I'm angry, because I have a vagina.

Tue Jul 14 05:41:47 EDT 2009

Nikita

Let's dissect the above sentence, am I upset because I have a vagina instead of a penis? Or is the sentence implying that I am upset as a by-product of having a vagina? Meaning that having a vagina gives me all the reason I need for being angry. Here's a thought for you: what if I was to be so bold as to say both? By gawd I'm a bitch then aren't I? I probably betrayed my vaginal walled kin? Maybe I would be telling the truth; I find great use in penises, there is great application for the all mighty penis, and because I have a vagina it means I am entitled by law of vaginadom to agree with every other vag out there right? Nah.

First of all, let me get the following straight for you. The first paragraph was meant to make you laugh and or anger you into reading more. Second, My statement is in no way endorsed by my employer, my clients, the federal government and damn sure not my husband. This is a PERSONAL post, of my own opinion, from one woman's perspective. If you take offense to anatomical terms for the male and female bits then you can go read a pop up book. In addition, I would suggest you practice saying the word "fuck" in front of a mirror until you realise it's a word grown-ups can use, because I will type "fuck" a lot to demonstrate the diversity of the word to you.

Now, on to the topic at hand, which is currently, *drum roll please*... sexism. I am speaking to both sexes when I kindly say that you both need to shut the fuck up. Neither one of you has the right to assume what another person's intentions are. Yes, I understand that feminists want to put a stop to the ignorance when the male gender does something mentally handicapped. Please understand that they are just being themselves, and do not associate their actions with being a flaming douchebag that isn't considerate of your *feelings*. That said, your outcry and socially forced and rabid ranting you consider sensitivity training is in effect the same fucking douchebaggery and reverse sexism (I can not believe I had to type that). Not every guy in IT thinks you are just boobs, boobs in cosplay, boobs behind win 98, boobs only capable of running a port scan and boobs heating up hot pockets. Some would like to think the short version stops at boobs, but let's not dwell on that.

I want you to imagine being in a minority; that every time you wanted to be yourself and have fun you were judged, every time you told a joke you wondered if it was taken too far in mixed company, sat in horror while a member of your sex did something utterly thoughtless and further fucked up your sexes' image. Or what if you said or did something seemingly innocuous, and all of a sudden you were met with extreme disgust? Imagine it. Congrats! Now you have common ground with the opposite sex. Men and women both deal with these issues. Every time a moron posts an image of see-through panties in a presentation, there is a big population in the crowd who are thinking, "Damn it Bill, I understand you love the vag, but people aren't going to take you seriously when you are so crass to include it blown up 6 feet wide in your damn presentation". Bill just made men look like fucking dimwits to all the ladies in the room, and more than half of the male population too. The penis does not like this. It does not appreciate guilt by proxy (seen here: http://geekfeminism.wikia.com/wiki/Flashbelt_slide_show).

When a bunch of half-naked, duct tape covered nipples, XXX'or girls walk around a trade show, prostituting themselves off to fit some faux Angelina Jolie in vinyl hacker image, then it especially pisses the ladies off. Team Vagina does not like this one bit, scene whore by proxy is what this effectively does to our image. We are sexy, fierce, intelligent and we have to be; we have to work twice as hard to make half the name for ourselves. Despite what you want to believe, so does Team Penis. How many really big name hackers are out there? True, there are more men then ladies to choose from but it's simple math. Team Vagina has a smaller group, therefore in comparison we hit less home runs. Is there a problem with this? Yes, but it has nothing to do with sexism. Should we deserve special treatment? No, hypocrite. You want more ladies to join the team then advertise a positive image and encourage learning. Don't wave the "we are better than you" flag, it's just distasteful and encourages a divide between the sexes.

There are a few things that starting this whole flaming twitter thread, back and forth blog, counter blog, posting, bullshit. I will add my fucking two cents to all of them.

1. The Pillow Fight.

When I first heard about the pillow fight, I took a joke out of context, only hearing half the conversation and was in no way going to be supportive of a bunch of hooker-faced half-dressed women playing into the "Dear Penthouse" fantasy image, especially if they were claiming to be "hackers". Least of all not at my beloved fucking con. I can't speak for my boss, but I will make an assumption that he would've thought it distasteful too. You want to know what I did? I asked questions first and then loaded the gun, just in case. That is the intelligent thing to do. Isn't that what smart, critical thinkers do? They work out a theory and then test it? Well, I asked questions, and ya know what? After talking about it, and thinking about it, understanding the motive and the underlying message, I whole-heartily support it. Not only is it benefiting a really good cause, it's also showing that the same smart, intelligent, critical thinking women can have fun without being flaming douchebags or big tired eyed soulless sweat covered sluts.

