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Author Topic:   How many geekesses are there really?
macman
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Posts: 12
From: a galaxy far, far away
Registered: Nov 2001

posted January 28, 2002 06:39     Click Here to See the Profile for macman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I've been snooping around the forums a bit, and I've noticed that while there are a lot of geeks out there, there seems to be a certain lack of geekesses. Are geekesses a rare species, do they not konw about the forums, or do they just all live in some sort of geek utopia, separate from the world?

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Paranoia is having all the facts.

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EngrBohn
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posted January 28, 2002 08:22     Click Here to See the Profile for EngrBohn   Click Here to Email EngrBohn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Macman, I think you're mistaken. I'd be surprised if fewer than a third of the regulars here are women. I'd be very surprised if it's fewer than a quarter.

I think it's fair to say that many of the women here are not obviously women except where it's mentioned in maybe one percent of their posts. There are even a couple that I knew were women but would forget until the next time it was mentioned or hinted at.

For most discussions here (the "love" forums comprising most of the exceptions), the sex of the posters really doesn't matter.

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cb
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Akira
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posted January 28, 2002 10:23     Click Here to See the Profile for Akira   Click Here to Email Akira     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Also, I know many female geeks that prefer to remain anonymous of that identifier in Internet forums because there are certain hazards associated with it -- namely tons of horny male geeks constantly barraging you with requests for cybersex.

Granted, this is less of a problem in this specific board than in...well, really, than in *any* other I've encountered to date, but the fact that it's so prevalant elsewhere conditions many women to just not mention that they are women.

And really -- outside of the specific context of the Looking for Love categories, why does it really matter? Discussion boards are about words and ideas, and both men and women, given sufficient intelligence, are capable of stringing those together in interesting ways.

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I am Dyslexic of Borg.
Prepare to have your ass laminated.

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macadddikt18
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Posts: 1126
From: In a world beyond your understanding
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posted January 28, 2002 12:56     Click Here to See the Profile for macadddikt18   Click Here to Email macadddikt18     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just to echo that thought. a person is a person. not to be judgemental, but why does physical apearance and repuctive ability have to limit anything? It really is about words. Our words reflect who we are on the inside, and really, what else matters?
Nayt

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Through out your life you will wonder who THEY are. Then you find out who THEY really are. From then on you live you life in fear of THEM and you wish you never knew who THEY were.

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Geordie
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From: Fairfax Station, VA, USA
Registered: Nov 2001

posted January 28, 2002 18:04     Click Here to See the Profile for Geordie   Click Here to Email Geordie     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Akira:
And really -- outside of the specific context of the Looking for Love categories, why does it really matter?

Because English does not have an accepted gender neutral third person pronoun.

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Demosthenes
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Posts: 372
From: Boston, MA, USA
Registered: Sep 2000

posted January 28, 2002 18:58     Click Here to See the Profile for Demosthenes   Click Here to Email Demosthenes     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by macman:
while there are a lot of geeks out there, there seems to be a certain lack of geekesses.

i notice that, too. not as much on these forums, but in real-life, there seems to be a much lower concentration of female geeks. no wonder the vast majority of my friends are male.

i've always wondered why. hmnh.

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macadddikt18
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From: In a world beyond your understanding
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posted January 28, 2002 19:06     Click Here to See the Profile for macadddikt18   Click Here to Email macadddikt18     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Maybe it is because you are looking in the wrong place. One trip to the local college reveals that they are out there. Walk into the engeering building and find the computer floor. There are tons of girls there. This may be a somewhat crude method though.
nayt

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Through out your life you will wonder who THEY are. Then you find out who THEY really are. From then on you live you life in fear of THEM and you wish you never knew who THEY were.

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caleb
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From: Apalachin, Ny, USA
Registered: Dec 2001

posted January 28, 2002 19:59     Click Here to See the Profile for caleb   Click Here to Email caleb     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
well, I dunno about that.. at my college there dont seem to be many girls anywhere near the computers =P
my c++ class has about 20 guys and I think, 3 girls, 2 of them seem to be over 40, which doesnt quite interest me..(im 18), although the thought of an older girlfriend seems nice sometimes hehe... so many girls my age are, or at least act really immature.
anyone read "A widow for one year" by john irving? I remember reading about it in some post a while back here... so I read it, it was really good, especially the earlier part of the book, for some reason I kinda liked that idea of eddie and marion, im weird I guess =P
And anyway, ive gotten way off track... but umm as I was saying, I have 3 computer classes, average girl to guy ratio I would say is 1 to 7 hehe... isnt it sad =(

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jherazob
Geek-in-Training

Posts: 32
From: Barranquilla, Colombia
Registered: Aug 2001

posted January 29, 2002 05:56     Click Here to See the Profile for jherazob   Click Here to Email jherazob     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Akira:
Also, I know many female geeks that prefer to remain anonymous of that identifier in Internet forums because there are certain hazards associated with it -- namely tons of horny male geeks constantly barraging you with requests for cybersex.

