"Sorry, technical discussion"

It happened to me several times while at OFFF past week: I was in a conversation with people whom I had just met moments before and the conversation derived into "technical" matters, which is to say development topics like CSS or HTML5. And then someone looked at me with a mix of pity and embarrassment and excused himself and the others, shoulder-shrugging while muttering Sorry, technical discussion. Like if I couldn't follow the thread and all that.

It was kind of amusing --because I could indeed follow it--, but it's also very sad to assume that only because I'm a woman I can't follow a "technical" discussion.

It's also funny that "technical" means "traditionally male-dominated topics", such as software development. But that is absurd: as any sane person will agree, if you want to excel at a field you have to master the technique, whatever your genre is.

Thus, CSS are as technical as knitting, which is a traditional female-only field, but yet you don't get to look at the only male caught by accident in the middle of a knitting discussion by passionate female knitters and tell him Sorry, technical discussion.

I say, stop perpetuating the stereotypes. Keep on talking about your preferred subjects and let your audience decide whether it's too technical for them or not. But don't make erroneous judgements, please :-)