Hacker News new | comments | show | ask | jobs | submit login
Sexism In Tech: We’re Not Making It Up (overit.com)
48 points by trevin 1694 days ago | hide | past | web | 82 comments | favorite



I'm disappointed that this post focuses on an incident of groping. Not because the incident is "not a big deal" or that it's isolated, but because it's the type of incident that nearly everyone can agree is beyond the pale and should never be tolerated by society.

Even sexists.

I think the more prevalent problem is the underlying sexism, the institutional bias, the reluctance to speak up, the fear of being judged "the token" -- the fact that a man can think it's appropriate to put his hand on a woman's knee unsolicited is just a blatant, ugly manifestation of the underlying sexism.

I know this post had a little more nuance, but it's hard to come away from it without the impression of: "Women aren't on speaker panels because they're afraid of getting molested". Maybe that's the case (and if so, we as a society have serious issues)...but there's at least an equal problem of women just not being considered or being searched for. And as that problem persists, then women continue to become such a minority at these conferences that the aforementioned creep feels perfectly comfortable with invading a woman's personal space.


I think it's all connected.

There are many reasons you don't see women speaking at tech conferences. Some is because they're passed over as non-members of the boys club. Some is because they don't want to attend and be part of the environment. I've had far worse things happen to be at tech shows - there's one I avoid altogether after being sexually assaulted in a hotel room - but like you said, there's a reason women don't feel comfortable talking about. i don't want to be the "token" harassment case. I don't want to become known for that above anything else I may do. So do I speak up or do I shut up.

That's just as large of an issue as how do I get that creep from putting his hand on knee. Arguably, it's bigger.


Undoubtedly it's all connected in a feedback loop. I guess what I'm simply saying is that the problem of unwanted touching "can be solved" (or at least, ostracized into obscurity), and yet the underlying sexism can persist -- and, in one sense, be affirmed ("Hey I'm can't be a sexist, I never would just touch a random woman) -- and cause the same negative impact: the lack of women participation in conferences and in the tech field (or rather, society in general)


>the fact that a man can think it's appropriate to put his hand on a woman's knee unsolicited is just a blatant, ugly manifestation of the underlying sexism.

Well, let's get real. How many men think that? I've never seen that in ANY company I have ever worked for. Heck, I haven't even see this kind of thing in the university.

It's like taking the example of a rapist (which this guy sort of is) and extrapolating it to some general trend about everyone.


> Well, let's get real. How many men think that? I've never seen that in ANY company I have ever worked for. Heck, I haven't even see this kind of thing in the university.

The big disadvantage about being a "hyper-minority" -- that is, a minority to the extent that you stick out almost like a celebrity would, is that you attract a lot of attention. A group of people might be largely composed of good people. However, someone who is a member of a "hyper-minority" is going to attract a far-disproportionate amount of attention from the most unsavory 0.5% of the group.

> It's like taking the example of a rapist (which this guy sort of is) and extrapolating it to some general trend about everyone.

I don't think that's a fair or constructive way to put the issue. Most men aren't rapists. However, a very small number are, and they can do a disproportionate amount of damage. This was even truer in days past, when society was more permissive about certain kinds of behaviors, and less scrupulous about avoiding unwanted approaches.

It's not a matter of spreading the guilt through the group. It is a matter of encouraging responsibility, however.


And even if most men aren't rapists, many enable rapists by, for instance, complaining when people say something as basic as "let's not have instances of rape at tech conferences."


A much more succinct way of saying it.


> even if most men aren't rapists

Obviously most, if not all men are rapists. Or potential rapists. Luckily, they are also obsolete!

http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/spiegel-interview-...


> Obviously most, if not all men are rapists.

That's Marilyn French's view, as famously quoted from "The Women's Room":

http://www.amazon.com/Womens-Room-Marilyn-French/dp/03453536...

It's also true that to a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

> Luckily, they are also obsolete!

