"Does this mean we’re going to get angry at you if you try to help and get it wrong?"
This fear was something that kept me from speaking out for many years. I'm a guy in tech and I want to see change occur but I'm ignorant about these things. I don't truly understand the challenges that women face in our industry. And because I'm relatively ignorant, I worry that I might say something that was intended as supportive but winds up contributing to the problem: white-knighting, disempowering, calling attention to something that the person affected wanted to leave alone.
Personally, I've come to terms that I'm going to try my best and risk screwing up occasionally. It's scary but I think it's better than the alternative of sitting by and doing nothing. But it makes me feel a lot better to hear that I'm not alone in worrying about this.
Edited to fix pronoun.
What he said is that he doesn't link to Shanley in general because all of her stuff is so vitriolic. He then went on to post links to twitter posts of her's showing where she has been extremely vitriolic.
He stated that his reasoning is that he does not want to send people to such a place.
He didn't simply refuse to link to "Shanley's piece", he refused to link to Shanley at all. But it should be noted that he did link to other authors who are feminist in nature. He has every right to have a problem with a specific person for non-gender reasons, and your portrayal of him otherwise is unfair and deserves to be moderated in order to preserve actual conversation.
You mean two different human beings thought about blogging about a popular tech issue? With an obvious title? Atwood must feel ashamed. What an appropriator.
"I was trying, I see what I did wrong, thank you for the correction and I'll try to do better next time," however, goes a long way. If Jeff acknowledges his mistakes -- supposing he is convinced they are mistakes -- and makes an honest attempt to be better, anger will likely turn into forgiveness.
Actually, I'd like to address this paragraph:
Feminism is not a dirty word. Feminism is the radical notion that women are people, and that we want to be treated as equals. Don’t let someone else pretend otherwise out of their own misguided notions.
The author(s) repeat a very common cliche, and insist on this as the one true definition of feminism. Yet in reality, feminism is splintered, divided into many schools, disagrees on fundamental issues (sex-positivity versus sex-negativity and transgender inclusion versus transgender exclusion, most notably) and is not a coherent movement. The same applies for virtually all ideologies.
Some will repeat that quote, some will say "gender equality", others will go for "women's liberation", "abolition of X concept considered problematic", "separatism" or a variety of other reasons.
Which school do we adopt? Why? How will it change things? Is feminism really that seamless of an ideology that it is the one true way to fix things?
One potential downside is that deconstructing the umbrella also removes that feeling of speaking for a huge majority. I'd consider that a feature because it's a misleading notion.
All women are different, but all women experienced girlhood, and experience male violence. Sadly most in the HN crowd don't have the proper familiarity to understand that kind of nuance.
Presenting a biased view to an audience new to a subject is dishonest. You're using selected terms to groom the readers to the side with the "schools of thought" you agree with. I could use the terms "neoliberalism verses class analysis and genderism verses gender criticism" and we'd still be referring to the same things. Of course, I would never use those terms at HN in the way you used yours, because I value real discourse.
Your central point is of course correct: "feminism" is an umbrella term (heck that's the first sentence on the Wikipedia page). Using ignorance of that fact as an opportunity to propagandize is shameful.
In the real world, the study of human behavior resides within the realm of evolutionary biology, with a focus on evolutionary psychology. The empirical principles that govern human behavior are fascinating and complex, but are well understood within the coherent framework of evolutionary biology.
"Feminism", and all of its post-modern counterparts are pseudo-intellectual nonsense promulgated by fanatics.
But don't take my word for it, here's just one expert's opinion .
In this industry I've met a lot of really great people, and unfortunately a ton of arrogant, egotistical, pretentious and aggressive jerks. I've felt like crap being around those people tons of times.
Sometimes they say mean things about women, sometimes about liberals or republicans or people from India or making fun of someone's Github pull request to an open source project. I've heard things that smell of Social Darwinism. All kinds of junk. But all of it seems to come from the same jerks. It doesn't seem like there is like the "I hate women" jerk and the "Stupid people deserve poverty" etc. It seems like most hateful jerks just hate everyone.
It seems in tech, people's positions in companies are very much based on a particular skill or having a bunch of money. And very little to do with whether or not they are a jerk. So maybe this is just that we end up with a higher concentration of general jerks? Also, right now this industry is where the money is, and that always has a tendency to up the jerk ratio as well.
Turns out that everyone's very good at understanding the inherent equality and dignity of people who're exactly like them and hates it when people claim to respect them without putting the work in. They also want to be seen to respect others but only so long as they don't have to put the work in. The history of feminism, for example, is rather enlightening...
For example if I were to say that one of the most arrogant and aggressive people I've known was a self described feminist, it starts to distract from the fact the in reality this person is just a jerk and the feminist part really doesn't have anything to do with that. And any of the hateful gender specific things that person said to other people didn't really have to do with gender issues as much as this person was a total jerk to almost everyone around them.
I feel you on the second paragraph, but I think what's really distracting is the unnecessary stigma of the labels. What if more women and men, especially those with influence, openly identified as feminist? It's like the xkcd comic about girls being bad at math (https://xkcd.com/385/). If one self-described feminist behaves poorly, you'd probably blame that on her personally, instead of writing off all feminists (and feminism, at the same time).
I was more specifically talking about tech, especially the more app/web side of things as that is my personal zone of experience. There just seems to be a lot of jerks in general. That said, there are also a lot of inspiring, compassionate and incredibly intelligent people that I feel so lucky to have worked with and learned from. I only brought that aspect up as I wonder if maybe some of the issues with tech is that some women and other people who might typically face discrimination and harassment in other aspects of their life, do not realize that in a lot of ways its just a jerky place. That they might not realize that plenty of tech workers are made fun of, talked down to and even sometimes outright yelled at. For example all of these things I've just mentioned have happened to me personally on multiple occasions. The yelled at was only once a long time ago fortunately.
So maybe we might focus on making tech less jerky in general? Because there are plenty of people, not just a few specific groups that are treated pretty poorly in this industry.
My experiences related to women in tech:
* Everywhere I've worked, it's been a boys club, but we'd LOVE to hire more women. Frankly, hiring is hard in general. When women have come in to interview, I can't speak for others - but I know in the back of my head, my biggest concern is, "Make sure you interview with the same standards as anyone else, but make sure you don't have some subconscious bias because she's a she."
* There are probably good female engineers, and not so good ones. One of the few "not so good ones" I know of (doesn't mean she'll never improve, just at the time) had to be super carefully managed out over a long time. There was no unceremonious firing, that's for sure.
* Is there even a "women in tech" problem? Or is it just "women in the workforce, no matter the industry"? The kinds of ridiculous behavior women are describing in these articles sound to me like they could happen in finance, sales, marketing, HR, or anywhere.
* On any of the open source mailing lists I'm on, I've never seen anything remotely close to, "Your pull request sucks you whre, try again". Are these just the mythical basement dwelling trolls of Slashdot lore reaching out privately via email?
Most of the engineers I know in tech are decent, upstanding guys. If anything, I feel like if any of us was pulled aside by a female co-worker and she described shenanigans of the sort I read about in these articles, we'd probably jump to their defense in a heart beat, almost maybe too easily.
What have the rest of you experienced?
Edit: I left the above (my OP) in tact. After re-reading it, and some responses, it's become clear to me that it gives off an air of, "I don't believe these reports", and that's not really what I intended.
I suppose my main point was that no, I haven't experienced it, and I think that's exactly what these women are saying - Just because you haven't seen it, doesn't mean it's not there. So really, despite getting some up votes, I think I missed the boat.
I was curious if others on my (the male) side have in fact seen it, but what does that tell us? Probably not much.
So how does this fit with your "Most of the engineers I know in tech are decent, upstanding guys." - it fits perfectly. Clearly you know some who aren't decent. It only takes one to harass, and he can harass a large number of women; in fact the pattern is commonly to try it on with every woman, but in a way that leaves it as he said/she said.
This is why "not all men do this" is such a weak-minded response. Don't let it slide. Your second guessing of women in your first point, and your "too easily" in the last indicate the problem too. Women who report harassment often get laid off or managed out afterwards, even when they have got the harasser fired. It is a very high risk thing for them to do, and your "not all men" attitude is a key way that harassers are sheltered.
We mention a whole slew of 'what happens when you report harassment' incidents:
I also want to mention that we were super scared of publishing our individual experiences for this exact fear and questioning of our lived experience.
A question - Do you think (or have any information) on if this is particularly worse in tech, than in other industries?
We're in tech. This is our home. Let's clean it up.
1. Male-dominated environment, women are a significant minority.
2. Inexcusable tolerance of sexist behavior - not calling it out when we see it.
3. "Why are you blaming me? I'm not one of those guys. Men might listen to you if you'd just stop the blanket accusations." (extra credit: count how many comments on this thread can be reduced to that sentiment.)
