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Sexism In The Tech Industry Takes Center Stage (npr.org)
69 points by dynofuz 1473 days ago | hide | past | web | 118 comments | favorite



So, this has to be said.

These fucktards are the people representing our profession on NPR. NPR doesn't run stories about the other apps presented at TechCrunch Disrupt. The public won't here about that, or really, much of the cool tech that goes on. They'll hear about this, and that's what they'll remember.

Why the hell doesn't someone go up on that stage and kick those idiots off? Who's the goddamn moderator that is in charge and standing their watching this go on, instead of walking up, killing the power, and getting them an escort from the building.

I don't want to be an apologist for my profession, nor my passion. Right now, I am, so it's up to us to put this shit down. Start now.


The moderators and many people in the room found the presentations funny. It wasn't until later when they tried explaining their behaviour to their mothers that they even began to understand the problems with what occurred.


It should be noted that the two moderators issued a "what the hell were you thinking?" statement and apology immediately after the hack was presented.


It wasn't immediate, otherwise both Titstare and Circle Shake wouldn't have been able to present.

And it was clear- they reacted after they saw the reaction on Twitter. Not after they saw the presentations themselves. If you had those opinions all along how could you stand on a stage and say "up next, Titstare" without even blinking?


See other reply for order-of-events.

Apparently per their Facebook apology, Titstare entered under a different name, with the Titstare name first being seen in the slide deck.

http://www.theatlanticwire.com/technology/2013/09/how-avoid-...


And the second guy still presented after the first got that reaction? Wow.


Blogs have been mixing the order of events around. the correct order is:

Circle Shake -> Titstare -> Pre-scheduled break -> Apology


I find this to be the most shocking thing of all.


It is a pretty simple rule of media: whoever the most controversial[1] member of your community is will be its representative as far as the media is concerned as long as the media is not part of that community. Which communities the media is a member in changes from media provider to media provider. No mainstream media is a member of the tech community.

1) for some definition of controversial including depraved, out-there, insulting-to-community-members, and click generating


Exactly. Everyone's going to spin this as being about women lacking the institutional power men have, but actually it's the other way around: it's a story not because of the merits of the issue but because feminist groups have far more influence over the media and people's perceptions than the tech industry.

This is fairly obvious if you compare the media potrayal of this and how they handle the institutional bigotry problems within feminism. In particular, feminism has a really substantial transphobia problem, including prominent activists publicly outing trans women with photos and full addresses, passing laws designed to deny them access to rape counselling, contacting their doctors to pressure them into denying medical treatment... Anyone who isn't OK with this is shunned by more influential feminists, and the media has fairly consistently sided with the transphobes and against those who point out these issues, even if they'd normally oppose similar transphobia.

Basically, if someone can use a significant chunk of the media to tell everyone how powerless they are, you ought to think about the contradiction before believing them.


They had moderators who apparently decided this didn't need stopping. The problem, unfortunately, is bigger than you think.

That said, I agree. I don't want to have to apologize for my profession.


Interesting that HN keeps killing threads on this topic: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6360328

A stubborn refusal to confront the problem is what helps these attitudes fester.


Probably a combination of fatigue and not wanting to deal with the toxicity these type of threads tend to be utterly soaked in. "Confronting the problem" is hard in the company of reasoned discussion and nigh-impossible in the face of extremists.

*edit

And that's why I flagged it. Not because I'm some horrible sexist, or because I want women to fail, but because I don't want HN turning into Tumblr or SRS. On top of all that, they also tend to be the worst kind of predictable and boring - i.e. the complete polar opposite of what great HN content is. No thanks.


Extremists? Is that what you call anyone who isn't a sexist like you? And what does SRS have to do with anything? I left reddit to get away from the r/mensrights freaks like you so you might want to keep your bullshit there.


Wow, defensive AND insulting. Thanks for proving my point about toxicity and boring-ness.


Please don't attack other users personally. It's never necessary, makes you look mean, and poisons the well for everybody.


