How I Deal With Sexual Discrimination in a Positive Way
May 21, 2011 4:37 PM   Subscribe

"This past week I was banned from one of my favorite conferences because I wouldn’t have sex with one of the organizers. Given that this is the third time a similar situation has happened in a year’s time, I’m learning how to swallow this pill of injustice without throwing up every time."
Tammy Camp is an entrepreneur and venture investor in Silicon Valley.
posted by Foci for Analysis (22 comments total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: This really needs more context to make much sense, plus the site is now down. -- restless_nomad

Despicable. Absolutely despicable. How can anyone in their right mind justify this behavior as anything remotely resembling "okay"?

Kudos to Tammy Camp for speaking out.
posted by zooropa at 4:39 PM on May 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

Wow, Tammy. Um... how has this been communicated to you? If you have emails and such to that effect, you need to publish and throw open the shutters to the sunlight of transparency. If you don't... you should start engineering ways to record people making this kind of THING go on with you.

I'm all for public shaming when it comes to this kind of thing. Maybe that's bad of me, but people who engage in casting couch behavior only survive because they are never called out in public about it.

How sad that you've been subjected to this.
posted by hippybear at 4:41 PM on May 21, 2011 [2 favorites]

What conference?
posted by graventy at 4:58 PM on May 21, 2011

I'm all for coming out about these sorts of things but if you don't name the perpetrators, it's kind of difficult to actually make it stop. I certainly understand why she doesn't want to and it's good to speak out in general, but what allows this to go on is keeping the perps anonymous.
posted by Maias at 4:59 PM on May 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


When women have made similar allegations in the past in the industry they've been attacked for making unsupported "he said, she said" attacks. Seriously, it's really out of control.

If you want to see the kind of thinking I'm talking about, check this out. (Also a lot of comments condemning this behaviour of course)
posted by atrazine at 4:59 PM on May 21, 2011

The situation sucks, but if she isn't willing to name names, then isn't she inadvertently colluding with this harassment?

I ask, not to blame her, but to wonder where the line is. I'm guessing she doesn't want to make waves and jeopardize her own business dealings, but is that right? It's understandable, sure, but is it right to even bring it up in such a specific manner?

It goes without saying that the person who banned her from the convention is a jackass and should loudly be called out for pulling this shit.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:59 PM on May 21, 2011

I don't understand. What conference? Who is Tammy Camp? What were the other conferences? What are other women in Silicon Valley saying?
posted by KokuRyu at 5:00 PM on May 21, 2011 [3 favorites]

It was good to see Kathy Sierra's name in the comments. I'd lost track of her since she stopped blogging.

A friend of mine pointed me at an opinion piece on why sexual harassment is going high-end today. I'm not surprised that Camp doesn't want to name the people involved after reading it, even if "everybody knows" who the perpetrators are.
posted by immlass at 5:00 PM on May 21, 2011 [3 favorites]

people who engage in casting couch behavior only survive because they are never called out in public about it.

"Called out in public" usually ends up with "He said, She said" in which She almost always loses. I think Tammy Camp's 'non-specific allegations' are simply an effort for a deeply discouraged individual to say something without destroying her own career, and I doubt it will work.
posted by oneswellfoop at 5:03 PM on May 21, 2011

If I ever had to put up with shit like that I'd buy fucking billboards with names and what they wanted up there in size 6000000000000000 Helvetica.
posted by QuarterlyProphet at 5:04 PM on May 21, 2011

Thanks for those links atrazine and immlass. I'm going to read up, because this just angers me. The situation is horrible. The response is weak, but I've seen it before. There has to be a way to do something. Power concedes nothing without a demand. A blog entry isn't going to get it done.
posted by cashman at 5:05 PM on May 21, 2011

I remember being harassed by married women when I first graduated college and was working in clerical jobs. This stuff is sick, ridiculous; and needs to evolve into the 21st century. I mean, sorry M'am; I have no interest in flirting back with you. Married, kids, etc.

Needs to name some names, and listen for echoes from others.
posted by buzzman at 5:11 PM on May 21, 2011

"[…] isn't she inadvertently colluding with this harassment?"

I really wish people wouldn't say things like this. Yes, in a perfect world she could simply name the asshole and/or press charges (if appropriate), he'd never be able to show his face in Silicon Valley again, we'd be one step closer to eradicating institutionalized misogyny, &c. &c. &c.

However, as anyone who's paid the slightest attention to how allegations like these play out in the real world, women face far worse repercussions than being banned from a conference when they do speak out, and I think it's deeply unfair to try and shame them for electing not to subject themselves to further harassment and (further) diminished career opportunities.
posted by wreckingball at 5:11 PM on May 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

I really wish people wouldn't say things like this.

I asked because I don't know. I'm ignorant and have an invisible knapsack. The only way I'm gonna know is to ask the question.

For those who have similar questions, please read immlass' link. It's extremely informative and puts Camp's blog post in a new light, along with the recent arrest of the (now former) IMF director in New York.

Check out the comments on the blog entry too, also enlightening.

think it's deeply unfair to try and shame them...

That was not my intent and I specifically said so.

The situation sucks, is unfair, immoral, doesn't make good business senes and no one should be subject to that sort of harassment.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:17 PM on May 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

I used to be absolutely positive that I would scream names and press charges and not be "complicit."

I was about 20 at the time. Around then, a friend of mine was raped; she pressed charges, and asked me to be part of the group that helped see her through the trial.

After that, well, I honestly can't say for sure what I'd do in a situation like that (or like this). Maybe those of you who are so absolutely certain should stop and think for a minute, if you haven't experienced anything like this.
posted by rtha at 5:19 PM on May 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:19 PM on May 21, 2011

link seems to be down.
posted by empath at 5:20 PM on May 21, 2011

How does somebody get banned from a conference? Like, did they take away her badge and call security on her? Did the entire conference staff play along with this?

I think she does need to provide details, otherwise it really is a bunch of "he said, she said" stuff. But that pretty much goes for ANY allegation where peoples' reputations could be impugned.
posted by Afroblanco at 5:21 PM on May 21, 2011 [2 favorites]

Her linked in profile says:

Tammy Camp, known as the “Lara Croft of the web” according to Forbes, is a venture investor, company advisor and adventure traveler living in San Francisco, CA.

Lara Croft of the web?
posted by the noob at 5:22 PM on May 21, 2011 [2 favorites]

I mean, I understand why she wouldn't want to provide details, and I don't doubt that she was the victim of discrimination. But we can't just go around believing people when they make unsubstantiated allegations just because it "sounds plausible." Really bad things lie down that road.

However, I do applaud her calling attention to sexism in the tech sector, and hope this does raise awareness of the larger problem.
posted by Afroblanco at 5:24 PM on May 21, 2011 [2 favorites]

I hope that doesn't mean "Woman who does things online and happens to have large breasts".

Fuck, I hate people sometimes.
posted by dunkadunc at 5:25 PM on May 21, 2011

Lara Croft of the web?

[citation needed]
posted by AlHazred at 5:25 PM on May 21, 2011

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