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Soap Opera for Luring Women to Tech is a Flop

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the can't-imagine-why dept.

Television 349

Billosaur writes "The Register has an article by Mark Ballard on attempts to lure more women into the area of technology by a '...TV soap that depicts them making a success of careers traditionally pursued by men.' The Public Awareness of Science and Engineering (PAWS) Drama Fund has been attempting to develop a soap opera called 'Happy Valley' to encourage girls to pursue careers in science and technology by giving them successful role models to follow. The idea is tanking, however, as no one is willing to pick up the show. To quote the show's writer, Tony McHale: 'People say, why don't you do a science soap. My reply is that no-one will commission it, because it's boring.'"

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fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14582893)

first posta!

Hour Long Drama (4, Insightful)

Se7enLC (714730) | more than 8 years ago | (#14582898)

They have a ton of them. They are called the "Hour Long Drama", and they are all over TV, but in prime-time instead of mid-morning.

E.R., CSI, Numb3rs, I'm sure there are more. They have women, they have science. What more do you want?

Re:Hour Long Drama (1)

Eightyford (893696) | more than 8 years ago | (#14582975)

E.R., CSI, Numb3rs, I'm sure there are more. They have women, they have science. What more do you want?

Soap operas are a little different.

Re:Hour Long Drama (2, Insightful)

7macaw (933316) | more than 8 years ago | (#14583013)

Well, isn't the "soap-opera watching" type of woman is precisely what they want to overcome? If you're making a show that promotes not watching that type of show, no wonder no network will take it.

Re:Hour Long Drama (1)

jtorkbob (885054) | more than 8 years ago | (#14583036)

Don't forget Crossing Jordan, with a female lead.

What you have to remeber, though, is the difference between prime-time dramas and soaps is target audience. Soaps appeal to a different cross-section of women than prime-time. Prime time shows spend a lot of time trying to appeal to both men and women. Soaps make no such attempt.

Crossing Jordon (2, Informative)

Parity (12797) | more than 8 years ago | (#14583121)

Crossing Jordan is the best example of a woman-in-science hour long show, I think; the title character being a woman and all. The main characters of Numb3rs are all men. CSI:* all have a fair mix. ER I don't watch.

'Bones' may be a more contemporary example but I'm not sure if it'll survive the season. I kinda like it, though.

Back in the day, Buffy The Vampire Slayer had cast the female character Willow as 'the computer geek'.

Re:Crossing Jordon (1)

Se7enLC (714730) | more than 8 years ago | (#14583315)

She's not THE main character, but she's one of them and still sets the same example of women in science jobs: Diane Foss []

There was another woman who I can't find that was a research assistant for the Math Department that was on a lot of the episodes, too. She made a good female role model as well.

Re:Hour Long Drama (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 8 years ago | (#14583247)

E.R., CSI, Numb3rs, I'm sure there are more. They have women, they have science. What more do you want?

For one, I'd sure like a documentary series instead of a drama. If you want to lure people into science, show them what it's actually like, not some goofy dramatized version. A good show like scientific american frontiers with actual interesting science in it will do a lot better than anything you can make up.

Re:Hour Long Drama (1)

Se7enLC (714730) | more than 8 years ago | (#14583338)

I think what it comes down to is that people who are likely to want to go into science are not likely to want to watch Soap Operas... So effectively, they are marketing to a nonexistant audience!

Re:Hour Long Drama (5, Insightful)

natedubbya (645990) | more than 8 years ago | (#14583323)

There has always been a push to get women in science, yet there is no similar push to get men in literature, social sciences, education, etc. It is extremely lopsided and the efforts are beginning to seriously affect how boys progress through the school system. The male/female ratio in college is now 44%/56%. Such numbers mean we need more pro-male programs, not more pro-female. Newsweek had a recent story [] about this and other factors, it's a good read.

Re:Hour Long Drama (1)

edittard (805475) | more than 8 years ago | (#14583385)

The male/female ratio in college is now 44%/56%. Such numbers mean we need more pro-male programs, not more pro-female.
Scary, especially when you consider how many of the males are just there to play $BALLGAME.

Everyone knows.... (0, Troll)

kurth (221375) | more than 8 years ago | (#14582902)

Women in tech? Aren't they suppoused to be in the kitchen, in front of the stove? Cleaning perhaps? Maybe making dinner? :-)

"Domestic Engineers" (2, Funny)

IAAP (937607) | more than 8 years ago | (#14582985)

They're called "Domestic Engineers" you insensitve clod!