I didn't read that as the extremists being anti-sexists. In some recent threads on these topics, I've seen some excellent reasoned thought from the anti-sexists and some extremely childish behaviour from people with the opposite opinions.

It could mean either, or both, with or without justification. So, no reason to get irate.


Wait, what's SRS?


r/shitredditsays over on reddit.com - basically, take Tumblr feminism (radical third wave) and elevate it to the point where it becomes a parody of itself. It's a meta-sub (a sub who's point it is to comment or link to other subs) that puts on airs that they exist for calling out shitty comments on reddit.

In reality, they're known for invading threads, vote abuse, a level of dogmatism and doublethink that would make a Christian fundamentalist blush, and generally being a net negative influence on the site.


Ah, it's a reddit thing. Thanks.

Sounds like they are fun and well-loved. :/


(edit: this thread has, indeed, been voted off the front page once again.)

I expect this will be voted off too, it already seems to be lower-placed than it ought to be given the number of upvotes. I posted (what I though to be) a very interesting article on Popehat about free speech and the costs contained within a few days ago:

http://www.popehat.com/2013/09/10/speech-and-consequences/

Unfortunately it talked about the Business Insider issue, so was immediately flagged off the front page.


>> this thread has, indeed, been voted off the front page once again. <<

Keep sweeping under the rug, it'll hold lots.


HN has a very thin veneer of professionalism and intelligence only kept in place by the severely limited range of topics we can comment on.

If you read any political, social, gender or non-STEM science based comments (prior to the story being killed) you get the same disgusting mix of sexism, racism, and general ignorance you'd find on reddit. Luckily for HN's image the flag feature quickly hides such ugliness.


Except Snowden is a hero, so we're cool with any and all threads speculating on his current activities.


I think perhaps the problem here is a poorly defined concept of "confront the problem".

What exactly does it mean to confront the problem? I am not planning on giving a sexist presentation so... problem confronted? Am I suppose to do something to prevent others from giving sexist presentations too? I am not in a position to do that, and very few people are (how many people on HN actually run conferences?).

I don't see any actionable call to arms.


There's not much new that can be said, and the threads are always full of people with weird, vile, opinions bickering about what is or isn't acceptable behaviour, coming up with bizarre scenarios for why it's actually fine to call a woman a stupid cunt in the workplace.


Exactly. These threads do nothing but give everybody (involved, or otherwise) a platform on which to pat their own back.


Not too long ago HN was dominated by a wave of these stories that was not equaled until the NSA revelations.


HN has had several stories this week on the Techchrunch Disrupt fiasco. The Business Insider story, not so much.


Even the stories on Disrupt were very quickly flagged off the front page. Then, when the BI story broke I saw multiple comments asking "What was the Disrupt story?"

The lesson is that flagging this stuff off the page works tremendously well.


Where I live a very out, flaming gay dev once presented an app as a joke to detect what he called gaydar and was pointing it at uncomfortable suit guys and saying stuff like "you're a faggot dude, math doesn't lie". I thought it was a hilarious small moment of anarchy in an otherwise very dull conference full of banking apps.

A Jewish programmer also had a lol app to determine holocaust survival and the outcomes ranged from 'Nazi comfort boy' to 'gassed immediately' after analyzing your picture. This was a tradeshow/conference for payment solutions. Lots of uncomfortable silence. Later found out the presenter was a comedian some casino had hired. If he had done that at a US tradeshow all of twitter would've exploded in faux outrage

I don't get the Business Insider troll tweets though. I think he forgot Twitter isn't 4chan


Best comment on the article from Bob Costas...

For years people (and yes, mostly guys) who were involved in the tech industry and engineering in general were shunned and dismissed by culture at large to be losers and sexual non-entities and therefore lacking in social currency. As a result of this mass dismissal and social rejection, and since most women aren't raised or brought up to deal with rejection and social stigmatization, while some actively participated and reinforced the stigmatization, women in general didn't feel comfortable being in or pursuing a career in a field that garnered such negative attention for a very long time.

