We need to define these words properly

Sexism Valley: 60% of women in Silicon Valley experience harassment
Survey co-authored by Trae Vassallo, who testified in the Ellen Pao case, found that for women in tech and venture capital gender discrimination is common

Harassment, gender discrimination, hmm.

Sixty percent of the women working in Silicon Valley experience unwanted sexual advances, according to a new survey released this week. About two-thirds of them say that these advances were from their superior.

The survey called Elephant in the Valley was conducted by seven women, one of whom was a key witness in the Ellen Pao trial last year.

“The inspiration for this survey came out of the incredible conversation from the Ellen Pao and [Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers] trial. What we realized is that while many women shared similar workplace stories, most men were simply shocked and unaware of the issues facing women in the workplace,” wrote the survey’s authors.

Unwanted sexual advances?

Is this actually the same as either harassment or gender discrimination?

“Hi, fancy a shag?”

“No”

“OK, never mind”

That’s an unwanted sexual advance.

“Give me a blow job or I’ll fire you”

That’s harassment, definitely. So which is it that is actually being complained about?

According to the survey, 90% of the 220 women interviewed by Vassallo and her co-authors had witnessed sexist behavior at company off-sites and/or industry conferences. About 87% of them had heard demeaning comments from their colleagues.

I have the terrible feeling that it’s the former. And really, no one’s going to get all that far complaining that the near autists that make up the male tech community can be boors at times.

30 thoughts on “We need to define these words properly”

  1. So Much For Subtlety

    The Feminists recognise the Game industry has a lot of money and the power to shape young minds. They want control of that industry.

    Looks like they are going to get it too.

  2. It’s hard to get an answer to that question without actually listening to the women involved, something that around here seems to be quite unpopular.

  3. As most techie companies carefully polish their SJW credentials, they’ll get a pass I’m sure!

    @matthew l: listening carefully is what tech people do. It’s not our fault if what’s being said is bollocks, and it’s definitely not our fault for pointing it out.

  4. _RleJ

    Depending on how the questionnaire is set up, a fair part may just as well be that.

    Could be me, but when it comes to the Rules these… Ladies.. think up, any form of propositioning social contact, however carefully done, when Madam is Not In The Mood classes as “Harassment”.

    And it gets worse from there on.

  5. What’s that thing called that the Daily Mail does, where the more you read a story, the less shocking it is? That the headline sounds like hell and damnation on each, but the reality isn’t?

    People pull this in surveys today (and probably because many of them are designed for PR). The last thing mentioned as being counted is so broad, so far from the original statement that you really should bin it.

    “According to the survey, 90% of the 220 women interviewed by Vassallo and her co-authors had witnessed sexist behavior at company off-sites and/or industry conferences. About 87% of them had heard demeaning comments from their colleagues.”

    So, along with “give me a blow job or you’re fired”, an off-colour comment at an industry conference (which is basically a jolly) is included. Sorry, when you’re working for Company A and at a Microsoft geek dinner and a bloke from Company B says you’ve got great tits, that is not workplace harassment.

    We also have no idea about the survey methodology. Was it randomly selected women in companies, or was it survey passed around on Facebook? I wish I’d bookmarked it, because an article recently got around on Twitter by a woman in software saying that she’d never encountered sexism in the workplace, that her male colleagues were supported. I’ve worked in lots of places and not seen it for decades. Bigger problem in the 90s, I’d say.

    I really, seriously doubt that the “blowjob or fired” thing happens. Geek girls are only worth it for their skills. They aren’t smoking hot or sexy. You wouldn’t risk your job for them. Easier to just pay for sex (and there’s a lot of techies that do it, because it’s much easier for aspies to deal with).

  6. My guess the usual trick has been applied – conflate ‘offence’ caused by completely harmless comments directed at other people with serious actual acts and lump the two together as ‘harassment’ or ‘abuse’, et voila! You have a Really Big Number.

    See ‘obese’ used as a proxy for “overweight and obese”. Many other examples out there. Standard SJW operating policy out there in the field.

  7. “We also have no idea about the survey methodology.”

    I’ve always been of the opinion that the actual survey should be published with the presentations of any results.

    Semantics being what it is, there’s many ways you can trick out a survey to skew the results the way you want. Notoriously so, even.
    So any article with Results that fails to publish the actual questionnaire should automatically be treated as “suspect”,

  8. Geek girls are only worth it for their skills. They aren’t smoking hot or sexy.

    Some are.

    But I suspect the fuss is being raised by the lawyers, marketeers, HRs etc, not by the geeks.

  9. So Much For Subtlety

    His response was that he wanted to make sure I understood that having a second child would be a career-limiting move,” said another.

    Having children *is* a career limiting move. Should we not point out the obvious to women?

