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Tue Sep 24, 2013, 01:02 AM

A Primer on Sexism (in Tech)

This excellent article, is as stated a repost, but I thought it apropos to certain recent situations. It's focus is on the tech industry, but it can really be used as a guide for the feminist challenged on how not to be a misogynist asshole; unless, of course one enjoys being a misogynist asshole. Which brings to mind an execrable article I just read from the very odd and strangely pathetic MRA hate group "A Voice for Men" (they like to play feminist baiting and then whine when they get their proverbial asses kicked. I read MRA's little boohoo blogs anyway, as it provides cheap entertainment and I'm easily amused)

But I digress.

Note: this is republished from .net Magazine for permanent preservation purposes. It was originally published on October 10, 2012, and is republished here in its original form.

The topic of sexism and its role in the Technology industry has seen a huge resurgence over the past 12–18 months. Yet despite being discussed and examined with increasing frequency, a lot of the subject remains unclear and under-explained, making it difficult for those who care deeply about our industry to partake in these discussions. This is, in part, because the problems are incredibly complex, nuanced and difficult to explain, making it impossible for any one article to address them sufficiently (lest the article becomes a book). Nevertheless, today we’re going to try and see how much of the basics we can clear up.

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 which, 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 to wards 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.

If I’d have to sum it up as one problem, it’s that many groups, but women especially, are still discriminated against heavily, while those with privilege don’t want to be seen as culpable and even like to argue that these problems don’t exist altogether. Women, in particular, suffer from tremendous social and professional challenges and pressures, as well as threats to their physical well-being, as a result of these problems.


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