Fake Geek Guys: A Message to Men About Sexual Harassment

May 19, 2014 at 10:35 am 2 comments

An important message to post on the first day of the NCWIT Summit for 2014.  There is a significant role for guys in making the culture better for women.  Do read the whole article — it’s frightening.

How do we fight this war? We stop enabling. We check ourselves and, when necessary, wreck ourselves. Do you know a guy who’s hate-following women on Twitter just to troll them? You check him. Do you know a guy who’s writing disgusting screeds to women journalists because they don’t like the same things he likes? You check him. Do you know a professional whose discourse with women in his field is loaded with gender-specific language and condescension that could enable further abuse? You check him. Are your Twitter followers identifying you as a sympathetic ear for their sexist views? You check yourself. Is your website’s message board a cesspool of ignorance and hate? You check it like you actually give a damn. Do you know a guy who’s sending rape threats to women for any reason? Oh, you report that guy.

Let me make it plain:

A woman objecting to the content of a comic book — even if you think she’s dead wrong — does not rise to the occasion of vicious name calling and rape threats.

via Fake Geek Guys: A Message to Men About Sexual Harassment.

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Biff  |  May 19, 2014 at 6:54 pm

    Let’s be honest about who the audience even is here. For instance, Ezra Klein has made rape threats on Twitter and hasn’t been notably fired from any of his jobs. How serious is everyone about status-signalling, do people who belong to some sort of political ingroup get protected just because?

    College educated upper class professionals or more to the point anyone who is likely to read things like this are not the ones creating or responsible for suchs problems to any meaningful extent. No amount of effort focused on reforming things like conferences and academic journals is going to solve problematic behavior in non-college educated, non-professional anonymous people out there on the Internet if that is what is actually a serious problem.

    • 2. Michael S. Kirkpatrick  |  May 21, 2014 at 12:34 pm

      Yes, but I think you’re also missing Mark’s point for posting this here. This problem goes beyond just Internet posts about comic books. It also exists (in less extreme forms) in professional tech environments and places that talk about the “brogrammer” culture. Those men are also college educated, and many of them are also involved in those misogynistic fora (possibly making some of the obnoxious posts themselves). When we men are silent and complicit regarding the milder forms, we are establishing a culture that tolerates this behavior.

      There is no clear and easy dividing line between the two worlds.


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