Why acknowledging sexism (even inadvertent sexism) is important

almost 2 years ago from , ✨UX Designer @ Degreed ✨

First of all, props to Designer News and Maxwell Lind for owning their error and halting sales until they can correct it.

To the commentators over the last 24 hours who engaged in mansplaining, apologetics, and downright insensitive commentary, let me explain why this matters to me, as a woman.

TL;DR? Don't be a jerk. (and also, take the time to read this. it's 3 minutes of your life)

Sexism doesn't have to be intentional to be felt. In fact, I find unintentional sexism harder to deal with. If someone blatantly treats me differently or gives me less options because I am a woman, I can write him off as a dick and move on with my life. Here's why the t-shirts were an issue:

  • Designer news claims to be a community for designers. At a time when our community has owned the User's Experience, it's telling that the community that claims to represent us did not consider that their user-base is not "unisex", that unisex shirts are unflattering and uncomfortable on many women, and that we might want to reflect our femininity AND our community at the same time while rocking the shirt.

  • If you have opened Twitter or Designer News or TechCrunch in the last 18 months, you are aware that sexism is a rampant issue in our industry. It affects us. Not all of us, but many of us. It makes us feel like we have a steeper hill to climb to be respected. It inflames our imposters syndrome. And it makes us feel bad. We are your colleagues - be sensitive to that!

  • Dudes, this isn't about you. Sorry, but unless you are experiencing sexism, you don't get to write it off or mock it.

But it's also not just about me or women. As designers, we are ambassadors to the web, to the future of communication. We are the ones advocating for the individuals on the other side of the screen. We should, at every step, be aiming towards full equality. Gender, racial, cognitive, visual, aural, lingual, religious, cultural, etc. We can't do all these things all the time, but we should be making a conscious effort to make sure our actions go the farthest they can to making the web a safe and equal place for everybody.

And silly as that may sound, that starts with recognizing the different gender needs in t-shirt sizes.

133 comments

  • Chris De La FuenteChris De La Fuente, almost 2 years ago

    I was more shocked that they cost $40...

    62 points
  • Luke JonesLuke Jones, almost 2 years ago

    Reading the comments of that thread is very sad. People don’t seem to be aware that privilege exists. Even if one doesn’t acknowledge it, it’s there. It’s rampant.

    The sum of all parts (e.g. a t-shirt not coming in men's, a site that by design excludes a huge number of people) add up to a create a huge problem in our industry. A lot of people can’t grasp that. But it’s there and it exists.

    What confuses me so much about the entire matter is this: empathy. To be a good designer, you need empathy. You need to be able to try and see things from someone else’s perspective. So many commenters on that post appear to lack empathy..

    Sidenote: I know that as a white middle-class male I automatically have privilege and will never understand what it feels like to be a woman in this industry, but I can at least consider that everything I create must be inclusive by default.

    61 points
    • Eduardo NunesEduardo Nunes, almost 2 years ago (edited almost 2 years ago )

      I, too, was appalled by some of the comments on the original thread. If nothing else, it goes to show how far removed from that reality white males are, that even people like me, who like to think of themselves as being perfectly aware of these social imbalances, were surprised to find so many of their ostensibly privileged peers ready to dismiss any appeal against discrimination as oversensitivity or political correctness. It's both sad and ironic that they fail to realize how privileged we are just for not having to put up with precisely that kind of shit on a daily basis.

      17 points
    • Nic TrentNic Trent, almost 2 years ago

      No one is denying there is an issue with sexism in the designer community. They are however backlashing in the absurdity that a t-shirt-size is the cause of this shaming.

      When the new t-shirts come out will there be kids sizes, what about XXXL? Don't want to inadvertently fat-shame people. With all this sexist talk aren't we forgetting the transgender community? Perhaps the t-shirts should have no gender labels at all? DN better get the new shirt sizes right or else!

      36 points
    • Dirk HCM van BoxtelDirk HCM van Boxtel, almost 2 years ago (edited almost 2 years ago )

      Here's the thing.

