The misogyny of many of those who badgered Ellen Pao out of her CEO position at Reddit was about as subtle as an explosive fart at a dinner party. And it’s not exactly difficult to find evidence of widespread racism directed at her as well.
There was the whole “Chairman Pao” thing, for example, and the blatantly racist “humor” that it unleashed:
And, yes, it gets even worse than that (link very much NSFW).
But some of Pao’s more, well, imaginative detractors, it’s Pao’s defenders who are the real racists and misogynists.
A blogger by the name of Blixkrogg, a self-described “rational freak,” puts it this way:
Ellen Pao was ousted for incompetence. It didn’t matter whether she was Asian-American or had a vagina. Excusing incompetence and having a lower level of expectation just because someone’s Asian or a woman is condescending prejudice. Arguing that she should have stayed CEO despite her competence is the actual racism and misogyny.
Also, black is white and night is day and the car alarm going off outside my apartment is not annoying.
So the #RedditRevolt was about “incompetence?”
If you want to see the real incompetence at Reddit, look at the way in which the powers that be at Reddit allowed their site to be used to disseminate child porn and stolen celebrity nudes. Look at the toxic culture of hate and harassment that their tolerance of blatantly hateful subreddits has allowed to flourish — so much so that white supremacists have started using Reddit as a hunting ground for new members.
Pao’s detractors aren’t angry about the toxic wasteland that Reddit has become — and in some ways always has been. They’re angry at Pao because of the tiny steps she was taking to try to clean up the worst of that mess — by banning the FatPeopleHate subreddit and a few others that were actively harassing people.
The powers that be at Reddit have now made it abundantly clear that they can be bullied by the hate mob that their policies have essentially created. Setting that precedent seems like a pretty incompetent thing to do, if you ask me.