First of all, a dress code is being enforced. The dress code is what really allows me to even consider participating or endorsing in the first place. T-Shirt and pajama pants are the required dress code. You can not participate if you are going to look like a skank. This event is meant to be good clean fun. Second, who hasn't wanted to actually get into a pillow fight? I mean, we joke about it sure, but I haven't gotten into a pillow fight since I was eight or nine.

Lastly, again, It's for the EFF! So when I knock Security Barbie on her blonde skinny little ass (compliment intended) and score a point for team HIDs then the EFF wins too. That is SEXY! Team Penis doesn't own the word sexy, it's what you make it to be. A confident, intelligent woman having good clean fun; that's sexy. Laughing and all together poking fun at a sexist pillow fight stereotype is a bonus. Matter of fact, since all this has sparked a bunch of silliness, I have decided next year to invest in and promote a full on Nerf War, and just to be an ass, to poke fun at the pillow fight controversy. It will be "Dudes Vs Divas".

2. I'm: "here with my boyfriend/must be trans/slept my way to the top/scene whore/ etc" whining & shit talking.

Examples seen here: http://geekfeminism.wikia.com/wiki/Geek_Feminism_Wiki

Now, before I start a riot and the hate mail comes pouring in, let me say this:

I understand how you ladies feel. When I came into the "scene" 6 or 7 years ago, I had no idea there was a scene. I was instantly labeled as a girlfriend or was sleeping with someone and or sleeping with my boss. Some of the label put on me was unfortunately spawned by jealous women and alpha-male mouth breathers who had nothing better to do than gossip.

To tell the truth, I was fucking clueless, I was out-classed by my minority to say the least. To this day I am still out-classed by plenty of females in the security industry who are smarter or more technically apt than myself. That does not excuse the assumption that I am a scene whore and/or got my job because I'm sleeping with someone. Hell, last year someone thought I was only working for Defcon because of my husband. Hate to inform you Mr & Mrs Dip Shit, but it was ME who brought my husband into the scene. I've been labeled, I've been mistreated, taken advantage off, paid less, gossiped about and hell I've even left jobs because of rumors. I've been a goon at Defcon since 2003, I worked at Black Hat as a consultant & employee for years, I traveled a lot, I listened to many talks, got a lot of coffees for my boss and reviewed more CFP's, white papers and slide shows so that Gandhi himself would want to punch someone square in the face. I dealt with a metric shit-ton of the world's best speakers and security professionals, none of whom treated me any different because of my sex. I met a speaker a few years ago that thought for years I was a man. Some still do; I get emails addressing me as "Dude", "Mr.", or "Man" but I don't always feel the need to correct them. I don't feel a chastising "how dare you assume I couldn't be a female!" email is in order. In actuality, the surprised look on their face and to hear "YOU'RE Nikita?" is much more satisfying. Occasionally, I have changed my signature to add a "Mrs." only to save the writer the embarrassment of the assumption, but I don't get upset about it.

In my experience, the perpetrators of this sexism are usually women. We are by far the most critical of each other. We are so worried about what one women is doing for our image, more jealous because another women (more technical or not) is getting more attention. We are spreading rumours, starting high-school like cliques and are less likely to do much more than look down our noses at another "hacker chick". I tell you honestly, even as I write this there are some women in the scene I would love to call out on this. I am guilty of it too, there are some women in the scene who have become icons simply because they have (or appear to have) a Vagina & Boobs. I can't stand that, it's a form of sexism too. Sadly, some women take advantage of it, switching jobs every six months or every year when people finally take them off their pedestal for being a woman in IT. They bail and move on to the next company. It's insanity all around. To be fair, men do it too; I know my fair share of men who do the same damn thing, move on to the next big name and pay increase, anything to improve their image of being "1337".

Here is an Example of a Sexism, set at any Con:

"So are you here with your boyfriend?" Group A: Takes that question as "you must be here as a hanger on", because boobs & brains don't mix. Group B: Thinks he's just making conversation. Group C: Thinks he is trying to find out if you are single. Group D: Thinks it's probably a combination of of B & C.

Every other guy at a con who has said something remotely sexist was just an idiot trying desperately to make conversation or appear macho; they didn't mean anything by it. Once you tell them who you are and actually have a conversation with them, you find out every penis isn't a judgmental fuck-wit (or you can run technical circles around them). Sadly, once they realize you HAVE an IQ you can't shake them off you, when you actually don't want to talk them. Honestly, that isn't a bad thing though. I think it's progression that men are interested and want to see more women in the scene. Smart, intelligent and confident women are few and far between in this scene. Most of the men I have met through Defcon really want to see more women in the fold, they are just as disappointed when they find themselves talking to a "scene whore" as the ladies are. Additionally, not every guy wants to sleep with you. If you are attractive and smart, they may be considering it, but every conversation with any tech guy doesn't begin and end with the desire to bang you at a hacker pimps party.

