There have been a few cases recently where some tech industry guy gets everyone up in arms about remarks he makes about females in the industry – either generalized or targeting specific women. Sometimes it is just a random attack on the industry in general, or at notable women, while other times it all starts because a search industry female has instigated an attack against the guy because of something he has written.
I don’t want to link to them and give these guys any more of the attention they obviously crave, but let’s just say they are complete jackasses for the comments they made. But something I have noticed happening, is the female’s friends instantly come to her defense and fight the fight for her.
Now, I am not excusing at all the fact that no female, regardless of being in the search industry or not, deserves to be treated this way. But why does it seem that female SEOs have their male counterparts rush in on their white charger to protect and defend them? Are female SEOs that much weaker that we need some guy to step in to defend us because someone said a bad word to us? Are we really all just wilting flowers that need protection?
On the other hand, it does a disservice to all the other women in the industry when one of the females does the “oh, somebody help me” routine, especially when she is the instigator in the whole thing. What happened to “I am woman, hear me roar?” when really it is “I am woman, hear me roar then run and hide behind these big strong men in the industry while they do battle while I occasionally throw in my two cents while reminding everyone who will listen what a meanie he is.”
But just as these men do it for attention, you can be sure some of these women are playing the damsel in distress for the attention, and it is definitely working. I am sure some people had never heard of these damsels, and it has definitely proven to be a good social getter, judging from the new followers, retweets they have gotten out of it. And not to mention her male BFFs blogging, tweeting and soapboxing in video and radio shows about how unfair it is that these mean men are attacking their damsels.
So ladies, fight your own battles. Just because you are standing up to some techie douche doesn’t mean you have to get all your guy friends to jump in and gang up on the target of your ire. This is 2012; we didn’t fight for equal rights just so you can damsel in distress every time someone says something you don’t like.
And yes, the irony isn’t lost that pretty much all these battles have to do with the fight being about something chauvinistic the bad guy has said about industry females. So don’t prove him right by getting all your guy industry friends to back you up, because it does make you look like exactly what he is claiming women are.