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Mon Feb 11, 2013, 11:03 AM

Designer and developer Faruk Ate says that sexism is hurting our industry

What is the problem?

The problem is a culmination of many separate, 'smaller' problems that are endemic in our industry, and society at large. We suffer from women leaving the field citing sexism and "hostile, macho cultures" as primary reasons. The rape culture that, frighteningly, is perpetuated even by the highest level of our judicial system. The systemic dismissal of women complaining about the harassment they experience on an often-daily basis. The excessive vitriol, hatred and harassment sent towards any woman bold and courageous enough to try and tackle the problem. Those may all seem obvious, but just as big a problem is the widely-held belief (primarily among young, straight white men) that we live or work in a meritocracy.

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We're not a meritocracy?

Those that believe we live or work in a meritocracy will argue, "but I don't care whether someone is male or female, I only care about how good their work is!" This inaccurate belief that their personal perspective is how the industry at large functions is an anecdotal logical fallacy and part of the problem. We should care whether a job applicant or potential conference speaker is male or female, because our industry is heavily skewed towards the male gender, and it makes it less appealing to women from the outset. However long it takes for us to achieve a demographically-representative mix of race and gender, that's how long we should continue to pay attention to these things a little bit, just to make sure we don't let our unconscious biases favour a continuation of white men everywhere. Because, and this is important: letting things just 'happen on their own' by not paying attention to this will only work to produce equality on a timeframe we won't even live long enough for to benefit from.

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Socio-cultural etiquette

A subtle but illustrative example of how imbalanced our society behaves is the way in which debate on this topic takes place. A man writing sharp, incisive criticism of sexist patterns, behaviours or attitudes, may well provoke disagreement, but the tone of the disagreement (likely coming from other men) is often respectful and civil. Yet if a woman had written the exact same thing, the level of debate would quickly devolve into personal attacks on the woman, featuring little respect and a lot of vitriol.

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True == false equivalence

One common counter-argument against the objectification of women is that 'men are sexualised and objectified, too!' but this is what is known as false equivalence; what matters isn't whether men and women are portrayed in an idealised way, but whose ideals they are portrayed by. Women are portrayed by men's norms and men's fantasy ideals, and men are portrayed by men's norms and men's fantasy ideals. The incredibly muscular, well-toned man may be appreciated by (some) women, but he is largely a male power fantasy. Women, in our culture, are also depicted under male power fantasies.

http://www.netmagazine.com/features/primer-sexism-tech-industry

so much more that i was not able to share.

8 replies, 739 views

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Reply Designer and developer Faruk Ate says that sexism is hurting our industry (Original post)
seabeyond Feb 2013 OP
niyad Feb 2013 #1
redqueen Feb 2013 #2
seabeyond Feb 2013 #3
redqueen Feb 2013 #4
seabeyond Feb 2013 #5
redqueen Feb 2013 #6
ismnotwasm Feb 2013 #7
seabeyond Feb 2013 #8

Response to seabeyond (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 11:17 AM

1. k and r--bookmarking to read a bit later

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Response to seabeyond (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 11:32 AM

2. This is good...

The list of ways in which society programs us with gender-specific norms (boys like cars and sports, girls like clothes and shopping) is so long, this article couldn't even begin to cover even a fraction of it. There are literally countless tiny influences that we are subjected to every single day, most of them completely subliminally, which frame and steer the way we think about men and women.

Only when we become more aware of and attentive to these influences do we start to realise how incredibly skewed society is.


And after we do that, it is impossible to take any of that evo psych crap seriously.

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Response to redqueen (Reply #2)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 11:37 AM

3. i was reading about a man arguing why porn was good. he was stating so many

stereotypes and is actually a supposed scientist giving a balanced and thoughtful analysis of porn and why men use.

firstly stated womens need for emotions with sex. but another was women address stress with shopping and men used porn for stress in life. and as if he heard women call bullshit, he doubled down with no really... factual, women need shopping to destress.

i stress spending money, having to make choices, being in crowds, buying things. but, it is a biological NEED to shop, really.

i was flabbergasted yesterday on all the professionals that still fell back on the stereotypes today, to address the gender issues.

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #3)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 12:21 PM

4. Pfft, if that man is a scientist, I'm the queen of Sheba.

He may have a scientific degree, but his thinking there is so illogical it is actually stunning.

Maybe he's an addict. Addiction does pervert the thinking process. Addicts are incapable of making rational decisions when their chosen substance is at stake.

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Response to redqueen (Reply #4)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 12:26 PM

5. that is what i was finding too ofen yesterday.

the simple illogical and behind the times on new research. research that is not about asking a question and using it as fact with no other consideration or insight.

and yes.... i came down to that. i ran across one article interesting. i will see if i can find it. a regular columnist on cnn that generally supports porn wanted to do a little experiment on some of his buddies. he was surprised at the results. and he does try to be open minded and accommodating to all. but, he concluded, he was sure the anti porn people were going to jump on his observations. he wasnt thrilled about that, but still put it out.

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #5)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 12:35 PM

6. Oh I hope you can find it.

You have me quite curious now.

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Response to seabeyond (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 01:53 PM

7. omg

That is one of the most excellent summaries I've read in some time. Bookmarking forever.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Reply #7)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 02:02 PM

8. very good, huh. lol. i had it pulled up to post yesterday and didnt get around to it.

i exited out. i was afraid i was not gonna get it back... but the whole article is good.

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