Silicon Valley may have a glut of bachelors, just as Alex Williams describes in his New York Times article about the successful and single entrepreneurs of the tech world, but from what we know about that part of the world, these men don't sound so appealing. In Williams' telling, Silicon Valley (and Alley) is a dating paradise for single women: a land of rich, educated, single men. "There is a dearth of eligible singles in Silicon Valley," he writes, after lamenting that Zuck is off the market. The rest, including a slide-show of some of the hottest commodities, reads like a singles brochure for what Williams calls Bachelorville, a play on the popular Facebook game Farmville. He even quotes one bicoastal woman, describing how great things are out there. "The ratio certainly can work in your favor," said Julia Allison, the former lifecasting Wired cover girl turned Bravo personality. The best men are out there. So shouldn't you be there, too? No, thank you. Not only are we sick of people telling us to pick up our very happy lives and move for the "perfect" obviously non-existent man. But from what we hear, these aren't the men for us for the following reasons.
These men don't sound like they respect women. While some dispute the existence of the brogrammer, certainly some of the bro-y stuff that has happened in Silicon Valley of late makes us wonder if these men would think of women as equal partners. We can trace the objectification of women in the tech world to at least as far back as booth babes, the sexy women electronics shows use to match with all those "sexy" gadgets, as tech geeks often describe their toys. But, more recently, we've also seen the rise of "brogramming" culture. While much of Silicon Valley pokes fun at this meme, like in this satirical Quora thread. A few incidents lead us to believe that beneath the jokes lie some real issues. There was the time a company advertised bikini clad women as a perk to the job. Or that other time an event used hot women serving beer at an event. Or the following job listing: "Want to bro down and crush code? Klout is hiring." If these events don't point to a blatant culture of objectification, this sexual harassment suit filed by Ellen Pao alleging sexual advances from a co-worker doesn't turn us on. She's apparently not alone in her alienation. "You talk to any woman in technology and she will have a personal story or know a story where she felt conscious of her gender in subtle or significant ways," Kathy Savitt, the chief executive of the social commerce start-up Lockerz, told The New York Times's David Streitfeld.
These men don't sound like they spend much time around women. Let's say all of those men above, however, are the exception. We would say, good job Silicon Valley. But, that doesn't change the fact that these men don't spend a lot of time around women. Silicon Valley is a man's world explains The Times's Alex Williams. "Of the American start-up tech firms with venture capital backing, for example, only about 11 percent had female chief executives or founders as of 2009, according to Dow Jones VentureSource data, cited in The Wall Street Journal in 2010," he writes, noting the common monikers for the male dominated hubs of Manta Clara and Man Jose. Allison finds the gender imbalance favorable. But we beg to differ. These men work 16-hour days in male-dominated work places. That doesn't leave a lot of time left to interact with women. Why would we want a man who does not know how to speak to a woman? Or who has never had to respect a woman as a superior? Plus, male dominated situations like that often devolve into frat-culture. And, well: See above.
We don't want to move for some unicorn man. We like our lives right here. We have a job, friends and a nearby grocery store we like. We're not going to go manhunting across the country just because some New York Times article tells us there is a magical place full of wonderful men, who probably don't exist anyway. Plus, we don't feel the need to go to the men. We are sure there are some perfectly decent Silicon Valley guys. But, the right ones will come to us.
We hear these men might not be so rich in a little while, anyway. Let's say we were gold diggers, some of these guys might not be so rich once this social media bubble pops. Then we will have to deal with some deflated ego clean-up. Exploded ego can get pretty gruesome.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.