By VERONICA SPAGNA
People see what they want to see. I say this because people can subconsciously choose to ignore the truth that is right in front of them.
Penelope Gazin and Kate Dwyer are two female entrepreneurs who founded Witchsy, their own online marketplace for dark humored art. Witchsy is based Los Angeles and is an online community of known and unknown artists where they can connect with each other and grow an audience.
In the start-up process, Penelope and Kate were having difficulties because they were using their own money and did not have a good knowledge in technology. Additionally, the developers and graphic designers they enlisted to help them seemed to have a condescending tone and sexist replies. The two entrepreneurs decided to see what would happen if they added a fake male business partner, Keith Mann.
The difference in the responses Kate and Penelope got while using an imaginary male were extreme. Not only was Keith helped quicker and with better quality assistance, but with a much greater amount of respect.
The sexist environment in the tech world has been an upcoming topic lately. Many reporters when talking about Witchsy and the truth behind sexism, mentioned the public issues involving big companies such as Uber and Google. Women are not taken as seriously as men, and this story is a great example.
The main point that most articles on this issue’s cover are how a non-existent male has gotten a deeper level of respect than two females.
Kate Dyer expressed to Fast company her thoughts: “Wow, are people really going to talk to this imaginary man with more respect than us? But we were like, you know what, this is clearly just part of this world that we’re in right now. We want this and want to make this happen.”
Most articles covered the replies that the two women received from the people enlisted providing the evidence for the rudeness they faced. When Penelope and Kate received replies sometimes the developers would not even call them by name. Answers such as “Listen, girls…”
This story is great evidence for the existing inequality that women face, but this difference in treatment is always denied. Personally, I think that the articles on this story are lacking a response from men on this issue. If possible finding out the reaction that the developers had when they discovered Keith was non-existent.