1. More men than women
2. Male harrasers feel safe to harass women
3. Women do not feel welcome
4. Women leave
5. Goto 1
1. Harassers target women in ways that are deniable and/or less visible
2. Well meaning men assume that if they if don't see it, it must not be happening very often
3. Women get tired of having their personal experiences questioned, denied, dismissed, and belittled
4. Women stay silent, or leave
5. The impression among bystander men that this must not happen that often is strengthened, emboldening harassers
6. Goto 1
Given that, it is entirely fair to say to non-harrasser men that if they are not actively part of the solution, they are still pàrt if the problem.
This is why your attitude is actively hurting you. It's driving away people like me, who actually agree with the basic premise that women should be treated equally.
The thing is, you can't expect a cookie for not doing terrible things. Not doing terrible things is the absolute minimum that is expected of you as an adult member of society. Only doing the bare minimum doesn't make you a good person or a bad one, but it shouldn't really be surprising that the great majority of people who are merely not doing terrible things have an inertia that keeps things from improving, and are thus part of the problem.
And wouldn't that imply the solution is to stop doing what you're doing?
So in essence, didn't you just admonish yourself?
What I said is that after getting blamed constantly for no other reason than being born with a cock I've stopped caring what the people doing the blaming think.
Another way to look at it is like this:
Men are not stupid. They know if they've been sexist or not. When you blame them for shit they know they are not involved in, it means they cannot trust you when you blame other men for shit they didn't witness.
Being part of the problem, or more precisely, part of a problematic system) does not mean that the problem is your fault, or that you have a duty to fix it.
Congratulations, you have met your basic societal obligations. You are off the hook. You are free to look the other way rather than confront or condemn sexism when you encounter it, in person or online.
Take off the blinders - there're a lot more issues in the world than this one. Lots of people just don't have the emotional energy to invest in all of them, or even in very many of them.
That article doesn't seem like retaliation, it seems like a response. JAH herself has responded to that article and simply said the things mentioned aren't relevant and only brought up because she was female.
I'm not sure that this makes sense. Saying that someone's behaviour is unusual - not typical of most men - does not sound like sheltering them. Most men don't harass women, ergo the men that do are a minority whose views and behaviour are out of step with their peers. I think we need to say this more.
* "We have this problem with our iOS app."
* "I use Android and have never seen this. Any other Android users encounter this?"
In fact, I'd argue that it's hard to perceive the inappropriateness of our own actions in the moment. It's much easier to notice the possible auxiliary effects of our past actions when reflecting on them at a later time. Frankly, I can think of any number of things that I've said or done in the recent past that may have made my female friends and colleagues twitch an eyebrow, but didn't elicit an explicit response because they've learned to just deal with it and let it go, having been in a boys club for so long (one started her career in investment banking). And I'd consider myself to be fairly self-aware of these issues, and yet I've admittedly failed many times over.
edit: and frankly, how many of us voluntarily and regularly look back at our past week/month to think about the ways in which we've failed ourselves and our own principles in this area? We may review the ways in which we failed in our job capacity and reflect on how we can improve, but I think the frequency with which we do the same for our social interactions is much lower.
 In fact, I think "I was just kidding" is one of the lamest excuses for actions that at times clearly are not thus.
In my own career I have only once seen anything that even looked like harassment or discrimination, and that was almost 20 years ago. It does not mean that I question these women's experiences, but I do think it means that the "bullies" know that what they do isn't accepted by their peers. And hopefully that means that speaking up more when these things occur would make a positive difference.
Why didn't you say something? Why should they be expected to step up and say something if you yourself are not willing to (was it a superior, for example?). Was there some brouhaha in which they sat silent while you had to defend yourself?
And why not ask them if you can submit their name to HR as a witness to the behavior instead of getting disappointed in them for not doing it themselves?
At the end of the day, the only person who is ultimately expected to stand up for you, is you. It's that way regardless of gender.
I still don't understand why HN allows replies to some posts and not others, but to respond to the post below me.
Because it's unfair to ask a man to put themselves at risk protecting a women when she, herself, refuses to put herself at risk. This isn't about male vs female, this is about a person putting themselves at risk for another person, and the fairness of it.
This is specifically why I asked for context.
Women already have less power because they are in a minority. It seems as though you want them to take responsibility for all cultural change.
It sounds as though you don't think there is a problem.
We have no context, we don't know if the person in question doing the injustice was superior in the company, or not. All we know is person A did something bad to person B, and person C did nothing about it.
Why shouldn't we ask my person B did nothing either?
That's not equality, and I would defend anyone who stays quiet in such circumstances. Don't ask the random male to go to bat for you if you're not willing to do it yourself. Common sense.
You are staunchly defending the status quo, and insisting that all change is the responsibility of women.
It is not fair to ask person A to put themselves at risk for person B when person B is not willing to put themselves at risk for themself.
This isn't about gender, if it were two men, no one would blink twice at me asking why the software dev didn't put themselves at risk. But because we have a social expectation of protecting women, even by women themselves, people expect the male software dev to put themselves at risk for the female software dev, even if the female software dev is not willing to put themselves at risk.
Yes, I asked other males what they've seen. You can't change reality. Our industry is about as male as the army. I could probably have counted the females in my computer science program back in college on one hand.
I'm just wondering if it really all is as behind closed doors/hidden as is implied, or perhaps I just haven't come across it. People talk. They meet up in bars. I hear all sorts of things from other people in the industry over FrieNDA - though I really haven't heard many stories like these.
If "our industry" is defined as the technology industry, it's actually far less male than the army; We just insist on not counting the women who frequently lead efforts around communications, corporate development, design, marketing, office management, and other essential parts of the business. And even within engineering-focused disciplines, there used to be far more women involved but the number has been going down in recent decades.
But the question all of us men have to ask ourselves is: Why do you need another source. You had a whole range of people already telling you what they saw, and you're looking for people who by definition would have less information about this topic to provide their opinions. Why do you think that's the case?
I have the same problem - I can't recall seeing anything that would qualify as harassment in any of my workplaces, and I would like to know if that's because I'm failing to see it, or if there's another reason.
Because you're a single-issue commenter lately. You don't miss opportunities to jump in an HN thread about gender relations.
The question is, would anyone tell them they couldn't possibly know that since they don't use IOS?
Generally, when I say "women have informal networks where they share stories of abuse to help other women be cautious around certain actors", there are two reactions: A nodding head, or a 'what the fuck?'
> Most of the engineers I know in tech are decent, upstanding guys. If anything, I feel like if any of us was pulled aside by a female co-worker and she described shenanigans of the sort I read about in these articles, we'd probably jump to their defense in a heart beat, almost maybe too easily.
So here's the thing: most guys everywhere are decent, upstanding guys. Don't think that MVC is writing this to slander decent, upstanding guys. But being decent and upstanding does not make you aware of all forms of harassment and discrimination, and you can still do harm without meaning to or being aware that you're doing it. It's important to talk about the experiences of women in tech, to talk with women in tech and understand what their concerns are, not because they want to beat you over the head for being a bad person, but because you just don't see it. I can never have the experiences of a woman in tech - I'm not one. That's why it's so important to listen to what they are saying.
I've seen/heard of harassment'ish inappropriate comments made by a colleague and let it go unreported. Didn't even talk to the guy in person in private to subtly suggest that his behavior may be making our female colleagues uncomfortable. I made various subconscious excuses to myself for being a bystander, and by doing so I was contributing to the prolongation of the problem.
Even if you place the 'me' of today in the shoes of myself back then, I'm not confident that I'd be able to stand up for my female colleagues for all the reasons that both men and women typically give for just letting things slide. I'm honestly ashamed of this fact, and hope I can slowly be more courageous in this regard.
Why do you need a "male reader" to confirm this to you? Your question reads thus: 'I can't believe this if I only hear it from a woman-- is there a man in the audience who can confirm this?'
To turn it around a bit, why do you find these stories unbelievable & why do you need a man to confirm their veracity?
But this is an endemic problem. Are the male colleagues I have part of the problem and I am simply failing to realize it? Have I done a good job of choosing colleagues who don't behave that way? How can I know?
I think it's more like "I would find it odd, though not impossible, for only women to have observed these things."
Whether intentional or not, it's a dismissal of the female point of view.
In which case the gender of the audience is important to the question. For example, while women might see it all the time, if there are no men present other than the offender, the "ordinary" men would never see it and never have the opportunity to act.
Personally I can say it can be frustrating when you are damned (as a group) for not acting, when you as an individual have never to your knowledge witnessed the event.
1. Has any man here "heard of, or come into contact with any of" any of this behavior?
2. Personally, "I have never seen it anywhere I worked, or heard of that sort of thing through word of mouth..."*
These statements suggest strong skepticism. Analogy: "Has anyone here actually experienced or come into contact with Climate Change? Personally I have not, nor have I ever heard of anyone having experienced it..." <-- this suggests the speaker doesn't believe climate change is real. This is what your comment suggests about the issues described in TFA.
*Yes I know you mentioned the "terrible sample set" but that doesn't un-ring the "I'm skeptical" bell.
The GP is asking other men how they feel that their workplaces handle these things - does it happen there, how frequent is it, what do people do about it? If you've never actually dealt with this kind of situation personally, it can be quite hard to imagine it happening - it is the sort of thing that any decent person should find abhorrent, and yet it does happen.
