Revenge of the Nerds

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Rumors of tech companies hiring models to attend their parties have existed for years. When I worked in tech I heard the rumors, but never attended such an event. Some companies even brought in strippers and hookers according to the rumors. A true case of revenge of the nerds. With the lack of women in the tech field and the introverted attitude of most techies I can see the difficulty in arranging a successful party. Not really the partying crowd. My question, is this practice acceptable in today’s climate of sexual harassment lawsuits and allegations? Paid hostesses make the parties more attractive and interact with the employees. The employee’s ego has to be shaken. When you have boatloads of cash sitting around I guess throwing a killer holiday party isn’t a bad idea, even with paid participants.

As the tech industry continues to address its own wave of sexual harassment scandals, a new report revealed some firms are hiring models to secretly attend their holiday parties. The report, published first in Bloomberg, predicts there will be a “surprising influx of attractive women” at parties in the Silicon Valley. “The companies don’t want their staff to be talking to someone and think, ‘Oh, this person was hired to socialize with me,’ ” Kermaani told Bloomberg, adding models with his agency will attend seven parties in the same weekend.CNN Money

Once bullied those guys are now hiring gorgeous models to come to their parties. Talk about your sweet revenge. I find it hard to believe these guys won’t be able to tell who the infiltrators are at these soirees. Hmmmmmmmm. How about all the beautiful people? I find the practice a little distasteful not on any moral grounds, but in what it says about the employees. They are not attractive or witty enough to invite other attractive people to their parties. With that said having worked in the field most probably couldn’t. I guess if you have the money and don’t mind the awkwardness of the situation I don’t really have a problem. Hell, you never know somebody might get lucky and land a supermodel. However, not everyone is as tolerant as I am.

Adriana Gascoigne, CEO of Girls in Tech, told The Mercury News she found the report “highly disturbing.”

“It’s disappointing and deflating to see this news and see how it’s still spreading and how some companies and some people think it’s still OK to treat women this way,” she said. “It’s like buying women to exploit their bodies and their physical attributes.”

My problem with this statement is women want it both ways. They use their femininity when it suits them and then expect men to ignore them as women when it doesn’t. Take, for instance, professional cheerleaders, are they not exploiting their bodies and looks? In our society we have lots of examples of women who use their looks and bodies to further their aims. Today, with standards written in sand, being a man is more difficult. They are ever shifting depending on the situation.

Sexual harassment or sexual violence is never ok and I am not condoning it. Not always honest some accusers are seeking revenge for personal or monetary gain. We men are not complex like women, we need to know what the rules are to abide by them. Will there be those who violate the rules, absolutely. But most men are not sexual predators despite the media reports to the contrary. The exposed men used the power of their celebrity or status to control others. In this case women. These stories are not about sex, but about power. One person exerting it over another. As we continue to expose these people, we must not lose sight of this.