Re:Everyone knows.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14583237)

Maybe they would have more interest if the show was called "French Butlers" and it was in the iTunes store.

I personally found the French Maids Teach Video Blogging very stimulating and also educational.


Re:Everyone knows.... (1)

kurth (221375) | more than 8 years ago | (#14583448)

It was suppoused to be funny..

If I was smart, I would have waited for someone else to say it, then use my points to mod it up.

Jerks. :-)

WHY? (5, Interesting)

erroneus (253617) | more than 8 years ago | (#14582905)

Why do we want women in tech? I'm not saying I'm against women in tech, I just wonder why, if they don't want to do it, we should want them to want it? Someone enlighten me? I don't hear a lot of clamoring over men in educational fields or nursing or anything else that's largely female dominated. Are we pushing for "equality" without regard for whether or not they WANT to do this?

Because guys need 'em! (2, Insightful)

Rob_Ogilvie (872621) | more than 8 years ago | (#14582937)

We need women, don't we? If you're working in the tech industry, wouldn't it be nice to be able to date somebody who shared similar interests?

I think we'd all give our left... uhhh... big toe to find a nice Hot Geek Girl.

Re:Because guys need 'em! (1, Interesting)

jtorkbob (885054) | more than 8 years ago | (#14583102)

You probably don't want to date a geek girl; at least not in your discipline. Unless you're the submissive type. Or she is. Otherwise the competition will get in the way. Geeks make very harsh judgements about other geeks, in my experience.

Re:Because guys need 'em! (2, Interesting)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 8 years ago | (#14583136)

If you're working in the tech industry, wouldn't it be nice to be able to date somebody who shared similar interests?

Slight tangent here, but why does everyone always assume that the best match for you is a [b/g]f/spouse who has the same interests as you? In my experience, opposites tend to work best. Not only does differing interests give you something to talk about, but your different areas of expertise help you complete each other. I don't know where I'd be if my wife was just as absent minded as I am, and I doubt she knows how she'd attack issues without some of the technical ability I have. She knows animals, people, and finances, and I know computers, cars, and minor home repairs. Between the two of us, we can attack any problem that may come along.

If you always date someone who's just like you, you'll find that you're not getting anything long term out of the relationship. (I'll leave you to figure out the short term benefits.)

Getting back on topic, women should only enter Tech if they want to. Using it as a way to look for men to date is a BAD idea. Especially given the jackasses that exist in this industry who wouldn't know how to be kind to a woman if a manual fell on their heads. (Apologizes to the 12.5% of Slashdot that doesn't fit in this category. ;-))

Re:Because guys need 'em! (1)

iMac Were (911261) | more than 8 years ago | (#14583422)

We need women, don't we? If you're working in the tech industry, wouldn't it be nice to be able to date somebody who shared similar interests?
[flounce in]
Some of us are Mac users, you insensitive clod! Oooh, straght people, who needs 'em?!!!!!
[flounce out]

Re:WHY? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14582962)

What are you, gay?

Re:WHY? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14582977)

Because we want to fuck them, and it's easier to pick up chicks when you're around them all day. Not to mention the occassional BJ they toss your way to get that promotion they want. Scha-wing.

Re:WHY? (1)

7macaw (933316) | more than 8 years ago | (#14582984)

It's like a pendulum: everyone is pushing in one direction and by the time people realize they've gone too far it's time to push back, with more caution. Eventually, the pendulum stops at some point and we call that point "common sense" ;)

Re:WHY? (1)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 8 years ago | (#14583095)

Because I need more eye candy at work. The guys on my team are cool, but not much to look at.

Restoring balance, perhaps? (5, Insightful)

jfengel (409917) | more than 8 years ago | (#14583124)

Because there's reason to believe that women are pushed out of tech.

It may be, as the Harvard president was attacked for suggesting, that women are not as capable as men in scientific and mathematical fields. The brains of women and men ARE different, and that could be one way. I'm willing to believe that on average, a woman is less likely than a man to want to be a programmer, in a biogically predetermined sense.

