Sexism in Blog Comments

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Sexism in Blogging Comments

Last week, Fast Company put out an article online ( featuring their list of top 20 women in Web 2.0. Sounds promising, right?

The inspirational list featured such web gurus as Google VP Marissa Mayer and Arianna Huffington. Did you know that Flickr and Slideshare were co-founded by women? So far, so good. (Though one obvious problem is that the list is completely American biased. What Indian women would you add to the list?)

The problem began with the online comments. There were so many sexist and outright disgusting comments that it prompted both Fast company and Digg (who re-posted the article) to block several commenters from their site, and to write entire articles about the fiasco.

Saabira Chaudhuri, who wrote the initial article, (an Indian originally, now based in the US), also wrote a response to these comments. ( She raises many questions about online sexism, especially among blog comments (Feministing, who write about this problem often: What is it about the web, and especially blogging comments, that brings out so much sexism? Is it the anonymity of online space? Or something deeper about conceptions of women and technology?

Despite the ugliness that Saabira's article elicited, she stresses that writing such articles are incredibly important. Her response included a passage that is very inspirational for us here at FAT, "Because the world can say what they will, women are doing some amazing work on the Web, and they're doing this despite a wide variety of difficulties -- raising funds, being hired and promoted, gaining technical experience, and being taken seriously -- that men just do not have to grapple with. They deserve to be acknowledged for their work, and for their courage." Yay, Saabira!

What do you see as the reasons behind such online ugliness? What can women do about this issue?

True, sexism is in this

True, sexism is in this field. Slowly, I started to realized why. Most men in this field are geeks and not attractive, they have pretty bad luck with women. That is a major reason to the this whole rise of sexism.

I worked in this field for a few years, and I am completely annoyed by these nasty tech men inside out. Either their looks or their minds. Gosh, they are just horrible. Judging you all the time and saying sarcastic comments during meetings.

For eg, someone from outside tech dept sent an email to our team asking a simple question, this tech guy didn't even look at who sent out the email, he just came straight to me and asked me, you don't know the answer. Then, I told him to look at who sent the email first.

Another eg, during meeting, we were discussing some code changes. Each of us has a piece of paper printed with the codes. While, I was looking at the code, it is a simple JSP code and I was listening and looking at the place with the code changes. This guy pointed his finger at my paper said this is the line. I just said, did I even ask you. I have more work experience and a higher degree than this guy does. Their mind set is just disgusting.

Another eg, I finished a task which requires making major changes to the systems. QA and support group checked my changes, and they are all satisfied with the changes and reported to the manager. Then, I was asked to check in the codes. So, I did. Then, this arrogant tech guy came to my cubic and talked to me in a very irritating tone saying things like he knows the codes better than I do. Then, he checked every simple line I have made changes on and then he couldn't find any mistake. Out of frustration, he asked me to change a dark blue HTML color to black one one page of JSP and reported this to the manager.

I have tons of work experiences related to sexism. They are just a piece of crap to work with. These people are nasty on their face as well as their heart and mind.

good article.. website

good article..
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Yes I wholly agree Lisa

I agree with Lisa as well as the Guest who commented before me. Sexism does exist in the field of technology. Men in general believe that women and technology just can not go hand in hand. In corporate jobs, there is always the glass-barrier - more so in tech. And I do iterate that for women trying to freelance or trying to start on their own, this barrier is even higher. It is supposed that if the person is working late nights then the person is much more committed to work. But why don't they understand the we women believe in completing tasks in the first time and much more efficiently. So we don't "NEED" to stay bac/ work late nights etc. But this is many a times taken as a negative trait which results in hindrances in the path of progress.

Thanks Lisa!

Lisa, so nice that you wrote this blog post. If only I could, I would have flooded the e-space with many many such blogs, on how sexism comes out so openly when the discussion is about women and technology!! Believe me, its not just in the e-space, this is true anywhere, anytime!!

As a woman in technology, I have had to struggle much harder then my male classmates and friends in the same fields, because I have had to prove my capabilities every time I seek a projects. It is much harder for us women who decide to free lance, then those in corporate jobs, I guess. I may be wrong, but many of my friends who are in biggies like Infosys and Wipro, turn around and say "Sexism in Technology?? I never experienced that! My colleagues take special care of me because I am a woman. They take up some part of my work also!" Oh! That so annoys me!! Can't you see? That's exactly what sexism is!

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