Maybe. I personally will suspend judgment until I see women open their own businesses and banks and refuse to do business with men any more.


You're discounting network effects, there.


>> Obviously most, if not all men are rapists. > >That's Marilyn French's view, as famously quoted from "The Women's Room":

Well, technically:

"At one point in the book the character Val says "all men are rapists". This quote has often been incorrectly attributed to Marilyn French herself. " https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marilyn_French

There's plenty of crazy around the subject, though: http://www.avoiceformen.com/mens-rights/false-rape-culture/l...

> Maybe. I personally will suspend judgment until I see women open their own businesses and banks and refuse to do business with men any more.

That will never happen, as the bubble will pop soon. http://www.singularity2050.com/2010/01/the-misandry-bubble.h...


Just wondering if you have any thoughts on solving the problem of "institutional bias." It seems to me that specific incidents get focused on because it is a thread to pull so we can start to unravel the whole mess. "Institutional bias" seems like a framing of the problem which makes it harder to find a starting point, not easier. So I am wondering if you have thought about what to do/where to start to solve that.

Thanks.


There is nothing in the article (IMO) that is unique to the tech sector. These complaints could be made of men in general anywhere in any industry or context. Some guy can put a hand on your knee at the home show too, but not a lot of men go to those events (I assume, I wouldn't know since I don't go to them either).

However, there will always be a set of socially retarded people, there will always be horny people, and there will always be people who posses both attributes at the same time. There are a lot of socially awkward people in tech, I don't know what you can do about this problem.

If you have an attractive physique as a woman, and you wear clothes that don't hide or minimize this fact, then men will notice, and some will comment on it, and some will even be inappropriate about it. As a remedy the women should get mad, she should tell them off. However you could even make inappropriate comments punishable by DEATH. I guarantee that not even the death penalty will stop inappropriate comments, or some guy putting a hand on your knee type of stuff. Even if the women wore a burqua, that wouldn't stop it, some guy would find that hot, "hey baby, what's under the burqua?". I don't have the answer, I don't think there is an answer. Possibly when these issues occur the women are reacting politely when they should react angrily so the offender gets the correct feedback often enough to realize that he is the problem.


Your suggestion that "there will always be socially restarted people" perpetuates the idea that things can't improve. Violent crime and overt prejudice to minorities and LGBT folks have gone down over time because it became a big deal. What we just said "there will always be bigots" and then stopped caring, that progress never would have happened.

Change is possible and we should strive to make it happen.


Well what I was saying is that the women should make it obvious that they don't tolerate this behaviour. So that even somebody who's a little slow socially will get the message. Don't spare their feelings, just get the message across I guess.


Yes, who cares about the safety of the victim, let's prioritize the feelings of the attacker.


That's what I said "Don't spare their feelings, just get the message across I guess."

I don't even know what you are trying to say....


Ahhhhh. I apologize. Because you said "I guess" I thought you were implying that you weren't very happy with this idea.

Tone is hard on Hacker News. I apologize.


"they should react angrily" That might be part of the solution, but isn't it important for us to make a proactive effort to do whatever we can to encourage a professional, non-sexist environment?

You say there will always be horny people, but isn't it our place to make this a taboo?

None of this may be unique to the tech sector, but aren't we a forward-looking industry that isn't afraid of changing the world?


In any industry dominated by a given gender, there is prejudice against the opposite gender. People fear what they do not know.

http://www.nurseryworld.co.uk/news/rss/1056170/New-calls-end...


I have had the misfortune of seeing how very deep this sexism goes- it's not just sexual harassment that's an issue (though I will say, it's the most pressing), but also the prejudices women meet in the tech world. It's as if there are two major discussions about women's roles in tech: women are either assumed to be underqualified or over glamorized.

Get more women into tech, and then get over having them there.


