It’s Silicon Valley 2, Ellen Pao 0: Fighter of Sexism Is Out

Gathered together in one place, for easy access, an agglomeration of writings and images relevant to the Rapeutation phenomenon.

Re: It’s Silicon Valley 2, Ellen Pao 0: Fighter of Sexism Is

Postby admin » Tue Jan 26, 2016 5:52 am

BLACK HOLE
by Keegan Hankes
March 9, 2015

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The most violently racist internet content isn't found on sites like Stormfront and VNN any more.

One section of the Web forum is dedicated to watching black men die, while another is called “CoonTown” and features users wondering if there are any states left that are “nigger free.” One conversation focuses on the state of being “Negro Free,” while another is about how best to bring attention to the assertion that black people are more prone to commit sexual assaults than whites.

But these discussions aren’t happening on Stormfront, which since its founding in 1995 by a former Alabama Klan leader has been the largest hate forum on the Web. They’re taking place on Reddit, a huge online bulletin board recently spun off into its own independent entity from Advance Publications, the parent company of Condé Nast. Reddit has been hailed as the last bastion of free speech on the Internet, an unregulated and vibrant community of users who post whatever they want and rely on the community around them to police their content.

The world of online hate, long dominated by website forums like Stormfront and its smaller neo-Nazi rival Vanguard News Network (VNN), has found a new — and wildly popular — home on the Internet. Reddit boasts the 9th highest Alexa Internet traffic ranking in the United States and the 36th worldwide. Many of Reddit’s racist subreddits are among its most popular.

Reddit is a news site that hosts user-submitted links and discussion, organized into specific communities of interest comprised of “subreddits,” which are ranked by votes from users. If a reader believes content is a constructive contribution, he or she can “upvote” it, pushing the content further up the page. Conversely, if a user thinks that content is either off-topic or is not constructive, it can be “downvoted,” causing it to sink further down the page.

Content on Reddit is “moderated based on quality, not opinion,” according to the working document that dictates community guidelines, called “Reddiquette.” This idea of user-policed communities that contain high-quality, diverse content is part of the ethos Reddit has worked hard to project. “We power awesome communities,” reads the graphic atop its “about” page.

But awesome communities for whom?

The ‘Chimpire’

Along with countless others with entirely different interests, Reddit increasingly is providing a home for anti-black racists — and some of the most virulent and violent propaganda around. In November 2013, a hyper-racist subreddit called “GreatApes” was formed. Users posted epithet-strewn links to “news” stories of dubious origin that riffed on long established stereotypes about the black community. GreatApes was wildly popular and grew quickly, expanding into a much larger Reddit network called “the Chimpire,” which was organized by a user known only by his or her posting name of “Jewish_NeoCon2.”

“We feel it’s time to expand our sphere of influence and lebensraum [the Nazi term for “living space”] on reddit. Thus we have decided to create ‘the Chimpire,’ a network of nigger related subreddits,” Jewish_NeoCon2 wrote at the time. “Want to read people’s experiences with niggers? There now is an affiliated subreddit for it. Want to watch chimp nature documentaries? We got it. Nigger hate facts? IT’S THERE. … Oh yes you bet we got videos of ghetto niggers fighting each other. Nigger drama on reddit? There’s a sub. Sheboons? Gibsmedat.”

Within a year, the Chimpire network had grown to include 46 active subreddits spanning an alarming range of racist topics, including “Teenapers,” “ApeWrangling,” “Detoilet,” and “Chicongo,” along with subreddits for both “TrayvonMartin” and “ferguson,” each of them dealing with the controversial and highly publicized shooting deaths of unarmed black teenagers.

Then, last November, Reddit’s most racist community evolved once again, adding the subreddit called CoonTown in the aftermath of a dispute between several top moderators at GreatApes. In just four days, CoonTown had reached 1,000 subscribers. And its popularity continues to grow.

According to Reddit Metrics, as of Jan. 6, there were 552,829 subreddits. CoonTown, with its 3,287 subscribers, ranked 6,279th, placing it in the top 2% of subreddits. It is the 680th fastest-growing subreddit on the site despite — or because of — violently racist material including a large number of threads dedicated to videos of black-on-black violence.

