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Apparently I Am A Feminist: Girls Have A Little Respect

I’m in my hotel room and my friends are at the rooftop bar drinking with the guys. Why am I not there? It is too depressing for words. When I walked in the bartender had her tank top down to there and I could practically see her areola. Rather than standing around, pretending like I care about the chatter and being distracted by a young woman’s lack of self respect, I am resting. I am tired.

Let me get a few things very clear. I love being a woman, I love that I’m a sexual being, and I know the power of a great rack. I also know that when the shirt gets a little too low, it reeks of desperation. Once you toss the shirt off, it’s time to start charging like my Twitter Friend Alexa who is a sex worker. What can I say? I like clean lines.

There are women from various lines of work at the bar networking right now. One of my old neighbors is up there and we’d like to visit. I’ll have to see her another time. I feel really badly for her, she’s a 20 something lady, trying to make it in a man’s business, and she’s in a bar trying to drum up business while a tit and ass parade is being featured by a hotel staff with neither taste nor tact.

It’s the unfriendliest place I’ve seen in years. 

There is a place for it though. The problem is that everything has a place. When a business decides that they are going to have women look seductive they may lose a certain segment (not me). When a business decides that they are going to have women looking as if they are ready to drop to their knees and blow a guy for $7.49 then they lose 51% of the population. Sadly some women still have to show up, they have to be a part of the network, it’s a dance as old as time.

I don’t have to be there. So I left.

I think that I’m more sensitive to it since I’ve noticed the tech community fold in upon itself. Recently a man who goes by the name Hoss69 (no I’m not making that up – there is someone that poorly branded) spoke at a conference and was left unmoderated to insult his entire audience starting with the women.

Why do I say starting with the women?

Men, if you think that a shot of a shaved vagina along with a message that virtually says “buy me” doesn’t assume you are a walking, breathing idiot, think again. By teaming together in a lewd attempt to demean our sisters, mothers, daughters and friends, a group of less than brilliant men has tagged you stupid, horny, gullible and mean.

It’s okay with me if you want to buy sex. 

Be clear about what it is you are buying and selling. If you are going to sell software with a shaved vagina here’s what you need to know. I will not buy it. If you are going to have a conference with speakers like these, ever again I will not buy your conference tickets.

I would urge people to put the conferences behind them, as I think everyone has learned their lessons, however there has been no apology from the speaker nor will there ever be.

Here’s the deal. If you are a conference and you are going to subject attendees to soft core porn I will personally hunt down Gloria Allred and shake that fucking Chanel suit off of her and remind her of the mission. Women went there to work, not to be humiliated. 

Men, I’m calling on you too. My expectation is that there will not be a vagina in your powerpoint unless you are an OBGYN or you are speaking at a pornography conference. My expectation is that if a woman is targeted in the audience and told that she has “drawn a cock” that the entire room will stand up and say, “no”. My expectation is that when Hoss is invited to speak at another conference, and surely he will be, that sponsors will walk away and that attendees will stay home. My expectation is that your corporate event will have everyone feeling respected. Always.

My expectation is that we all act like a bunch of girls.
Because girls are spectacular.

* Hat tips to The Queen of Spain and Sarah Evans for shining a light on the topic

** My husband gave me permission to write about this topic.

19 thoughts on “Apparently I Am A Feminist: Girls Have A Little Respect”

  1. It has always surprised me how little decorum men show in the workplace and the kind of men who think that their sexism is a joke we should shrug off. When the tables turn on them, as they sometimes do when women are disgusted enough, they (men) squeal like little girls. They don’t like it and aren’t the “good sports” they expect us to be.

    And don’t get me started on the women who feed the status quo for nothing more than tips.

  2. I have been “one of the guys” for a long damn time on the job. And yet, a few years ago, I was at a conference, and a female presenter used her sexuality in an explicit way to “sell” her information.

    The men I attended with were just as appalled as the women, if not more.

    Real men get it.

  3. Are you serious? A vagina in a business presentation? Did you stand up, laugh out loud, and point? (BTW, I want to be there when Gloria gets her shaking.) But I have to say that the bartender who was showing her “all” behind the bar, didn’t have to. She made the choice to do that, whether she felt she had a choice or not. (I am sure there are plenty of women who are probably in the same place as she is and they choose not to do that.)

