April 27th, 2012
Having come from a life in show business where I was judged daily on the most superficial terms, I’m not readily angered or upset by sexist stupid shit.
There’s just so much of it. Everywhere. That I choose to ignore it.
“…Wut?”, I hear you say.
But here’s where I’m coming from. I have a great deal of respect for the women who are fighting the good fight head on. But that doesn’t work for me. I just don’t win in those situations.
Instead I choose to just be a positive example. Yeah, I guess that’s a passive agressive way of bringing folks to task. But focussing on all the negativity just brings me down. I don’t want to talk about all the things the boys won’t let me do. I don’t want to talk about all the things the boys tell me I’m supposed to be.
All I wanna do is ignore the haters and write awesome code.
But. I think I’ve been naive.
I keep hearing about stuff. Bad stuff. I mean, like the whole Sqoot thing right here in Boston. What year is this? Have ya’all been living under a rock? You can’t get away with that shit anymore. Or can you?
Now, at first I liked the whole bro-gramming meme. To me, it seemed like it started out as a self deprecating joke amongst the hipsters. Hell, I wanted to be a “bro” myself. Seemed like fun. But now, I think the fear is that it’s more of a battle cry to round up fresh tech talent from a pool of jerks.
Well, okay… if you wanna hire assholes then go ahead and add this to your adjective list along with ‘rockstar’, ‘ninja’ and ‘jedi’. But honestly, some guys are taking this bro-grammer thing to heart.
For the last three months, I’ve worked in a startup incubator space. I can stand up and see five or more separate companies with their own personalities all around me. The majority of folks are *wonderful*. And I’ve loved being in such an energized, youthful place.
But then you have your bros. The guys who stand up and pace, talking loudly on their headsets. The ones who throw around terms like ‘gangbang’ and ‘bitch’ to their male colleagues, ignoring the fact that they’re offending people sitting not three feet away.
Oh, and here’s the kicker. One of them upon learning that I was a developer said, “Wow. You’re a girl programmer? You should use that to your advantage.”
Honestly, most if the time I would let a comment like that go. But when weighed against everything else…
So, what do I do about it? What’s my responsibility here? There’s no HR department to complain to.
Honestly, do I need to do anything? These guys are alienating everyone around them. They’re not making the smart, necessary connections within the startup community that they need because men and women alike can’t stand them.
I will personally go out of my way to continue being an awesome rails dev with awesome rails dev friends and encourage them *not* to join “that startup”. And I have faith that they will implode and fail, and look like an ass doing so without my calling them out publicly to people who already hate them.
Ack, I’m back to being passive aggressive.