TECH

Hookers And Hackers Is The Least Surprising Tech Party Of All Time

The woman who helped plan possibly one of the more sexist Silicon Valley events in recent memory "didn't mean to offend anyone," she told The Huffington Post.

Alexandra Hunter, who works for a San Francisco-based tech incubator called Hacker Hideout, was unapologetic about her company's 'Hackers and Hookers' Halloween party.

Here's the party invite, posted on Eventbrite, that sparked an outcry on Twitter and Valleywag:

hackers and hookers party

Hacker Hideout took to its Facebook page to respond to the online haters: "We would like to start by saying it was not our intention to offend or upset anyone, but it can be hard to please the whole world and the different cultures, values and beliefs that exists."

The Facebook page is no longer available, and Hunter told HuffPost that she has no comment on it.

"We never intended, obviously, to have this type of reaction," said Hunter. "It was really just trying to make a spoof of something that we thought would be funny and we didn't think it would get so much attention." Hunter assured HuffPost that they "were not trying to be 'brogrammers'" -- the company's employees are split fairly evenly male and female, she said.

The Hacker and Hooker party is still happening: "We're standing behind it," Hunter said.

This party comes at a point when discussion of sexism in Silicon Valley seems to be everywhere. There are disproportionately few women in the computer sciences, as this recent New York Times piece points out.

Events like "Hackers and Hookers" likely aren't making women in tech any more comfortable.

Hunter, who said she's been with the company since its September founding, and her co-organizers came up with the Halloween party's theme based on the British tradition of hound and hen parties. "We asked one of the guys what he was going to be and he said, 'I'm gonna be a hooker,'" Hunter told HuffPost. "We thought that was funny, like hackers and hookers."

HuffPost

BEFORE YOU GO

  • 1 Advice To Job Hunting Women
    "Find something you're passionate about and just love. Passion is really gender-neutralizing," Marissa Mayer said on Martha Stewart's "Women with Vision" television series in 2011.
  • 2 The Pie 'Isn't Big Enough'
    "Right now is a great time to be a woman in tech, but there's not enough women in tech," Mayer told a CES2012 panel hosted by CNET. "[I] worry a lot of times the conversation gets really focused on what percentage of the pie is women. And the truth is, the pie isn't big enough. We're not producing enough computer scientist. We're not producing enough product designers. We need a lot more people to keep up with all of these gadgets, all of this technology, all these possibilities." Mayer also commented on the stereotypical culture within the tech world: "There's all kinds of different women who do this. You can wear ruffles, you can be a jock, and you still be a great computer scientist or a great technologist, or a great product designer."
  • 3 Tangible Technology
    "There's just huge growth and opportunity. [T]he fact that the technology is now so tangible in our everyday lives, I think, will inspire a lot more women to go into technology -- and I'm really heartened by that," Mayer said for the MAKERS "Women in Tech" interview series in 2012.
  • 4 Internet Empowered
    "I consider myself incredibly lucky to be present in a moment in time when this wonderful and powerful medium, the internet, is empowering geeks -- and especially female geeks -- to express and pursue their passions," Meyer said in a 2012 acceptance speech at the Celebrating Change gala. She had just won the International Museum of Women's first-ever Innovator Award.
  • 5 Geekin' Out
    "People ask me all the time, 'What is it like to be a woman at Google?' I'm not a women at Google; I'm a geek at Google. And being a geek is just great," she said in an interview for CNN's "Leading Women" series in 2012.
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