No one should have to deal with this. Or just ignore it. It's probably more than one or two outliers, and even if it wasn't, it's not ok. Saying that everyone should just ignore comments like these comes pretty close to condoning sexist behavior and hostility.
This. It's more than simply "not my back yard", I'm pretty amazed how far people (guys and girls) will go to say
Hey, just don't worry about it! :P
If anything like this happened to me, honestly I'd likely pack up and leave. Which sucks when you think you've found something you really, really enjoy doing.
It's not fair, more so than the general inequality of life, and it amazes me to see folks retaliate and perpetuate something, just so they don't have to experience change, even if it's something that doesn't directly affect them...
Solution: Ignore them
what a great recipe to end harassment and improve the tech industry.
It's probably one or maybe two malicious oddballs. The tech industry doesn't have exclusivity over those types. They're out to get a reaction and you could potentially find them in any industry.
I’ve gotten hundreds of private messages on IRC and emails about sex, rape, and death threats. People emailing me saying they jerked off to my conference talk video (you’re welcome btw) is mild in comparison to sending photoshopped pictures of me covered in blood.
One or two malicious oddballs? She's lying, then?
It's probably one or maybe two malicious oddballs.
Her story is pretty consistent with many women's experiences in many other industries (though especially tech these days).
This is absolutely not one or maybe two assholes. It's many many many assholes.
Yep, it probably is one or maybe two malicious oddballs. Plus 8 more willing to sit at the sidelines and whisper to each other "it's probably one or two malicious oddballs."
I'm not sure what I said to make you feel targeted. I agree with you: it probably is not a large amount of abusive people. However, that does not mean we can or should dismiss it.
A few people can do atrocious and harmful things to a lot of people – that makes those few worth addressing in a more serious way than "it's probably only a few."
I don't believe we have enough data points to say one way or the other whether the industry is fucked. "A number of close female contacts" does not a conclusion make. And you're right, nor does a blog post.
We do know, statistically, however, that females are severely outnumbered in technology. Historically we know that women are treated terribly in male-dominated fields (Wall Street, advertising, etc.). It should shock no one that it's also the case in tech.
I don't think abuse is the systemic problem. That, we agree, is likely "a few bad apples." The systemic problem is the permissibility of abuse. This is something both you and I can help address. The first step, as banal as it sounds, is admitting we have a problem.
What does this have to do with the industry? It means we need to be more vigilant about checking our attitudes and expectations regarding women.... for example... by dismissing them by insisting that they should ignore these sorts of threats.
Ignoring threats has really not fared well in other female unfriendly industries such as gaming and comics. Rape and Death threats are usually only the beginning, and the only way for them to stop is if these women withdraw their voices from the community altogether.
I honestly don't know the solution to the toxic misogynist problem, but telling women to keep quiet isn't the answer.
Curious to know if anything has come of basement dweller threats to women in the industry from men in the industry? Has anyone been raped or murdered thus far?
The École Polytechnique massacre comes to mind, where a 25 year old man killed 14 female engineering students. Then, of course, there is Elliot Rodgers. I'm sure there are more, but those are the two off the top of my head.
Regardless if these threats are valid or not, nobody should be receiving them and ignoring them doesn't seem to be a good solution, nor is it a very sympathetic response to Jess. Ms Frazelle should probably involve the authorities, but having them dig into her personal life is probably not an appealing prospect, either. I think how she is handling it right now is fairly good. Call them out, let them know you're not leaving, and inspire more to stay/join.
Mostly the threats escalate, becoming more specific and targeted. In many cases trolls will escalate with doxxing and swatting. A specific shooting massacre threat was made to discourage an appearance of Anita Sarkeesian at Utah University.
Kathy Sierra wrote a long article detailing her harassment by online trolls. Even if nobody has been actually murdered or raped (yet) living in constant fear of being in physical harm is psychologically very damaging.
Your intent in asking this may very well just be curiosity, but I feel the need to point out that whether or not "anything has come of basement dweller threats" is completely irrelevant to the discussion, and just as unhelpful as someone who hasn't experienced these threats suggesting women just "ignore them".
I'd be real careful with that sort of talk dude. You sound pretty out of touch.
This ain't 4chan y'know.
I was going to comment the same. I can't tell if he's trolling or being willfully ignorant. Either way, never a good call to do that with your companies name attached (or in general).
I'm sorry - this is really unfair and a rather disturbing attitude I have noticed in our industry. I really don't tolerate making excuses for this kind of disgusting behavior.
If you honestly think all this amounts to a simple "waaaaah" (as you describe it) - this including sexual harassment of all forms and complete degradation of a colleague, then please go to the gaming industry where this attitude is more widely accepted.
Why anyone should have to tolerate threats or rape and death in any environment, especially in the office, demonstrates the same level of insensitivity and sexism seen in her coworkers' behaviors.
