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Why does any article focusing on women's experience have to have someone come along and say 'it's hard for us men'?



I sympathize with that point, but there's more to it than "what about teh menz?"

The question is this: is this doing well on HN because HN is full of progressive-minded feminists upvoting a neat DIY project on its merits, or is it doing well on HN because it serves as fodder for the nerd-girl fantasies of a primarily male readership?

I really think this is an important point that often gets missed on male dominated social news sites. Readers are quick to pat themselves on the back for the community's mature lack of slut-shaming, while neglecting to realize that an entirely different form of sexism and woman-objectification is taking place.


No need for stereotypes. The article deserves to be up voted because it is remarkably thorough and well written.


I agree that it deserves to be upvoted for those reasons. I just don't think that's necessarily the primary reason it has been upvoted. Examining the "would this be ranked this high if it were about penis hacking instead?" question is productive because it addresses that.


It probably would be (assuming the ban on penis-related article titles could be circumvented). This is actually a seriously good article of the kind that frequently get upvoted and I don't think this case has much to do with gender.


It has everything to do with gender, a man hacking a fleshlight would get none or almost none upvotes, I bet it would even get flagged by a few. Its a predictable fantasy of the average reader of HN, the equivalent of a photo of a pretty woman doing charity with a cat in reddit.

Is not only the fact that she is a woman, is the surrounding context of a sexual stimulation device that provoque so many upvotes. Personally I would downvote this if I could, I don't like my tech articles biased by hormones.


Reading the threads on this page the comments appear genuinely interested in this tech, and related themes. Asking intelligent questions Etc.

In fact, the only awkward thread, which seems a little sexist is this one... Food for thought.


I like yor attempt at emotional manipulation, labeling as "awkward" people trying to have a civilized discussion about a strong bias and doble-standard; also calling it sexist when if anything we are asking for gender neutrality wish is the opposite of sexism for all I care.


Dude, I agree with your basic premise that it should be possible to discuss bias and double standards. I agree that sometimes bias against male opinions and experiences can happen and, when it does happen, it's not easy to get anyone to accept it because it doesn't fit our accepted narratives about sexism. Gender neutrality is definitely a noble aim.

But in this case I think you're wrong. This thread is a totally legitimate discussion of a very interesting, detailed and inventive technical post and I find it hard to believe that an equally detailed and well-written post from a male perspective would not be received in much the same way.

I don't think you're being sexist, but you are being wrong about something in a way that an average internet commenter would find hard to distinguish from sexism (and the average internet commenter is not particularly capable of nuanced thought).


> I find it hard to believe that an equally detailed and well-written post from a male perspective would not be received in much the same way.

I can only assume that you are very naive; for the average male is impossible to read this article without imaging a woman using the device; wish does not mean that there aren't legitimate and interesting discussions in this thread; but is clear that the exponential popularity grow of this article is strongly correlated with that fact.


Not everyone fits into neat little boxes. I read the article imagining using this device myself (and I'm a man!), or using it with a partner (man or woman).


Yeah, that is why I said "average". The average reader here is a white straight male engineer who is not interested in putting things on his rectum.


Ahem. You'd be surprised how many white straight males are indeed interested in that. We've been pleasantly surprised by the popularity of Violet & Rye's straight-couple pegging #realworldsex video on https://makelovenotporn.tv/....:)


Not the majority; wish is usually what is implied with the word "average."


"I don't like my tech articles biased by hormones"; is the most sexist thing I've read in this thread.


We have completly different definitions for that word then.

For example If a boss needs to hire a good secretary for one of his employees; and assign him the task of finding one and then tells him "Don't let your hormones decide for you" is pretty clear what he means; that sexual attraction and gender should be irrelevant in the selection proccess and he should focus in practical skills a secretary should have. And there is nothing sexist about that; because sexism is discrimination based on gender and this is an enforcement for the lack of that kind of discrimination.


Do men still have to be told not to let their hormones affect their choice of hires? I didn't realize that was still a thing.

Also, why does it have to be a secretary? Are they 100% female now? If he was looking for an engineer, would he need to be told not to let his hormones decide?


They don't "have" to be told; but its sometimes a healthy reminder... and it was just an example.

The majority of secretaries are female (not all); and is no secret that sometimes people hire based on looks instead of actual skills.


Almost everyday several articles that have nothing to do with women are voted up a lot on HN. I think that answers your question. You could perhaps ask if there would be a penalty for penis content, but that is a different question.


>I just don't think that's necessarily the primary reason it has been upvoted.

So do you always assume bad faith on the part of others or..?


Good or bad faith doesn't enter into it.


Being biologically biased is not "bad faith", is just a well known human trait.


This seems to imply it can't be fixed (if it can, why do you assume the worst now?). If it is something that can't be fixed, what's the point of your bringing it up?


Biologically biased doesn't mean it can be changed; for example we are biologically biased to be polygamous just like most mammals; but we are socially configured to be monogamous so most of us are.


So how do you know that the majority of people who voted this article up aren't already there? I have to be honest, your post strikes me as karma fishing.


How do I know the most upvoted article of the year holds that position because the sexual nature of its content? What a tought question.


You don't know. Period. It could be. Isn't it also remotely possible that this was a hardware hack and a pretty inventive and effective one?


So we're sexist and objectifying women by upvoting the article?


> The question is this: is this doing well on HN because HN is full of progressive-minded feminists upvoting a neat DIY project on its merits, or is it doing well on HN because it serves as fodder for the nerd-girl fantasies of a primarily male readership?

Yes. (With the caveat that "is full of" == "has more than 3")


[deleted]


I don't think the majority explicitly thinks like that. Probably, if you asked them why they upvoted, their post hoc justification would be about how not-sexist they were. They'd be proud of it.

