% women computer users

Sheila Gay Buzzee buzz at wccf.mit.edu
Thu Dec 10 13:05:00 EST 1992


In article <1992Dec10.045604.28740 at ncsu.edu>, samodena at csemail.cropsci.ncsu.edu (S. A. Modena) writes...

>I've been reading comp.lang.pascal for one year now.  There's reasonable
>traffic: about 20-50 postings per day.  I've also noticed that the
>posting with discernible female names is less-than 1%.
> 
>I browse the traffic in a couple of harware-oriented newsgroups:
>discernible female names are generally not detectible...
> 
>Perhaps the answer to the question of gender level of representation can be
>found in the title of the newsgroup and the idea of self-segregation?  :^)

  Another phenomenon I have noticed:

  Many women have excellent interpersonal skills and seek out people around 
them for communciation, consultation about work, and friendship.  They would 
ask a computer network for ideas about a research problem, or seek friendship 
through the net, only as a last result if there are no people around.  Not 
that they dislike computers, but they prefer interpersonal interaction.  
Naturally, not all women feel this way, and some men feel this way as well.

  Perhaps a network specifially for and about women's issues draws greater 
female contribution because it is a bit of a novelty, and therefore more 
interesting (and possibly more 'alive' or 'human').

  Why am I reading and writing to this network?  Well, I am interested and 
active in many areas of women's issues, and I must admit that I often prefer 
interactions over the computer because my comfort level around living, 
breathing, unpredictable other folks is not as great as I might like.  So I 
type away, responding and communicating in a forum that is (to me) interesting 
and also relatively nonthreatening.

  Other women out there, why do you read and post?  Do any of you have ideas 
about how to increase female participation?

  Buzz  (yes, I'm female.  names don't always give it away)



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