NATALI DEL CONTE — I'm busy getting ramped up here at CNET TV but over the break, Owen and Paul asked me to post about what it's been like to be a woman in Silicon Valley. So here's my take. I don't dare speak for all women, but I can speak for myself. And don't worry, I wouldn't dare say anything as banal as "men don't take me seriously because I'm pretty." I can't imagine a more boring sentiment. I will say this though: Since transitioning from print to video, I do receive just as many viewer emails about my hair, makeup, and clothes as I do about tech news:
"The lipstick you wore in Episode 104 was not your color."My mother begs to differ with you.
"You look pregnant in the dress from Episode 52. Are you expecting?"Ouch!
"Why don't you just wear T-shirts to blend in more with the geeks, like Cali Lewis or Amanda Congdon?"Why should I have to?
"Where did you get that black blouse with the flap collar?"Macy's.
Also, John Dvorak told me not to say my age on TeXtra, because I was getting too close to 30. I don't have a complex about turning 30 and I'm not about to let that Cranky Geek give me one! I'll be 30 in 8 months, John, so there.
I don't take the comments about my appearance too seriously, but I do find them amusing. I have thought a lot about why the tech community has such strong opinions about what I should look like. It has something to do with ownership. It took a lot of patience and hard work to get the industry to take me seriously and now that they have, they feel a sense of all-around entitlement to me.
I accept that but I'm still going to wear red lipstick from time to time. I am a Latina after all. I will, however, shy away from the A-line dresses because I can't say the pregnancy comment didn't leave its mark.
I'm heading to New York on Monday and I'm starting feel a little heartbreak for leaving this place. I don't know how or when, but I'll be back.
Editor's note: Natali and I are at Moose's for her going-away party. Join us!