Another pet peeve for Team Vagina, that I witness frequently, are the times we can't get in a word edge-wise during a conversation. No one ever asks us "What do you think about X?" You want to know why? Guys aren't doing that with each other either, unless they have already decided their opinion and are looking for a intellectual circle jerk. Seriously, I have no better explanation for that pet peeve. I just speak up, how hard is that to do? Why walk off all damn pouty-face about it; if you want to be treated like an equal, act like one, stop acting like an eight year old girl. No one should have to play the game differently because you don't want to learn the rules.

3: Stupidity, The Twitter fight.

A certain person I was following on twitter for a while was slowly getting on my nerves more and more. She was direct messaging me trying to get introduced to people I know; my boss, friends, feds, etc. She claimed to work in DC with all the feds and bitched about how everyone is all about egos and being 1337, etc. She claimed to be in the scene, was a tech girl, knows the "politics", etc. She said that it's all about who you know and she could hook people up with the "ins and outs" and the right people. ANYTIME anyone messaged anything in our shared followers about being from DC she jumped on them like flies on shit. Any topic posted was immediately replied back with a ME TOO like response. She re-tweeted, but never contributed. She bitched and moaned, but nothing with substance. She posted things by "mistake", about being in the scene, and how important she was. Then she had the nerve to go off on a long tirade of "Women are *better* than Men" in the industry and women get even, because we are smarter, etc. (Her response to the conversation going on about topic #1.)

Frankly, that really pisses me off. If a man posted that he was better than a woman and was going to "0wn her box"; first off he would be shunned; second, he would be viewed as a stalker or sexual predator. Why do you think that is OK behavior? Why can you be so hypocritical and think you can get away with it because you claim to be an owner of your very own shiny vagina?

To quote one of her recent UN-followers: "OMG I AM A GIRL IN TECH!!!! ALL TECH GUYS ARE SILLY PERVS" & "Fucktard".

If you tolerate this behavior you are just a guilty as the next sexist a-hole. My speaking up sparked a whole new thread about sexism on twitter and believe it or not, the retard still wont shut up. I wish I had never followed her in the first place, as I contributed to her audience as an unintentional result. She is the low life that smears shit on the walls in public bathrooms.

4. The Sexist Comic.

They issued an apology too.

OK, you got real mad. You got real upset based off of an assumption on what the author's intent was. I get it, you thought maybe they were saying the only reason a girl would be hanging out during anything CTF related was to be a cheerleader.

Maybe, just maybe... (I was correct it turns out) that her role was to be someone to bounce dialog off of and give the characters a reason to explain what occurred and what they were doing. Plus, it's a comic, A comic without a token female really sucks, IMHO. That doesn't mean they were intending her to be stupid; additionally, there is a cultural difference that needs to be taken into consideration.

Her dialog was so short and terse I'm surprised you really assumed that she was stupid, based on the fact that she ASKED questions. How fucking rude to make the worst of it instead of looking at the glass half full. I propose to you the following ASSUMPTION instead; that she was written as a female who asked questions to get the guys on the right track.

Tiffany asks questions. (positive)
Tiffany wants to try the cool tool too. (Curious)
The guy reassures her he is downloading it for her so she can try it too. (Including her)
They all get frustrated, she smiles and jokes she gave up already, an explanation is given to the problem. (Maybe she knew the answer and was bored, but wanted to get the men thinking in the right direction)
Tiffany is shown working out the problem on the whiteboard. (Positive contribution, learning)
Tiffany expresses excitement when a solution is correct. (Reward)
Tiffany is impressed learning and seeing something cool. (Positive)
Tiffany is included in the group hug when they solve the problem. (part of the team)

Honestly, for a bunch of folks who bitch that we don't have enough women in our field, I'm surprised that showing a female excited to learn tech is insulting. Or maybe I can see it your way, that's it's insulting to assume the one woman in the group needs to learn. I get it, I do. I see your side, but don't shit on everything that doesn't make your sex out to be a super elite goddess with cat5 for fucking veins.

Finally, I say all of this knowing I do not speak for either sex. I think it's wrong to speak for entire groups of people on their behalf, but I usually like to open my mouth and spout off my opinion from time to time. When I rant, it's usually long and drawn out, never planned or spell checked and not meant to single out or insult any one person (in this case, maybe one or two people). I sit here much at peace on my pink Netbook not feeling any shame for using my pink rhinestone embellished Hello Kitty mouse and certainly not feeling the least bit insulted for being the stereotype who wants all her tech to be girly and pink, still swears like a fourteen year old while drinking like a member of the IRA. Don't judge a book by it's cover.

As a LOL and to appreciate the irony of the above, if you can, I made the following just for you:

Sincerely,
Nikita


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