However, that doesn't mean that all women are worse than all men in technical fields. Unfortunately, many girls are brought up to believe precisely that. They're told in ways subtle and not-so-subtle that they can't make it in science/math/engineering, and if you tell a young person enough times they come to believe it. Some female friends of mine recall being told point-blank, "Girls aren't good at math. Stop it." Stupid, yeah, but it happens.

If nothing else, the lack of present role models for women in scientific fields gives them the message that women can't go into those fields. Yeah, there are some, but they're far outnumbered by men.

So how many potentially brilliant programmers have we lost because Women Can't Do Computers? And how many women grow up with a fear or deep-seated misunderstanding of tech because they were told that they can't possibly be any good at it? Could your girlfriend/wife/female friend really program her own $*@#$& VCR if she hadn't been told at a young age it was impossible?

The best solution is to eliminate the bias that girls receive, and I think the world is getting better at that. Girls are passing boys in the SAT math, for example. But some bias remains, and rather than wring our hands and decry it, we can also try to counteract it by explicitly showing them women who do like tech. If there aren't enough real ones, we can bootstrap the process with fictional ones.

It may be pointless. It may not work; perhaps we already have as many female programmers as women who want to be programmers. And this kind of social engineering is as best unproven, if not actually backfiring.

And in fact, there are pushes to get men into education, for precisely the same reason. There are fewer male nurses, and some who want to are pushed out of the field by the stereotype that they can't. There's a deficit of nurses, and I for one would like to see if we could encourage more men to take up the field. It's a reasonably lucrative profession, if men can get over the shame of being called by a "woman's" title. Perhaps a few extra male nurses on medical TV shows would help.

Re:Restoring balance, perhaps? (1)

charlesnw (843045) | more than 8 years ago | (#14583169)

What is this girlfriend/wife/female friend thing you speak of? Where do i download one? Now I can make jokes like this cause I am married to a very amazing wife who happens to be quasi nerdy. :)

Re:Restoring balance, perhaps? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14583220)

More women than men have been attending college for many, many years. And NO ONE cares. Why is that?

Re:Restoring balance, perhaps? (1)

AnyoneEB (574727) | more than 8 years ago | (#14583373)

In technically oriented colleges like RPI and MIT there are still more males than females. There may be more women attending college, but they are not majoring in engineering. (I don't have numbers for that, but the fact that this article was written suggests that it is true.)

Re:Restoring balance, perhaps? (1)

lostboy2 (194153) | more than 8 years ago | (#14583504)


When I was a kid (back in the 1970s), someone tried to explain the rationale for why women were not as appropriate as men for jobs like news anchors, lawyers, police officers, doctors, etc. The argument went something like this:

Men are, or are perceived to be, more professional than women. So, the customers/clients of these positions would be more comfortable with men than with women. Thus, men tend to be hired for these jobs more than women and, similarly, boys are primed for these positions more than girls.

Thankfully, views have changed since then and we now have many women in these fields (in America, anyway). But, if the same attitude still exists about women in technical fields, then I could see how that could dissuade young girls from pursuing those kinds of careers.

In any event, having shows that portray women in technical fields doesn't pressure girls into following that path, I don't think -- it just suggests to them that they could, if they wanted to. No harm, no foul, I think.

Re:WHY? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14583191)

Are we pushing for "equality" without regard for whether or not they WANT to do this?

Yes. Read this post 6&cid=14561347 []

Why do I always get these???????

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Re:WHY? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14583361)

Your browser sent a request that this server could not understand.
Request header field is missing colon separator.

You need to clean out your colon. I'd try super colon blow []

Re:WHY? (1)

monopole (44023) | more than 8 years ago | (#14583371)

Acutally the secretarial, nursing and educational fields used to be male dominated when the fields were prestigious high wage positions. Actually the nursing field is still full of men particularly medics and paramedics.

Actually, in the 1950's same arguement was made with regard to any form of work outside of the house. In 1920 the same arguement was applied to voting

Re:WHY? (1)

hhr (909621) | more than 8 years ago | (#14583456)

Because women are every bit as smart and as intelligent as men. If the Insert-Your-Country-Here is going to stay competative with the rest of the world, it must use the talents of its whole population, not half.

Any country that figures out how to get women into tech in numbers equalling men will have a great advantage. Their talent pool will be double relative to other countries.

