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Bitter non-entity says men are the problem with Silicon Valley - Grange - 12-09-2014 12:31 PM

A Feminist Critique of Silicon Valley
Shanley Kane challenges the assumptions and practices of the tech industry.
http://www.technologyreview.com/qa/533096/a-feminist-critique-of-silicon-valley/


Quote:Shanley Kane is the founder and editor of the most interesting and original of new publications that cover technology: Model View Culture, a quarterly journal and media site that offers readers a remorseless feminist critique of Silicon Valley. The critical distance expressed by the publication’s articles, essays, and interviews, where the Valley’s most cherished beliefs and practices are derided and deconstructed, was honestly won: Kane worked for five years in operations, technical marketing, and developer relations at a number of infrastructure companies in the San Francisco Bay Area. Often frustrated by the unexamined assumptions of her industry and irritated by the incompetence of her managers, she began blogging about technology culture and management dysfunction at startups, which led to Model View Culture (the name is a play on a technology, familiar to software developers, used to create user interfaces), founded a year ago. She maintains a lively and often profane Twitter persona, where she caustically dismisses the arguments of the kinds of men who tried her patience when she worked for them, and generously amplifies the ideas of writers and thinkers she admires, mostly women and minorities. She spoke to MIT Technology Review’s editor-in-chief, Jason Pontin.

Silicon Valley imagines itself open to anyone with talent, but its companies are often more homogeneous in composition than other corporations. Why is that?

The Valley has bought into the idea of itself as a meritocracy: a world of self-starting, bootstrapping geniuses so much better and smarter than anyone else in the world that they deserve wildly disproportionate opportunities for wealth and power. The problem is that this is the exact opposite of what Silicon Valley actually is: a sexist and racist wealth distribution mechanism that relies on cronyism, corruption, and exclusion to function.

You think technology companies take a kind of perverse pride in being unprofessionally managed.

The technology industry sees itself as in rebellion against corporate America: not corrupt, not buttoned-up, not empty. In fact, a tech company can be as corrupt, soulless, and empty as any corporation, but being unprofessional helps us maintain the belief that we are somehow different from Wall Street.

Technologists love to celebrate the hacker and the programmer. What corporate roles are undervalued by the industry?

Obviously, programmers are important, but a very common dysfunction, particularly at technology startups, is privileging programmers. When you don’t value other skills, your engineering team becomes very entitled and even abusive of other parts of the company. Really important functions, like marketing, sales, business development, finance, and legal, become underfunded and under-resourced. We often end up with companies with great technology that are nonetheless dying because they could not execute from a nontechnical standpoint.

Why are there so few women in many tech companies? Is it a so-called pipeline problem, in that not enough women train as programmers and engineers? Or is it because women leave the industry, as you did?

Obviously the pipeline is a huge issue. But too often, our industry focuses on early stages of the pipeline that they have no control over. You see venture capitalists talk about the need to get more 10-year-old girls into programming, and that’s so far removed from their direct sphere of influence. Meanwhile, there is attrition in every stage of the career path of women once they get into the industry. Over 50 percent of women will leave by the halfway point in their careers. We are not getting hired, and we are not getting promoted, and we are being systematically driven out of the industry.

Therefore, let elementary schools, high schools, and universities, which understand education, worry about the pipeline?

It’s so typical of Silicon Valley’s arrogance that these rich, white male venture capitalists—who have no conception of learning or how to educate young kids—make these grand declarations about the pipeline. It’s gross.

Here comes the kicker:

Quote:But why would technology companies act against their best interests and not hire and promote competent women or people from other marginalized groups?

It comes down to what their interests actually are. If their interests were better serving the world, using technology as a force for social justice, and equitably distributing technology wealth to enrich society … sure, they’d be acting against their interests. But the reality is that tech companies centralize power and wealth in a small group of privileged white men. When that’s the goal, then exploiting the labor of marginalized people and denying them access to power and wealth is 100 percent in line with the endgame. A more diverse tech industry would be better for its workers and everyone else, but it would be worse for the privileged white men at the top of it, because it would mean they would have to give up their monopoly on money and power. And they will fight that with everything they’ve got, which is why we see barriers to equality at every level of the industry.