      • There are people that are assholes, who discriminate
      • There are people who white-knight, over-react or just seek to troll

      But most of us, are somewhere in the middle. We try our hardest to not discriminate even if it's ingrained in society, and we try not to flip out if something goes wrong but try to find out what went wrong and how to fix it.

      I can of course only speak for myself, but I made a concious choice to put my empathy with DN. The reason is simple: they made a mistake, and immediately responded with something along the lines of "they're coming soon, we're ironing out the details with the printer".

      To me, that was a valid explanation. Sometimes, some things just take longer. They did the male version first, for whatever reason. Maybe there's more money to be made there, maybe it was designed by a guy who wanted his own shirt done first, maybe there were some issues with the printer, maybe they didn't think about the issue raised in an earlier thread where a similar placement of the image would lead to discomfort when wearing said t-shirt.

      Regardless, they owned up to it straight-away.

      Yet, outrage.

      Seems a bit much. I empathize with the 18947 reasons I can think of why this went wrong.

      15 points
  • Stuart McCoyStuart McCoy, almost 2 years ago

    I don't think most of the commenters have a problem with addressing sexism. Many, myself included, had a problem with how Daniel handled the issue. There was an opportunity to be a grown up and confront DN directly with a polite email or other form of correspondence. Instead we get a Twitter tantrum that causes more problems then it solved. The discussion became about public shaming instead of finding ways to ensure something like this doesn't happen again. I'm all for fixing the issues surrounding sexism. I have a 3yo daughter that I don't want to grow up and have to face these same issues. I also want her to know how to solve problems properly and this trend of public shaming as a starting point is a great example of one way to NOT do things.

    50 points
    • , almost 2 years ago

      That's a perfectly fair point, and I wrote this post without malice. I was not intending to publicly shame. Rather, I was hoping to inform people of a perspective they might not have had a close look into :)

      19 points
      • Mike WilsonMike Wilson, almost 2 years ago (edited almost 2 years ago )

        I appreciate having a female voice to speak to this issue. I too was taking issue with the over-the-top "THIS IS A DEN OF BIGOTS!" response from a certain percentage of the community.

        It is good for the community to point out (as the original female poster did) these things when you see them. However, tirades just serve to escalate the issue beyond logic and divide people into two emotionally charged camps.

        That said, it's also unfair to broadly dismiss anyone who doesn't agree with you as "mansplaining."

        10 points
    • Terry OTerry O, almost 2 years ago

      You've nailed it, Stuart. This is a good opportunity for the Dan, and the wider community, to grow. The mature response would have been to go direct to the source of the supposed problem, which would have solved the matter.

      We need to learn that however tempting and enjoyable it can seem to revel in the fallout of an acerbic Tweet, the smarter option is to engage directly with the person/people you think are at fault, even if that means you don't get your moment in the sun.

      3 points
    • Kenneth JensenKenneth Jensen, almost 2 years ago

      I totally agree with Stuart.

      This went from something that could have been handled nicely, into a storm in a glass of water.

      2 points
  • Joel CalifaJoel Califa, almost 2 years ago

    I know that privilege, and unconscious sexism and racism are hard things to wrap your mind around. It took years for these to finally sink in from the first moment someone criticized me. I just wish people weren't so aggressive and self righteous here. It's rendering this community unsafe, and somewhere many of us don't want to be anymore.

    Reading the DN comment threads related to gender and race has been really difficult in the past couple of months (this as a white male, I can't imagine how difficult it is for women or people of color). This community would seriously benefit if more people took a moment or two before typing out their gut reaction and causing other people pain.

    36 points
    • Oliver PattisonOliver Pattison, almost 2 years ago

      I think this is exactly right. Even before this issue, I was noticing how few voices of women were being heard on Designer News – it seems like there is an unresolved cultural problem here. And I can see how this might have happened: there is occasionally an undercurrent of hostility and lack of concern for other perspectives here. And occasionally is all it takes. A handful of sour voices can spoil it for everyone.

      Being welcoming is something that the community as a whole is responsible for. I hope that it will change soon.

      8 points
  • Thompson GeorgeThompson George, almost 2 years ago

    Should Designer News change it's brand colors from blue to a more neutral color? Blue is pretty boyish if you ask me.

