Photo with 1 note
Happy that this is only the second post on here. Couldn’t make it through the weekend though. MIT sets the stage when you walk in the door with these wristbands. If you are wearing a dress, you will be a target, and that’s that’s obviously ok… right?
A more subtle standard of women being sexual objects, rather than people with ideas, achievements and expertise.
If the hook for your event is scantily clad “GIRLS,” you’re not selling technology, you’re not promoting entrepreneurship. You’re selling sex.
Thank you North of 41 for getting us started in how NOT to do SXSW Interactive.
Last year, I remember sitting in the Austin Convention Center with a few women, chatting about the talks they were presenting, other interesting people we’d met. Then, one of them mentioned the flyer she’d found on her car that morning. It was for an event, being thrown by a startup. The main headline? They’d hired in the Dallas Cheerleaders to be there, serving beer.
She went on to explain they must not have known it was her car. She’d wound up with a huge black SUV rather than the compact she’d hoped for. They must have assumed that only a guy would be driving a car like that down at SXSWi.
Here’s the thing. That also means she understood that this event was not for her. Of course not. Never mind that it was a hackathon and she’s a coder. Never mind that she was speaking at SXSW and had gotten some impressive coverage of her talk.
Nope. Obviously not an event for her.
Not an event for women at all.
Last year, I bitched about this a bit on Twitter, but then, as is the nature of twitter, and conferences, it all just slipped away. I guess I hoped that maybe we’d been heard. That the effort that SXSW went to to get more women to speak, requiring at least one woman on multi-person panels as part of their diversity initiative.
But things haven’t changed. And this year, I don’t want to forget what I see.
So, I’m cataloging all the misfires, the failures, the alienating language, the flagrant use of women’s bodies to sell a product that has nothing to do with sex. Hopefully, when seen together, this will become an object lesson. Something to point at and say “See? With things like this why WOULD a woman think she was welcome?”
So if you find something, send it along. I’ll be listening @agentfin #SXSW2013diw