My perspective is kinda similar to the GP's - I've worked in male-dominated environments, I have never seen any harassment (although I have seen some obnoxious men) but this is because there are no women on my team to begin with! I have in the past pushed for specific outreach to female user/developer communities and have been disappointed by the lack of results this has produced.
I definitely have encountered men who hold overtly sexist attitudes - not many, almost certainly a minority of men I've worked with. As my career has progressed and my influence has increased, I've had to use it to counteract those opinions at times. It's just really difficult to work out how much of the problem is something I can directly control, and I think that's why the GP is asking the kinds of questions that he is.
White, privileged male.
I was attending Pycon 2013 in Santa, Clara. I had just spent the lunch hour with a good friend and his acquaintance, X. As we were leaving X decided it was an appropriate time to quietly share his views about women in tech with me. I was mortified at that moment and promptly exited the conversation without addressing X's comments to me.
I've felt terrible about that exchange ever since.
I understand that it can be difficult, but we all need to speak up in circumstances like these.
If you're not seeing it, it's statistically highly unlikely that you're not coming into contact with it. Reading and understanding feminist perspectives can help you become more observant. Hacker News provides plenty of opportunities for practice identifying hostile-to-women comments.
If you're not hearing about it through word of mouth, then it could be that you don't talk to a lot of women in tech, or don't talk to them about these issues, or you aren't fully hearing what they're saying. It could also be that they don't feel comfortable in discussing them with you. Look at your language and behavior and think about what could be sending unintentional messages that cause people to steer clear from this discussion. How many can you spot in this post, and in your reply to Anil?
May I ask on what evidence you base this assertion? Note that this is a much stronger claim than just "harassment happens"; you're claiming that, more likely than not, it is also happening in my organization.
Remember that the authors weren't only talking about harassment. And of course that doesn't mean it happens in your organization, but you can also see and come into contact with it elsewhere -- conferences, networking events, online discussions, etc.
That said, I'm not sure I can remember the last time a woman told me she doesn't see it happen.
To reiterate, what you've demonstrated is that there are N anecdotes of sexual harassment in the industry, for some N > 0. (Set aside M anecdotes of men and women who have not personally encountered such a thing.) You have not demonstrated that "it's statistically highly unlikely that you're not coming into contact with it."
Let's keep this discussion factual and avoid inflammatory hyperbole, please.
This kind of idiocy is relatively common in UK executives, as a fairly large chunk of them went to exclusive private boys schools and so never had to really deal with women as equal peers until adulthood.
* I briefly attended a UK postgraduate institution.
That being said, I'm not sure what the gender ratios are at the historically all male colleges. Perhaps they are not close to 50:50 (apparently this is the case with US business schools, where the ratios are often 65:35, and often have a bro/fratty feel to them)
I've been out of college for about 6 years now. The worst I even encountered professionally was a joke shared in a group of 3 or 4 dudes about women drivers. I remember it well because it was so incongruous with everything else I've seen. There was also a booth babe at a conference I went to, and everyone I spoke with (including staff) considered it at the very least tacky. There were blog posts about harassment at that conference, but I never witnessed any nor did anyone in my group of friends, acquaintances and colleagues attending ever speak of being uncomfortable there.
I hear about more harassment towards the women I'm friends with after any given night of drinking at bars than the total I've ever heard from them about work.
Do you mean from men at bars in general? Or are you talking about when they're out with coworkers/other people in the industry?
The more overtly unwelcoming behavior seems to crop up outside of the office at networking events and conferences (and IRC and twitter and the bottom of this page).
I will point out that of the various direct and second-level managers I've had since entering the industry in the early 2000s only three (out of a total of fourteen) were minorities.
I still don't like the ultra-feminist movement though. Hate doesn't achieve much good.
Sometimes, people just don't like each other. (I have no beef with Swombat.)
The mute feature isn't quite enough for this, since naturally people who follow Shanley will tend to retweet other related topics that have the same tenor. So unfortunately the best thing for my blood pressure is to simply unfollow people who have joined this movement.
Which is all a big shame, because I am a fervent believer in equality (gender or otherwise), and am just as violently opposed to people who discriminate against or insult women just because they're women as Shanley is. However, I am equally hostile to people who discriminate against or insult men just because they're men.
I see no harm in promoting the thoughtful stuff (like this article) and ignoring the angry noise.
One of the many problems feminism has faced is the lumping in of extremists with more moderates with all sorts of other splinter views; it's to be expected that your work may face the same criticisms.
Most people who feel animosity to feminists are attacking a caricature of them that can't be said to meaningfully exist. It also usually involves a misclassification of anger at a bad situation with 'hate.'
The fact that you can read something like this article and connect it to anything hateful, let alone angry (it's not either) shows why many feminists get frustrated even talking about inequality: people aren't listening to what's being said, their demonstrating faulty thinking and prejudices, often while denying they exist.
It's not a caricature. Those people are real, and fairly scary. See http://squid314.livejournal.com/329561.html for why they're scary.
Still going to insist these are straw feminists?
Anyway it is important to recognize that you can advocate for gender equal rights without labeling yourself "feminist"—or allowing feminists to force that baggage-laden label upon you against your own will.
I also know of at least 1 woman who if she was a man would have been fired long ago yet she stays on because managers are basically afraid to fire her.
I'm not saying these problems don't exist, I just find it hard to believe they are as widespread as is claimed. I know many women in tech and not one of them had a problem finding a job which is a good thing. This is my personal experience so make of it what you will.
There were links.
I'm guessing that you've seen it, too. Probably you didn't notice it, because it wasn't directed at you, and everyone in the room was also pretending it didn't happen.
More than that, I have the good sense to take my female colleagues at their word.
> Make sure you interview with the same standards as anyone else
Reading these open letters, isn't that The Wrong Thing? "Promote the fuck out of diversity" (from the OP) sounds as if we should strongly prefer female programmers, with a bigger focus on a healthy team than on skills alone. (Also related: http://readwrite.com/2014/01/24/github-meritocracy-rug)
I'm genuinely curious because my experience is the same as yours (= nothing bad happened), but it dawns on me that I am now considered a part of the problem. :|
this sort of mentality will encourage (and validate) concerns that female programmers are hired (and retained) because of gender rather than ability.
Mostly, though, the shops I've worked in haven't had these issues, at least not anywhere that I could see them. Women seem to have been well integrated into our teams when there were any.
I think that a lot of the behavior mentioned in the letter is stuff that no-one wants to work with. Guys who will act weird with a co-worker because they're (female/minority/disabled/whatever) are good people to avoid for professional reasons; it implies numerous faults in character and understanding, and no good excuse for them.
- Anecdotes used for evidence (check)
- Moral outrage declared (check)
- Call to arms based on emotion (check)
- Appeal to baseless fanatical ideology (check)
- Vilification of a massive segment of the population as homogeneous villians (check)
There really appears to be a massive disconnect between very high intelligence and the ability to accurately observe the real world. Or perhaps in the age when page views reign supreme, rational empirical analysis becomes a vestigial burden from a bygone era.
For you rebels out there who still demand scientific rigor in your articles, please consider an expert's opinion on the matter at your discretion .
- If true, should we not be morally outraged?
- If true, should we not be emotional? Should there not be a call to arms?
- (expletive deleted)
- Are men truly treated homogeneously in this article?
- Is every opinion you don't like stupid and/or irrational?
Edit: Maybe I seem dismissive of the issue, but I'm really not. I just feel like there's a core problem here that has been incubating since the recess playground. I don't think people turn into bullies over night, rather they've grown to accept their role as aggressors due to never being confronted, and consequently grow even more empowered.
What we're witnessing as adults is what we see on the school yard. Everyone can see that the bully is a jerk, but everyone passively goes along with the flow. Why? Fear of retaliation and ostracization. Maybe everyone will think you're a looser for sticking up for the other looser. You want to be in the cool club so keep your mouth shut. Anyways, that's my two cents.
it's obvious to anyone really paying attention the tech industry (and probably most other industries) has been extremely unfair to women. writing like this--clear on the problem and supportive of people who want to help--is important, but it's also important to remember that we all collectively have to act to actually change things.
One place I worked has a newspaper article on the wall about the high numbers of women hey hired. There were still only 3 on a floor of around 100 staff. All the places I have worked they have been treated as equals.
Do you see what you're doing here? Do you even realize? Your comment reads: "THESE women are actually thoughtful, not like those bra-burning man-hating diatribes that I've come across from those crazy women in tech. If only all women were this calm and docile when talking about this subject." Maybe that wasn't the precise thoughts behind it, but it comes off as that condescending to everyone (particularly the women) who don't fit to your standards. You are saying "if you're going to talk about gender in tech, or even gender at all, be like these women or I don't care/you're crazy."
