Noah Kagan and the Faceless Bitch slide

A month ago, I attended MicroConf2011, a great little conference for self-funded software startups.  I got a lot out of the conference and have already written positively about the experience.  One big change in my own behavior since coming home has been to work harder at connecting with customers and prospects and getting real, honest feedback from them.  It’s relatively hard to do this when selling through the quite anonymous app marketplaces but I’ve already had one eye-opening success at engaging with a user community and am laying the groundwork now for another.

It is in that spirit of getting and giving honest feedback that I’ve finally decided to write about the one really negative experience I had at MicroConf:  a talk given by Noah Kagan.  One of the oft-repeated themes at MicroConf was:  just try stuff, see how it works, don’t be afraid to embarrass yourself by trying something new, just listen to the marketplace and learn from your mistakes.

So, as one small marketplace datapoint in Noah Kagan’s budding career as a public speaker, I am hereby speaking up:  “Your talk didn’t just not work for me.  It wasn’t just glib, edgy, and rude.  It was deeply offensive.  You embarrassed yourself.  You need to rethink what you did, ditch parts of your presentation,  and try harder next time.”

Now, it would probably surprise Noah Kagan to find this out, but most of the people who read this won’t have a clue who he is.  What little I know about him is from the conference literature and snippets here and there on the web.  He’s currently ‘Chief Sumo’ at AppSumo,  which one online interviewer described as “a sort of Groupon for software, apps, and business/tech education courses”.  (From the AppSumo FAQs page:  “Companies give us these amazing deals for limited time to get people to try out their great services.”)  Kagan is also an alumnus of Mint, Facebook, and another startup of his own called Gambit.

Apparently, in the small but influential industry of high tech companies and service providers who cater to high tech startup companies (yes, I’m serious, there is such an industry), Noah Kagan is a bit of a rock star.  He was the last speaker on the first day of the conference and more than one preceding speaker — smart guys, good speakers — expressed excitement about the fact that Noah was at the conference and going to be addressing us.

I don’t think Noah Kagan was trying very hard to be offensive when he talked.  Frankly, the first thing that struck me about his presentation was that he wasn’t trying very hard at all.  His overall topic was how to be more effective — how to wring more accomplishment out of your day as a startup entrepreneur.  And one of his major take-aways was, get this:  type faster. Now that’s deep.

Noah’s presentation style wedded PowerpointNextGen visuals with a hardcore tech-blogger-speak style of delivery.  Have you seen a PPNG presentation yet?  PPNG uses Powerpoint as a high tech slide projector to splash strong visual images up behind the speaker, with few words and no bullet points.  When done well, the images reinforce the speaker’s words, make the whole presentation more memorable, and don’t put you to sleep in 30 seconds the way normal PPs so often do.  Tech-blogger-speak is fast-paced, usually a bit rude, occasionally quite funny, and, when done well can be very entertaining and effective.  It’s a style that was pioneered by Joel Spolsky, who can be rolling-in-the-aisles hilarious in a way that is biting without, usually, being downright cruel.

Sriracha Hot SaucePut the two techniques together in the wrong hands, though, and the result is a rambling rant in front of weird pictures.  And that about describes the first half of Noah’s talk.  He did add a unique element by lobbing plastic bottles of hot sauce across the room to ‘reward’ someone who asked or answered a question.

For example, as a way to bring emphasis to a point he was making about the mixture of pleasure and pain with which many of us approach our email inbox at the start of the day, Noah put up on the screen a picture of a young woman . . . writhing, I guess you’d say . . . on a floor, maybe? . . . in ecstasy — well, maybe. . . in pain, probably (a lot more pain than pleasure is what it looked like to me).  And he tried very hard to get a couple of the audience members to describe the picture in some detail or put a word to her state.  One of them stuttered out enough of a response to earn a bottle of hot sauce. Now, however weird and tasteless writhing-woman was, she was, at least, displayed on the screen in service to a point Noah was making in his speech.

But then came the faceless bitch: a headshot, not even particularly recognizable as female because the face and neck were covered by a huge opaque circle across which, in large letters, was enscribed BITCH.

