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.
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.
In fact, the only awkward thread, which seems a little sexist is this one... Food for thought.
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 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.
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.
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?
The majority of secretaries are female (not all); and is no secret that sometimes people hire based on looks instead of actual skills.
So do you always assume bad faith on the part of others or..?
Yes. (With the caveat that "is full of" == "has more than 3")
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.
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
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.
>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.
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
> says when they've got nothing left to argue
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.
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.
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.
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.
For the obvious joke?
Immaturity can make the day so bright some times.
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.