These gruesome videos show black men being hit in the head repeatedly with a hammer, burned alive, and killed in a variety of other ways. The subreddit’s banner features a cartoon of a black man hanging, complete with a Klansman in the background. One fairly typical user, “Bustatruggalo” applauded the graphic violence as “[v]ery educational and entertaining.” He or she continued on a separate thread: “I almost feel bad for letting an image like this fill me with an overwhelming amount of joy. Almost….”

Others, like user “natchil,” were looking for still more. “Where is watchjewsdie?” this user wondered.

'Remember the Human'

There are some limits. “No calls for violence,” the CoonTown subreddit’s description reads. “It’s prohibited by Reddit’s site-wide rules.”

Everything up to violence, however, is very much there, including the horrific content found on other Chimpire subreddits like “WatchNiggersDie” — content which is rarely, if ever, matched on forums like Stormfront and VNN, which worry about being shut down or driving off potential allies.

That’s despite the Reddiquette section’s first rule, which implores Reddit users to “Remember the human.” “When you communicate online, all you see is a computer screen,” it says. “When talking to someone you might want to ask yourself ‘Would I say it to the person’s face?’ or ‘Would I get jumped if I said this to a buddy?’”

If Reddit’s rules seem relaxed, that’s because they are meant to be. Still, although users are asked to “remember the human,” there is little humanity in the way the subjects of subreddits like CoonTown are treated.

In June 2013, however, after an extended, public controversy, Reddit did ban the subreddit “Niggers” when large numbers of its denizens began overrunning another subreddit, “BlackGirls,” with racist posts that were apparently not being policed by its moderators. “Brigading” — when large groups of people from one subreddit gang up to downvote comments on another subreddit that they don’t normally visit — is prohibited by Reddit. Users of the Niggers subreddit also engaged in “vote manipulation,” which falsely raises the popularity of a post by soliciting like-minded users to blindly upvote it. After repeated warnings and “shadow-banning,” or making a user’s posts invisible to everyone but the author, the subreddit was finally banned. According to Jewish_NeoCon2, more than a few former members of the Niggers subreddit have now taken up residence at CoonTown.

A Reluctance to Intervene

Reddit was recently spun off into its own independent entity from Advance Publications, the parent company of mass media giant Condé Nast, which also owns Vanity Fair, The New Yorker and 20 other print and online publications that reach an estimated 95 million consumers (Advance Publications is still a majority shareholder in Reddit). The site’s goal, according to Wong, is to pay its own way and its primary engine for accomplishing that is through ads, a premium subscription option, and the Reddit gift exchange.

Racist websites and organizations do sometimes benefit from racist subreddits like the Chimpire. That’s because subreddit users often post links to other racist sites, and those links drive traffic to those other sites, which in turn typically sell merchandise in addition to pushing racist ideology and recruiting.

It’s hard to dispute that Reddit does offer a venue for remarkably lively and unbridled conversation, and that dissident commentary that might not be tolerated elsewhere finds a welcome home there. Richard Spencer, a racist ideologue who heads the National Policy Institute, held an “AMA” (Ask Me Anything) session on Reddit last November, and although his views are widely regarded as loathsome, he was calm and understated in his discussion of far-right European politics. Unlike in WatchNiggersDie, there were no links to videos of brutal killings or other visual images meant to degrade the humanity of minorities.

Reddit is often hailed as one of the last bastions of truly free speech, and its owners’ hesitance to jeopardize that status is understandable given the loyal following it has inspired. Reddit has removed content that has been illegally appropriated from commercial interests, such as the revelations that emerged from the November hack of Sony Pictures Entertainment.

