Title The weird story a male programmer told me.

From ExpatEngineer

In a small trip I met a guy who looked really nice and lively and we got along very well. He is a programmer and Im an engineer.
I gave him my phone number to exchange pictures but he started to ask and insist a lot about going for drinks together alone.

At first I didnt know what to think, I thought that he was nice so why not but I got sick. Even when I told him that I was very sick and it would last for 1-2 months, he didnt stop insisting about meeting almost every day. I felt bad for him because I was just declining and it was already one month so I took some time to speak with him over the phone.

It started badly because he made some mean remarks about changing some treats of my personality. Then he said that one of his personality traits is that he wants to conquer the world, I asked him more about it, he said that with his friends and family he´s nice and feels comfortable but that with his enemies he´s a demon. I laughed like he was bragging jokingly but then he insisted that he´s very good at controlling people when it´s necessary. I asked for examples, he told me this weird story:

In his previous company there was “a girl” (and he referred to her all the time like this, never mentioned the words programmer/coder/coworker/engineer) who was “behind him” and she was, according to him, not working at all.
Everything I will tell now is according to him:
He told her in front of a manager that she wasn´t working at all and she started crying. He said that she did it on purpose because she “was hot” and “she knew” that the manager would listen to her instead. He added that “girls” use being hot a lot and that actually the manager tried to use the situation to get closer to her and she tried to get a promotion using him, but she didn´t get one.

The manager was listening to her because “she was hot” and also because “managers in companies don´t want to have complaints of harassment” from “girls” and that “girls” know that they can file one “just to ruin one man”.
He said that, actually, at some point this “girl” offered sex to him in order to tell his manager that he didn´t like her for personal reasons, because he wanted to date her and she didn´t accept it. But that he is “smart enough not to fall into a girl´s trap”.

And that, anyway, after five months he managed to turn everything inside out and he made her apologize to him in front of everybody before being released from the project.

As his story sounded to me more like he was bullying a coworker, I asked him some questions about it.
He said that he thinks that 50 years ago women had to fight for equality but nowadays a lot of “girls” are taking advantage of it to fullfill their dreams. – Which I really didnt understand why it´s a bad thing to try to fullfill your dreams by working in STEM.

He said that he had a close female friend working at the company too, she had a really bad case of sexual harassment, to the point that he started going with her all the time to make her feel safe. He said that she actually helped him a lot too and that she was a like a little sister to him.
Then he added that anyway she was not good at work but now she is studying in one of the best colleges. And that although she was not good at work, at least she was working hard and trying to learn and not “trying to call attention to the fact that she is a girl and roam everybody around her”.

I asked him if he thought that any female programmer was actually good.
He said that he had a female manager who was the best programmer he´s seen and that she taught him everything.

I asked him if he knew any programmer who was in between: not the best, just good, just normal, like any other male coworker.
I tried to explain: “because women usually feel like we have to be the best and do the double or more the work or if not we are not considered as doing good enough.”
He said: ” I believe in equality. But I don´t think that any sex/gender is discriminated”.

Then he wanted to change the topic to something different because he “didnt want to ruin the atmosphere” and I told him that we had spoken too much time already and it was time to do stop speaking and do things I had to do. He said: “well, I see that you´re not capable of multitasking. Not like me, while we were speaking I did my grocery shopping”. Apparently I need lessons even to have a conversation, I´m not good at that.

From anon student 

Two white male mathematicians plan to publish a paper on the thoroughly-debunked “variability hypothesis”; when their fellow colleagues and administrators try to caution them about the potential of sexists and trolls to latch onto the paper as vindication of their hateful views, one of them writes a sob story on the alt-right rag “quillette” about how he was “silenced”:

From Male Machinist

One of the things I’ve noticed over my somewhat lengthy career working in firearms industry is the oftentimes incredibly derogatory, classist attitudes that engineers htowards tradespeople, especially female ones.

More often than not, female engineers will be pleasant, cordial, ask questions, ask for advice, not assume I’m stupid or don’t have competence to add to the situation, etc. The exact opposite is true for male engineers, especially if they’re white. They’ll talk down to me, order me around, bully me, not listen to my recommendations only to finally admit, after much arm twisting, that I was right.

This is much, much worse if you’re female or of color.

More often than not, these men are aggressive, big ego white guys with far-right conservative views that lend themselves well to being obnoxious, abrasive, bigoted, privilege-blind a-holes.

Sadly, these men consistently seem to get promotions, while female engineers who do not display these behaviors (and are better usually), do not, even if they’re childless.

These men will then claim “there is no sexism in STEM”. Unconscious bias ^ 10

There’s a saying in Egypt that Islamic extremists only recruit at engineering schools because the male students have no sense of empathy. This is purported to explain why a wildly disproportionate amount of suicide bombers have engineering degrees.

This story I think ought to explain why.

From Anonymous

Want to hear kind of a fun, positive story? I’m a millwright, one of the few women in the trade, and I worked at the Tesla plant in Fremont, first in 2017 on the Model 3 line, and then again this year, but in a different part of the factory.

The experience building the Model 3 line was my first union millwrighting job. I turned to the trade after leaving a chemistry career heavily plagued by gender issues. That job was SO much fun, and I was also surprised that everyone on the crew I was on of about 50 people was super nice and respectful to me. (Unfortunately, the problems came after the job ended, when they all had my phone number and weren’t scared of being reported to anyone, but that is another story for another time.)

