a digital common place book | an @s_m_i production | one of a few

When it’s men who are confronted by biases, we look at the bigger system. When women are, we put the onus on them to get ahead. And when it’s people of color facing bias? Well, that story is so familiar it barely makes headlines anymore. Journalists are paying attention to ageism in tech because it’s a new story that older white men, traditionally a very powerful demographic in the white-collar world, are struggling with how to succeed in a collarless culture that claims to reward merit but rejects them due to factors beyond their control. Maybe Silicon Valley has inadvertently produced an innovation here: It’s “disrupted” discrimination, to use the industry parlance. The tech-ageism stories, with their focus on culture rather than explicit policies, provide a new way of seeing the now-familiar stories about Silicon Valley sexism — and indeed, general workplace sexism, too. In most cases, companies aren’t actively alienating women. They’re rewarding people who match their deep-seated archetype of what “successful” looks like.

women who are anything less than modest about their accomplishments are harmed interpersonally. Men can also do themselves damage by being boastful, but we expect them to be aggressive. It hurts them far, far less than it hurts women.

Because of this bias, women will do better in organizations where managers are expected to advance the case for their people—where that’s the cultural norm.

- File under: reason 2025 why so-called ‘no hierarchy’ workplaces are often particularly difficult for women. More from the piece:

we’ve found that having an agent or advocate can be very helpful [in career or salary negotiations]
There are two benefits associated with having an agent when, say, you’re being considered or recruited for a position. One is that you’re perceived as more prestigious if someone is advocating for you. That’s the authority principle in action.
The liking principle also comes into play. If you have to be a broker of information about yourself, you often appear self-aggrandizing, and it rubs people the wrong way. In the research we did, we found that if an advocate for a candidate makes demands that are based on the candidate’s merits, it doesn’t harm the candidate. But if the candidate argues the very same case, it does. The people on the receiving end just don’t like that person, who comes off as a braggart.
This is especially relevant for women.

The Uses (and Abuses) of Influence - Harvard Business Review

A.A. was founded in 1935 by two men who believed that alcohol dependence could be tamed by regular attendance at group meetings with other recovering alcoholics. Its doctrine calls for members to tame their egos, abstain from all drinking and acknowledge they are in the grip of a force they can combat only with help from a “higher power.”

It doesn’t take an advanced degree in gender studies to realize that this approach—which has worked well for millions of people—may not be perfect for women whose biggest problem is not an excess of ego but a lack of it. Women are twice as likely to suffer from depression and anxiety as men—and are far more likely to medicate those conditions with alcohol.

Many women who drink heavily are also the victims of sexual abuse and have had eating disorders. The idea of being powerless can underscore a woman’s sense of vulnerability, researchers say. “Women need to feel powerful, not like victims of something beyond their control,” says Dr. Barnes. “It gives women power to feel they themselves can change.”

Twitter vs Female Protagonists in Video Games


Above is a tweet I made this afternoon in reaction to the fact that none of the games presented at Microsoft’s Xbox One E3 press conference featured female protagonists. Below are some of the Twitter replies to that observation which exemplify the male privilege and male entitlement endemic in the gaming community today. This is also a window into what it’s like to be a female video game critic on twitter.

1. @simplyflyinimage

2. @A_Hint_of_Shitimage

3. @Triosemimage

4. @DavidBostock93image

5. @Jamie_Breretonimage

6. @SethForsmanimage

7. @Beefheart82image

8. @AzEHeaD15image

9. @NickFuckypuimage

10. @JLB_esquireimage

11. @MathiasKaizerimage

12. @About20Donutsimage

13. @RogerLateralusimage

14. @izashid29image

15. @BEATandDELETEimage

16. @B_Razzimage

17. @twerk_king69image

18. @Epsilon_Fiveimage

19. @Spyrolicimage

20. @itwasagoodtimeimage

21. @JerkfaceMcGeeimage

22. @patq911image

23. @r0bz0rzimage

24. @JimPheeimage

25. @Pootslapimage

26. @Pokefan1223image

27. @Auriniimage

28. @yuttimage

29. @HennersQuackimage

30. @GabeAsterdimage

31. @MundaBricimage

32. @DoctorWatkinsimage

33. @xTheShad0wZimage

34. @GangWarlordimage

35. @le_mecimage

36. @coolguyquietessimage

37. @OldMileyimage

38. @TheChad118image

39. @dodgykebaabimage

40. @urafagetimage

41. @BJ_Dicksonimage

42. @Bloodergoimage

43. @Uneternalimage

44. @The_Master_Eimage

45. @TheVidyaBoyimage

46. @danier_sanimage

47. @ReissDJOimage

48. @mrdizzyimage

49. @IntelMinerimage

50. @AliAdelMohamedimage

Will not stop speaking up about this.

We almost expect women athletes to not be classically beautiful or feminine, and therefore we’re not surprised to learn they’re gay. Male professional athletes, by contrast, are thought to be our most masculine specimens. So when they come out as gay, it seems they’re playing against type. Even more than with femininity, masculinity and heterosexuality are widely perceived to be linked. For all the progress that’s been made, there’s still a perception that the bullied gay kid is spending his after-school hours curating a Lana Del Rey Tumblr, not practicing with the varsity basketball team. The bullied teen lesbian? She’s the one on the court.