Sexism in Tech – A Reckoning

October 12, 2013 § Leave a comment

Everyone who has ever worked on or around the internet or has simply ever been on the internet needs to read this article written by Shanley at Medium, which is a kick-to-the-balls takedown both of sexist brogrammer nonsense and of the “Fuck you, I got mine” mentality embraced by rich cis white women in tech who, deliberately or not, ultimately carry the aforementioned brogrammers’ water.

Behind the stark heteronormativity is the predictable streak of rape culture, dangerously paired, as it often is, with a bland homoeroticism. Brogramming presents a bizarre, nightmarish hybrid: a re-imagined geek-as-boy-king that co-opts the jock stereotype in all its brazen physicality, with all its attendant vanilla, American, locker-room male bonding. In brogramming we see a white male hive mind which has tired of its own sexless, fumbling nerd stereotype — itself a cover-up, a type of plausible deniability for a long history of rampant sexual objectification, harassment and assault of women by “nerds.” The brogrammer movement trades a hidden culture of lecherous misogyny for an overt one in an effort to restore a masculinity lost to caricature.

And then there is Lean In, the new brand of white, extreme upper-class tech feminism championed by Sheryl Sandberg and epitomized by Marissa Mayer. It is a self-interested feminism of white privilege, bereft of historical context, bereft of critical thought. It is a feminism removed utterly from the challenges of average women workers in tech, a feminism deliberately pacified for the devouring palate of the status quo.

It is, at last, a feminism the patriarchy can get behind.

“Women’s inspiration,” but inspiration for a lifetime of work given freely to the white male machine, with no certain reward other than soothing the phantom guilt of abandoning a workplace that never gave a fuck about women anyway.

Read this now.

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