A lot of women in recent past have reported that they have faced sexism in software industry that men can't get over the idea that females can code. But what is the root cause behind such behaviour of people, why men are behaving that females can't be geek or nerds (no offense).

Well you will be surprised that this is centuries old thing, and that languages(generic) itself are gender biased and sexist in nature. In 2013 Google ran neural network algo on 3 million words from Google news and plotted a vector space with almost 300 dimensions1

how it works



An excerpt from the article

It turned out that words with similar meanings occupied similar parts of this vector space. And the relationships between words could be captured by simple vector algebra. For example, “man is to king as woman is to queen” or, using the common notation, “man : king :: woman : queen.” Other relationships quickly emerged too such as “sister : woman :: brother : man,” and so on. These relationships are known as word embeddings. This data set is called Word2vec and is hugely powerful. Numerous researchers have begun to use it to better understand everything from machine translation to intelligent Web searching.
But today Tolga Bolukbasi at Boston University and a few pals from Microsoft Research say there is a problem with this database: it is blatantly sexist.
And they offer plenty of evidence to back up the claim. This comes from querying the vector space to find word embeddings. For example, it is possible to pose the question: “Paris : France :: Tokyo : x” and it will give you the answer x = Japan.


But ask the database “father : doctor :: mother : x” and it will say x = nurse. And the query “man : computer programmer :: woman : x” gives x = homemaker.

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Read through the article in reference and you will notice that certain gender biasing in language is hard to justify.

Now let's jump to Software programming languages, these are also gender biased as people have divided the society in which they have asked that males should code in certain language and women in different.

Here are comments some comments which I noticed while researching on this article

"Python is for girls"

And this one for guys (seriously?)

"Real men code in C as it has got dangling pointers"

Now where did this phrase come from real programmers(men) code in C?

For obvious reasons it came from

Real men don't cry

The society is responsible for such a behaviour and it dates back to ages where men have always dominated and thus it has been prevailing in software industry as where instead of judging people on their ability to solve problems and code they are judged by there sex.

Software industry already have very less percentage of women and those who are there face criticism. As per various analysis women are even paid less then men in tech industries. http://fortune.com/2017/01/22/techs-gender-pay-gap-young-women/


This is how a female responded by making debut to C+= *language pronounced as *C plus equality2 which was launched with

"the intent is to encourage and allow new ways of thinking about problems such that we(females) can code using a feminist ideology. "

The language was launched by FSF(Feminism software foundation) The language was criticised largely and was removed from Github and bitbucket but reappeared recently on Github

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An excerpt from it's README

Trigger Warning, this repository uses satire and sarcasm and other types of humor that could trigger Feminazis into rage fits. Maintainer of this repository was gone for a while due to being source code raped by feminists who lack a sense of humor. Which is ironic as this language was written for feminists by women. We are trying to help out women and feminists to have a programming language not controled by the capitalist patricarchy and men. Now hosted on BitBucket, as GitHub proves to be too misogynistic to support a feminist programming language.

And one of the philosophy from the language

The language is to be strictly interpreted using feminist theory. Under no circumstances should the language be compiled, as compilation and the use of a compiler imposes an oppressive and toxic relationship between the high-level descriptive language and the low-level machine code that does all the labo(u)r. Instead, C+= is interpreted, which fosters communication, itself a strong female trait.

Let me know your views in comments or have faced anything like this.

References