Coasting down the wave of good kudos from my post on IITP Techblog, where I was applauded for being positive about all this ‘gender stuff’, comes this gem via the Guardian. Go on, go check it out and come on back when you’re done.
So, let me enlighten you, dear reader, as to why it’s not acceptable to discuss anything about anyone without a representative of said discusee in the room.
YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT
There is something to be said for lived experience. Yes, you can have sympathy. Yes, you can even have empathy, but unless you have actually lived that experience (whatever that experience may be) you have no idea.
Perspective comes from a unique blend of who you are, what your experiences are thus far, and your knowledge on said subject.
Let me be clear here, this isn’t just about gender. Yes, this particular example is an all male panel discussing women, but this applies to all discussions where discrimination (whether intentional or unintentional) is involved.
If you are talking about people of colour, let me give you a hint, don’t have an all-white panel.
If you are talking about the rainbow community, here you go, don’t have an all-straight panel.
Do you get it now?
So, no thanks Paypal, you may say that you are creating a safe space for the male allies, but here’s another hint, the male ‘allies’ don’t need a safe space. If they are truly allies, they understand that even the most angry contributor is coming from years of being discriminated against. If they are, indeed, a ‘male identified cis-gendered person who works in tech’, they definitely do not need a safe space, they are pretty much all there is in tech, they have spaces, it’s called the entire tech industry.
Here endeth the rant.