TechCrunch ran an article on a new startup accelerator geared towards women-founded mobile companies. Of course this immediately attracted trolls. I saw the following comment by a TechCrunch reader named Chad Moran:
If men did this it would be considered sexist… just sayin’
It had 6 likes, which bothered me more than the comment itself. I replied:
I hear this argument all the time for different underrepresented demographic groups. It’s a weak argument. The point of groups like this is to bring equality to the industry as a whole. An over-represented group should not be given tools to maintain it’s dominance. That’s not just sexist or racist or bigoted: It’s inequitable.
Chad wrote back:
Avi Muchnick I don’t think the tech industry is against Women at all. I think it’s just been a lack of momentum and drive. I’m all for Women in tech and support their want to be accepted into such an industry. However it’s true. If men created a “pro men” group it would be criticized every which way for even existing.
Ouch. “Lack of momentum and drive?” Not even worth addressing that. My final point to Chad:
Chad Moran Yes, it would be criticized because it doesn’t need to exist in order to help men out. It’s a pointless group whose existence is really predicated on keeping women out of tech, rather then keeping men in.
I think any movement that is founded for the purpose of boosting an (unfairly) underrepresented minority in an industry should not be viewed the same as a movement founded for the purpose of maintaining an unfair monopoly.