    29 points
    • Joel CalifaJoel Califa, almost 2 years ago (edited almost 2 years ago )

      This might be a pretty good example of inadvertent sexism :) Relevant: https://rebeccahains.files.wordpress.com/2014/12/2014-12-06-lego-friends.jpg

      9 points
      • John PJohn P, almost 2 years ago

        LEGO "Friends", when research and user focused design goes horribly wrong.

        3 points
      • Renee PearsonRenee Pearson, almost 2 years ago

        Exactly. As a female I hate this kind of thing.

        And personally I'd never sign up for a 'Women's design group' or a 'Ladies learn code' course - not only is it super cheesy but it seems like you're encouraging the 'inadvertent sexism' by accepting that female designers/coders/[any career] need their own special group or label.

        10 points
      • Terry OTerry O, almost 2 years ago

        Legos — Eugh....

        1 point
    • Kyle DeckerKyle Decker, almost 2 years ago (edited almost 2 years ago )

      C'mon, man. Why derail a serious discussion about sexism with comments like this?

      Also, fun fact—100 years ago, pink was a boy's color. Colors do not have genders.

      26 points
      • Eric REric R, almost 2 years ago

        Also, fun fact—100 years ago, pink was a boy's color. Colors do not have genders.

        So if pink was a boy's color 100 years ago, and now its a girl's color....you are saying colors DO have genders.

        Just sayin'

        18 points
        • Nancy TsangNancy Tsang, almost 2 years ago (edited almost 2 years ago )

          It's just whatever's popular at the time. Meaning, genders can be associated with colors depending on what the masses feel like, but colors in themselves do not have genders.

          Edit: My comment is directed at Eric's reply to Kyle's comment, not to Thompson's.

          7 points
      • Thompson GeorgeThompson George, almost 2 years ago

        I am being serious. Maybe it should be all grey-scale? That will eliminate the sexist blue. In addition the brand colors will not support any particular race, heritage, religion or lack thereof. We can't hurt feelings.

        P.S. Is it grey-scale or gray-scale?Again, I don't want to offend anyone.

        4 points
    • Tom BradyTom Brady, almost 2 years ago

      I agree. I don't use Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Dribbble, Google, or Reddit because they use such sexist hues.

      8 points
    • , almost 2 years ago (edited almost 2 years ago )

      Yeah, this is a pretty good example of an unproductive comment :/

      Let me explain why the t-shirts are an issue for me: I am a nursing mother on a small frame, which means I am wider in some places where I wasn't before. A unisex shirt, or men's shirt, hits me at my widest place and floats down from there, adding 10+ pounds to my frame. I don't feel comfortable or confident in it. A women's shirt is cut differently to accentuates the more narrow parts, making me look more true to my frame, and making me feel more comfortable. Does that personal experience provide some context?

      You might also note that blue is often used in UI because, according to color theory, it is one of the more neutral, trusting colors, whereas others carry stronger cultural meaning. So....nothing to do with gender.

      32 points
  • Sarah NewmanSarah Newman, almost 2 years ago

    Another thing that has bothered me at times is when a superior crits a design or method as sexy or hot. Not only is it uncomfortable, it's just not a helpful critique.

    But of course there are tons of little things that happen all the time, and maybe women have learned to not let it bother us, but how many mockups I see with only male avatars or ladies in the office are referred to as girls, even just calling someone or something ballsy. Idk, tons of stuff.

    25 points
    • Tom BradyTom Brady, almost 2 years ago

      I agree. As a man I find it uncomfortable when someone crits my work as strong, aggressive, or sculpted. Even it it was a sculpting studio, they shouldn't have said that. Someone even said I was cocky, can you believe that?

      15 points
    • Tom BradyTom Brady, almost 2 years ago

      But lucky for you, you're able to voice these concerns and people will listen. If it were me or any other man, we would be told to suck it up and "act like a man".

      9 points
    • Terry OTerry O, almost 2 years ago

      Wait, only women can be sexy or hot?? Or are you making a wider point about adjectives used in crits?

