Attaining Respect in a Man’s World

December 9, 2013

Really quick post.

Screen Shot 2013-12-09 at 12.20.52 PM

Today’s Google Doodle is of the esteemed Grace Hopper.

My ego is not so fragile that i cannot point out when a woman does great things in the field of men and outperforms me. She had a gift and utilized it to it’s fullest potential. I cannot take offense at it any more than i could take offense at Mario Lemieux being able to score more goals than me in the NHL if in some alternate reality i could have made the NHL.

She earned the respect and admiration of her peers not by being a loud mouthed pushy bossy bitch, but by actually being adept in her field and performing at the same level or greater than her male colleagues.

I tried computer programming. It bored the be-jesus out of me. By all rights, Grace surpassed me and many other men by leaps and bounds in terms of knowledge and determination to apply it. She earns not only my respect, but admiration for doing things i cannot, and for working as hard as she did to make it into the Navy.

Just because one can do it, does not mean all are capable of the same.

What i take away from this story is that when women come along that truly want to play in a man’s world, and do so because they absolutely want to (not told to), because they have the skill and ability (not the handicap/affirmative action), and because they want to serve their fellow man/humanity (instead of their own short sighted, short term interest of showing up men), then those women will get the respect and accolades deserving of as any man would.

Grace was a rarity. I honor her achievement and females like her because they worked hard and had unique gifts they shared for the betterment of society like most men typically do. Feminists like to pretend that men do not give credit to women, and this is bullshit. We do give credit and praise when a woman competes on a man’s level and achieves based on merit. Work like a man, achieve like a man, earn respect like a man, you will be appreciated like a man.

No favoritism. No exemptions. No lowering of standards. No affirmative action. No quotas. No female privilege.

It’s just that it’s not very common that gifted women like Grace come around, and it’s disingenuous to pretend that every woman wants to/can be like her.

She was an outlier ( are you paying attention Sophia? 😛 ) and harbored a gift in math. Most woman are not/do not. The statistics bear this out time and again. As the lovely Caroline argued in her post and her comment section HERE, women simply do not flock to these fields because more often than not, it simply DOES. NOT. APPEAL. TO. THEM.


Because they simply aren’t wired that way.

Women pushed into STEM fields abandon them quickly, not because of patriarchy.. but because it simply goes against their evolved nature. This isn’t a conspiracy, it’s reality. The delightful oddballs are the ones that thrive within a “man’s world”. We shouldn’t feel compelled to drive all women into these fields to ‘equalize’ the numbers. It would be folly to try. Only those that naturally want to should attempt it.

Grace, I commend you and your accomplishments and i recognize you for the outlier that you were.


Related: What happens to companies when you let womyn in based not on ability but on quota. What happens when you give spots to unqualified ‘equality outcome’ whores.


  1. @M3

    Yes indeed…I usually pay attention to your posts, dear M3. 😉

    I actually agree with this post 100%. If women want to compete in a man’s area, be it STEM/business/construction/etc, that’s fine…so long as they truly want to do it AND prove they are capable without any extra assistance. Level the playing field, and then see who scores. The ones who do will rightfully earn the respect of their peers and employers. The ones who don’t will either quit or be sent home (hopefully).

    This is why I declined a $2,000 scholarship during college and why I will also decline any extra funding/aid when I apply for my business loan. If I was to make it as a business student, it would be dishonest to receive more money just because I have a vagina. If I’m to make it as a business owner, it would be a slap in the face to insinuate I need more help than my male partners.

    I may have been born as a female, but I’ll be damned if I use my body for unfair, sexist advantages that my friends and lover cannot also have the option of taking.

  2. Cobol’s a truly awful language. It was sold to non-technical management, not to the users. Even Pascal had more buy-in from real tech people (hell, Anders Hejlsberg counts for dozens of guys like me). There is nothing interesting about Cobol from an engineering or computer science perspective. It was very popular in its day, but it’s wrong. It’s the wrong way to do it.

    So Grace Hopper was a successful language designer, and that’s a real and notable achievement, but with an asterisk. Hejlsberg, Dennis Ritchie, Stroustrup, Larry Wall, Van Rossum, McCarthy (LISP), Brendan Eich, many others — all added as much to the landscape historically, and all did incomparably better work technically. Eich and Ritchie arguably are on the short list of folks who made Google possible, too.

    None get a Doodle, because dancing bear. Pfft. Grace Hopper is famous for her second chromosome. Who designed Visual Basic? I don’t even know. It’s a POS as a language (even now, don’t get me started) but the development paradigm was earthshaking, at least as big a deal as Cobol. Who designed it? Some dude. Dudes are always doing stuff like that, no big deal. If it’d been a woman, we’d know her name.

  3. @ Tarnished

    That’s why i luvs ya. Yer a good egg!

  4. @ mxfly

    I won’t deny any of what you point out, you obviously are fairly acquainted with the tech/programming side of things.

    The point of it was that it was extraordinary for a woman of ‘that time’ to be playing in a mans world. She went out and did it on her own. Not because she was told to by feminists. Not because they broke the rules for her to make it easier for her. In fact, she didn’t get into that school until she learned Latin sufficient enough at 17. Now i don’t know about you, but my Latin knowledge resides entirely in the opening scene of Indy and the Last Crusade with River Phoenix. And Cobol may suck and be wrong, but it was still something. All computing evolves when better ways are found to perform the same task more efficiently. v1, v2.1 and so on.

    And i didn’t want to turn this into a pissing contest between how many guys do / don’t get google doodles.. i think Google have an archive.. im quite sure the amount of doodles given to men’s creations vastly outnumber women’s. That wasn’t the intent of this post. The intent was to show that women get respect from men when they earn it, not because they demand it.

    And that we have to recognize that some women are very capable of these things AND also recognize that you cannot apply her achievements to a majority swath of the female population.

  5. @M3

    Thanks. It really just comes down to fairness, in my opinion. If you say you *require* X, Y, and Z to accomplish the same thing that another person can do *without* those benefits…well, maybe you should choose a different field. By the same token, I understand that more pressure will be put on those who are atypical, simply because they will have to prove they’re able to keep up with the pack.

  6. I wonder if they will remember alan turing’s birthday in the same way.

  7. @M3 – did you see this article by any chance? Perfectly dovetails into what you’re saying here:


    England is going to pay women to go into engineering…

  8. I was just in the middle of reading it over at j4mb.

    Yes. This is going to end well. Money well spent.

    They system will bleed money until it’s heart gives out.

  9. Google may not give her a Doodle, but another noteworthy woman of achievement was Wilma Cozart Fine. She supervised and produced hundreds of audiophile classical records for the Mercury label in the 1950’s and 60’s, with her husband Robert doing the actual recording to tape (and film). Those records are still in print as CD’s, and the original LP’s fetch big money, for their bright, full sound and incredible performances. For the CD reissues she supervised the transfers from analog tape to digital herself. And all this after she was told by the suits at RCA that women didn’t know how to do those things.

  10. Nothing wrong with measuring up to men in a mans world.

    Everything wrong with crowing about how strong and independent you are, while screaming about how much government help you need to get the “same opportunities”.

    Women back in the day, who became lawyers and judges and physicists, never asked for affirmative action to get them there. They never asked for special STEM hiring quotas. They never asked for favors, they simply put up or shut up. Today’s women expect favors.

  11. […] What i take away from this story is that when women come along that truly want to play in a man’s … […]

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