How often are women not given the credit that they deserve for the creation of a company?

When they are hired into early roles at the company, people from marginalized groups—including women—don’t get the same amount of stock, and they are not given the titles. And many times they’re not brought into the company until later stages of a company’s development, so they miss out on the opportunity to be part of the founding team. We particularly see underrepresentation of black founders. And in general, we give too much credit to individual, white male founders when companies are comprised of many people who have [devoted] their lives to [making] their organizations work.

On Twitter, you blow the minds of people who’ve never seen a feminist critique before, especially one of technology. Can you explain this response? Male VCs and entrepreneurs seem riled that you don’t take their good intentions very seriously.

They start with the premise that they deserve all these disproportionate advantages and privileges, and then they encounter a worldview that says, “Not only do you not deserve those things, but in order to fix the problems of the technology industry, you are not going to be able to have that stuff anymore.” That’s a profound challenge to how people see themselves, and it really hurts their feelings.

It makes them actively angry. Yet there’s a sort of masochism to their interactions with you. They can’t stop themselves from telling you why you’re wrong.

In the upper levels of tech, you are generally dealing with white men who have been coddled their entire lives, and they have rarely encountered even mild criticism. They take it as a really crushing, violent blow to their egos. It’s a big challenge for people from marginalized and underrepresented groups: we have to walk around the workplace all day on eggshells, treating them like soft kittens.

You’ve denigrated what you call “corporate feminism,” as espoused by Sheryl Sandberg in her book Lean In. Why do you object to the ideology?

One of the fundamental objections is that it tends to ignore broader systems of sexism, racism, queer-phobia, trans-phobia, and these structural oppressions are the root of why women don’t succeed in technology. Instead of talking about that, Lean In says, “You need to work harder and smarter, and you personally need to become very successful,” which promotes exceptionalism rather than structural change. You know, many women are already working harder and smarter than everyone around them. Imani Gandy has a great post on how black women are already leaning in.

What advice would you give to your younger self, or to women who are considering a career in technology now?

I actually don’t have a lot of advice. There’s not a whole lot that you can do to keep your career from being crushed by misogyny. The idea that if we can tell people the right way to act, they will be able avoid all that structural discrimination and aggression—that’s just not the case, based on my experience; so my main advice is basically to do what you can and to take care of yourself.

But you leaned out, Shanley. You stepped away and decided to do something else. You created your own business.

Well, I had that option because, as a white woman, I had a lot of financial privilege and a lot of opportunities.

Why is Silicon Valley so dependent on alcohol to lubricate its interactions?

I’m not critical of alcohol; I drink a lot of wine. The problem is how alcohol functions in technology companies: if you can get everyone to go out drinking after work, they are spending a lot more time at work with their coworkers—thinking about and doing work. That leads to a total fusion of self-identity with a company, where the social and personal is blended with the professional. It’s also really important to point out that tech events are places where assault and rape do happen, and alcohol is frequently used to facilitate the attacks.

Have you seen signs of improvement at all in some of these issues that you write about?

I’m not one to be optimistic about these things, but if pressed I can come up with a few examples. We are getting codes of conduct at events, and while that seems like a superficial thing, it does reflect awareness that our events are places where people are having bad experiences, where there is inequality and sometimes very serious abuse. Another thing I have seen over the past two years is that there is a lot more social-media organization and activism, which is helping to change the way people view tech and its problems. The final thing that’s good is that this year the Rainbow PUSH Coalition did a ton of work to get technology companies to share all their diversity data, which is forcing a lot of these issues into the open. There’s not any excuse for pretending that we don’t know.