      2 points
  • Drew AlbinsonDrew Albinson, almost 2 years ago

    Thank you so much for sharing this. As upsetting (and frankly, terrifying) as some of the degrading and ignorant responses to these topics on DN were this week, I am encouraged by the fact that this community is willing to engage on these topics, and I very strongly hope that this dialogue can remain open and ongoing here and in other pockets of the design space. Designers have a unique opportunity to be leaders towards empathy and inclusiveness across nearly all industries, cultures, and communities. Let's not take that opportunity (and more importantly, responsiblity as humans) lightly.

    17 points
    • Tom BradyTom Brady, almost 2 years ago

      Can you give some examples please?

      7 points
      • Drew AlbinsonDrew Albinson, almost 2 years ago

        Examples of what?

        3 points
        • Mike WilsonMike Wilson, almost 2 years ago

          Examples of "upsetting, terrifying, degrading, and ignorant" responses in regards to this inflammatory t-shirt sizing matter? Most people were sincerely debating the issue and putting a lot of thought into their responses. Care to give some examples? Or are you just jumping on the bandwagon without actually reading through the threads?

          12 points
          • Clay WClay W, almost 2 years ago

            +1

            7 points
          • Nancy TsangNancy Tsang, almost 2 years ago

            Here you go. Examples: https://goo.gl/tU2ZRO

            5 points
            • Christopher JamesChristopher James, almost 2 years ago

              You set the bar very low for "upsetting, terrifying, degrading and ignorant" content.

              6 points
              • Nancy TsangNancy Tsang, almost 2 years ago

                Yea, personally I found those examples generally ignorant and degrading, which upset me- and it terrifies me that the DN community can be like that.

                2 points
                • Drew AlbinsonDrew Albinson, almost 2 years ago

                  Yes, thanks this is what I was referring to in my original comment. It's not name-calling, it's a personal reaction I had and it seems to be well represented by other commenters as well (such as Nancy here).

                  1 point
                • Crampa ...Crampa ..., almost 2 years ago

                  Some of them are definitely ignorant, and some are pretty funny. Almost all of them are opinions which are just as valid as yours.

                  2 points
                • Mike WilsonMike Wilson, almost 2 years ago

                  You simply don't agree with me. That's how debates work. But to call out many of the well reasoned points (aside from the south park meme, admittedly childish) that I made "degrading, and terrifying," is simply a logical fallacy:

                  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appeal_to_emotion

                  I was arguing in favor calmly addressing issues like this without the incendiary "call-out shaming" you have just engaged in. Sorry if this is just more terrifying and degrading to hear my further disagreement with you.

                  0 points
                  • Nancy TsangNancy Tsang, almost 2 years ago

                    I don't agree, that was obvious. You wanted examples, and I gave them- while highlighting that they were my own views. And in providing the examples you requested, you now accuse me of "call-out shaming".

                    If someone else who didn't agree with your views commented in this thread and block-quoted something you said, would you accuse them of "call-out shaming" too?

                    Meanwhile in your last comment alone, you imply I'm illogical, label my views 'incendiary', accuse me of 'call-out shaming', and mock my personal bar of what I find terrifying and degrading.

                    And what have I done to you, other than calmly provide the examples you requested?

                    0 points
                    • Mike WilsonMike Wilson, almost 2 years ago

                      What have you done to me?

                      You copied my comments into a doc mocking those who don't agree with you by sarcastically naming it DN at its finest and labeled everything I said as upsetting, terrifying, ignorant and degrading. A clear case of calling out, which is incendiary by nature.

                      A one sided doc with no context is not the best place for well-reasoned discussion. I'm sorry you chose to escalate things in that direction.

                      I never mentioned anyone by name, nor did I say anything negative about women. I simply objected to the behavior of men in the community which caused this to turn into a divisive episode it didn't need to be.

                      It's obvious you've no capacity to see my points outside the lens of us vs. them, so I'm done here.

