Byte Me #8: Eating tampons, triggering men, and a horny pen

Byte Me #8: Eating tampons, triggering men, and a horny pen

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Welcome back to Byte Me, our feminist newsletter that makes everyone mad <3

Since we last spoke, Anouk was made the first-ever queen of editorial, Cara’s edgy football club won their division (and she scored a bajillion goals), and Gigi’s mum won a big tech award, so that bodes well for her genes.

Each month, our gloriously talented designer, Saïna, illustrates a weird comment or tweet we receive from one of TNW’s misogynistic, or just odd, readers. Here’s this month’s: 

What? Let’s unpack this, with art.

the bloody news

  • And it’s not just Greta: BuzzFeed wrote about how trolls are swarming young climate activists online, most of whom are girls.
  • Google thinks it wasn’t sexist to give its voice assistant a female voice. There’s nothing sexist at all about gendering administrative work. Nothing at all.
  • Anisa Purbasari Horton wrote about the real cost of not wearing makeup at the office for Fast Company.
  • Instagram now restricts visibility of weight loss products and cosmetic surgery posts for teens.
  • This AI researcher is fighting unsolicited dick pics… with more dicks.
  • The kids are alright: The Cut wrote about how teen girls on TikTok are convincing the internet they eat their used tampons.
  • The bra company ThirdLove says it’s by women, for women. But women who’ve worked there disagree. (Vox)
  • From Quartz: Can nice women get ahead at work? Answer: No, you bitch. 
  • From Vulture: Let Liv Tyler go to space.
  • Time wrote about how Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren made fighting corruption a feminist rallying cry.
  • Alison Turkos was assaulted by her Lyft driver. She wrote about why she’s suing the company on Medium.
  • From our mommy company, Financial Times: Why do so many incompetent men win at work?
  • The Outline wrote about this horny pen.
  • The Times: All the lonely people… are men: a fifth have no friends. Ha! Kidding, it’s quite sad…
  •  A new study shows US men are avoiding their female colleagues at work. Arwa Mahdawi wrote an op-ed for The Guardian on why it’s another sign we’re being punished for #MeToo.
  • Bustle announced their rule-breakers of 2019. The editors of Byte Me shockingly didn’t make the cut.
  • Quartz: Why do male tennis players at the US Open reject balls more often than the women do?
  • The New Yorker wrote about the “century of ‘shrill’” — or how bias in technology has hurt women’s voices.
  • It turns out colonialism is to blame for body shaming. (JSTOR Daily)
  • Wanna see something horrific?
    Credit: Trumpcare IUD

    It’s a Trump IUD. (VICE)

  • Jezebel wrote about how reports of sexual assault on the London Tube have nearly doubled since 2015.
  • There’s been public debate over H&M’s styling of a young black girl’s hair in one of their campaigns. Ashley Reese wrote about it in Jezebel: “Black people—including black children—regularly deal with the stress of having their appearance policed.”

    Credit: H&M

  • The Guardian: An ex-BBC worker received a £130,000 settlement in an equal pay dispute.
  • The Outline wrote about why it’s perfectly moral to bring children into our shitty world.
  • Did you know lorem ipsum is sexist? Well, it might not be, but someone invented Feminipsum, patriarchy-smashing placeholder text.

that’s what she said:  Is it ok to benefit from positive discrimination?

Because we’re all magical and unique snowflakes who don’t always agree on feminist issues — and subsequently feel like we’re “bad” women — we’re going to discuss something we found online in each newsletter.

For this month’s that’s what she said, we’re discussing being a “token woman” and positive discrimination. We’ve linked to our full discussion here, and included the TL;DR below…

Georgina: Tough question: is it ok to benefit from positive discrimination?

Anouk: As a woman working in tech, it’s inevitable you benefit from your gender sometimes.

Cara: I think it’s a difficult question to quantify with a straight, simple answer. On one side there’s the argument of “if you’re qualified, then you should get the job”… but obviously, it doesn’t always work that way.

