“Women don’t usually think in terms of efficiency and effectiveness”
January 29, 2014 10:51 AM   Subscribe

Cryptocurrency enthusiast Arianna Simpson goes to a Bitcoin meetup, encounters sexism first-hand.
posted by divabat (13 comments total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: Shitty she had to deal with that, but "poorly socialized dudes are frustrating boors at meetup" feels kind of thin for a post. -- cortex

Was Were either of us mistreated? Technically, no Yes.
posted by tilde at 11:01 AM on January 29, 2014

A few minutes later he starts describing an app he is working on to someone else at the table. “You see, women don’t care about crypto currencies, so we don’t have to design for them”.


(The blinding chauvinism of the statement aside, if we don't have to worry about making real paper/coin money that is "specifically contoured for her," then we shouldn't need to worry about it with invisible virtual currency.)
posted by Strange Interlude at 11:02 AM on January 29, 2014 [2 favorites]

Um yeah. Sexist a-holes are everywhere. They even bitcoin.
posted by hal_c_on at 11:04 AM on January 29, 2014

I think my experience at the meetup is worth sharing because Bitcoin lies at the heart of both finance and tech, two industries that carry tremendous weight and which have traditionally struggled to attract women.

You left "clueless libertarians" out of the equation. It's like a trifecta of struggling to attract women!
posted by GenjiandProust at 11:04 AM on January 29, 2014 [4 favorites]

Anarchocapitalist tech nerds, sexist as fuck? This is my shocked face.
posted by kafziel at 11:04 AM on January 29, 2014 [3 favorites]

Anyone care to guess about the ratio of fedoras to men in this room? I'm going to go with 2:3.
posted by 1adam12 at 11:04 AM on January 29, 2014 [2 favorites]

It's depressing how unsurprising this is.
posted by KathrynT at 11:05 AM on January 29, 2014 [5 favorites]

If women fail to take an active interest in Bitcoin now, when it is still in its infancy and its potential is largely untapped, we will have yet another sector in which the gender is underrepresented and trailing. Bitcoin as a currency has the ability to revolutionize the banking and financial system, but the implication of Bitcoin as a protocol extend much further than that.
I'm not even sure how to feel about this, as the complaint is basically "women are treated poorly in the house of cards that is a Bitcoin meetup." Women shouldn't be treated like this anywhere, but goddamn if this doesn't read as though she dodged a bullet, then went back to where it fell and jammed it into her shoulder manually.

Part of me feels like maybe it is, in some realpolitik way a good thing that the speculation-fest that is Bitcoin is keeping some people out of it, but then, no, it's one of those "defend your right to say it" things where if we're going to pursue equality, it's gotta be equality in getting fleeced as much as reaping benefits.
posted by griphus at 11:05 AM on January 29, 2014 [5 favorites]

Anarchocapitalist tech nerds, sexist as fuck? This is my shocked face.

Predictably appalling story, but the way this article is framed by the title here, someone might think that "encountering" sexism in tech is some exotic creature you'd be lucky to glimpse while you're out on a safari to the margins of the industry. Which, haha, lolno.

There's a funny story I get to tell people, about the reactions I get when I say that I received death threats for making that gender-swapping Windwaker mod a while back. I mention it to men, they’re invariably surprised, or at least feigning surprise. “Really? Death threats? No way. Really? For that?”

When I mention it to women, on the other hand, the reaction is a slow breath and long stare into the middle distance. “Yeah, that’s how it is. Anyone threaten to rape you to death? No? Well, you’re only halfway to your Being A Woman On The Internet Merit Badge, then. Oh, you though it would be any other way? That's adorable."

Did I say it was a funny story? I meant "awful".

As admirably restrained as this article is, when a woman with a tech career starts talking about sexism, you should hear that in the same tone of voice you used to hear from people saying they'd done three tours in 'Nam. She has seen some shit you can't even understand, 'cause you weren't there.
posted by mhoye at 11:06 AM on January 29, 2014 [6 favorites]

Anyone care to guess about the ratio of fedoras to men in this room? I'm going to go with 2:3.

To be fair, there was that one guy in the corner wearing 12 fedoras. I think he brought the average up.
posted by gohabsgo at 11:07 AM on January 29, 2014 [3 favorites]

In my mind, it’s a little preposterous that if I want to do so, however, I have to be ok with being felt up and indirectly insulted...Anyways ladies, ignore the naysayers and get out to those Bitcoin meetups!

I feel like I got lost between her first sentence and the later one, because once again, the onus is on the ladies to ignore being groped and insulted in order to become a part of the community. Is she relying on this getting back to that meeting to change their community? Did her friend not speak up at all? Because none of this is convincing me to ignore the naysayers, really.
posted by jetlagaddict at 11:07 AM on January 29, 2014

I sort of think the "men in tech are SO sexist" thing is a little overblown link-bait. Yes, she met some sexist jerks at a tech meetup. There are also sexist jerks in banking, law, consulting, and medicine. And I bet there were plenty of great guys at that Bitcoin event who didn't make comments like these.

I'm not sure that spending tons of time and energy calling out the most extreme and inane instances of this kind of sexism actually advances the cause of making tech more friendly to women, because this is so obviously wrong and ridiculous that it diverts the conversation away from more subtle and pernicious behaviors that are less easily identified and dismissed as unacceptable.

And it sounds like she didn't even actually call him out in person! Like, "Dude, you are being ridiculous! You can't say shit like that. Of course women think in terms of efficiency and effectiveness. Are you time traveling here from 1945?!" Instead it sounds like she defaulted to cordial polite friendliness, ick.
posted by amaire at 11:09 AM on January 29, 2014


The app are currently covered in dicks... er I mean made by a dick.... oh hell.

You left "clueless libertarians"

One certainly can be a "clueless libertarians" and be feminist, or at least not anti-feminist, hell I don't know who Arianna Simpson is, perhaps having this Bitcoin fascination makes her a Libertarian. In fact, I would think, even given all the faults of pure libertarianism they would (hopefully) be ideologically primed for equality.
posted by edgeways at 11:09 AM on January 29, 2014

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