A few days ago we released four stories, each about a woman in different areas of Cryptocurrency and blockchain. It is time now to also acknowledge how difficult it is to be a woman in a space dominated by men.
From comments on the looks to their intelligence and sometimes borderline harassment, these women fight through this everyday to make crypto a more accepting space for everyone. They go lengths to help more women take up cryptocurrencies and blockchain as a career option.
India’s misogyny is also a big factor why some of the smart women keep themselves anonymous. I was able to get in touch with few of these women and it made me cringe to hear the instances of harassment they faced.
Here are the few instances shared by some of the ladies in the crypto community of India:
Confession of a Twitter user
I don’t use my real image. I just can’t. Even with an image of a bird for a profile pic I get 20 DMs everyday asking me about my real name, photo and if I am single.
Confession of a Community Manager
At first I had kept my real image as I did not know Telegram is where people can use fake images and names. I was trolled in the group and people called my profile fake and asked for proof that I am a girl.
Soon I was added to a Telegram group that only had boys and since I knew a few of the members I was asked to stay. The guys would share vulgar gifs, comments and pictures. When someone removed me from this group, the other admin asked me to join back and say ‘I love him and asked me to flirt with him’, to make others jealous.
Confession of a Trader and Researcher
I always share my tips and learnings with everybody in the group. Sometimes I get trolled for my research but when the same signal is shared by a male member, it is widely accepted without any counter question. There are still members in our group who wait for the opportunity to troll the only female there, me.
Confession of a Journalist
Any social media platform I use, I receive comments on my looks rather than my reporting. We work really hard for our research and it breaks my heart to see it going down the drain this way as all some care about it is my looks and if I am single.
We want to point out that Aheli, one of whose stories we published earlier shared a similar story with us in her post.
Confession of a New comer
I joined a group recommended by a friend to learn about trading. As soon as they saw my name Hiral (name changed), I got over 20 messages of ‘Hi Hiral’ in the group and countless DMs. Not one, mind you, not even one of those people helped me with my query.
Technology as a field is dominated by men. We get it. Bro-culture is prominent. But if you keep treating the women who join our community like this, it is shame on you. Men have already lost the battle.
This is the sad reality. When we talk about the achievements of women, we are called ‘Feminists’ by the trolls. If giving equal rights to the other gender means feminism so be it, we should all be feminists.
Here’s an example of a troll who replied to us on Twitter when we published stories on Women in Blockchain. Ever wondered why trolls are always mis-spelling stuff? Also he means feminist not familiar.
She’s not an alian.. stop familiar bull shit
— Mohammed Yaseen (@yaseen889) March 12, 2018
Do Something about it
If you are a woman and you have experienced such an issue, speak up.
If you are a man and you have seen this happen, or are seeing this happen. Speak up and try to stop it.
If you are a man and you have mis-treated a woman, own upto it and apologise.
Lastly do, share this article to create some awareness.
Update: The statement of a woman was modified based on her inputs.