There Is No Cat

Hollering into the void since 2002

Wednesday, July 24, 2002

Nurturing One's Self Through Computer Security

Dori Smith is troubled by the existence of this technical conference, attendance at which is restricted to women. Laura and I discussed this last weekend when she received an e-mail about it. She thought it was so outlandish that it was a joke. But after looking at the web site, we concluded that they were serious, and it wasn't a forgery or something. The worst bit, and the part that made Laura think it was a joke, was this, which also appears on the front page of the conference site:

[W]e are having special sessions of Birds of a Feather (BOFs) that will focus on self-expression and self-nurturing to improve the quality of life when you return to the workplace.

I'm sure there are technical aspects of self-nurturing, but I suspect that discussion of them belongs at a completely different type of conference.

Posted at 6:22 AM


Note: I’m tired of clearing the spam from my comments, so comments are no longer accepted.

WTF? This makes no sense. Yes, I understand that there are few women in IT - and fewer in computer security. And yes, it would be nice to get together with other IT women and talk tech. But this is just plain odd.

I think it's even stranger that they mention "return to the workplace"...

Is the BOF for pregnant women? I still don't see why the entire conference is women-only. Are they sleeping in tents or something?

And the "explanation" is from a man. When the glass is half full, he's probably a well-intentioned "sensitive, new-age guy" or something. When the glass is half empty, he's patronizing and trying to give "the little woman" a leg up on the field.

I wonder how many women are going to suspect that the quality of training is lesser than normal? Are the topics at a more basic level? Will sending a woman to this conference enable a corporation (in their mind) to fulfill their equality obligation and justify sending the men to other (better, more advanced) courses?

I just don't get it... *shrug*

Posted by BlueWolf at 12:05 AM, July 26, 2002 [Link]


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What do you mean there is no cat?

"You see, wire telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat. You pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles. Do you understand this? And radio operates exactly the same way: you send signals here, they receive them there. The only difference is that there is no cat."

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[ photo of Mischief, a black and white cat ]

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[ photo of Sylvester, a black and white cat ]

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