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Calling all female geeks....

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  • #91
    Thanks, I look forward to coming :) Most of the time I seem to give the impression that I'm the decoration for the guys I'm with. Usually people are suprised that I somewhat know what I'm doing as I usually keep quiet. So I'm usually mistaken for a poser. I'd say I'm OK at the techie side of it, but I certainly hold no illusions, I'm just a student. Thanks a lot for the replies though :)


    • #92
      Originally posted by highwizard
      It's war! G3 is Gay Geeks with Guns.

      And remember this:

      "Don't Fight with those Gay Guys.
      They're Strong Like Men.
      But fight like Girls"

      Q: Why is it $80 this year?
      A: The Five Extra Dollars are what they use to give a Kick Back to the Hutt Crime Syndicate.
      it is 80 because I got tired of making change! -tw


      • #93

        Well, my female coworker won't be coming because our female boss says she can't. Soooo, you won't get to meet her.
        As far as the person who posted worrying about not being a techie, don't worry. Most of us are fakes. The way technology changes, we all become obsolete in less than seven years. That is why I think age discrimination is more a problem than female discrimination. I went to a conference recently and they were talking about computers that won't have the von Newman architecture, and they mentioned two new languages. There aren't many females in this field because most of them are smart enough to stay out of it. How often does a nurse have to be retrained? I'be been through ten languages and six operating systems in a little over twenty years. I once dated a female bartender who laughed when she saw my paycheck. She said she made more than that in tips!!! Massage therapist. Hair dresser. Many professions are easier to get into and don't require massive retraining every couple of years. I just flew back from DC and had a male steward on the plane. Some of us guys are wising up too.


        • #94
          And so goes the coordination for a meet that is rather informal in nature. I intend to start requesting input for locals, rooms, persons, etc... What about having this little meet added to the DC program? Flyers around the AP? It's been brought to my attention that 99% of persons in attendance do not log on to the forums.(sinners!) :p

          Other ideas about getting the word out so that we can discover like minded females?


          • #95
            Originally posted by pezz
            Other ideas about getting the word out so that we can discover like minded females?
            I think a big stack or two of flyers prominently placed on the registration desk would probably make sure everyone saw them when they picked up their badge...


            • #96
              You better think... R-E-S-P-E-C-T

              Maybe it's my age, maybe it's because I've been around these guys for so long, maybe it's the fact that I distinguished myself by my skills long before they found out I was female... but I don't have a problem getting respect. It's not that I'd mind getting together with other women in the field and telling/listening to old war stories but truth is, I come to con to meet guys as much as for the technology.

              Anywhere/anytime else in the world if I sat down in a bar and a guy said, "so, what do you do for a living" and I answered (truthfully) "well, I'm a systems engineer but I have a very diverse background; something of a cybermerc - tell me the job and I'll tell you my price..." *anywhere* but defcon, the echo of the "r" in engineer wouldn't have been on the wind for a second before that man was long gone. Defcon is one of the only places in the world where I don't get treated like second hand dirty gym sock because I'm female AND an engineer. If anyting, I get more appreciation for having clue1() than I've ever been diss'd by the men in this crowd.

              There is a place and a time for serious womens meet-ups, but this is defcon - were in DT's house. I'm all for giving you a shout and stopping for a beer, but if you want to organize a serious WITcon (Women in Technology) then don't ride on Jeff's coattails to do it. If you have what it takes to put it together and keep more and more people coming back for 12 years and counting... let's see it. Put it out there. I'd attend/present at a real WITcon, but don't play. Don't whine about how haaard it is to be a woman in this field and then depend on DT to put all this together (*MUCH* respect) every year so you can bitch about how unfair men are to women in the field.

              If you read a couple pages up in the list of posts, you'll see where a female boss told a female tech she couldn't go to con. You better believe, I've taken more grief from other women in this community and in this career field than I've EVER taken from the guys. I've seen scene whores rip through entire groups of my friends and start hitting on me... until they found out I was a woman. You better listen... if you want respect in this field, you better show some skills - because nobody is gonna listen to you bitch

              Much love and respect.

              'wanna see the scars on my hands from tearing down Compaqs..'
              That's my story and I'm sticking to it.


              • #97
                Yeah, because a women's con would totally do a lot to show women that we're accepted in the tech realm on equal footing with men.

