Gender Advisor in Leadership Position


#1

I would like to recommend that you consciously put someone on your leadership team at the top level that can advise you as to creating content that does not contain an unconscious masculine bias. Nearly all of U.S. higher education relegates “Women’s History” for example, to a subclass of study, when women are over half of the history of humanity. Another example is having an International Women’s Day, which of course, means the other 364 days out of the year are biased towards telling men’s stories. I would imagine the problem would be even greater in more traditional patriarchal countries. Women are over half the world’s population, yet in your Indiegogo promo video only 1 out of 7 speakers are female (14.3%), and she does not appear to be part of your leadership structure. That to me was a huge, scary red flag. So was your assurance that parents can monitor the content for their children. Is this going to be another powerful tool for pornifying, commodifying and controlling women and their sexuality perpetuating the global sex slavery of women, girls and boys? Be careful not to become another powerful tech Brodeo, with all the bias that implies. And just because someone is a woman, doesn’t mean she’s conscious on issues of gender bias in education and information. Actually, Michael Kimmel would be a great person to approach. He’s been editing the Men’s Studies journal for two decades now at Stony Brook University and he could advise you on whether or not you techies are missing the boat on gender consciousness, like so many who have gone before you have done through ignorance or arrogance. Unless you have a background in this field, I think we can all safely assume that you would not be aware of the considerable bias that you will almost certainly be unconsciously perpetuating by default. Thank you.


#2

I think this is a matter of the content providers. Could you suggest some opensource licensed content on theme of what you’re talking about that could be added? It is outside the scope of the outermet project to create the content that will be hosted.


#3

Hi Ben!

Thanks for your reply. :smile: I have a graduate level education in rhetoric and gender and I am a member of Mensa and I have to say, I cannot make heads or tails out of this website. How does/would one submit content? What content are you considering? Articles? Books? What does “open source licensed content” mean, for those who don’t know? If you want diverse, representative content for broadcast, then I suggest you realize that not everyone who writes, thinks or educates lives in Silicon Valley or speaks tech, ;). Probably what women in the developing world would need more than a course in computer programming, for example, is access to correct and unbiased information about STDs, birth control, abortion, birthing, breastfeeding, FGM (female genital mutilation) and MC (male circumcision).


#4

P.S. If this is to be “Humanity’s Public Library,” please refrain from using outdated gendered language like “manpower.” On the “Get Involved” page, it states “While we wish we could mobilize all of this good will, we do not yet have the manpower to do so.”

One can say instead "we do not yet have the staff to do so."
or
"we do not yet have the resources to do so.“
or
"we do not yet have the infrastructure to do so.”


#5

I’d like to start by saying i’m not a member of the outernet team, simply a friend.
The content submission is more of an idea than an implemented system. They have a page over here for submitting content, but again more of an idea than a fully functional system. An open license basically refers to the publishing license. I dont know too much about this myself, but looking into the GNU General Public License might help, some general information is here. Basically the reason that is specified is it is the easiest thing to just grab and share with the world. Other relationships can exist between outernet and the content owner, but that becomes more complicated.
As far as the manpower terminology, i’m sure it would be extremely simple for @branko to make that change.


#6

@almabella We have Rachel on the team, Director of Program Development and Women’s Initiatives. You can see her profile on our campaign page (scroll down towards the bottom).


#7

Thank you for your reply.