"Sex in the Data Center" (5, Funny)

Average_Joe_Sixpack (534373) | more than 8 years ago | (#14582908)

They just needed a catchier title

honestly (1)

StarKruzr (74642) | more than 8 years ago | (#14583139)

I don't understand why no one will pick this up. Get hot enough chicks like this one [] on the show and I guarantee you'll have everyone watching it in droves.

This seriously seems like a slam-dunk to me. Maybe they just needed better writers.

Re:honestly (1)

ClamIAm (926466) | more than 8 years ago | (#14583200)

IMDB Profile for Jennifer Morrison: [no photo available]

Yeah, she's pretty hot, man.

Re:honestly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14583384)

IMDB Profile for Jennifer Morrison: [no photo submitted]
[More photos]

He swings and misses

Re:honestly (1)

leshert (40509) | more than 8 years ago | (#14583391)

Perhaps it's because the demographic who watch soaps don't watch them for (as you put it) "hot enough chicks"?

Re:"Sex in the Data Center" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14583326)

I dunno "Happy Valley" is pretty catchy... I gues maybe changing it to "Cheery Pussy" or maybe " Jovial Genitals" would gain a bigger audience.

Soap Opera + Technology? (1)

Cranky Weasel (946893) | more than 8 years ago | (#14582910)

Seriously. Fire the idjit who thought that one up.

Know why you don't advertise a Lexus during Maury? Apparently neither do the minds behind the "Public Awareness of Science and Engineering Drama Fund".

what? (-1, Troll)

tehwebguy (860335) | more than 8 years ago | (#14582917)

women can use the internet now?

you'd think . . . (1)

cashman73 (855518) | more than 8 years ago | (#14582923)

You'd think women would be falling head over heels to get into careers dominated by men! Particularly single women,... Then again, maybe nerds and geeks aren't as attractive as we originally though!

On the contrary, has anyone noticed that there seems to be more men going into nursing school lately? Aside from the opportunity for a good, stable, decent-paying (well, not as good as a physician, but not bad anyway) job, it's also a great way to meet girls!

Barbie (3, Funny)

IAAP (937607) | more than 8 years ago | (#14582931)

Have the tech woman living a life like Barbie. Add in a deal with Matel for an "Engineer Barbie" that comes with her own laptop and you'll have a hit.

Re:Barbie (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14583226)

I think you meant Mactel not Matel. The latter is known for shiny plastic more nowadays.


Hognoxious (631665) | more than 8 years ago | (#14582932)

To quote the show's writer, Tony McHale: 'People say, why don't you do a science soap. My reply is that no-one will commission it, because it's boring.'
Coming up later: water - is it wet or what? Film at 10.

Cart before the horse (2, Insightful)

Mrs. Grundy (680212) | more than 8 years ago | (#14582940)

This is a classic example of backward thinking. If you watch tv and see that people are portrayed a certain way and then look at reality and see that people do, at least on occasion, act the way they were represented on tv, you might draw the conclusion that people are acting this way because they saw it on tv. But this would probably be wrong. TV, more likely, is imitating life. Although people like to blame all manner of social ills on TV and entertainment, TV's worst crime is that it wastes your precious time, not that it coerces you into behaving like the fictional characters on the show. This is good because I watch a lot of The Simpsons and I don't think I could get my hair to style like Marge. If you think more women should be scientist maybe you should start by looking at the earliest values we instill in girls while at home and school.

Re:Cart before the horse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14583207)

See, that's just it. In their mind, TV is the thing instilling these values. To an extent, they're right. But you have to be a lot more insidious to do it correctly.

I can only speak for the US, which is already super woman friendly in terms of education (whether they realize it or not). Our goals should be to encourage the value of knowledge. By inlarge the US culture detests and distrusts smart people. Genius' are always super villains and the hero is some buff action star. Bush invite's Football Champion's to the White House, Putin invites Programming Champions.

Intellectualism is evil in the U.S. of A. Remember that.

Re:Cart before the horse (1)

kbielefe (606566) | more than 8 years ago | (#14583342)

It is ironic then that the feminists who advocate gender equality in the workplace are the same ones who assert that a career is more important than the traditional woman's role of instilling values in children.

Re:Cart before the horse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14583450)

Yes. THis is also the same kinf of thinking that makes people want ot outlaw violent video games and movies.

PAWS? (2, Interesting)

erroneus (253617) | more than 8 years ago | (#14582949)

I'm sorry, but where do you get "PAWS" from Public Awareness of Science and Engineering? Shouldn't that be "PASE"? There should be more stringeant rules for making acronyms!