It's not just enough to get women into tech. You have to get them to STAY in tech. Because that's becoming an even bigger problem. We're here. We're vocal. And then we leave because of crappy things that happen to us. It's a lot to ask someone to be put through that time and time again.


It's amazing you know the inner lives and decisions of all, or even a large group of women. Tell me where you get your diving powers.


If only there were some sort of world wide network of information where women could write about their experiences and share them with total strangers. I guess we'll have to leave it up to the occult for now.


Have you read Steven Pinkers "The Better Angels of Our Nature"? In it, he argues that even though violent crime is on the decline, and is at a historical low, the perception of violent crime is at a historical high, because we are bombarded with stories about the few violent crimes that happen across the globe.

Could it be the same pattern at play with blogs on the internet?


It would be entirely fair to say that sexism is also on the decline, I don't dispute that. For example, my father can no longer sell me for 3 goats (without my consent, of course). But this doesn't make it a non-issue, just as violence is not a non-issue. Just because a program is throwing out fewer errors doesn't mean its fixed.


Please stop. Stop this. Stop being dismissive. Stop being condescending. Stop trying to intimidate a woman in tech who is trying to speak up about the pervasive sexism that demonstrably deters women from entering the field and then pushes women out when they do try to enter. Stop the bullying. Stop the patronizing. Just stop.


> Stop being dismissive. Stop being condescending.

I am dismissive regardless of gender when poorly argued points are made. It would be sexist of me to "take it easy" on a person because of their gender. If you feel like I am laying particularly hard into this poster, then I encourage you to peruse my post history and verify for yourself that I do not modify my strategies based on gender.

> Stop trying to intimidate a woman in tech who is trying to speak up about the pervasive sexism that demonstrably deters women from entering the field and then pushes women out when they do try to enter.

You say "demonstrably", but that is the exact point that is being argued. You are just taking it for a given. I am sorry, but I would need data to accept the claim. From my personal experience, I have not seen women driven out of the tech industry. I have seen a shortage of women in the tech industry, but I also saw a shortage of women in my college tech classes, and a shortage of women in my high school tech classes, and a shortage of women in my middle school tech classes. I could be wrong, but I don't think girls in 6th grade were discouraged from signing up for a programming course because they were afraid of sexism from the rest of their class. If anyone drives women out of tech, it is their parents who instill gender roles into their children from an early age.

> Stop the bullying. Stop the patronizing. Just stop

You call it bullying. I call it asking for data in a sarcastic manner.


Anyone who is interested in an honest discussion about sexism in the tech industry can easily discover the data, which exists in abundance. If you can't be bothered to do a modicum of research before insulting and belittling a peer who is trying to have that discussion, then you are part of the problem.


> can easily discover the data, which exists in abundance.

I'm interested in knowing what sources you're referring to. You would do every single reader of your post a favor by posting a link to it, instead of referring to its existence but not giving anyone any way to find what you are referring.

Your response makes me think that you don't actually have a specific study or paper you are referring to - you are just referring to some gut feeling you have about the topic.


Actually, the statistics show an incredibly high attrition rate. No getting in heads required.


Can you link me to these statistics that you know about? And can you link me to statistics from other fields? And can you link me to statistics which talk about why the women left the field?

What if women leave the field because they can't countenance working long hours with little social interaction like many men can? That could account for the high attrition rate while not being because of any sexism in the sector.


Attrition specifically:

  > The NCWIT reports 56 percent of women in technology companies leave their
  > organizations mid-way through their careers, representing a significant and
  > costly loss of talent.  Reducing the attrition rate by just one quarter
  > would add more than 200,000 staff to the IT workforce.

http://blog.comptia.org/2012/03/01/attract-women-to-high-tec...

Tons of links: http://www.rarlindseysmash.com/posts/2012-06-11-diversity-an...

One of my friends has a series of blog posts. Even if you don't care for the text, she makes extensive citations:

http://www.rarlindseysmash.com/posts/2011-08-16-the-elephant...

http://www.rarlindseysmash.com/posts/2011-09-08-delicious-da...


