At the TechCrunch Disrupt conference yesterday, the first presentation came from a pair of Australian hackers. The app they were demoing was called Titstare, and it was pretty much exactly what it sounds like: an app, the pair explained, "where you take photos of yourself, staring at tits" -- and then share those photos for the enjoyment of anyone who would enjoy an app named "Titstare."
"There's a lot going on here," The Wire notes of the debacle, "not the least of which is the broader context of discussions on the public alienation of women in tech." But the main thing to note is that episodes like this -- casual, juvenile objectifications of women in settings where women tend to be outnumbered -- are common. There was Donglegate. And that time that a South by Southwest presenter cautioned his audience against "gangbang interviews." And that time Squoot listed "women" among its list of hackathon attendance perks. And that time a man introduced a panel moderator, the accomplished executive Rebecca Lovell, as "a sexy married woman." And that time a presenter filled his slide deck with soft-core porn. And that other time a presenter filled his slide deck with not-so-soft-core porn. There was that time presenters at Microsoft's E3 conference made that rape joke. There was, after yesterday's Titshare presentation, another presentation -- this one involving a solo demo-er simulating masturbation. As a 9-year-old girl looked on from the audience.