If you’ve ever been the victim of mansplaining, then you know how annoying it can be when dudes dominate the conversation.
True story: my roommate (bless his heart) explained Instagram’s new algorithm to me three times in one week. Considering that 90 per cent of my job is to constantly troll the internet for #content, I was more than aware of the changes, but it still took a few “I know’s” before he got the message.
While a lot of the time, men are simply clueless about how much they’re talking, that doesn’t make the situation okay.
Fortunately, Chicago-based developer Cathy Deng created a blissfully simple website that can make those disparities super clear. Called “Are Men Talking Too Much,” it consists of two buttons. Users click one button for when “a dude” is talking and click the other for when “not a dude” is talking. The percentage at the top will adjust to show who is speaking the most.
And in case you were wondering, it’s totally mobile-friendly, so feel free to test it out wherever the patriarchy is getting you down.
Deng was inspired to create the app after one too many tech conferences where men were the primary participants in many of the key discussions.
“I felt that well-intentioned men who care about inclusion were mostly paying attention to things like the makeup of rooms, panels, and events [in terms of diversity] (I call this “counting bodies”) and weren’t paying nearly as much attention to patterns of participation and how people interact,” Deng told PAPER.
The site is almost maddeningly barebones, but that’s kind of the point. Sure, tech’s diversity issue is a lot more complicated than simply male vs. female, and Deng fully acknowledges the limitations of her app. However, the purpose of the website isn’t to be a direct solution to a problem. On the contrary, its strength lies in its ability to provoke deeper questions about representation, gender bias, and workplace power dynamics. This site is a near perfect example of how effective the “show, don’t tell” approach can be when it comes to proving that a problem exists.
She hopes the app will get people thinking about new ways to make the industry more welcoming to minority groups.
Or, at the very least, it will make your next boring meeting/conference/meet-up a lot more interesting.