The Male Programmer Privilege Checklist

The Male Programmer Privilege Checklist. Wow, I found myself nodding along at SO MANY of those:

  • Not having to wonder whether you’re well-known in your community simply for being “the female one”.
  • The freedom to make mistakes or say stupid things without worrying about it getting added to the pile of “why women suck at computer stuff”.
  • If you’re married, having people take you to lunch without them speculating on how your spouse would feel about them taking you to lunch.
  • Having interests that are stereotypical for your gender without having to worry you’ll be taken less seriously because of it.
  • Having interests that are unstereotypical for your gender and getting seen as cool and progressive rather than freaky and asexual for it.
  • Not having to choose between dressing/acting stereotypically for your gender and being thought unprofessional (or not a Real Geek) for it, and dressing/acting un-stereotypically and being thought unseemly.
  • The freedom to switch to a less technical career without feeling like you’re betraying the cause of gender equality.

That last one floored me. I actually said that one out loud in a performance review last year. I knew that my heart wasn’t in development, but I felt this insane desire to keep doing something I didn’t enjoy because I wanted there to be some girls doing it. I wish my male friends in IT would read through that list and realize just how good they have it.

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  1. This applies to all science and engineering fields. I’ve spoken to many women in my field of psych who were previously in engineering. We all feel guilt about leaving engineering for something “girly”. No guy would be as obsessed as I am with making sure everyone knows I’m computer and stats-savvy.

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