Kickstarter Apologizes

Kickstarter has apologized, explained their thinking, pledged to change some policies, and is donating $25k to RAINN.

The core of their defense-with-apology is that they’ve never acted quickly to remove a project so close to funding. But the question they don’t answer is what it would take to get them to do so. I suspect if the project was revealed to advocate violence against people of a particular religion, race, or sexual orientation, they would have taken it down; But we’ll never know.

As with Facebook, only time will tell whether this indicates substantive or superficial change. The larger point is that institutional sexism isn’t getting a cultural pass anymore, and if you get caught, you’re not getting out of it.

I don’t shop at Wal-Mart. Here’s one of many reasons why.

Women make up about 2/3 of Wal-Mart’s 1 million person workforce, yet only about 15% of managers are female. In a recently leaked internal memo, Wal-Mart officials acknowledged that the company is “behind the rest of the world in promoting women to management ranks.”

1975 former female employees have filed suit against Wal-Mart for discrimination. Last year, the Supreme Court refused to certify them as a national class, because there was too much variety in the complaints. Since then, individual suits have been filed in every single Wal-Mart region in the country – that’s every state but Montana and Vermont.

This week, a federal judge in California rejected the company’s request to have that state’s case dismissed, and is considering certifying female employees as a class on the state level. 

In a statement supporting that case, a male employee says he discovered he was earning more per hour than a female peer who had 3 years more expereince. When he later recommended that peer for promotion, he was told the District Manager didn’t allow women to be promoted; He then realized there were no women in managerial positions in his department. He later told another female employee about this experience, and after being confronted by the District Manager and admitting to doing so, was fired.

To learn more, Google some combination of “Wal-Mart”, “discrimination”, and “gender”.