Here’s a simple ask of the technology community: hire more women and pay them the same as the dudes. That’s it. It’s good for business and it’s the right thing to do. It also happens to be feminist AF.
As if to intentionally launch an armada of pissed of think piece retorts, last week, on International Women’s Day, the New York Times served up a steaming pile of click bait courtesy of Bari Weiss, who has made a name for herself passing off tired anti-feminist ideas repackaged for a new generation. In her piece she cited parody Twitter accounts (the story was later corrected) and held up Christina Hoff Summers as some free speech martyr after she drew protests on a college campus for her “factual feminist” takes, including that the reason more women aren’t in STEM is because they aren’t “interested.”
There are others, but in this particular video screed, she laughs off the role of sexism dismisses “conventional wisdom” from “women’s lobby” that gender bias plays a role in the numbers of women in the highest ranks of math, science and engineering. Predictably, there were more than a few women who disagreed and protested a speech Hoff was scheduled to give at Lewis and Clark University. This, Weiss says, in an example of PC culture and feminism run amok.
Then I saw this.
I once climbed down the side of a mountain to rescue a man who’d been in a car accident. He rolled down his window and said, “Why the fuck did they send you?!”, just in case you’re wondering how I feel about the need for #InternationalWomensDay.
— Lisa Marie (@xLiserx) March 8, 2018
Listen, women like Bari Weiss and Christina Hoff Summers will always be there to dismiss women asking for equality. If Barry Weiss wants to re-tread the same ground as the 1994 movie PCU, she should keep on keeping on. But in the era of #MeToo and #TimesUp, women aren’t interested in convincing men gender bias is real, we just want it fixed. We have careers to pursue, bills to pay and families to raise. The conversation have moved beyond haggling over whether the problem is real. The verdict is in. Now we want solutions.
Don’t confuse Weiss’ shit-stirring thought experimentation in the Times with the real-world work of closing the very real gender gap in the tech sector. Women aren’t asking for some exotic gender studies performance from men. Here’s what we want: hire us, pay us, the end.
Tech as an industry is in a particularly sensitive spot, a focus of feminist ire for it’s perceived “bro” culture and a lack of women in the top ranks. It’s understandable that sometimes men get defensive and feel like they’re not sure what to do.
Here’s one rock solid place to start. Hire more women, pay us the same as dudes. The rest will follow from there. See, how easy is that?
Featured image: PCU (1994) via IMBD