As this weekend’s fuss over embarrassingly sexist demos at TechCrunch Disrupt amply demonstrates, the heart of the tech sector is still very much full of the sexism it always has been. But the thing is, over the last couple of years there have been an increasingly-frequent series of public blowups over the embarrassingly common sexism in the industry. Which led me to ask the Titstare team a simple question:
@HateYouCards did it really not occur to you that this would be incredibly offensive?— @seldo, September 8, 2013
Leave aside for the moment whether you, personally, think an app about objectifying women is an appropriate way to introduce yourself to a roomful of conference-goers. You are a developer. You live on the Internet. You read the news. Surely, surely you noticed that this kind of thing has caused explosions of outrage recently? This was a TechCrunch event, literally run by a media outlet; there was no way you could think what you did wasn’t going to be reported.
Which leaves a few possibilities:
- you thought that all the attention would be worth the negative nature of the publicity (good luck with that!)
- you genuinely didn’t understand how much trouble being so offensive would get you into
- you didn’t realize you were being offensive in the first place
- you racked your brain for app ideas for hours, and couldn’t come up with any non-sexist ideas
And it basically doesn’t matter which answer is the truth, because all of them point to the same conclusion: you’re an idiot. I wouldn’t invest in you, I wouldn’t work with you, I wouldn’t touch you with a ten-foot pole. Not because you’re some sort of cultural throwback — though that’s a good reason too — but because you’re too dumb to succeed.
If you can’t pick up an obvious, loudly repeated market signal like “sounding sexist is bad for business" and act accordingly whether or not you think sexism is okay, then you are not going to be good at running a company. In fact, I’m going to have serious doubts that you can tie your shoes, and speak in complete sentences.
I hope you agree that sexism is bad, but ultimately I don’t care if you do as long as you shut up about it. If you’re too dumb to work that out by now, you have no place in this industry.