I thank you for the sources. What I was specifically doubting was the linkage between attrition and sexism(which doesn't seem to be mentioned in the text you quoted). I will take a look over the links you provided this evening, but if you have anything more specific to add on the linkage between attrition and sexism, I'd love to hear it.


https://gist.github.com/wilkie/5032530

You naturally cannot use a microscope and come to a fixed, proven conclusion. However, I would say that all of the causes of attrition are very likely based upon a prevailing systemic gender oppression (sexism.)


And I would say that all of the causes of attrition are very unlikely based upon a prevailing systemic gender oppression.

See, I provided as much proof for my argument as you did for yours. Where are we now?


I guess you cancel out my intuition with your random opposing statement and we are left with me with a ton of links to studies and you with absolutely nothing.


It's more in the links. You're welcome.


>it's not just sexual harassment that's an issue

How does discern sexual harassment (between adults with no business ties between them) from flirting?

I ask because I've also seen flirting remakers being conceived as "harassement".

That "the place was not appropriate" or "it was uncalled for" is not a proper answer I think. There would be VERY FEW relationships and/or marriages if people never approached other people out of the blue and in non-appropriate places (in a conference for example).


It's pretty simple: if you're not sure, don't do it.


Really? That's quite a naive view.

Are people (men/women/gay) ever SURE about when to flirt with another person?

By this logic, half of the population would have never been born (which might have been a good thing, with respect to overpopulation and all, but that's a different argument).


What you're saying is, "I am willing to possibly sexually assault someone in order to get a date."

You're a bad person.


>What you're saying is, "I am willing to possibly sexually assault someone in order to get a date."

No. That's the strawman you made out of what I'm saying. Can you please respond to what I actually said and not put words in my mouth as you please?

What I'm saying is: some people can also consider completely casual flirting to be a "sexual assault". As in, when you're flirting you're never sure beforehand if the other part wants your flirt. And in many cases, it takes a little time to win them over (or fail). It's not like there's a standard protocol: "OK, you can flirt me now".

And yes, people DO fall in love in tech conferences, or meet possible partners, as they do in ANY other place, including offices and funerals. So they do have the right to approach someone else they like there.

>You're a bad person

And who are you to tell me that?

Apparently in your mind verbally assaulting someone you disagree with and telling them they are a "bad person" is perfectly OK?

That's your idea of making the world better by stoping sexism? Introducing hatr-ism?


Haha, no. You are conflating two things (tell vs ask - ie unrestricted flirting vs social SYN, SYN ACK, ACK). The former can be good, but has massive externalities when allowed at (for example) tech conferences, or any are where you want a 'safe space', whereas the latter is fairly safe, and is not what is usually under discussion. This is a classic coordination problem, which has been solved by game theory. You see, there are actually places that people go to in order to flirt, where that is the primary (or a specific secondary) purpose; singles bars, mixers, dance clubs - there can even be spaces for this kind of stuff inside of other spaces where it would be otherwise inappropriate, for example 'work mixers', or 'geek mixers' at tech conferences. Unrestricted flirting in those locations does not have serious negative externalities, and so is not harassment.

So, the solution is to seriously restrict flirting at tech conferences as a form of harassment, but allow SYN, SYN ACK, ACK exchanges, and have people who want to flirt go to singles bars or 'geek mixer' events.

Can you understand this?


wow, you are clueless.

Approaching someone and engaging in conversation with them out of potential interest in who they are as a person is nowhere near the same thing as making offhanded remarks on their physical appearance without so much as an introduction.

get it together.


>wow, you are clueless.

By all means, enlighten me.

>Approaching someone and engaging in conversation with them out of potential interest in who they are as a person is nowhere near the same thing as making offhanded remarks on their physical appearance without so much as an introduction.