                      0 points
            • John PJohn P, almost 2 years ago

              Cool I got publicly shamed for disagreeing with public shaming from a rich privileged white dude when I actually agree it was a huge sexist oversight from DN to only include a male cut…

              1 point
              • Drew AlbinsonDrew Albinson, almost 2 years ago

                This is also why I didn't include examples. You have to choose between "Give examples of responses" and being upset for being "publicly shamed". If you read my comment the focus wasn't on my feeling towards some of these responses, but on how I value these discussions and think we as designers have an opportunity to affect positive change around these issues.

                1 point
              • Tom BradyTom Brady, almost 2 years ago

                So anyone who disagrees with this ridiculous debate is a rich privileged white dude? You know someones argument is bad when they have to resort to name-calling.

                1 point
                • John PJohn P, almost 2 years ago

                  No the guy who originally started it with public shaming is a white dude designer at a company with a $10bil valuation. Punching down and shaming when he could have resolved it just as successfully in private. I'd have a bit more sympathy for the shaming if it were punching up from a marginalised person.

                  How is that name calling I'm just stating facts?

                  0 points
            • Tom BradyTom Brady, almost 2 years ago (edited almost 2 years ago )

              Thank you for this Nancy. I'll let others be the judge if those entires (most of which were mine) were "upsetting, terrifying, degrading, and ignorant". Now go back and look at the responses from the supporters of this argument. I guarantee you'll fine more immature responses that resort to name-calling (something I never did).

              1 point
              • Nancy TsangNancy Tsang, almost 2 years ago (edited almost 2 years ago )

                No problem, you're welcome. Can you give some examples of supporters of this argument resorting to name-calling then? I'm not being sarcastic either, I'd actually appreciate it.

                2 points
          • Drew AlbinsonDrew Albinson, almost 2 years ago (edited almost 2 years ago )

            Thanks to Nancy Tsang for capturing some of that. I have been reading all of the responses to the past few threads and checking back frequently to try to keep tabs and remain involved in the discussion. To clarify my statement: "Upsetting" and "Terrifying" refer to my personal reactions (although posts show others had reacted similarly in regards to the responses), "degrading" and "ignorant" were used as how I feel some people approached the issues circling DN this week on marginalization & inclusiveness. Nancy captured many comments which seem to ignore the matter as real (see: ignorant), or treat the issues as unimportant (which is a degrading response to the conversation and to those who care deeply about these social issues).

            I apologize if my comment wasn't clear. But I want to emphasize here that my personal reaction to such responses wasn't the point of my statement. The point I was trying to make was around the value of these discussions (no matter how many disagreements lie within) and how designers may be uniquely positioned to make a positive difference on these issues.

            2 points
      • Wil NicholsWil Nichols, almost 2 years ago

        Of "be[ing] leaders towards empathy and inclusiveness"? Consider Facebook's gender options, and then pronoun specifications. Facebook's name pronunciations. Their movement away from the "thumbs-up" icon. Also the now more-gender-inclusive users icon.

        3 points
  • Tom BradyTom Brady, almost 2 years ago

    PC Bro

    14 points
  • Gonçalo MoraisGonçalo Morais, almost 2 years ago

    I subscribe to everything except:

    Dudes, this isn't about you. Sorry, but unless you are experiencing sexism, you don't get to write it off or mock it.

    13 points
    • Joel CalifaJoel Califa, almost 2 years ago

      Why? How is it about you?

      8 points
      • Gonçalo MoraisGonçalo Morais, almost 2 years ago

        I’m not saying that it is about me, far from it. But having other people telling me (even if I didn’t say a thing) that it is not about me is, imho, showing lack of empathy; it’s doing to other people what they are complaining about.

        8 points
        • , almost 2 years ago

          Let me clarify what I meant by that. You (the universal "you") are absolutely entitled to your own opinion about something, but you are not entitled to project it on to me. A thread full of men talking about whether or not a women should be offended by something is unproductive. As a women, and frankly as an individual, I and I alone own how I feel and react to something. And if you look back at the other threads, there were some pretty toxic comments made by men about how I should feel (and suggesting that something is wrong with me if I feel otherwise)

          21 points
    • Carlos GavinaCarlos Gavina, almost 2 years ago (edited almost 2 years ago )

      I agree, Emily lost me at this sentence, It is totally unnecessary and provoking.

