Agency as Privilege: Bitcoin, Technology and Feminism

It seems that recent media buzz surrounding the dramatic rise of the digital currency Bitcoin has attracted swarms of petulant and clamorous rent-seeking “social justice” parasites like flies to a midden heap. This should come as no surprise to anyone that understands the true nature and purpose of feminism and social justice activism. You can hardly expect these troublesome naggers to pass up what looks like a big, juicy pile of resources in the hands of young (mostly) heterosexual, privileged White (and Asian) men. Feminists have been eyeing both the IT industry and libertarian community as potential sources of rent for a while now, and Bitcoin represents an as yet untapped revenue stream.

The face of privilege
The face of privilege
Trigger warning: Think Progress

According to an online poll from Simulacrum, the average user is a 32.1-year-old libertarian male. By users’ accounts, those men are mostly white.

Breaking that down, about 95 percent of Bitcoin users are men, about 61 percent say they’re not religious, and about 44 percent describe themselves as “libertarian / anarcho-capitalist.”

Looks like a perfect target.

The pattern of seeking out male dominated social spaces, attempting entry and then demanding that previous norms and rules be discarded and rewritten to accommodate them specifically is a familiar rent-seeking tactic of feminists. It is an application of individual female reproductive strategy at the social level and an inevitable consequence of female involvement in public life and politics. The recent application of this strategy to “geek culture” and the IT industry is a predictable development given recent media focus on nerd nostalgia and tech.

Protip: Geek culture and computer programming have some overlap, but they are not one and the same. Successful IT professionals and computer programmers often do not meet the stereotype of the typical basement dwelling sci-fi/gamer geek. This point seems lost on some feminist authors who, having no clue about either and being prone to sloppy thinking, tend to conflate the two. Nonetheless some of the attempts by feminists to infiltrate neckbeard fanboy territory have been rather hilarious.

Trigger warning: xojane

The demand for more diversity, in both gender, race and sexuality in comics has some publishers finally listening to their fans and taking huge steps to make comics accessible to all who want to read them.

What demand? Demand from the fat, greasy misfits with raging BO and noticeable tartar buildup on their teeth to have something other than a fleshlight for intimate companionship? Possibly. But demand to actually integrate more women and people of color into their reprehensible subculture? No.

I have written extensively about the emotional and sexual abusive relationship I was in with a locally prominent prop maker and member of the Steampunk community.

That’s neat. Let’s talk about something important.

As we have come to expect by now, feminist complaints concerning “Bitcoin privilege” or “technology privilege” come down to a denial of the personal agency of women, people of color, the poor or whatever fashionable victim group can be used as a political bludgeon. The irony that the IT industry and Bitcoin, both of which have zero structural barriers to entry, are almost 100% dominated by White and Asian men seems to be lost on humorless, hatchet-faced SJWs.

Trigger warning: Cathy Reisenwitz

It’s common knowledge that women are underrepresented in IT and computer programming. But I didn’t realize that women are severely underrepresented—right around 1% of those programmers are women—in the exciting subset of computing often referred to as “open source…”

…But why is this wonderful new world of openness seemingly closed to women?

The answer is of course that it’s not. No one is closing off anything. Women just don’t do it. There is actually no oppression or deliberate exclusion to be found. Here we have an actual example of a relatively unregulated free market, and the field is populated entirely by males. This is exactly what anyone without their head firmly planted in their ass would expect from a technical, entrepreneurial and high risk field of endeavor. Yet feminists continue to be surprised or feign surprise at this, while working extra hard to pretend that they are being actively discriminated against.

Trigger warning: Geek Feminism

Being a man who has cis privilege, as a programmer, means:

…Expecting that when you attend a conference, giveaway shirts will be available in a cut designed with bodies like yours and fashion norms like those attached to your gender in mind, even if they are out of your size. If shirts are provided from event signups, there is no need to do anything more complicated than specifying shirt size.

Mmmkay.

The real answer to the above question is that these fields lack women and minorities not because of exclusion but because of the lack of forced inclusion and government supports. There are no external government rules that mandate minimum female or minority representation in IT jobs or open source programming. Such rules would be unenforceable in any case. The most that feminists have been able accomplish here is to get a few people (hint: Adria Richards) placed in highly visible but meaningless sinecures. As for Bitcoin, much activity with it is legally dubious and carries high risk of fraud. Government involvement here would be more likely aimed at shutting the whole thing down rather than trying to socially engineer diversity. But of course this doesn’t stop our favorite meddlesome and vexatious “libertarian feminist” blogger from applying the usual narrative.

Not growing up in a white, middle-class household vastly decreases your exposure to computers and computer literacy.

As does being female. Women are told, subtly and less subtly that they don’t belong and aren’t needed in tech and bitcoin. True, there are people telling women that they do belong. But messages of exclusion, and instances of harassment, however limited they may be, are extraordinarily powerful…

…Bitcoin enthusiasts don’t generally spend any time thinking about privilege. But greater computer literacy among the poor and easier-to-use interfaces, along with addressing tech’s gender problems should be a goal we all strive toward.

What women want.
What women want
If I tried I don’t think I could deny female agency to this extent. Tech supposedly has a gender and privilege problem, but the way to address this is not to have women and other “oppressed” people learn computer skills and voluntarily join an industry that is doing nothing to keep them out. No, the way to address this is for the people already involved (men) to make it easier to use and more accommodating to those that want to free ride off their previous success. The fact that the above blog posts could be written and published in the first place is evidence that men have been far too accommodating in the past and user interfaces are already too accessible and easy to use. Cathy Reisenwitz and her feminist fellow travelers have access to these things but do not have the agency required to understand them or participate in them on a meaningful level, despite having been told that they are free and equal their entire lives. This disconnect is why they are miserable even if they lack the self-awareness to understand this. They would probably have a better time of things in the kitchen.

Author image
Hey bro, that's racist.