OH HAI SEXISM

Why aren't there more women in technology? Hmm, let's see if Twitter can help us find out.

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  1. So Shanley Kane, self-described "very nice girl, DPS princess, Warcraft junkie, Ruby/ROR [Ruby On Rails] weekend warrior, semiotician and beauty queen" (that's her Twitter bio) is out on the internet at about 10pm San Francisco time.

    (Update: please note that Geeklist has issued an apology over what follows below. Please bear this in mind before judging or acting on what you read.)

    (Further update Fri 23 March: following all this, Geeklist is devoting March and April to "helping showcase and support women in technology".)
  2. And she has a little conversation with herself...
  3. Because she's come across this video, which - if you watch it (note: now taken down) - is a classic piece of "objectification": attractive girl wearing sloganned t-shirt and.. knickers. Why is she in her knickers? Does not having distracting lower clothing somehow enhance the t-shirt? If that were the case, wouldn't you just put it on a shop dummy, so you'd just have the top half? Or a male model, who you could also show being smiley but silent, a product to be pushed around by the camera? 

    Or is it just another example of casual sexism? Kane wants to know, and so she asks Christian Sanz (@csanz), Geeklist's co-founder (it's their slogan on the shirt) and Reuben Katz (@rekatz), the other co-founder. Everyone's on San Francisco time (even if these tweets aren't showing that where you're viewing them). Let's begin:
  4. Sanz is first to reply.
  5. Fine - Sanz admits that it's kinda sexist, basically. Game over? Kane requests:
  6. And here it all starts to go wrong. Sanz had a few options here. (1) "Do you think so? We'll review it in the morning, if that's OK. Want to email me your objections? That would be really helpful." (2) "Do you think so? OK, could you drop an email to [support of some sort] and they'll look at it pronto. Thanks for getting in touch." (Update: one point to note: Geeklist didn't make the video, and it wasn't on its own Vimeo channel, so Sanz might not have been able to get it taken down immediately. But he clearly knows about it; and so it seems reasonable that he'd know how to go about getting it taken down.) (Update 2: though Geeklist didn't make the video, it did commission it according to Gemma Aguiar of Designlikewhoa.com, who did the t-shirt. Sanz may have already known this, as chief operating officer.)

    Unfortunately he doesn't - he goes for (3) "Don't you know that I'm a co-founder of a startup in San Francisco?" (Though we'd hope Kane's tweet doesn't need translation, the "yo" in "it's aggressively offensive yo" is best imagined with your standard rapper back-of-the-hand thumb-index-and-little-fingers-extended downward-push gesture. However it seems not everyone understands that...)
  7. Pretty clear. Still feasible for Sanz to extricate himself from this without pain just by going for (1) or (2) above. Unfortunately, nope. Remember, folks, calls - and tweets - may be monitored for training purposes.
  8. Translation: stop being so uppity, woman.
  9. At this point Geeklist co-founder Reuben Katz weighs in. Too heavily, arguably: despite the fact that it's night time he pulls in Kane's employer, Basho (her bio notes that she's "Product [manager] @Basho, which makes open source database Riak). Suddenly it goes from a conversation with one woman complaining about a dumbly sexist video, to two men who look as though they're offering a light threat to report her to her employers.
  10. Kane isn't pleased, of course...
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