Tech is a man’s game – at least, that is how Silicon Valley’s young upstarts see it…

Former vice president and co-founder of the wildly popular dating app Tinder, Whitney Wolfe, recently sued the company and its parent, IAC/InterActiveCorp (IACI), for sexual harassment and discrimination.

Wolfe alleges that Tinder’s chief marketing officer, Justin Mateen, subjected her to constant sexually charged verbal abuse, including calling her a “disease,” a “whore” and a “gold digger” that needed to be “watched” if she wanted to keep her job.

Wolfe further claims such comments were made in front of CEO Sean Rad and that she was stripped of her vice president title after being told that the company would not be taken seriously if a woman were serving in the role.

Wolfe’s lawsuit is just the latest in what seems to be a saga of Silicon Valley sexism – one that the media may be overlooking.

In another recent incident, a set of flagrantly misogynist emails sent by Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel to his Stanford fraternity brothers several years prior was leaked to Gawker’s Valleywag blog.

In the emails, Spiegel encourages his fraternity brothers to get “sororisluts” drunk enough to have sex and even wrote that the point of one of the fraternity’s laser-tag outings was to “shoot lasers at fat girls.”

While Spiegel later publicly apologized and both he and Mateen have effectively been Twitter-shamed, both of their applications seem to be doing just fine – continuing on their paths of monstrous growth and revenue.

So, why has the unearthing of such sexism in the tech scene been brushed off by Tinder and Snapchat users?

And why have such revelations failed to ignite a spectacle in the mainstream media, which would undoubtedly be the case if a CEO of a major bank or corporation were faced with similar allegations?

Is a complacent media to blame or have Americans accepted misogyny in the Valley as the norm?


Thomas Freeman is Texas-transplant and aspiring journalist trying (but often failing) to navigate New York City. A current NYU student, Thomas also writes articles and manages media content for 20to30.

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