TitStare – Why women don’t feel comfortable in the tech industry.

It’s not like me to rush out a blog post. I don’t leap to my keyboard everytime something in the media has people crying out against it. But today I just felt so compelled to write about TitStare.

At TechCrunch’s ‘Disrupt’ event in San Fransisco, audience members were presented with the TitStare app by two guys from Sydney, and another app called Circle Shake by a guy in Adelaide where he pretends to jerk off. Part of that audience was a 9 year old girl. Part of that audience was female. Part of that audience was self-respecting men who couldn’t believe what they were seeing. And yeah, it was a little bit funny, but totally inappropriate for a professional industry event.

For more info on the presentations, see http://valleywag.gawker.com/techcrunch-disrupt-kicks-off-with-titstare-app-and-fa-1274394925

TechCrunch immediately published an apology. They stuffed up. Red faces on both sides of the stage. http://techcrunch.com/2013/09/08/an-apology-from-techcrunch/

If I was TechCrunch, I would be furious. Furious that nobody had checked these submissions first. And they are furious.

But that sadest thing is .. that they have to screen. That there are men in the IT industry that think it’s ok to create something about tits and s*x and present it on stage to an audience. That they think the women in the audience will laugh it off and the men in the audience will applaud.

And now, the women will complain and will be labelled as uptight and told it was just a bit of fun. F*ck off.

So TechCrunch, I’m sorry that you should even have to screen for stuff like this now. I hope that one day society will get the fact that women in tech have enough trouble being stared at in mainly-male events without having to put up with this kind of content too.

I’ve worked in this industry for 17 years. I used to be the email administrator that sat around with the boys and had a laugh at some of the stuff we trapped in the email filters. But as technology has progressed and society’s morals haven’t, I get enough tits & ass messages on billboards, magazines, pop songs, music award shows & superbowl halftime acts. I don’t need it at work too. And I especially don’t need it at tech events.

What a stark contrast to Microsoft’s recent TechEd in Australia. Their brand is so valuable that they wouldn’t even dare risk anything onstage that hadn’t been QAed first. TechCrunch have now learnt that lesson … but sadly it’s going to take a lot longer before some men in the industry get the concept.

Kudos to the tech guys that already do – it’s awesome to share a community of respect with you.


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