Well, I decided to join the 2018 push at the Tesla factory, and I was there on the first hiring day with maybe 200 other millwrights, some of whom I recognized. One of them, whom I did not recognize, recognized me, and came up to me and said hello and squeezed my arm. And it was just…so strange. I *might* expect a touch like that from a friend (and that’s being generous), but I didn’t know who this guy was, and when he told me how he “knew” me, we’d only spent a day on the same crew, not even working near each other. I was annoyed, but decided to ignore it.

Then I got put in a small group with him and a few other people, including another woman, and we were standing around waiting for our foreman to come pick us up, and he started telling the other woman about how when he worked at the factory in 2017, there were some good looking women around, and he and a few other guys would stand at a certain corner when they walked by at their lunchtimes so he and the group of men could ogle them. When she didn’t respond, he said, “Come onnnn! It was a joke! Hey, these girls, I mean, I’m saying…YOU would look at them like that, you know? They were incredible.”

Then the foreman picked us up in a golf cart. I sat next to the foreman in the passenger seat, and this dude sat directly behind me in the backseat, and as we were driving along, he playfully tapped me on the upper arm for some reason. And the Holy Spirit overcame me and I whirled around and said, right in front of the foreman, on the very first day:

“That’s the second time you’ve touched me today. And I’ve heard you tell a dirty joke. Before you try to tell me ‘relax’ and ‘it was just a friendly touch,’ let me tell you, I was here for a big chunk of time last year, and everyone was very respectful. Nobody else here is touching me. What you are doing stands out as unusual. STOP TOUCHING ME.”

To which the foreman responded to this dude in the most awesomely angry voice, “Do we have problem here?” I felt protected.

Now, normally, I’m not sure I’d advise women to “fly off the handle” like that, but I was thinking about leaving anyway (Tesla’s exhausting), so I didn’t really care about consequences in that situation. And that dude never bothered me again. 🙂

Title: A Very Senior Woman Engineer

From: Anonymous

Every week I see the impact of the boys club in promotions, awards, bonuses, men taking credit for work led by women, women leaving projects or teams one by one, insults, demeaning behaviour, bullying, extreme criticism or being ignored or laughed at. It is a lot worse now than when I started in engineering – thirty years ago –
In particular men need to learn to respect senior women and their technical capability. Too many men seem to have turned into power-hungry or obstructive sexist gits.

Title Founder

From Claudia

I am the founder of a startup company in the cleantech sector. I typically attend country industry fairs as most of my clients are present. I spent an hour talking to a specific client that day and met him at the party later that night. He started talking to me on the topic of business and started kissing my neck about 30 seconds after. I quickly left and a year after, I still have mixed feelings about doing business with them.

Title PhD Candidate

Recently, our department announced the list of candidates for a tenure track position. Three out of four candidates were white men. In some fields that might be seen as a success but in the field this position is advertised the absolute lowest estimate for PhDs awarded to females is 44%. I wrote to my department head, who has a reputation for being sympathetic to diversity issues, that I found this disheartening as woman who is about to be awarded her PhD. His response made the situation even worse. Apparently, in order to even invite the single female, the search committee had to lower their standards and open the interviews to four candidates. He further indicated that the department had done all it could to ensure a diverse hiring pool as the committee itself was considered diverse.

Before I wrote to my department head I was disheartened but believed things could change in STEM. Now, I’m second guessing everything about my chosen career path. Will my presence always been seen as lowering the standards to be here?

From Female Programmer

I once heard a startup founder talk about how the gender pay gap is a myth and how women do not experience discrimination, only to then overhear him in private saying how he only hires women so he doesn`t get sued.

Unconscious bias my ass. Men are very well-aware of their sexism.

Title Distasteful Language

From Senior Engineer

I am often the only woman in meetings. In an hour meeting recently I heard the terms “railway pornography” (which I found off-putting, distasteful and highly inappropriate anyway) and “strawman” (back to the 80s) along with being inappropriately referred to as a guy – or excluded due to not being one – on a number of occasions. Plus not being able to get a word in until AOB time.


Title Harassed by Postdoc

From Anonymous 

When I started my PhD I thought I had joined a project with a professor. Instead, I was shelled off to do editing for his post doc’s journal papers. This post doc was not American and English was his second language. I was told to meet with him and told he was brilliant. The first few times I met with him it was fine. We had normal professional interactions. Then one meeting he decided to place his hand on my upper thigh. I didn’t know what to do. I was a 22 year old first year PhD student. I was already extremely anxious about my position in the program and my ability to succeed. I thought that it was my mistake, that I had smiled too much when speaking to him. I didn’t say anything. The next time we met he tried to kiss me. I froze. I was absolutely horrified. I blamed myself again and was left feeling embarrassed and ashamed. After that I didn’t respond to any of his emails. I avoided him at all costs. I didn’t even go into the building that he was in for fear of seeing him. That building was my department building. He emailed me repeatedly after that asking where I was and I didn’t respond to any. He found me on both Facebook and Linked In and messaged me asking where I was and if I was OK. I didn’t respond to any. It took me over a year to truest realize what impact he had on my grad school experience. He triggered an ongoing episode of feeling like I did not belong on that campus or in that program. Looking back, I would have tried to report him for harassment.