While I applaud your attempt to be conscious on this subject, with all due respect, as I said in my original post, just because a person is female does not mean they are trained in gender issues. Also, having a designated “Women’s Initiatives” position given to a woman is, again, marginalizing women into a minority class, and assumes the default is male. For example, having a “Male Initiatives” position would kind of be admitting that the rest of the time it’s all about women, right? It also ignores the host of issues facing men as a special gender class such as circumcision, homophobic violence from hypermasculine standards and PTSD from combat, which neuroscience is proving gets passed on generationally. In the future, understanding how to clear trauma is going to be a big part of the solution of world peace, particularly in areas of generational conflict. It’s even more troubling to me that you have a designated person on “Women’s Initiatives,” and you still did not see a problem with using the word “manpower” on your website. As I suspected, it sounds a bit like the blind leading the blind. Frankly, glancing at Rachel’s YouTube page, she seems more concerned with a “beach body” and “tight glutes” than social justice and gender issues. And no, I’m not being “unsupportive of women” by giving an honest assessment of your choices. Supporting women just because they’re women is reverse sexism. And not acknowledging the special problems of men created by patriarchal norms is also sexist towards men. Also, why didn’t you put Rachel and her role in your campaign video? I’m sorry, but I’m just not impressed. Issues of gender are nuanced and complex and require expertise and training on the subject. I suggest you rename her position “Gender Initiatives.” Saying “Women’s Initiatives” betrays that your company’s thinking is way behind the times on the subject of gender, perpetuating the idea of dividing the world into a false duality, a paradigm that is part of the problem, not part of the solution.


#8

Could you please expand on this a little? I obviously come from a completely different background and I find it hard to believe special training is needed to have a sane outlook on gender differences and similarities.

As far as I’m aware, she picked it. It wasn’t ‘gven’ to her as you put it. Hope that puts it in a different perspective.

I’m sorry, you lost me here. What does ‘beach body’ and ‘tight glutes’ mean?

She joined us somewhat late in the game and it was too late for the video. We might update the video in future.


#9

@almabella I agree with your points.

The Outernet project isn’t intending to write the content, so finding good content, then voting for it in whatever system they end up using is probably most helpful. The voting system will always be imperfect.

The Outernet team will additionally decide which content goes into their ‘core archive’ so it’s worth making your point here.

A bit of content I think might be interesting is the 'Where women have no doctor’ book. It is freely reproducible (no copyright problem), so could be included in the 'Core Archive

At the moment it’s only available in English & Spanish, so if this is an area you’d like to volunteer some time, pulling together some people to edit & translate it into other languages might be a good project? This would be of benefit beyond the Outernet project, as the books are distributed in paper & online form too.

The Hespirian project does publish in many languages their English selection is most comprehensive


#10

As an individual i feel that your post is rather agressive. That doesn’t mean that i don’t agree with the concepts behind what you’re saying. It does mean that i feel you could be expressing yourself in a way that others would be more interested in hearing and in a way that it would be easy for others to add your contribution. Sam had some great stuff to say about that. My suggestion is that you look into a topic referred to as “Non Violent Communication.” I personally learned about this through Marshall Rosenberg, a world famous speaker and diplomat. He rambles quite a lot, but what he has to say is very powerful.

Again i’d like to emphasize your tone is a little rough, don’t disagree with your content. There are lots of things that need improvement in the world and gender misunderstandings are one of them.


#11

@branko Thank you again for your thoughtful and non-defensive reply.

[quote=“branko, post:8, topic:965”]
I find it hard to believe special training is needed to have a sane outlook on gender differences and similarities.
[/quote] That statement is evidence that my suspicion is correct. If you don’t believe that special scholarship is necessary to identify and rectify gender biases in education and information, than you almost certainly will be perpetuating the well documented biases in our canons and curriculums.

Below is a quote from this article that talks about how we are unconsciously creating gender biased models in the tech community, http://www.wired.com/2014/11/code-documentary-gender-gap/

“If technology isn’t shaped by people with diverse views—at the coding level—our tech products won’t serve the greater good. The idea is that when you don’t have any diversity, says Reynolds, you end up creating products that serve the population that’s most like you.”

For example, your marketing says that you will make Wikipedia available on Lantern. Are you aware of the research showing the gender bias of Wikipedia scholarship? Perhaps you should reach out to the scholars mentioned in the article below on how not to repeat the same errors as Wikipedia as you refine your business model. I know you are not responsible for generating content, but I do believe you are responsible to make sure your content generating population is diverse.