Every "piece", whatever the tone, is written for specific reasons, and you'd rather take the lazy route and rank them as "more/less thoughtful" than actually try to understand those reasons. Hey, I agree, there are some articles and such on gender-in-tech out there that could make points more strongly, could be tailored to their audience better, etc etc. You should respond to those with honest, interested questions. Not this. Edit: from the actual article itself:
"Being nice doesn’t work. We’ve been nice. Some of us that have written down our stories here have even been paraded around by men in the industry for how nice we’ve been in trying to address the social problems in tech as a way to discredit more vocal, astutely firm feminist voices. We don’t like this, we’ve never liked it, and it needs to stop."
Parading this article as "more reasonable" is the same dynamic; don't settle for the speech that you're comfortable with. Go back and try to understand why the other, louder speech made you uncomfortable.
Maybe it's better to just let people express it when something resonates with them.
(And while any judgment on how thoughtful a piece is probably subjective, it seems unlikely that every piece is equivalent in how broadly it leads people think about issues in a helpful way.)
You don't have to push other women down to congratulate the ones who speak in the way you like. Feminism, from what I've gathered over the years, involves working to understand the experiences of all women.
You're completely projecting here. Parent's post really doesn't read like that. You even quote words it doesn't have (unless it has been edited) like "reasonable" when it says "thoughtful", which is really not the same thing at all.
i didn't say anything about "if only all women were this calm and docile when talking about this subject"--that's all you. all i said was that this was particularly good.
"This is NOT unrelated to the fact that YCombinator built Hacker News, a platform that has consistently terrorized women in tech for years."
(And I've seen enough minority/feminism-related discussions on HN to overwhelmingly agree that the community here is often incredibly hostile to women.)
As you should know, as it is the same technique you have just used.
"We are angry with the way we are treated as women, by men. We are angry with the way we see other women being treated by men. Even though you might not personally have treated us like this, we know that you are a man, like other men, and we hold you responsible for what has happened to us and what we have seen. You have power, and we don't. It is by your choice and negligence as men that we are powerless and demeaned. You are not innocent, even though you think you are. We aren't interested in your opinion. You don't know anything. You need to change to make us not angry."
The reason I think this might be interesting is that I know (re-reading the letter, especially) that THIS IS NOT WHAT THE LETTER SAYS. For one thing, it is far from the only thing discussed in the letter; more importantly, however, I don't think this interpretation is all that fair a reading of what the authors have actually written. I know that it's a distorted version of what they intended to convey, and it might not even represent a correct interpretation of how any of them feel.
So why is this my impression? Your own conclusions are welcome, of course. You're free to dismiss me out of hand. But for myself, I think that it has to do with the confluence of two factors. Firstly, I don't really feel that I have a lot of power over women. Actually, I feel like women have a lot of power over me. My life is inextricably entangled with the lives of women, and it would be a meaningless, barren hell were this not so. But instead, and secondly, I am being told how separate I actually am --- and always will be --- from women. I am being told that women are not being treated as people by writers who go on to talk about women, and men, and the relationship of victimization between the two, without hardly a word about people, and how people treat each other, and how some people come to treat other people differently, and what we can do about it. Instead, I feel, I am being told that I am wrong to treat people as 'women' by people who are using the power of that identity as leverage to demand my compliance.
If feminism is the radical notion that women are people, then a feminism that is not about people is radically flawed. I don't like people having power over me, either. I don't like being treated as the avatar of someone's fears, pain, and disappointment, either. I don't like not being treated as if I'm me, really a person, either.
This is all off the cuff, and I have no time to be writing it, but that's my experience, and my reaction, and thanks for reading it.
So just so I get this right: When they say "Encourage diversity in the workplace" do they mean "all things being equal, hire the women", or do they mean "all things being not immensely unequal, hire the women"?
And that's unfortunate because we're all so plugged in and used to doing great things and solving problems by way of posts, uploads, and comment threads. Just some off-the-cuff thoughts as well.
If the only observation one can make about a case is that the accused has a Y chromosome and the accuser doesn't, one clearly needs to perform deeper analysis.
I thought that attending these would help me in various ways (all the words I can come up with fail to fit my sentiments so I'm going to leave it vague like this), but the link  doesn't lead to any resource where I can find out about future such events (presumably they'd be held at Stripe since Kat, the host, is employed there). Does anyone know where I can find this info?
There is easily dozens (hundreds?) of "fights" that I could get into everyday but I don't. I'm not really a confrontational person. Please don't take it personally when this fight is also one I don't get into.
You have to choose when to fight.
We are going to respond my making generailized hate speech towards all men in the industry.
But seriously, are people expecting 100% support from all sections of society? Is that even a realistic expectation?
This is a large part of my problem with some of the MVC writers. If you're a male, you're guilty. If you're white and male, you're really guilty.
Wanna trade anecdotes on anything else? I've got a shiny holographic bystander-effect story that's raring to go, having read this (http://kirstensamazing.com/stop-leaning-in-put-down-your-iph...) earlier
You should read http://bitchtopia.com/2013/07/11/not-all-men-are-like-that/.
s/oppressing/any other negative behavior/g
"Having to point out that not every black steals allows for robbery to continue because having to say “some blacks are thieves” gives blacks peace of mind. "
You're gonna have to show your work on that one.
It falls in the same category as porn. It's a valid debate, but it's a separate debate.
I am a white male in my early 30s. I'm strongly libertarian and do everything in my power to make sure that people have the opportunity to work in a safe and non-threatening environment. I go out of my way to make sure that people who do not share my "type A" personality are included in group activities, and spend a good deal of energy monitoring and adjusting my body language to be inviting without being aggressive. This in particular doesn't come naturally to me, and as an introvert, is quite exhausting.
The one time I attempted to work with the the social circle that authors and maintains Model-View-Culture, I was met with the single most obvious and aggressive display of sexism I've encountered in my professional career. They used gender-based names to refer to me in a very derogatory and degrading way, and proceeded to go through my social profiles and mock my private life and family - because I had the audacity to attempt to engage them in a conversation while being male.
> Does this mean we’re going to get angry at you if you try to help and get it wrong?
> This is an a fear that has come to light through side channels. Men know there is a problem, and they’re worried the women they know are on the defensive - especially when reading a direct call to action like this one.
> They want to help but they’re worried if they don’t get everything just right, someone will chastise them into oblivion.
No, I'm not worried that I'll be chastised - I'm worried that my gender will result in a situation where any action (or inaction) on my part will result in my being ostracized from the professional community to which I've devoted a large part of my adult life. Further, I base this fear on my own actual experience and the direct observation of the experiences of others.
> The people signing this document are patient when they see someone trying to make a difference.
Perhaps. To be fair, the people who lashed out at me are not listed on this document. They are members of the same social circle though, and the thought of putting my career and my family's livelihood on the line to try and solve problems that do not directly impact me is terrifying. I am supposed to trust them not to dox me, spread that information to their entire social circle, then use it to publicly shame me?
I want to help. I really do. I have a wife, daughters, and my own mother is a long-time feminist. I consider myself a feminist, though not of the radical far-left variety they practice. As much as I've been preached to about how feminism is hostile because they are not in a position of power, they've wielded that power arbitrarily and willfully when they found themselves able to do so.
The only way to win this game is not to play.
Like you, my mother was also strongly feminist. She had a very strong personality, and I grew up being a "feminist".
It wasn't until I got older and started seeing the movement as a whole that I started distancing myself from it.
Because I agree that wrongs need to be righted, and that women have every right to equality as men.
I just don't agree that means I should be ashamed of my gender, or that I'm automatically an asshole.
This is where you're factually (yes, factually) wrong. Try: !w feminism
>> We are not the 'nice feminists' of this community.
> Being nice doesn’t work. We’ve been nice.
> We are tired of our male peers pretending that because they
> do not participate in bad behavior, that it is not their problem
> to solve. If you see someone engage in bad behavior and you
> do nothing, you’ve chosen to let that person think that what they
> did is okay. This leaves us feeling like we’re fighting this alone.
> We can’t work on what we can’t see, but if you’re there when it
> happens, you can help. It is absolutely imperative that men work
> with other men to combat bad attitudes and behavior.
I agree that people should speak up if you see something wrong even if they just say something small, but I reckon it will be hard/impossible to educate all to do so. However if those that notice something is up speak up then it will be a better place for all of us. And for those that notice but are too shy to kick up a fuss, there is always more subtle signalling that can be used: tilt your body away from the aggressor, go quiet and start a conversation with somebody outside the group - disinterest, and "awkwardness" can be powerful.
* * *
> "So the one problem is that people have a right not to have
> unfair below-the-belt tactics used to discredit them without
> ever responding to their real arguments. And the other
> problem is that victims of non-representative members of a
> group have the right to complain, even though those complaints
> will unfairly rebound upon the other members of that group."
* * *
However I do think we have a significant diversity problem and that it's altering the interactions between men and women in the tech industry in a very bad way. We're unfortunately at a point where it's probably most difficult for women. There are enough of you to talk about the problems you face, but not enough that you don't have your environment dominated by us.
