Things were cool until folks got drunk.
I did not have fun tonight. My evening consisted of dealing with drunk old men. Pushy drunk old men who did not like that I would not dance with them.
Ed and I attended the Underground@PDC tonight. During the presentation portion of the evening, we socialized on the balcony and had some fun conversations. Since we didn’t move from the seats we were able to snag during this portion of the evening, my tiredness was hitting me hard. Eight o’clock, and I could not stop yawning. So goes the story of conferences and lack of sleep.
Then we moved inside where the dancing began shortly thereafter. At first I was excited. I love to jump around and dance. Which is nothing like Ed’s dancing as she actually knows what she’s doing. At the end of the first song, I remembered what’s it’s like to dance outside of Grace Hopper and at DePauw with kids I know. Absolutely no possibility of dancing by myself without having to fend guys off. I went back to where Ed was eating.
I am exhausted, so I’m going to try and cleanse myself of what I experienced as quickly as possible.
Ed loves to dance. She was doing all sorts of salsa moves, and every single guy around her at one point was blatantly staring. All I could think about was how awkwardly that translates into working together in a professional environment. Not exactly respect being communicated there.
Then there was the guy who was purposely being an ass. (He said such himself.) “You’re in marketing, right? You’re in sales, right?” When I first replied, “No way!” I thought then we’d move into what I actually do. No, he seriously didn’t believe I was legit. This is the first I have actually had to prove myself. I won that argument damn quickly to the point where he had nothing left to say.
This same guy (obviously) gets there are few women in tech but had a shrug your shoulders attitude about it. “There’s a lack, but I have no idea what’s wrong.” I spouted out the stuff about few girls who think tech is something for them and that mid-level women leave the field in droves while those with mentors and support tend to stay. He was drunk, so I saved my energy beyond that.
Next up was the guy my dad’s age who harassed both Ed and I. Ed and I had been hanging near a table, and this guy, after staring at Ed dance, sat down in the chair that was next to us. Ed left to grab a refill on her drink, and I was arm’s length away from this man. He put his arm around me and tried to pull me to him. I stopped that and said, “No.” His response? “I see, playing hard to get.”
Later on, after Ed and I moved elsewhere, another guy appeared that was now staring at me while I danced. I still feel disgusting from that. Specifically because it went on for such an extended period of time. Ed and I left for a while, and when we returned he wasn’t around. At this point, we chilled sitting down. This guy again appeared, and at first we actually had a conversation. He was from Illinois, we’re Indiana. Business, blah. Then it was on to him being too close, and not getting the hint after we moved away to dance.
Then there was yet another man older than my dad who somehow learned I was from Indiana who would not leave me alone when I said, “No, I am not interested in dancing with you.” His response? “Oh, I know how you Indiana girls are. You dance.” Okay then.
Finally, there was the guy that a woman shared with me she has never seen sober. He told me I needed to say yes more often. Thank you for your unsolicited advice.
Should have left when someone we knew at Geek Fest told us to get over there. At least there we knew non-creepy people.
So yeah, being a woman in technology is a joy.