Gawker’s problem with women

(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at: lawrence@krubner.com

I don’t know what it’s like to be a woman working at a place where management is unfair to women, but I do know what its like to work at a place where management fails to live up to its own goals, so I find this interesting:

Gawker Media was founded on excitement and freedom, which is what drew so many people to become fans and writers there, including myself; but excitement and freedom can lead to dismissiveness and insensitivity, harm and marginalization, often unforgettable and unforgivable damage. Emily Gould had this to say about Gawker in the Oral History: “Nick has a really sort of creepy relationship with women in general. It’s a tough thing for him. It was not like an ordinary workplace. I think a lot of it would never fly today.”

This is an interesting bit about the invisible work that women do:

At Gawker, as in much of the media, women are frequently managing editors or deputy editors, the kinds of jobs that require corralling stables of neurotic writers into successfully running a daily publication. This task can be thankless no matter where a woman works, but especially so at a place like Gawker, where bylines are associated with traffic and traffic is associated with success. To the reader, this labor is invisible, and internally, there was often a sense that this work was unappreciated as star reporters (who were often male) were feted and celebrated for major scoops and big stories. As senior writer Sam Biddle told me over email about editing Valleywag with Nitasha Tiku, who is now a senior writer at BuzzFeed, “As far as I could see, she received the same amount of support and attention from inside Gawker, but in terms of readership and media peer recognition, a lot of her work was skipped over, or undervalued, or even attributed to me. I don’t know how exactly to account for that but I think the entire media world reflexively rewards and pays attention to the work of men more than women.”

And this about how the genders understand the genders:

Ashley Feinberg later told me:

“Your value at Gawker is defined by how well your interests line up with those of the people in power. When you have the same predilections, the same fascinations as someone, you are obviously going to speak to them more; you’re going to become closer, and you’re going to trust them more. Because men are almost always going to have more in common with other men, that’s who they’re going to default to when it comes time to pass out a tip, a piece of advice, or more noticeably, a promotion.

“Which is why it’s hard to fault them for it entirely — women do the same thing to other women. The problem is that, because so few women are in positions of authority, it creates a terrible cycle where women have to work twice as hard to command the same sort of attention. Otherwise, you’ll just get drowned out.”

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