getting a 'man' to fix computers(46 Posts)
this is really starting to annoy me at work.
when anything goes wrong with the computers ALL the women run to fetch a younger man who will be able to fix the computers
i am computer literate and can fix most computer problems, if i can't i will research how to fix yet i am ignored and a MAN is always summoned and they will hum an har like i Do when then problem isn'st straightforward
when i complain to my femail colleages about this they nearly always say 'ooh i don't know anything about computers' so building the myth
rant over but anyone had similar experiences? this is in a predominately female environment
I'm a web developer and a woman. I have the opposite problem, in that I am expected to be able to fix anything electrical whatsoever. I can, I do and it's progress, but it annoys me anyway!
Let's see if I'm sufficiently technically able to add a clickable link...
If you haven't listened to Wendy Hall on A Life Scientific, please try and find half an hour to do so - it was really good. Towards the end, she quotes Karen Spärck Jones saying, "Computing's too important to be left to men."
lifeisontheup the possession of a penis does not automatically make you not scared of spiders*
as someone with grade A arachnaphobia I was might pissed off when I discovered this after moving in with [now DH]
Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.
I call IT at work to fix the computers. They are both male and female, but some of the men deliberately do things quickly and don't bother teaching you how to correct the problem yourself. at homme DH does it but since he works in IT that seems reasonable, I'll deal with the plumbing and car though. I have been known to 'ask a man' to replace a tyre though but since I am the manager of the man I asked and earn a lot more than him I think that's OK.
DP does all the techie/DIY stuff, but then he actually enjoys it. You should see him with a flat pack, he's like a kid in a toy shop! I could do it myself, but I honestly can't be bothered. Then again, there was the time he came home to me on a stepladder changing the hallway light bulb. He goes "oh, I'll do that for you, don't want you to hurt yourself." Well, thanks, but I'm already up the ladder, and you're just as likely to fall off it as I am (he's not much taller than me, so would still have to use the ladder). So maybe he does see it as men's work.
Funniest one is cars, I think, rather than techie stuff, since cars are seen as such a masculine thing. Every time I've had a flat tyre, a man has stopped to 'help' me. I'd rather do it myself, thanks, at least then I know it's done right, and I can do it in about half the time they take.
>I get this at work but with removal of spiders.
DH and I work from home and I'm the designated Spider Remover. Even if its up high somewhere that he could reach but necessitates me standing on a chair.
You're not wrong Birdy, like the goon at work who thought I would have a sewing kit in my office because I'm a mother?
He was having a right larrf, I can't even wonder web
Well done D0oin, some people are just so stupid.
Good work Boosterseat.
Not tried that yet, will have to give it a go.
I like Lordlurkin's 'teach you how to fish' approach; I prefer to do this too, if the audience is at all receptive. That way people can gain confidence and competence, and perhaps help someone else.
Just to clarify, I've no problem with nerds of any sex, they are my kind of people. My objection is assumed competence/lack of competence based solely on gender.
Math that's an interesting point - you find the ' can't possibly do this' attitude is more prevalent in the UK? I wonder why that is
I work with a lot of men, they all happen to be completely hopeless with a pc.
Imagine the look of when I pulled out crimpers and knocked up a new network cable.
Im pretty sure they thought hair crimpers were about all women could manage.
I proper love being a nerd
I had this when Virgin Media supplied us with a new router after the one I bought to replace the one they gave us that never worked packed in.
A seemingly nice man came and disconnected my X-box, Wii, the wi-fi network and my PC and then connected a shiny, new Virgin Hub, which he tested with his fancy t'inernet checker thingy wot-not. After which he declared "Your router is all working now love, alls you need to do is wait for your bloke to come home and he can set up all your x-box and stuff again and you'll be able to watch your filums again n stuff"
I asked him if he would stay and explain to "my bloke" what a home network was and could I not just re-do it myself as it was me who set it all up in the first place. He ed at me. Needless to say I complained loudly both on their FB page and to their customer support helpline. He was "re-trained" apparently.
It's not the last bastion of sexism, sadly. It is a fact that male drivers outnumber women in the UK by a significant margin and that British women (judging from many MN threads) can come up with an amazing number and variety of responses as to why driving a car is a skill not necessary for them. British women also claim to be afflicted by pregnancy brain and that their thinking faculties are negatively affected by their hormones when not pregnant. The assumption that 'a man' will be able to fix a computer and a woman probably wouldn't be is part and parcel of the same thing. British women are happy to present themselves as Luddites whose brains are turned to mush by hormones. You don't hear this sort of twaddle elsewhere. Women may well feel at a disadvantage in other places but they would never admit it out loud.