To this day people in the tech field are often marginalized and in order to attract women to the field companies like Google have to produce promo videos that try to convince women to join the industry by suggesting that there aren't that many weirdos in the industry and that most people in the industry are "normal" as opposed to celebrating the beautiful weird male personalities that achieved great things because of their weirdness not in spite of it and helping women realize and embrace the male nerd ethic the went into building this new world:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

Notice the attention given to showering and how they gloss over the fact that in reality, the current leaders in the tech world didn't bath regularly when they were building their companies. Bill Gates comes to mind.

The reason why you get push-back from males from the industry when it comes to involving more women in tech isn't because they have some "jock, locker room, and frat" mentality that women are somehow mentally inferior to males and aren't capable of understanding tech. Actually, women in science and engineering classes at major universities tend to be the top students in those classes. Its because they don't think women in general have the fortitude nor the willingness to not shower for days and be content with not going outside while living off cold pizza. While most tech experiences these days don't involve this sort of lifestyle, the anti-social behavior and culture that are associated with the lifestyle still exist and instead of women decrying these prevailing attitudes in tech they should embrace these traits.

Case in point, Elon Musk's ex-wife. Instead of dealing with his borderline autism for what it was, in her blog she attacked him being arrogant and uncaring. Elon Musk is a weirdo and natural introvert who forces himself to be an extrovert to be able to do the interesting and unique things he wants and needs to do in life.


Its because they don't think women in general have the fortitude nor the willingness to not shower for days and be content with not going outside while living off cold pizza. [...] instead of women decrying these prevailing attitudes in tech they should embrace these traits.

You really don't see the inherent contradiction there? The first half says the problem is assumptions by men about what women will or will not do. The 'solution' buys into this assumption without examining whether it is in any way true.

Who says women do not have the fortitude to not shower for days and live off cold pizza?


>Who says women do not have the fortitude to not shower for days and live off cold pizza?

Why is everything always about what people are 'saying'? "Who says girls can't play football." Nobody, in the most exacting, chokingly literal sense. Nonetheless, my lived experiences suggest to me that if I want to start a football team, there are better and worse places to look for teammates. If you think that's a political stance, well, I respectfully disagree.


Beat me to it. This is exactly the problem - even people who believe they're helping are making generalizations or unjustified assumptions based on how women are perceived in society. This is so incredibly endemic in so many walks of life its virtually impossible to take a step back and realize.


I've encountered more women capable of avoiding the shower for days than I ever would have wanted. "Apathy towards basic hygiene" is not established at the genetic level.

Either way, that is something I'd like to see leave this industry too.


I think Bob is hinting at where this evolved from. But that was 20 years ago, we need to look forward now.


It wasn't even true 20 years ago.

"Bob Costas" is playing the same stereotypes he claims to despise when others hold.


This was more or less the argument against women in the armed forces, too. You know, it's not that they're stupid, it's just that they're just too dainty and precious for our rough and tumble profession.


It does not really help when someone goes ballistic over jokes about "dongles." My mother works in a rough profession (a railroad), and one more than one occasion someone has made immature jokes about certain long, slender tools on the job. Guess what? My mother joins in on the fun, or else just ignores it when she considers it to be beneath her humor. This might have something to do with the fact that everyone is too busy worrying about losing a finger (or worse) than with offending some dainty creature.

Women can be just as tough as men. Of course, the idea that maybe this kind of banter should be all-inclusive (as it is where my mom works) is simply not up for discussion in the tech community; we're busy telling people there should be no banter at all.


I understand where you're coming from, but there is an actual problem here - and it's not that these women can't take a joke. When a woman speaks at a tech conference for the first time and audience members shout "show us your tits", that's a hostile fucking environment, and it's a problem with men, not with women. When women write about how experiences like that make them feel uncomfortable in our industry, and men respond by threatening to rape and murder them, that's a problem with men, not with women.


> The reason why you get push-back from males from the industry when it comes to involving more women in tech isn't because they have some "jock, locker room, and frat" mentality that women are somehow mentally inferior to males and aren't capable of understanding tech.