A short time after the slide flashed on the screen, Kagan glanced over his shoulder, as if a bit surprised, since she clearly didn’t have anything to do with the point he was making, and said, “Oh, that’s just my previous girlfriend.”  Then he just left her up there — for a long time.  Long enough that finally I came to my senses, picked up my phone, and snapped a picture of the screen.  At which point Kagan noticed me and said, “Gee, that’s not my good side” and I responded that I was not taking a picture of him.  Which, for some reason, earned me a bottle of hot sauce.  Not lobbed, though.  Mine got handed carefully down from the stage and passed hand-to-hand.  By the time it reached me, to say I was angry is to understate the case.

Yeah, I know. <L’esprit_de_l’escalier>  What I should have done was stand up, walk the bottle of hot sauce back up to the stage, point out to Noah Kagan that he had not earned the right to give ME a token of recognition, and just kept on walking out of the room.  </L’esprit_de_l’escalier>

But I didn’t.  I stared at the hot sauce in my hand for way too long, getting way too mad.  And then, finally, I just lobbed it back up on the stage.  Or tried.  Turns out that successfully lobbing hot sauce from a seated position in a middle row of a large conference room is harder than you might guess.  Or, maybe you’d be smart enough to guess it’s hard; I wasn’t.  And while Noah’s bottles had sailed across the room and landed hard without breaking, mine burst on impact.  Onto people.  Who were incredibly gracious about it.  Meanwhile, Noah paused for half a beat, asked, “Are you MAD at me?” as if that was the oddest thought in the world, and then went back to his talk as if nothing had happened.

Now, seriously, back to the walking out.  I should have.  Because, frankly, if the word on that picture had been a racial slur, many of us there that day would have.  And “bitch”, used in that way, in that context, can only be interpreted as a gender slur and hugely offensive.  But I just sat there. We all just sat there as if nothing had happened (except the two guys in front who were scraping hot sauce off themselves and their electronics for the rest of the speech), and Noah kept talking and showing weird slides.

Such as the picture of his “current girlfriend,” when he was talking about how smart she was and what a great job she had done marketing herself for a job once.  I get that being identified as Noah Kagan’s “current girlfriend” is, from his perspective, a very high compliment, indeed.  However, given that she appears on his company’s website listed as one of the people who work there and he was talking to a room full of potential customers, I have to wonder if she wouldn’t have preferred being identified simply as “my friend and colleague.”

After that really disturbing sequence of slides, Noah settled down, stopped rambling so much, and made a few constructive/interesting suggestions:

  • value your time (automate everything, get your people to bring you solutions not just problems, and, yes, type faster)
  • think long term not short term (try to cultivate customers for life, approach every choice as if it was a long term decision)

Does that last point strike you as pretty ironic in relation to what Noah did in the first half of his speech?  Good. I’m not the only one then.  Frankly, I suspect that Noah has given 20-30 minute versions of his presentation many times before and that the weird stuff at the beginning was just filler he threw in at the last minute to make the speech last an hour.

I ran into Noah at the back of the room the next day. (MicroConf was GREAT for the amount of one-on-one access we had to the various speakers.)   And I asked him if he wanted to understand what had happened during his speech.  He replied simply, “No” and that was that.  (Hey, I’ve raised children.  I’ve done enough talking at small people who don’t want to listen to me to last anyone a lifetime.)

I’ve been going back and forth about the lessons of that day, for me, and find they fall into two completely different categories:

  • When and how should we speak up, in this “post-polite society” of ours — that’s the only term I can think of to use for the world I find myself living in, when someone’s behavior crosses the line from being edgy and confrontational to being just plain offensive and unacceptable?
  • What, if any, damage does Noah Kagan do to his own company when he crosses that line?  Should he (and his partners and employees) care when he goes out in public and makes a “kind of an ass” of himself. Given the level of rude that “just works” these days, does Noah’s particular level of rude in this particular presentation present issues for his business or not?  I’d argue it does but agree that, these days, that isn’t a given any more.

I hope to write more on each of the above topics.  But right now, it is time to hit the Publish button and get on with my day.

Update:  Note that, in addition to the comments below, there was a rather vigorous debate about this post over on Hacker News.  Scan the comments below, though, before you click the link to HN.  If the language or tone of anything posted here offends you, please don’t bother with the HN threads.  There’s a lot of good stuff there but also much flaming not for the faint of heart.

