Starting around noon Pacific time, Twitter lit up with the hashtag #ladypanel with such sentiments as "Feel bad for smart panelists that got run over." This j-hole linked to some Internet page about female hysteria. Lit up, I tell you!
Specifically, she suggested that the next TechCrunch conference should spotlight women in the field. (Sklar noted in a subsequent Mediate post that, of 84 speakers at the last TC Disrupt conference, only eight were ladies.) A Twitter feud between Sklar and TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington followed.
Nerd fight?! Somebody hold my retainer!*
*it's the cool-kid kind with glitter inlays. My mom will kill me if I lose it.
So, OK, what's the worst that could happen? It's not like they'd get up there and make women look like we hate each other or anything.
Moder-hater Sarah Lacy brought the hostile, opening the panel by saying she didn't think there should BE a panel at all. THEN Cyan Banister was all, "This is dumb, I don't want to be here either." (I'm paraphrasing.) Mmmm, memories of liberal arts college!
Michelle Greer brought up Farmville; the average player is 43 and female, she notes, but the architects of Internet software are mostly male. And if there are mommy bloggers, why can't there be mommy coders? Eeeeeesh. Sarah Lacy fumed in a vest. Rachel Sklar defended herself. ("I just read that only 12 percent of computer engineering degrees are awarded to women." Lacy: "We all know stats are problematic.")
Then the talk moved to whether asking women to be on the all-women panel was, in itself, discriminatory. Cyan said that there might be some people in the audience who weren't women, but had also experienced discrimination. Like "Italians"?
Rachel Sklar was like, "I'm Jewish," and then someone else retorted, "I'm technically Native American enough that I could technically be considered part of a tribe!" (I don't know who -- the camera was off and I had trouble distinguishing separate voices in crowd noise.)
But, basically, nothing was really established, except for the fact that now I ALSO want a burgundy blazer with a subtle puff at the sleeves.
We are obviously brutally impressed with all of these women. And they deserved to be on panels at the conference. But, uh, why hold a panel for women about the need for a panel of women populated mostly by people who don't want a panel for women? Additionally, wouldn't it have been better if they talked about, uhhhhh, tech? And not panels?
Not to quibble, but when I want to see a panel about whether we should have panels, I will go to PanelCon.
Man, this why they won't let us be president. We bring emotions into everything! I mean, have you seen my nemesis Mark Zuckerberg at a tech conference? He just sits there like a robot. I'm pretty sure at the last panel he was on, he did that trick where he stabbed himself in the thigh and didn't flinch.
I mean, shouldn't we be careful, as women? They just created the artificial ovary, guys! If they teach it to make brownies and play Farmville, men won't need us anymore.
Anyhow, it's a good thing we solved the crucial problem of Women Not Being in Tech.
But don't take OUR word for it. Let's go to the tape.
Full disclosure: Our parent company, AOL, announced today that it has acquired TechCrunch. Group hug! Julieanne Smolinskiis Lemondrop's articles editor. Her hair is ok.
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