                The point is women at DEFCON. Not some "Women In Technology" rah-rah. Being in the scene without being thought of or looked at as a scenewhore. Being accepted on our own terms, not on separate ones -- by holding a separate con, it would come right out and say "We're not geeks. We're FEMALE geeks." And that's bullshit.

                Bully for you that you get hit on by scenewhores and are a 'cybermerc', whatever that's supposed to be. Because of basic gender role socialization (and you cannot deny that that's present in society), some women are still not comfortable jumping into male-dominated tech discussions (especially after hearing a few alcohol-fueled "SHOW ME YOUR TITS!"). Taking a little time on one of the first nights of the con to validate each other, give a little confidence to the under-confident, share common experiences.. perhaps those of us with the comfort level and confidence can impart a little of that to women who, for whatever reason, haven't quite acheived our level of self-assurance. Once you've been given the chance to speak your mind in one forum (i.e. a women's gathering at a largely male con), it's a hell of a lot easier to assert yourself in all situations.

                Women are a growing part of DefCon, and the scene isn't quite used to it yet. Think of this as a way to aid in a transition, rather than riding on someone's coattails.

                See you there. ;)


                • #98


                  Women in Technology International

                  They've been around a while and they are all about validation etc. etc.

                  "WITI is the premiere global organization helping tech-savvy women attain their professional goals..."

                  So, like I was saying... I'm all for women in technology but I can't stand *anybody* who whines about how tough the industry is to break into. If you have the skills doors open up and managers with money do not care if you're male/female/animal/vegetable/mineral/gay/straight/hyperbolic all they care about is if you are going to deliver to spec, on time and under budget.

                  That's my story and I'm sticking to it.


                  • #99
                    Again. It's not about that. It's about being accepted at DefCon AS WELL AS in the tech field in general. Acceptance in the scene as well as in the workplace. We're talking about respect from our peers, not our managers.

                    I'm sure WITcon is all well and good, and it has laudable goals. But we're mostly talking about DefCon, and women in the context of DefCon, and helping more women feeling more accepted at DefCon, helping them realize that they are accepted if they're confident enough to speak their mind.

                    No one's whining about anything, much less how 'hard it is to break into the industry.' We're already there. ;)

                    If you don't want to help or if you think this is a terrible idea, then by all means, don't attend. But don't tell pezz and the rest of us that we shouldn't do everything we feel is necessary to help women be more accepted AT DEFCON.


                    • I refuse to believe that it’s all about whining about choices. When I walked into Defcon the first year, (last year) I wondered why the majority of attendees are male. Is WHY not the unwritten mantra of Defcon?
                      Why are there so few females? Why do they make choices not to attend? What are they doing? Why should we even care? Why don’t more females ask why? How would we contribute to things we may have more need or interest in?
                      How do I hack my child’s brat doll so that she/he can hear me sing to her/him while I am away saving another corporations server?

                      Everyone has to start somewhere, normally where your interests fall. Defcon happens to be a genuine interest. Although I am not the first female to stumble onto Defcon, I am sure not to be the last. (1000 monkeys)

                      The simple fact is that I truly believe that only females can understand certain life altering moments of other females. My refusal to compromise my feminine qualities, which may foster larger accomplishments in the search for knowledge, is a slap in the face of diversity. We cannot improve upon an idea until all possible logical, (and sometimes illogical) entities are brought to light.


                      • Originally posted by Shalome
                        Again. It's not about that. It's about being accepted at DefCon AS WELL AS in the tech field in general. Acceptance in the scene as well as in the workplace. We're talking about respect from our peers, not our managers.

                        I'm sure WITcon is all well and good, and it has laudable goals. But we're mostly talking about DefCon, and women in the context of DefCon, and helping more women feeling more accepted at DefCon, helping them realize that they are accepted if they're confident enough to speak their mind.

                        No one's whining about anything, much less how 'hard it is to break into the industry.' We're already there. ;)

                        If you don't want to help or if you think this is a terrible idea, then by all means, don't attend. But don't tell pezz and the rest of us that we shouldn't do everything we feel is necessary to help women be more accepted AT DEFCON.
                        I could go on tell you my entire life story but my babygeekhood is not interesting.

                        I've been coming to con for 5 years and had wanted to go since I heard about DC1, but couldn't get it together until 7.