88 Replies to “Noah Kagan and the Faceless Bitch slide”

  1. Eliza Brock

    Anne,

    Thanks for posting about this.

    I personally found the picture of the naked woman in ecstasy/pain to be the low point of the conference for me. In fact, that was the only negative thing I had to say about in the post-conference survey.

  2. Patrick White

    Sorry to hear that you had a bad experience, particularly at MicroConf. Noah always seems to be getting himself into trouble. He has had to retract and apologize for at least one of AppSumo’s deal-announcement emails (they do like Groupon and send out an email announcing each deal). And this isn’t the first time I’ve heard about his (current) girlfriend. He made several very odd and uncomfortable mentions of her in a guest blog post for A Smart Bear awhile back.

    On the plus side, you did end up with a pretty good Noah Kagan story. Maybe it’ll be up-voted on HN 😉

    What was your one “eye-opening success” at getting user feedback?

  3. anon

    I don’t know you, I don’t know Noah, I wasn’t at the conference, I probably also would have been bothered by that slide (but probably not as much as you, I am a guy, I never use the word bitch, but I do think it at times, and dislike that I think it.) REGARDLESS,

    Your writing style invites people to turn away.

    I mean, come on, your first 9 paragraphs are just rant and slamming and I get you’re angry with Kagan, but I have no idea why, and frankly, I have no interest in your review of speakers speaking styles, I just want to know what the fuck this post is about.

  4. William Jones

    Wow.

    Frankly, I think the only shame is that you didn’t accidentally bean Noah on the head with that bottle of hot sauce. If someone was going to have to deal with its return, better him than some uninvolved people.

    Of course he didn’t want an explanation- he doesn’t care. There is a twisted form of machismo that exists among teenagers whereby making an ass out of yourself, and getting someone made at you is seen as a triumph– even better if its a girl who gets mad! (women don’t exist in their world.)

    Unfortunately, in the “startup” scene in the bay area, these kinds of attitudes are coddled. The entire region seems to be high on their own fumes, and attempting to reason with many of the denizens is pointless.

    I predict that none of them will accept responsibility for the error. But I am very glad you made this blog post. Jerks should be called out on their jerky behavior. (This is one reason I don’t read the writings of Spolsky or DHH- both are flaming assholes, and this should not be tolerated.)

    It is also important that you wrote this because it is a counterpart to the anti-feminist hit piece from Violet Blue ( http://www.zdnet.com/blog/violetblue/wwdc-2011-no-innovation-from-apple-developer-discontent/428 )

    — William

  5. James

    If she exists, she may have been a bitch, but badmouthing her in public reflects more on him than her.

    Perhaps since he feels he’s a rockstar, he’s ok with presenting his unfiltered self, but yeah, that’s pretty lame, and classy it is not.

    I feel sorry for his current girlfriend.

  6. William Jones

    PS — With that slide, Noah was confessing to the whole world that he is a bitch.

    We’ve all had relationships that failed. Those who are worthy accept responsibility for their part, or recognize that there was an incompatibility.

    Those who aren’t, blame their ex-partners.

  7. Robin

    Would you have “stood up” the same way if he, or perhaps a female presenter, had shown a nameless face of a male with the label “asshole”? No, I didn’t think so either. Trying to “turn the tables” by being unjust to the male gender for a while isn’t what gender equality is about. It’s sexism. YOU are a sexist. Please disappear from the internet, you sexist.

  8. johndburger

    @Robin “asshole” is not a sexist term (it’s not even gender-specific). “Bitch is both.

  9. sarah k.

    who did more harm?

    you destroyed some people’s clothes with sriracha sauce and just brush it off in passing as if it’s no big deal.

    a public speaker who is obviously quite immature (and who you very clearly vilify) said a few words and showed a couple pictures that made you upset. he meant no personal offense to you and was only hurting his own image and reputation.

    the people who choose to associate with someone like that know what they’re getting into and thus deserve the consequences. why did you choose to get involved too?

    you didn’t prove any great point, just ruined some people’s clothes in the crossfire.

  10. James Skemp

    The only issue I have with this is that you threw the bottle and hit innocent bystanders. Wouldn’t it have been much better to walk up after the presentation, hand it back, and try to enter into a discussion?

