OK, so we can all agree that there is a lack of women in positions of power in the tech industry, right? Right. Well, according to Douche du Jour Michael Arrington, it’s our own damn fault. In his piece for TechCrunch (charmingly titled “Too Few Women in Tech? Stop Blaming the Men.”) earlier this week, he had this to say:
I’m going to tell it like it is. And what it is is this: statistically speaking women have a huge advantage as entrepeneurs, because the press is dying to write about them, and venture capitalists are dying to fund them. Just so no one will point the accusing finger of discrimination at them.
Wow. We are so lucky that he decided to “tell it like it is,” because otherwise we never would have known that women have this huge entrepreneurial advantage born out of the guilty consciences of venture capitalists. Huzzah!
Once again, someone with a considerable amount of privilege is getting defensive when he is called on it and is thus attempting to flip the script and blame women for their relative lack of visibility. He is the tech version of your dbag friend who blames homeless people for not working hard enough. Just get a job already, disenfranchised people!
I’m not arguing against Arrington’s claims that his company has made an attempt to hire women as keynote speakers at tech conferences, nor that they’ve had a tough time finding people. What I do take issue with is his conclusion that women are the ones to blame for this. His argument basically erases any systemic problems that might discourage women from entering the tech industry (many of which are outlined in this WSJ article that prompted Arrington’s rant o’ douche) and oversimplifies things until he arrives at his bogus conclusion: women just need to try harder/women aren’t cut out for the tech industry.
Newsflash, Arrington: Your equation (lack of women in the tech industry=lack of women interested in tech jobs) doesn’t add up. It does, however, equal a douchebag decree.