Monday, July 07, 2014

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Good Guidelines for Productively Dealing with Online Sexism

Leigh Alexander has an excellent starter guide for dealing with sexism online, which we sometimes have to contend with on New World Notes. One particular point stands out to me as strongest, because it illustrates the tension of confronting sexism while not allowing it to define the victim:

Boost the individual and her work, not her victimhood. No woman who experiences sexism in her profession wants to be known primarily for “being a woman who experiences sexism.” It is right to defend and support women, and it is right to condemn sexism, but sometimes the best way to do that is by supporting their work. Hundreds of hair-tearing tweets protesting all the terrible sexist things that are happening to so-and-so can actually have the same ultimate effect as sexism: In both cases, the woman is reduced simply to “victim of sexism”.

Obviously applies not just to Twitter, but any online community. Plus, fellow dudes, read this, take it to heart:

When men condemn sexism the response is universally approving — good man, brave man. When women talk about sexism, we get death threats. Men should use this advantage to the fullest: The essays guys often write about how sexism is wrong or how they came to understand their own sexism may set examples for other men, and that’s not unimportant, but it’s basically just patting their own backs if those men are not also signal-boosting and supporting the work of women colleagues, hiring women, and bringing attention to the accomplishments of the women in their field.

Read and share the rest here.

Comments

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SomethingthatIcan'tremember

I take offense at this, you are saying we are all city people!!! Why the feedback loop that only city people are literate? j/k, obviously...I mean, I have terrible grammar so actually don't break the stereotype lol.

I am not sure they are sexist though, most business are more or less moneyists or frat/sororitists. It is about buddies, money and what both of these afford them, opportunity-wise. They see the market, or their marketing data as a guide.

But how, when hip-hop sold mostly to white guys? Hey, one easy way to deal with it is to simply post a URL to a good data driven and non threatening article and maybe even show how things ARE changing, have been changing and wondering why it doesn't change at this one place? If it addresses all the arguments, right? But, people seem to argue for fun and sometimes bringing the issue up makes the event, company or whatever more fun. Because, a women who is no womens friends is still some mans lover and vice versa. The basic issue is, if you love the game you will play it anyway. Any one pointing out something simply makes the company be top of mind, an Al Ries term? Not sure, but yeah...top of mind awareness. I heard it from a marketing guru, he got the concept from Mr. Ries I think. Marketing is a BIG issue, if they have proved more sales or tickets you will NEVER win at changing things without a fight. Tipping points, you would need a tipping point market change. Marketing HATES risks, but can benifit FROM being sexist by keeping thier products in peoples minds! Like I said, "he might be a pig...but she's MY pig" is what some would say about a guy they love, same for a game BUT it is even more detached and people know they influence the game a bit, lots of art dudes make these things. So, yeah...uphill battle with not much to gain from fighting it...along the way, they make more money and can always appease you if a tipping point outcry occurs...HEY, OMG OUTCRY.../me disappears off to vid website lol

emily owen

This article she's written I find insulting. Don't ask what to do or ask why it's a problem? That's insanity! You better expect to explain why it's a problem if your going to complain. And you better explain how to fix it. People aren't going to know off the bat why it's an issue or what can be done about it. The old "Just google/research it" tumblr mantra is silly in my opinion. If you want people to understand just tell them. Most (read pretty much all) your readers don't know what your talking about to began with and aren't going to research just 'cause your pissy about it. Google it from my experience is also something people generally say when they don't have facts to back it up in order to create distraction so people don't realize they don't have facts.

As a women if I have a problem with something I consider sexist I expect, no demand, that you ask me for facts on WHY it's a problem and HOW you can fix it. If you don't it shows you don't care.

irritated

Can you just post about games and stop posting crap like this? All this does is make us waste more time on division.

Ciaran Laval

An article popped into my work email the other day, it was by a guy who was suggesting that talking about the lack of women working in the computing industry is on the verge, if it hasn't already gone past that point, of being patronising to the women who do work in the computing industry and how it's better to highlight their work, not their work because they're a woman.

I'll have to try and dig it out, it made other good points about the lack of females taking computer science classes.

Pep

I think it's a great idea to patronise women.

Pep (Especially those who claim to be writers and then demonstrate their incompetence by self-humiliatinly inconsistent use of punctuation.)

PS I note that apparently the way to deal with online sexism "productively" is to delete fair comment which I would have though the articles were intended to stimulate; or maybe that's fascist censorship . . .

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