You have a magic wand. What are the first three things you would change about technology?

I think I would take Twitter away from Marc Andreessen. Well, I mean, honestly, I’d like to take Marc Andreessen from power in every way; but the broader point is that I would like these old, rich, white male thought leaders to stop being the center of our field. There are brilliant, diverse technologists that aren’t being given a chance to speak.

The second thing that I would change is that we have the worst tech media ever. TechCrunch is pages and pages of press releases; PandoDaily is so consumed with their writers’ narcissistic petty dramas that it’s just an incoherent mess; and so on. So I’d love to see like 10 new independent tech media companies that have more integrity, courage, and critical thought.

And the third thing I’d like to change is money. Changing the way money flows in Silicon Valley is critical. VCs will give a startup run by women $100,000, but then the company that is run by privileged men gets $500 million. So I would change the allocation of venture capital. What if we said that we are not going to invest in cisgender, heterosexual white men for the next 10 years, and we’re going to fund a diversity of technologists instead?

Describe Silicon Valley in one word.

Maybe I’ll go with “corrupt.”


Men set up Silicon Valley, leading to a burst of productivity like the world has never seen before, and this is the thanks they get.


RE: Bitter non-entity says men are the problem with Silicon Valley - Sp5 - 12-09-2014 12:46 PM

That bitch is insane. Look at her Twitter. A prime example of how clickbait and Twitter are lowering the level of discourse.


RE: Bitter non-entity says men are the problem with Silicon Valley - davyjose - 12-09-2014 12:47 PM

Hot on the heels of Matt Taylor, more "tech is a hotbed of misogyny" garbage. Christ there's so much wrong with that nonsense I've no idea where to begin.

What these feminists don't seem to understand is that there is NO capitalistic enterprise out there who would turn down any person, man, woman or child who had the chops to make them money.

And Silicon Valley tech companies are as capitalistic as they come.

But rather than face that factoid, these crybabies continue to sit on the sidelines wallowing in pathetic victimhood.

Quote:But why would technology companies act against their best interests and not hire and promote competent women or people from other marginalized groups?

It comes down to what their interests actually are. If their interests were better serving the world, using technology as a force for social justice, and equitably distributing technology wealth to enrich society … sure, they’d be acting against their interests. But the reality is that tech companies centralize power and wealth in a small group of privileged white men. When that’s the goal, then exploiting the labor of marginalized people and denying them access to power and wealth is 100 percent in line with the endgame. A more diverse tech industry would be better for its workers and everyone else, but it would be worse for the privileged white men at the top of it, because it would mean they would have to give up their monopoly on money and power. And they will fight that with everything they’ve got, which is why we see barriers to equality at every level of the industry.

That's worse than anything Alex Jones and David Ike could ever come up with.


RE: Bitter non-entity says men are the problem with Silicon Valley - Kitsune - 12-09-2014 01:01 PM

Men are definitely the problem with Silicon Valley. I'm sure if all the men left, it would be a wonderful place and a hive of activity.

I mean, there'd be nobody left except the four female programmers, but I'm sure the HR department would find loads of women who were suitably qualified within no time.

I imagine that it'd be great for us to apply this critique elsewhere: I imagine, for instance, that the army could do with having no men in it. The fire service could as well.

In fact, I think patriarchy has had it's day. I think we should take example from progressive societies like Lesotho, where women are the breadwinners, and the Mosuo where women have complete control. If we use their lofty examples, soon we might follow in their footsteps and step out of their economic and industrial shadow behind which we have been hidden so long.


RE: Bitter non-entity says men are the problem with Silicon Valley - Private Man - 12-09-2014 01:10 PM

She just wants fat checks deposited regularly because she has the feelz about this subject.

Sadly, some White Knight will step up and deposit those checks.


