“Stop telling me I’m ‘beautiful.’ I’m ugly. It’s fine.”

Kristin Salaky, The Washington Post:

I am blessed to be friends with some amazing and strikingly beautiful women. They are generous and kind and when I’ve spoken on this subject before, they’re devastated. But when we go out together, I’m treated by men like an obstacle to get around. Sometimes, guys walks away from me mid-conversation to talk to a better-looking girl. When I write pieces on this subject or even allude to having an opinion online, anonymous Twitter trolls tell me I wouldn’t be so unattractive if I didn’t dye my hair, got a good chemical peel and stopped “eating Oreo’s more than vegetables.”

I’m not the only one to experience this. Attractive waiters earn more tips. Beautiful people get more job interviews, get promoted more quickly and make more money than their unattractive counterparts. They’re even seen as more “morally upright.” Studies have even shown a bias in juries when the defendant is attractive.

This is why the ad campaigns that tell everyone they’re beautiful are so dangerous. They link beauty with worthiness and kindness, doing nothing for the people thrust into the world knowing that simply isn’t true.

Instead, we should teach people, especially women, that their beauty doesn’t define them. We need to teach them that their worth comes from much more than their appearance. We need to stop shopping the narrative that everyone is beautiful (or could be, if they did x, y, z). We need to lift women up to be competitive workers, voracious learners and empathetic people. No matter what they look like.

Stop telling me I’m ‘beautiful.’ I’m ugly. It’s fine.

Thought-provoking.

I googled the author’s photo. She looks fine. Like a normal person. Even pretty in a couple of photos.

The hyper-gendering of women in Silicon Valley is predictable and awful

Women in tech are always female-first. No matter where they go, they’re the face of women in tech, even where they don’t want to be, writes Nellie Bowles at The Guardian:

The Silicon Valley season premiere panel was eight men and one woman, and anyone could predict what would happen.

The interviewer onstage asked each man questions about the popular HBO show satirizing Silicon Valley’s tech boom. He asked the creator, Mike Judge, what inspired the show; asked a main character whether he knew it would be such a hit; asked an actor how much his comedic riffs got into the final cut. And then he turned to the one woman on stage, Amanda Crew:

“So Amanda, what is it like – this show is obviously a lot of guys – what’s your experience as an actress in this type of situation and also representing the females of Silicon Valley here?”

There it is.

I’ve never felt more gendered than since I started covering tech. I certainly like being a woman, but I wouldn’t consider it my primary identifier or interest. In Silicon Valley, one does not have that luxury. A woman in Silicon Valley, even one who’s just visiting for the night, is very specifically female – representative of women and there to talk about women. It’s by dint of scarcity (how odd to find her there!) but it’s deeper than that.

Monica Rogati, a data scientist, coined something she called the Bechdel test for tech conferences. It is a measure of whether women are truly being represented at an event. The requirements: 1) two women speaking 2) on the same panel 3) not about women in tech.

After covering tech for five years, I think I’ve seen it maybe twice. More typical is something akin to the upcoming Paypal panel called “Gender Equality and Inclusion in the Workplace”, which boasts a grand total of four men and zero women.