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Haven’t seen the movie, have read the book

October 18, 2010

Seeing a lot of talk about The Social Network. I haven’t decided whether I’m going to see it yet.

Over at WVFC, Rachel Rawlings has a great review/social commentary about the movie, misogyny, and the real world, her real world, of women in tech.

…the absence of geek women is disconcerting. Not until two-thirds through the film, when Facebook has actual offices in Silicon Valley, is there a hint that female software developers exist. None of the competitors on screen in the shotglass challenge—showing off their abilities to program while drinking vodka in order to get a summer internship at Facebook—were women.

When I left Silicon Valley in 2000, two years before Zuckerberg graduated high school, women were a minority in most tech companies, but a significant minority at least: roughly 20-30 percent, at all levels of responsibility. Nowhere did I see the glaring lack of serious tech babes that plagues The Social Network.

Read more: The Social Network: A Geek Woman Responds.

What I’ve read about the Social Network, misogyny, the Bechdel Test, and portrayal of women in tech makes me feel sheepish for how much I enjoyed the book.

It was a romp.  A caper. Written in the spirit of variously badly-behaved fun, and the surprises of good luck. A rock star narrative for the digital age.

I make no apologies… reading the book, I barely noticed the glaring absences of women. Yikes.

Thanks to Rachel, for the well-sharpened focus.


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