I was in a meeting yesterday about RDF and application profiles, in which I made some comments, and was told by the co-chair: "we don't have time for that now", and the meeting went on.
Today, a man who was not in the meeting but who listened to the audio sent an email that said:
"I agree with Karen, if I correctly understood her point, that this is "dangerous territory". On the call, that discussion was postponed for a later date, but I look forward to having that discussion as soon as possible because I think it is fundamental."And he went on to talk about the issue, how important it is, and at one point referred to it as "The requirement is that a constraint language not replace (or "hijack") the original semantics of properties used in the data."
The co-chair (I am the other co-chair, although reconsidering, as you may imagine) replied:
"The requirement of not hijacking existing formal specification languages for expressing constraints that rely on different semantics has not been raised yet.""Has not been raised?!" The email quoting me stated that I had raised it the very day before. But an important issue is "not raised" until a man brings it up. This in spite of the fact that the email quoting me made it clear that my statement during the meeting had indeed raised this issue.
Later, this co-chair posted a link to a W3C document in an email to me (on list) and stated:
"I'm going on holidays so won't have time to explain you, but I could, in theory (I've been trained to understand that formal stuff, a while ago)"That is so f*cking condescending. This happened after I quoted from W3C documents to support my argument, and I believe I had a good point.
So, in case you haven't experienced it, or haven't recognized it happening around you, this is what sexism looks like. It looks like dismissing what women say, but taking the same argument seriously if a man says it, and it looks like purposely demeaning a woman by suggesting that she can't understand things without the help of a man.
I can't tell you how many times I have been subjected to this kind of behavior, and I'm sure that some of you know how weary I am of not being treated as an equal no matter how equal I really am.
Quiet no more, friends. Quiet no more.
(I want to thank everyone who has given me support and acknowledgment, either publicly or privately. It makes a huge difference.)
Some links about "'Splaining"