Granted, this is less of a problem in this specific board than in...well, really, than in *any* other I've encountered to date, but the fact that it's so prevalant elsewhere conditions many women to just not mention that they are women.



Heh, reminded me of this:
http://www.sabrina-online.com/1997-02.html

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Xanthine
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From: the lab
Registered: Mar 2001

posted January 29, 2002 20:33     Click Here to See the Profile for Xanthine     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by EngrBohn:

I think it's fair to say that many of the women here are not obviously women except where it's mentioned in maybe one percent of their posts.


No kidding. I've cauhgt people referring to me as a "he" at least once. Guess that's what I get for naming myself aafter a chemical!

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Take by surprise and the world gives up resistance.
- Tennesee Williams

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homesalad
Super Geek

Posts: 216
From: Port Townsend, WA, USA
Registered: Oct 2001

posted January 30, 2002 12:36     Click Here to See the Profile for homesalad   Click Here to Email homesalad     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Geordie:
Because English does not have an accepted gender neutral third person pronoun.

I made one up once, it was tra. It worked pretty well, but usually I forgot to use it. Saying he/she never really worked for me.

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TrygveLode
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Posts: 13
From: a plateau southwest of Denver, Colorado, USA
Registered: Dec 2001

posted January 30, 2002 14:33     Click Here to See the Profile for TrygveLode   Click Here to Email TrygveLode     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Demosthenes:
i notice that, too. not as much on these forums, but in real-life, there seems to be a much lower concentration of female geeks. no wonder the vast majority of my friends are male.

i've always wondered why. hmnh.


At least partly, it's just statistics conspiring against you. Even if the male:female ratio were 1:1, the average person, regardless of sex, would feel left out in the cold.

The math is simple enough. Suppose you divide a population with equal numbers of men and women into groups of three. One eighth of the groups will have three women, three eighths will have two, three eighths will have one, and one eighth will have none.

Fully one quarter of the women in our artificial example will be in a group with no men. Half the women will be in a group where they outnumber men by 2:1, and only a quarter will be in a group where they are outnumbered by men 2:1. (Obviously no women will be in an all-male group.) So, only a quarter of the women see the male:female ratio skewed in their favor, and fully three-quarters see it skewed against them. The men have the same problem.

In real life, it's not nearly that extreme, and social groups do tend to be bigger than three, but the tendency of couples to pair off makes the effective group size smaller again so most single people are still likely to see more single people of their own sex than of the opposite sex in their social groups.

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Trygve Lode
www.trygve.com

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Akira
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From: in transit
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posted January 30, 2002 17:28     Click Here to See the Profile for Akira   Click Here to Email Akira     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by homesalad:
I made one up once, it was [b]tra. It worked pretty well, but usually I forgot to use it. Saying he/she never really worked for me.[/B]

Someone I went to college with assured me that the "accepted" gender neutral pronouns were "sie" for she/he and "hir" for his/her.

Used them religiously in all her essays, too. Drover a couple professors nuts.

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EngrBohn
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posted January 31, 2002 05:15     Click Here to See the Profile for EngrBohn   Click Here to Email EngrBohn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
- homesalad -
Someone I went to college with assured me that the "accepted" gender neutral pronouns were "sie" for she/he and "hir" for his/her.

I've heard of "hir", its etymology is fairly self-evident, and it works equally well for his/her and him/her -- at least in writing (it's a one-off spelling of any of those pronouns). Verbally, it comes across too much like "her" (or at least it does for us lazy pronouncers who rarely distinguish between a soft "e" and a soft "i"). "Sie" is a new one to me, and its only obvious etymology is from German, but there it's the feminine pronoun (IIRC -- too many years since my one semester of German); isn't "es" the neuter pronoun?

Okay, here's a question: how is this issue handled in languages where *everything* has an explicit gender?

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cb
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macadddikt18
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posted January 31, 2002 05:58     Click Here to See the Profile for macadddikt18   Click Here to Email macadddikt18     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ahh, i just stick with WE.
Nayt

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Through out your life you will wonder who THEY are. Then you find out who THEY really are. From then on you live you life in fear of THEM and you wish you never knew who THEY were.

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annie
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From: somewhere in Canada
Registered: Sep 2001

posted January 31, 2002 08:32     Click Here to See the Profile for annie   Click Here to Email annie     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by EngrBohn:

Okay, here's a question: how is this issue handled in languages where *everything* has an explicit gender?

Well that should be pretty obvious. You simply use whatever's appropriate for the noun your using.
For example in Spanish, when you're talking about a group of people, unless you specifically know that they are all women you use the masculine (or at least that's how I was taught). That's for plural.