RE: Bitter non-entity says men are the problem with Silicon Valley - Sombro - 12-09-2014 01:29 PM

[Image: cuzl3.jpg]


RE: Bitter non-entity says men are the problem with Silicon Valley - Que enspastic - 12-09-2014 01:38 PM

If white men are the problem why would you choose to work in their companies? If the reason white male companies only do well is because they look after each other (without crossing discrimination law), why not make your own companies that look after non-white men?

Jewish , Asian , Black and Latino men, all homosexuals and all women. That must be strength in numbers , enough to collectively take down white male tech companies, enough to offer competitive financing, marketing and a consumer base comprising the majority of the population.

The problem is that non-white men would rather work with men than women, ambitious competent white (and Jewish) women would rather work with men. All that's left from this potential anti-white male alliance is unambitous white women with a sense of victimhood that will rile the remaining minority women because they think feminism is for white women and see race as more important in terms of disadvantage.


RE: Bitter non-entity says men are the problem with Silicon Valley - Benoit - 12-09-2014 01:42 PM

Quote:But why would technology companies act against their best interests and not hire and promote competent women or people from other marginalized groups?

Even the question is stupid. Technology companies are massively successful and productive.

How would their interests be served by employing lots of people who don't want the job?

Also, it defines "competent women" as a marginalised group - the author of the article is obviously miscategorising herself. Incompetent women should deservedly be marginalised.


RE: Bitter non-entity says men are the problem with Silicon Valley - Parlay44 - 12-09-2014 01:45 PM

Notice how women always want to play in the boys clubs like technology. They want to step in the ring and be treated as equals. Let them start their own technology "club", business or whatever. Then they can do as they please. No they don't want to work their way up from the bottom. They want to jump in at the top levels and start calling the shots.


RE: Bitter non-entity says men are the problem with Silicon Valley - Dr. Howard - 12-09-2014 01:52 PM

This is hilarious. I hope her next article is something like "Chinese restaurants all staffed by chinese people...and that is part of the problem"


RE: Bitter non-entity says men are the problem with Silicon Valley - perverted sage - 12-09-2014 02:37 PM

(12-09-2014 12:47 PM)davyjose Wrote:  Hot on the heels of Matt Taylor, more "tech is a hotbed of misogyny" garbage. Christ there's so much wrong with that nonsense I've no idea where to begin.

What these feminists don't seem to understand is that there is NO capitalistic enterprise out there who would turn down any person, man, woman or child who had the chops to make them money.

And Silicon Valley tech companies are as capitalistic as they come.

But rather than face that factoid, these crybabies continue to sit on the sidelines wallowing in pathetic victimhood.

Quote:But why would technology companies act against their best interests and not hire and promote competent women or people from other marginalized groups?

It comes down to what their interests actually are. If their interests were better serving the world, using technology as a force for social justice, and equitably distributing technology wealth to enrich society … sure, they’d be acting against their interests. But the reality is that tech companies centralize power and wealth in a small group of privileged white men. When that’s the goal, then exploiting the labor of marginalized people and denying them access to power and wealth is 100 percent in line with the endgame. A more diverse tech industry would be better for its workers and everyone else, but it would be worse for the privileged white men at the top of it, because it would mean they would have to give up their monopoly on money and power. And they will fight that with everything they’ve got, which is why we see barriers to equality at every level of the industry.

That's worse than anything Alex Jones and David Ike could ever come up with.

If you read between the lines then this woman is a communist whose fantasy is being choked out during sex by an evil privileged white male with money and power in silicon valley.tard


RE: Bitter non-entity says men are the problem with Silicon Valley - TheWastelander - 12-09-2014 02:43 PM

Typical SJW formula.

An absence or lack of X means Y is Z.

X = favorite minority of the week
Y = target of outrage
Z = slanderous label used to demonize and dehumanize opponent


RE: Bitter non-entity says men are the problem with Silicon Valley - Sp5 - 12-09-2014 02:52 PM

An example of her wit:

[Image: fopZ9iv.jpg]

Just looking at her pictures you know she's a crazed attention whore.