Sure, you need an introduction. I'm not talking about crash pickup lines or jerk behaviour. But if you like the other person, why would you say anything less in a tech conference that what you are OK to say in the park or the library or wherever?

Plus, this isn't 1950 Sunday school. People don't just like each other because of a "interest in who they are as a person". People can _also_ like each other on the physical level, and/or have one-night-stands and the like. And modern people don't find anything wrong with that.

>get it together.

May I suggest you avoid making offhanded remarks about me as a person such as the above?


How about a government mandated quota of females in every industry or company? The EU is introducing this kind of enlightened, progressive approach to gender equality on company boards:

'The Commission wants to see more women represented in the making of economically significant decisions and has proposed a minimum harmonisation measure binding on all listed companies to create a level landscape. By 2020 all European listed companies should have at least 40% of their non-executive directors from the "under-represented gender". The Commission considers this project to be part of the completion of the single market project as well as an initiative to remedy an inequality. The measure is expected to impact upon 5,000 companies from across the Union.'

http://wedlakebell.com/articles-and-comment/2013/02/08/corpo...


Lechers exist in all fields, even in fields where it is agreed upon by everyone that sexism does not exist, or is at least at some level lower than general sexism in society as a whole.

Feel free to call them out, but don't impugn the insanely broad field of "tech" because of some creeps.


The number of comments on this thread stating sexism exists in all areas and seemly dismiss this as an issue that needs to be addressed in our industry is very surprising to me.

Just because the problem is not specific to the tech industry doesn't mean we shouldn't be trying to solve it. If women feel uncomfortable working or contributing to the industry because of their gender then we are missing out on possible contributions from a massive section of the population.

Will cases of sexism always exist? Probably, their will always be a bad apple or two. But we need to work to make these these cases the exception to how the industry works. We need people to feel safe contributing regardless of who they are. If you have something to contribute you should be able to, that is one of the things I personally love about this industry. Just because we can never fully solve a problem doesn't mean we shouldn't try to minimize it.


It's not that it shouldn't be addressed in our industry, but it shouldn't be addressed as "sexism in tech", because that is an entirely separate issue.

The kind of sexism that is described here occurs just as much in industries that are 50% women. It's not the cause of the under-representation of women in tech, and addressing it is unlikely to solve that issue.

On the one hand, the industry should make an additional effort to address the general social sexism on order to not further alienate women, but the suggestion that tech is more sexist than other areas is blatantly false, and leads to a automatic defensive response because it suggests a certain causality.

It is simply not very constructive to conflate the two issues, no matter how closely related they are. Sexism in general is too sensitive an issue for that, and not just for women.


The characterization of this as an industry issue is a red herring. This is a societal issue; the fact we're in the tech industry is simply a commonality.


It's considerably worse - both more prevalent and less acknowledged - in the tech industry than elsewhere.


I would expect you have some data that substantiates that assertion?


It's not a red herring, it's a place to start.


I have a hypothesis: When women are represented close to 50% in the military, there will be none of this so-called sexism in other, unrelated sectors


This post again?


This post until the problem is at least acknowledged, let alone addressed. Took me a long time to realise the problem was real ("it's a meritocracy, everyone is welcome in tech!"), and now I can't stand to look at the comments in threads like this http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5279118 without cringing.


When it stops being a problem, it will stop being topical.


Can you name an industry(at least as broad as "tech" field) which has no sexual harassment lawsuits, or exceptionally few?

You can tell stories like the one in the blog about any field. Tech is not special. If there is going to be change, it will have to come from society at large, and not by fiddling with the dials of a specific field.


You are absolutely correct. It's everywhere, in every industry. Tech is not special. But it is our field, our community, and it is incumbent upon us to change our own community. So you propose sitting on our hands and waiting for some magical shift in society at large? No thanks. And that's not how change happens. We can effect change in our own communities - and if enough communities make change you'll see ripples through society and eventually society at large may change. You have to start somewhere.


Yes. Really. It's still happening.