Re:PAWS? (1)

Tyler Eaves (344284) | more than 8 years ago | (#14583012)

*P*ublic *AW*areness of *S*cience and engineering

Re:PAWS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14583104)

Mod Parent -1, Ridiculous Justification of Acronym
Mod Grandparent +1, Insightful, -1, Anal-Retentive.
Mod me -1, Lame

Re:PAWS? (1)

aditi (707829) | more than 8 years ago | (#14583377)

There should be more stringeant rules...

Stringent rules, but where would we be without Interpol? INTERnational criminal POLice organisation.

Hmm. (1)

JavaLord (680960) | more than 8 years ago | (#14582958)

Where is the sitcom to encourage men to be nurses or teachers?

Re:Hmm. (3, Insightful)

amliebsch (724858) | more than 8 years ago | (#14583047)

I don't know if you were trying to be funny or insightful (or both), but this really raises questions for me too. What, really, is the objective value in trying to convince women to do things they are freely choosing not to do? Given the absolute decline in school performance for boys and the increasing disparity between the sexes in academic performance, is this really the right thing to be concerned about? Or even the right message to be sending? If the message that boys receive is "scientists and engineers = female", are the already underperforming boys going to be more or less motivated to study math and science?

Re:Hmm. (1)

JabberWokky (19442) | more than 8 years ago | (#14583149)

There's a current cover story in Newsweek covering the issue. Basically there has been such a push for girls to advance in certain subjects in school that there has been a see-saw effect where boys were neglected. I haven't read the article, but I did hear an interview with the author and there were some good points raised.


Re:Hmm. (1)

Kiaser Zohsay (20134) | more than 8 years ago | (#14583230)

"Scrubs"? "Head of Class"? Oooo that one goes back a ways, don't it?

It's called: "Full House" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14583393)


I find this utterly appalling (0, Troll)

dtalton (666561) | more than 8 years ago | (#14582964)

Who taught women to use a remote control?

Dr. Who's Leela didn't draw women to tech? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14582967)

I'm a tad suprised that didn't bring more women into tech or at least hunting.

Mount Everest (3, Interesting)

wombatmobile (623057) | more than 8 years ago | (#14582973)

To direct good women towards our form of goodness is a challenge far greater than all of science.

Good women prefer apes.

Re:Mount Everest (2, Interesting)

Cranky Weasel (946893) | more than 8 years ago | (#14583070)

Good women prefer apes.

No... good women prefer men who don't sit around whining about how apes get all the girls.

All the brainy virgins out there just can't wrap their minds around a simple basic reality. If everything you have to offer a girl can be obtained by her in platonic friendship, then why should she go any further than "just friends"?

Get fit, dress nice, and stop thinking about how big your brain is. There are plenty of women.

Re:Mount Everest (1)

wombatmobile (623057) | more than 8 years ago | (#14583264)

Dude relax! There's plenty of bad women to go round.

Even the best women are bad once.

Get fit, dress nice, and stop thinking

Can't hear you, dude. I'm debugging.

Re:Mount Everest (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14583309)

Pshaw! Being fit and nicely dressed has hardly anything at all to do with it. It is about honesty. If you have it, forget it. Women prefer confidence over honesty. Ask'm. Money triumph's physical appearance, too.

Got money and are a cocky ass? You can get laid even if you look like Ron Jeremy.

Of course, some of us suffer from a terminal case of integrity and are unable to pull off such behavior.

Bad Ideas (4, Insightful)

softspokenrevolution (644206) | more than 8 years ago | (#14582981)

Okay, now I don't know much about young girls, but I have to say that during the period that they'd be most influenced by TV characters I don't think thatthey'd be watching Soaps. I mean, correct me if I'm wrong but the target audience of day time television isn't the person that is likely to get off their ass an enter into science or engineering.

