A piece in the Sunday New York Times, which focused on a sexual harrassment suit in Silicon Valley, opened with these lines:
MEN invented the Internet. And not just any men. Men with pocket protectors. Men who idolized Mr. Spock and cried when Steve Jobs died. Nerds. Geeks. Give them their due. Without men, we would never know what our friends were doing five minutes ago.
David Streitfeld goes on to explore the culture of gender discrimination in Silicon Valley and more specifically, the sexual discrimination suit that Ellen Pao has filed against her employer Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.
Xeni Jardin responds to the piece:
Radia “Mother of the Internet” Perlman and the ghosts of RADM Grace Hopper, Ada Lovelace and every woman who worked in technology for the past 150 years frown upon you, sir. Women may have been invisible, but the work we did laid the groundwork for more visible advancements now credited to more famous men.
Jardin discusses the ongoing culture of gender discrimination in Silicon Valley, criticizing how it is described as “lore.” She also included a Storify post which captures other responses to the NYT piece, including a number of people who discuss the critical roles women in their lives played in the early tech industry and “men who had formative experiences with women in tech.”