The myth of the ‘cool tech girl’
Sarah Stockdale
2.6K92

This article takes the narrow and personal and tries to make it general. The author’s anecdote of trying to fit in a mostly-male workspace by faking her personality doesn’t naturally follow to the conclusion that the Cool Tech Girl is a “myth”. It completely disregards women who actually have that kind of personality and don’t need to “fake it” to fit in with men (who, we are assuming in this article, all have the same personality apparently). The Cool Tech Girl isn’t so much a myth, as it is a personality-type that she was not able to pretend to have. To then go on and link this to internalised sexism is biased to the author’s own experience to the ignorance of differing experiences.

And then there’s the not-quite-linked anecdote about a frightening aggressive stalker originating from that same mostly-male workspace. Were his friends reluctant to believe the author’s view of the situation because of her assumed Cool Tech Girl persona? Was it because they were sexist and unchallenged in their sexism? Were they confused that she wasn’t just “being cool” like usual? Or was it because they found it hard to believe their friend, the stalker, could be that ugly and terrifying? This isn’t explored at all. The author just pins it all on this Cool Tech Girl persona she now abhors, and moves on without any real attempt at linking the two.

The only link is one attribute given to the Cool Tech Girl, which seems pretty subjective: The Cool Tech Girl is apparently permissive of male sexism i.e. She’s cool with men doing what they want, INCLUDING being misogynists.

I take issue with the idea that this is an inextricable part of that personality type. This is the author trying to rationalise the terrifying situation of the stalker with the inaction of listeners, and blaming it on the false persona which failed to shield her from harm.

In short, this is an article that may have been better titled “I pretended to be a Cool Tech Girl to shield myself, and it didn’t work”.

A longish title I suppose, but it’s more honest than the article we have here currently, which I feel demonises any woman who acts in this way.