Today, I am pretty much frustrated. It’s quite late at night, and I am coming from a great ruby meet up in Bratislava. Returning with the train and checking for new tweets, I noticed a few posts in the feed that reminded me on discussions I had lately - cumulating in last night. The gist of the things can be found in the post by Jason Stirk (@j_stirk). Please read up on it, and follow the links he suggests.
But what really frustrated me in the end happened only yesterday. I met with a guy I know who also works in IT. And for some reason or other the talk turned to one of the topics I care greatly about: Sexism and Mysogyny in our field of work.
Now, people who know me are aware that I am no saint. I do say politically incorrect things. I do make inappropriate jokes now and again. I am also pretty much fed up with it, and try to do it less and less. I do definitely not need anyones absolution about that.
I try to make amends. Reflect on my attitude and shit I say. I try to help with great events like rails girls or pyladies. I am actually glad that people give me the opportunity to try and make a difference.
I am also trying to raise awareness about the gross mysogyny and sexism in IT whenever appropriate - and maybe too little. Still that does not absolve me.
But that does not mean that I should sit there and hear someone telling me with a condescending tone that ‘misandry exists as much as misogyny and that I should stop overreacting’ - and take it. Least of all when coming from a smart and educated person.
The fuck am I overreacting! I am reacting to your fucking straw man argument that dismisses that people don’t attend conferences because they are feeling unsafe - and you dismiss it on your fucking gut feeling!
You know what? I don’t give a shit about your gut feeling. @j_strike has it right. If you felt threatened and out of your depth in a normal social situation just because of your gender, then maybe, maybe that might give you the right to speak up.
But it will never ever give you the right to tell people that you would only see validity in the mysogyny claims if the misandry claims are given the same audience and attention.
You know why? Because there is not “as much misandry as misogyny going on all the time”. That’s bullshit! What is actually happening is that the very moment any chav will say something about how much the “fucking bitches” screw with this life, won’t most of of his buddies agree? Open your eyes: misandry is abhorred and beaten back with all might by the society - while misogyny is given the slip. It’s pretty much a trivial offense. Oh, it’s just boy’s talk. Lighten up. Don’t take it personally.
I could puke if I heard one of these comments again.
I do have the sneaking suspicion that it’s not even the blatant sexist cavemen that are fast to detest anything feminine that is not bowing to their will immediately that keeps the status quo.
It’s the condescending, talking-down-to-others, mediocrities like you. Those that are always covering up the situation and their own asses quickly. You are part of the molasses that keep our society from moving forward. You with your outdated opinions and your offensive rudeness that you mistake for manners.
You know, I really hope that at one point you will recognize that you have been wrong. And that you will join me in working actively against that horrible status quo that keeps us back in dark ages. I just fear that it’s more likely that you will cling to your twisted view with desperate strength. So I will feel like instead of making a difference, I am losing ground. Again. Like I just did yesterday and today. And again. And again …
But you know what?
Frustration leads to anger.
Anger leads to energy.
And I promise one thing: until I am personally convinced that the society and especially the IT (geek, nerd, …) community as a whole manages to remove the thoughts and words that make people think and talk of “us” and “them” entirely - until then I will fight for what I think is right and the minimum of decency and decorum. With all I have.
You will not stop me there. I dare you to try.