Tag Archives: NYMag

Married and Sexist

Inspired by Pax Dickinson’s horrendous NYMag interview about his sexist Twitter history and Robin Thicke’s GQ interview about the “Blurred Lines” video, I wrote about the venn diagram of being married and being sexist:

Screenshot_9_19_13_10_30_AM-3

After extensive research, I have concluded that you can, in fact, be both married and sexist. For more on that, check out my essay at Role/Reboot.

Screenshot_9_19_13_10_50_AM

Related Post: On marriage and skepticism

Related Post: LOL. Fox News blunder with marriage photo

5 Comments

Filed under Gender, Media, Republished!

Pack it up, Pax

Another week, another kerfuffle over the tech industry’s ongoing hostility towards women.

a_560x375Overview: This one began when Pax Dickinson, the Chief Technical Officer for Business Insider was fired after his disgusting twitter feed, rife with classist, racist, sexist, and homophobic sentiments was re-discovered. Example:

In The Passion Of The Christ 2, Jesus gets raped by a pack of niggers. It’s his own fault for dressing like a whore though.

Other examples are not as egregious in language choice, but are equally insensitive: aw, you can’t feed your family on minimum wage? well who told you to start a fucking family when your skills are only worth minimum wage? 

Or, the classic anti-feminist haterade: feminism in tech remains the champion topic for my block list. my finger is getting tired. 

It would’ve been just another brogramming asshole on Twitter, worthy of an eyeroll and nothing more, except that he happened to be extremely high up in a organization that writes, on a regular basis, about the ongoing effort to support the inclusion of women in tech.

ANYWAY. He was interviewed this week in NYMag and his interview is basically a list of politcally incorrect, poorly thought-out no-nos diguised as general apathy for what other people think of him. So, let’s take this piece by piece:

*       *       *      *       *

“I regret some of the tweets. Some of them — they were taken out of context.” There is no context, bro. The fact that you tweeted horrendous shit that coinincided with the release of Passion of the Christ doesn’t make it any less horrendous. More importantly, this is classic White Dude Privilege Syndrome, as articulated so well by David Roberts at Grist.  One of the most subtle-but-powerful forms of privilege is the assumption that the way you intend yourself to be interpreted is the way you will be interpreted. Imagine if a black teenager was like, “Yo, I didn’t mean to look threatening to you! You took my hoodie out of context!” As Roberts put it, “We privileged dudes have trouble accepting that language is a social phenomenon, a social act.” Read closely, Pax.

“But I still — I still think it was funny, so I don’t apologize that much. It was a funny joke, sorry!” Ohhhh, as long as you think it’s funny to make rape jokes (Who has more dedication, ambition, and drive? Kobe only raped one girl, Lebron raped an entire city. +1 for Lebron”) and belittle the struggle of LGBTQ folks to live with the openness you enjoy (“at least if we end up getting into a nuclear standoff with Russia over gay rights we’ll know this universe is just a satirical simulation”) then it’s all good. We didn’t know you were trying to be funny! If we had known that…. JK, it’s still fucking offensive. You know, “you can’t take a joke” is the oldest excuse in the book. If you can’t tell a joke without shitting on black people, women, poor people, and gays, then damn, son, you can’t tell a joke.

“I think the tech world is just kind of — it doesn’t have a woman problem. Women in tech are great. There’s just not that many of them because tech is just a kind of thing that a lot of women aren’t that interested in, I think.” Yeah…. wow. This is just about the least nuanced view of a very complicated issue that I’ve seen in a while. There are a lot of reasons that there aren’t as many women in tech as men, not the least of which is your attitude, as expressed on Twitter, would make it very unlikely that any women would want to work for you. Nobody likes to force themselves into a party to which they’re not invited, and your tweets are part of the hostility (along with Titstare, etc) that make it appear to the outside that tech has a No Girls Allowed sign. What’s more, the idea that STEM is not for women is pushed onto girls at a very young age (“Too pretty for math” t-shirts, for example). We’re not born with a distaste for computers; in China, 40% of engineers are female. This shit is culturally created, and you’re contributing.

