Being a dude in a sexist society can make you feel really powerful. It’s like riding a bike down a very gradual hill: you’re pedaling, so you know you’re working, and you’re humming right along, so you are pretty sure that you’re awesome at bike-riding. You maybe don’t even notice that you’re riding on a shallow decline if you’ve been doing it for a long time, because that’s just what riding a bike is like, for you. Then, if you have a reason to turn around and start riding up the hill, you learn that the reason it’s been easy isn’t just your great cycling skills.

Over at The Frisky, I wrote about the “40 Hottest Women In Tech” thing, and the lessons that guys should maybe take away from it about if it’s possible to both take those paychecks and fight sexism (spoiler: I don’t think it is).

That’s a tough thing to learn, because we’re taught by society that we can get away with all sorts of stuff. Like, the author of the “40 Hottest Women In Tech” post had done a guide to “Cool Austin Restaurants” for Noisey before SXSW that was all just Red Lobster and Golden Corral and shit like that. So I get why he might think he can write a list of the hottest ladies in tech that includes a 60-year-old woman and still cash that check. When you’re operating from within a position of privilege, the wind’s always at your back, so it’s easy to think that you’re special. 

The real lesson here for dudes is that you have to actively starve these systems — by refusing to feed them content, in cases like this — rather than try to sneak a few vegetables in. 

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