Yahoo!’s recent atrocity of hiring lap dancers for geeks at their Taiwan hack day was the cause of a flurry of activity on the web and caused some people who don’t often talk out on women in tech issues to speak up. That’s a great thing, but did it really take this unbelievable event to get the world to sit up and listen?
What worries me more is that this may be the new bar by which the attitude towards women in tech is judged. Whilst the norm (outside of this event) seems to be fairly innocuous and less explicit (few female speakers / attendees, general hyper-masculine attitude, pink laptops, etc) this is clearly way out there. The danger is that by focusing on not doing such incredibly insensitive activities we loose track of where the real battlefield should be. That by focusing on not objectifying women we stop focusing on ensuring we feel more involved.