Using Technology to Deepen Democracy, Using Democracy to Ensure Technology Benefits Us All

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Who Puts the Bro in Libertechbrotarian?

Adapted and upgraded from the Moot, I have been asked whether it is possible for the ladies to be libertechbrotarians in my estimation, and I fear I may risk being collared for political correctness forthwith if I do not clear up the matter swiftly. And so:

Obviously there are plenty of women who espouse neoliberal and market libertarian follies as there are also plenty of privileged women who are shaped by their privilege in ways that make them insensitive and self-aggrandizing and clueless in ways that differ from some of the prototypical behavior of the techbro cohort to the thinness of a dime. Needless to say (if it seems to you needful, read Athena Andreadis until you're better), sexism, heterosexism, cissexism, rape culture norms catastrophically suffuse the inter-implicated popular "tech" "futurist" "sf" "evopsycho" "VC" sub/cultures -- although the important exceptions are important and all. As an informally ethnographic characterization of a subcultural phenomenon, I must say the techbros and their libertechbrotarian kin do seem overwhelmingly to be, er, bros.

I guess the question is akin to whether or not it is possible to accuse a woman of indulging in "mansplaining." My inclination would be to suppose that such women, if there are any, are likely to be found in megachurches and Philosophy departments, but I cannot say for sure if I have glimpsed any personally. Maybe Mrs. Betty Bowers counts, at any rate parodically?

On the very off possibility that the question amounts to the clever assertion that noticing sexism is the real sexism, rather in the way that it is sometimes cleverly asserted that noticing racism is the real racism, I must say that isn't a road going anywhere anybody wants to go.


jollyspaniard said...

There was the odd mansplaining woman on the yesallwomen hashtag but they were notably rare. I didn't take note of their church affiliations but I suspect you're right.

jimf said...

> My inclination would be to suppose that such women,
> if there are any, are likely to be found in megachurches
> and Philosophy departments. . . Maybe Mrs. Betty Bowers
> counts. . .?

Or Mrs. Frank O'Connor?

Athena Andreadis said...

Women can be as nasty/power-hungry as men (within the narrow parameters allowed to them culturally, which are inevitably issues coded female/feminine, hence the mother-in-law stereotypes & realities). Is that a surprise - or a problem but only if such attributes show up in the "wrong" gender?

Dale Carrico said...

At the risk of stumbling into mansplaining mode myself for a moment and hence making a complete ass of myself, it seems to me techbros and mansplainers are being something more specific than just nasty/power-hungry -- their unpleasantness depends on a particular inhabitation of patriarchal privileges, all too often and all the worse if unconscious, that would indeed seem surprising (but not exactly impossible) for those coded female/feminine. For me techbro behavior and mansplaining are problems when they show up in the "right" gender. Actually mansplaining by folks coded female/feminine would probably feel subversive as often as not, that is to say "a problem" in a good way -- which I guess is why the parodic Betty Bowers figure came to mind when I was casting about for an example.