Had I only encountered one blatantly sexist incident online today, I probably would have bypassed it. But as I saw two, I am now annoyed enough to present them as Exhibits AA and AB in what could be a never-ending series.
- I’m a big fan of The Online Photographer (TOP) blog, whose resident curmudgeons (I mean that in a good way) have an incredible amount of enthusiasm and experience. In the most recent Random Excellence post, Mike said:
I’ve been accused of featuring too many female photographers in my “Random Excellence” posts (which, as longtime readers know, means randomly encountered, not that their excellence is accidental).
Okay. Hold up. Too many female photographers? I went back until June 2009 in the archives, and tallied up 53 male photographers and 9 female photographers. Only 15% of the photographers featured in “Random Excellence” have been women, and somehow that is too many? Maybe the complainers meant to say, “You haven’t featured enough female photographers,” or, “I hate boobies!” (I have commented on the post, asking/hoping for clarification, but my comment is still in moderation.)
- The Ada Initiative is trying to increase the number of women in technology (particularly the various open source communities). Their biggest achievement in 2011 was probably getting large conferences to adopt an anti-harassment policy. They’re fund-raising for 2012, and their funding push has been picked up by a lot of tech and geek blogs*: Boing Boing, Linux.com, and reddit, to name a few. So hey, let’s see how it’s been ranked by reddit!
… only 58% like it. Okay, then. I know I go around clicking “dislike” on every fundraising cause I see! Especially if it’s trying to encourage members of an underrepresented minority in X to pursue X, while also trying to improve the climate of X for everyone! THAT’S CRAZY TALK.
Let me emphasize that these are both general-interest websites. These comments were not complaints about women invading a forum on prostate cancer. These were comments complaining about women existing in the population at a proportion higher than ten percent.
I’m not going to highlight every instance of sexism on the internet. That would make this a very long and boring blog, and send my blood pressure through the roof. But here is your occasional reminder that as soon as women come out of the woodwork, there will be people complaining about their mere existence.
* NO ONE TELL ME IF SLASHDOT PICKED IT UP. I swore off Slashdot comments several years ago**, and haven’t looked back since!
** Okay, the first time I swore off Slashdot comments was in, like, 1999. But I have stayed firm since 2007!