I say all of what I'm about to say as
- the leader of my local user group
- a co-organiser of national conferences
- a blogger and upcoming technical author
- an occasional speaker when I have the time
- and least important, a woman in technology
Personally, I expect to be taken on my own merits and usually push back when people suggest a WiT event or try to get an extra female speaker just because they have one - I do not require positive discrimination, I think this does a disservice to me as much as negative discrimination. I do not expect to, and to date have not been, subject to negative discrimination due to my gender.
That being said, I have a tendency to be relatively self-effacing and describe myself as not technical. I have seen this trait exemplified in many women I know in the industry. It tends not to stem from a lack of confidence in our ability to code/teach/opine on SQL et al, but a perception about what the label 'technical' implies. Labels are a conventional short-hand, however, they tend to be rather absolute - as such, the label 'technical' carries the implication that the person using it does not consider their non-technical attributes to be important. I've found that most women in IT shirk this because frequently their view of success is not about 'being the best coder' but 'ensuring the right stuff gets done and gets done well', which is as much about non-technical abilities as it is about technical ones.
I think that with a view that tends towards holistic about skills, many women who enter the world of speaking in IT start off with non-technical topics. That is not to say they aren't competent in technical arenas, but no-one wants to speak about the same old topic that everyone else talks about so they choose an under-covered but important topic to speak on. There are some exceedingly technically talented people out there who just happen to be female, but given that there is a penchant* for non-technical topics, it is relatively reasonable to make the assumption that a female speaker will submit non-technical abstracts, and as such might not be a good fit for what a group prefers. I do not condone sexism, but being honest, I cannot say that he is being a rampant sexist when I too hold a pretty similar assumption about the majority of female speakers. I would not however dismiss someone before hearing what their proposed content would be.
This leads me onto the role of the user group leader. He made a decision (not necessarily one I agree with) for his group - it is up to them to agree or disagree with his actions on their behalf. Perhaps he was 100% in the right that they don't want non-technical talks, but I have found that that most people in my user group are people who want to be better at their job, both in a technical and a personal capacity. Finding speakers for the group is a privilege, and so long as I continue to have the interests of my UG correctly captured, I will continue in this capacity. The same goes for this guy - if this UG happy with him making an assumption about their preferences plus intolerantly applying generalisations then they'll let him carry on. Otherwise, they'll oust him.
I would like to see data on the content and level of women speakers before determining whether the assumption of this guy's is accurate. I also think we shirk collecting/posting stats about the makeup of our UGs and conferences for fear of exposing or persecuting other organisers if they have a low proportion of women/minorities/etc. This however means we have to talk about sexism and WiT as a matter of opinion - I would prefer to talk about facts.
*this is perceived, not necessarily actual