    And if you wanted for it be more public, I’ve found the best way to start a conversation/rebuttal late is to stand up/raise your hand/whatever and start with “I’m sorry, but …” Since I think we’ve all been in that position, people would understand where you’re coming from.

    My two cents.

  11. Stephen

    Wow. Not sure what to say, other than thanks for posting this.

    Well, and I can very much relate to your staircase wit. I think one aspect of our too-polite society is that conflict becomes such a foreign thing, that even the smallest conflict gets treated by the body as a fight or flight response. So adrenaline spikes and you stop thinking rationally. Being able to stay calm and rational in non-life-threatening situations of conflict is something I’m working on, but only with some small amount of success.

    The best hack I have for this so far is mentally transitioning the other person from an aggressor who is provoking me to an annoyance whose trivial actions must be laughed at in their stupidity. Then your response is not anger, but indifference as you can rationally explain to the other party what they’re doing wrong, and why it’s stupid, without it being “your hurting/offending *me*” (which puts you in the vulnerable, defensive, adrenaline-triggering position).

    Getting angry just validates that you think the other person is important and ends up giving them power (which both they and you/your body know, so drives both of your reactions). (I’m saying this to myself as much if not more so than to you.)

  12. Earle

    I think you’re just looking for a reason to be offended. Of course, without hearing the talk there’s no way to tell, and we only have your side of the story. But really, a slide that you seem to think had nothing to do with the talk was so offensive that it drowned out the message he was trying to give?

    I’ll refer you to Robin’s comment, but instead of “asshole” think “bastard” (since it was pointed out that “asshole” isn’t gender specific). Would you have been equally mad that a faceless man was being called names?

    I do agree with you on one point, though: you should have walked out. In the end you only disrupted someone’s presentation and splashed hot sauce on some people who actually wanted to be there. Good job.

  13. A man who has no issues with his masculinity

    To anon and Sarah K.:

    Re: Writing style: Don’t read it then. Fuck.

    Re: getting involved: I am grateful and glad that someone is getting involved. Sure, she might need to work on her throwing arm / distance judgement, but who of us (besides Noah) has a whole bunch of experience throwing hotsauce? I sort of suspect that your comment has a dash of “sit down, little lady, and don’t worry your pretty little head about it”. Yeah, “Just ignore him” is great advice; it works *really* fucking well in any situation.

    To the author of this post: Thank you for standing up. Thank you for offering him an explanation, even though he turned it down. I’d be rightfully and righteously pissed if you got hotsauce on me, yeah, so maybe don’t do that particular action next time. But thank you for what you did.

    We’ve come a long way, but I guess that we’ve got a bit more to go. And I say “we” because both men and women are going to be better off when we start having conferences, communities, user groups, etc., that see men and women as programmers and entrepreneurs, respecting them for who they are and what they do.

    Thank you, again, for not letting an anachronism get away with being a bit of a jerk.

    Sincerely,
    A man who has no issues with his masculinity.

  14. anonymous

    Throwing objects through a crowd of innocent bystanders is much higher on the jerk scale than Noah Kagan’s immature conduct will ever be.

  15. Ron

    There are just some speakers who will rub you the wrong way. You always have the option to leave if you believe there is no value to the speech.

    That said, throwing a glass bottle across a conference room is very immature, and as you found out, bad things can happen. Your bad behavior overshadowed anything that the presenter did.

  16. A man who has no issues with his masculinity

    Ron, it states clearly in her article that it was a plastic bottle.

  17. A man who has no issues with his masculinity

    Anonymous:
    “Throwing objects through a crowd of innocent bystanders is much higher on the jerk scale than Noah Kagan’s immature conduct will ever be.”

    Except that Noah Kagan’s immature conduct *includes* throwing objects through a crowd of innocent bystanders.

    You must be a fucking whiz kid at recursion, yeah?

  18. Thom

    Jesus, you’re a bitch. You ruined hardware and clothes of innocent people and cry because he called some anonymous woman a bitch?

    Quit your fucking bitching. You’re a worthless human being and you’re better off not on earth.

  19. Thom

    @A man who has no issues with his masculinity

    He threw it at people that would catch it, plus he didn’t throw like a bitch and ensured it’d reach the target.

    This bitch threw it in rage.

