Sometimes, it can be really frustrating to be a woman.
Take Jen Golbeck, a professor at the University of Maryland who also happens to be a computer scientist: on Monday, Golbeck tweeted her irritation with computer programming language Java.
Sometimes I just want to punch java in the face.— Jen Golbeck (@jengolbeck) October 4, 2016
Soon after she posted the tweet, a man named Ludovic Reenaers tweeted back at her, telling her she should learn the computer language, as he incorrectly assumed that Golbeck, an actual computer scientist who lists her credentials in her Twitter bio, didn't have experience with Java. He ended the tweet with a patronizing wink emoticon.
@jengolbeck learn it and you'll never want to use anything else ;)— Ludovic Reenaers (@LReenaers) October 4, 2016
But because she's a total boss, Golbeck replied that in fact she did not need Reenaers to mansplain Java to her because she's a computer science professor who has plenty of experience with the computer language. She then took a screenshot of their exchange and vented her frustration with men like him — men who assume women don't have knowledge or experience in a particular field or topic, not only on the Internet but in the tech and science communities as well.
Guys. I can't tell you how frustrating shit like this is. Especially having to deal with comments like this over and over and over… pic.twitter.com/LmYN1vzdUD— Jen Golbeck (@jengolbeck) October 4, 2016
The professor received a lot of support on Twitter after the exchange.
@LReenaers When a man assumes a woman is a novice when in fact she is an expert, it is inherently gendered. That is mansplaining.— Terry McGlynn (@hormiga) October 4, 2016
She also garnered a lot of sympathy from those familiar with Java.
@jengolbeck I'm with you on the whole punch-Java-in-the-face thing.— datenwolf (@datenwolf) October 5, 2016
@jengolbeck Best tweet I've read today. This is pretty much me every day— Ryan Longacre (@ryanlongacre) October 5, 2016
@jengolbeck For what it's worth, I punch it in the face on a daily basis. :-(— Ora Lassila (@gotsemantics) October 5, 2016
In an email to Mashable, Golbeck says she has received many comments from men who have dismissed her outrage over mansplaining, sometimes telling her that their comments "have nothing to do with sexism."
"I can understand that if you never see what it's like to be a women in tech, you may not realize how much we get patronized and assumed incompetent by default," she says.
"I tried to explain that to a few people, and a couple guys really got it and acknowledged that women probably got a lot more of these comments than male coders would. Some refused to acknowledge there's a sexist component, even though I point out they never get emoji winked at when people criticize their coding skills. The best threads you'll find in there are men mansplaining that mansplaining doesn't exist."
All we have to say is, girl, keep riding your nerd flag high.
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