But the post hoc justifications people come up with when they actually think about their motivations are very often not the original reasons for their actions, especially when the original reasons are not admirable.

Don't get me wrong here - I don't think that men should feel guilty about their gut reactions to stories like this. If the "female nerds are popular on the internet because they fuel male nerd-girl fantasies" problem is one that needs to be addressed, I have no idea of how to address it. I just think we should recognize that that's what's happening instead of congratulating ourselves on being so modern.


My deleted comment was "I don't think the majority thinks like that" , which i deleted because i don't have data to back it up.

But after reading your reply, what the hell dude/gal? Can't it be that people upvoted the article because sexy subject+technology is double win? Can't it be because i am actually jealous i haven't hacked my penis yet? And i'm not even a Feminist. Now your theory about guilt and nerdgirl fantasies... i think you 're really reaching there


>Can't it be that people upvoted the article because sexy subject+technology is double win? Can't it be because i am actually jealous i haven't hacked my penis yet?

Yeah, it can be. I just doubt that it is. Sure, that may be the case for some people, but I'm talking about majority behavior, not universal behavior.

>And i'm not even a feminist.

That is apparent.

>Now your theory about guilt and nerdgirl fantasies... i think you 're really reaching there

Go to reddit and look at posts that fulfill the nerd-girl archetype. Now read the sleazy comments. We don't have those here, but that's because we have strong standards as a community for what is acceptable to say in comment threads, not because there aren't a lot of people here who would post those comments in the absence of those standards.


You have absolutely zero evidence or basis for your assumption. The truth is that nobody has any idea what people's motivations were for upvoting it, but it deserved to be upvoted. The only person who has made this conversation sexist is you and those who brought the topic up.


I have plenty of evidence and basis in experience, and anyone can see exactly what I mean by following what I mentioned above.

>The only person who has made this conversation sexist is you and those who brought the topic up.

Ah yes, the same thing that anyone steeped in unchecked privilege says when they've got nothing left to argue. Black people are racist for complaining about discrimination, feminists are sexist for pointing out objectification, blah blah blah. Bored now.


Ah yes, pre emptively insulting anyone that disagrees with you. A fine debate tactic if there ever was one.

Look, we really really don't need every single Goddamn topic that involves females to turn into an ultrafeminist soapbox. At the very least it seems to attract a certain amount of crazy negativity (see SRS on Reddit), at best it's highly offtopic. This is Hacker News, not Feminist News.

Here you're judged by the coolness of what you do, not your gender.


"Unchecked privilege" isn't an insult.


Speak for yourself.


For that argument to work, there needs to be sexism to point out, but all you have is conjecture.


The juxtaposition of

> unchecked privilege

and

> says when they've got nothing left to argue

so ironic.

The problem with your argument at the bottom is that black people actually are at a disadvantage because of discrimination. Whereas society treats men poorly in some areas and women poorly in others.


> That is apparent.

I needn't continue this thread but how is this apparent? Are my comments sexist or sth? If anything, you are the one who sees a sexist angle in an article that doesn't have any. Does it mean you 're more sensitive to these issues - no, perhaps you feel you have to overcompensate for something even in a neutral environment.


This isn't reddit.


Your presumption that it is is sexist in and of itself, how is that not apparent at this point? Your projecting, plain and simple.


> And i'm not even a Feminist.

Careful with this: A number of people think that 'feminist' means 'in favor of gender equality', so if you distance yourself from any kind of feminism you're painted as being against gender equality. Also, in their minds no form of feminism is possibly counter to gender equality, even the feminists who think less of women who want to be housewives.


Indeed i meant i m not an female rights activist; i m all for gender equality.


Wow, what a round about way to attack feminism. You have a chip on your shoulder up and down this thread. It's good that you can manage to dismiss it and feel superior about it and pretend you're the moral superiority and champion of gender equality.


I am in favor of gender equality. Whatever you're getting out of my posts is your own problem.


I don't think it's hard for men, frankly - I think it's a bit too easy for women. Our culture has really become too carefree about showing off sex toys - but only for women, it seems. Compare the mental image of a woman accidentally dropping a dildo or a vibrator out of her purse, and that of a man dropping a rubber vagina out of his bag.

But there's a problem beyond the double standard. It's like public nudity: it sounds cool when you're a hormone-addled teenager, but then you realize that most people's bodies aren't a nice sight at all. That's why I'm thankful for common decency, and why I'm concerned about all the public dildo-waving: in most cases, I don't want to see your filthy body, and I certainly don't want to picture you having sex.

Of course, I have no problem with this blog post - but the "openness" that's bothering some of these posters does have the potential to impinge on my rights of peaceful enjoyment of our public meatspace.


> Why does any article focusing on women's experience have to have someone come along and say 'it's hard for us men'?

For the obvious joke?

Immaturity can make the day so bright some times.


I have no problem with articles on sex appearing on HN-I assume most of us are adults-but it's disappointing that there aren't similar topics for men. I'm not sure whether it's because male sexuality is narrower (yet, strangely, far more accepted if it's accepted at all) or because an article on female sexuality is more popular among the (presumably) male-dominated site.

Anyway, this is the first article of it's kind I've ever seen on HN, so I'm not too worried. I haven't seen anything remotely approaching the misogyny that feels absolutely rampant on the rest of the internet (e.g. Reddit) that drove me here.

In any case, more directly addressing your comment, I think it's a great question to ask- gender and sex differences in society are always interesting/potentially fruitful discussion topics, IMHO.


Absolutely. You might find this piece from HuffPoUK on gender differences in marketing sex toys which I was interviewed for, interesting: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/11/20/sex-toys-sexist-r...




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