I do think sexism exist, but I think the MAJOR problem is as...ole men. I am not a full gentleman but let's think: 1) I think some woman attractive. I will not touch her as first move or even approach or stand too near.

2) There is better ways to extend the conversation instead of inviting to my 'bedroom'.

3) No or other excuses means no, thanks and farewell.

4) conferences are professional places, no place for flirting (they invented bars for that).

5) Ring on the finger? SHE is NOT interested.

Somehow some men think that if the woman is NOT interested she has be 'wrong' or deserve more 'strong' signals. I support more woman at the conferences and I wish more woman take some stand at this cases and say it loud: 'TAKE OUT YOUR FILTHY HANDS from me' Saying that loud will teach a great lesson and avoid some posts. The main problem is not sexism is lack of politeness and manners.


Your primary problem is when you think of "women in tech" as being "sexually interesting people in tech" instead of "people in tech". All the rest follows from that. When you meet somebody at a professional conference, ignore their gender and treat them the way you would want to be treated.

Also, a nice person who is rude to the waiter (or barista, or retail clerk, or...) is not a nice person.


I agree with most of your points except for #4.

There's nothing inherently wrong with flirting at a conference. Flirting is a very natural type of interaction for people, and asking people to not do it at all doesn't seem realistic.

However, men should not assume that flirting means that a woman is inviting you to touch her or sleep with her. In fact, she may not even be flirting. Men often misinterpret simple friendliness as sexual interest.

Be conservative in what you say and do. At a professional event, it is far better to miss an opportunity for a casual hook up than to be aggressive and make the conference an unwelcoming place for women.


If women say there is something wrong with flirting at a conference, then there is something wrong with it. It's a professional event.

Why is a professional event even seen as "an opportunity for a casual hook up"?

To say that flirting is "natural" is quite a claim; while it might be prevalent in our culture, that doesn't mean it's natural.


At the last programming conference I attended, I saw a man and woman holding hands. These two people had not, to the best of my knowledge, met before the conference. I don't know how far this relationship went (not that it's my business), but it was clearly mutual, and it started at the conference.

Conferences are both professional and social. In fact, it's hard to think of anything that is purely professional. People form short- and long-term relationships through all sorts of initial meetings.

I don't see any women saying "all flirting all is wrong at a conference". I see them saying they don't want to be harassed. The two things are not the same. I've talked to women at length about these issues and I've championed the adoption of strong anti-harassment policies at conferences I speak at (http://blog.urth.org/2011/09/05/conference-code-of-conduct-c...).

Maybe we just have different definitions of flirting. To get back to the original article, the Twitter exchange that it highlights is not flirting. It's just a man being an asshole. I also note that the article makes no mention of the word "flirt". It talks about "harassment", "groping", and "sexism".


Why is it the responsibility of women to take the stand? Isn't it the responsibility of the people making unprofessional advances to stop and silent bystanders to tell them so? Why is a professional conference ever even thought of as a venue for making advances?

I don't understand why you think this is not sexism.


> Isn't it the responsibility of the people making unprofessional advances to stop

Well, yes, but if your plan to stop sexism is something along the lines of "Wait for jerks to suddenly become good people," you're doing a disservice to their victims.

> and silent bystanders to tell them so

I don't feel like it is my business to step in and speak for a woman who has not implicitly or explicitly asked me to do so. That seems like a really degrading viewpoint. If she clearly wants the guy to go away and he won't, yes, go up and help her. But the idea that it's my job to run around policing women's sexuality is just antediluvian.


I don't see why it's degrading for a victim to have someone else (publicly or privately) tell their agressor to stop.


The assumption of woman as victim when there's no indication that she sees it that way is what's degrading. Can you imagine if anytime you were talking to a member of your preferred sex, somebody came running up and yelled to the person you were talking to, "Hey, back off, buddy"?