I often hear tech men desperately wishing they had more women working in their company. And here is a big problem: it's not because they want to give you economic choices but because of sexual deprivation. I'm sorry if communication is nasty for you right now, I think a more diverse group would stamp out the majority of shitty interactions and we'll get there eventually. Until then some of those men are going to be acting nice trying to get close to you so they can eventually flip to their ulterior motives, while others will be running asshole PUA game on you to see what they can "get away with". Finally of course there'll be a large percentage of misogynistic or bitter (MRA) jerks that want to make you feel small so they can feel good - and unfortunately with the current diversity levels they have a voice. I can imagine it's enraging.
Sorry if I inadvertently said something that clashes with whatever feminism you all share. I just wanted to speak truthfully about how I see everything.
This is true, yet such a delicate matter. Allow me to digress from the primary issue at hand to share an anecdote.
When I first read about the "check your privilege" controversy at my alma mater , my reaction was "we definitely have acute class issues, but by opening in such a confrontational way, we're taking away any possibility of having a constructive dialogue." Delivery so profoundly affects how we respond to the raising of an issue, and can be the difference between an instinctive defensiveness or a considered opening of the psychological gates.
The letter to the editor to the NYT piece puts it well:
"Most disturbing about the “check your privilege” comment to people making arguments at Princeton University is its utility in changing the subject away from their ideas, conservative or liberal. This kind of dismissive labeling needs to be called out for the ad hominem attack that it is. Recognizing it for what it is could undermine what it does, which is to sabotage debate."
It's a delicate line to walk -- being assertive and resolute, yet communicating understanding and cooperation. But if our goal is actual, gradual change for the better, rather than simply feeling good about ourselves for putting someone down or taking the pulpit for ourselves, then I feel that the means we choose must not fail to encourage our intended audience from lending us their ear.
It is so hard though, since each person's interpretation of language differs in so many subtle ways. We can see it in this very thread, where the same given post is interpreted in a wide range of intent.
There is one, but it's extremely drastic: We would have to completely taboo group identification, everywhere, all the time. Everybody would have to be judged solely as an individual, on the individual merits of their case.
Unfortunately, we humans are social animals who evolved to form dominance and status hierarchies, so I strongly doubt this solution would actually be stable.
I think this is a fair assessment.
> Finally of course there'll be a large percentage of misogynistic or bitter (MRA) jerks that want to make you feel small so they can feel good - and unfortunately with the current diversity levels they have a voice. I can imagine it's enraging.
This is where the wheels come off, and the bias shows.
There's a large percentage of men who are either misogynistic, and /or MRA jerks? Why aren't feminists characterized as jerks? Why are you painting MRA as jerks, but apologizing to feminists if you've accidentally offended them?
This is where those of us who really hold no bias start getting annoyed about the portrayal of the male gender. Men who care about men's rights are jerks, but women who care about women's rights get apologies if they get offended by reasonable arguments?
And this was done by a male. If the feminists were really honest they'd call this man to task for being biased towards women, and they would tell him they don't want to be held above the other gender either.
The person who posted this goes into depth about the men who have an "ulterior motive" about hiring women. What is this person's ulterior motive for pandering to women in this way?
Why do I have to be ok with being told how terrible my gender is in order to work in this industry anymore?
For the more moderate feminists, consider that. You have a lot of would be allies who get just as tired of being told how terrible they are, and just want you go to away as a result. And folks like the person who posted the above are not helping, they are pandering. A rational person can look at it and think "this isn't right either".
But I do have a bias: I have a bias towards diplomacy. We all have biases and the sooner we admit that we're fallible minds that have lived just one life, not the objective thinkers we wish to present to our audience, the sooner we can begin to respect and listen to each other.
> There's a large percentage of men who are either misogynistic,
> and /or MRA jerks? Why aren't feminists characterized as jerks?
> Why are you painting MRA as jerks, but apologizing to feminists
> if you've accidentally offended them?
I certainly didn't mean to imply that a large percentage of men were misogynists. I meant to say that it was a slightly larger percentage than is normally visible and that this was mostly because in a 50/50 male/female environment they would self-censor as well as have less reason to feel the way they do while in the current 90/10 environment (or whatever it is) they do not need to.
I think the article was unusually fair and diplomatic for a tech gender piece. I wanted to repay this by commenting on my own opinions in as careful, constructive and fair way as I know how to. If I was to have posted an inflammatory rant about how angry feminists were just as bad as misogynists and then have tried to equate them using some ridiculous objective-appearing seesaw as if I was the divine judge of a gender-war then I'd be completely arguing against what I was arguing for: diplomacy and the acceptance and understanding of each other's problems as a result of there being a lack of diversity.
I want a better way of acting together, not to win a battle.
You are absolutely entitled to your opinions but you are way too confident of the truth of what you're saying to signal rationality.
But it wasn't men you were talking about being diplomatic to, was it? It was women.
I wonder if that diplomacy should also include men, and if so, how do you feel about the way feminists have been vilifying men? Or the way you just did, with your comment about MRA.
Fair is fair, after all.
> If there's one thing I've learned in my 35 years on this planet,
> it's that telling someone they're irrational is not diplomatic.
> I wonder if that diplomacy should also include men, and if so,
> how do you feel about the way feminists have been vilifying men?
* * *
Also, I think that many in the MRA community are just too whiney to attempt to defend men. I could barely mount an argument for men like that.
I'm not a feminist. I listened to the article because it wasn't shouted at me, and I responded saying that some of the behaviour annoys me, that the normal lack of diplomacy normally makes me stop reading after 5 seconds, and that diversity is a problem because of the social interactions it creates but there isn't much misogyny to see. There's enough shared belief to be tapped here, and I'm pretty good at not jumping in with my own strong opinions when I can see a benefit in solving an underlying problem with others.
It should also be noted that I'm not the one who is using diplomacy in their argument. My issue with you is the weak way in which you've pandered to feminists in general, while at the same time painting men and MRA as 'jerks'.
We are not jerks, nor is MRA about 'jerks'. It is unfortunate that you've chosen to buy that line, you should start being more proud of your gender.
If men and women are going to come to any sort of concensus on these sorts of issues, it's not going to happen by 1 side pandering to the other.
Are you characterizing people who identify as "feminist" as jerks here? Perhaps you should reconsider your phrasing. And consider how "hold no bias" you sound when you say something like that.
Just an thought.
> Depending on the context, the term may refer to biological sex (i.e. the state of being male, female or intersex) ...
Maybe it's a cultural thing but here in the UK at least I think male and female are seen as genders... What word should the parent commenter have used? "man gender" is not grammatical, so I can only think of one other option; "male".
(edit: and in case I'm misunderstood, I don't mean any kind of subtext on the wider debate here, I'm just asking because I think 'male' is a gender and am confused).
(edit: right, found this: http://www.med.monash.edu.au/gendermed/sexandgender.html so basically it's the difference between sex and gender. I wasn't acutely aware that the words male vs masculine carried such an important distinction. I'm not sure if they are commonly used in that distinct way).
If you read the wiki article here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gender
You can see the following quote: _Depending on the context, the term may refer to biological sex (i.e. the state of being male, female or intersex), ..._
LGBT has a tendency to use the term gender to mean gender roles, where the lines are a bit more obscure. I believe psychologists do as well.
But in every day vernacular, gender refers to sex for most people, and as the wiki article suggests, it's completely acceptable to use it in that manner.
I'll repeat what I said before, the poster was just looking for something to attack.
In U.S. medical and feminist academics (and elsewhere,) "male/female" refers to sex: XX/XY chromosomes and the resulting organs, body type, etc, resulting in human sexual dimorphism, to which there are rare, exceptional cases, where the person is called intersex.
"man/woman" are common terms colloquially referring to male/female people (you probably know this). In the context of certain feminisms, the words refer to people born male or female, and then raised into the gender roles defined by society as appropriate for male and female people. These gender roles are what are invoked by words like "manly", "womanly", "sissy", and other "gendered" words and insults.
In other feminisms, the words refer to people who "identify" as one or the other, where this identity is either "innate" or otherwise fluid or something. Full disclosure, I sympathize with the former sort of feminism, so I'm not exactly the best person to give a comprehensive synopsis here.
Judith Lorber's "Gender Inequality" is a book that goes over individual feminist movements and waves, without necessarily pushing any of them on the reader. It's not too long, I recommend it.
> The last few weeks have been very difficult for women in tech:
> Gurbaksh Chahal - then-CEO of a startup, was allegedly video taped violently attacking a former partner 117 times in 30 mins (He was finally fired some time after this was made public)
My reaction when I first read this: "wow, the guy beat up his company partner AND a woman, at that. What an asshole." Then I clicked through (note: he's still an asshole).
If you actually click through and read this, it is completely unrelated to tech. The partner that was attacked was a girlfriend. Not a company partner at all.
I'm not condoning the behaviour, obviously, but I feel like this article is setting the stage to create a "men vs women" thing in tech. If we spell it out, a full two out of five points the authors use to make their case can be summarized as:
A guy who has a temper problem and runs a tech company attacked a girlfriend who had nothing to do with the tech company. Everyone wanted to see proof.