Who cares?? (3, Insightful)

gasmonso (929871) | more than 8 years ago | (#14582982)

So what if there aren't many women in tech jobs....maybe thats because they don't wanna be there. How many men are in nursing as compared to women? You don't see too many male hookers either ;) It's a non-issue that bores me quite frankly. []

Re:Who cares?? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14583332)

As was said by a professional and legally sanctioned prostitute from Vegas on 60 minutes, the reason there aren't really any male prostitutes is that you'd be hard pressed to find a man that can work and 8 hour shift. :-)

Plenty of women in technology (1)

Zerbey (15536) | more than 8 years ago | (#14582994)

If I where to stand up and look around my cube ("Aiee... bright light! bright light!") I'd be able to count about a dozen women. Unfortunately, none of them clamouring for my attention (although my wife would probably disagree with the unfortunate part). I work in a highly technical company and the male-female split is, I would estimate, about 60-40.

There are plenty of knowledgeable women out there in technology out there. At least, in my field.

Re:Plenty of women in technology (1)

Not-a-Neg (743469) | more than 8 years ago | (#14583435)

Where I work there are 2 women in the IT department. There used to be 3, but the third left to take care of her newborn and focus on completing a Master's degree. I don't believe people should be encouraged to go into a career simply because there aren't a lot of there particular sex or race. Let the people that actually love this type of work get the jobs.

Re:Plenty of women in technology (1)

aditi (707829) | more than 8 years ago | (#14583482)

I'm a female physics major at MIT - a school with more than its share of hollering women-in-science crusaders. Even thought we have a "fair" 50-50 gender split, it's funny to watch the fraction of girls in my physics classes drop as the terms go by. Everyone has to take Physics I and II, but not Quantum I or Relativity. The only courses I know of where that doesn't happen are Biology, Econ/Management, and the humanities.

Beer girls (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14582996)

I'm sure a show about women delivering beer on the golf course or 'The Bud Girls' wouldbe a hit......

I wonder what... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14583022)

...would happen to the demo if someone logged in and changed the password... hmmm... Seriously, nice work though... ;)

No, PROBE rocked (1)

Mynn (209621) | more than 8 years ago | (#14583027)

Had some brainy women, too.

StarGate SGI (1)

rlp (11898) | more than 8 years ago | (#14583032)

In my daughter's peer group the female science-oriented teens view the character of Samantha Carter as a role model.

Crime Scene Investigation (1)

smoe (81003) | more than 8 years ago | (#14583033)

Science soap? Well, for the analysis bits we are almost there. If we could now also be involved in the planning of such (criminal) experiments which involves the prior evaluation of one's action with respect on our model of the police force and the behaviour of the victim ... hm.

High school student soaps should be more boring than university student soaps. I'd have tons of ideas. Just pass me time and money.

So as a PSU grad ... (1)

petabyte (238821) | more than 8 years ago | (#14583046)

Am I the only one a little confused by the misuse of "Happy Valley"?

Of *COURSE* it's a flop... (5, Insightful)

thesandtiger (819476) | more than 8 years ago | (#14583060)

... they want smart women, yet they go about trying to gather 'em by insulting their intelligence.

I got into technology because it was interesting and challenging. My gender had very little to do with my career aspirations. Maybe I'm a fluke, but I sure as hell never felt like certain fields were "off limits" to me just because I'm a setter rather than a pointer. I think the only time I ever heard "girls can't do that..." is when I tried to pee standing up, so maybe I'm just lucky.

I'll also say that I don't want more women in tech. I don't want more men in tech. I don't want more fluffy orange velociraptors in tech. What I want are more *good* people in tech - people who are smart, can think well, can do the work, and are good to work with. Specifically targeting "underrepresented" groups for a specific career based solely on demographic reasons is absurd. Ability is what should metter, not what one has under the hood.

Re:Of *COURSE* it's a flop... (1)

sammy baby (14909) | more than 8 years ago | (#14583299)

I think the only time I ever heard "girls can't do that..." is when I tried to pee standing up, so maybe I'm just lucky.

I'd love to know the context in which that conversation took place.

I mean, beyond "you were trying to pee standing up with someone else around."

Re:Of *COURSE* it's a flop... (1)

Kiaser Zohsay (20134) | more than 8 years ago | (#14583340)

Girls can pee just fine standing up. Aiming is the problem. But I suppose with a little practice ...

Re:Of *COURSE* it's a flop... (1)

Qubit (100461) | more than 8 years ago | (#14583447)

...I don't want more fluffy orange velociraptors in tech...

Speak for yourself, man. I sure could use a couple of fluffy orange velociraptors in the office -- they'd blend in with the pastel-corporate decor, AND save us $$$ on tech support!

