Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

Re: Welcome Christine! And the "woman" issue. WAS: lunatic survey

From:JC <jcolrich-dreams@...>
Date:Tuesday, March 1, 2005, 16:24
--- Sally Caves <scaves@...> wrote:

> I guess what I'm interested in is knowing why conlanging in particular > should draw fewer women than men; > <snip> > Once I opined, and I may have been wrong, that women on average are trained > in American (and perhaps European) society to be practical minded, and that > there is something inherently "uncool" in exposing excessive enthusiasm, or > involving themselves in pursuits that don't immediately yield some kind of > profitable endeavor--such as competing to get into college, graduate school, > or at the very least, being "taken seriously as a professional." These are > potent concerns for women these days. > <snip>
This is not true for me... I've never been exposed to that kind of mindset. Well, yes, I want to be "taken seriously as a professional" etc, but it has nothing to do with my private pursuits. But I'm a programmer, and the people around here don't care what you do as long as they get their apps on time.
> I also think women have been trained, and are still trained, to keep their > thoughts to themselves. I was always violating my mother's persistent > teachings in this area: she was trying to train me to be a PTA mother and a > socialite, and I rebelled violently. I REFUSED to learn bridge. Mother, > bless her heart, had a southern belle upbringing that she wanted to impart > to all of us daughters, and we kept resisting. One of the sermons was to > remain "mysterious." "Don't let anybody know what you're thinking." "Don't > wear your heart on your sleeve." "Don't talk too much." I still remember > all of them. I always broke the rules. > > Now I know that things have changed considerably since the sixties, but I > wonder if some of these assumptions about female decorum are still in place > to a vast extent.
This too has never been the case for me (born '77). It was always *assumed* that I would do well in classes, go on to college, and no mention was ever made to me, at home or school, about girls not being good at math or the like. Or sports, for that matter, but I decided for myself that I don't like them enough to be good at them. I'm rather introverted so I often keep my thoughts to myself, but I think it has more to do with being the first child by a ways than being female.
> Note how many more professional male comedians there are > than women (I watch the Comedy Channel; I also watch American Idol--though I > always seem to tune in when the women are competing; I think it's more > evenly matched). Is it the exposition on Conlang? Is it the minute > philosophical and linguistic discussions back and forth? Do men take being > challenged publically more in stride? Are women more fearful of being > criticized publically? Actually, I think these fears belong more to > individuals than to genders--I HATE being criticized!!! ;) ;)--but its still > obvious that the list has a majority of men.
I lurk less here than other places, oddly, though I don't post much. I know little about linguistics and language. I've posted little about my conlangs because I keep meaning to put a website up somewhere and just haven't done it. I rather like the discussions. I don't mind being criticized, but neither do I really care a great deal what others think of something that I do purely for me. Another post mentioned video games. I'm not sure what she meant by immersion, but the games I like are rpgs that take 60-80 hours or more to finish unless you don't do any of the interesting bits. I don't like the games where the whole point is to kill as many things as possible in the shortest time; there has to be a story, and I want puzzles or mysteries or something. I hate sports related side games/quests (like FF(X?) and that stupid underwater volleyball). That said, Grand Theft Auto has tempted me more than once. Never gotten it, though. Sometimes it *is* nice to mindlessly blast things :-) On the story theme... my conlangs are purely and entirely because of my world. They're interesting, but they'd be no more than vague grammatical sketches without a place to put them, and the place is far more important to me than the languages. I always knew there were a lot of languages there, but never really thought about making one until recently, and haven't been doing it long enough to know if it's a passing fancy or something that will stick. It has proven useful in developing some of the lesser known cultures. Give 'em a language feature and figure out a culture that makes sense for it. Too bad my languages change as often as the weather... -- JC