> Its because they don't think women in general have the fortitude nor the willingness to not shower for days and be content with not going outside while living off cold pizza.

So what you're saying is that the tech industry is sexist because you need fortitude, not intelligence? Or you're saying that the tech industry prizes fortitude over intelligence?

I guess it's good to know where we stand.


What would you say the NBA prizes, fortitude or height? One to a point - the other immeasurably.


> Its because they don't think women in general have the fortitude nor the willingness to not shower for days and be content with not going outside while living off cold pizza.

Sorry for being harsh. This has to be just-about the stupidest comment I've seen on HN in quite some time.


Exactly. See "Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution" for many examples of the early days of computing.


Where does fortitude come into the discussion? Should I parse this "(the fortitude) nor the willingness to not shower" or "(the fortitude nor the willingness) to not shower"?

If the former, the fortitude to do or not do what? If the latter, I don't really regard it as fortitude. I've worked with people who didn't shower for days, and it wasn't in a computer lab--once it was on a loading dock.

[edit: added missing quotation mark]


dat full link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DYBPotROKC8

Replace, and I'll delete this one.


The youtube link should be: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DYBPotROKC8


It doesn't take that long to shower.


The idea I suppose is that you can't shower if you pull an all-nighter. Many people seem unaware that most (all?) offices have showers somewhere. Try asking the person who bikes to work, they'll know.


> TechCrunch issued an apology Sunday for the "two misogynistic presentations,"

app is sexist yeah, but how is looking at tits misogynistic?


I found the apps to be puerile, offensive, and inappropriate. That said neither was sexist or misogynistic. It's not like they were called "How Dumb Was She?" or something.

We've come around to the idea that anything crude is sexist and misogynistic and this just isn't the case. That concept in and of itself is sexist, because we (men) assume that women are too delicate to handle this stuff. We haven't stopped telling the dirty jokes at work, we just look over our shoulders to make sure the women aren't around before we do. Which creates an environment of exclusion.

Instead we should just stop telling the dirty jokes at work, because they aren't appropriate for work.

These jerks should never have even CONSIDERED presenting this app, because it's offensive. Offensive to women, men, people with devout religious beliefs, investors who took the time to listen to these presentations, and the list goes on.


The reduction of women to a collection of body parts is often seen as a form of dislike for holistic femaleness -- it robs a person of their humanity. 3rd wave feminism might disagree with this to a point, but the 1st wave certainly wouldn't.


Meanwhile, women in blue collar environments joke about men staring at their breasts, butts, and whatever else, engage in the same sort of rude banter as men, and are generally accepted as strong and capable. At least that is what I have seen at the railroad where my mother works, where women are not demeaned by their coworkers and do not feel that their work environmental is "hostile." Jokes about body parts are a bit immature but they come with the territory in certain lines of work -- and as long as both male and female anatomy get equal time, I do not think one can make a claim that there is some kind of sexism.


Joking about bodies and sex with coworkers you know well is not the same thing as a product built around the concept of staring (presumably lasciviously) at the boobs of strangers.

Basically, it's a question of participation vs. objectification--of being in on the joke vs. being the butt of the joke.


Whose side would Freud be on? See: 'Partial Object', particularly its canonical example.

(My point here is the term, not the man.)


It's misogynistic by that hip, new definition of misogynistic that doesn't mean misogynistic.


> how is looking at tits misogynistic?

The question has been well-covered in a related discussion here: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6352595


This sort of debate over word meanings is rarely enlightening. We both agree it's sexist and wrong.


Broadening definitions on the spot to the point of ridiculousness doesn't do any good either.


These two apps were in appropriate and offensive, why not apologize for "two inappropriate and offensive presentations"? While some of the behavior is clearly hate-based (threatening posts on Twitter, etc.), it seems like flat-out stupidity and insensitivity is also very common.


Twitter is the greatest platform for people getting offended on behalf of other people. I bet these armchair warriors will tweet-spam those guys to death.