      Girls, this isn't about you. Sorry, but unless you feel what I feel you don't get to write about my opinions or mock them.

      By this argument, someone that feels in favour about this view on sexism, but never experienced sexism, shouldn't count either and shouldn't share its opinion?

      People should be able to express their opinions, discuss freely and enhance ideas independently of their experience. The credit you give or not to that person depending on its previous experience is up to you, and that's what matters.

      13 points
  • Nathan NashNathan Nash, almost 2 years ago (edited almost 2 years ago )

    This whole scenario could've been handled much more cleanly without all the incendiary victim-hood culture that is so prevalent in society today. I'm sure if someone just asked nicely for women's tees DN staff would've obliged. It's funny how when the thread to suggest this was first posted no one noticed the absence of ladies tees.

    12 points
    • Calum SmithCalum Smith, almost 2 years ago

      It sounds like you didn’t read the original post. The point is it's about more than just t-shirts.

      2 points
      • Nathan NashNathan Nash, almost 2 years ago (edited almost 2 years ago )

        Yes it's about how public discourse has devolved into throwing temper tantrums to get your way under the self-righteous guise of feminism.

        edit: E.g. How can I acknowledge something that by the logic in the OP I'm not allowed to have an opinion on?

        4 points
  • Mackenzie DavidsonMackenzie Davidson, almost 2 years ago

    This is a very important conversation that the community needs to have. Thank you for providing us with some insight.

    11 points
  • Dan SherrattDan Sherratt, almost 2 years ago

    Frustrating line between being a feminist male and coming across as having white knight syndrome.

    Fairly often people just don't know how they should be acting because quite simply it's impossible to put yourself in someone else's shoes.

    11 points
    • Drew AlbinsonDrew Albinson, almost 2 years ago (edited almost 2 years ago )

      I can relate to that internal conflict, and my working theory is that continually talking to and asking questions of people different than you will continue to give you a clearer picture and through that allow you to act in a more considerate way (plus you meet amazing people). Beyond that constantly strive to be less ignorant and more self aware every day, and try to check yourself and ask others hold you accountable for your actions and words. Regarding the danger of self-righteousness -- don't stop to pat yourself on the back -- keep trying to listen and improve.

      1 point
    • , almost 2 years ago

      The very fact that you would acknowledge that conflict speaks highly of your character :)

      I think it's really cool that a lot of men are becoming feminists. The best description of feminism I have read is that it is not necessary "pro-women" so much as "anti-white, middle class, male superiority". To be a feminist, male or female, is to champion equality, but I can see how that may be taken wrongly.

      5 points
      • Wil NicholsWil Nichols, almost 2 years ago (edited almost 2 years ago )

        Asking because of a debate I'm attending in a few days. Taking feminism as "championing equality" — what policy differences would exist between equality and inclusivity? Particularly regarding trans theory and inclusion in female spaces

        0 points
      • Bryce DriesengaBryce Driesenga, almost 2 years ago

        I can't see why anyone championing equality for all would use a gendered term to describe their movement.

        0 points
  • Hannah SHannah S, almost 2 years ago

    Thanks Emily for having the courage to write this up. I missed the original T-shirt episode, but it's reassuring to see the community willing to talk openly about sexism and inclusion. Just seeing women willing to speak up, and men willing to listen, is a great place to start.

    10 points
  • Christopher JamesChristopher James, almost 2 years ago

    Oh boy. The responses here are way over the top considering the harmlessness of DN's oversight and their subsequent apology.

    9 points
  • Flip StewartFlip Stewart, almost 2 years ago (edited almost 2 years ago )

    I'm hoping DN takes this to its logical conclusion and bans the users who have written unproductive comments here. I am sorry that you've had to deal with it, and I hope they stop facilitating this behavior.

    Thank you for taking the time to write out your thoughts and feelings on the subject. I'm a bit stunned by how calm, collected, and selfless you've remained in light of a situation that makes me pull at my hair.

