Showing posts from January, 2015

That new women-owned business, Nutbreakers

There is currently a discussion on MetaFilter about the Newsweek article What Silicon Valley Thinks of Women. After someone said something to me in a mocking tone, dismissing a point I had made earlier, I replied:
Given that the vast majority of money and power is held by men, I have my doubts that anything called "Glassbreakers" will prove to be an effective path forward. It takes an openly hostile position towards men -- the very men you need to build bridges with if you have any hope of getting anywhere.

But good luck to you and to them. I sincerely hope I am in error and they and many women benefit from the business model in question.
Then someone else said:
I have to disagree that "openly hostile" is a good way to describe a program that simply excludes men. It's called Glassbreakers not Nutbreakers.
Here is the website for the business in question: Glassbreakers. I am going to go through most of the copy and give my take on it:
A peer mentorship com…

Some Raw Data on the Prominence of Women on HN

The initial portion is an edited version of a private message I sent to someone who was looking for data on gender discrimination in STEM.
I know of a smidgeon of data on the rankings of women on Hacker News. Hacker News is a funnel for Y-Combinator, which is a tech startup incubator. You have to be a member of HN to even apply. If you don't have an account, you have to create one in order to apply. One of the businesses that got funding and support through Y-Combinator is AirBnB. So getting support there can help lead to really big success.

The wife of Paul Graham is one of the founders of YC. Her account has very little karma. The wife of the top name on the leaderboard also has very little karma. I appear to currently be the highest ranked openly female member with a bit over 9k karma.* The bottom of the leaderboard is currently at nearly 17k. My karma has about doubled in the last year.

Here are a few blog posts I have written related to the topic:
Front Row Seats


Of Glass Ceilings and Bridges

Two days ago, it finally occurred to me that motherly love is not actually unconditional. This has been a big problem for me for as long as I can remember: People interpret me as motherly, thusthey expect me to love them unconditionally.

In other words, a great many people with not much of a relationship to me expect me to do all kinds of wonderful things for them without expecting anything in return. In short, they expect to take advantage of me and expect me to not complain about that and expect me to feel okay about that. But, I don't. Instead, I feel victimized and angry when that happens.

For starters, that isn't how motherly love even works. The devotion and wide latitude commonly associated with motherly love is not unconditional. It is predicated upon the woman in question being the mother of the person getting this devotion and latitude. Furthermore, if it is a healthy relationship, there will be a social contract in place in which the children are expected to treat …

Fearsome power, multiplied by a larger, more diverse audience

This is inspired by an article currently under discussion on HN: Writers Say They Feel Censored by Surveillance

My earned income is from freelance writing (where someone else determines the topic, etc, though I decide whether or not to take the work) and from a variety of small websites I run. So, in some sense, I am a professional writer, though not a big name nor well paid. While I am sympathetic to the idea that this is a real problem in the world, I also think there is a non-nefarious side to this.

See, I was a homemaker for a lot of years and basically didn't need to particularly care what anyone thought about my opinions on anything because as long as I was getting along well enough with my husband, I would have a roof over my head and food on the table. The rest of the world could vehemently disagree with me and so on and it mostly didn't matter. Also, as a homemaker, I think most folks figured that my opinions weren't going to shape the world in any important ways,…