Thursday, April 10, 2014

All in the Family

According to a piece Business Section of the Times (“Techology's Man Problem,” 4/5/14) Pax Dickinson of BusinessInsider tweeted “it’s not misogyny to tell a sexist joke, or to fail to take a woman seriously, or to enjoy boobies.” The tweet was in response to a presentation by two Australians at the TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathon who the Times quoted as saying, “Titshare is an app where you take photos of yourself staring at tits.” According to the Times the exchange caused ripples in at least one part of the tech universe. Dickinson lost both his job at Business Insider and his partnership with a young woman named Elissa Shevinsky with whom he was involved in a start-up called Glimpse Labs. Dickinson apparently made an apology (which not being one to miss a publicity op, he posted on a blog called VentureBeat) and Shivinsky and he made up, but isn’t this a little like the Salem witch hunts. Wouldn’t those who wish to counter the sexism of the tech world be better off if they fought fire with fire. Why not decree the equivalent of Title IX in intercollegiate athletics? Why not force men to face the same indignities as women by mandating male civil rights violations for educational purposes? Macho tech entrepreneurs could be required to watch a film like Oppressed Majority. The short which depicts a universe where women grope and bully the very men whose talents and abilities they’re dismissive of has according to the The Times already received 8.5 million  hits on YouTube (“French Film Goes Viral, but Not in France,” NYT, 4/6/14). Majorité opprimée, as it’s titled in French, was directed by Eleonore Pourriat, a screenwriter and actress, and according to The Times features a scene where bare-chested women jog past its harried stray-at-home dad, Pierre. Back in the 70’s Carroll O’Connor played Archie Bunker, a wise cracking neanderthal, who made offensive cracks on All in the Family. The show was a smash hit and also did more to create awareness of discriminatory attitudes than the language police who view political correctness as the salvo to inequity.  If only George Carlin were alive to make waves at the next TechCrunch?

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