“The freewheeling nature of it is what leads to innovation. And my fear is that if we’re all going to police what we say, maybe we lose that innovation.” You can be freewheeling without being offensive. It’s possible, I promise, it just takes a little more effort than you’re willing to put in. Take comedy, for example, only the laziest comedians think that the only way to get a laugh is with a “Let me tell you something about women… ” joke. The smart ones, the Louis CKs and the Rob Delaneys, know that you don’t have to make people with fewer opportunities than you the punchline. You’ve been living in a No Girls Allowed treehouse for the last twenty years, and we’re knocking on the door saying that bro-time is now over. Get with it. Being professional doesn’t mean boring, but it does that you must treat people with respect and promote equality in your workplace, especially when you’re the boss.

“Real misogyny is, you know, hatred of women and violence against women and all that. Those are terrible things, but let’s not devalue those things, let’s not make those things, let’s not trivialize them by using the same words for things like Titstare. I mean, Titstare is harmless. It’s crass, but it’s harmless.” It’s absolutely 100% not harmless. It is the opposite of harmless, it is full of harm. Titstare is about objectifying women, as in… viewing women as objects. Violence against women, what you call “real misogyny,” springs directly from that same belief. When you think that women exist for your pleasure, to look at or touch or fuck, then it is easy for you to treat them disposably, violently, disrespectfully. When you believe women are some sort of “other” category of sort-of humans, you are beginning to create the justification that people use all the time to prevent women from voting, driving, governing. It is from that same place of othering that domestic abuse, sexual assault, and rape come from.

“I work in New York City, you know, diversity capital of the world. I don’t have any problems with anybody. My career would never have gotten to this point — the point I was at, before — if I was that kind of person.” Could you be any more delusional? You think that sexist, racist, homophobic white guys don’t make it to the top every single day? You know who hires them, mentors them, promotes them? Other sexist, racist, homophobic white guys. Or, rather than implicating every single person that has ever hired or promoted you, let’s say that straight, rich, white dudes (the type that have probably hired you many times over) are not known for being especially perceptive towards issues of privilege and inequality.

“My wife thinks it’s bullshit! She knows me, this is ridiculous. The worst part about it is, for me, the people who love me are very upset.” We’ll address this one tomorrow. Stay tuned.

*       *       *      *       *

My god… I could go on and on. His interview is basically every issue I’ve ever written about all at once, rolled up tightly in a gross little package of misguided, delusional horseshit. What did I miss?

Related Post: On brogramming

Related Post: An example of sexism in tech!

3 Comments

Filed under Gender, Media

Sunday Scraps 102

sunday102

1. JOURNALISM: This my be my favorite editorial I’ve read in quite some time. From Tim Krieder at the NYT, he writes about uncertainty of stating one’s opinions on the internet: “I felt like the explanatory caption beneath my name on-screen ought to be: PERSON IN WORLD.” This is basically exactly how I feel about everything.

2. STYLE: Ever wonder about Rihanna’s hairstylist? Who is this person? Where did he or she come from? NYMag has got you covered.

3. WAR: In this not at all scientific but very strangely powerful series, soldiers are photographed before, during, and after war.

4. TELEVISION: How to make a good drama that wins lots of awards. Is there a formula for that? Perchance there is and it’s only 13 steps!

5. GEOGRAPHY: Highly difficult, highly addictive, Geoguessr is game where google streetview displays a picture and you try to guess where in the world it was taken. Good luck with Australia vs. Texas.

6. DEPRESSION: Blogger Allie Brosh is back after a long hiatus. This webcomic explains where she’s been, and also does a pretty excellent job at describing depression to those that are not depressed. Play close attention to the fish analogy.

Related Post: Sunday 101 – Dear Daughter, Colbert’s “homophobe” song, Lennon and Maisey

Related Post: Sunday 102 – Why lady looks matter, SCOTUS, Huma + Anthony, football tragedy

3 Comments

Filed under Art, Gender, Hollywood, Media, Really Good Writing by Other People

Sunday Scraps 99

sunday99

1. TAVI: 16-year-olds have no right to be so cool and self-assured. This kid says everything I figured out ten years later about media, feminism, stereotypes, yada yada yada.

2. HEALTH: This American Life is on a roll. Killer piece about the huge upward trend in Americans filing for disability. Why? When? How did this happen? Better question, what do we do it about?

3. ADVERTISING: Sociological Images uses the interesting case of Rolling Rock beer to discuss the appropriation of working class iconography by upper class cohorts for the purposes of “seeming real.”

4. ROMANCE: Nick Offerman + Megan Mullally = Forever. THEY ARE THE BEST, and lucky us, NYMag compiled a history of their love.

