A friend of mine pointed out this post about the decline of hackerspaces:
The biggest enemy of hackerspaces and techshops is probably girlfriends and wives.
My reaction was: “Wait… what? Did they really just…? Uhhh…”
I hear this sort of thing surprisingly frequently. And yet, even with practice, I find sometimes it’s phrased in such a way that the best I can manage for a second is stunned silence. So here’s a reminder to myself, and to the rest of you: think about how you’d respond to this now, so you’re prepared if it happens again.
Not sure how to start? Here’s a quote from a follow-up post that I quite liked. It gets the point across in the same slightly mean-spirited way:
At the Baltimore Node, we have a family membership because *gasp*
significant others are supportive and like to participate. However,
it turns out that people do not want to participate in organizations
filled with social dysfunctional jerks and find themselves outgrowing
such organizations over time as more important things are competing
for their time.
And I turn to our commenters for more suggestions: How would you have replied? How have you replied when similar situations came up? Points also go out to those willing to try their hands at another explanation for those who inevitably will still be mystified as to why this is offensive.
Note: Comments with variants upon, “But it’s true!” will be summarily deleted. I am well aware that some people are terrible at sharing their significant others’ time, and many people have shifting priorities when coupled up; it does not logically follow that all girlfriends and wives are somehow evil. You should be ashamed of yourself for thinking with such logical fallacies!
PS – Wondering how to make family fit into your geekdom? You should check out Mary’s post just before this one about mothering and geeking.