Yasir Hashmi | Tech Humanoid

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Sexism In Tech? The Times Is ON IT

Posted on | June 10, 2012 | No Comments

Screen Shot 2012-06-10 at 6.07.51 PM

“MEN invented the Internet. And not just any men. Men with pocket protectors. Men who idolized Mr. Spock and cried when Steve Jobs died. Nerds. Geeks. Give them their due. Without men, we would never know what our friends were doing five minutes ago.”

The New York Times is ON IT.

No, seriously, what the hell are they putting in the water over there? …

In the last two weeks, The New York Times has laid two gigantic, sexist ”tech trend piece” rotten eggs and unleashed the wrath of the Internet as a result (And not just from women).

Aside from a misfired satiric lede declaring that men invented the internet, the first piece linked to above blamed Ellen Pao’s sexual harassment lawsuit against Kleiner Perkins on her “randiness” — whatever that means. The second hinted that women will get nowhere professionally in Silicon Valley unless they have intimate relations with a bachelor, like Larry Ellison.

All the news that’s fit to print, indeed.

Not only do these nationally syndicated articles painfully remind us just how far women have to go, they also manage to make us look ridiculous in the process. Take Exhibit A:

For women, “the ratio certainly can work in your favor,” said Julia Allison, a former tech journalist who divides her time between New York and the Bay Area, and says she finds digital entrepreneurs more satisfying partners than Wall Street moguls: “Wouldn’t you rather be with someone who was changing the world?”

Now we are well aware that quotes can be taken out of context, but quite honestly we’d rather BE someone who was changing the world than “be with” them. Nothing against Allison, but these types of snippets from otherwise successful people who just happen to be female perpetuate our perceived vapidness and allow us to be taken less seriously. At its core this piece is basically encouraging gold-digging.

How the perception that women need The NYTimes-sanctioned “dating profiles” of wealthy, eligible bachelors in the Silicon Valley still exists in 2012 is baffling, but quotes like the above give us a clue. By the way, at least three of the dudes profiled aren’t even bachelors. Crackerjack “reporting” job there, Gray Lady!

This post is written by women who work in technology in various ways. We have experienced gender bias. Sexual harassment even. According to the Times it is part of the “lore” of Silicon Valley, as present as Foosball tables and hoodies. Yet we keep plugging along. We work hard and love technology, startups and the energy of the Valley. And we completely feel you, Sandy Kurtzig:

“I am shocked there aren’t more women in high positions in Silicon Valley,” Ms. Kurtzig said. “I always thought the world was going to be gender-blind.”

Hopefully one day it will be. In the meantime, spare us these absurd stories New York Times. Unless you write one from our point of view. We’ll even write the @NYTOnIt tweet for you: “GUYS, women in technology are pissed off at the New York Times, and the Times is ON IT.”

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