Why is this particular instance difficult for women in tech? Why not everywhere? Why is this not used as an example of perhaps the stresses that people are under that cause them to behave this way? Is there a link to aggression and CEOs? This would be a better set of questions to take away from that incident than "if you work in tech and you are a woman, will you get beat up on a daily basis?"
> The last thing we want is for people reading this to be put on the defensive
The last thing I want is for people who want to bend the truth this much to be on the front page of HN.
The other stuff you wrote about? All great stuff. No one wants rapey emails. Even if you are fine as hell, you should be free from getting groped or otherwise harassed.
Don't adopt tangentially related stories to create a narrative that is more dire than real life. It just makes me shut off to anything else you want to say and then I don't want to work with you at all.
Many people have switched to saying 'partner' for all relationships to help demonstrate their support for gay marriage.
> Everyone wanted to see proof.
He already pled guilty.
> Why is this particular instance difficult for women in tech?
Well, it's an example of someone's incredibly personal abuse story possibly being shown to millions of people against their will.
Also, he was the CEO of a tech startup, and the tech startup media did all the reporting on it, and all his investors literally said 'congratulations, I'm glad this is behind you' after he pled guilty.
> Why not everywhere?
Something can be a problem in a certain industry, and also in general. Both statements can be true.
Still has little to do with gender bias. The investors are there for the money. I've seen companies keep known alcoholics around because they provide enough value for said company to deal with it.
The issue isn't that it happened, it's attributing it to simple gender bias. It's dishonest.
Can we be more honest than that?
Looks like someone didn't bother to click through to the meaty articles about that point. The police dropped all charges against him, and he plead to a misdemeanor with a fine.
Imagine this... You find out your partner of who knows how long, has been having unprotected sex for money for (I think the article said years). I say she deserves a beating if that was true. In my book, she's throwing dice around with his life/health. And if they have kids, she's messing with their future and well-being as well. Horrible, and just goes to show that sexism is alive and well, but not as they portray it. Because we're up in arms about a guy smacking around someone who happens to be female, because she put his life in danger.
People on the internet love being outraged. And this article is just fanning the shit around even more to further their cause. I feel for them, and there might even be true discrimination out there against women, but attention seeks like the ones in this article are doing them a disservice. If not out right mocking them by using their problems for personal PR.
Just want to emphasize that sentence there.
You have a context that makes domestic violence acceptable? I sure didn't see it in your parent comment.
Man or woman, yes, that sort of behavior deserves a beating.
Thank you for spelling it out for me. This bit with the inevstors apparently condoning the behaviour is what I was missing.
So what do you think should happen? The man pleaded guilty and paid his due, presumably.
Should his career be forever destroyed?
As a general rule of thumb: if women have it bad, men have it worse. But since the bottom half of men are invisible, everyone focuses on the 'poor' victimized women instead.
Roy Baumeister's "Is There Anything Good About Men?" explains this well, but they'd never read it because it's "MRA".
Can you honestly write that and actually believe it? Even better, can you give some examples to justify it? That's a pretty big claim, and one that, at face value, seems pretty unlikely.
* Domestic violence (men can't be the victim in eyes of public and law).
* Divorces (70% initiated by women, child support calculated basing on one month of his highest income ever, women get the children).
* Body integrity (circumcision anyone?)
* Sexist sentencing (men get on average twice as high number of years in jail for the same crimes)
* Education (man are lagging behind women in both primary, secondary and college degrees)
* Work-place related injuries and deaths (mostly men, all of the time).
Women in US? Yeah, often meet with prejudice when it comes to evaluation of their abilities as employees and professionals. Most other often repeated problems are BS and are not supported by statistics.
Specifically, this part from the bottom of the article:
Feminists do not want you to lose custody of your children. The assumption that women are naturally better caregivers is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not like commercials in which bumbling dads mess up the laundry and competent wives have to bustle in and fix it. The assumption that women are naturally better housekeepers is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want you to have to make alimony payments. Alimony is set up to combat the fact that women have been historically expected to prioritize domestic duties over professional goals, thus minimizing their earning potential if their "traditional" marriages end. The assumption that wives should make babies instead of money is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want anyone to get raped in prison. Permissiveness and jokes about prison rape are part of rape culture, which is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want anyone to be falsely accused of rape. False rape accusations discredit rape victims, which reinforces rape culture, which is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want you to be lonely and we do not hate "nice guys." The idea that certain people are inherently more valuable than other people because of superficial physical attributes is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want you to have to pay for dinner. We want the opportunity to achieve financial success on par with men in any field we choose (and are qualified for), and the fact that we currently don't is part of patriarchy. The idea that men should coddle and provide for women, and/or purchase their affections in romantic contexts, is condescending and damaging and part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want you to be maimed or killed in industrial accidents, or toil in coal mines while we do cushy secretarial work and various yarn-themed activities. The fact that women have long been shut out of dangerous industrial jobs (by men, by the way) is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want you to commit suicide. Any pressures and expectations that lower the quality of life of any gender are part of patriarchy. The fact that depression is characterized as an effeminate weakness, making men less likely to seek treatment, is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want you to be viewed with suspicion when you take your child to the park (men frequently insist that this is a serious issue, so I will take them at their word). The assumption that men are insatiable sexual animals, combined with the idea that it's unnatural for men to care for children, is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want you to be drafted and then die in a war while we stay home and iron stuff. The idea that women are too weak to fight or too delicate to function in a military setting is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want women to escape prosecution on legitimate domestic violence charges, nor do we want men to be ridiculed for being raped or abused. The idea that women are naturally gentle and compliant and that victimhood is inherently feminine is part of patriarchy.
Feminists hate patriarchy. We do not hate you.
1. Or it was other way around. Women in workforce => Feminism.
3. And installed laws such as VOWA, installed Diluth Model etc etc.
5,6. More half-truths and lies. The only contraceptive that gives men power to control their reproduction is condom, which was invented long before Feminism. Pill and other forms of contraception are empowering ONLY women. "Men get abortions too" is beyond manipulation. Idea that by helping small group of LGBTQ folk Feminism is saving ALL the males is repeated few more times in this article. Ridiculous.
7. Beautiful manipulation. Indeed, this change of definition allowed persecution in cases where male is a victim. Still, it is not possible to persecute "envelopment" as rape.
10-17. Feminism also cured AIDS, send humans to the Moon and granted eternal salvation in afterlife.
18. Clearly, before Feminism women never left kitchen. /s
20. Imagine that? A Movie! Damn, Feminism is literally anti Hitler!
21. Hey, I fought against Putin's second, third and fourth term. And I failed miserably, just as Feminism in this particular case.
21. "Feminism teaches us that nothing is objective, not even science." Enough said.
Men does not need Feminism, they need their own movement. Otherwise we get such gems as this one: http://geekfeminism.wikia.com/wiki/Allies
While I agree that feminism has had some positive effects, I take issue with feminism taking credit for "anything a woman has done ... ever".
Did feminism invent programming and find the first bug ever?Or was that Ada Lovelace, because I'm starting to be unsure...
a) a man is shown suffering from some injustice that targets only men
b) his attempts to alleviate the issue via normal means meet a cold denial of society
c) a Feminist appears that points out "this is Patriarchy!"
d) Nothing changes; Feminist smugly walks away. He saved the day once again!
Of course this gets rewritten into a "woman are victims" narrative where they aren't allowed to leave the house, even though few Iranian women care to change this situation.
Women have in group bias, the Women are Wonderful effect exists, and the bottom half of the men are invisible.
If you really want to understand this as a man, start to engage in feminist discussions with a female nickname. All of a sudden, you can be hyperbolic, hypersensitive and hysterical, and people will somehow find a way to excuse such behaviour. Post the exact same comment as a man, and you will not only be dismissed, but often seen as a credible threat.
It's a reaction to the idea that men having their own struggles must, invariably, be parsed as a zero-sum game against women, and the toxic idea that for men to benefit, somehow women must lose.
...Until they start shoving these sorts of issues down my throat. If I get to choose between the male that just wants to develop software and the female who wants to tell me all about how terrible it is working in our industry as a woman, I'm going to pick the male. Why? Because I'm very goal oriented and I just want to develop software. Take your fucking crusade somewhere else please.
OTOH, and this is the mystifying part, I've seen just as many men complaining about it as women. Guess which I'd choose if it was the female just working and the male going on about the female inequality? I'd prefer working with the female. That's what a lack of gender bias gets you.
Did you know I was once dismissed early from a job interview because I refused something to drink when it was offered to me(I had a weird suspicions and had it confirmed that the offer was a 'test')? I once got feedback from a job interview that the reason they didn't hire me was because I didn't show up with a notepad to take notes. And l lets be honest, that's not the real reason, I have it on good authority they already found who they wanted, but were fulfilling obligations.
I once had a CEO roll his eyes at me in the middle of a meeting and say something to the effect of "you software people...".
We've all experienced the bullshit. The truth is, people are stupid, biased creatures. yes. EVEN YOU.
