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File Sharing Culture: No Girls Allowed (Unless They're Naked)

If you've ever dabbled in the world of BitTorrent file sharing, you know the deal: You find the file you're looking for on some BitTorrent file tracking site and no matter what that file is it is surrounded by naked or half-naked women.

"I just want to file share without being bombarded by naked women and offers to meet ladies in my neighborhood," says Anita Sarkeesian in the latest offering from Bitch magazine's Mad World Virtual Symposium. "I also don't want to download a virtual stripper who takes her clothes off on my desktop!"

Sarkeesian's sharp video commentary makes it plain:

Women are systematically left out of techno-geek culture. It's a boys club that's reinforced socially and culturally ... just look at the fact that less than three percent of open source programmers are women. Or how about the fact that only 13 percent of Wikipedia contributors are women.

Here's the video. It's definately NSFW, which conflicts with my instinct to tell you to hit play now and crank it.

Source: Bitch

micah_2
7/22/2010 7:17:00 AM

As a guy, I agree that women should be more involved in geek culture -- having it be a homogeneous boys club actually kind of sucks because there are whole perspectives that are missed. Also, since most torrent sites are run and used by young, straight American men/boys, the content available is limited in scope: sure it's really easy to get episodes of Battlestar Galactica and Weeds, but I'm pretty sure the rapture will come before you can find someone sharing a Thomas Friedman audiobook. However, the very nature of these sites dictates the ads they run. They offer grey market or outright illegal content, so that's got to limit companies willing to advertise on the site (same goes with High Times for example, do you really expect Volvo to run ads on their site?). Also, the point of advertising is to get people to click on the ads -- if 95% of the users are young straight men, that's the demographic they're going to target, and it seems like cleavage is the way to do it. May I recommend an easy fix until the demographics change? Adblock software for your browser.