PS. In the interests of full disclosure here is the reply that I made to the ‘satirists’ original post. Which they then deleted. And for which they blocked me on Medium. If you’d prefer for me to not post it here please delete my response. I don’t mind. This is just what I had to say on the subject:
Here we go again, Michael. You’ve created a popular Facebook group for Medium Partner Program friends. You’ve created a successful open sister publication in 1-One-Infinity. You’ve written on Medium for many years and, if your boasts about your earnings are to be believed, you are a very successful writer on the platform. I’ve a lot of respect for what you’ve achieved and appreciate the time that you’ve put in to what you’ve built. So it saddens and baffles me whenever you seem determined to dismantle it by writing sexist bullshit like this.
You frequently say that, as it’s overall theme, this publication is intended to “bring people together.” You also frequently comment on people’s posts in this publication to admonish them for posting something that you don’t feel is in the spirit of this publication.
Fair enough. But please explain how insulting women is in the spirit of this publication? How does sexism bring people together? It isn’t satire when you mean it. It isn’t satire when all you’re doing is reiterate the hateful things you’ve said in the past.
You say that you feel victimised, singled out, and picked on by women. I don’t know what goes on behind closed doors, or to what events you may be referring to, all I know is that you post things like this and then act butt hurt when people call you out on it.
People disagreeing with you is not harassment.
You wrote a listicle about your list of the top writers on Medium, as defined by a scoring system that you invented (counting the number of Top Writer tags people have collected like Pokemon), and put yourself at the top of the list. The list was 50/50 male and female but you somehow still managed to draw the conclusion that women on Medium were a problem as they write about certain subjects. After people complained, and even asked for their names to be taken off the list, you amended it and moved it to a different publication.
There have obviously been a lot of changes on Medium — but they’re about business, not about gender. There may well have been a shift away from the stuff that you like writing about such as Bitcoin, Blockchain, Tech, Futurism, and what have you. And a pivot towards subjective essays and more personal issues. But why do you think that one is exclusively male and the other is female?
I know women who are scientists, STEM students, programmers, and one friend in particular comes to mind who builds robots for fun. She’s a total badass, drinks whisky, smokes cigars, shoots guns, and knows how to strip down and rebuild cars. She’s also a complete brainiac and math genius. I also know plenty of men who write poetry, confessional essays, and talk about their feelings. So what? None of this is remarkable. Or bad. Or unusual.
I’m new to the Medium Partner Program but have been on Medium for years. There’s an awful lot about the platform that, as a trained journalist and professional writer, I don’t like and don’t think is fair. But the presence of women writers on the platform is not one of them. Not by a long shot.
I dislike the lack of professionalism and common courtesy, the disregard and contempt shown for content and for writers, and the pettiness, in-fighting and squabbling that goes on between a lot of writers and publications on the platform. It’s amateur hour. I also dislike a lot about the way that Medium conducts its business and the grim reality for new writers trying to make an income on the platform.
Only 7% of writers make over $100 per month on Medium. Those are some shitty odds right there. It purports to be a meritocracy but is clearly not. I’m not saying that it’s a pyramid scheme — but Medium’s scheme is, you know, definitely pyramid shaped. Medium used to be a great place to put your writing because your best work would make it to huge amounts of readers. Then they favoured writing behind the paywall to the exclusion of writing that is not. Anything old or freely available to read might as well not be on the platform. Then they favoured writing that was in the bigger publications at the expense of everything else. Again, if you’re not in one of those favoured publications — many of which are closed shops — then you’re shit out of luck. And now the big publications are leaving and Medium is favouring its own in-house publications. This is what happens when digital sharecropping — if the platform you rely on to publish your content pivots away from you then your business or audience can disappear overnight.
Every writer on Medium must decide for themselves whether they will ‘eat the pissy biscuit’ and adapt to whatever changes are foisted upon them. But this has nothing to do with gender. It’s not some grand conspiracy. And it’s certainly not about women vs men. It’s just business as fucking usual.