                        I have never felt like an accessory, because I've never attended "with" a guy. I've never felt uncomfortable because I've always been on common ground with other people who shared my interests (not all of them men, either). The only people at DC who've *ever* been disrespectful to me are women. I don't think huddling together in a hotel room is the way to help women be more accepted - unless you want a private party for women (in which case I'm not interested).

                        The idea that, because I have tits or don't have a penis I'm somehow more or less accepted is silly. There have been women at DC since DC1 - there's no basis for the perception or the belief that women are unwelcome or that they have any reason to feel that way (except for CPM and a handfull of scene whores).

                        As far as con being a "life altering moment" - you can get alchohol poisoning at home...

                        Clearly, I don't understand the problem. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

                        That's my story and I'm sticking to it.


                        • Originally posted by ndex
                          because I've never attended "with" a guy.
                          same here

                          Originally posted by ndex
                          there's no basis for the perception or the belief that women are unwelcome or that they have any reason to feel that way...
                          I have waited and contemplated about replying. My thoughts follow.

                          Perception is a mixture of your social interaction and personal experiences. Perhaps, for as long as you have been attending DC you have never been exposed to a situation which would generate such a perception.

                          I can name many members of this forum and from DC who have been nothing but accepting, Chris, Che, HW(except that one time he booted me), ASTcell, Kelvin, Skroo, Mfreeck, OP, on and on...
                          Unfortunately, I can also name several from DC who have been offensive and extremely unwelcoming in nature. (names held for politeness)

                          My personal perception is that DC is an intimidating environment for females.( I seriously contemplated not attending this year because of certain events which took place last year.)

                          Personally I figure I have 2 options, I could 1.) give up, stay home and cry in my corn flakes, or 2.) I could get off my lazy ass, speak out, and help to ensure that the next female who goes to "hang out" with the guys isn't asked what she would do with a man who had a 12 inch d*ck(knows she would never ask a guy that)*awareness*

                          Though you are correct in your perception of DC, it is wrong to imply that I am incorrect in mine. There are issues which people will always disagree on, it doesn't make either perception any less of a reality for that person.(not everything is as clear as 1's and 0's)

                          The gathering should be a safe arena to openly discuss individual perceptions, however diverse they may be.(provided a mod keeps the flames down)

                          I have discovered the hardway that there is no possible way to generate a discussion on this topic by which all attendees will feel respectfully represented and identify with. Some are sick of the bu**shit, some are overly interested, some are interested but remaining silent,some are males who feel isolated by the discussion, etc...

                          I have had several private replies in support of this idea, and several who do not feel the need for a discussion or a special gathering.(advising that guys may be offended by the topics)

                          I think perhaps for now, I will continue with the background conversations, and invite anyone who is interested in providing confidential opinions for research purposes to email me.


                          • And to be honest, it does have a wider effect: it keeps the capable women away because they don't want to be associated with it, as well as making the capable women in the scene look bad by association. And on a totally other level: it prevents a lot of us guys from dating in the scene because we don't want to be anywhere near people who act like that. It's a major catch-22, and makes it bloody difficult to meet women with a technical interest.

                            Just something I've wanted bring up for a very, very long time.
                            Does it keep the capable women away, or do you simply not notice them? It seems to me that a lot of guys will simply fail to notice women that aren't 'on display' or that act as 'one of the guys'.

                            Personally I haven't had any problems dating clueful people in [or near] the scene.


                            • I just spent most of my free time this morning reading this entire thread and now I'll offend people with some of my thoughts.

                              I hear alot of "women in the industry," and "you have no trouble being respected if you have the skills," "I have the skills, so I don't care what others think." Well, that's nice if you DO have the skills. How about the folks who come to Defcon not having the skills but sincerely wishing to learn? I found it to be hella intimidating. As I was developing some of my knowledge base, I thought about going to a con... after some research, I was not sure at all I wanted to go to Defcon (I read several people's reviews of people's past cons). Lucky for me, the decision was taken out of my hands by some dear friends who took me to DCX. I was still very intimidated of going where there were 5,000 drunken horny boys. The scenewhores made this worse as I had to worry about whether I'd be mistaken for one or not. Still I feel I have to do something to set myself apart from them visually or else endure being hit on all con. When it comes to "one of the guys," theory, I have to masquerade as one of the boys to be accepted as one of the boys.... because why? Now, I know it's not totally like this, and for the most part I kinda *am* one of the boys, but I *ought* to be able to wear an amazing dress at con and not have it be assumed that I'm a brainless scenewhore because I am dressed like a girl and/or show a little skin. Of *course* reality is never going to match up to how things "should" be, but that doesn't mean you can't look toward that goal.

