The myth of the ‘cool tech girl’
Sarah Stockdale

Y R U being such a joy-kill?

First, some housekeeping:

Don’t reward good behaviour with scotch, don’t tap kegs at 12pm, and don’t host video game or ping pong tournaments. Don’t call your employees “rockstars”.

Why not? All those examples are completely legit and non-gendered. That’s not “bro culture”. That’s you building a wall to protect your ego from all those evil macho stereotypes that you blame on men. If you can’t let your hair down on those rare occasions like Fridays, then whose fault is that?

Moving onto the hard stuff…

I’m trying really hard to see the good in what you wrote. When I first saw that the topic was “cool tech girls”, admittedly I got a little bit moist in the mouth. (As a biological male, I’m pretty-much hard-wired to be attracted to the opposite sex. Unless you want to tell me it’s a choice. Go on.) I thought back to that cute brunette I saw while out shopping the other day: sporting a slightly Gothic look, black flat-heeled sneakers, square glasses, book under her arm, and music blaring from her OGG music player.

Yeah, it’s a fantasy, or a mask. AND THAT’S OK.

I think she caught me staring, which would explain the little smile she had going. Or maybe she was about to call the police to complain about this random shopper “stalk-raping” her. Something tells me you would like that kind of world. Total Orwellian surveillance. Where men have to be oppressed back to the Stone Age as some kind of lewd revenge for all the historic grievances some women have been diligently suffering on behalf of their foremothers. Vengeance for those imaginary slights, like patriarchy theory, rape culture or micro-aggressions. Hopefully I’m wrong.

When you see young women trying out the ‘cool girl’ persona, spend some time getting to know them. The more women feel empowered and supported, the less we’ll need this harmful persona.

But you never made the case that it is harmful. OK, so you gave an example where you felt unsafe because of one guy, and a bunch of other guys tried to help you! I’ll be sure to get in touch when I need someone to put a positive spin on things!

Your article comes across as a bit catty and classist. Some women make an effort, they maintain a healthy BMI, and generally try to be appealing to men (of all people! SMH). On the whole, men respond positively to that kind of thing, and that empowers those women because they then feel liked and appreciated. If they choose to see male attention in a healthy, positive light, that is.

Sure, there’s this thing called “unwanted attention” but I’m very close to calling B.S. on that one, too. Reading between the lines, some women are just too damned greedy. They play the game of “hey look how sexy I am!”, but it’s only for Christian Grey, not the plebs! How dare the peasants accost her when all she wanted was Christian Grey to pin her against the wall! And when those women get called-out on their deceit, they cry “victim blaming! Rape culture! Somebody call a SWAT team to come rescue me!”

I’ve been ‘the feminist one’ for years, and it’s not easier than pretending to be cool — but it feels a hell of a lot better.

I get it. Cool is a label some people earn after doing a lot of hard work to look cool. So what if it’s an act? That doesn’t make it bad. I may be a mere male, but I don’t reduce my identity to the persona that I present to the world. Underneath, there’s a wealth of complexity, goo and other stuff. Everybody does it. Some people want to be smart, or sensible, likeable, respectable and so on. That’s still persona, not the person doing it.

But I think you’re lying to yourself that it’s not easier. From my POV, I find my relationship with women awfully strained and challenging. I think to myself: I’ve got potential. I could do some great things in life, but where’s the incentive? Why should I bother, when some of my biggest motivating forces are biological — things like sex, female attention, mutual love and respect — but they’ve turned to complete shit in recent years?

Instead of working late nights on some challenging super-secret project that will make me rich, feeling inspired by all the “amazing women” out there, I find it far easier to just drop out. I don’t need to work full-time when I can cover my basic living requirements and take things easy. Maybe my libido is ‘low’, but I don’t find fat positivity attractive, I don’t find feminism appealing. The only ‘intelligent’ women I get ‘intimidated’ by are the ones who support oppressive relationship laws. And I don’t find the average — let’s not mince words here — gum-spitting, gold-digging, monkey-branching bitch attractive. Honestly, why should I bother being great when there’s no reward, no accomplishment or support along the journey? Similarly, I think you’re taking the easy way out with feminism. It really must be easier to believe that “there are no good men out there”, or that you’re the oppressed victim of some huge patriarchy conspiracy reigning since the dawn of MANkind.

“Better” probably just equals “more comfortable”.