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RE: The Top Six Reasons Computers are Fe

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I really admire both of your (Maura and Maria Isabel's) opinions in such a
controversial issue.   They were presented on a very eloquently manner.
However I want to note a side effect of this sort of jokes.  If they are
condone, it tends to trivialize a very important issue with disastrous long
term effects.  In forum like this it is better not have this sort of jokes
at all.  While a good laugh is always welcome, this cannot be at expenses of
any other group.  Discrimination  for gender, color, ethnicity, etc., will
always be present  in our society since one of its components is a deficient
education.  It takes an continuous process to minimize discrimation.  The
original joke, which I heard in spanish with the male counterpart was very
funny and gave the advantage to the female part.  The thread posted was


Jose M. Mendez

-----Original Message-----
From: Maria I. Falconi [mailto:maisabel(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Friday, May 21, 1999 10:17 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: RE: The Top Six Reasons Computers are Fe

Dear Maura,

I'm afraid that I don't exactly share your opinion.  If you think being a
woman engineer/architect/professional is difficult in the States or Canada,
try South America!!!

In my opinion, one of my achievements as an engineer has been to stand among
my peers only as a colleague and not as someone who should be given any
particular attention or advantage for being a woman.  And I think that part
of the challenge of being a woman engineer is having to learn to stand up,
to defend your position and to fight back, on your own.

I'd rather fight my way up among criticism and jokes than have people
pretend that there are none.  Discrimination lies within the minds of
people.  It is our task to open up´people's minds by showing that we are
just as good as they are, not by shutting them up.  I would consider that
being offended by a joke such as the one posted in the listserve is a sign
of the weakness that we are supposed to be proving wrong.

I'd rather laugh and prove them wrong.  And believe me, I'm succeeding at
it.  Then again, that's just my
point of view, and I'll certainly accept yours.

Maria I. Falconi

-----Mensaje original-----
De: -=maura=- <gatensby(--nospam--at)>
Para: seaint(--nospam--at) <seaint(--nospam--at)>
Fecha: Viernes 21 de Mayo de 1999 10:29 AM
Asunto: Re: The Top Six Reasons Computers are Fe

>It is easy for me to laugh at jokes about architects, because I have never
>been discriminated against because I am an architect. Ditto for being
>canadian, or for various other characteristics that I posses. Jokes about
>engineers in general are funny, because being an engineer in this society
>puts you near the top. The reason jokes about women on an engineering
>listserve are not funny is because women in engineering have been, and
>continue to be discriminated against, harassed, denied opportunity and
>advancement, and even here in Canada, murdered, simply because they are
>women. Yes, things are getting better, but the world is not perfect yet.
>I would suggest that a woman engineer who has felt the sting of prejudice
>or harrassment in her career is acutely reminded of it when jokes about
>women appear in an engineering forum. Its the context that is important.
>When I first read that particular joke, it was in a 'chat' type listserve,
>and it had the male countpart, and I did not find it offensive. For the
>seaint list, the male part of the joke was removed, and *only* women were
>targeted. In the context of the history of women in engineering, that is
>offensive. I'll 'lighten up' when woman can become engineers and practice
>engineering on the same basis as men, when one's gender is no longer an
>issue in the profession.
>Maura Gatensby Architect
>Vancouver, Canada