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Welcome back to Byte Me, our feminist newsletter that makes everyone mad <3

Some updates from us: Cara and Gigi are watching Normal People and haven’t emotionally recovered, Anouk is yet to watch it but we’re working on it:

Each month, our gloriously gifted designer, Saïna, illustrates a weird comment or tweet we receive from one of TNW’s misogynistic, or just funny, readers. This month… drum roll, pleeeeeease…

There were no shitty comments?!?!?!??!? Has isolation made you all soft???

Jokes aside, we’re so proud of TNW readers for not being douche burgers this month! BUT if you wanna say NICE things to us, reply to this newsletter or tweet us and tell us you love us.

[Also read our previous issue: Byte Me #14: Bat Woman, Britney Spears, and social distance warriors]

the bloody news

  • It’s lonely being a female engineer — here’s how we fix it.
  • From The New York Times: Why abortion needs to be made more available during the pandemic.
  • The Lily reported that women academics seem to be submitting fewer papers during coronavirus.
  • From The New York Times’ newsletter, ‘In Her Words‘: Can’t get a word in edgewise in your virtual meetings? You’re not the only one.

  • Huck profiled the Cockettes, the legendary San Francisco performance troupe, who combined sex anarchy, acid drag, and gender politics.
  • Vanity Fair profiled astronaut Jessica Meir, who has been in the International Space Station for the last 7 months. She came home to a ‘completely different planet.’

    (NASA / Public domain)

  • The New York TimesNormal People takes sex seriously. Watch it.
  • Vogue wrote about the new frontier for self-love — and sex toys — in the time of COVID-19. (Did we mention you should watch Normal People?)
  • The Cut: As Biden faces credible assault allegations, progressive female Democrats are being offered a poisoned chalice.
  • From The Detroit News: A girls’ robotics team in Afghanistan is building a ventilator prototype from old car parts.
  • According to The Conversation, women are more worried than men about the spread of coronavirus. Are we surprised?
  • From Jalopnik: This Honda dealership mechanic was fired because her coworkers watched her adult videos at work.
  • A lot of PPE doesn’t fit women. In the coronavirus pandemic, that puts them in danger. (Forbes)

    (Flickr/CDC Global)

  • Bloomberg reported three women won a major case in court against their employer, Oracle, over equal pay. This victory is a major milestone, as similar gender-discrimination lawsuits at tech giants ended in favor of the employer.
  • From The Guardian’s ‘My life in sex’ column: This woman achieves her goals through mindful masturbation.

that’s what she said: is it ok to objectify men?

Because we’re all magical and unique snowflakes who don’t always agree on feminist issues — and subsequently feel like we’re “bad” women — we’re going to discuss something we found online in each newsletter.

For this month’s that’s what she said, we’re discussing if it’s ok to objectify men. Read the full discussion here, and included the TL;DR below:

Georgina: The other day Anouk found this “Hot Guys of Tech List.” We thought it was pretty funny, cos it is… but is it “ok” to objectify men? More specifically, is it ok this list exists? Wouldn’t really be ok if it was ladiez.

Cara: You can’t make an equivalent for women because there are not that many women in tech. A list for women would be different (can you hear the men calling me sexist yet haha) because women are so underrepresented in tech as it is.

Georgina: Tbh I don’t think it really has as much to do with that — like there being fewer women in tech. Maybe it makes the problem worse, but it’s more an issue of objectification, and how that has real consequences for women but not for men.

Cara: Yeah, this, in turn, might make men not understand why women don’t love it. Having a list like this just makes the whole thing “a bit of fun,” and for women this is just life lmao.

Anouk: So another example, there’s this Dutch business magazine called Quote. They have (or used to have) a recurring column called “Business Babe,” with women entrepreneurs being photographed in sexy business-y outfits. My former colleague was in it, and I remember seeing this and thinking: ew, why?

Cara: But some women find their power in their sexuality and how hot they are.

Georgina: This is a point we always get back to — the double-edged sword of being a feminist who is also taking power from sexuality, etc. You can find empowerment with how you dress, your sexuality, etc. but you can’t control how you’re being looked at.

You can check out the full conversation here. Feel free to comment on the document with your thoughts, or send us an email!

the best and the worst

In this section, we ask women much smarter than us about the best and worst piece of professional advice they’ve ever received. We hosted a panel with sex tech expert, Lora DiCarlo, the CEO of a sex toy company focusing on redesigning the female orgasm.

The best?
“Just go over and pitch your idea, they won’t laugh; they’ll be impressed because you really know what you’re talking about — that’s when your confidence shines — and you can teach them something they don’t know. And if they do laugh. Fuck ‘em.”

The worst?
“Letting someone who was overconfident (but deep down I knew they didn’t know what they were doing) convince me that they were an expert and to ‘trust’ them to pull off a project. Epic fail. ALWAYS check your gut — in business and in your personal life, because your intuition is probably correct.”

Read the full sex tech panel AMA here

tweets of the month

Love these tweets and want more? Follow @byte_me on Twitter for clear skin!

word of the month: pandemic parenting

Next up in our new and improved Dicktionary (sorry):

Yesterday, Anouk received an email with the subject line: “Are you pandemic parenting?”

To start with some context here: None of us are parents.

Anouk absolutely loathes children. Cara’s still a virgin. Gigi wants heaps of kids but is single at the moment, so cries herself to sleep every night, hugging her sad empty womb.

But even though we can’t speak from experience, let us femsplain to you: ‘Pandemic parenting’ is bullshit.

Parents everywhere should actively revolt against this label. Why? Because we all know what ‘pandemic parenting’ means: Perfect parenting in times of crisis.

It reeks of crafty moms who invisibly breastfeed during company-wide Zoom-calls, and of cookie-baking dads who tutor their kids during coffee breaks.

Dear parents, looking after your kids while trying to work is absolute mayhem, and that’s okay. Pandemic parenting involves kids discovering their genitals during video calls, finger-painting on your important files, and massive tantrums when you’re on a tight deadline.

So don’t feel guilty about those Dora the Explorer iPad marathons. Who cares about limiting screen time when there’s a pandemic sweeping the globe?

And definitely don’t believe the Mommy Maffia telling you pandemic parenting is so much fun.

They too get secretly drunk during 9:00AM nap time.

How to use in a sentence:

  • “Have you tried pandemic parenting?” Karen asks while she folds another origami swan.
  • “Pandemic parenting technically makes me an essential worker,” Marge sighed in a video call with her disinterested colleagues.
  • “My wife keeps complaining about how hard pandemic parenting is,” Jeff, Head of Sales, complained to Jason over Zoom as his son lit the dog on fire behind him.
  • “If I’d have known I’d become a pandemic parent, I’d have told Jack to pull out,” Mary cried down the phone to her sister.

What do you think of Byte Me? Love it? Tell us. Hate it? Tell us — as female journalists we love hate mail.

Don’t forget…

<3 The TNW shrews

Cara ([email protected])
([email protected])
& Georgina ([email protected])

Corona coverage

Read our daily coverage on how the tech industry is responding to the coronavirus and subscribe to our weekly newsletter Coronavirus in Context.

For tips and tricks on working remotely, check out our Growth Quarters articles here or follow us on Twitter.

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