. o O (... Okay people, if you place three stupid calls to tech support during one month, we'll let the velociraptor eat you...)

I wonder if you could get them in Martha Stewart "Jumpsuit Orange"...

"it's boring" (2, Insightful)

mewsenews (251487) | more than 8 years ago | (#14583063)

isn't part of the writer's job to make the show non-boring?

Re:"it's boring" (1)

Se7enLC (714730) | more than 8 years ago | (#14583414)

There's only so much they can do....if they are commisioned to write a documentary on paint drying, there's no amount of writing skill that will make that a program worth watching.

If they actually made a show about the typical life of the scientist/engineer, it would go something like this:

Monday: Wrote some code, ate lunch, went to the gym
Tuesday: Wrote some code, went to a meeting, ate lunch, went home
Wednesday: Wrote some cod...

Or in the chem/bio field:

Monday: Filled a test tube, did some tests
Tuesday: Looked at some stuff under a microscope, wrote a report
Wednesday: Massive Virus Outbreak and this lab is the only one that can stop it!! haha, just kidding, I filled some test tubes.

iTunes Music Store (1)

mr_burns (13129) | more than 8 years ago | (#14583071)

TV's days are numbered. If your show doesn't get picked up by the dinosaur networks, give away the first couple episodes for free and sell the rest online.

Or give them all away for free and get donations/grants. Or sell ads.

That's the beauty of not living in a 1950's distribution model. You can be flexible.

I don't have cable. I don't even own a TV anymore. But I do have all the battlestar galacticas. Including this season so far. Legit. I paid for them.

You don't have to go with iTMS specifically, but the market is there so if the major networks don't want to play with you, well you don't need them to succeed.

How about trying to get them (1)

Deliveranc3 (629997) | more than 8 years ago | (#14583087)

To have more sex with nerds....

That's something everyone can enjoy!

Ok that was facetous.... but why are we trying to push them into areas they aren't interested in, as I've been a CIS major I've seen more and more female students.

Another catchy title.... (2, Funny)

i_want_you_to_throw_ (559379) | more than 8 years ago | (#14583091)

"The Guiding Byte"

The Women I Know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14583092)

The women I know in technical fields were most heavily influenced by Sci-Fi which has typically portrayed women in important roles. As far as medical/forensic fields, there are plenty of shows out there and I know a girl I went to school with who was inspired to pursue a degree in forensic anthropology from watching them. I just don't think a soap opera is the right type of show for their goals based on my personal experiences.


Boring? (3, Insightful)

phrackwulf (589741) | more than 8 years ago | (#14583099)

Apparently they don't know the lady engineers I know. Women are starting to dominate civil engineering and materials science even if it isn't obvious from surveys or industry literature. I can't speak for the mechanical engineers and stuff but this has been my experience.

In my degree program, the materials science major was so small that girls either equalled or out-numbered the guys in terms of enrollment. And there is such a shortage of people to replace metallurgists and civil and environmental people that any male bias has been lost to expediency. We hire the ladies or we can't get personnel.

The same is true for the military, the no women in combat rule has been OBE, overtaken by events. I think they've chosen a format that doesn't work for science. A soap opera is a stupid approach. My advice would be to do a show similar to the ER's and 24's. Have a female dominated accident re-construction team that goes in to analyze the results of major accidents, train de-railments, crane collapses, basic failure analysis. Is it a terror attack or not? Build on the premise and use good solid story telling. Science and engineering don't have to be boring. Soap opera's are boring,folks.

Why no women (1)

javamann (410973) | more than 8 years ago | (#14583147)

Girls are still taught/push/hinted that the sciences are hard/dull/etc. and this is changing slowly. And lets face it, if you were a woman and looked at both the geeks and the the guys in marketing/sales, where would you go? I know if I could write, knew how to spell, and could deal with people, I would be in sales/marketing cuz that's where all the good looking women are

Alternate versions (1)

spaceyhackerlady (462530) | more than 8 years ago | (#14583187)

So what would happen if one of the geek faves, say, Mythbusters [] was hosted by a man and a woman (cf. Scrapheap Challenge/Junkyard Wars [] ? Or by two women - say, Scottie and Cathy Rogers hosting, while Jamie and Adam do the dirty work.

I suspect people would find the latter scary, and possibly dangerous. Like what happened when they made a movie about two women [] shooting their way across the west.



Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14583190)

Don't bring women into our jobs.... we nerds would be way too scared to show up anymore!

Hatred of Men and Women (4, Insightful)

argoff (142580) | more than 8 years ago | (#14583192)

I think the problem here isn't more women in tech - it is a liberal hatred of men and women. They try to make men act more feminine, and try to make women act more masculine rather than just accepting that men and women are different, should be different, and complement each other rather than compete with each other. IMHO, there are too many political interests that absolutely hate that because it leads to a stable family system, and that leads to less dependence on welfare, public freebies, and government programs.

Too late in a woman's life to have any effect (2, Insightful)

c0d3h4x0r (604141) | more than 8 years ago | (#14583204)

Trying to encourage mostly-grown women to go into technology fields is pointless because they've already got at least two decades of accumulated discouragement built up. You have to start at birth to have any real effect.

Young girls are constantly subjected in our society to advertisements, television shows, movies, video games, peer pressure, and stereotypes that all give them the idea that socializing, procreating, and "having fun" are the only things they should concern themselves with. That's why most females are only interested in things that support those goals (examples: fashion, trying to be popular, partying, dreaming of a perfect white wedding, wanting to have kids, etc). Note that nowhere in any of these goals are "learning" or "self-accomplishment".

If you want to raise a female geek, you have to actively combat all those influences and also actively teach the girl that other goals are actually more important in life. If you plant the seeds so that the main goals a girl cares about in life are learning and self-accomplishment, then everything else will fall into place.

Star Trek (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14583211)

Isn't Star Trek really a science soap opera? I know i'm usually pissed about the lack as ass kicking and the prevalance of "talking things over". Women tend to have "role-model" positions?

Oh and it was cancelled too.

SOAP/Opera ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14583243)

At first look I thought the header was about the SOAP language in the Opera THAT would entice me to work in the field for the Opera guys...

Give them some credit, Women are smarter than this (1)

Neandertalensis (950106) | more than 8 years ago | (#14583257)

My wife is a fellow engineer and fellow tech worker. She is very successful in her field. If I were to decide upon a career path based on what I've heard her tell family members (and their children), I'd direct my endeavors elsewhere. Now, when I hear myself talk about my career and the various paths its taken, I think I'm insane for not changing careers sooner. I _will_ change careers eventually, difference in pay be damned.

Young women tend to talk to other women in a prospective career field. They are not likely to (and shouldn't) base such an important decision off some damn TV show.

With so many in the science & tech fields feeling so little sense of fulfillment from their careers, why should anyone in the US expect young men or women to start flocking to tech jobs?

Whoever concieved of this TV show lives on a different planet. I suspect my wife and I might watch one episode together, throw things at the TV, and go back to our more fulfilling hobbies and books. Unless the youth of this country have suddenly grown stupid (doubtful), then I suspect they'll have a similar reaction.

Something everybody's been missing (3, Interesting)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 8 years ago | (#14583258)

There's a reason this idea tanked that nobody's commented on as yet: no villans. As the article points out, soap operas thrive on constant conflict and some of the most memorable characters over the years have been vilans. If you ask the average person to name a character from Dallas, the odds are that the first name mentioned is JR.

PAWS (3, Funny)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 8 years ago | (#14583304)

Here's a hint for the producers - you should probably not tie any media targeted at women with "dogs" of any sort at the metaphorical level.

It is OK to have dogs in the shows themselves as long as they are either very tiny Doglings, or very large Doggoliths.

They want to lure smart women... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14583397)

into entering a field they might not want to, by showing them mind numbingly boring soap operas?

And for some strange reason, that's not working? Go figure!

If I were a smart woman, I'd see right through such a patently manipulative tactic, and be resentful/hostile towards it... And so would most of the female mathematicians and scientists I know...

Let's look at this... (5, Funny)

ValentineMSmith (670074) | more than 8 years ago | (#14583403)

Enrique (turning away from Jill): I saw you last night... In the server room.

Jill (face flushing): But I couldn't resist.. It was one of the new quad Opteron machines!

Enrique: So, you're saying you're only staying with me for the servers???

Jill: Please, Enrique. Can you forgive me? (general tears break out)

Tune in next week when Jill finds a new use for the neon tubes in Gary's gaming machine.

Nope.. Somehow, I think that this is just one of those things from which nothing good can come.

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