I have a confession that is rather embarrassing. This site is hosted by GoDaddy.com, purveyor of horrible, objectifying, moronic ads with the GoDaddy “girls.” I wish this were not true. When I started this blog, I didn’t even realize I had options. That sounds silly, but the only brand I’d heard of that sold domain names was GoDaddy. Ick. I feel unclean.
GoDaddy is one of the many, many tech companies that transform a male-dominated culture (which is just demographically true) into a misogynistic culture. There’s Sqoot, which lists female bartenders as “perks” at their hackathons. There’s Geeklist and their dancing girl ads and the preposterous defense of said ad by an exec who uses the line “I have a family” as if that makes him incapable of sexism. There’s Klout, who recruits with signs that read “Want to bro down and crush code? Klout is hiring.” There’s a friend of mine whose boss prefaces conference calls with “Careful boys, Kim is on the phone, watch yourselves” and sends around photos on something he calls Bikini Thursdays.
I now sit in a row full of 20-something developers, “brogrammers” if you will. I listen to them all day long, and most of it goes something like this:
Brogrammer 1: Dude. I worked out so hard last night. That gym was my bitch. I bitchslapped all over that bench press.
Brogrammer 2: Fuck yeah. Worked on my lats and delts.
Brogrammer 1: That’s what’s up. That is WHAT IS UP. Did you deploy your branch yet? No? Let’s deploy this bitch.
And it’s like that all day long. Girls, exercise, code. Girls, exercise, code. And it’s all one big “bitch.” I should add, these are really, really nice guys. Every conversation I’ve ever had with them was polite, courteous, and completely pleasant. It’s just the hyper-masculine posturing that comes out at work that makes their environment not just male-friendly, but female-unfriendly.
Why do they need to change? I like the way that Dan Shapiro (of Google) puts it best in this Mother Jones piece, “It is a widely understood truth that the single biggest challenge to a successful startup is attracting the right people. To literally handicap yourself by 50 percent is insanity.” To think that you are getting the best people, if you’re only looking at half the people, is idiotic. These guys tend to be good at math, so you would think this would be obvious. What’s more, the majority of their consumers (social networkers, internet consumers, online shoppers) are female! Forget fairness, equality, and social consciousness, just think about your bottom line for a minute!
Back to GoDaddy. I believe in trying to put my money where my mouth is. And my mouth is decidedly far, far away from GoDaddy. This weekend, I’m tasking myself with figuring out how to make my ideological aversion a practical separation. But I’m a lady after all, and this is pretty technologically complicated, so we’ll see how it goes….
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