Cracking Open the Gender Dialogue: What I Want the Men (and Women) of Tech to Know
Tracy Lawrence
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I am not familiar with the particular news story and would appreciate a link. I have a couple of general questions about the nature of sexual harrassment. Is the reliability of the claims beyond question? This is not a rhetorical question, but a genuine curiosity about how the offence is ascertained, how the bar is placed. I don’t work in tech, but in another field (entertainment) that is highly male dominated. We, too, are often told that we don’t want women there, but the trouble is, no one seems to be able to recognise doing this, except for a few guys who think they do it unconsciously (in their sleep) because feminism has told them that they do. Everyone I know in this field seems to want women around and seems to go the extra mile to involve them. So whatever the cause of the sex imbalance, women who do get into this field get lots of attention, and it also happens to be a field where attention is sought in the nature of things.

All the women I’ve ever dated I’ve met in some way through work, because like many men, I only work. Free time isn’t just play, because play is work and work is play. That’s how things get invented, built and innovated. Being a pretty unattractive guy, I suppose I’ve been lucky. Not just to get any, but also not to be tarred and feathered as a stalker and harrasser, because for the unattractive, persistence is everything. So when is it harrassment and when is it unrequited love? If it depends on whether the object of interest is interested or not, then there’s a problem, because the alleged transgressor would have to be psychic to avoid transgressing. I even read an article the other day in which a young woman was bemused because men didn’t persist when she said “no.” Someone should have told her that you can’t have it both ways. “No” can’t mean “maybe” or even “yes” if it always means “no.”

So if you really want to crack open the dialogue, crack this one open.

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