    9 points
    • Christopher JamesChristopher James, almost 2 years ago

      I'm hoping DN takes this to its logical conclusion and bans the users who have written unproductive comments here.

      Why are feminists always so quick to censor views they don't agree with?

      12 points
    • John PJohn P, almost 2 years ago

      Might be cutting your nose off to spite your face to ban nearly half of the active user base, and this is coming from someone who agrees it was a huge and sexist oversight from the DN team.

      What do you think is going to happen if you ban people because of that? You think the thought process will go like this don't you

      "Wow I got banned from DN for saying that t-shirt uproar wasn't a big deal, damn I should really change my ways and re-evaulate what I say in future"

      BZZZZT wrong! That's never going to change anyones ways.

      If you ban them they'll get angry, think the whole thing was blown out of proportion, feel they were banned for having a different opinion than the greater hive-mind BUT wont believe that opinion was wrong then scuttle off to an echo chamber where they wont be banned for having that opinion.

      Integration is the way forward not just kicking people out that just makes them angry.

      3 points
  • Drew BeckDrew Beck, almost 2 years ago

    Thank you for writing this. I don't know if the folks who need to hear it will hear it, but as someone who believes strongly in all of this it's nice to see this here, to see this upvoted, and to read all the supporting comments.

    Also: major props to all the men who continually jump in on the toxic threads to try to steer things away from total shit. I don't have the energy for it that I once did, but I really appreciate it.

    8 points
  • Mitchell KnightMitchell Knight, almost 2 years ago

    To the commentators over the last 24 hours who engaged in mansplaining, apologetics, and downright insensitive commentary, let me explain why this matters to me, as a woman.

    Dudes, this isn't about you. Sorry, but unless you are experiencing sexism, you don't get to write it off or mock it.

    Comments like these immediately shut down conversation. The frequent accusations of "mansplaining" (and similar arguments) are so often used to tell people that they don't deserve a voice. Everybody deserves a voice.

    If you have opened Twitter or Designer News or TechCrunch in the last 18 months, you are aware that sexism is a rampant issue in our industry.

    I agree. We should use our talents as a community to make things better. That starts with understanding and empathy. Nobody is going to listen to a message that starts off as an attack. As designers we educate, reason and use emotion to persuade people for a living. Our industry, more than any, should be able to solve this problem.

    Unfortunately, feminism has been directionless for a while. A lot of people are doing more harm than good and don't understand that it's easier to persuade people with kindness. You can push people up without pulling others down. Everybody deserve to be treated with fairness, kindness and respect.

    8 points
  • Diego LafuenteDiego Lafuente, almost 2 years ago

    yawn

    8 points
  • Art VandelayArt Vandelay, almost 2 years ago

    Love this post. But quick question:

    Dudes, this isn't about you. Sorry, but unless you are experiencing sexism, you don't get to write it off or mock it.

    Considering we're reading/commenting on an 85-comment-deep post about what some deem as sexism (big or small) couldn't one categorize the quoted statement above also...sexist?

    7 points
  • Nils A nagh.itNils A nagh.it, almost 2 years ago

    I like what feminism has come to. From equal rights to shirt size.

    7 points
  • Luke PettwayLuke Pettway, almost 2 years ago

    Thank you for writing this, I feel like we could talk about this stuff every day and still not cover it enough because of how much this dialogue is needed.

    6 points
  • Chris CastilloChris Castillo, almost 2 years ago

    I just wanted to take the time to recognize the sheer number of comments surrounding this issue on here (both good and bad). It's a testament to this conversation being on the rise and getting more exposure in our industry which is really amazing.

    Also, Thanks for providing your personal point of view, Emily.

    5 points
  • Timothy LiTimothy Li, almost 2 years ago

    Just want to comment that this is almost the same discussion that was had over the InVision / Design Disruptors and race.

    Though topics of discrimination often bring out the ugly in some, its great that we have the opportunity to hash it out!

    5 points
  • Wil NicholsWil Nichols, almost 2 years ago (edited almost 2 years ago )

    Well said. Great to see this being addressed productively (no offense to Dan, who pointed out a real and ignored problem and made enough noise to force validation // Idgaf how he did it; it needed to be done).