The Internet is awash in racist, anti-Semitic, misogynistic and other hateful content, but much of it is relatively tame. Subreddits such the Chimpire offer a window on to just how awful some of the darkest corners of the Web really are.
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Re: It’s Silicon Valley 2, Ellen Pao 0: Fighter of Sexism Is

Postby admin » Tue Jan 26, 2016 5:53 am

Even at a national memorial, no one is safe from ‘creepshots’
By Caitlin Dewey
October 10, 2014

NOTICE: THIS WORK MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT

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A man who photographed women sitting on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial recently got away with it. (Photo by Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)

Creepshots, one of the Internet’s many bizarre sexual scourges, are “repellent and disturbing,” a D.C. judge ruled Thursday — but they are not technically illegal.

In case you aren’t familiar with the term (and you might not want to be, FYI), creepshots are essentially just what they sound like: sneaky, surreptitious photos of a person’s, usually a woman’s, private areas, taken without her consent — and often, without her knowledge that the parts in question are even visible. They’re widely considered a genre of so-called “nonconsensual porn” — explicit images or videos traded without permission from the people they depict.

Online, these images enjoy a thriving trade on sites like Reddit, 4chan, AnonIB and even Twitter, where handles like @CreepBK, @SexySights and @Creep_daddy keep up a steady stream of skin-crawling photos. Both Reddit and AnonIB have forums dedicated to these types of photos, specifically; on AnonIB’s creepshot forum, users are currently salivating over a photo of a high-school student bending over to push a Wal-Mart cart as she shops. It’s obvious, from the number and location of the photos, that someone followed her around the store to take them.

“There were some pics of a similar looking girl kicking around the interweb a few years back,” one user wrote. “She was leaning over a barrier at her swimming pool talking to her swim coach … Anyone know the whereabouts?”

Someone else in the forum promptly supplied the photo: It is indeed of a (very young) girl at a swim meet, wearing what look to be swim shorts, watching people in the pool swim.

To many a reasonable observer, the existence of such a photo, and the intentions with which it was taken, seem self-evidently wrong. These are private people, going about their private lives. Why should a quick breeze or a bathing suit expose them to this kind of sustained, humiliating attention?

In the D.C. case, at least, the answer lay in a legal technicality. Voyeurism, a misdemeanor, has a very specific definition: You can’t secretly record someone using the bathroom, changing, having sex, or doing anything else where she has “a reasonable expectation of privacy.”

That reasonable expectation is what many cases hinge on. In this one, the creepshot-er in question, Christopher Hunt Cleveland, took his photos at the Lincoln Memorial as women sat on the steps. He didn’t sneak up under them, or use a peephole, or deploy any other similarly sneaky tricks. Instead, like the photographer who followed the woman in Wal-Mart, or the one who took pictures of the girl at the swim meet, he took pictures of public things, in a public place.

Never mind that leaning over for a moment, or wearing short shorts, does not in any way constitute a consent to be photographed. Never mind that, as U.S. Attorney Akhi Johnson argued, women have a reasonable expectation of privacy just by virtue of wearing clothes.

In purely legal terms, Cleveland’s creepshots don’t meet that standard. And so all charges were dropped against him, even as the stakes for women who visit the memorial were raised. Consider the implications of this for a second: If you were to visit the National Mall this weekend, and someone began taking photos of you or your children, there is nothing you can do about it.

It is “repellent and disturbing,” but it is his right.

There are attempts to change that, of course. In March, after a Massachusetts court ruled that upskirt photos were legal in the state, the legislature quickly pushed through a bill to criminalize it. Creepshots in the Bay State are now punishable by as many as five years in jail or fines up to $5,000. Texas also recently passed a law against photographs taken “with the intent to arouse or gratify” sexual desire, though that was later struck down on First Amendment grounds.

Which means that — in Texas, as in D.C., as in much of the country — women can be photographed, objectified, and have the photos passed around the Web simply for the crime of leaving their houses. Repellent and disturbing, indeed.

