Is Sexism Holding Cryptocurrency back?
The crypto community, since its inception, is made up of significantly more men than women. Some, like feminist Jeannie Hill, believe the crypto space is plagued with a chauvinist virus that results in a hostile environment for women. However, many women are embracing crypto and finding their own path to success in the space.
Sexism in the Cryptocurrency Community
For the past 25 years, Jeannie Hill has been an author in the advanced driver education field and feminist activism. She is also a cryptocurrency investor and a writer for womensagenda.com.au. Hill says that she had a rough ride when she first started in cryptocurrency and joined some online crypto groups via social media. She found that rather than being inclusive, the online crypto community’s attitudes toward women resembled that of attitudes in 1855.
Ultimately, she opted to look for and join women-only cryptocurrency groups. After talking with other women who had ventured into the crypto space, she found her experience was not singular. Several women in the female cryptocurrency group reported harassment from men in the crypto community in various forms. According to Hill, the women-only crypto groups seemed to be a lot more supportive and consisted of members who were focused on learning, debate, and community rather than petty, unproductive behaviors. She sees the growth of women’s crypto groups as proof that women are finding ways to circumvent sexism by creating their own networks.
Hill acknowledges that not every man in the crypto space exhibits sexist behaviors, but says that generally, the space is not welcoming to women. She says the men predominantly responsible for the unwelcome behaviors are in the 20-30 year old age range, often with online gaming and tech backgrounds. She cites the use of male pronouns exclusively in posts, gendered group header pics, a tendency to ignore or dismiss questions and information posed by women, and unsolicited sexual advances as some of the factors that have led women to form their own crypto groups.
Females not Encouraged to Pursue Tech
Hill writes that the lack of women in crypto can be partially attributed to low numbers of women in tech, a reality she says is a result of general discouragement of females to pursue tech fields on the part of society and culture. Similarly, society plays a role in conditioning females to think that men are better at math and finance and to leave those subjects to men. Hill believes that these are important factors causing women to avoid the cryptocurrency space but that the sexism issue poses an additional hurdle to women who want to get involved in crypto.
Welcome or not, Women Are Getting Involved in Crypto
Despite the obstacles women may encounter when entering the crypto space, women are steadily building a presence, letting their successes drown out the naysayers. Several women who’ve made a name for themselves in crypto disagree with Hill’s sentiment entirely, instead finding the crypto world open to anyone with good ideas and the ability to execute.
One woman who has succeeded in the world of digital currency is Tatiana Moroz. Moroz is a famous singer-songwriter who used blockchain technology as a platform to channel her music production. She is also the founder and CEO of Crypto Media Hub, which is a PR, advertising, and marketing agency for the blockchain industry.
In any case, the formation of women-friendly crypto groups and the existence of women who have found success in crypto indicate that the female population has taken note of crypto and is not shying away. This is good news for the crypto space, which, as Hill and others have pointed out, needs women for its long-term success.
Recently, one of the most acclaimed pop artists of all times, Madonna, teamed with Facebook and Ripple to raise funds for her foundation, according to Rollingstone. Madonna will celebrate her sixtieth birthday on August 16 and decided to launch an online fundraiser to benefit her Raising Malawi foundation for the occasion.
Part of the announcement by Rollingstone included that Ripple will be matching all donations to Madonna’s fundraiser. This move from Madonna will potentially raise awareness of cryptocurrency. The fundraiser runs through August 31. The campaign’s goal is $60,000, and in the first hour into its launch, the campaign already counted $3,200 in donations.
While the nature of many online crypto groups may not be conducive to productive collaboration between men and women, as in Hill’s experience, the success of various women in the cryptosphere indicates that, ultimately, talent and delivery speak louder than gender. It is certainly in the best interest of the crypto community to welcome without discrimination anyone who wants to learn and contribute to the future of digital currency and blockchain-related advancements.