^I think as more women study forI and become employed in IT rules that this will cease to happen. think that currently it's a male dominated fieldbut there's really no reason for that^
But it's not happening like that. The numbers of women on IT courses at university is currently in decline, from a peak in the late '80s.
There is no reason for it being a male-dominated field - there's a huge variety of different roles and can be interesting and something which will stretch your brain. Depending on the exact field and tech skills, can be very well-paid. It can be very flexible, which you'd think would make it more attractive to women, as it can be easier to accommodate child care and so on (which unfortunately is still a problem for more women than men.) I've never really understood why there are so few women around - but the more technical the area, the more true that seems to be. I've been doing it for about 15 years, and female field engineers are so rare that I've done a double take when first meeting the only two I've ever met in the course of my work. (And I'm really annoyed with myself when that happens.)
When we've been recruiting in my current department, we seem to get very few applications from women (as far as you can tell from names on CVs, and there are plenty which aren't obviously male or female names.) We can't recruit more if we can't interview them, and we can't interview them if we don't even get applications from them.
Quite a few of the earlier pioneers in computing (in the 1940s, '50s & '60s) were women, because it was seen as mundane administrative work. It's got more male as it's "grown up" and become more professionalised. There was a great programme on R4 a month or two ago, where they interviewed some of the women who worked in the computing industry when it was getting started.
(It's a subject close to my heart; I could go on at much more length, but won't!)
This problem is unladylike
That made me laugh! I am going to nick that phrase next time someone irritates me by asking for a man to do or fix something.
I seem to have solved the problem for me personally. At the mere ask of something techie I give a shudder (a literal one as well). I am probably the worst person on the planet to ask and have no intention of messing up said tech problem further. Once I explain that I tend to be left alone. I have a reputation for killing computers on a semi regular basis so I get passed over for tech support.
I do get asked for other practical job simply for being a man, and my response of "I will come round and show you how to fix it" usually get a sounding ok. I have "taught" plenty of people how to install washing machines, driers and dishwashers.
The bit that really gets me is that most of the women asking me are competent and smart enough to do it themselves. But are so used to getting a man to do it that they don't think they can do it.
Oh yes it's even more annoying if they give a crappy answer that you could have improved on loads.
Did ask my boss once if I could put a sign up saying "Computers and cameras are not penis operated". She laughed but refused.
Yoni I used to work for Jessops, I ran the damn minilab, I was the tech girl. I still got ignored in favour of talking to a bloke. Not helped by the fact that in one of the stores the
idiots guys I worked with also thought they knew better than me. Put it this way, the two of them once spent a whole day trying to fix the store printer. Didn't serve a single customer, just spent the day poking and prodding the thing, guess what was wrong with it? They hadn't plugged it in. And yet people would rather get their help??
I used to work in CeX, now, granted, I'm not big on console games which was what most people wanted to ask, but I was hot shit on hardware questions because I liked to read up on things and I have a good memory for that kind of thing.
Used to annoy me when someone (usually a bloke) would come in, look straight past me to my male colleague and ask him a question which he'd then deflect to me because he didn't know the answer.
(That was the expression on the face of the customer too, like they couldn't possibly compute that a woman knew about computers)
Of course then they'd ask me some question about games which I would have to deflect and then 9/10 they'd look at me all smugly like "See, don't know everything, do you?" Well, no, I don't. I have no interest in shooting alien heads off or endless managing of imaginary football teams.
Practial I usually offer, point out what I know then get a kind of weak smile followed by them wandering off to find a man, who (at best) says exactly what I said. Or to rub salt in the wound a bit, fucks it up more.
Even better if it turns out to be one of those "stand aside women, a man is here now" type blokes.
IME, people ask the person who is most willing to help and/or most approachable.
When PCs were first introduced to my company and I was the young one, they often asked me.
If you know there's a problem and you want to help, do you offer?
"It seems to be the last bastion of sexism." Hey, I am more than happy for that bastion to fall, I am so very sick of being the go-to computer nerd for extended family and friends. But, frankly, I would not put it down as 'sexism', I would put it down to that tried and true insight once expressed by the robot from Lost in Space: "When in trouble or in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout."
I think as more women study forI and become employed in IT rules that this will cease to happen. think that currently it's a male dominated fieldbut there's really no reason for that
Join the discussion
Please login first.