Caitlin Dewey is The Post’s digital culture critic. Follow her on Twitter @caitlindewey or subscribe to her daily newsletter on all things Internet. (tinyletter.com/cdewey)
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Re: It’s Silicon Valley 2, Ellen Pao 0: Fighter of Sexism Is

Postby admin » Mon Oct 23, 2017 11:22 pm

Elephant in the Valley
by Trae Vassallo, Ellen Levy, Michele Madansky, Hillary Mickell, Bennett Porter, Monica Leas, Stanford University, Julie Oberweis, Stanford University.
elephantinthevalley.com

NOTICE: THIS WORK MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT

YOU ARE REQUIRED TO READ THE COPYRIGHT NOTICE AT THIS LINK BEFORE YOU READ THE FOLLOWING WORK, THAT IS AVAILABLE SOLELY FOR PRIVATE STUDY, SCHOLARSHIP OR RESEARCH PURSUANT TO 17 U.S.C. SECTION 107 AND 108. IN THE EVENT THAT THE LIBRARY DETERMINES THAT UNLAWFUL COPYING OF THIS WORK HAS OCCURRED, THE LIBRARY HAS THE RIGHT TO BLOCK THE I.P. ADDRESS AT WHICH THE UNLAWFUL COPYING APPEARED TO HAVE OCCURRED. THANK YOU FOR RESPECTING THE RIGHTS OF COPYRIGHT OWNERS.


The inspiration for this survey came out of the incredible conversation from the Ellen Pao & KPCB trial. What we realized is that while many women shared similar workplace stories, most men were simply shocked and unaware of the issues facing women in the workplace. In an effort to correct the massive information disparity, we decided to get the data and the stories. We focused on five main areas including: Feedback & Promotion, Inclusion, Unconscious biases, Motherhood, and Harassment & Safety.

We asked 200+ women focusing on women with at least 10 years of experience. The survey is largely bay area with 91% in the bay area/silicon valley right now. We have a broad age ranges with 77% 40+ and 75% have children. Our respondents hold positions of power and influence with 25% are a CXOs, 11% are Founders, 11% are in venture. In addition to capturing start-up data, we also have employees from large companies including Apple, Google, and VMWare.

We encourage you to read, discuss, and add your anonymous stories to this initiative.

Best,

Trae Vassallo, Ellen Levy, Michele Madansky, Hillary Mickell, Bennett Porter, Monica Leas, Stanford University, Julie Oberweis, Stanford University.

********************************

Too hard or too soft

84%
Have been told they are too aggressive (with half hearing that on multiple occasions)
It is difficult for women in tech to strike the right balance without being seen as too meek or too harsh:

47% have been asked to do lower-level tasks that male colleagues are not asked to do (e.g., note-taking, ordering food, etc.)
32% disagree that they have been asked to do these tasks.

Too hard or too soft

• "At Company X we had a joke that there were only two reviews for women - you are either too reticent or you are too bossy - no middle ground."


No Seat at the Table

66%
felt excluded from key social/networking opportunities because of gender
59% have felt they have not had the same opportunities as their male counterparts
90% witnessed sexist behavior at company offsites and/or industry conferences

No Seat at the Table

"It's often easier to exclude women from social/networking opportunities (e.g. a golf buddy weekend) as these omissions are typically less overt (than e.g. an established business conference) and thus more difficult to identify."

"Egregious example: Getting taken to Hooters for lunch. "Death by a thousand cuts": male manager orders pitchers of beer but no other drinks at offsite. Offsites are all very physical activities, but I'm pregnant."

"Honestly, in two decades the list is just too long. This is an industry that has Cougar Night practically next door to my office and thinks it's perfectly appropriate to meet there for business conversations. (Why do we put up with that, BTW?)"

"At annual sales conference once, all the men gathered in the suite of the head of sales, drinking late into the night and then all shaved their heads as a bonding exercise. (The boss had a shaven head)."

"I don't know that I have been consciously excluded so much as some of the times that business is taking place on the golf course or late night at the bar just are not places I want to be."

