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Oct 15 2013

Less dude focus, more creativity

I argued that if you care about progress (in general, but specifically in traditionally male-dominated areas), then we need to treat toxic anti-women sentiment as a serious hindrance to progress.

Now many might say that it’s just basic human decency to not be sexist; of course, supporting diversity is not merely about combating the worst vitriolic comments women and other groups receive; it’s not merely encouraging women to go into environments where they might be targets of sexist or misogynistic slurs.

Here, I tried to make it a selfish claim for those who otherwise don’t care or intentionally make marginalised groups feel unwelcome: If you want more great films, more great novels, more great comics, more great games, etc., then you need more great creators. And creators demographic aren’t only one skin colour or sex or whatever. Therefore, we should want more than just white dudes creating beautiful things.

I’m not disparaging talented male creators, but again: the argument is broader than that. Nor is my selfish-focused argument meant to undermine that decency should trump selfishness (assuming this is just selfishness). But should doesn’t translate easily into “is”.

3 comments

  1. 1
    mattyarbrough

    As Heinlein noted (paraphrased)

    Appealing to a man’s better nature is risky business: he might not have one. Invoking his self interest gives you much better leverage.

    For all his many many faults I think he was dead on in this. And I think his usage of ‘man’ instead of ‘person’ was very intentional.

  2. 2
    M can help you with that.

    And it’s not just the “creative” fields where this is important — as you point out, it’s an issue anywhere “progress” matters. And even where just getting a job done well matters; if you eliminate huge portions of your potential doing-stuff-well pool, you’re doing your field a disservice.

  3. 3
    Tauriq Moosa

    Great comment.

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