  20. Carl

    I attended that talk and honestly, you overreacted and are way too easily offended. Everybody went WTF when you threw that bottle at the wall. It was not only a ridiculously stupid move, but also a dangerous one. Everybody who were there will say that YOU made a fool of yourself, not Noah.

    Loosen up, life is short.

  21. A man who has no issues with his masculinity

    Thom, I disagree that she’s a worthless human being or a bitch.

    Also, did she cry? She didn’t say that she did. So, I think you are making shit up in order to portray her in a certain way. My guess is that it is sexist in origin, although, I suppose you could try to do the same thing to a male author.

    I agree on the idea that she should not have thrown the bottle, in hindsight. Though, to be fair, Noah had thrown a lot of them and none of those broke; perhaps she had the impression that the bottles were stronger than they were?

    Sincerely,
    A man who has no issues with his masculinity

  22. Eliza Brock

    To all the commenters villifying Anne for throwing the hot sauce:

    1 – I believe that you are all missing the fact that Noah threw easily a dozen bottles of hot sauce across the room. This same sequence of events would have happened had any of the bottles missed their targets.

    2 – She expressed regret that she lost her temper. It’s not like she’s proud of what happened.

    Anne lost her temper. I can hardly blame her. I’ve been in this field for less than a decade and some days it’s nearly unfathomable how a woman could handle this culture long enough to have a decades long career. I applaud Anne for being in the field, for being honest about what happened and for speaking her mind.

    She could have easily glossed over the sriracha incident and focused on the offensive presentation alone.

  23. bwb

    I saw Noah’s talk and thought it was fantastic (saw it a few months ago at another conf). The guy knows his stuff, you need to loosen up, this isn’t a world full of IBM men anymore all dressed in black suits. Not impressed with this article and the bitching.

    Ben

  24. Josh Moyers

    Most of the comments here make me ashamed to be a programmer and an entrepreneur. Nobody gets a license to be a hateful misogynist prick. You are building up an insufferable ego that you’ll have to live with for the rest of your life. Internet anonymity doesn’t save you from yourself.

    Sounds like throwing hot sauce was something she regretted. Heat of the moment perhaps? Hours of talk prep, building a PowerPoint with an in built snipe at an ex girlfriend? A bit more than bad judgment in the heat of the moment, wouldn’t you say?

  25. A man who has no issues with his masculinity

    Josh Moyers and Eliza Brock: Thank you both for expressing what I want to say in a slightly more eloquent and tactful way than I can this morning.

    Reading the comments and the description of what happened at the conference reminds me of a saying: “Entre broma y broma la verdad se asoma”.

    Between the jokes, the truth emerges. And I know some of you aren’t joking, but the way you are going about vilifying the author, with “bitchfest”, “crying”, etc., suggests a fairly misogynistic worldview.

  26. sh

    I especially like how throwing a plastic bottle has been called “dangerous,” and twice the contents have been said to “ruin” clothes.

    Eating dinner must be a pretty extreme activity for you guys.

  27. Wouter Van Hemel

    I find this whole censorship under the umbrella of political correctness and gender equality rather worrying. You need to be put at the front line of a bloody war to desensitise your latte-slurping sub-urban fake moral high ground and help you relativise the importance of matters.

    “Gender slur, and hugely offensive”? How do you describe your ex? Whiskers on kittens? What if he were gay and called his ex an asshole?

    Most people consider their ex’es assholes and bitches, and this has nothing to do with misogyny. Men might have a bigger mouth and care less about consequences, but he was on stage so it was his show. If you would have given a presentation you could have slipped in your negative feelings and rants.

    Man or woman, I think you’re an over-sensitive drama queen. With a violent temper and bad judgement, it seems. One wonders how you cope with life.

  28. Meg

    As a woman and a developer, articles like this always disgust me. Not because it confirms that there are a few total assholes* out there (e.g., Noah) but because the following discussion always confirms that most of the men in the community absolutely do not give a fuck about making it a comfortable place for any but their own kind. It’s not just that they Don’t Get It, which I could live with, but that they Don’t Want To Get It. Make the environment as hostile as they can get away with, then turn around and say women don’t go into tech because we’re too stupid or not nerdy enough or not logical enough or would rather be changing bedpans or answering phones. OOOOK guys. Thanks to those who do see the problem, just wish there were more of you out there.