    The last few months of conversations regarding representation of race and gender (somehow, orientation seems to have been omitted from most/all convos) on DN have been deplorably toxic, and so many of those participants, at least the visible majority, have been little more than vitriolic, offensive, and destructive. It's surprising to me particularly because at least in Austin, while people are nowhere near as progressive as they could be, they are at least aware of the inequalities in their field, their own privilege and its daily manifestations, and somewhat of their own personal biases.

    Hopefully this'll become the first productive, progressive conversation on DN in a while (never seen one myself).

    5 points
    • Drew AlbinsonDrew Albinson, almost 2 years ago

      I think some of the points you referenced in separate replies in relation to gender fluidity are and will continue to be key considerations in human-centered design. Pronouns are a common oversight there. I think orientation as identity is a valuable consideration as well although it may come up in less obvious ways than checking "m/f" on a form.

      1 point
  • Sebastian Scheerer, almost 2 years ago

    I am a man. I find those unisex shirts unflattering for men and would prefer shirts that are more comfortable to wear. I like muscle shirts and I'm appalled that DN just completely ignored that.

    3 points
  • Dan CoatesDan Coates, almost 2 years ago

    Thanks for this post. It is definitely an issue worthy of discussion and there is much to be done in working towards equality both in and out of this industry. That said, I do take issue with your use of the term 'mansplaining'. It is both a sexist and derogatory term that detracts from the discussion and implies that men are not able to contribute in a rational way without condescending.

    3 points
  • John HowardJohn Howard, almost 2 years ago

    Ya'll are too smart for me.

    3 points
  • Rob GreenRob Green, almost 2 years ago

    This comment thread be like http://i.imgur.com/cMWalaa.gif

    3 points
  • Viktor TViktor T, almost 2 years ago (edited almost 2 years ago )

    several hand clap emojis

    1 point
  • Bruno AbattiBruno Abatti, almost 2 years ago

    Nothing new here.

    Mansplaining. Men wanting to take over feminism. "What about the men?". Men mocking women when they are trying to explain something about sexism, when they don't suffer from it. And the list goes on...

    Funny how 90% of the people mocking the sexism topic weren't actual designers, but developers. :)

    1 point
  • Brian HintonBrian Hinton, almost 2 years ago

    I missed out on most of the flame. But from what I've seen it looks like the problem was addressed from the shoulder, and not from the heart of those involved. (at least based on my review of Tweets) and really I'm disappointed that the solution is to make the shirts not available to anyone. I agree it was a good decision by Maxwell to speak out about his mistake, but all or none is never a solution I agree with. And there is such a thing as tact, and grace when it comes to speaking out about problems.

    1 point
    • Nancy TsangNancy Tsang, almost 2 years ago

      I'm disappointed that the solution is to make the shirts not available to anyone

      *not available to anyone yet

      1 point
  • Anna NiessAnna Niess, almost 2 years ago

    Hey Emily, I just saw this whole shit-storm of posts in my DN digest email... and wanted to say thank you so much for taking the time to write this response. I've thought so many times about writing posts like this in response to similar awful sexist threads that pop up here, but in the end I just get discouraged and decide its not worth it. So thanks for speaking out as a woman when you already know the audience is like, hundreds of dudes screaming at each other. Its so important, and I know that women who have long left the site appreciate it.

    1 point
    • Emily Campbell, almost 2 years ago

      Anna, thanks for the shout! I've left this thread alone for the last few days since I didn't feel like I could respond to some of the comments productively. I'm so glad my thoughts resonated with you. Also, I love your Tumblr and now feel like there is a serious lack of alpaca in my life…

      1 point
  • Courtney Wyrtzen, almost 2 years ago

    Yes, very well said~

    0 points
  • Hans GerwitzHans Gerwitz, almost 2 years ago

    As a founder of a small design agency that is 83% female, I would like to thank the many people here who don't understand why or how a safe environment is important, for making recruiting so much easier for us.

    (No, really, I'd rather everyone catch on.)

    0 points