Not a "challenge" or anything: do you do hackathons? When you know you're not going to win, but also know you're going to be on stage later, an intentionally and blatantly stupid app is the way to go.


Let our inner knee-jerk selves remember the ``Why defend freedom of icky speech?'' [1].

[1] http://journal.neilgaiman.com/2008/12/why-defend-freedom-of-...


Freedom of speech isn't relevant in this situation. The government isn't saying that you can't make a "stare at boobs" apps. The issue is about what behaviors we want to encourage and endorse in a private (EDIT: private as in not part of the government) and professional environment.


It's not a freedom of speech issue - it's just about avoiding doing things that detract from other people's experience of the event/the industry/etc.

If someone had come to the conference and broadcast music that was far, far too loud and which obviously impeded people's experience of the conference, nobody would be defending them. What these guys are doing isn't a lot different.

The kids angle is fairly important - I got a lot of value from hanging out at os2 and linux user groups when I was young. Professional orgs and conferences can be an escape from the heavily stratified world kids are stuck in for most of their lives, and help people develop interests early.


You misunderstand what freedom of speech means.

http://www.popehat.com/2013/09/10/speech-and-consequences/


Let us, then, bring a quote from that article:

"[...] the remedy to someone saying or writing or showing something that offends you is not to read it, or to speak out against it." (ephasis original)

I have yet to see much (if any) advocacy for making disgusting, sexist, immature apps illegal (which would then make this a freedom of speech issue). I have, however, seen plenty of advocacy for keeping this crap out of our community. Which is, incidentally, exactly what the article you linked advocates (see the quote above).

We're all (supposed to be) adults, and we (should) know better than that.

(edit to indicate emphasis is not mine)


Speech isn't free when one group has the podium, and the mike, and the other not so much.


I don't know if I'd agree this is a freedom of speech issue compared to that article (which I've also read, it's great), there's very little the app is trying to say (other than "hey this is me staring at boobs") which is pushing the freedom of speech argument a little far.


How is "staring at boobs" bad?


That's quite a loaded question, obviously boobs hold a point of attraction for men as we often like them and you know, they're there, but if you're making an app of you staring at boobs it goes from a fleeting thing to more a situation where you've just turned that lady in an object. That's not super awesome.

Look, I like boobs as much as the next guy, but there's got to be a line where we go from "yay boobs are awesome" to "okay this is a bit creepy".


>but if you're making an app of you staring at boobs it goes from a fleeting thing to more a situation where you've just turned that lady in an object

How is that different from going to see people play music or act in a movie?

Is an actor "an object"?

How about other people we see as objects/machines to do stuff for us, like someone serving meals at McDondals (or a programmer)? In that interaction, we only value what we get out of them -- they might as well be objects (and in some cases, they ARE replaced by objects, e.g with automation).

How are those cases different, except in the puritan way of "it involves sexual desire" so it's bad?


Because those people are there to fulfil a role.

So there's looking at boobs and there's looking at boobs. There's looking at the boobs of someone who wants you to look at their boobs, either they are an adult model or a consenting adult who's thought "Hey, this guy/gal is alright, I'm okay with them seeing my boobs". In that situation all is well with the world, they're either fulfilling a role for cash purpose or they've decided to extend a level of intimacy.

(sidenote: not a puritan, I think sex and sexuality is a big part of our society and we ignore at far too often, and discuss it even less)


>Because those people are there to fulfil a role.

Isn't that exactly what bikini models are also there to do?

>There's looking at the boobs of someone who wants you to look at their boobs, either they are an adult model or a consenting adult who's thought "Hey, this guy/gal is alright, I'm okay with them seeing my boobs". In that situation all is well with the world, they're either fulfilling a role for cash purpose or they've decided to extend a level of intimacy.

And how's that different from what that app was about out?

Didn't it use professional models and such?

(Seriously asking, haven't read about that part)


Consent. You lack it.


