Calling you out of your name: Fast Company author takes on sexist assholes

I am thrilled by saabira chaudhuri who’s written a superb piece about the assholes whose take on her piece on the influential Women of Web.20 showed their brains live below the waist.

She writes: ” What is it about the online space that brings out not only the best,
but the absolute worst in people? Where are all these people in real
life? Do they just never leave their holes, I mean homes? Or are they
people I run into all the time — at work, on the subway, at a bar
downtown or at Starbucks?

The first thought that comes to mind whenever I run into ugliness like this is the New Yorker cartoon: “On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog.”
The comfortable anonymity offered by the Web allows people, in this
case men, to say whatever it is they actually think deep down. And
their feelings are incontrovertibly sexist. These are the same people
we all run into in real life. But in the offline world, like the Ku
Klux Klan when their masks are put away, it’s hard to tell who’s who.
Men offline would never dare claim ownership to the ludicrous
statements they so freely spout on the Web.”

There’s more, all well worth a read, and with a level of compassion I relate to–after all, these dickheads are spoiling it for the good guys, the ones we work with, love with, are friends with–or are these those guys in a different mode?

Hope not. Think not. But jeeze, are these men the people who elected Bush twice–or a different set of fools?

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  1. Meitar Moscovitz says:

    Le sigh. Naturally, I second everything you and Saabira have said and am, once again, ashamed of my gender. As you’ve alluded to above, this kind of complete and utter stupidity is a problem not just for women at large, but for men like me. I’d really prefer not to look around me and have to wonder if the guy sitting next to me is a sexist asshole, but the fact of the matter is that if you’re a guy I’m going to strongly consider the possibility that you are. It’s just…too bad for everyone. :(
    As an aside, on a personal note, I’ve just begun blogging for SitePoint.com and I’m quickly realizing that I’ll need to develop a thicker skin really quickly. At least I have a penis, so I won’t face the same kind of sexism as a woman in my position might, but people online are simply a lot harsher than they might otherwise be. Oh well.

  2. Shanty Minister says:

    Great commentary. Unfortunately, your observations are based in truth, not merely anecdotal. As a woman in the testosterone laden Construction & Architecture fields, I run into much of the same attitudes, comments. The contempt and disdain some guys feel towards women (and often people of color) is, frankly, hostile and scary. And for whatever reasons, they occasionally feel free enough to express some of these feelings in the office. Mostly, I find these [men] are incredibly insecure guys, with a lifetime of bad social experiences (i.e. the rejected, less popular guys.)
    Mistreating others (usually the ones they fear most), is how they falsely, temporarily feel better about themselves.
    It is important to keep exposing this kind of unacceptable behavior.

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