On Fri, 13 Jan 2012, Matt Giuca <matt.gi...@gmail.com> wrote:
> In particular, the "Do compliment" section seems to be suggesting that,
> unlike men, women need an extra special amount of coddling or they will
> give up. It reads a bit like a "woman manual", talking about "her" in the
> third person.
> "If she learned bash scripting more quickly than you did, tell her so. Say,
> "Wow, you learned bash scripting after X months. It took me 2*X months to
> learn that.""
> It seems to be suggesting that men should treat women the way loving
> parents might treat an eight-year-old, shying away from criticism, and
> taking great pains to give self-deprecating compliments. Can't we just
> treat women as fellow hackers?

The way parents treat young children is that they offer praise that is 
relevant to the skill level.  For an 8yo it's an achievement to make their own 
breakfast and eat it without making a mess, so they would be praised for that.

But the example given is quite different.  Complimenting someone for doing 
something better than you is quite reasonable, especially if they may have a 
secret concern that everyone else is doing better than them.  Often people 
have a self-appraisal that is a poor match for reality.  Accurate feedback can 
help correct that.

> (Perhaps I'm just sensitive to that specific style of compliment, as if I
> catch myself using it, I feel dirty afterwards. It seems to implicitly be
> suggesting: "Even I, with my vastly superior knowledge of computing, took
> 2*X months to learn that particular thing. Well done on having bested me in
> this one specific area.")

There are two errors in that.  Firstly there is no logical reason to feel bad 
about complimenting someone who has done a genuinely good job.

Secondly you have to understand that 99% of the general population and about 
60% of geeks have different ideas about socialising to us.  For example when 
someone asks for your opinion about their new car/house/haircut you are 
expected to tell them how great it is regardless of the truth.  So in addition 
to the fact that in the example cited the women would actually deserve a 
compliment there is also the fact that we are just expected to compliment 
people regardless.

My Main Blog         http://etbe.coker.com.au/
My Documents Blog    http://doc.coker.com.au/

Free-software-melb mailing list

Reply via email to