programming

Aleya

I’m in a computer programming class right now and I go in to get help from my TA pretty often since I find the projects difficult and I’m new to coding. Throughout the semester my TA has made me feel more and more uncomfortable. For instance, once he asked me what I did over the weekend and after I responded he then asked, “no boyfriend?”. I then said that I had hung out with my boyfriend too, but I felt it out of place for him since not only is he my TA and should be keeping a professional environment, he’s also considerably older than me. I sometimes wear a ring on my left ring finger and he’s said that when he first saw me he thought that I was married because of this to which I responded that no, I’m 18. A couple weeks ago he asked for my number so that we could better communicate on the projects and availability, which I grudgingly agreed to as I already had his email. This last week he texted me “Can I ask you a question”, to which I replied sure” and then he said “what will you do if you like a person but you don’t know if that person think about you or not? :)”. I said “I don’t know, I’m kinda bad at that, somehow got a boyfriend though”. I don’t know if he’s selectively hearing things, is a creep, or just doesn’t speak English that well (he’s from Vietnam). Either way he makes me feel very uncomfortable and I still have to go in for help with projects because I still need help and I don’t know if I could ask to be switched to a different lab at this point in the semester or if I could even go in for help with the other TAs since they have different availability’s and my TAs availability works the best for me. I just hope he gets the point now and just helps me with my projects instead of creeping me out.

Anon

I want to discuss the sexism I encountered on my Masters degree in Art and Design. The class group was small and consisted of three men over 35, two younger guys, and the rest women 20-30. The older men in the group dominated every conversation and shouted the women down any time they did try to say anything. In my own case, I was using digital technology and from the very first time presenting my work I had the validity of my research and my programming abilities questioned (by a man who had absolutely no experience of programming). The course went on in much the same way, but the main problem was the two main tutors – men in their thirties – who didn’t try to include the women at all and let the older men not only dominate but also influence their views of other students, including me. I was labelled as opinionated and troublesome for, well, expressing opinions on the subjects we were taught. Sometimes I knew more than the tutor on certain topics, which I think didn’t help actually. When we had a female tutor, who I personally thought was intelligent and had no problem with, they complained about her for being – yes, too opinionated! Then on our research trip, the guys were trying to get her into bed, claiming her problem was that she needed a dick up her (how original – they didn’t seem to notice she already had a boyfriend), and one of the guys boasted that he made her cry by complaining to her about her teaching. It felt that there was an objection to a woman using technology, like I couldn’t possibly be making art in this way because women are supposed to be all about feelings and not logical, but perhaps the real problem was that it was a group of egotists whose main goal in life was to demonstrate to others how much more they knew than everyone else; with my chosen research they didn’t know anything, and so instead they simply tried to diminish me and what I was doing. It did knock my confidence, but I have in no way given up and have continued to work in this area. However, so desperate were the mansplainers of this group to control the narrative, that because I have a part-time English teaching job to support myself (as I have done for many years), they have spread the rumour around that I have given up and am now a full-time English teacher. I couldn’t care less what people like this think about me personally, but it does trouble me that the artists network is small, and I don’t particularly want false rumours about myself spread around damaging my reputation.

Hatty

I went to a creative meeting and it was mainly all male designers, they looked up and down collectively as I walked in. A male designer when he found out I was also a designer instantly wanted to see my work asking quite aggressively. When I showed him my website he said websites are old hat, i’m not your mother you don’t have to verify yourself to me. Without prompt or any reaction from me he said : “you should be confident in your work, no ones going to do it for you, be stronger’ Then he proceeded to touch my hand which was uncomfortable and his fellow male colleagues were laughing. Not one of them was treated in this way, pretty reminiscent in all publishing, art world and graphic design enviroments!

IT-girl

I am from a very traditional country. The majority of women in my country marry in very early age (18-22) and stop their development. The big persentage of domestic violence. The women’s salary is much more less than men’s. And I began to study programming. And also I wanna delay my marriage till 30 when I will be a good programmer. OMG! What people are telling to me! They are telling I wil regret about my decision. That programming is for men only. That nobody marry me if I am good in Math. That I should look for a good husband coz when I am 25 it’s so late. That God gave a women a gift to be mother and wife and I shouldn’t want more. That women are made by God only for men. That if I have no children in 27, I am unnormal. Media from my country are telling like that and my University teachers. And boys I am studying programming with don’t appreciate my achievement coz I am a girl. I know many girls who couldn’t find a good high tech job in my country. Who couldn’t build any career in it. If a girl goes through IT-company, men are joking about her disability in programming. One IT-college in my country refused to enroll girls coz of their gender. Thanks God, my country has the high level of tech education. So, it will let me to go to Europe or America just after my Uni. I know there are many sexism in this countries, but it’s nothing comparing sexism in mine. Thank u.