my neighbor and i talked about unions yesterday. he, a teacher at a local high school, asked, "are there any programmer unions? why not?"

"it's a long story. to make it short: is it so surprising that a discipline deployed primarily to disenfranchise labor would struggle to enfranchise itself?"

he laughed.

"the long version of that story is a tome about computer science education and the hacker mythos."

something sticking in my mind about this conversation with my neighbor is when i said “you can get fired for talking about unions” and he replied “that’s illegal!” so what could i say but “and yet”

all the reasons we haven’t unionized are precisely the reasons we must unionize.

@kropot i don't have an article for you on hand but there are plenty! i'll see if i can find a good one and post it later.

@kropot oh, here's one:

> Starting in the late 1960’s, men realized programming was actually really hard, and thus, prestigious. That meant it was lucrative and valuable, and (some) men didn’t want women enjoying all the benefits of that. As researcher and historian Nathan Ensmenger helped reveal, professional organizations, smear marketing and ad campaigns were created that discouraged the hiring of women into computer science and programming roles. Meanwhile, aptitude tests were made (by men) that favored men in their evaluation steps, and the answers to those tests were circulated across male-only groups like fraternities. (Worth noting: women being shamed into or out of things via advertising has tremendous historical precedent.)

@garbados @kropot there's also the book "Programmed Inequality" by Marie Hicks that dissects a disastrous form of this in the UK, and how deliberate, strained feminization and de-feminization pushes lost them their considerable headstart in the industry.

@garbados @kropot Seems likely that the impetus was less realizing that programming is hard (plenty of jobs are hard and yet socially gendered as female) as realizing that programming is powerful — i.e. that it would be the language used to condition labor.

@garbados I'm curious, being also a programmer but from another country (Spain) where “unions” probably work differently: why would you people need to unionise, what is missing now?

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