Not really. I used the word “given” because I assume she’s an employee and not an owner. And again, please do not make the common error of assuming that because someone is a woman that they are educated on these issues. For example, in my original post, I suggested that you contact a man about this. There are plenty of women and men trained to recognize biases in scholarship. I don’t see anything in Rachel’s background, or the rest of your team’s background, to suggest you have any awareness of the biases. Which is a huge oversight, if you are trying to create “Humanity’s Public Library.” What you need are librarians informed on the biases of content, not coders with no training on normalized, invisible bias.

Using words like “manpower” on your website suggest that you are wholly unaware of the negative effect of gendered words. To put it another way, would you say that you don’t have enough “whitepower” at this time? Of course not. That would be immediately obviously racist. But the fact that you did not immediately see the problem with “manpower” is a good example of how “you don’t know what you don’t know.”

“beach body” and “tight glutes” are common terms used in women’s exercise videos. While men’s exercise video marketing emphasizes feeling strong from the inside out, women’s emphasizes looking good to others. This is because we are socialized, men and women both, to see men as the subjects of their own lives and women as objects for others’ use. We are told these differences are “evolutionary,” and, again, there is considerable scholarship to refute the idea that men are somehow naturally the sexual hunter and women the sexual prey, needing to prioritize having a “beach body” and “tight glutes” as part of their exercise routine. Rachel has “liked” exercise videos that subscribe to this paradigm, which is not hard evidence, but is certainly circumstantial evidence that she has internalized her own objectification and would not be aware of issues around the objectification of women in our media, if she buys into that paradigm herself. Believing that having a clitoris is enough of a qualification for the vast and important field of creating a diverse, inclusive, unbiased canon is a good example of trivializing the importance of this issue.

I am not surprised that she “liked” those videos, nor am I judging her personally for doing so. Obviously, if she created her title, she is trying to do something about this issue, and thank goodness for that and she is to be commended for bringing “Women’s Initiatives” to the table. I am merely using this as another example to illustrate that our culture has inherent gender biases that are normalized and therefore invisible to the average person who has not been trained to see them, and therefore they will unconsciously perpetuate the same biases, because they are invisible. I’m making the point that nothing in Rachel’s resume or online habits indicate her position or training would fulfill the need I am identifying.

Again, while I applaud that you are doing better than most, this shows that “women” were still an afterthought and that it took a woman coming late to the game to come up with the idea to include half the population in your work, because it wasn’t already on your radar. That would be another example of being unaware of your own biases and the inherent biases that will surface in your project if not monitored by someone with training on these issues.

@sam_uk came up with some good concrete ideas. Thanks, Sam! But just saying, “The voting system will always be imperfect,” is not good enough. Look at Wikipedia. Just leaving it up to the “content generators” has lead to a biased canon.

What’s even more dangerous is that, after generating biased data, we are seeing a scary trend of then presuming we can make conclusions on that tainted data. I see this all the time, most recently with the book “Dataclysm” by OKCupid’s founder which is chock full of specious claims about attitudes on race and gender, based on tainted sampling of the “users” of his website.

(part two of this post is below)


#12

@Ben has inadvertently supported my thesis here, with these two comments. The tendency of men in the tech field to characterize women with strong and informed opinions as “aggressive” has been documented in the research below.

I actually teach NVC, which relies on 1) observations 2) feelings 3) needs and 4) requests. My posts here contain facts I have observed about your marketing, and requests for action on your part. I did not “coerce” or “manipulate” or get “defensive.” Females who shoot from the hip, as they say, are often seen as abrasive and told to alter their manner, while males are admired for the same qualities.

An informed person with a “sane outlook” on gender differences would know that men hear women’s opinions as aggressive, then publicly characterize them as such, create a chilling climate for women to participate because calling a woman “aggressive” is code for “unsexy” in our culture and women don’t want to be seen as “unloveable.” So, one could argue that it is Ben who is (probably quite unconsciously to even himself) using gender norms to manipulate behavior here.