There's a difference between talking and awkward, unwanted, sexist advances. If you can't tell the difference, then you're right, you probably shouldn't tell anyone off. But just because the victim doesn't say something doesn't mean they don't want something to be said.


Sure, if a guy walks up to a chick and sticks his hand down her pants, that's one thing, because he's clearly out of control. But the example given in the OP was something like "Would you like to have a drink?" I don't think I would be inclined to come charging to the rescue if I saw that. I don't like that women have to deal with unwelcome advances, but I wouldn't feel right rejecting him for her.


> Why is it the responsibility of women to take the stand?

Because you can't control the actions of others, but you can control your response to the actions of others. As much as any activity can be labelled taboo, humans are dynamic creatures and have the ability to break taboo at any moment, without any kind of notice.

> Isn't it the responsibility of the people making unprofessional advances to stop

Yes. But to suggest that is blue sky thinking. Isn't it the responsibility of criminals to stop criminal behavior? Why don't they?

> and silent bystanders to tell them so

Maybe. Bystanders don't have perfect insight into the victims mindset. What if a husband put his hand on his wifes knee? Should a noble bystander lay into the husband for his sexist behavior? Do you assume that every bystander is listening to every conversation within earshot, waiting for something to become inappropriate? Chances are, bystanders have their attention focused on other things, like the conference at large, or the people they are conversing with.

If a person makes it very vocally clear that they are being victimized, then yes, bystanders should do something. And thats the answer to your question as to "Why is it the responsibility of women to take the stand?"


As a bystander who becomes aware of such behaviour of course it's your responsibility to get involved. But if we're talking, as the article does, about a woman and one man alone in an elevator, and that man happens to be an asshole, what can the rest of us realistically do to prevent this happening?


As the article says: "Be better about putting guidelines in place to show zero tolerance for harassment or inappropriate behavior. Train your staff to be on the lookout and how to handle situations. Respect female attendees by not letting booth babes walk the expo floor and not hanging women from your ceiling and calling it entertainment."

It's about creating a positive environment. Of course there will be isolated incidents, but can we really resign ourselves to doing nothing?


I do not think that it is sexism BECAUSE it is SEXUAL HARASSMENT or even sexual abuse in some conditions. Sexism is when you are promoted or NOT promoted because you are a WOMAN. Or someone ask a WOMAN to CLEAN some spilled coffee because she is a WOMAN...


Sexual harassment and sexual abuse are encouraged by sexist culture.


I think the point is more this: everything is optimized for men, it's like a self-amplifying loop. Sure the things you mention are also a problem, but women face that everywhere.


Lack of manners and as..ole men are enabled by a sexist environment. These are symptoms of an underlying problem. Women don't feel safe in these environments because of the behavior of a relatively small number of individuals, but these individuals are enabled by a system problem in which their behavior is rationalized and ignored as just s social faux pas.


>Women don't feel safe in these environments

Women don't feel safe in tech conferences? Like it's south central Los Angeles or something?

I've attended several tech conferences, with women colleagues and friend, and I've not seen all this hoopla people constantly bring up on HN. Heck, those things don't even happen on Linux and OSS conferences, much less in business tech meetings. Groping a woman? WTF have you witnessed that?

I don't know, maybe it's that conferences in Europe are different.



Not much pertaining to Europe (if anything), plus a lot of unrelated incidents among the list. I mean, how does this qualify:

"An offensive tweet was made against the PyLadies group at EuroPython 2012. Lynn Root (a keynote speaker and founder of PyLadies) blogged twice about the incident."

Really? One can find thousand of offensive tweets for anything, from your choice of programming editor, to Mac vs PC, to politics, to Twilight, to Coke Light vs Zero. And an "offensive tweet" somehow deserves to be in a list about "sexist incidents"? Other stuff is nearly as lame.

Judging from the above list, and compared to, e.g. the fashion or the journalism industry, the tech industry seems comparatively sexism free.




Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | DMCA | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: