Women are Neanderthals?
If you don’t read F-Train’s blog, you really should. It’s well written and he’s one hell of a bright guy.
Basically, I give the guy a lot of respect but when he wrote about a recent PR post on the PokerStars blog I really couldn’t believe it. I had to check the calendar. Was it April 1st? No. He provided a link but it was to a Google Docs press release and there was no way to really verify that it actually came from PokerStars. But this is F-Train, right? He wouldn’t post something before he could verify it, would he? He wouldn’t be posting this as some sort of joke, would he?
If you’re wondering what all of the fuss is about, it seems that at least one of the writers for PokerStars needs to take a gender sensitivity course. He likens PokerStars’ women pros getting video cameras at the PCA event to the opening scene in “2001: Space Odyssey” with all of the associated banging of the bone and hopping up and down. He then goes on to say that women can’t follow directions, can’t use technology, and basically paints them as having near-Neanderthal intellect.
The entire thing is so overly misogynistic and demeaning that you assume it’s a joke gone horribly, horribly wrong. Sorry for doubting F-Train but, really, you couldn’t write something more offensive unless it was a joke.
But it’s not a joke. I was able to track down the post on the PokerStars Blog. In fact, I’ve screen captured it (below) just in case it suddenly becomes unavailable.
This is really a shame as PokerStars has done so much to promote women in poker. They also have some of the best writers and really make an effort to produce quality content. But this is just such a let down.
The only thing I can think of is that the author (who I don’t know), Mad Harper, got the concept in his head and just went with it without ever going back and viewing it through objective filters. Sometimes a certain angle or joke catches you and you think it’s witty and perhaps an interesting spin on what might otherwise be a boring topic. I mean, writing about PokerStars female pros being given training on using a video camera is less than compelling content on it’s own. So you go with that creative seed.
But then you EDIT! You go back and read what you’ve written. Sometimes once the angle is fleshed out it simply doesn’t work. This is obviously one of those times when the creative vision and the final product don’t match up. Or, that’s what I hope. I hope Harper didn’t write this and realize how offensive it might be and went with it anyway.
I think an apology is in order. Stars obviously has done a lot to support women in poker and the best thing they can do is come clean, apologize, and move on.