As a woman, or someone from a minority group, there’s a chance you’ve never been given as much initial opportunity to build a career. Which is why diversity schemes, which are relatively new, are needed.

Georgina: Tokenism is shit — but diversity schemes aren’t only for the benefit of woman, but the companies themselves. Companies have massive PR fuckups because they didn’t have a diverse group in the decision-making meetings to be like “errr don’t do that.”

Anouk: So here’s another question… if you were hired because you’re a woman, would you want to know?

Georgina: I’d be ok with knowing that part of the reason I was hired because I was a woman — but only for a team who actually values having diversity of thought, not a team who are blatantly like “we had to.”

Cara: Yeah, I’d also be fine with it. But it would still feel weird for sure.

Georgina: Have either of you ever felt uncomfortably favored bc of your gender? Like you didn’t feel it was deserved, or you felt guilty?

Anouk: I’ve not felt guilty, but there were occasions when certain gender-related topics or headlines were discussed in the team and I was actively involved to give my opinion. Like: let’s ask Anouk, she has a vagina.

Cara: Also, I think there’s more pressure to perform above and beyond if you’re a token hire — you have more to prove.

Anouk: Yeah, specifically when women are hired into positions to fix their predecessor’s bullshit… the glass cliff.

At the end of the day, nobody should just profit from “positive discrimination” or “tokenism” and lean back — you have to earn it. You can profit from it as long as you work just as hard as you would without positive discrimination. 

Georgina: And companies shouldn’t just look for any woman to fill a diversity quota, it should be about skill and experience — but if diversity of thought is important to you, you better make that a priority.

When it comes to being the one who may benefit, it’s about the individual and how comfortable they are with the situation. if you feel like you’re being exploited cos of your gender, fuck that. if you feel you’re being valued for your gender, that’s great.

You can check out our full discussion here.

Feel free to comment on the document with your thoughts, or send us an email!

the best and the worst 

In this section, we ask women much smarter than us about the best and worst piece of professional advice they’ve ever received. This month’s is from Caitlin Doughty, a funeral director, death expert, and star of the popular YouTube series “Ask a Mortician.”

Credit: Caitlin Doughty

The best?

“Don’t be afraid to take huge risks. The more scared you are, the more interesting the project probably is.”

The worst?
“Focus only on the funeral home, because people will lose interest in your videos and books very quickly.”

tweets of the month 

word of the month: milftech

Next up in our new and improved Dicktionary (sorry):

Before we dive into this edition’s Word of the Month, let’s start with an important, albeit controversial, remark: we loathe mommy bloggers. They are the absolute worst. The snot-wiping scum of the earth. And judging from Google’s search results, many others agree:

So what is it about mommy bloggers that makes them so annoying? Countless things. They host gender reveal parties. They write about topics that are utterly disgusting, like this soccer mom discussing her kid’s boogers. They make charts to show why working mothers are the Antichrist.

But it might be that self-given label, mommy blogger, that is most worrisome. Is it that your private life is made public, and profitable? Or the industrialization and exploitation of children who are building online presences without their knowledge or consent? Who knows.

Having said that, we do love and support mothers, stay-at-home and working. Some of us (mainly Gigi) drool over babies, too. And as tech writers, we believe it’s important to cover this demographic. Like when we wrote about startup Elvie, which developed a tubeless breast pump women can fit in their bras. Or when we covered this smart baby crib

But don’t expect us to use the word ‘mommy’ — ever. ‘Mum tech’ makes as almost equally uncomfortable. 

Instead, we came up with an alternative: milftech. Gadgets for women who fuck and who just happened to have given birth. Like this pelvic floor trainer, also by Elvie. Or tech for pregnant women, like this wearable pregnancy tracker by Bloomlife.

How to use in a sentence:

“This year’s Milftech section at CES promises gadgets galore and electronics of every iteration.”

**Editor’s note from Gigi: I actually aspire to be a mommy blogger, but don’t tell the others.**

Don’t forget…

<3 The TNW shrews

Cara (cara@thenextweb.com
Anouk (anouk@thenextweb.com)
& Georgina (georgina@thenextweb
.com)

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