Fortunately, I already believe that all men and women are worthy of love just for being. :smile: and so I am immune to that type of gaslighting. (If you had to look up “gaslighting” then that’s further proof that “you don’t know what you don’t know” with respect to gender dynamics).

Hope all this helps. Happy to continue the dialog. Thanks for your willingness to listen.

Usually, when one brings up gender issues on a forum, they are mercilessly bullied, often with threats of violence, as Gamergate and a host of other similar cybermobbing of people speaking on gender consciousness has demonstrated.

Isn’t is sad, though, that being “willing to listen” to the truth about gender bias is the exception, not the norm?

You have a great and noble idea. But that’s not enough. If you don’t get wise to how the tech world is creating gender biased monsters, you may end up not reaching the lofty goals you have set for yourself and may actually, inadvertently, impede them.


#13

Ben I think that’s known as version of the ‘tone argument’


#14

@almabella You assume a whole lot and construct your vision based solely on a few clues you picked up online. Instead of engaging us directly, you throw at us a boatload of assumptions and demand action based on those. Most of your assumptions are completely wrong, too. Unfortunately, I don’t have the time right now to answer all your points individually, but I hope to do so soon. Meanwhile, please try to keep an open mind. Not all companies are the same, and not all people are the same.


#15

@branko

The “you are making assumptions based on scant evidence” argument is another common red herring on internet forums. My observations and conclusions in each case were specifically linked to evidence and/or supported by evidence. It’s a fallacy of logic and argumentation to say “you can’t comment on THIS evidence, because there’s OTHER evidence.”

I am commenting on your marketing. The definition of marketing is “what you have made available to the public about yourself.” I am giving you feedback as a consumer. If you are not interested in that feedback, so be it.

I believe I have made my point that

  1. the gender biases of the tech world are well documented
  2. your marketing does not present any evidence that you are conscious of these dangers
  3. in fact, several things you do present suggests you are not conscious about these issues
  4. the sources you are relying on are biased and you wil perpetuate bias if you do not take the proper steps to ensure that you don’t
  5. I suggest you reach out to people who are trained in this area to advise you

That’s what I said, and I’m sticking to it. I’m not really interested in a critique of “how I said it,” or “what I don’t know,” or your advice on how I should use my “mind.”

Unfortunately, the defensive manner of your reply suggests that you hear constructive feedback on how you are presenting yourself as an attack, so I believe further dialog with you would be unproductive. As a rule, I withdraw from debates once the tone degrades into

  1. attacking the person and not their argument (“you assume” “you throw”)
  2. subjectively negatively characterizing others’ words for effect (“throw at us” “demand”)

both of which are bullying communication tactics.

Interestingly, that’s another gender issue, too! Socialized masculinity normalizes bullying in communication, making it invisible. Lots of scholarship on that, too.


#16

Appologies for terribl formatting. Been working on this for at least two hours.

I would like to recommend that you consciously put someone on your leadership team at the top level that can advise you as to creating content that does not contain an unconscious masculine bias. Nearly all of U.S. higher education relegates "Women's History" for example, to a subclass of study, when women are over half of the history of humanity. Another example is having an International Women's Day, which of course, means the other 364 days out of the year are biased towards telling men's stories. I would imagine the problem would be even greater in more traditional patriarchal countries. Women are over half the world's population, yet in your Indiegogo promo video only 1 out of 7 speakers are female (14.3%), and she does not appear to be part of your leadership structure. That to me was a huge, scary red flag. So was your assurance that parents can monitor the content for their children. Is this going to be another powerful tool for pornifying, commodifying and controlling women and their sexuality perpetuating the global sex slavery of women, girls and boys? Be careful not to become another powerful tech Brodeo, with all the bias that implies. And just because someone is a woman, doesn't mean she's conscious on issues of gender bias in education and information. Actually, Michael Kimmel would be a great person to approach. He's been editing the Men's Studies journal for two decades now at Stony Brook University and he could advise you on whether or not you techies are missing the boat on gender consciousness, like so many who have gone before you have done through ignorance or arrogance. Unless you have a background in this field, I think we can all safely assume that you would not be aware of the considerable bias that you will almost certainly be unconsciously perpetuating by default. Thank you.

