. thanks! brianna@modernthings.org identi.ca/pfctdayelise brianna.laugher.id.au