    *And no, “asshole” isn’t a male-specific insult, and you fail anatomy forever if you think so. If I’m an asshole, call me an asshole. If you’re an asshole, call me a bitch.

  29. Liz

    The hatred expressed in the comments is really disturbing. At least one finds out who the misogynist haters are.

    Anne, I’m glad you posted and I’m sorry that conference tolerated that presentation.

  30. MRM

    The reaction is understandable. What Anne did was expose the unprofessionalism for what it was. It’s not surprising that this draws all the “haters” who simply don’t have a clue that even if you go to work wearing a t-shirt and shorts — the casualness should not be transferred to a conference. I don’t care how “rebel rock” the speakers or attendees may be.

    Why? Because you never know who may be there. You never know who might be an investor or a future client. Sure, you might think it’s cool at the moment to be irreverent, but it will bite you in the ass eventually. Trust me.

    As a woman in the tech industry, I’m glad you posted this, Anne. Not only does such offensive and unacceptable behavior have no place in the startup industry, it has no place in the workplace. Period.

    I have no idea if this guy reads business development books, but he’d be wise to get a copy of How to Win Friends and Influence People. Because damn, he flipped an epic fail with this one.

  31. Leesa Barnes

    I echo Joey DeVilla’s comment in my Google+ stream that brought me to this blog post…

    “And people wonder why there aren’t more women in tech!”

  32. CraigL

    I am sorry this happened.

    People have mentioned that this is somewhat normal in the Valley start up culture. I can assure you that sexist attitudes are not the norm in Austin where Noah currently calls home. This might be surprising to people who don’t know Austin and associate Texas with a special brand of machismo but Austin is a world apart. I am embarrassed by this ridiculous display and I don’t even know the guy.

  33. steve

    You also don’t mention that how forgiving the crowd was due to your gender; had you been a man and the bottle sprayed hot-sauce everywhere I’m fairly certain a fight of some sort would have broken out.

  34. Justin Baker

    He can call his ex anything he wants. Free speech is around for a reason. Maybe he is an ass and his ex is a wonderful woman. But this is his opinion, and he may voice it.

  35. Madame Hardy

    It’s really hard to know, in the moment, the right way to respond to outrageous behavior. I’m sorry you splattered the innocent bystanders with hot sauce by accident; however, I agree with you that some sort of protest needed to be made. In the moment I don’t know if I would have been brave enough to respond at all.

    Hey, responders: “Freedom of speech” means that the listener is free to respond. Including free to respond by calling out bad behavior in her blog. “Freedom of speech” does not mean “Nobody gets to criticize my speech.”

  36. Dale

    I get impatient with presenters who aren’t really prepared and give an average session. My company (which I own) or client pays for me to spend my time there — it’s a bit disrespectful of a presenter to forget the audience’s interests. Throwing things out to the audience to grab attention or sustain momentum is almost always lazy trick. It’s a disservice to the conference planners to fail to deliver a content-centric presentation. Frankly, I am usually wary of wunderkind presentations because the presenters may have success in one sense, but they don’t know how to tell a compelling story outside of their comfort environments.

    But I wasn’t in that room that day and can’t judge. Just like the blog post I read a couple of years ago about perceived projected back-channel abuse by the audience, this is a good perspective to read.

    (and if I get one more ‘your elderly mom’ tech neophyte joke, I think it’s only fair that I throw my mom’s app QR on a big rock at the presenter)

  37. Danny O'Brien

    Sorry you had to go through all of this, Anne. If I’d have been there, I would have happily walked out with you, and I know many other people who would have done so too.

  38. Charles Martel

    Without knowing anything about this author or conference when I started reading it was clear very quickly that this was written by a female.

    Frailty, thy name is woman! Because really, would any man write paragraph upon paragraph about how offended they are about something? Who cares if you’re offended? It’s takes extreme solipsism to think that your emotional reactions are society’s crisis.

    Stop whining darling, it’s truly unbecoming. I bet you’re one of the first people to complain how men and women are treated differently, and one of the last people to realize that behavior like yours is the reason for that.

  39. A man who has no issues with his masculinity

    I dunno, Charles Martel; you wrote 3 paragraphs about it.

