I get a lot of shit from anti-feminists about what constitutes "real" misogyny. "You're not oppressed, women in [insert country with a people of color majority here] are oppressed!" they say. "Women in the US are equal under the law," they say. "All you have to complain about is being called bossy and being whistled at on the street," they say, ignorant of the impact of microaggressions.
What they're saying is that there's no overt sexism in the US and countries like it anymore. So as intensely frustrating as it is, it's almost gratifying when stories like this come to light:
Shortly after Kathryn Tucker started RedRover, an app that showcases local events for kids, she pitched the idea to an angel investor at a New York tech event. But it didn’t go over well. When she finished her pitch, the investor said he didn’t invest in women.
When she asked why, he told her. “I don’t like the way women think,” he said. “They haven’t mastered linear thinking.” To prove his point, he explained that his wife could never prioritize her to-do lists properly. And then, as if he was trying to compliment her, he told Tucker she was different. “You’re more male,” he said.
Rachel Sklar, founder of Change the Ratio, an advocacy group for women in tech, shared the story of an investor who said he doesn’t invest in women he doesn’t find attractive. Another gave women in the audience a tip for pitching VCs: “Wear a wedding ring.”
These stories come from a Wired article entitled "This Is What Tech’s Ugly Gender Problem Really Looks Like." It looks overt as shit is what it looks like.
Subtle misogyny and microaggressions are still damaging. In fact, there's an extra bit of psychological harm that comes from the lack of support, since a lot of people still think that street harassment and small language differences aren't "real" sexism. But let's not pretend that there aren't plenty of men in positions of power who are clearly, overtly, and maliciously misogynistic.
What's super funny (read: fucking infuriating) is that in the tech industry - or any industry, really - when women complain that they're not given enough space and they're represented badly, one of the go-to responses from sexist men who want to keep it that way is that we should just go out and make our own space. "Go make your own movie, then." "Go start your own video game company then." "Go fund your own multi-million dollar corporation then."
Besides the obvious problem of NOT EVERYONE HAS THE MONEY AND/OR TIME FOR THAT SHIT, here we see an obvious barrier to those women who do. Even when we seek funding to do our own thing, many investors are blatantly sexist.
Now what? Got any other well thought out ideas, assholes? Maybe we should make our own investors?
But for Weinblatt, just as frustrating as being excluded from the “boys club” is being funneled toward the “girls club.” Throughout her fundraising process, she says, investors have repeatedly directed her to other female investors.
Again, this is "funny," because these game dudes who are basically advocating for industry gender segregation will take any opportunity to scream that gender doesn't matter, why can't we just treat everyone the same?
I don't know, why can't men do that? It's something I've asked myself so many times.