That's it, I'm leaving. And I'm taking the hot ones with me. Women of the Internet, it's time to go. It's dangerous online for us in tech. As long as we were moderating "coping with cutting" LiveJournals and keeping Zappos rich by shoe shopping, the Valley and the men who made it paid us little mind. But if we dare be more than pretty eyeballs driving the market, we must challenge the deep misogyny pulsing at the heart of the hypertext transfer protocol. Consider this a collective Swiftian kick to the panties. Follow me, for this is why we have no hope here:
Because it's a nasty breeding ground for predators and there's nothing women can do about it. These guys are far worse people than the kind who stalk you on the way home from work or rape their girlfriends or hit their partners or molest their own kids: they have access to your photos from sunning with the girls in Cabo. The most terrifying part about being sexually victimized is the breach of trust and the painful powerplay, and no one can go there like a guy you've never met messaging you for sex. Especially if his name is ~*-joe69 is my game*~!. And especially if you recognize him from LinkedIn. Only your modesty and your Delete key can keep the bad men at bay.
Because we don't know any better than to overshare. When presented with an open text box and an Internet connection, women have proven that they can't be trusted. Whether that's our adolescent sisters flashing it, or elder ladies dating and mating in public past what they refuse to accept as their prime, women cannot keep it in their pants. A set of modest server-side restrictions could help. Rather than face temptation daily, we could also consider removing the Internet from those institutions where its use among girls goes unmonitored. The future of women in computer science could be ushered in by tasking these same young ladies with developing the next NetNanny. For the already of-age, it's not too late. Ask yourself, what trusted man could you give your email logins to?
Because there's nothing worse in this world than being called a slut and online it lasts forever. (As long as it's indexed, anyway.) The most potent insult to sling at a girl is to brag that she may have once gone off in pursuit of an orgasm. Even when we do it ourselves. As soon as you, Ms. Aspiring CTO, pose for the wrong photo, or text the wrong Twitter, your career is done for. Besides, being subject to whispered compliments at one's prowess at adult sexual activity is something that even the most professional woman should not have to suffer.
Because we're giving it up for nothing! Who will pay for monthly recurring billing on a subscription-based business model like marriage when you offer the cow for a complimentary trial period? It's old hat now for girls to go posting a facial comeshot to their tumblelog, but even baring a little Flickr cleavage could ruin a girl these days. Breasts are thieves in the attention economy, I say. If you're not getting paid and paid somehow, you're getting ripped off. A little "angel investment" may be the only way to save your reputation. Not even whores do it for free.
(Photo by The Internet Women's Temperance League)