  40. Fionna

    Anne, thank you for posting this. A couple of high profile dickheads in IT and suddenly everyone thinks that it is a recipe for success – I’m glad that you showed one at least that it isn’t. Please ignore the haters.

  41. Charles Martel

    I could write a lot more about how females in IT whining fulfills negative stereotypes, accomplishes nothing positive, and how it makes it more difficult for females in IT fields to overcome negative perceptions about letting their emotions take over, however, it would be casting pearls before swine here.

    You’ve (and I mean the collective you) absolved her of any responsibility to toughen up and you’ve actually validated her hysterical emotional response. All this Ra!Ra! You go Girlfriend! tripe does nothing helpful. Want to know why you get paid less ladies? It’s because when you bring to the table is complaining, whining, and the shake-down law suits to go with it.

  42. A man who has no issues with his masculinity

    Methinks the Charles Martel doth protest too much.

    We get it; you’re a man, with a stiff upper lip who takes it on the chin with a grin, and hey, if everyone wouldn’t be such a sissy, your life would roll a whole lot more smoothly.

    Also, you do seem to write a lot of paragraphs complaining. I mean, for a man, that is.

  43. anon

    Methinks the lady (@A man who has no issues with his masculinity) doth protest too much.

    Jeez, dude, doesn’t your right hand ever get tired of white knighting? Why not let the author of the post defend what she writes? I am sure she is capable, and in fact, doesn’t need or want your patronizing, condescending white knighting.

    And thanks for telling us you have no issues with your masculinity, that’s basically a passive aggressive ad hominem on everyone else. Tell ya what, I don’t believe you.

    Say your piece, respond a time or two, go back to surfing the net on company time.

    K?

  44. Charles Martel

    Interesting that around here snark is a substitute for logic and debate…

  45. A man who has no issues with his masculinity

    Wait, anon. First you accuse me of being female and then you accuse me of white knighting? That’s not logical! Maybe you are white knighting for Charles Martel?

    I’m not white knighting for anyone here. I simply find it absolutely ridiculous that most of the original author’s detractors chose to use sexist terms, condescending phrases, and misogynistic ideas to justify their dislike of what she wrote.

    It’s a direction that I thought the hacker community was moving away from. Maybe we still are.

    And I don’t want to go back to it; male, female, we are (most of us) programmers and entrepreneurs, and there is no place for sexist bullshit in conferences and industry events.

  46. anon

    I didn’t accuse you of being a woman. I quoted a famous quote that I thought applies to your behavior here.

    Similarly, I thought OP’s writing style invited people to not read her works. I told her that, which I thought she might find of interest, and you told me “love it or leave it”

    Well, dumbass, I thought “love it or leave it” was a direction we as humans were moving away from, I don’t want to go back to it.

    Dude, you have giant problems. Your name is a big indicator of that.

    If you want to fight for gender equality, fantastic, great, but don’t pretend you’re the first, and don’t passive aggressively insult anyone who disagrees with you by you name “A man who has no issues with his masculinity” implying that they do have issues. It’s insulting, it’s ad hominem, it’s most likely not true about you, and it’s bullying.

    In short, it’s bullshit.

  47. Charles Martel

    You, like the author, thinks the terms “sexist” or “misogynistic” are conclusory, and that the mere label suggests that the argument is somehow over.

    In my original post I pointed out that a man would never make a post like this. The reason is because he would be considered a laughing stock. Can you imagine the TYPE of guy who would complain about one slide in a slide show? It would be someone who simply couldn’t handle any kind of stress or serious work environment. So why is it this writer can go on and on about how offended she is and get praise from everyone?

    Solely because of the fact she is a woman. Sexism is here in the thread, but ironically most of you don’t see it: The writer can write this and get praised because only she is a girl, something a man cannot not do.

  48. A man who has no issues with his masculinity

    Charles Martel, I’m pretty sure I praised you for your complaining just a couple of posts ago.

  49. kz

    Charles Martel is missing the point. If the slide had a slur offending any ethnicity, race, religion, or sexual orientation, you would see people leaving the room. But it didn’t. It used a term that denigrates half of the population. It would be completely appropriate to complain if the slide has a different slur but since this specific word attacks one half of the population, they need to lighten up. I don’t think that’s reasonable, logical, or fair.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *