If you’re wondering why this blog got so quiet, maybe I’m just not up to being a woman on the internet these days. As a wise man once said, “If you’re tired, learn to rest not quit.”
It’s not up to me anyway. I’ve gotten a few questions about what I think “we” should do about a data science group in the Triangle “with a focus on men empowerment.” My official opinion is: I think data science in general is pretty male-empowered. I would point out that the other meetups in the triangle organized by women and for women don’t specifically exclude men, but if someone’s got to keep people out to feel safe, let ’em.
As for my opinion on what you should do: There’s been some pretty extensive research on what the “male empowerment” sect says and does and how they get there, and there are some basic consistencies:
- They feel dissatisfied with their lives–and don’t know what to do about it.
- They lack good mentors and a community. A men’s-rights group gives them a place to belong, and it is not all that different from any other radicalization of a dissatisfied young person.
- In many cases, it starts with a very real grievance, and a lack of support. I’m not saying there’s no support available. I’m saying that specific person does not have a support system and has no idea about how to get one. Someone might even say that people who are drawn to staring at a computer screen all day are less able to find emotional support than the average person, and so it’s not surprising they act out in a certain way.
So, if you want to know what I think you should do, this is what I think you should do:
If you’re a woman: come to RTA. You don’t even have to talk about math. We’re pretty fun generally. At least we think so.
If you’re a man (And you can stomach it): Join this group. Mentor these guys. Keep them from doing something we’ll all regret.
Then come to RTA and let me buy you a drink. You’re all welcome here, regardless of the skin you live in, the family you choose, or what you do with other consenting adults in your free time.
If you can’t stomach joining this group, you should still come to RTA. We’ve built a community of people that is fun and welcoming–at least we think so. If you’ve been to an RTA meeting, and you didn’t feel welcome, we’d like to have a conversation with you about your experience and try to fix it. We started this group to build the data science community in the Triangle, not break it into sections. That will be our mission as long as I’m president.
I hope we see you there soon!