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Thanks, Dave Winer!

I’m sure glad that Dave Winer invented RSS. After all, if he hadn’t, I might not have spotted the completely missing-the-point response that he posted to my questioning of his comments on BlogHer. Why might I not have spotted it? Because, as he commonly does when he gets things wrong, he removed the post without any explanation.

However, Dave DID invent RSS (apparently), so I still have a copy of his post in my feed reader. For your reading pleasure, here it is:

I suppose it’s predictable that I get some negative comments on my thoughts re BlogHer, and it’s totally predictable that they come from a man. Our conditioning says that women are insulted by compliments. I’m sure there are some that don’t like to hear they’re attractive, but I can’t say I’ve ever met one. All those wasted years thinking it was rude to say a woman looks nice!

If you’ve ever seen the immortal rock spoof "Bad News" you might be reminded of the scene where the lead singer is accused of being sexist, and, looking befuddled, replies "what’s wrong with being sexy?"

Dave, of course it was predicable that you’d get "negative comments": You sounded like a patronizing sexist old hippy. If you don’t understand that saying things like "which means I don’t have to explain what blogging is" – like you have to when you meet "ordinary" women – is patronizing, then you have no business attending any conference designed to focus on what women are doing with technology.

If you have no idea that repeating, over and over again, how "sexy", "beautiful", "flirty" everyone is at what’s fundamentally a tech conference is sexist and patronizing – as well as making you sound like an old letcher – then, again, you should not be allowed near a women’s conference. Dave, next time you go to a regular geek conference, try devoting the same percentage of your report to the appearance of the men there and PERHAPS you’ll get why your comments were sexist shit of the highest order.

Also, Dave, I suggest you look up a definition of the word "unctuousness" (Tara Hunt can help you out). Because it’s a quality that you’re demonstrating by the barrel load.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • http://www.onemanandhisblog.com/archives/2006/08/links_for_20060_43.html One Man & His Blog

    links for 2006-08-01

    The hottest look, no straps attached Ah, finally somebody acknowledges the truth – whatever people say, the sexiest part of a woman’s body is her shoulders. (tags: fashion design sexy clothes shoulders) Thanks, Dave Winer! Ian Betteridge tears into Da…

  • http://www.chookooloonks.com/chookooloonks Chookooloonks

    Dayum. Ian, you just became my new best friend. Well said.

  • http://www.scripting.com/ Dave Winer

    You sure weren’t there Ian, and thank god the people who did go to BlogHer, women *and* men, don’t have your sexist and ageist limits. You have a lot of anger, and you’re using me to release it. Okay, got it, but it’s not mine, so I’ll go on with my life.

    If you had gone to teh trouble to actually go to the conference, you would have understood what I was saying. It would be a real leap for a guy like you to actually get involved, instead of taking cheap personal shots from the sidelines.

  • http://technovia.typepad.com Ian Betteridge

    Actually, Dave, I could have given a list of blogs written by women who WERE a BlogHer which criticised your comments. But you’re smart – you can do a search yourself. Here’s a clue: Start with Tara’s post, that I linked to above.

    Secondly of course whether I was there or not wasn’t relevant – and the fact that you just don’t get it indicates how completely thick skinned you are. It’s not acceptable to go to a tech conference and make constant comments about the attendees appearance and “sexiness”.

    Finally, no, I wouldn’t go to BlogHer. I regard conferences like that as an opportunity for women to get to work together and create some space of their own without the pressure of masculine egos running around the place. And, of course, as a chance for women to talk about the fantastic, creative ways they’re using technology without men making more comments about their appearance than their talent. Which is precisely what you did.

  • http://rightconversation.com Amy Gahran

    Hi, Ian

    It looks like Dave’s put his post back up. When was it taken down?

    See: http://www.scripting.com/2006/07/31.html#postblogherThoughts

    – Amy Gahran

  • http://www.lies.com/wp/2005/05/15/does-dave-winer-have-a-narcissistic-personality-disorder/ Jay

    Winer didn’t invent RSS. Here’s the history:


  • http://technovia.typepad.com Ian Betteridge

    Amy, Dave hasn’t taken down his main post about BlogHer (the one that you link to) what he’s removed, in his usual “Let’s Airbrush Trotsky out!” way is his comment about my post, which I’ve reproduced above.

  • http://lizditz.typepad.com Liz

    Eh, Dave Winer doesn’t understand why he irritates people. The news would be?

    Here’s Liz Henry’s take:


    They are beautiful hunks, but not like like booth bimbos, more like Thomas and Louis. So you got a great ratio, and they’re smart and driven, but that’s not all — they’re also bloggers! Which means I don’t have to explain what blogging is.

    Heh heh… Read it and think about the places where the language is off-key & think about why that is. It does have a tone that Dave expected to feel unwelcome, or expected to be surrounded by unattractive, frowning bitches? Or feels that his readers might have that expectation and he wants to reassure them that it’s not true?

    I can’t even start in on the stuff about how the 20 to 1 gender ratio was heaven for men. Grrrrrreat! Because women exist to make men feel loved and comfortable!

    I think Liz Henry hits the nail on the head, relative to Dave’s comments.

    For me, men at BlogHer — no big deal. As long as the men respond to requests *not* to dominate the conversation.

  • http://technovia.typepad.com Ian Betteridge

    Liz’s comments are great – I wish I’d written that!

    It’s interesting that Dave has chosen to respond to me, not to any of the women that are criticising him. Perhaps that’s because he only takes what men say seriously :)