Feminism and tech: an overdue and welcome manifesto

Alan writes, "A group of nine women involved in the tech industry have posted a manifesto listing some of the awful sexist things that have happened in tech during the past few months. The women frame this as a simple statement: 'we really just want to work on what we love.' But the reality of the industry and the societies in which we do our tech work make this far from simple."

Some of us identified as feminists before we came to this industry. Some of us only began to understand the relevance of feminism as we sought to understand what’s been happening to us. Some of us felt that we didn't need the programs and events geared specifically towards women— until the bad stuff started happening to us. We thought they did more harm than help by calling attention to our gender, and we wondered what others were complaining about. It was hard to see until we suffered also.

Others, still, speak very much of feminist ideals and action but are afraid to identify with the word ‘feminist’ because they fear alienation from their peers, both in work and also in their social lives.

Feminism is not a dirty word. Feminism is the radical notion that women are people, and that we want to be treated as equals. Don’t let someone else pretend otherwise out of their own misguided notions.

The last thing we want is for people reading this to be put on the defensive. What we want most is for people to read and understand what death by a thousand cuts feels like, and then understand why we feel sad and angry at the tech industry. We also want you to understand that more still needs to be done.

The last few weeks have been very difficult for women in tech (Thanks, Alan!)

(Image: </patriarchy>, Gaelx, CC-BY-SA)