Wednesday 7 July 2004
Where are the women of CSS?
As a recent thread on Eric Meyer’s site “Wanted: CSS Luminary” demonstrates, there are only two women even publically recognized as potentials for a CSS book project: myself and Holly Bergevin. And before you get too excited, Anne van Kesteren is a man.
Now, the list of names at Eric’s place is impressive – it’s filled with loads of people I really respect, and while many have never written a book, certainly most everyone’s contributions have been impressive. If you examine the list, though, you see a range: some folks are designers, others are more technical. I myself am not a designer per se, my skill is in teaching – whether it’s in a classroom or via an article or book. Nevertheless, a luminary is a luminary is a luminary, right?
So why are there only two women even listed there, much less listed far fewer times than the guys? Is it that women aren’t typically thought of as “luminaries?” I’d hate to think that, because I know at least 70% of the folks on that list and they are all enlightened men who don’t exhibit discomfort regarding women in computing. Is it that women aren’t attracted to CSS for some reason? Or maybe they are quieter about it, less competitive, less interested?
I don’t understand why women in CSS are so overlooked, and with the two of us that have been mentioned – at least in this case – it’s either far less often than the guys or, in Holly’s case, always as a duo with Big John, and not on the merit of her own individuality. I want to understand this. Maybe you can help me.