All of this seems more to do with content than the objective goal of outernet. I believe that goal is specifically to broadcast information, a library. I also believe that the content decision is intended to be extremely open and accessible to everyone of every opinion. While that does absolutely subject it to bias, it also allows for the opportunity for people to voice opinions like these. The key here i feel is that outernet intends to manufacture the platform and allow community organizations who have already invested time and research into education techniques to utilize the platform via apps (ways of interfacing with information outside of librarian) and web pages (more or less the same thing). I think a volunteer such as yourself would be in an adequate position to point out biased opinions within the platform itself (inteface, website, etc). This would be especially easy as the platform aspect of outernet will not lean in any particular direction on bias.

Thanks for your reply. smile I have a graduate level education in rhetoric and gender and I am a member of Mensa 

In what capacity do you participate in mensa? I actually know nothing about the organization.

and I have to say, I cannot make heads or tails out of this website. How does/would one submit content? What content are you considering? Articles? Books? What does "open source licensed content" mean, for those who don't know? If you want diverse, representative content for broadcast, then I suggest you realize that not everyone who writes, thinks or educates lives in Silicon Valley or speaks tech, wink. Probably what women in the developing world would need more than a course in computer programming, for example, is access to correct and unbiased information about STDs, birth control, abortion, birthing, breastfeeding, FGM (female genital mutilation) and MC (male circumcision).

Yes, the content system is quite a mess. It’s what needs to be worked on the most in my opinion. There’s something called whiteboard, but that is not particularly effective currently. This again, seems mostly to do with the content that should be delivered. As it will be community driven, people with opinions and experience and knowledge such as yourself are extremely welcome to participate. Again, pending a functional interface. Until then, there is a subforum for discussing content. Specific organizations and sources are useful, and if they have the right license it could be easy to add to the broadcast.

P.S. If this is to be "Humanity's Public Library," please refrain from using outdated gendered language like "manpower." On the "Get Involved" page, it states "While we wish we could mobilize all of this good will, we do not yet have the manpower to do so."
One can say instead "we do not yet have the staff to do so."
or
"we do not yet have the resources to do so."
or
"we do not yet have the infrastructure to do so."
Thank you for your reply.

An excellent example of a concrete action that could be taken. I totally feel like arguing about the tone, but i will pass as that is unnecessary and i’m choosing to learn instead of remain ignorant.

While I applaud your attempt to be conscious on this subject, with all due respect, as I said in my original post, just because a person is female does not mean they are trained in gender issues.

What would someone trained in gender issues bring to the table in outernet’s organization that could not be done by the scrutiny of community members?

Also, having a designated “Women’s Initiatives” position given to a woman is, again, marginalizing women into a minority class, and assumes the default is male. For example, having a “Male Initiatives” position would kind of be admitting that the rest of the time it’s all about women, right? It also ignores the host of issues facing men as a special gender class such as circumcision, homophobic violence from hypermasculine standards and PTSD from combat, which neuroscience is proving gets passed on generationally. In the future, understanding how to clear trauma is going to be a big part of the solution of world peace, particularly in areas of generational conflict. It’s even more troubling to me that you have a designated person on “Women’s Initiatives,” and you still did not see a problem with using the word “manpower” on your website. As I suspected, it sounds a bit like the blind leading the blind. Frankly, glancing at Rachel’s YouTube page, she seems more concerned with a “beach body” and “tight glutes” than social justice and gender issues. And no, I’m not being “unsupportive of women” by giving an honest assessment of your choices. Supporting women just because they’re women is reverse sexism. And not acknowledging the special problems of men created by patriarchal norms is also sexist towards men. Also, why didn’t you put Rachel and her role in your campaign video? I’m sorry, but I’m just not impressed. Issues of gender are nuanced and complex and require expertise and training on the subject. I suggest you rename her position “Gender Initiatives.” Saying “Women’s Initiatives” betrays that your company’s thinking is way behind the times on the subject of gender, perpetuating the idea of dividing the world into a false duality, a paradigm that is part of the problem, not part of the solution.

