Inferno - Purgatorio - Paradisio - Python
January 14, 2018 4:50 PM   Subscribe

In 2016, Anat Deracine wrote a piece and "hid it under a rock for reasons that no longer exist." Earlier this month, she declared that 2018 is going to be fearless and published her Divine Comedy of the Tech Sisterhood.
posted by rmd1023 (13 comments total) 43 users marked this as a favorite
This appears to be a VERY Long Read. The small print under the author's name says "67 min read".
posted by hippybear at 5:00 PM on January 14, 2018 [2 favorites]

That is true. It’s not as long as Dante’s trilogy, but it’s long for a web/blog article.
posted by rmd1023 at 5:04 PM on January 14, 2018

Anat Deracine is the pseudonym of a professional wanderer, whose passports include stamps from Iraq, Iran, Israel, Lebanon, Qatar, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, and Turkey. She grew up in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, where she watched scud missiles fall from the sky during the Gulf War. She studied engineering and philosophy at Cornell University, and political science at Oxford University. Today, she lives in San Francisco but travels to discover new cultures and perspectives. Anat is the author of Driving by Starlight.
posted by Going To Maine at 5:20 PM on January 14, 2018 [3 favorites]

This is so great, I am just sorry it had to stay under a rock for any time at all!
posted by pulposus at 5:46 PM on January 14, 2018 [2 favorites]

You have to engineer the outcome you want, you remind yourself. It’s true not just for mailing lists and meetings. It’s true for every conversation.

This is the TLDR, extremely crudely. Great piece, definitely worth your time - thanks for posting it.
posted by Sebmojo at 6:14 PM on January 14, 2018 [4 favorites]

Worth the read! Outstanding.
posted by MovableBookLady at 6:27 PM on January 14, 2018

Wow. I'm not in tech but I was on board for the entire piece. Damn.
posted by bunderful at 6:31 PM on January 14, 2018

So many truths here. Thank you!
posted by some chick at 9:06 PM on January 14, 2018 [1 favorite]

Super fascinating read. I could not put it down.
posted by potrzebie at 10:45 PM on January 14, 2018

Oh god, it's all truuuuuuuuue. I don't even know if things like this are affirmative, or cathartic, or enraging anymore. It's just ... sky is blue, engineering while female means you get screwed, repeatedly. That's how it is. I'm not in the Valley but it doesn't matter, it's all the same, just swap out VCs for SVPs.

She missed a couple stories though: the time you recruit a man over to your team and your boss decides that he can't possibly demote the man, so he'll demote you and give the new guy your management position instead! Or the time you're hired to start a team, as a lone techie but to be the manager as soon as there's work for multiple people, but when the multiple people are onboarded (despite you doing the hiring and the training and the team-leading) they suddenly airlift in a man from another office, who wasn't even a manager and didn't want to be, and when, in the announcement meeting, the VP asks if there are any questions and you pointedly, somehow managing to squelch most of the rage although clearly not all of it, enough to say "I was under the impression that this was my team," the VP squirms, refuses the answer, and ducks out of the room as fast as humanly possible and nothing changes, except now your new bossman puts the stop to your attempts to transfer out to another office because "he can't do it without you" because it turns out, he really just wants to play with python all day. Or the time you change employers and take an IC position instead of maintaining your management position, because you miss hands-on coding and think, no worries, they're all about opportunity and this is a growing team so you can totally get back, except now you're, what? damaged goods? not dynamic and enthusiastic enough? too old? who even knows?, and it's impossible to break back through because now Julie gets those opportunities, and meanwhile Alice and Brenda and Celeste and Diane are all quitting (and even you're finally returning emails to that Google recruiter you've been putting off for years with a cheerful "not looking right now but check back in a year!") because not a one of you can get a project, much less a promotion, even though promotions at their level are supposed to be "automatic" based on the new promotion protocols launched by a coworker this past year. He's a principal now.

Burn it all down.
posted by sldownard at 11:54 PM on January 14, 2018 [14 favorites]

Or the time you're hired to start a team, as a lone techie but to be the manager as soon as there's work for multiple people...

Oh hai that was me three years ago. In my case, I got the promotion, and it worked out fabulously with my team. We hit all our goals and deliveries! I drew up budgets that we held, every single twenty-odd of them! (Had to do a budget per application version; I managed the testing for 6 applications, later 7.) Our team didn't have a single sick day; we were the only one! All six of my client-side project managers and all of their technical experts were happy with our team and my management of it!

And I got threatened with a demotion and told, and I quote, "you're too maternal" as the sole evaluation – written evaluation, black on white – of my year of management. A full year of management, boiled down to THAT.

I won't comment on the rest as it is subject to a lawsuit *smile*

But then we move to now. Things are going swimmingly, aside from the fact that there is a dude using me as his fake friend to harass younger women. "wait wut" you are likely saying. Yes. There is a dude, in our company, who is pretending that he's friends with me, to the point where he's told loads of people that "ha ha fraula will deny it of course because she's so professional she doesn't bring personal relationships into the office." And he is using MY clout to gain the confidence of young women and then stalk and harass them. It nearly worked, because we did indeed work together many years ago, and I can't deny that.

Except my clout is so strong that the young women have come to me, as well as dudes who've seen him at his nonsense (thank you good dudes), including other managers. We are handling it. *smile* The downside to this is that my clout is so strong because the flip side of a woman earning clout? Word on the street is I'm a "bulldozer" who "doesn't know how to have fun." it's a running joke with people who actually know me.

funny, huh. "maternal" when it suits some, "bulldozer" when it suits others. why it's almost as if women aren't viewed as complex or skilled.

It had never before occurred to me that dudes could also pull that sort of fake-woman-friend-to-harass-others nonsense. It's been a bit of a mindfuck as I've wondered how many other women with clout get eroded due to that as well.
posted by fraula at 12:46 AM on January 15, 2018 [17 favorites]

I'm lucky enough to have early access to Driving by Starlight, and it's fantastic, and you should buy it for any YA-readers in your life.
posted by (Over) Thinking at 7:09 AM on January 15, 2018 [1 favorite]

I read this last night and it is still reverberating with me. It illustrates this complicated interiority I don't think I've ever seen written about this well, giving the reader more and more, step by step, about what it does to you to try to manage an unfair situation while not being seen as manipulative, culminating in all these agonizing nuances around her reaction to that feedback about showing more humility.

Also, there is someone in this story with a first name that is nearly exactly my first name, and that makes me really happy and seen.
posted by brainwane at 8:37 AM on January 15, 2018 [5 favorites]

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