So, a couple of days ago there was a bit of a flap over on Reddit.
…Let me explain why I find it offensive that this video is now being touted as the ad for our subreddit: it objectifies women and relies on gender stereotypes that would make no woman feel welcome here. We are currently dealing with a hobby that is only 15% women that keeps fretting about getting more people involved in it, so why do we allow things that would drive half the population away? I don’t pretend to have all the answers on a complex issue, but I do know this stickied post is far from what we should want to represent the community. And it goes to show that if we ever have a crack at attracting more women into this hobby we have a long way to go.
I believe the folks who made this video did so with good intentions and without any ill intent whatsoever. In fact, I’m glad they posted it — because it gave Yvette a chance to show that what seemed perfectly fine to some people can offend others looking at it from a different perspective.
Her reply gives us the opportunity to think about why we’re not attracting more women to ham radio and to STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields in general. This is a big deal and regardless of whether you agree with her position or feel she overreacted, it’s a discussion worth having.
I’m middle-aged and male. If we’re trying to attract more old guys like me to this hobby, then maybe we can just keep on doing what we’re doing. But if we hope to add more folks outside of this demographic, then we may need to rethink our promotional strategy a little bit.
What are your thoughts?