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Repost: Technology vs Sexism

I’m reposting about the original that can be found here.

Since I’m reposting it, I obviously agree with it, but let me add my own spin/rant to the whole thing.

To repeat something I posted previously:

“If you are a woman in any industry, and you find yourself going to meetings where the first comment you hear is “Hey babe, nice tits”, run, don’t walk to your HR department. “

Since that could be read as being flippant, let me make clear how serious I was.  Like racism, sexism takes different forms.  Not every form is as blatant as what I mentioned, obviously.  But having worked in IT in general for 15 years or so and in a number of different types of business, real sexism needs to be combated from many angles, not just from a managerial level, but from a personal level as well.

Any company worth anything has to have explicit HR policies regarding it.  As such, any display of explicit sexism should be reported by anyone who either observes it or experiences it directly, so as to let the proper processes take place.  This is, obviously, much more difficult for women who experience it directly, as it involves risk, but is also, from a legal perspective, unavoidable. 

Having said all that, I will repeat that I have not seen that IT is any better or worse than other forms of business when it comes to it.

<digression>As I’ve mentioned previously, I was an HR manager previously and not only was educated in the law in the district I was in, but was also aware of various lawsuits involving then current employees against previous employers involving what I considered not just sexism, but sexual assault, stuff that, if true, was just disgusting.  Not just disgusting, but really depressing.</digression>.

Technically, sexism policies cover both sexes but except for rare circumstances, generally involve women.  Not every complaint that any particular woman might raise is actually actionable, but in this day and age, what is or isn’t actionable is usually clear cut.

<digression>The whole nokiadeveloper controversy is interesting because the person who created the media content that was objected to was a woman.  This raises a whole set of considerations that I won’t cover here.</digression>

From a marketing perspective, even non-legally actionable is obviously an issue.

If people want women to stop being portrayed as sex objects, you are probably going to be disappointed, as there are women who don’t object to this. 

Having said that, any instance of women being treated as sex objects in a workplace environment can and should be combated.

And if you are a guy who can’t hide that fact that you want to fuck a co-worker because you think she’s hot, you’re just a dick.

posted on Thursday, May 24, 2012 8:57 PM Print
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