Gina Minks responds to a post on our linkspam:
I read this post (via the Geek Feminism Blog) and I just have to respond. The post is titled “Why women in tech need to stop whining and start to nurture our own”. I think the gist of the post is that women need to encourage other women to be techies. I can agree with that. What I can’t agree with is the language she uses to address women who speak out when they have experienced discrimination (and yes Margaret, women still face discrimination in the workplace).
So she tells us a story about discrimination she experienced…
I figured this would be an easy call. I had all the facts, all the symptoms. I needed the tech support person to gather the info and dispatch the part. Of course, tech support people make you go through some troubleshooting on the phone with them â€“ only fair they shouldnâ€™t send out parts unless something is broken.
Here is where it got weird. The guy on the phone asked me: â€œLet me ask you something â€“ do you like to bake?â€. It took me aback, but I played along. I needed the partâ€¦I figured he was making small talk till a screen he needed came up. So I said â€œyeahâ€¦..â€. And he goes, in a very belittling voice: â€œOk well this is going to easy, just like baking a cake. Inside the server is all of the different ingredients, and we are going to mix them all up and have a nice cake!â€.
And then draws a pretty clear conclusion:
the enemy is not â€œMENâ€. The enemy are a-holes. This support guy was a total a-hole. The guys I worked with back then were not a-holes. When I told them what happened, yeah they laughed their butts off. The term â€œthen you bake a cakeâ€ became part of our culture when someone couldnâ€™t figure things out.
Read the rest here about her thoughts on calling people “whiners” and how that makes it harder to respond well when things go wrong.