If you saw these on a dating profile, you'd think, "Danger, Will Rodgers!!"

[Image: d974a46768ea9f1ba9e54b539f19e7fa_400x400.jpeg]
[Image: 0*r40W_R3j4ulNNFtI.jpeg]
[Image: main-thumb-719412-200-0QsUuTSvAkVwpBiyNa...6yg9B.jpeg]
[Image: photo.jpg]


RE: Bitter non-entity says men are the problem with Silicon Valley - Deuce Anna Half - 12-09-2014 03:12 PM

Quote:What advice would you give to your younger self, or to women who are considering a career in technology now?

I actually don’t have a lot of advice. There’s not a whole lot that you can do to keep your career from being crushed by misogyny. The idea that if we can tell people the right way to act, they will be able avoid all that structural discrimination and aggression—that’s just not the case, based on my experience; so my main advice is basically to do what you can and to take care of yourself.

That answer says it all about her, really. Problem with everything, solution of nothing.

6.5/10. WB if she wasn't lazy and nuts.


RE: Bitter non-entity says men are the problem with Silicon Valley - Days of Broken Arrows - 12-09-2014 03:23 PM

"Shanley Kane is the founder and editor of the most interesting and original of new publications that cover technology: Model View Culture, a quarterly journal and media site that offers readers a remorseless feminist critique of Silicon Valley."

This is an embarrassing waste of time. And the writer, Jason Pontin, should be ashamed he wrote it and offered her a platform to spout her stupidity.

So it's a "feminist critique of Silicon Valley?" What next? A feminist critique of ballparks? Of convenience stores? Of the Interstate highway system?

Men design and build things, while women sit around and insert their useless "feminist critiques" of them -- ironically, using the very technology built by men in the first place.

If white men hadn't built it all, she'd have nothing to "critique" and no job.

Technology Review, which ran this article, should be out of business. And I'm having a hard time wondering why anyone who give this waste-of-space female the time of day.


RE: Bitter non-entity says men are the problem with Silicon Valley - heavy - 12-09-2014 03:28 PM

The fact that a person like her with such little wit or common sense can be a writer and have a post picked up by an MIT technology website tells you how far our country has fallen.

Science, the media, education, business, and the middle of the bell-curve in general have fallen at the hands of feminism, of individuals' emotions, of political correctness.

The concern is that most men, the middle of the bell-curve for sure, don't form groups prevent this nonsense. Roosh and other bloggers, and perhaps RVFers in general do. But most men just check out altogether like Calhoun's mice.

Most men are comfortable bitching about it with close friends over beers at the local watering hole, but would never ever stand up to this shit in public...in front of women.

Just don't be the guy who posts here on RVF something he wouldn't stand for in the company of women...unless it's to get a flag.


RE: Bitter non-entity says men are the problem with Silicon Valley - Sp5 - 12-09-2014 03:28 PM

(12-09-2014 03:23 PM)Days of Broken Arrows Wrote:  "Shanley Kane is the founder and editor of the most interesting and original of new publications that cover technology: Model View Culture, a quarterly journal and media site that offers readers a remorseless feminist critique of Silicon Valley."

This is an embarrassing waste of time. And the writer, Jason Pontin, should be ashamed he wrote it and offered her a platform to spout her stupidity.

So it's a "feminist critique of Silicon Valley?" What next? A feminist critique of ballparks? Of convenience stores? Of the Interstate highway system?

Men design and build things, while women sit around and insert their useless "feminist critiques" of them -- ironically, using the very technology built by men in the first place.

If white men hadn't built it all, she'd have nothing to "critique" and no job.

Technology Review, which ran this article, should be out of business. And I'm having a hard time wondering why anyone who give this waste-of-space female the time of day.

What's strange is that Technology Review is the in-house magazine of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which is the nursery / boot camp for Matt Taylor types.