Do you think ugly people have it harder than attractive people? Do you think younger people have it harder than older people in most industries? What about southern accents in a northing US state? Southern accents are considered "dumb", after all. I know of atleast 1 man from Rhode Island who refused to work with anyone from southern states because they were all dumb. That's a true story.
There are so many things that people can be biased about, yes, including gender.
The problem is that nothing has been so divisive in our industry in recent years as much as the "discussion" surrounding gender equality.
And me? I just want to fucking get work done. I don't care, not because I'm an asshole, but because I myself am not biased. Nor have I really seen a lot of bias in the places I've chosen to be. I have seen behavior that's resulted from the fact that males and females have a tendency to be attracted to each other. It's a fact of pretty much every facet of our lives. It isn't good, it isn't bad, it just is.
One thing I would like to address though.
I saw a complaint about "being called a cunt on a mailing list, and no one said anything about/to the person saying it".
That's equality for you. If someone called me a dick, or an asshole, on a mailing list, in no way would I expect others to rally to my defense. I'd have to make a choice. Do I respond in kind, do I not respond in kind, do I not respond at all? Do I escalate, do I de-escalate? Do I walk away for a few hours/days while I contemplate what to do, or do I simply blacklist the individual?
But at no point would I expect others to step in and defend me for me. I'll defend myself. I expect it of myself, and everyone else expects it of me as well, including the women. Is that gender bias on the women's part?
No, it's differing expectations. everyone will think the person is an asshole, whether they called the female a cunt, or the male a dick/asshole/what have you. But they may not say anything, that's life on both sides of that coin.
Someone calling you a bad name on a mailing list just means you got called a bad name. The name chosen may have been gender specific since you're female, but that doesn't indicate a bias. We live in a society with gender specific insults... and people not defending you isn't a bias either. Learn to defend yourself.
Now being groped is completely unacceptable behavior for both sides. That person should be dealt with immediately. There are few things I would agree someone needs to be called out for, but that sort of behavior is one of them.
tl;dr; STFU, develop software, and learn to defend yourself. I have shit I have to deal with too, but I didn't enter this industry to be told how terrible my gender is, I entered this industry because I love building software.
edit: One thing I should note. I've had women walk up to me and grab my ass before. It may not be as prevalent, but it happens both ways, and it's just as inappropriate both ways.
I really agree with this, there's going to be assholes everywhere, especially on the internet. I don't know if women are targeted by them more often than me, but if the plan is the eliminate them I wish you good luck, but I'm not going to waste my time.
The majority of people really do not care about your gender, race or religion, but a few are going to use it against you, or just resort to to offend you in some generic term.
There will be jerks everywhere, accept it. I really wish there where more women in technology, but I'm not going to treat you any different than my male colleague and I don't appreciate the hostile attitude that many ( fare for all ) women projects.
I get that women don't want to deal the sexual harassment, jerks, assholes, but you encounter that everywhere. I'm not saying that it makes it okay, but just maybe it's not a "women in technology", it might just be a generic problem that needs to be tackled in a broader arena.
The whole debate is really of track and I really don't care anymore, I just get increasing pissed when the topic comes up. It seems that "the men" can't do anything right and guess what, many of us are tried of it and have just checked out. It not our problem anymore. Awesome way of enlisting help for the people who just view women as equal colleagues.
So do they.
But I hear them, too. They just want to develop software, and to ignore all this other BS, and the BS keeps hitting them, and they're tired of having to deal with it. I can see why, too. I can see how this stuff would get to you after a year or two, or a decade or two.
I think the takeaway from their point is, they need to attack specifics when they occur. But I think your point is, they need to not make that their focus, or it's going to ruin their ability to actually work with males.
That's a tough balance to maintain. It stinks that they have to do so.
That's true, but it's also life in general, I'll explain what I mean.
I'm an agnostic who tends towards atheism with a very specific policy. I will not lie to people about my religious views, but I will let them make assumptions. Many people assume I'm Christian and I never disabuse them of that notion. The reason is simple: For me, the issue isn't important. I believe more in people than ideologies. For them, it is important, so let them have their comfort. Their beliefs do not offend me, and I defend their right to have them without harassment (I dislike Atheism in general even though I tend towards that thought process).
In all my years, I've only ever had a single person ask me straight out if I was Christian (in a work environment). I was working through an outsourcing company, and a week later they were asked to replace me with someone else. In essence I was "fired".
It's was unfair, and it was crap. I doubt you'll find many people who will disagree with you. Could it truly have been a coincidence? Possibly, but I find the likelihood of it very doubtful.
I took it as just more bullshit that's happened. I didn't get particularly offended by it, I certainly didn't start painting everyone with the brush that I'm a victim and they're terrible.
people are shit sometimes, you just move on. You deal with your own shit.
This is all to say that I understand their point of view, and this is one of the reasons why I reject them in general.
To bring it back on topic, it is tough, and maybe it is unfair. But woman have a right to an opportunity, they do not have a right to no bullshit. Someone making unwanted sexual advances isn't a problem. Someone doing it after it's been made clear they're unwanted is. Someone playing grabass is absolutely a problem that needs to be dealt with immediately.
However, someone dismissing an opinion because they have a bias against women is not something they need to be crusading against, and the reason is quite simple: I've had my opinion dismissed for being male (by them), for being a software developer (by business people), for political reasons (I'm a freelance software dev... I'm sure you can imagine).
There are shit environments no matter who you are, what you believe, or what you look like. But you deal with them and move on because that's life, it isn't perfect, and you do not have a right to everyone being perfectly fair to you.
This is a separate issue from why women do not join our industry, but it gets conflated. We do not have a problem with women entering our industry and then leaving (anymore than men). We have a problem with women not entering at all.
They hurt themselves by conflating the two, and causing many people (like me) to stop listening to them. At the end of the day, we have to deal with shit too, and when they put themselves on the list of shit we have to deal with, we have a tendency to simply move on. We cannot emotionally engage, because we'll get angry.
If they want us to emotionally engage, they need to approach it differently.
Until they start shoving these sorts of issues down my throat
I'm willing to bet that nobody has ever done anything like shoving anything down your throat, and that sort of repulsive hyperbole is just a marker for irrational, reactionary flame-bait.
Incidentally, if you believe that writing a blog post is "shoving these sorts of issues down your throat", then you should take a serious dose of your own medicine.
You're spouting nonsense. Work on your reading skills.
I was supposed to be White wasn't I? I wonder how many Native American's there are in our industry... actually I lied, I don't care tbh.
Why don't you ask about the 100% female company I contract with, or how that doesn't bother me even if it should.
edit: for those that are curious, the deleted post was someone who claimed to be a caucasian female asking for my gender and race, and hinting strongly that they were going to use my post as fodder for something else (blog post most likely.
The one racial group in the US that has to prove it by enrollment in a tribe and blood quota.
// grew up on reservation, only 1/8
I'm not trying to blame a group for her comment--I'm point out that the comment made her group (by her voluntary self-association) look bad.
I said "I'm genuinely curious", which was a chance for opening a dialogue.
You respond by using implicature to paint me in such a negative light.
Did you do it because you're being defensive of the article, or because you're being defensive of the ideas in the article?
I don't know, and I don't care, what I do know is that if I can't trust you to be reasonable with something like written text that you can go back and read again to make sure you got the meaning (and ask for clarification), why should I trust your experiences?
and that is an honest question.
If you had any idea the damage you do to yourself and your beliefs with that behavior, I suspect you would take steps to stop doing it.
There are many, like myself, who don't want to deal with it, and certainly don't want to deal with being treated like that. As they say, two wrongs don't make a right, stop treating men in this manner.
Playing the victim card, even if it's sometimes valid, doesn't actually help you.
You know, at base, I think this is a class issue.
No, I don't mean in the Marxist sense, so all you libertarians who're even now clearing for action and double-shotting your broadsides, hold off a minute and finish reading first.
I mean it's a class issue in the sense that acting like the assholes these women have found themselves forced to put up with, throughout their careers in our industry, is stigmatic of a complete lack of class.
Our industry, after all, revolves around a profession. We arrogate unto ourselves the title of "engineer", despite the complete lack of licensure or regulation commensurate with every other industry whose professionals bear that title. It is therefore incumbent upon us to behave in accordance with our pretensions -- and especially so, I'd argue, given the relative lack of rigor which characterizes our industry as a whole.
Now, maybe I'm just an effete, precious little snowflake. But I have absolutely no desire to associate with people who behave in the fashions described in the open letter published by Manian et al., and in a thousand other places, by a thousand other women, who are themselves remarkable among their fellows in our industry only in that they're courageous enough to tell their stories -- despite the excoriation they know full well will come their way in response -- in hopes of provoking change.
Such people lack class. They lack taste and refinement. If nothing else, they lack the basic good sense to recognize unprofessional behavior in themselves, and to acknowledge the solid reasons why the constraints of professionalism exist at all.
Speaking of which: I've recently participated in a couple of HN discussions around the topic of office politics. From them I have gleaned the impression that a lot of engineers consider office politicking to be something which just gets in the way of getting the job done, and is undesirable therefore.
To engineers who share that opinion, I point out that what we're talking about here also gets in the way. Unless you're willing to declare flat out that women have nothing to offer the industry, or unless you prefer to imagine that the women who've described maltreatment at the hands of their supposedly professional male peers are just lying out of some conspiratorial urge or other, I don't see how you can evaluate this situation any other way.
Anyone who reviews my comment history on HN will recognize quickly enough that I have no particular fondness for feminism as a movement, or for feminist theory, much of which strikes me as ill-argued and overly reliant on an axiomatic infrastructure which is not so sturdy as its proponents seem to believe. Worse, by the lights of feminism per se, someone like Adria Richards, who reacted to a vaguely tasteless joke in so spectacularly ill-considered fashion as to end up getting three people fired, has no cause for reproach.
On the other hand, I see no reason why it's necessary to have any fondness at all for either of those things, when the problem, at its base, is that there are too many assholes in our industry with no sense of how to behave. It's not a question of "how to treat a woman", as though that were some sort of magical separate category. None of the shit we're talking about here is anything you'd be inclined to put up with for one minute, if anyone directed it at you. That it's directed almost universally at women, instead, makes no difference. These behaviors, in themselves, are utterly unacceptable in any even remotely professional context. That they're so widespread in our industry -- indeed, that they're suffered to exist at all in our industry, to say nothing of the degree to which they're actually tolerated -- gives every one of us a bad name.
I don't like that. I refuse to tolerate the company of the people who are responsible for it. I'm not looking to start a movement; I'd be crap at it and there are already far too many of those to begin with. I'm just looking to see those of us in the industry who do have class, who do have taste, behave accordingly with regard to those who don't.
No doubt some of them will realize why they've been excluded, and will learn better. Great! That's what ostracism is for. If they can show they know how to behave themselves like grown adults, they're welcome to join those of us who never needed remedial education on the subject to begin with.
And, equally without doubt, some of them will never figure it out, and, like MRAs, MGTOWs, and others who prefer abandoning society over learning to interact with it, will grow bitter in their increasingly self-inflicted solitude. Those, we're better off without, and to hell with them.
I think a lot of what you're talking about has more to do with an apparent inability of some people to act with any sort of common sense around other human beings rather than 'class'. This happens in any workplace (my mother was a secretary, and had to leave one of her companies because her boss was consistently making advances), but in technology especially so.
Perhaps this is a symptom of the social environment a lot of programmers seem to have in common. A lot of us spend our teenage years alone or with a small group of very close friends. Because of that, certain people might not develop a full understanding of social customs, or worse: deride them as 'silly'. This is a fundamental mark of immaturity, and most people and most programmers grow out of it. Some people don't, and I think it's especially common among programmers because they (and yes, this is stereotype) tend to be very solitary.
People like us tend to spend a lot of time online, where you can make sure you only talk to people who are very similar to you (case in point: HN). Not being forced to talk to people with different opinions results in stunted social growth. A huge part of life is learning to interact with people who are different than you.
When you throw someone who doesn't have a lot of experience with social norms and is used to having everything their way into an office work environment, they generally don't mesh well.
Some of it, maybe. A lowered standard of functional adulthood for such people doesn't seem like it would do them any favors; instead, it'd deny them the very feedback they need to learn better.
Immaturity doesn't strike me as the major problem here, though, unless you want to argue that the average degree of social maturity in our industry resembles that more commonly expected on a grade-school playground.
Even if that were true, then the maltreatment under discussion would be a lot more evident than it is to those of us who aren't its targets, because those who engage in it would lack the necessary cunning to choose their target and their context so that a complaint can be dismissed as he-said-she-said. Such cunning requires at least some capacity, whether cognitive or intuitive, for social analysis -- enough so, in fact, to exceed the minimum threshold for "I didn't understand what I was doing was wrong".
This being true, your choices are either to assume the existence of a feminist conspiracy aimed at the overthrow of the existing industry, or to assume that those men who are most responsible for the problem under discussion know very well that most of us would utterly refuse to put up with their shit if we saw it going on, and that's why they make sure that we don't.
Why? Perhaps to protect the individual ideas and create echo chambers where people feel "safe" from criticism. Although without criticism (critical thinking), and without dealing with real world evidences... I fear we're getting nowhere.
It is a pity that something as MRAs exist: why should anyone need a specific gender movement to protect its rights. It is a failure that MGTOWs exist: why should anyone hate the environment created around its gender.
Keep the humanism up :)
So what do we call the feminists who work to suppress research that shows gender symmetry in domestic violence?
What do we call the feminists who demonize men as rapists, deadbeats, child molesters, and abusers?
What do we call the feminists who lobby against equal parenting rights for fathers and for stripping the right to due process of those accused of domestic or sexual violence?
Feminism is not about equality - that would be called humanism or egalitarianism and would not focus on one specific identity group.
Feminism is the dying ideology of demonizing and subjugating men. Feminism is Marxist ideology maladroitly applied to the genders in order to paint the male gender as sub-human, innately heartless, and evil oppressors, while painting women as perpetually innocent victims.
A movement truly concerned with equality would address areas where human rights are actually unequal such as the outcomes of family courts or no-fault divorce law. Instead we see feminism focusing on non-issues to further their political agenda (#banbossy) or in warping every situation in which a woman gets slighted by an asshole male into proof of "patriarchy".
People refuse knowledge because it means responsibility.
Feminism is about equality, when it's done right. Unfortunately, it's been perverted into "down with the patriarchy". We call those people "Feminazis".
Our Blood by Andrea Dworkin, 1976
It's not a strawmyn when it's based on reality. Not all feminists, not even all radical feminists espouse views like this, but they exist and to brush them under the rug impedes meaningful discourse.
I don't think anyone is denying Andrea Dworkin exists. I think people are denying that she's relevant to this discussion, except as a way to keep blaming women.
You are putting words in my mouth by saying I claimed they were representative. It's intellectually dishonest to say otherwise, though given the level of discourse you've shown elsewhere on this post it's clear I shouldn't expect any better.
I really have to take exception at your suggestion that I haven't read enough things written by women, because I have: from The Tale of Genji to Feminist Interpretations of Saint Augustine
Straw-feminists that routinely lobby against equal parenting legislation?
Straw-feminists that suppress gender symmetry in domestic violence?
Straw-feminists that compare the life of the western woman to life in a nazi concentration camp?
Straw-feminists that claim "otherwise decent guys will rape and not even think that it’s wrong."
Please point us to all the feminist action for equal _human_ rights, not just self-serving political and social policy.
Tell us all about the feminist outrage over men's suicide rates or the gender disparity in federal medical research funding?
Feminist picketing outside of family courts in protest of men's lack of custody rights?
Feminist sponsored legislation that gives men equal reproductive rights?
We'll wait... In the mean time, how about if feminists could at least let those of us actually interested in _human_ rights have a discussion without pulling the fire alarm?
A parody. That one's easy.
This sort of characterization by outliers and strawmen (women?) is ridiculous, but also damaging to the possibility of reasonable discussion. Shame on you for engaging in it.
That said, it was silly of me to engage in this sort of discussion here, it's not likely to go anywhere useful. I should probably just delete this and be done with it.
We should judge ideologies by their rhetoric, actions, and outcomes, not their marketing slogans.
> What do we call the feminists who demonize men as rapists, deadbeats, child molesters, and abusers?
> What do we call the feminists who lobby against equal parenting rights for fathers and for stripping the right to due process of those accused of domestic or sexual violence?
I'd call them non-existent.
This also appears to be an American problem. I find this difficult to imagine happening as pervasively ( not saying it doesn't happen at all) in London or Berlin or any of the other European tech hubs. The problem may be more evident in America because it has the largest and most successful tech community presenting more opportunities for alienating behaviour around women to be amplified. The reasons are likely to be more multi-faceted and complex.
There are indeed many explanations for the appearance of what I described and some have rightly mentioned that it may just be under-reported in Europe due to culture differences. I don't pretend to know what those may be but can only offer my experience and anecdotal evidence, just like most have done here.
Sexism does exist in Europe and I have not said in my post that it doesn't I think we are all talking specifically about tech culture here and let's not conflate this to sexism in Europe across all industries. I've had friends experience inappropriate male attention at work but it's frequently in Law or Finance, and more recently in Education. Friends (more than a handful) in London and in Brussels have experienced this directly. That's a lot considering that 1 in 10 women experience some form of harassment at work. I've rarely ever heard it happen in tech over here. Not to say that it doesn't happen, from my experience I've heard a lot less.
I'd understand better some of the reactions to my post if it was clearly and strongly entrenched in a dismissive or an unsympathetic position but the post is littered with words like 'may' and 'appears' and suggests the problem requires a deeper exposition than what can be stated in an HN comment.
For example, consider the possibility that people become more willing to report bad experiences if the people they tell will be willing to acknowledge that the problem is not uncommon, and unlikely to react with disbelief.
That would explain our observation without suggesting that Europe has fewer incidents; in fact it would suggest that it has more, but doesn't have a culture of admitting and dealing with them.
.... Yeah, ok.