Thursday, May 16, 2013

Treating People with Respect

I keep reading about the sexism and verbal abuse that women receive in the tech field and the gaming world. (One example is from Miss Iris Ophelia at New World Notes.) I've seen some of the abusive language used, and it's utterly appalling.

I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that in both areas, tech and gaming, the male/female ratio is pretty high. Here's the puzzle for me: if I were a heterosexual male in an environment where women were scarce, I'd do everything I could to be nice to the women I met. Not "Hey, baby, wanna [fornicate]?" but genuinely nice. If I wanted a date, I'd figure that I'm competing with a lot of guys for a small number of women, and that being mean, or sexist, is not the way to a woman's heart.

Now, maybe what happens is that most of the guys are well-adjusted and, like the rest of the population, have wives or steady girlfriends already. The small percentage of jerks figure that they have no hope of having a relationship with a woman, so they figure they have nothing to lose by their behavior. If so, they're guaranteeing a bad outcome for - what, the psychic benefit of being able to act like a jerK? It doesn't seem rational.

The really odd thing is that this rudeness does not arise simply from a male/female imbalance. The corporeal me works as an economist, as I've mentioned before, a profession that is predominately male. Yet the sexes appear to treat one another professionally.

I'll have to say that Miss Ophelia, while clearly upset at her treatment - and justifiably so - illustrated a treat of young people that I find irritating: indiscriminate use of profanity. Her blog entry uses a vulgar four-letter word four times. Even without the use of the word, the reader would understand her anger. Sometimes less is more.

No comments: