— Janet Paskin (@JPaskin) March 7, 2014
Thanks to Janet Paskin for pointing this out. It permits me to get something off my chest.
I’m sick of panels about women in tech. That’s 17 panels out of 500 talking about the problems women have in gaining acceptance and respect in our industry. Why is this still a thing? Why is it that the shape of your genitals are even an issue in tech? Why is it that 17 panels are talking about this issue and not about new markets, new trends, new entertainment?
Because some of our colleagues are ruining it for the rest of us.
Many geeks talk about our industry as if it is a meritocracy. How the tech industry is immune from the sexism (and other bigotry) that assaults the rest of the industry. Examples such as Marissa Mayer and Sheryl Sandberg are trotted out as examples of how women don’t have the same challenges. However, the trend seems to be that geeks are as riddled with prejudice and stereotypes as their neanderthal counterparts. Are we really that insecure to make life difficult for another human just because they are not like us? Have we really become “those people”?
We can accept that there are differences between men and women, no? Can we not celebrate these differences? Can we not exploit these differences to mutual advantage? Why does it have to be a problem?
If geeks treated everyone with respect there’d be no need for 17 panels out of 500 talking about women in tech. We’d all just be people. Some of the panels would be led by women and some by men. Some would be populated by women and some by men.
The comment by Janet above “More than ever” tells me that this is more of a problem than it used to be. It doesn’t tell me anything about representation or equality. It tells me that half of the population is getting pissed off and they’re not going to be silent about it any more.
So, take stock and wise the fuck up.