Finnish tech humor is traditionally outspoken and blatant.
There are more and more women in today’s techies and through that, techie humor is also changing.
Despite this, women in the technical fields continue to experience discrimination, belittling and even harassment.
A discussion about the negative aspects of teekkar culture started when blogger and entrepreneur Natalia Salmela opened her own experiences from teekkar era.
Within a few days of her opening, she received hundreds of comments from women who felt the tech culture hadn’t changed enough.
- This completely surprised me.
I had naively thought that the situation had changed from my own study periods.
This is not the case, but the problems have been known to everyone, but they have been underestimated and nothing has still been done about them, Salmela says.
Salmela left to study electrical engineering in Tampere in 2007. According to him, the student party was the only way for young people who moved from elsewhere to get to know people.
According to the messages received by Salmela, women continue to experience sexual harassment, pressure, touch, racism and offensive humor in student activities.
According to women, they are invited to events whose sole purpose is to water them drunk and get their clothes off.
According to women, sexist behavior also comes to the fore during visits.
According to the comments received by Salminen, pornography films are shown to passengers during bus trips.
If women dare to say it’s not ok, they’re said to be “pinched, tight and lacking an egg”.
Invitation clubs do not recognize claims
Negative feedback has been given to a few invitation clubs with only male members.
Clubs affirm that action is based on equality, even though only men are members.
According to comments received by Salmela, for example, in a men's invitational club, free bungee jumps are raffled off, and the winners are women based on their appearance.
- We've been raffled off free bungee jumps.
At the beginning of 2020, we decided to change the practice so that both men and women are chosen as the winners, says the club representative reached by IS.
The representative of IS, who answered questions from another men's inviting club, denies that the club's premises had behaved badly or oppressively towards the women invited there.
According to him, events don’t put pressure on or incite anyone to undress, perform in a wet t-shirt, or otherwise do anything they don’t want to do themselves.
There has also been no feedback from women on inappropriate behavior.
- One of the fundamental values in the modern student community is equality of activities, to which every student in the club is personally committed.
We don’t accept any kind of harassment, and our mission is to bring pure goodwill to the entire student community, the man representing the club says.
Oulu teenagers: Unpleasant traditions eradicated
According to the Oulu girls, general female hatred and sexism have become familiar in life in general, but there are few of them in organizational activities based on their experience.
They are also aware of the sexist traditions of tech culture, such as lewd sit-down songs and pornographic material.
The women of the Oulu Teekkari Association and a few other Teekkarikilla boards answered the questions sent by IS together.
The board of the Oulu Teekkari Association consists of nine members, six of whom are women.
- In the early days of our studies, all of us have come across some nasty traditions, but fortunately many of these have been eradicated and are constantly being eradicated.
Individual cases of harassment have also emerged recently, but they relate to individuals and universal inequality of women rather than to the activities organized by associations.
The people of Oulu think it's great that the issue has now been brought to the surface and with the discussion, things are being raised and general patterns of behavior are starting to change.
- This problem is not limited to teakers.
It is common for nasty comments to come from outside the library community, for example, “how can you study mechanical engineering even if you are a woman?”, Oulu students say in an email they send together.
Oulu residents who are actively involved in student activities estimate that gender equality is achieved in the association and in student activities in general.
- At the general level, women and men are equal, but some individuals do not always achieve equality.
Unfortunately, there are always a few rotten eggs among them whose personal opinions do not meet the line of the association.
According to the people of Oulu, there have been and still are sexist or discriminatory traditions in the student culture, but they have already been cut down a lot and work is constantly being done to create a more equal culture.
- As concrete examples, the songbook is being updated for this millennium, and in fuchsia orienteering, ticks containing nudity, stripping, or sexism are banned and the content of the ticks is monitored to ensure that their content is relevant.
The women of the Aalto University Electrical Engineering Guild do not recognize sexism or the belittling of women in their own circles.
- Sexism or belittling of women has not been a problem for us in Otaniemi or the Aalto University Electrical Engineering Guild.
It can probably already be guessed from the fact that we have women on the board as chairman, media manager and responsible for new students, the women of the Guild of Electrical Engineers state in the e-mail they send.
Tampere Student Union: Make activities more equal
The Tampere Student Union had time to take a stand on the public debate on Monday.
According to it, the debate is very welcome and shows that there is still much to be developed in student culture in promoting equality and preventing harassment.
Annika Nevanpää, the chairman of the student union, says that a transitional period has already been defined with the invitation clubs that came up in the discussion, when they have to make their activities more equal.
- During the transition period, therefore clubs open their operations, and their membership is by invitation or not restricted to the representatives of one sex.
There is no transition period to address harassment, but everyone who has experienced harassment should receive help in a timely manner, Nevanpää says.
This is how Natalia Salmela started the discussion about the experiences of the female students was commented on Instagram
“I missed one party.
They were a whore house-themed party.
It included dressing as either a pimp or a prostitute.
I chose about the party theme in the student magazine forum and you’re already guessing how it was handled.
Don't be such a cheerleader now.
This party is not a statement in favor of human trafficking. ”
“I am studying for the fourth year and at least in my freshman year, these good-looking freshman girls were invited there, watered, etc. There may not be so much medicine, or at least not granted, but yes, those traditions still live on.
The same caste goes to the bungee jumping event organized by xxx in the autumn, where every year a dozen good-looking freshman girls unexpectedly win a free jump and admission to xxx's party. ”
“I attended yyy’s event years ago.
I didn’t feel at the time that there was anything wrong that night.
Maybe it was a real shy girl breaking the boundaries.
The next morning we drove by order taxi to the school with only borrowed / Owned B-towels on, while my own clothes were still wet.
Now those events sound really strange and horrible, exploiting the blue-eyedness of young girls. ”
The “draw of the free bungee jump”, in which I myself participated as an innocent, already proved to be winning on the basis of the application alone on the basis of appearance alone.
The application asks questions as important as ig's name and whether it is single or not. ”
“In my own circle of experience, saunaing has typically gone so that there is first a women’s sauna shift and then a mixed shift at the end of the evening.
There are usually no men's shifts or, if there are, they are called a bitch.
“In my experience, female hatred is really firmly rooted in the tradition of the disciples - just like racism and discriminatory attitudes towards sexual minorities.
You can hear from sit-down songs that it was originally a culture that only belonged to a small group: women, gays and non-whites can be treated as objects in the songs. ”
“In one event, the prize was a penis ring.
At first I wondered what if someone without a penis had won, if the prize had been something else.
Then I realized that no one without a penis could have won. ”