Domination of the Trousers

A little while ago today, a complaint was levelled at a podcast network that I listen to regarding a perceived lack of inclusion of women. It's a technology-centric deal, and (perhaps regrettably) therefore in what is (still) a male dominated field, with some fairly notable exceptions. It perhaps stands to reason, then, that women in the tech blogging and podcasting arena are somewhat outnumbered.

What annoyed me wasn't the assertion that the 'female voice' be heard, which seems so obvious to me that it hardly requires stating - but the direct implication that special efforts should be make to ensure that the 'female voice' is included; as in some kind of responsible quota (and lets ignore the dubious nature of 'female' as opposed to just 'human' voice). The exchange went on and the podcasters were essentially accused of shirking on some kind of moral-intellectual responsibility.

Of course the accuser was male, and it can be argued that this kind of outdated chivalrous, heteronormative champion of the women-folk is just a relic of traditional male-gender roles. If female participation in the discussion is mandated by the men-folk, reduced to a charity of inclusion, then the domination of the trousers is preserved. Better still, the enduring old socio-hierarchical meme's are preserved and merely had to concede to the newfound, modest, paragon of the times: equality. However there is no equality in discrimination, positive discrimination included.

Had there been some exclusion, one could advocate against a genuine injustice; the immediate absence of something does not equate to it's denial. It's not for the advantaged to include the disadvantaged, but for society to remove the socially-fabricated barriers that prevent self-determination and achievement.