"I was once invited to a networking event, only to have the invite rescinded when I rsvp'd and they realized I was a woman--they told me "this is just for the guys". There is a VC networking group called "alpha" as in male, of which I am the only female member and was "invited" only after specifically asking. VCs have fly-ins, fly-fishing trips etc to which only guys are invited"

"Once I led an offsite for my all male team at a go kart racing place even though I knew I'd get really motion sick to show I was 'one of the boys'"


Unconscious Biases

88%
have experienced clients/colleagues address questions to male peers that should have been addressed to them
Eye contact with male colleagues and not me: 84%
Demeaning comments from male colleagues: 87%
47% asked to do lower-level tasks that male colleagues not asked to do

Unconscious bias

"As a VC, I had a casual pitch meeting with a male founder and two of my male colleagues. Despite my background/skill set being clearly the most relevant, the founder didn't make eye contact, and didn't really listen to the questions I asked before answering. Definitely the most blatant gender-based example I've had while a VC."

"In evaluating deals, sometimes a male ceo will address all his replies to my male associate--while I'm the GP on point. I don't make investments in those companies"

"When I am with a male colleague who reports to me the default is for people tend to defer to him assuming I work for him. As soon as they know that is not true they look to me. I have also had male colleagues say to me that once a woman is pregnant she is irrelevant."


Impact of Family

75%
were asked about family life, marital status and children in interviews
40% feel the need to speak less about their family to be taken more seriously
Of those who took maternity leave, 52% shortened their leave because they thought it would negatively impact their career

Impact of Family

Questions asked during interviews include:

It's a good thing you don't have children yet as that would [not] work well in venture/start up world
Would I really have the time needed for the job and could I work as hard as the other two partners I'd be joining "given that you are a mom with a young child."
I was asked during fundraising meetings, "How do we know you're not going to run off and have a baby?"
Once I was asked about my religion and my views on abortion. On another occasion I was asked about how I would take care of my child while working.

Other feedback:

"The women at my firm didn't talk nearly as much about their families as the men did. We felt the need to appear more professional and 'all about business'"

"In one review session, one male partner said of a female employee 'we don't have to worry about her bonus or promotion because she just got married. So she'll probably have a baby and quit soon'"

"I told my direct supervisor that I needed to take some short-term medical leave in order to have fertility treatment. His response was that he wanted to make sure I understood that having a 2nd child would be a career-limiting move."

"Missed a bonus round for an entire year's work as I was out in December when it was assessed"

"I just think there are few women with families in VC so I feel like an anomaly"

"I pulled myself from the fast track."

"While I was on maternity leave, a colleague tried to poach my team. I returned to a team that was distressed because they felt unprotected during my maternity leave during a particularly political time at our company (just post-IPO). In talking to other female execs, I think there is generally a concern that absence opens up teams and roles for poaching, which is unacceptable practice."

"I had 2 kids 20 months apart. When I told my boss about the second pregnancy, his response was-"OMG! Didn’t you just have a baby?" BTW, he had 3 kids. When I returned from my 2nd mat leave, the mood was different, and there was little effort to include me in the flow of things. I was no longer part of the discussion on the cool big game-changer project, and my boss was complaining about how little my team had accomplished that summer. I had to remind him repeatedly that I hadn’t been around, and there was no backfill, so how could anything have been done?"

"I'm single but wear a wedding ring because I was tired of explaining why I wasn't married."

"I don't keep photos of my kids on my desk any more"


Sexual Harassment

60%
of women in tech reported unwanted sexual advances
65% of women who report unwanted sexual advances had received advances from a superior, with half receiving advances more than once
1 in 3 have felt afraid of their personal safety because of work related circumstances

Sexual Harassment

• "Once a client asked me to sit on his lap if he wanted to buy my products. My company didn't do anything about it when i told my boss so unfortunately I asked to be taken off that client but it's not like they can fire the client."

• "I had a fellow VC sending me flowers, gifts, even a mix-tape, over the course of several months. Another portfolio CEO asked me to go through a door first so he could "watch me walk" and my superiors at the firm told me to laugh it off. I also had another VC tell me likes married women and put his hand on mine. (I'm married)"

• "Example: I was propositioned by a hiring manager early in my career when I was a job candidate. He clearly indicated that if I slept with him, he would make sure I was promoted as his 'second in command' as he moved up the ladder in the company. I was lucky to have the option to reject the offer."

• "Unwanted sexual advances were far more common when I was in my 20s and early 30s than today."