Who are you to tell someone to simply ignore this kind of behavior and belittle her serious problems to nothing more than a "rage post"? Are you kidding?
Why do you feel that downplaying someone else's claims is helpful?
Your attitude towards this issue is one of the major problems. No one should have to endure the kind of crap women deal with in this and many other industries and your instant dismissal of this issue says a lot. Just because you've never experienced this doesn't mean the problem isn't real.
Coming from someone who's had her head placed on porn stars and distributed around the internet at a time when I was up on stage speaking at AEA, I can categorically say, this industry, as it stands right now - is not a welcoming place for women.
I've given up publicising all the threats and sexual harassment I get in a week, alone - perhaps I should, it would give everyone a better idea of the type of trolling behaviour we're asking people to put up with.
Now, after you've had your head put on porn pictures and distributed by industry trolls (and I know who did it now, and yes, they were amongst us) - there's not much that can rock you–infact, something happened recently at a conference (I've become so non-plus to this type of behaviour) I jokingly mentioned it to the conference organiser and she had the guy removed immediately.
This does happen, and sadly, it is rife in our industry. http://www.sazzy.co.uk/speaking-up/ for anyone who want's to relive the horror in all its glory.
Can someone explain what the mindset is of someone who shows this creepy behaviour?
Why would people in the tech world do that?
Are they sexually repressed?
Do they feel threatened by women for whatever reason?
Here's my hypothesis (which is only a hypothesis). I'm speaking as someone who came from a very standard (read: low quality) southwestern public high school, then attended a private north eastern engineering school, and then has worked for a time in Silicon Valley.
Silicon Valley, as a physical location and as an industry, is homogenous in the obvious ways, but also in very deep "life story" types of ways. Basically, if you go into a bar in Silicon Valley, 90% of people you'll meet are males, 20 - 30 years old, earning $120k+, who attended one of the same 20 schools as everyone else (Stanford, MIT, UIUC, UMich, Berkeley, RPI, CMU, Cornell, et al.), who worked instead of partied in high school, and quite frankly, a lot of people who were bullied or excluded for the first half of their lives.
The people at schools like that survived puberty by telling themselves "the 'cool kids' can party now, some day I'll be more successful than them." And they're right! Now they pack up and go to SV, make fantastic money, buy nice cars, and expensive (but equally ugly) New Balance running shoes for nights at the cocktail bar. Don't ask why people go out in New Balances and jeans, that's just the Palo Alto way.
And then what do they discover? Contrary to the media-fueled popular belief, money cannot buy women. These men can be winning in everything and yet still not "get women."
Why is this? It certainly has nothing to do with their pretentiousness towards their coworkers, competitors, and potential romantic partners. It couldn't be their lack of basic hygiene or base level of effort towards appearances. And there's no way an early adulthood defined by reclusiveness and introversion could possibly lead to a lack of realistic expectations when it comes to members of the opposite sex.
It's obviously that "women are all bitches" and they're reluctant to give to the newly successful ex-recluses what "they're owed." A romantic partner is the remaining unconquerable summit for the "successful nerd."
Deeply saddened by some of these clueless comments. The abuse is real and is in no way improved by individuals ignoring or downplaying it.
Seriously! I came here to say "wait, where do these people even come from" only to see it in action.
Jerking off with a conference talk video?! That's twisted
This industry is not fucked. Sounds like there are a few(or more than a few) twisted cave dwelling developers who are afraid that they will be put into mediocrity by a woman's skills and work ethic. But to generalize that to an entire industry? that's a little extreme.
Please keep doing what you're doing and keep your head up, we're not all twisted psycho misogynist wierdos.
Please, let's not derail this with a #NotAllMen argument :)
Please the intentional lack of gender in the last sentence. 'we're' is not inherently male and just because I am male and saying it doesn't mean I was referring to myself.
I don't mean #NotAllMen exactly — I'm saying that sexism is endemic in our industry, and saying that "not everyone contributes to the problem" derails the discussion into pointing fingers and shifting responsibility when we should be trying to improve things.
It sounds like there are a few twisted people and a whole lot of people who are okay with allowing those few to continue on their twisted ways.
This is the case with literally every injustice: perpetrated by few, permitted by many.
I was stating that the idea that the industry was fucked was an extreme, not that these actions are in any way ok.
I am not ok with this and think it's terrible, reprehensible, and should be dealt with accordingly. I don't think you can take the actions of a few and use it as a blanket generalization to a in industry.
Ugh.... she didn't even use proper Typographer's quotes o_O
Care to elaborate?
What industry is this referencing? Surely not the design industry, or am I that ignorant?
The article references 'Women in Tech' - so it's the tech industry - sysops, programmers, etc
Well, someone had to "design" blood on her body, sounds like. Either way, this totally depresses me.
It's not the design industry. It's a HN repost
It definitely happens within the design industry as well.