I think while all of this could be considered totally valid, it doesn’t really have anything to do with the goal of outernet. All of the concerns about what information is being made available by outernet could be put into selecting content that contains the information you want shared. Perhaps speaking with Rachel about gender intiatives would be a useful course of action, as it is obvious she is interested in it even if she does not currently have the same information you do. I’m 100% certain she would be more receptive of it than branko, who as the coder already has to assymilate everybody in the company’s ideas into functional software but also spends his free time attempting to provide information on the forums along with Syed, the CEO.

@branko Thank you again for your thoughtful and non-defensive reply.
branko:

    I find it hard to believe special training is needed to have a sane outlook on gender differences and similarities.

That statement is evidence that my suspicion is correct. If you don't believe that special scholarship is necessary to identify and rectify gender biases in education and information, than you almost certainly will be perpetuating the well documented biases in our canons and curriculums.

Branko is not in charge of what content is selected, he simply makes the interface. His ignorance will not be passed on.

Below is a quote from this article that talks about how we are unconsciously creating gender biased models in the tech community, http://www.wired.com/2014/11/code-documentary-gender-gap/

"If technology isn’t shaped by people with diverse views—at the coding level—our tech products won’t serve the greater good. The idea is that when you don’t have any diversity, says Reynolds, you end up creating products that serve the population that’s most like you."

This seems to talk about the education of coders being an environment women don’t feel welcome in. How would this be addressed by the outernet group?

For example, your marketing says that you will make Wikipedia available on Lantern. Are you aware of the research showing the gender bias of Wikipedia scholarship? Perhaps you should reach out to the scholars mentioned in the article below on how not to repeat the same errors as Wikipedia as you refine your business model. I know you are not responsible for generating content, but I do believe you are responsible to make sure your content generating population is diverse.

http://nypost.com/2014/07/30/why-is-wikipedia-so-sexist/

I’m glad you know they are not generating content. We would be happy if you joined us in moderating content when the interface is suitably useful.

branko:

    As far as I'm aware, she picked it. It wasn't 'gven' to her as you put it. Hope that puts it in a different perspective.

Not really. I used the word "given" because I assume she's an employee and not an owner. And again, please do not make the common error of assuming that because someone is a woman that they are educated on these issues. For example, in my original post, I suggested that you contact a man about this. There are plenty of women and men trained to recognize biases in scholarship. I don't see anything in Rachel's background, or the rest of your team's background, to suggest you have any awareness of the biases. Which is a huge oversight, if you are trying to create "Humanity's Public Library." What you need are librarians informed on the biases of content, not coders with no training on normalized, invisible bias.

Ah, and these librarians are exactly who the content curators will be! Join their ranks and be assured that this will be a prevalent issue in the discussion of each source.

Using words like "manpower" on your website suggest that you are wholly unaware of the negative effect of gendered words. To put it another way, would you say that you don't have enough "whitepower" at this time? Of course not. That would be immediately obviously racist. But the fact that you did not immediately see the problem with "manpower" is a good example of how "you don't know what you don't know."

I took this to mean “hu-manpower” not “malepower”. When i was taught english i was taught this was a correct way of saying “we do not have enough people”. This has since been changed on the website.

branko:

    I'm sorry, you lost me here. What does 'beach body' and 'tight glutes' mean?

