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"if that makes any difference"

From:Sally Caves <scaves@...>
Date:Monday, February 28, 2005, 7:51
>>6. What is your gender? > ---male (and gay, if that makes any difference)
Yes, that actually does. I didn't pose this question because the audience, and hence perhaps the statistics, has changed since 1998, and I was being cautious--cowardly actually; I didn't want to pry or demand an answer, or to violate netiquette, or to bring up something that has been hashed out before with no real conclusions; but it is, or was, statistically important. For those who are new to the list, one of the threads that has emerged repeatedly over the years observes the number of gay men on CONLANG, with Tolkien and his "Secret Vice" a continuing joke: we closeted conlangers are also coming out on CONLANG. I don't think we ever arrived at an answer... it could be that any artistic, imaginative activity will always have gay and lesbian contributors. I wouldn't mind a re-examination of its statistics, so long as we could be level-headed about it and impartial. But Matt Pearson made a very witty comment years ago: we were discussing Yaguello's chapter in her book called "In Defence of Natural Languages" and he said it reminded him of the Defense of Marriage Act. I think I might have put that in my on-line article; I don't recall. :) Another question I didn't ask, for obvious reasons, was why there are so few women participating on CONLANG (which is why I refer exclusively to "gay men"). There used to be more, but they were still definitely in the minority. This was another great unanswerable, like why are there statistically fewer female computer programmers or mathematicians. Any attempt at answering it threatens to fall into essentialism, if not the usual boring explanations: women aren't trained in early years to pursue these professions, etc. Blah. How is it we're not reaching out to women, or women to the list? Just out of interest, Henrik, how many contributors period do we now number, including those that are nomail? When I started it was about 300 plus. Have we increased our membership? How many women are there lurking or nomail? Anything else I left out? Synaesthetics? Southpaws? Mood disorders? Goldfish swallowers? lucid dreamers......? :) Sally


Shaul Vardi <vardi@...>Anything else to declare? (Was: RE: "if that makes any difference")
Cristina Escalante <cristina@...>
Ivan Baines <kinetic_wab@...>