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Male Chauvinistic Attitudes in Tech 2011-01-11 13:00:58

Geeky Ladies: Have You Had to Deal With Chauvinistic Male Attitudes? Tell Me!

While 99 percent of this year's CES experience was positive, I did encounter a small but upsetting amount of male chauvinism. And while it's no surprise that the majority of the technology industry is populated with males, that doesn't mean a chauvinistic attitude should be acceptable. After posting an account of what CES was like as a woman, reader jalcaidinho raised a great point:

"I have not had to deal with as many come-ons, inappropriate contact (Oh I am woman in Vegas so I must want to be groped!), and jokes at any other tech event and I am wondering how much more pleasant CES would be if it were not held in Vegas. I am curious as to how many other women also noticed this."

Aside from the jerk who made the comment about the Girl Scout cookie convention, I didn't have to handle anything too awful. Have you been in a similar situation? What happened? How did you handle it?

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refinedharmony refinedharmony 5 years
Ugh, now I'm reviewing presentations for an upcoming conference and I found this picture as a slide: http://www.aib.subdivisions.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/positive_proof_of_global_warming.jpg This would DEFINITELY not make any females in the room uncomfortable, right?
aniline aniline 5 years
I'm a game developer, so I have tons of stories. Although most of my horror stories either involve gamers or aspiring game devs, not people who are currently in the industry. So that's encouraging!
refinedharmony refinedharmony 5 years
Yes, I've dealt with this, and I don't think it has anything to do with the convention being in Vegas. Last year I had a convention in Orlando, and part of it was an Expo for manufacturers to show off products. I was completely ignored by the men at the booths as I walked around, even if showed interest in their product and picked up material from their area. I could almost hear them thinking, "She's a woman, so she clearly would not be able to understand our product. I'm not wasting my breath on a girl." Even more disgusting, many of the companies actually hired models and other nice-looking females (some in professional attire, but most were not... think low-cut shirts and mini skirts) to entice men to come to their booth. I was incredibly offended that any company uses this as a promotional tactic, like that's all that women are good for. And as I mentioned this to male cohorts, I was questioned as to why this bothered me at all. That made it clear that they don't get it and probably never will. In my industry, it takes a lot for a woman to "prove" herself to the guys. Standards are set high. Sadly, men are not held to these same performance levels.
sgpaol sgpaol 5 years
Oh man, I used to work at an Apple Store... the only girl at the Genius bar. Not only did I clean up all the messes of my idiot male co-workers, I had to put up with customers who thought that because they were men they were smarter than me- if you have a problem with you Mac, and you're smarter than me, then why did you come all the way down to the Apple Store just to belittle me and tell me you can fix it yourself?! I think it's a guy thing. I know there are a lot of amazing men that aren't chauvinistic, but there are plenty that are, especially in technology, which is primarily a men's world. I know for a fact there are a lot of women smarter than men that can hold their own in heavy technical conversations. Some guys are just babies and refuse to acknowledge that. I typically tend to avoid these men.
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