When Alex St. John posted his opinions about game industry workers being "wage-slaves" who have "embraced a culture of victimology" he received plenty of negative feedback.
Now his daughter, Drupal engineer Amilia St. John, has responded, most particularly to her father's views on women in tech.
In a blog post today, Amilia St. John writes about her dad's "horrific toddler meltdown" which, she says, represents "the usual self aggrandizing agenda that older generations like to pedal on days when they need to feed their superiority complexes." She describes his opinions on women in gaming as "distasteful," "vile" and "revolting".
Noting the widespread reaction to her father's post, and his use of her photograph in a presentation he uses, she added, "As his toxic waste trash fire not only is associated with my last name but also my face, I felt compelled to respond to my father's sexist, ableist, and racist rants."
In his opinion piece on VentureBeat over the weekend, Alex St. John, the former head of WildTangent, wrote that developers should quit whining about fair wages and long hours and get down to doing what they love because, after all, "pushing a mouse around for a paycheck" isn't really hard work.
St. John was responding to a new initiative by the International Game Developers Association to tackle unpaid overtime and long hours. He claimed that "making games is not a job, it's an art" and that "there's no amount of money that anybody can pay people with a wage-slave attitude."
"I felt compelled to respond to my father's sexist, ableist, and racist rants."
Amilia St. John currently works as a front end Drupal developer at Energy Circle, a technology tools and services company. Her blog post talks about her experiences as a young woman, gaining entry to the tech industry. She writes about how she grew up surrounded by relatives who worked in tech, but found it difficult to convince herself to follow this career path due to the low number of women taking appropriate classes.
"I could not find relatable peers to work with in my classes, and even if I did, purely academic relationships would often be misconstrued as ‘something more'," she writes.
She also notes that women who do enter the tech field are often "weeded out of engineering roles in favor of client-facing roles that 'perfectly suit' their 'stronger social skills'. "
"He shields himself from all of the realities that put white males in a position of power."
She turns back to her father's argument that "any woman entering the tech industry has it made," and that women in tech are often "fatally compromised with victimology psychosis."
"My father's own conclusion being that everyone who is not a white male has a victim complex and is allowing themselves to be held back," she writes. "It is very convenient to pretend that the reason white males are so successful is because they are the self-starters, geared toward success etc. while everyone else is simply too lazy, apathetic and whiny to make something of themselves. By pretending this, he shields himself from all of the realities that put white males in a position of power in the first place."
Amilia St. John provides statistics to show how women are discouraged from working in tech, or feel forced to leave due to hostile working environments. A recent study found that 60 percent of women working in the Silicon Valley tech industry had experienced unwanted sexual advances and that 84 percent said that had been told they are "too aggressive."
"I beg my father, for the love of his daughters, to stop hindering our progress as women in the industry and start using his influence to promote positive experiences for minorities in tech," added St. John." Her blog post also includes resources for women working in tech as well as girls considering engineering as a career.
Polygon contacted Alex St. John for a response.