"beach body" and "tight glutes" are common terms used in women's exercise videos. While men's exercise video marketing emphasizes feeling strong from the inside out, women's emphasizes looking good to others. This is because we are socialized, men and women both, to see men as the subjects of their own lives and women as objects for others' use. We are told these differences are "evolutionary," and, again, there is considerable scholarship to refute the idea that men are somehow naturally the sexual hunter and women the sexual prey, needing to prioritize having a "beach body" and "tight glutes" as part of their exercise routine. Rachel has "liked" exercise videos that subscribe to this paradigm, which is not hard evidence, but is certainly circumstantial evidence that she has internalized her own objectification and would not be aware of issues around the objectification of women in our media, if she buys into that paradigm herself. Believing that having a clitoris is enough of a qualification for the vast and important field of creating a diverse, inclusive, unbiased canon is a good example of trivializing the importance of this issue.
I am not surprised that she "liked" those videos, nor am I judging her personally for doing so. Obviously, if she created her title, she is trying to do something about this issue, and thank goodness for that and she is to be commended for bringing "Women's Initiatives" to the table. I am merely using this as another example to illustrate that our culture has inherent gender biases that are normalized and therefore invisible to the average person who has not been trained to see them, and therefore they will unconsciously perpetuate the same biases, because they are invisible. I'm making the point that nothing in Rachel's resume or online habits indicate her position or training would fulfill the need I am identifying.

I think this is exactly why people with knowledge and experience are needed around here.

branko:

    She joined us somewhat late in the game and it was too late for the video. We might update the video in future.

Again, while I applaud that you are doing better than most, this shows that "women" were still an afterthought and that it took a woman coming late to the game to come up with the idea to include half the population in your work, because it wasn't already on your radar. That would be another example of being unaware of your own biases and the inherent biases that will surface in your project if not monitored by someone with training on these issues.

The video seems to me more about outernet and the partners it had than anything gender related.

@sam_uk came up with some good concrete ideas. Thanks, Sam! But just saying, "The voting system will always be imperfect," is not good enough. Look at Wikipedia. Just leaving it up to the "content generators" has lead to a biased canon.

It isn’t enough, that’s why we work to make it better.

@Ben has inadvertently supported my thesis here, with these two comments. The tendency of men in the tech field to characterize women with strong and informed opinions as "aggressive" has been documented in the research below.
www.slate.com
Managers Tell Women in Tech They Are “Abrasive” and Need to “Step Back” to “Let Others Shine”

Kieran Snyder had heard about women in the tech word being judged more harshly than their male colleagues for the same traits and wanted to know "how often this perception of female abrasiveness undermines women’s careers." So she asked a group of men and women in tech to share their...

My apologies for detracting from your point. I see now that by looking at the tone in which you stated your point i was missing the point, which was valid.

I actually teach NVC, which relies on 1) observations 2) feelings 3) needs and 4) requests. My posts here contain facts I have observed about your marketing, and requests for action on your part. I did not "coerce" or "manipulate" or get "defensive." Females who shoot from the hip, as they say, are often seen as abrasive and told to alter their manner, while males are admired for the same qualities.

I feel like what you are asking for is 1) a more gender aware staff, 2) gender aware content. The second can only be obtained with participation. The first also can only be obtained by participation, but i think it would be easier for the staff to hear it if it were seperated from the content issue. Perhaps a training session from yourself or a collegue would be useful and/or desired by some of the staff.

An informed person with a "sane outlook" on gender differences would know that men hear women's opinions as aggressive, then publicly characterize them as such, create a chilling climate for women to participate because calling a woman "aggressive" is code for "unsexy" in our culture and women don't want to be seen as "unloveable." So, one could argue that it is Ben who is (probably quite unconsciously to even himself) using gender norms to manipulate behavior here.

This is quite possible. Fortunately, when i have conversations with people in reality, i am quite verbose and strive to reach a place of common understanding and discussion so if there is some misconception about point due to emotional charge from males or females (as i’ve had both as i’m sure you have) it can be discussed objectively without the kneejerk rejection to ideas and percieved faults people can have.

Fortunately, I already believe that all men and women are worthy of love just for being. smile and so I am immune to that type of gaslighting. (If you had to look up "gaslighting" then that's further proof that "you don't know what you don't know" with respect to gender dynamics).

I’ve heard the term gaslighting before, but i did have to look it up. I don’t feel i’ve done anything with the intent of making you doubt yourself. My intent here has been to get you into the content section so as to have all of your energy devoted to finding good information sources. Pending, of course, functionality. :wink:

Hope all this helps. Happy to continue the dialog. Thanks for your willingness to listen.