These guys are idiots and there is definitely sexism in the IT industry. But every time I see these stories saying there is sexism in IT I think compared to what? Finance (Wall Street!)? Marketing? Law? Government? Military? Manufacturing? Construction?

I guess the disturbing part is what makes these guys think they can be this open about it. Wall Street has rampant sexism but I'm thinking they are smart enough not to show it is a public forum.


The tech industry has a real problem. What happens in other industries doesn't change that.


Agreed. I think we really need to look at where we're losing women, especially in the transition from high school to college.


Totally agree. Just wonder why the focus seems to be on just the IT industry (maybe that's the only ones I'm seeing since I'm on tech sites).


Not sure this adds much to the story, but I think it's noteworthy that this was covered in a mainstream news program. I heard it on the radio yesterday.


The whole thing is sad, but hopefully this sort of exposure will have the 'training' effect that folks won't seriously expect us to believe the excuse "Hey, its just a joke, I didn't mean it." which works fine if you're comedian doing a comedy act, not so well if your venue is more serious than that.


Once we remove jokes from the workplace, then we can concentrate our focus on removing smiling. Work should be no fun zones, one day our dream of robotic toil will come to fruition.


I love that response. It captures the essence of the maturation process. My kids would use variations on it when we talked about rules and behaviors. And that lead to productive discussions about absolute rules versus (don't kill people), contextual rules (kill people who are enemies), and societal rules (kill people who are trying to kill you) [1].

Clearly in the context of TechCrunch Disrupt making sexist jokes is a problem, but Rickrolling Arrington as our CTO did one year when he showed a backwards search engine (you went from a bunch of results to figure out what the query was that would return those kind of thing) just 'funny' (for some definition of funny, since it was pretty late in the Rickrolling meme but I digress).

But the maturation process, the one where you look at a situation and predict which behaviors will be ok for the group or not ok for the group, is something that you can't teach but you can learn.

[1] "Murder" is a useful foil to have this discussion around as there are so many different contexts in which one person may feel compelled or desire to take the life of another.


So that's one vote for removing satire from internet discussions.


I heard the story too, and I was most offended that the reporter said that I would be offended by what we were about to hear. Also, what do they know about locker room attitudes? My locker room attitude is to get out of the locker room and into the gym, pool, etc. Calling it sexism seems sexist to me, since I'm a guy who wouldn't normally do that kind of thing.


You're offended that other people were offended? I think everyone (even you) knows what they meant by "lockerroom attitude" even if you disapprove of the word choice.


No, being told that the story would offend him was offensive. That's a very condescending view!


Thank you!


The New Yorker has been covering misogyny in tech for a while, be it a "beat" or just a growing trend of coverage.


A = {all areas ∈ Tech | TNY's staff can cover the area at the level they cover other beats}

B = {all areas ∈ Tech | area interests TNY readership}

A ∩ B = ________


Commented earlier on another Women In Tech thread (seems to be the meme of the day).

The question is not "Why are there so few women in IT?", it's "Why are so many men in IT such jerks?"


You say "meme of the day" but I'm sure you don't mean "meme of the day". It's more than a day long issue, and it's not a meme.


My question is, what kind of jerk would brand a whole field as sexist because of the sensationally bad behavior of two people?


The field has a serious problem with sexism, even if many (or even most) of its individual members are not themselves sexist.


drat! you again!


At the risk of not contributing anything but a negative comment, I feel like saying the latter is as damaging if not more so than the former. Broad generalizations which assume something which I think is fundamentally untrue (aside from whatever the core causes of the gender discrepancies are) do not serve to assist the situation. I've met plenty of nice guys in tech (more than assholes) and plenty of asshole women in tech. I think the problem (And, to be frank, I'm not sure calling it a problem is the best term, at the risk of attracting some ire) is far more complex than that.


> The question is not "Why are there so few women in IT?", it's "Why are so many men in IT such jerks?"

Both are questions, neither is the question, and the second is an important question in large part because its premise is part of (but not all of) the answer to the first.