• "Experiences included being groped by my boss while in public at a company event. After learning this had happened to other women in my department, and then reporting the event to HR, I was retaliated against and had to leave the company."

• "The first time I travelled with a new CEO he made an advance. I turned him down. After that, I was never asked to travel with him again. This impacted my ability to do my job."

Colleagues Behaving Badly:

• "So many...recently, I attended a VC firm's conference where they required one group of people to strip to their underwear and swim in a lake. The men all got naked and jumped right in. But the women? So devastating."

• "So many! E.g., at CES a VC who told me how committed he is to NVCA diversity task force in the next moment discusses what strip club he's going to with another VC. CEOs call the females in their companies "girls." All the analogies made about business relationships to "dating". All the assumptions that the next new hire is a "guy who will..." Booth babes at trade shows, tacky ads and commercials."

• "Have you ever been to Computex? the women don't wear much."

• "Company off-sites and industry conferences are hot beds of sexist activity, from excluding female colleagues from guy outings (e.g., golf, skiing) to drunken sexually charged conversations to late night searches for hook ups. For example, during an investors/CEO meeting in Jackson Hole, the men at the meeting were planning the ski day and they projected an assumption I was not going to be able to keep up. I kicked their asses on the slope the next day. Suddenly, my brand equity improved."

• "At a work party for a conference, the hosting company had women acrobats that were wearing very few clothes - mostly paint."


Resolution?

60%
who reported sexual harassment were dissatisfied with the course of action
39% of those harassed did nothing because they thought it would negatively impact their career
30% did not report, because they wanted to forget
29% signed a non-disparagement agreement

Resolution?

"Vicious comments by online (anonymous) commenters following my writing a piece about gender equity in tech industry."

"Traveling to certain places and being the only female on a team can be intimidating - particularly in 3rd world countries or in the South 20 years ago. My company didn’t know how to prepare me for that."

"After speaking at events, I've been followed by aggressive attendees to my car on several occasions."

"Coworker had anger issues especially toward women. I told my boss who blew me off. He was eventually arrested at work for a violent episode."

"I was the COO of a large company, and the CEO was very unstable. I decided to leave (life is too short), and he asked if I would stay with the company if he killed himself. I declined, and then he starting asking questions about what kind of car I drive, what my son looks like... I was nervous for months.:

"After a colleague made a (VERY unwanted) advance, I did not complain to anyone but I ensured that I never was alone with him outside an office setting. Not complaining was a mistake. The colleague later criticized me in a review as 'not putting in enough hours.' If I'd filed a complaint, his spiteful slap back at me would have been put in context. But I wouldn't have known whom to complain to or how."

"I publicly embarrassed him. That worked."

"Spoke to peers and asked their advice. This served to neuter the person involved from a social standpoint."

What Would They Have Done Differently:

"Hard to say. He worked in HR so I would have had to go to the head of HR which felt career limiting. That said, after I left I know he continued to harass other women, which makes me wish I had filed a complaint. I'm not proud of how I handled it but I was afraid and didn't want to invest any more time or emotional energy. It was behind closed doors, no one else was there, so I knew it would be a he said/she said."

"I should have spoken directly to my colleague about his inappropriate comments. In the case of the superior I should have reported it but was quite young and not confident in my position at the time."

"Spoken to HR. But we didn't have that person in the venture capital firm. Didn't know who to talk to."

"I didn't file because it seemed like an innocuous statement between long-time friendly colleagues at the time. However, the repercussions of my rejecting my superior caused him to be very negative towards me and make my work life very difficult."


Methodology

The Elephant in the Valley was a collaborative effort between seven women in Silicon Valley with backgrounds including Venture Capital, Academia, Entrepreneurship, Product Marketing and Marketing Research.

We compiled a list of several hundred senior level women from our collective contact lists and invited them to participate in a survey about gender in Silicon Valley. We had 210 complete an online survey between April and May 2015.

Profile of the respondents:

100% female
91% living in Silicon Valley
25% CXOs (CEO, CMO, CTO, etc.), 11% VCs, 11% founder/entrepreneur, 11% marketing
22% under 40, 42% 40-49 and 36% 50+
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