For singular, the way you do it (at least in Bulgarian), if you are talking about a person (any person), the word person is masculine so you use that form. If you are talking about a nurse, the general form of the word nurse is feminine so you use that form. Much less ambiguity.(and you can see where some prejudice comes in)

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Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.

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Oldguy geek
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From: Blacksburg, Va., USA
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posted January 31, 2002 10:39     Click Here to See the Profile for Oldguy geek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by EngrBohn:
I've heard of "hir", its etymology is fairly self-evident, and it works equally well for his/her and him/her -- at least in writing (it's a one-off spelling of any of those pronouns). Verbally, it comes across too much like "her" (or at least it does for us lazy pronouncers who rarely distinguish between a soft "e" and a soft "i"). "Sie" is a new one to me, and its only obvious etymology is from German, but there it's the feminine pronoun (IIRC -- too many years since my one semester of German); isn't "es" the neuter pronoun?

In German 'sie' is the polite form for both masculine and feminine pronoun (like 'you' in English, if I remember my high school German right) and also the pronoun for feminine gender (like 'she'). I've always found these latter day constructs of 'sie' and 'hir' in English (almost exclusively American English) to be silly in the extreme.

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EngrBohn
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posted January 31, 2002 12:35     Click Here to See the Profile for EngrBohn   Click Here to Email EngrBohn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Annie, that's also how I learned it, but as we all know there's a difference between how things are taught and how things really are. So if there were non-USAmericans had the same wish to spay/neuter their language, I was curious how they handled the explicit-gender aspect.

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cb
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Evilbunny
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posted January 31, 2002 18:13     Click Here to See the Profile for Evilbunny   Click Here to Email Evilbunny     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
First of all, I am female, and I like German. There is he, she, and neuter. I like that much better!
I mean, here I am trying to write a psychology book and my sentences get lost in all of the he/she he/she crap! I get REALLY annoyed!

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TrygveLode
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From: a plateau southwest of Denver, Colorado, USA
Registered: Dec 2001

posted January 31, 2002 19:54     Click Here to See the Profile for TrygveLode   Click Here to Email TrygveLode     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Oldguy geek:
In German 'sie' is the polite form for both masculine and feminine pronoun (like 'you' in English, if I remember my high school German right) and also the pronoun for feminine gender (like 'she').

In German, "Sie" [capital "S"] is the formal second-person pronoun ("you"), which is gender-neutral, but I can't think of any Western language that has different forms of the second-person pronoun(s) depending on gender. (I don't think either the Germanic or Romance languages do.) "sie" [lower-case "s"] is both the singular third-person feminine and the gender-neutral third-person plural.

whew!

(Obviously, German pronouns are very versatile...and that was just covering the nominative case. )

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Trygve Lode
www.trygve.com

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Pete Gas
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From: 14 Beresford, London, N5 2HU, UK
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posted January 31, 2002 23:46     Click Here to See the Profile for Pete Gas   Click Here to Email Pete Gas     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Geordie:
Because English does not have an accepted gender neutral third person pronoun.

er, well Transgender humans kinda have this problem - like if they havent *completely* changed - I often revert to 'human', or use (semi) accepted pronouns like SHe and Hir

..Ooops, sorry I came in late here,(started firing off & didnt read the whole topic) - yeah I guess finding something thats *phonetically* gender neutral is kinda tricky
(and Sie is a new one on me)

{( I do remember approaching a pretty velvetty oriental human in a club once (I'd done some work for this place - bit frustrating though, so I thought I'd return to party and dance afterwards) and it was a little strange linguistically (etc!), wondering is SHe or isnt SHe ?
Nice mutually nervous communication protocol
(and rewarded by a lovely smooch too!)}
I'm not saying if SHe was or wasnt !

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Oldguy geek
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From: Blacksburg, Va., USA
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posted February 01, 2002 06:03     Click Here to See the Profile for Oldguy geek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by TrygveLode:
In German, ... "sie" [lower-case "s"] is both the singular third-person feminine [b]and the gender-neutral third-person plural.[/B]

Thanks, it's been more than 30 years since I studied this stuff, and I am surprised I remembered it as well as I did.

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Geordie
Super Geek

Posts: 148
From: Fairfax Station, VA, USA
Registered: Nov 2001

posted February 01, 2002 18:21     Click Here to See the Profile for Geordie   Click Here to Email Geordie     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
OK I knew I was lying when I said there is no gender neutral third person pronoun. The oldest one I knew of is Thon.
Other sources of info are UPENN or if you really want to geek out GENDER-NEUTRAL PRONOUN FAQ but by far my favorite is epicene pronouns for its great chronology of gender neutral pronouns and the immortal line
quote:
 Like most efforts at language reform, these well-intended suggestions have been largely ignored by the general English-speaking public, and the project to supplement the English pronoun system has proved to be an ongoing exercise in futility


Geordie


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