Sexist Tech

Every three months, the echo chamber erupts with the same old drama about sexist men and glass ceilings in the tech industry.  I’m not going to feed it by linking, and this post is meant to be my only word on the topic, so I can permalink next time the perma-debate pops up.

The pattern is extremely predictable.  First, you have some (so-called) “middle aged white guys” who do or say something that can be perceived as sexist.  Then, you have some (so-called) “angry women” who point the accusatory finger and shout the shrill alarm.  Finally, the guys all retreat a few steps and mutter loudly to one another about how oversensitive the women are.

They all take it very seriously, as if it’s a barometer of the entire industry.  We are treated to all sorts of paternalistic posturing about how the women can be happy if they just follow the advice and example of the wise fathers.  And that just makes the “angry women” angrier. 

I agree that the drama is important to the people involved in it.  But it’s completely irrelevant to the rest of us.  Kids today are being raised in a completely different environment — boys and girls learn to get along from a young age, and nobody is expected to conform to old stereotypes (John Wayne and “little lady”).  Nobody is obsessed with the revolution, because it’s already happened.

I note that it’s always the same guys who upset the women, and they do so repeatedly.  Most men in this industry are quite productive without needing to do/say these things.  And I notice it’s the same women getting riled up every time.  While women still face challenges, most women are busy advancing their careers, and far less concerned with the actions of a small minority.

The fact is, if we were raised in the climate/environment that these people were raised in, we would probably act the same way.  But time marches on, and the future of this industry is with people who were raised differently.  Boys and girls in this industry get along a heck of a lot better than these folks do, and it’s only getting better.  Thank you history, it’s time to go to sleep now.

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