American war on women in technology

How a Wall Street Journal expert got it very wrong

Source: This Is Our Time

Sara Mauskopf begins her piece thusly:

Recently John Greathouse published a piece in the Wall Street Journal instructing women in tech to use only their initials online. He argued that by appearing male (or as he called it, “neutral”) women can avoid gender bias.

Specifically, his recommendations included the following:

  • Women in today’s tech world should create an online presence that obscures their gender.
  • If you are a woman raising capital, you might consider not including photos of your team in your pitch deck.

Speaking as a woman in tech with a prominent online presence, I can assure you that Greathouse is very wrong.

I agree with Mauskopf. Beyond that, though, I have been irritated at everyone–woman or man–who uses initials or pseudonyms in online communications.

Why are you doing this? Only reason I can think of is shame. You’re ashamed of what you have to say.

If you’re too ashamed to use your full name, you’re giving me advance warning that even you believe your communication is shameful. So why should I read it? And why would you want to publish it if you’re ashamed of it?

Be thankful you live and write in a country with a powerful First Amendment, guaranteeing you freedom of expression, and guaranteeing that unless you’re issuing direct threats, you won’t be picked up by a secret police force and tossed into prison, or murdered to keep you quiet.

So, in support of your own opinions and, most importantly, of our First Amendment, please be proud to use your real, full names when you publish.

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