My response to the great article about the women at MIT who did an AMA

What happens when three women students in STEM at MIT do an "Ask Me Anything" on Reddit?

Surprise! It's an absurd cesspool of accusations, assumptions, and complete bullshit.

This is a great example of why standing up to things like #gamergate matter. Sure, a lot of those Reddit comments were probably trolls just yanking their chains. Some were certainly sincere There's no way to tell the difference. To the women taking their time for the AMA, the trolls don't FEEL any different from the people whose comments were sincere (but still bullshit). So saying, "A lot of those guys were just trolls" doesn't help--stop saying it.

But here's another reason it doesn't matter how many of them were trolls: because they very effectively made genuine discussion impossible. Women doing the very hard thing of talking about these issues won't beat their head against the wall of impossible discussion forever without giving up. When you face significant issues in your work and you can't talk them because of the endless white noise of bullshit, that frustration erodes your good will.

Eventually you stop talking about it, even to friends. Then the next time you find yourself talking about it, the conversation starts with, "So I've decided to leave my job and try something different."

And that's how we lose the women working alongside us.

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