The tech industry is not nearly as sexist as people like to make it out to be, but there was an indie dev group working on a reboot of a game I used to enjoy playing. I have an education in game dev and years of experience in the industry. Out of all the people in the group, I had by far the most qualifications, and I was excited to contribute to the project. However, back like 10 years ago when I played this game, I briefly dated a guy who also played the game, and we both played competitively and were relatively well-known (no bad blood or anything, still friendly). He wasn’t part of this group, but when I joined the dev group’s discord server, I was introduced as his “sloppy seconds,” greeted with comments like “what does this bitch want,” and “uh oh she’s on the prowl, you gonna tap that?” and it was also demanded of me to explain why I hadn’t yet formally introduced myself to the group, all before I even had time to get off work and log in to say hi. This was the first and so far only time I’ve been exposed to any form of sexism in the tech industry. I hesitate to call it the industry since it turned out these “devs” had no actual dev education or industry experience, but rather more aptly described as script kiddies. No thanks, I’ll stick to working with professionals.
My mother got an email from a friend at our church who was looking for someone to help move some boxes and furniture from a storage unit. The women asked if perhaps my younger 17 year old brother and one of his buddies wanted to take on the job for $10/hour. My brother was not interested but I, a fit 20 year old woman home for summer from college, was. I thought a male friend and I would be fit for the job so I responded to her saying a friend and I were up to the job. I promptly received a response declining my offer citing that: “this is more than boxes. It’s very heavy furniture. Thanks for the offer though.” Insulted, I responded clarifying that my friend was a male and was quite strong. She responded saying she thought it was a “gal pal” of mine, but still was hesitant about letting us do the work. A couple days later she said she would rather hire professional movers. She would rather spend more money than entrust a young woman with some heavy lifting.
I live in Newlyn, near Penzance in Cornwall. A pub in our village specialises in writing offensive “jokes” (sexist, racist, misogynist etc) on a blackboard fixed to the outside wall of the pub and therefore seen by everyone who walks past. This week’s “joke” is: Paddy asked his wife what she wanted for Christmas. She said “a black iPad” so he punched her!!! It’s shocking that anyone could find this funny or acceptable. A few weeks ago, the “joke” was: How do you stop your wife from staggering? Shoot her a couple more times. I find this utterly disturbing and a shocking indictment of the way women are thought about in 2016, when we think we’ve come so far.
It has always bothered me how it is part of my culture that whenever a family hosts a dinner party, no matter how big or small, the men MUST eat first. Even though the women, and only the women, of the family have been the ones working for hours preparing food and doing the housework in general.