We know that you know how to find the answers to questions you have and also how to challenge an opinion or action you disagree with. Take that same passion that you would apply to technical problems, and apply it to social ones. We are not the 'nice feminists' of this community. Being nice doesnt work. Some of us that wrote these have even been paraded around by men in the industry for how nice weve been in trying to address the social problems in tech as a way to discredit more vocal, astutely firm feminist voices. We dont like this, weve never liked it, and it needs to stop. Being nice and talking politely about injustice does not compel the group in power to do anything that unseats their power.
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If you see someone engage in bad behavior and you do nothing, youve chosen to let that person think that what they did is okay. This leaves us feeling like writers were fighting this alone. We cant work on what we cant see, but if youre there when it happens, you can help. It is absolutely imperative that men work with resume other men to combat bad attitudes and behavior. You might be surprised how few people want to help or engage on this still. Imagine if you were the only person like you on your team and when you left your computer and came back there was very graphic porn on your screen (a specific example that we have experienced). Knowing that saying you were uncomfortable would alienate you from the rest of your team even more than you already were; knowing that you would no longer get the mentorship from the senior staff that was involved in these disgusting pranks, would you dare. We feel powerless as we have no recourse when these things happen. Power dynamics in the workplace are a real thing, and we all know. This is what happens to people that are uncomfortable and speak. Our industry is filled with very smart people.
Why we're writing this thing: we love working in this industry. We love collaborating with like-minded colleagues. We cant give up and leave. Wed rather be writing blog posts about best practices for development, design, and tech management instead of the one were writing now. We are tired of pretending this stuff doesnt happen and continue to keep having these experiences again and again. We keep our heads down working at our jobs hoping that if we just work hard at what we do, maybe somehow the problem will go away. I know its bad but I dont do any bad things. We are tired of our male peers pretending that because they do not participate in bad behavior, that it is not their problem to solve.
We get asked if were the event planner or executive assistant on a regular basis. We regularly receive creepy, rapey e-mails where men describe what a perfect wife we gps would be and exactly how we should expect to be subjugated. Sometimes there paper are angry e-mails that threaten us to leave the industry, because it doesnt need anymore c*ts ruining. We have watched companies say that diversity is of highest importance and have invited us to advise them. After we donate much of our time they change nothing, do nothing, and now wear speaking to us as a badge of honor. We've grown cynical of companies creating corporate programs and paying lip service to focusing on womens issues in the tech industry without understanding the underlying reality. We've experienced a staggering earnings gap in our field, which, being freelance and project-based, makes it challenging to ascribe blame. We've been told repeatedly that accomplishments were due to our gender and our role as the "token woman".
We've been harassed on mailing lists and called whore/cunt without any action being taken against aggressors. We get asked about our relationships at interviews, and we each have tales of being groped at public events. Weve been put in the uncomfortable situation of having men attempt to turn business meetings into dates. We've found casual assumptions that point at more significant issues. We've witnessed the few female co-workers and male allies weve had get fired or bullied into leaving — at companies that had so few of them to begin with. We're constantly asked if you write any code when speaking about technical topics and giving technical presentations, despite just having given a talk on writing code. We've been harassed at these same conferences in person and online about our gender, looks, and technical expertise.
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Some of us only began to understand the relevance of feminism as we sought to understand whats been happening. Some of us felt that we didn't need the programs and events geared specifically towards women— until the bad stuff started happening. We thought they did more harm than help by calling attention to our gender, and we wondered what others were complaining about. It was hard to see until we suffered also. Others, still, speak very much of feminist ideals and action but are afraid to identify with the word feminist because they fear alienation from their peers, both in work and also in their social lives. Feminism is not a dirty word. Feminism is the radical notion that women year are people, and that we want to be treated as equals.
Dont let someone else pretend otherwise out of their own misguided notions. The last thing we want is for people reading this to be put on the defensive. What we want most is for people to read and understand what death by a thousand cuts feels like, and then understand why we feel sad and angry at the tech industry. We also want you to understand that more still needs to be done. Theyre just like the stories you hear about. But maybe you thought because we werent as loud, that this stuff doesnt happen.
There is no limit as to how many people can edit your design. The last few weeks have been very difficult for women in tech:. GitHub posted a sloppy investigations concluded report ( their follow-up gives a better indication of what actually happened). Gurbaksh Chahal - then-ceo of a startup, was allegedly video taped violently attacking a former partner 117 times in 30 mins (He was finally fired some time after this was made public). People seemed to think it was fine to request the video in question without caring about the consent of the woman in the video — it was all about either exonerating or condemning the man involved. M was published (with a hilarious takedown by the amazing.
Meggan Blake, simon OShea others through m ). Some men made statements that made us feel unwelcome in the tech industry. A bunch of us - sara, ellen, sabrina, kat, joanne, angelina, jessica, jennifer, divya - have been thinking about what this means for. This is not what we expected, we really just want to work on what we love. We happen to be humans who loved technology and embrace it wholeheartedly. But it was always clear things would be different if we were male. Some of us identified as feminists before we came to this industry.
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