5. POLITICS: Just for kicks, cats that look like politicians. Or politicians that look like cats?

6. LGBTQ: Really thought-provoking essay for BuzzFeed about the importance of gay porn, by gay porn performer Connor Habib.

Related Post: Sunday 98 - Marriage in China, mean girls, George Saunders and his editor, etc.

Related Post: Sunday 97 – Writing with a gender neutral name, Cindy Gallop, Anita Sarkeesian, etc.

2 Comments

Filed under Advertising, Art, Gender, Hollywood, Politics, Sex

Monday Scraps 95

sunday96

1. DATING: Where do “missed connections” happen? In Illinois, on the train (duh), in Indiana, at home. Wait, what?

2. AUTHORS: Ugh. Ender’s Game was kind of my favorite thing for so so long. It still is, but I hate when the authors you love turn out to be raging homophobes. Dammit.

3. EDUCATION: This amazing investigative piece by WBEZ on the South Side’s Harper High School is incredible in basically every way journalism can be incredible.

4. KNOPE: NYMag has the inside scoop behind Amy Poehler/Leslie Knope’s amazing wedding dress.

5. SPORTS: For the very first time, a woman is participating in the NFL regional tryouts. Kicker Lauren Silberman will probably not play in the NFL, but that’s still pretty f’ing cool.

6. OSCARS: I would write about Seth McFarlane’s horribly sexist jokes, but Margaret Lyons at NYMag  nailed it so hard I’d just be paraphrasing. 

Related Post: Sunday Scraps 94: Bey, Connie Britton, Jane Austen and more.

Related Post: Sunday Scraps: 93: Guns, visiting Chicago, Margaret Atwood

3 Comments

Filed under Books, Chicago, Education, Gender, Hollywood, Media, Politics, Sports

Sunday Scraps 94

sunday94

1. DIVA: NYMag counted out the most un-diva moments in Beyonce’s new HBO documentary.

2. GUNS: This sprawling ridiculous, incredible, challenging essay from the Center for Investigative Reporting follows “the shooter” who killed Osama Bin Laden as he reenters civilian life.

3. JOURNALISM: Did you know the Antarctica has a newspaper? With an editor and everything! Read an interview with him, Peter Rejcek, in The Hairpin.

4. CONNIE: My love for Connie Britton will never die. Apparently, I’m not alone in my devotion, at least, according to this NYTimes profile on the former Mrs. Taylor.

5. TECH: Stacey Mulcahy’s excellent letter has made the rounds this week, but if you missed it, read it now. Her 8-year-old niece wants to be a game-designer, so she wrote a letter to “future women in tech.”

6. JANE: This is a fun, short investigation into the life of Jane Austen. It breaks my heart how many of her letters were burned and destroyed. Sometimes I really do feel grateful for the longevity of internet communications.

Related Post: Sunday 93 – Guns, Atwood, visiting Chicago, etc.

Related Post: Sunday 92 – Tina Fey, sleeping portraits, Kenneth Faried, etc.

4 Comments

Filed under Art, Books, Gender, Hollywood, Media, Politics, Really Good Writing by Other People

Sunday Scraps 91

sunday91

1. Books: So, apparently McDonald’s is giving away 15million books instead of plastic crap. This seems like a good thing, no?

2. SCI-FI: Jim Hines, a fantasy author, illustrates some of the ridiculous lady-poses of sci-fi and fantasy covers with some creative posing.

3. MARRIAGE EQUALITY: The argument against marriage equality has taken a turn for the strange, in my opinion, with this emphasis on unintended pregnancy and accidental babies….

4. CHICAGO: I’m kind of obsessed with these little graphic illustrations of Liz Fosslien, especially her very accurate understanding of all things Chicago. See especially, the Board of Trade drink ratios.

5. CELEBRITY: God bless NYMag for the gift of 60 high school photos of celebrities, from Amy Poehler to Channing Tatum, Alec Baldwin to Zooey Deschanel.

6. TECH: Really fascinating piece from HuffPo on how Siri came to be and how she changed when she went Apple.

Related Post: Sunday 90 – Frida, Lindsay Lohan, James Deen, Zadie

Related Post:  Sunday 89 - Mr. Wright, Matt and Ben, avalanches

6 Comments

Filed under Art, Body Image, Books, Chicago, Food, Gender, Hollywood, Media, Politics