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A Simple Test

Wow. I'm really shocked by the number of people saying "it's just a joke!" after the Sqoot hackathon invitation listed "Women to serve you drinks" as a "perk" of their hackathon. Since apparently many people are confused as to what constitutes sexism, I've created a simple test:

Would it be incredibly _____ist if you used another minority group? If yes, then it's sexist.

There are few black people in tech, so let's see how that invitation would look:


Come to our hackathon!

...

Perks!

Blacks: we have a ton of attractive black people ready to serve you drinks! Our PM is a real slavedriver.

...

Yup, that's incredibly offensive. How can you argue that it's different for women? It's not ok to joke about this.

(Especially  if you want to do things like keep your sponsors. But that shouldn't be your motivation. Kudos to Cloudmine, Heroku, and Apigee.)

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Drew writes code for fun and (sometimes) profit. He's currently studying Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University. He has previously worked at Facebook, Amazon, and a startup called Intersect.