    Additionally, two-thirds of the women surveyed felt excluded from networking opportunities, including lunch meetings at Hooters and on the golf course, because they were women.

    But presumably inviting them to go to Hooter would be a minefield because anything you might say would be, you know, part of that “90% of the 220 women interviewed by Vassallo and her co-authors had witnessed sexist behavior at company off-sites and/or industry conferences”

  10. co-authored by Trae Vassallo, who testified in the Ellen Pao case, found that for women in tech and venture capital gender discrimination is common

    That would be the Ellen Pao case that Ellen Pao lost, because it turned out Ellen Pao is a shameless liar.

  11. > most men were simply shocked and unaware of the issues facing women in the workplace

    Pareto principle. 80% of harrassement is caused by 20% of the men. Probably more like 95%-5%.

  12. Or, 40% of women in Silicon Valley are too ugly to arouse a sexual advance. Might be 80%; women imagine things.

  13. A friend of mine was once roped in to do admissions interviews for a Computer Science degree, on the grounds that he was experienced at doing Maths interviews. In vain did he protest that the maths chaps were nowhere near as autistic as the CompScis.

  14. I, too, have experienced unwanted sexual advances. Who do I sue?

    This has been much discussed in anti-feminist places. The Princesses imagine an ideal world in which the only men who ask them out are the men they want to be asked out by. They consider any advance, however polite, by a male they consider of inferior quality to be a personal insult. Hence, this.

  15. BiND, exactly what I was going to say, and for anyone who might not be able to connect to YouTube right now

    Sir Humphrey Appleby: Mr. Woolley, are you worried about the rise in crime among teenagers?
    Bernard Woolley: Yes.
    Sir Humphrey Appleby: Do you think there is lack of discipline and vigorous training in our Comprehensive Schools?
    Bernard Woolley: Yes.
    Sir Humphrey Appleby: Do you think young people welcome some structure and leadership in their lives?
    Bernard Woolley: Yes.
    Sir Humphrey Appleby: Do they respond to a challenge?
    Bernard Woolley: Yes.
    Sir Humphrey Appleby: Might you be in favour of reintroducing National Service?
    Bernard Woolley: Er, I might be.
    Sir Humphrey Appleby: Yes or no?
    Bernard Woolley: Yes.
    Sir Humphrey Appleby: Of course, after all you’ve said you can’t say no to that. On the other hand, the surveys can reach opposite conclusions.
    [survey two]
    Sir Humphrey Appleby: Mr. Woolley, are you worried about the danger of war?
    Bernard Woolley: Yes.
    Sir Humphrey Appleby: Are you unhappy about the growth of armaments?
    Bernard Woolley: Yes.
    Sir Humphrey Appleby: Do you think there’s a danger in giving young people guns and teaching them how to kill?
    Bernard Woolley: Yes.
    Sir Humphrey Appleby: Do you think it’s wrong to force people to take arms against their will?
    Bernard Woolley: Yes.
    Sir Humphrey Appleby: Would you oppose the reintroduction of conscription?
    Bernard Woolley: Yes.
    [does a double-take]
    Sir Humphrey Appleby: There you are, Bernard. The perfectly balanced sample.

  16. So people who are notorious for spending large amounts of time at work and having poor social skills often ask the only people they interact with for socialising outside workplace….shocking conclusion.
    So if I ask a work colleague who I discuss sport with if he wants the spare ticket to a sports game I have then that’s harassment? Or if he wants to drop by the bar to watch the final/super bowl/etc. that’s harassment.
    So if you didn’t invite any females to your Super Bowl party that would be sexism, if you do invite them it’s harassment, you would think techies had a better sense of logic.

  17. Years ago Sweden, as I recall, did a survey finding that young women received more attention than they wanted and older women received less than desired. Just tell any complaining to have patience, it will take care of itself.

  18. you would think techies had a better sense of logic.

    It’s not the techies with impaired logic, it’s the hangers-on and parasites in the HR departments and middle management trying to impose the SJW world order.

  19. If those are the worst that happen to these females in this life they will have done very well indeed. Absolutely pathetic.

  20. @Social, those examples are worthless. You can see for yourself that they are a mix of genuine abuse of power, frat-house boorishness, callous marketing (booth babes), or your common or garden sad drunk male.

    No one here would argue abuse of power doesn’t exist (though I’d be surprised if the managers mentioned didn’t abuse their power over male recruits as well, if not often as… intimately?) , but it’s vital to filter out the noise. Not least because, *if* the actual incidence is low, changing jobs is a good solution. We want women to know this, not trap them in hysterical depictions of an industry where women have to put up with abuse to succeed.

    Even if the incidence is high, we want to focus on the malice, rather than the incompetence. Or at least distinguish, since regulation is a crappy cure for idiocy, in many cases.

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