  4. I agree wholeheartedly on the idea that there’s a time and a place for everything. A sponsored corporate event is not a place for it.

    However, women who “feed on the status quo” for tips need a leg up (no, erm, pun intended) and not other women looking down on them. Feeding your kids is a feminist issue, too.

  5. Hells to the fuck yes.

    (Just yesterday I was venting about a similar subject, saying that in order to sell myself as a designer I have to make my clients want to fuck me, which is exhausting and demeaning, and I am oh-so-over-it.)

  6. as you know, im sort of “new” to this world (the tech part, anyway – i’ve been a girl thru and thru since the day i was conceived…) – what you speak of is appalling. that presenter should be ashamed of himself.

    i come from the man-dominated world of finance (hedge fund, i-banking – and before that, big firm corporate finance law). i have to say, i’m really good at fitting in – playing the part of that one “cool girl” who can hang with the guys and “take it.” but just because i’m good at it doesn’t mean i like it.

    i do love most things guy – i’m a sports nut, devour fantasy sports, play in every survivor pool i can find, fill out every tournament bracket, know a lot about scotch, play golf, watch golf on TV, fly fish – you get the picture. but the soft porn? the inappropriate remarks? the staring at my (not so great) rack? these things i do not love. it makes me sick that to “fit in” in a man’s [corporate] world, in 2009, you’re expected to be cool with that shit.

    it’s so not cool. and even though i’m good at it, i don’t want to do it anymore. i hope my “next great opportunity” doesn’t involve any of the above.

  7. It’s weird because I bounce back and forth between the “you go girl, you got it then flaunt it sister!” attitude and the “stop degrading yourself and all womankind…men are pigs” attitude. I don’t know where I stand.

    But I do know that men like the arrogant fool you talk about, make me want to spew vomit. And that’s never good.

  8. i don’t know if i would have stayed and whispered about them behind my hand or…left storming, insulted.
    either way…
    and i’m too tired to go into a huge comment.

  9. I definitely agree with the outcry that the Hoss situation at flashbelt has caused. However, what I don’t like to see happening is the branding of “men” in general. There are plenty of male feminists out there (me included) that hate this shit just as much as you do. However, comments that are incendiary and hurtful don’t help the situation.

    “By teaming together in a lewd attempt…”


    I’m going to quote my comment on the original geekgirlsguide post by courtney remes:

    [Begin Quote]
    What happens now? Hopefully this will serve as a good reminder for this industry that all its members are sacred to its well-being and that singling out any portion of them to berate is not to be tolerated and should be considered completely unprofessional.

    Sexism against women doesn’t just affect women. It affects men as well. Those of us that respect all women, and look up to the professional/personal lives of some are sometimes thrown into the group of guys like this jerk.
    [End Quote]

    Hoss made an apology. His own kind, and whether or not anyone thinks it’s a full out apology he still commented.

    Feminism is for the empowerment of women, yes, but by demeaning men in the same breath you have done nothing more than put yourself at the same level as those you despise.

  10. “Feeding the status quo”

    Whenever we put up or go along, even if it’s about “feeding the kids” we are a part of what’s wrong and unwillingness to risk and possibly make things better keeps us down. It’s like women who blog for “stuff” instead of a paycheck or working at Hooters to put yourself through college. When the rationale is “ends justify” no matter what – how can we expect the world to be a less sexist place for our daughters? If we want change, we have to do more than talk/blog about it.

  11. I don’t think there should be any restriction for a woman to dress sexy in the office . Men would get used to having colleagues showing lots of cleavage, wearing miniskirts, tank tops, and skimpy clothes around them if it is a common site at work and wouldn’t find it a distraction – so the message for Ladies is dress as sexy as much and as often you want in the office , you’ve fought hard for your rights then why not wear push up bras, figure hugging clothes, tight blouses, high heels and lots of makeup in the office if it makes you feel empowered, feminine and confident- men will get used to it if they haven’t already (many indeed already have) and it will become the norm you have the freedom now to do it unlike in the past- for fear of stricter sexual harassment laws now men wouldn’t dare to make advances to you at work -revealing clothes will be completely acceptable in time, as it has in some workplaces- people wont be bothered about it eventually.


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