                              To rant a little more... I have seen that females at Defcon are more likely to be assumed a scenewhore until proven otherwise, while males are assumed (unless they are very young) that they could be knowledgeable, until they open their mouth and prove otherwise. I think this puts women who are just starting out and perhaps alone off a LOT about coming to con. Am I a scenewhore because i don't know much about tech? Am I a scenewhore because I'm dating a hacker? Am I a scenewhore because I met my partner at Defcon?

                              As another note, I thought it was really interesting last year to see people's reactions when I was walking around with my computer on. I was surprised how many people would not approach me although I would hear audible "mmm, yummy!", "Oh cool!" as I passed. I did have some nice folks approach me as I was sitting at a table trying to fix the damn thing again, and they approached very very hesitantly like I might reach out and slay them for saying hi. I figure probably they were afraid that I might think they were approaching because I was female, or maybe they *were* hesitant because I was female, but this is somewhat negative also... when people won't come see what nifty thing you've done. Not that I crave people giving me accolades or some shit, but if someone is obviously interested in something, it's very weird to have them stand at a distant and stare rather than come say hi, what's that and how does it work?


                              • ripping my hair out now...

                                See, I wasn't going to reply to this thread but I want see if I can put this to rest with as little pain as possible.

                                The subject "female geeks at con"
                                The issue "why aren't there more female geeks at defcon"
                                The problem "I'm a female n00b and I want to learn but if I go to con will people think I'm a scene whore because I don't have sophisticated skills?"

                                I tried to explain this to mfreeck and a few of the other women who've approached me on the subject and failed. I'll try one more time then y'all will have to buy me beer at con to get me to talk to you.

                                There are plenty of semantics involved here. The scene is not just the defcon scene, but the global computer security scene and the world of technology in general. The reason there aren't many women in the scene is because there aren't many women who find themselves interested in technology. I don't see this as a problem, but more a reflection of the nurturing nature of women and the important role they play in the development of a civilized global society. In fact, I see a bigger problem in that there are so few men who stay home with children - but that's totally off topic.

                                The term "whore" is loaded with puritanical prohibitions in our society and women tend to want to avoid being labeled that way. It's understandable - I've been there and you wouldn't believe the fur that flew when I came online...

                                So, one day DT gets this wild assed idea to have a hacker convention and 12 years later here we are. So, what distinguishes a female n00b/lamer from a scene whore? It's not just *having* skills, it has a lot to do with how you *get* skills. A friend one said that anything worth having is worth stealing. Two women, sitting side by side one in a micro mini and spiked heels with big ol bewbies just out there in the wind. The other, a chubby little chick wearing black with a lappy looking all serious. Which one is the scene whore?

                                Duh, how the hell would you know? You didn't even say hello.

                                Here's the word: "hacker"

                                Hacker has nothing to do with gender. It's a state of mind. It's the curiosity that won't wait for the tech class the next day (google is your friend). It's the compulsion to make it work that will keep you up all night and all the next day so you can point at that machine and say "I OWN you bish!!". It's the ingenuity that figures out a way to get the information without leaving a ripple in your wake so you can appear spontaneously brilliant.

                                A scene whore doesn't have anything to do with gender either (as HW, he can tell you...). It's also a state of mind. It's the attachment to the status of being on the arm of "someone important". It's the desire to get something for nothing (no real work, no stress, no sweat, no research, no pain, no learning from embarrassing mistakes). It's the ability to completely ignore the fact that getting a skript kiddie to DDoS somebody's web site because they pissed you off on IRC doesn't make you "an elite social engineer" it just makes you a harpie scene whore who gives half assed blow jobs begrudgingly because you promised the kid who did the dirty work (risking prison for your sorry ass).

                                The question you need to ask yourself is whether you're willing to do your own hacking. Are you willing to learn? I'll tell you, one of the first things you learn is that *nobody* knows everything - whether at con or on the job. You'll learn teamwork and trade-offs. You'll learn to learn. A scene whore doesn't care about learning, they care about knowledge as an accessory or a weapon. I don't think I can say anymore here. Catch me at con if you still don't get it...

                                That's my story and I'm sticking to it.