On top of being embarrassed for doing this on stage, these people should be embarrassed for presenting such a fucking dumb idea for a hackathon.

On an 100% unrelated note, Adria Richards has transitioned from "Technology Evangelist" to "Programmer"?


Per their apology, the two guys had a different idea for a hack (hence the name issue) that didn't pan out, hence their Hail Mary in order to get free Disrupt tickets. (You must present to get a ticket.)


Regardless, I stand by my statement: dumb fucking idea. Even if it was supposed to be a joke. That's when you make the "Hillary Clinton Quote Generator", "Virtual High 5 App", "I'm Pissed Button" or whatever. If you're trying to get laughs by going with sexual jokes, you're not funny.


Her title is a bit of minutia, and to be fair I believe she does write code. I don't know if she does so professionally, but I'd imagine it's more than enough to be accurately referred to as a programmer in the context of a hackathon.


Perhaps it's just for the convenience of their audience. Instead of 99% of people not knowing what her job description entails, by substituting "programmer" it is reduced to to 90%.


The only thing I found offensive about this story was the environment in which the app was presented, which was definitely inappropriate. If the app was presented by Daniel Tosh on his TV show, we'd probably all have a chuckle and move on.


But you see why that's a really significant difference, right? One is a professional gathering for people who work in a certian field and the other is a basic cable comedy show.


The sexist element is just one aspect of the fail. Fratboy behavior is annoying in college. It's particularly annoying in the real world.


I consider my profession fantastic, with a lot of beautiful and exceptionally smart people. I haven't encountered this nearly as much. It must be happening more in Silicon Valley and NY more, but generally I can't see sexism as a part of culture in our profession. I am in Chicago if that matters, as a consultant I changed a lot of companies.

On other hand, developers, both male and those few females are not the most eloquent people, however women were always welcomed, especially developers.


"Sexism is prejudice or discrimination based on a person's sex."

Talking about sex or using crude sexual humor is NOT sexism. It may be inappropriate for a professional environment (especially if kids are around) but it is not sexism; there is no discrimination nor an intent to put someone else down.


> > "Sexism is prejudice or discrimination based on a person's sex."

> Talking about sex or using crude sexual humor is NOT sexism

Creating a selectively hostile environment is a (fairly significant) legally recognized form of discrimination based on sex, and both of these can be (and not infrequently are) mechanisms that create such an environment, so it is, at best, an oversimplification to say that they are not sexism.


I agree it may be a offensive environment but how is it selective or discriminatory though? People can be offended by just about anything. Doesn't mean they are the target. Religion offends me—being around it makes me uncomfortable—but that doesn't give me the right to tell people to stop talking about.


> I agree it may be a offensive environment but how is it selective or discriminatory though?

Its selectively hostile because of disparate impact due to occurring within a cultural context in which sensitivity to these issues is not even approximately evenly distributed by sex.

> Religion offends me—being around it makes me uncomfortable—but that doesn't give me the right to tell people to stop talking about.

Being human gives you the right to do that (just as the same thing gives other people the right to ignore you when you do, in most circumstances.)

This, of course, is completely orthogonal to the question on discrimination, as something being discrimination is not a pre-requisite for someone to have a right to tell people to stop doing it.


So while the Business Insider story was just in tech circles I can image everyone's favourite brogrammer Pax Dickinson may have been able to casually sidestep into another sector.

With it hitting NPR, I suspect this has irreversibly damaged his professional reputation.


Pax Dickinson is now creating and running a tech startup.

https://medium.com/glimpse-labs/4aa5b6a6a665


I don't think they should make such broad generalizations about the tech industry because of three 20-something guys from San Francisco, New York City, who aren't even employed by any large, reputable technology company.


Unsurprisingly, the guys who demoed "Titstare" are part of AngelHack - they are from the "Hate-You Cards" team which was accepted into AngelHack's "pre-accelerator" program.


Would it still be sexist if the event was branded as R rated or adults only ?


Yes.


Q: Cui bono?

/provocateur




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