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Silicon Valley Sexparty! [Emily Chang / Vanity Fair]

January 29, 2018

Tabloid stuff, but most relevant to current interest in gender-relations-in-the-workplace.



I kindof don’t like the touch of prudish attitude in the initial description of the parties (Come on, where’s the poet in the poor writer? Even the most tragic tale needs to celebrate the high before the fall). Anyway it’s interesting tho, ain’t it?

On the one hand, a lot of what is described, would be a pretty historically-standard behavior, a standard expression of the optimism in any youthful and ascendant scene such as the money-center of the tech world. People inventing the future and all. And besides that, SF was once the original epicenter of hippies & free love.

It would be all right, except for the blatant power-relationships which come with the extreme wealth. Every generation has the abusers of that as well. And as thru all time, the two circles meet (otherwise, what would be the point of all the cash?)

This time around the track, we’re coming at it with more awareness and the intention of creating a more gender-power-balanced world. So far so good.

Now I do sympathize a bit with the story of the socially awkward techy who made it big. ( Other than the part where you make it big :-] ) … Revenge of the Nerds, it may not be, but if you got the chance, why shouldn’t you make use of it? You can totally see such a person picking up some nasty social habits, but would focusing on those cases be throwing the good out with the bad? In general, I’m very hesitant to criticize another person’s lifestyle.

And moreover, what did you really expect? You think the high-school-jock turned millionaire would be any more saintly? Or the bro-dudes from Jersey and Long Island who ended up as stock traders in the early 2000’s? Or the “traditional-media” TV/film crowd, who we can and should compare to their social media counterparts? In that sense, part of this story is what was not long ago called “playa-hating”.

Buuut, we get to the the current realization that … er… if one writes 6 figure checks by day, one has the opportunity to take advantage of the opposite sex by night. And in Silicon Valley, like Wall Street, the gender imbalance in those cases is distinctly lopsided.

What does it add up to? It adds up to: that *I* want my own raunchy party, free of responsibility, with all the accouterments… ya know. And when it goes to s**t, I want a better writer to make it sound a little more sexy. And also, I don’t want everyone in the smallish town in which I live knowing every damn thing that happens.

In other words: Burn’em at the stake!!

Are stories such as this going to be a set-up for a conservaive backlash? You bet. I’m sure that isn’t the intention. You need to get some female executives getting down and dirty, balance it out properly.

It is the final part of the article that I thought was the most powerful and convincing one — the equivalent behaviors being viewed as virtuous or at least “whatever” for men, but stigmatized for women.

Much food for thought.

[via — also interesting, but a tougher slog of a read. Talks about the history of “family values” as an ideological element in politics, esp. as relating to the liberal/neoliberal/conservative worldviews, from the 70’s thru today. That’s your “gateway drug” link for the day… ]

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