Last week, while I was at CCWIC, I presented a poster on the topic of recruiting women into computer science. (A poster with which I won second place, I might add - out of all of these talented folks.) After my presentation, at dinner, I sat with nine women I didn't know and discussed the topic.
Why ARE there so few women in computer science?
This is a complicated question, but one of the answers I posited was the old saw horse 'young women today aren't fighting for equality, because they think they have it'. I mentioned that very few young to youngish women refer to themselves as being feminist, because the word has taken on a negative quality.
A woman at my table promptly said that she would never call herself a feminist. She is a programmer and researcher at CU Boulder. She has a PhD and won the paper portion of the conference. When I asked her why not, her answer was something along the lines of 'I'm myself - I'm not representing a group, nor do I feel I should'. She also said it seems like a militant word.
She asked me to explain how I define 'feminist', and y'all? I froze. I ended up saying something longer and more complicated than I necessarily needed to, and I'd like to remedy that now.
Please see above.
Sure, I didn't say it - Tomato Nation did. However, it's accurate and simple. If you click on it you'll see a much longer explanation, but here and now, I want to know how to help take the word back.
We are feminists. Everyone I know is a feminist. There is absolutely no reason they should be ashamed to say it out loud.