RE: Bitter non-entity says men are the problem with Silicon Valley - Agastya - 12-09-2014 03:37 PM

I don't understand her focus on white men in particular. Has she not walked into Apple's cafeteria and seen the hordes of Asian and Indian employees, many of whom work in higher positions? There may be a light racialized glass ceiling, but that could also be due to any number of factors. Silicon Valley CEO's definitely aren't discriminating against Indians, Chinese, etc. in their hiring practices, and slight underrepresentation in the boardroom doesn't equal some grand white supremacist conspiracy. I dislike how entire ethnic groups are completely ignored in feminist narratives.


RE: Bitter non-entity says men are the problem with Silicon Valley - Hades - 12-09-2014 03:38 PM

She basically gets to talk shit for a living. Typical parasite.

If she wants to be a "successful tech startup founder" so goddamn bad then why doesn't she start working on a successful tech startup? They don't just hand out medals for showing up.


RE: Bitter non-entity says men are the problem with Silicon Valley - Kabal - 12-09-2014 04:34 PM

Yeah... if you really believe there is some white male conspiracy against women, blacks, and latinos in the STEM fields, you should be thanking your lucky stars that white males are so sexist and racist as to leave the human capital-equivalent of hundred-dollar-bills on the ground and be looking to take advantage of this fact.

The observation that no one is putting their money where their mouth is, forming start-ups by hiring women, blacks, and latinos at a discount, and swimming Scrooge McDuck-style through piles of cash earned at the expense at teh evulz of white men is... telling.

The notion that different demographics are not identically distributed in ability and/or interests makes PC liberals' heads explode.


RE: Bitter non-entity says men are the problem with Silicon Valley - Mekorig - 12-09-2014 04:47 PM

Replace "white" for "black", "asian" or any other reacial name, and she would fit perfectly in Stormfront!


RE: Bitter non-entity says men are the problem with Silicon Valley - Gamers - 12-09-2014 05:29 PM

It's funny how white feminists keep saying that they're "marginalized" (Anita Sarkeesian recently used that word in a Game Informer interview) when in reality white western women are the most pampered and spoiled group of people to ever exist in any society.


RE: Bitter non-entity says men are the problem with Silicon Valley - Dusty - 12-09-2014 05:34 PM

women aren't good in math or programming.

Discussionclosed


RE: Bitter non-entity says men are the problem with Silicon Valley - Grange - 12-09-2014 05:50 PM

The comments on the article are pretty good, most taking the kind of position we would take. They're even giving a lot of grief to the editor and he's responding. I think the message is being heard.

EDIT: This link is in the comments describing what a histrionic pain in the ass this woman is. https://medium.com/@bobbie/on-reporting-65077a5c9047
EDIT2: Ha and this one too. https://medium.com/matter/speaking-up-every-fucking-time-a61a24aa7629
EDIT3: Bachelor's degree in fiction writing, Master's degree in "professional writing with a focus on technical writing." Everything you need to succeed as a programmer, I guess.


RE: Bitter non-entity says men are the problem with Silicon Valley - Neo - 12-09-2014 06:00 PM

I've been getting more and more irritated at these types of articles.

Here's the reason you don't see more women in tech...they're largely terrible at it.

I've worked with countless numbers of these types of girls and they have absolutely no talent or work ethic. It's one thing to have limited talent and work hard, at least that's respectable, but these chicks can't even do that. They just think they're good.

Now don't think I'm discriminating against all women. Want to know what types of women I've seen work hard in technical environments?

Foreign women (Jewish chicks are usually pretty good too).

They're also nicer, rarely complain, and actually look good.

But I can't just blame the girls. It's also tools like this Jason Pontin guy who give them a voice. I don't even have to know him or what he looks like. I doubt he works out, is a white-knight, and is probably one of those guys who thinks that if a girl smiles at him that he's a player. I guarantee that he probably creamed his pants at the mere chance of interviewing a young girl. He's a complete traitor to the male gender.