Vox Media Bans Staff From ‘Mansplaining’

Vox CEO Jim Bankoff (re/code)
Vox CEO Jim Bankoff (re/code)

Left-wing online media giant Vox Media has just announced its new code of conduct, which includes “strong discouragement” against “microaggressions”, described by Vox as “subtle put-downs which may be unconsciously delivered.”

“Regardless of intent, microaggressions can have a significant negative impact on victims and have no place on our team.”

But it doesn’t end there. Vox’s code of conduct also bans “mansplaining,” a bizarre term invented by feminists to describe men who explain things to women. By that logic, the vast majority of Vox’s content, which promises to “explain the news,” must be mansplaining. No wonder they’re paranoid.

With the sudden outbreak of politically correct hysteria at Missouri and Yale, it’s easy to forget that there are examples of wacky identity politics and bigotry outside of college campuses. Indeed, it’s America’s bonkers progressive media that is responsible for so much of it in the first place.

The code of conduct, which can be read in full glorious technicrazy at this link, advises employees:

There are a host of behaviors and language common on tech teams which are worth noting as specifically unwelcome: Avoid “well, actuallys”—pedantic corrections that are often insulting and unproductive; make an effort not to interrupt your colleagues while they are speaking; never respond with surprise when someone asks for help; and take care neither to patronize your colleagues nor assume complete knowledge of a topic.

This last point is especially important when talking about technical topics: Many women and people of color in the tech industry have many tales of being either mansplained about a field in which they are experts, or else excluded from learning opportunities because a colleague wouldn’t make an effort to answer questions—don’t be that person. Remember that your colleagues may have expertise you are unaware of, and listen at least as much as you speak.

The passive-aggressive code of conduct, which I assume is meant to be read in Valleyspeak and/or with a slight lisp, caused great excitement among various aficionados of thick-rimmed spectacles.

(XOXOfest co-founder)

(BuzzFeed editor)

(Food reviewer)

(“Geeky Product Manager at a nonprofit by day; wannabe standup comic & craft cocktail consumer by night.”)

Yuri Victor, a designer at Vox, invited people who “liked the code of conduct, and want to work at a more caring company” to apply for careers. Victor also said that Vox’s code of conduct is “open source,” which suggests that the company would like others to imitate and modify it. As yet, no-one has taken up the offer.

What no one else has pointed out yet is that Vox’s new rules bear a striking resemblance to the “anti-harassment policy” of another famous tech company: Pied Piper, the fictional start-up in HBO’s satirical show Silicon Valley, which chronicles the misadventures of an idealistic tech startup trying, and usually failing, to make the world a better place.

Pied Piper will, of course, have zero tolerance for harassment based on gender, race, sexuality, religion or lack thereof, class, trans status or ableness. Pied Piper will also of course not merely prohibit harassment that is direct and public but also less direct harassment that creates a hostile workplace. But furthermore, Pied Piper will join the cutting edge of the harassment-detection industry in forbidding microaggressions, nanoaggresions, picoaggressions, yoctoaggressions and all such oppression “particles,” if you will, down to the quantum level.

Pied Piper additionally forbids man-splaining, white-splaining, straight-splaining, cis-splaining, able-splaining, splain-splaining, splain-plaining, splain-shaming and, in general, saying things people doesn’t like. Discussion or possession of the Kurt Vonnegut short story “Harrison Bergeron” will be grounds for immediate termination.

Satirists love it when their predictions come true. The writers of Silicon Valley must be feeling terribly smug today.

Follow Allum Bokhari @LibertarianBlue on Twitter, and download Milo Alert! for Android to be kept up to date on his latest articles.

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