Response to Joanne–Wanted: Less Excuses And More Competitive Women

January 17, 2012 at 7:53 am 2 comments

Interesting and challenging response to Joanne’s USNews blog piece in Forbes.  The author argues that women aren’t good at raising women who can compete with me.  I don’t agree, but it’s fascinating that this kind of debate is occurring in well-read mass media.

Ladies, we’re good at raising someone else’s self-esteem, helping them feel good. It is a byproduct of how we nurture, creating connection through listening, kind words and gentle touch. We suck at building self-confidence. It isn’t what we are wired to do.

Believe it or not, the guys are good at building self-confidence in others. Male aggression nurturance (Gurian & Annis: Leadership and the Sexes) builds self-confidence by expecting an individual to perform. Think of it as throwing someone into the deep end and expecting them to swim (while you’re standing on the shore with a floatie to throw if they need assistance). When they dog paddle to the shore, their self-confidence rises measurably. They did it and they know they can do it again.

via Wanted: Less Excuses And More Competitive Women – Forbes.

Entry filed under: Uncategorized. Tags: , , .

Debating the ‘Flipped Classroom’ at Stanford Thoughts on Code Year, Codecademy, and Learning to Code (with C5 Side Note)

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Darakhshan Mir (@sciencemeandyou)  |  January 19, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    I don’t understand this obsession with aggressive competition at all! Why must women compete aggressively to be part of computer science , or for that matter, anything else that is currently male dominated?

    Mark, one wonderful example you had a few days back was that women participated a lot more in half-marathons even though not competitively. A related experience I have is of being a beginning white-water kayaker, which is male dominated, and where “aggression” and “risk-taking” is obviously much valued and undoubtedly useful. However, the community I joined, and the people who introduced me to white-water kayaking, have taught me and induced a love of this sport in me, while addressing my water phobia and the risk-averse character I possess. I would think that the only reason I stick to white-water kayaking and go back to it whenever I have time, is because of the nurturing I got from my wonderful teacher, who happened to be male, and who was very sensitive to my fears. If he had left me in the water to deal with my fears(literally in this case) I would have left the sport long back, but his and the surrounding community’s aim was/is to retain people in the sport and spread it as far as he could. He taught me that I could conquer my fears and enjoy the sport, in my own way. I have learnt a lot about being a teacher and the relationship between empathy and teaching from this gentleman.

    I enjoy doing Computer Science, I enjoy understanding and teaching Computer Science, and it is a joy as of itself to me, why do I have to be “thrown into the pool” and come to terms with “male nurturing” to be successful in it? Why are we unwilling to examine the fundamental axioms of competitiveness and why should we uncritically accept that competition is good in all situations, especially in the manner it has come to be in these technical fields? Here is an article that talks about how girls can love computing, that more resonates with my views:

  • […] classrooms and that CS teachers allow their classrooms to develop a defensive climate. Further, we know a lot about how to improve women’s participation in computing.  If we have a legal requirement to make computing education available to women, my guess is that […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 9,052 other followers


Recent Posts

Blog Stats

  • 2,030,653 hits
January 2012

CS Teaching Tips

%d bloggers like this: