About Feminism

imgres-1Sara Chipps sent About Feminism. out to a listserv I am on.  She wrote that a bunch of developers got together in response to the things that have been happening over the past few months.   It is an important blog site that is a hub for people to write about some of the statements and issues that have happened in the tech industry recently when it comes to women.  I am glad to see this group of people getting together and writing about it.

The message from them is yes we have had the same harassing things happen to us and no it is not ok.

A few weeks ago I spoke at Orrick.  The topic I was supposed to speak about was the difficulties of raising money and how to communicate to investors about your growing business.  I was under the impression that I was going to speak to an audience of mostly women.  Ends up I was wrong.  The audience was probably about 40% women which was impressive.  I wanted to tell a few tales about women who had successfully raised money and the road it took to get there.

When I saw the audience I shifted gears before I got to the money raising.  I talked about how when the tech industry started to grow in the 90’s it changed my life.  It empowered me to shift my career and still be at home for my kids.  It was the first time I thought that I could actually balance it all.  I believed that the internet was going to change everything.  It would change the way we lived our lives and that included equality in the workplace.  We would all be accepting of each other for our brains and abilities…end of story.

I went on to say that over the past few months we have seen some really terrible things happening in our industry.  Men saying inappropriate things to women and then before we know it we are reading about it all over the net.  We are hearing of men hitting on women at conferences that are geared towards writing code.  We are seeing men who are CEO’s of companies beat their girlfriends.  I could go on and on but bottom line it is not ok.

If you believe, like I do, that the internet changes the game then change the game.  I said directly to all the men in the audience today it is up to you to stop this nonsense.  It is up to you to stand up to your peers who say and do inappropriate things to their female peers that is it not ok and you will not put up with it.  Shame them.  It is the men who need to take a stand to promote diversity, promote their female counterparts and tell the men who behave in a disrespectful way to essentially shut the fuck up.

Technology is changing our lives, lets really change our lives and create a world where everyone is equal and more importantly treated equal.

Comments (Archived):

  1. Susan Rubinsky


  2. Sunchowder

    Wow. Could not have said this better myself. The good old boy’s network is alive and well in the South where it is much more pronnounced that it ever was for me growing up the Northeast. I stuggle to be heard and have been mistreated because of my outspoken and direct manner. Good for you to post this up.

  3. Sunchowder

    that was “pronounced” sorry….

  4. Aspie Savant

    Why is it that everyone condemns misogyny but misantry is openly promoted? Why is one kind of sexism better than another? Am I the only one here who recognises a double standard for what it is?Yes, most men are assholes… but most women aren’t any better. This isn’t an issue of “male vs female”. This isn’t a race or class problem either. This is a problem that strikes all of humanity and crosses race, gender and class lines.Consider my predicament. As an Autistic savant, I belong to one of the most disenfranchised groups in Western society. I belong to a group either ignored, mocked or attacked in every aspect of life… without anyone standing up for us : * We’re constantly expected to fit moulds that don’t fit and make no sense to us* Society treats us as if we have a mental disorder, just because we’re different from the norm* We’re either mocked, ignored or hated by most people out there because we don’t fit the norm* We’re almost always underemployed or unemployed because we don’t fit the norm* We’re almost always bullied in high school playgrounds, by boys and girls alike* The heterosexual women among us are preyed upon by sexual predators* The heterosexual men among us are usually ignored or mocked by women* Even if we’re the victim of abuse, we’re often blamed for it* We aren’t taken seriously if we have an emotional breakdown, but we’re expected to take other people’s pointless drame seriouslyWe’re ignored by “civil rights” movements because we’re not one of their typical target groups. And like us, there are many other groups of people ignored by society as privileged groups fight among one another over artificial dichotomies like “man vs woman”, “black vs white” or “rich vs poor”.It is a human problem, I tell you. Stop drawing the gender card. Stop drawing the race card. Let’s work together on a better humanity instead of fighting each other.

    1. LE

      Yes, most men are assholes…Where in the world are you getting that “most men are assholes?”.

      1. Aspie Savant

        Personal experience?I have no empirical data to back me up on this (not sure how that would work anyway), but in my experience people of both genders generally tend to suck.

      2. Aspie Savant

        Honesty, loyalty and honor have become rare traits in men and women alike.

    2. Brandon Burns

      While I don’t think the Gotham Gal is “playing cards,” I understand your sensitivity towards the notion. Discrimination is inflicted upon many groups of people, and its hard to put one group’s disenfranchisement above another’s. How can one say that the gender card trumps the race card? Or that the disability card trumps the sexual orientation card?But it works both ways. Discounting one group’s issues in favor of another’s doesn’t really get us anywhere. We can’t put supporting autistic people on a pedestal higher than gender issues, race issues, or any other.When we’re discussing the disenfranchisement of one group, we should be mindful of the similar situations of many other mistreated groups. Its sad, but we have to remember that discrimination is near-universal.

      1. Gotham Gal

        It is totally universal and to stand by and just nod is not ok.

        1. Aspie Savant

          Then don’t turn it into a gender issue. Men and women should stand together against their common oppressors instead of fighting each other and accusing the other gender of this mess.

      2. Aspie Savant

        … which is why we should stop blaming the problem on a particular gender or race and stand up together against our common oppressor.

  5. Lisa Abeyta

    Thank you for this post – I’ll be sharing!

  6. pointsnfigures

    Yes. I agree. It’s up to men to change their behavior (and attitude) and not do it out of group guilt. One thing to do is accept the fact there are differences between the two sexes that go beyond physical. Women communicate differently, hear things differently, and act differently. Once you accept and acknowledge the difference, it’s a lot easier to change your own behavior.At the same time, if I was a single male coder at a coding conference and saw a woman I found attractive at the same conference, I’d probably be motivated to speak with her.It’s a fine line that is constantly changing depending on lots of factors.I also think that this is pretty good: https://www.youtube.com/wat…As they said in “When Harry Met Sally”, Harry: You realize of course that we could never be friends.Sally: Why not?Harry: What I’m saying is — and this is not a come-on in any way, shape or form — is that men and women can’t be friends because the sex part always gets in the way.Sally: That’s not true. I have a number of men friends and there is no sex involved.Harry: No you don’t.Sally: Yes I do.Harry: No you don’t.Sally: Yes I do.Harry: You only think you do.Sally: You say I’m having sex with these men without my knowledge?Harry: No, what I’m saying is they all want to have sex with you.

    1. Gotham Gal

      classic film.

  7. LE

    It is up to you to stand up to your peers who say and do inappropriate things to their female peers that is it not ok and you will not put up with it. Shame them. It is the men who need to take a stand to promote diversity, promote their female counterparts and tell the men who behave in a disrespectful way to essentially shut the fuck up.Well of course I agree but the problem is that not everyone is in a “fuck you” situation and is willing to take the chance of damaging their career.Luckily I’ve never been in that position and can pretty much say and do as I please because I am able to suffer any consequences of my action. One of the benefits of “self employment” I guess you could say.But, to be fair, now let’s take a man (you remember the movie “The Insider”?) who has a family to feed and makes a certain living and has kids and expenses. While he might not stand up because he simply doesn’t know any better, he also might not stand up because he is not willing to take the chance of losing his job or stature etc. And then having to find a new job. Same reason people stay in bad relationships and don’t get divorced. Meal ticket. (I know a man who is totally abused by his wife but she is from a well to do family and he works in the father’s business and he puts up with all sorts of stuff that I would never put up with.)I’ve told a story of my ex wife, when she worked in the 90’s (when we were married) selling. She would go out and receive all sorts of comments from men. One man (the head of the UofP bookstore) was particularly powerful in that he controlled the distribution of her product from that store. So she was not going to stand up to him in any way and she just dealt with it. It was essentially a business decision. Lot’s of other stuff as well. (He once complained that he didn’t want me her husband stopping by the store at all!)So this is really more of a group dynamic that needs to be solved rather than putting the onus on the individual (man or women) to be the person (unfortunately but that is the truth).You know what this all boils down to? Training and education at a much younger age. Then in a generation it works itself out.

    1. Gotham Gal

      I hope this generation figures it out. I get that it is a career decisions to hold back but there are ways to approach people or say not ok….in perhaps not such as in your face way that I am saying.

  8. LE

    Re: My comment about “training at an early age.”Wanted to add that when I used to go, as a kid, with my father to the NY Gift Show I specifically remember two things (this was the 70’s).a) Men were constantly making lewd comments about women and starring at them.b) I never saw my father ever make a lewd comment about a women, or stare at another woman.Otoh, my ex brother in law made a lewd comment about women at some family dinner (when I was married to my ex wife). My ex father in law was at the table (this is when they were newly wed’s basically). My ex father in law just laughed and thought it was ok. Not only did he not correct his son in law but he was the same way with women. (Think Sean Connery.)

  9. panterosa,

    Right on Joanne!Anne-Marie Slaughter promotes the balance of caregiving and breadwinning between the sexes to make that easier for couples and families in the new economy. When she spoke at my daughter’s all girls school she echoed feminism 2.0 is making men feminists too – the enlightened men who would complete the cycle of breaking patterns, stereotypes and outworn behaviors needing to stop. Male feminists lead by example, by support, and by intolerance of lame sexist behavior.

    1. Gotham Gal

      Lame behavior for sure