Yesterday I got excited to try the newest version of the Codekit text editor, only to get to the bottom of the product page and see a bunch of quotes about the app, some fake, all but two from men (or cats). The only two women were represented like so:
— Henry Faber (@henryfaber) March 6, 2014
All my excitement left and I was once again annoyed that the only representations of women was as non-technical accessories. Especially after attending a conference full of 800 technical women the weekend before.
So I went on a little Twitter crusade:
It turned out I wasn’t the only one who had noticed the problem, but I was the first to say something.
Wasn't going to mention the CodeKit thing until I saw another woman do so. This https://t.co/RMkFBNGasw was my reminder that I'm not weird.
— Lindsey Austinson (@akalindsey) March 6, 2014
After a few hours, Bryan added two more women to the line up but he seemed a little put out about it. I give him points for responding quickly, but demerits for 1) not taking down the offensive quotes and 2) he doesn’t seem to understand why it was a problem in the first place.
— Bryan Jones (@bdkjones) March 6, 2014
It felt like he was just appeasing the masses to avoid bad publicity. But hey, you gotta start somewhere. A while later, another guy chimed in on the ‘character assassination train:
Interesting that Guy thinks empathy is ‘in no way related’ to his statement. Empathy is EXACTLY related. (That post also directly addresses the ‘shaming is bad‘ issue).
Because Guy and Bryan don’t have to spend time out of every day just proving their right to exist in the tech space, or any space for that matter, they have no idea how their actions relate to the larger context of the bullshit patriarchy we live in. And they won’t, until they decide to actually listen to people with experiences that are different from theirs.
Today is Friday, also known on Twitter as ‘Follow Friday’ when some people like to promote accounts they like and say why.
So here is my Follow Friday challenge, directed especially toward cis, white, straight men. Of course anyone can do this challenge, but those are the people in U.S. culture with the most privilege.
I challenge you to get out of your bubble for one month and follow the people on this Twitter list I made especially for you. I’m not suggesting you unfollow all your peeps. But I am suggesting that you ignore them for a while and instead subscribe to this list and listen to some different voices. Spend 90% of your Twitter time reading that list.
Then comment back here in a month and tell me how it was and if you learned anything.
That’s it. Spread the word. The only way we change minds is to change hearts. The only way to change hearts is for people to get to know one another.