Usually, when one brings up gender issues on a forum, they are mercilessly bullied, often with threats of violence, as Gamergate and a host of other similar cybermobbing of people speaking on gender consciousness has demonstrated.

Isn't is sad, though, that being "willing to listen" to the truth about gender bias is the exception, not the norm?

You have a great and noble idea. But that's not enough. If you don't get wise to how the tech world is creating gender biased monsters, you may end up not reaching the lofty goals you have set for yourself and may actually, inadvertently, impede them.

I’m happy to continue the dialog as well. Thank you for bringing awareness to these issues.

Just noticed some new posts. Gonna add it on.

The "you are making assumptions based on scant evidence" argument is another common red herring on internet forums. My observations and conclusions in each case were specifically linked to evidence and/or supported by evidence. It's a fallacy of logic and argumentation to say "you can't comment on THIS evidence, because there's OTHER evidence."

I agree that branko is throwing red herrings (a term i also just learned). It’s my belief he doesn’t want to deal with another opinionated person, as he already gets to sort out everyone at outernet’s opinions and turn them into software. Most of what you’ve been discussing seems to be content more than the marketing.

I am commenting on your marketing. The definition of marketing is "what you have made available to the public about yourself." I am giving you feedback as a consumer. If you are not interested in that feedback, so be it.

I believe I have made my point that

1) the gender biases of the tech world are well documented
2) your marketing does not present any evidence that you are conscious of these dangers
3) in fact, several things you do present suggests you are not conscious about these issues
4) the sources you are relying on are biased and you wil perpetuate bias if you do not take the proper steps to ensure that you don't
5) I suggest you reach out to people who are trained in this area to advise you

I think again the issue is primarily with the content delivered, not the delivery system?

That's what I said, and I'm sticking to it. I'm not really interested in a critique of "how I said it," or "what I don't know," or your advice on how I should use my "mind."

Unfortunately, the defensive manner of your reply suggests that you hear constructive feedback on how you are presenting yourself as an attack, so I believe further dialog with you would be unproductive. As a rule, I withdraw from debates once the tone degrades into

1) attacking the person and not their argument ("you assume" "you throw")
2) subjectively negatively characterizing others' words for effect ("throw at us" "demand")

both of which are bullying communication tactics.

Interestingly, that's another gender issue, too! Socialized masculinity normalizes bullying in communication, making it invisible. Lots of scholarship on that, too.

Corect me if i’m wrong, but is your argument not primarily at the content that will be delivered to people without internet than the code that will be written to deliver it?

Kinda lost track of this at the end. Big post.


#17

No they were not.

Since that’s the case, there’s no need for me to explain the previous comment.


#18

I think we need an explanation of Mensa and why it makes someone think they are actually so smart. The rhetoric I have seen on this post could very well destroy the Outernet before it even gets started. There should be a process in place to keep this type of thing from happening. Some may call it censorship but it achieves nothing unless you are trying to destroy and not build. Unless I’ve been misinformed, are members of Mensa 50% of the world’s population?


#19

[quote=“darrell, post:18, topic:965, full:true”]
The rhetoric I have seen on this post could very well destroy the Outernet before it even gets started. [/quote]

LOL melodrama much?

There’s a well established process. It’s called patriarchy.


#20

Becuase that’s what it says on the packaging.

I wouldn’t go that far.

I think things are fine as they are. This type of thing only happens once in a while, and I don’t feel there’s anything we should do about it other than discuss.

There used to be a time when I thought things like ‘partriarchy’ are deeply wrong. Since then I’ve learned that it’s just a label and people don’t even agree on what it means (in concrete terms). There are more concrete things we can do to improve our lives and they usually don’t need to be labelled this or that before they can be addressed. Anyhow, if you don’t like whatever you think is ‘partriarchal’ about this place, feel free to suggest changes. If you need a moderator badge, let me know.