An Introduction to the Inner Workings of LadyBits
Welcome to LadyBits on Medium, a collection of literary musings about technology, science, business, culture, sex, and politics curated by me, Arikia Millikan. Here I’ll feature content from writers who actively engage in intelligent discourse about how technology is shaping the future of our civilization and, yeah, most of them will be women. I hope guys will like LadyBits too, though, and will want to contribute — especially those who understand that everyone wins when women are treated as equals in life and business.
While working as an editor of Wired.com, I learned that the average tech reader is a thirty-something single white dude who wants to buy all the gadgets to show off how high-status he is. So naturally, this fancy bro is to whom writers strive to appeal. It’s no accident that Wired is marketed like GQ rather than Vogue, and that Geek Dads occupy cover spreads while the Geek Moms are referenced only in footnotes. Never mind the evidence to the contrary that shows that women are the leading adopters and purchasers of the fastest-growing kinds of technology, or that we’re on the internet about 17 percent more than men. In the media world where ad dollars dominate, tech-savvy women don’t exist.
Well, we’ve been here all along, and there are a ton of us. We’re not unicorns. We actually do know how to use computers, even if they’re not pink. We don’t need Cosmo’s sex tips or advice about how to maintain our homes and gardens, and we don’t give a shit about celebrity gossip. We may not know the secret password to the boys’ club but we don’t need it. We’ll come and go as we please, because we know our viewpoints are valid and that our contributions are improving the current state of the tech media. I mean, who really wants to be in a stodgy old boys’ club, anyway? You’ll thank us after we turn it into a co-ed party, and so will your readers.
Realistically, I don’t think my project is going to magically produce wage parity, put the clothes back on booth babes, or thwart the hordes of message board misogynists who gang up to make the internet a difficult place to be a female with thoughts and opinions. But what it will do is create one more outlet curated by a female gatekeeper to gauge what constitutes importance in the media, who is willing to showcase and defend content that may not otherwise get published because it “doesn’t appeal to readers.” That way, the already lame excuses mainstream media editors and tech tycoons tend to give — that female writers/editors/speakers/employees/etc. are “hard to find” and “not as good” — will become even more invalid. We’ll do it with or without their help, but we’ll certainly do it without their permission. And we plan on having some fun along the way.
I hope you’ll join me in my quest to create engrossing and important content that wouldn’t otherwise be produced, here on Medium and throughout the internet. Together, we’ll tell the untold stories from every unique point of view, and we won’t worry about appealing to the “target demographic” — that guy has enough to read. Please send your ideas for contributions to firstname.lastname@example.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with what we’re reading and creating. We know you’re going to love our LadyBits.