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Jade Raymond is My Hero

by Guest Blogger, Lena West, Chief Social Media Strategist at xynoMedia Technology

JadeI'm not sure what - or if - you've heard about the recent challenges of game developer Jade Raymond or not.

If you haven't, click here for the link to the full, controversial story.

And, if you don't want the full story, here's the short version: Jade Raymond is a successful video game developer. She's the creator producer of Assassin's Creed. Jade is also female (as you can see). So, she's a woman working in a male dominated industry - what woman isn't, I know - but, she REALLY works with ALL guys, ALL the time. Recently, a comic was distributed online that depicted Jade performing sexual acts with 'gaming geeks'.

I was able to locate the comic (so that I could know what the hell I was writing about) and it wasn't the imagery per se - although that in itself was putrid - it was the dark, twisted intent behind the images. The sad part is, whomever created the images doesn't even realize that they are a marionnette for the patricarchial matrix - they just thought it was 'cool'. Knowing is half the battle and if people can't even see how their actions mirror society's ills, it's that much harder to break the cycle.

Society always attempts to reduce women to hyper-sexualized versions of themselves when they reach a high point in their career. Which is why I feel it's very important for women to be as inaccessible as possible personally before their career hits its peak. In other words, even with Twittering and blogging, keep people out of your personal business.

I'm reading Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom by Dr. Christiane Northrup, and in the book she talks about the patriarchial society in which we live. A woman can't even have a baby without doctors worrying about the "husband's stitch". Sadly, I am not surprised by this.

Many women believe in a 'use what you've got to get what you want' and 'I was born a woman, so why not flaunt it' and 'if you've got it flaunt it' mentality. I believe that, too, but not when it comes to business. It might work for awhile, but it'll bite you in the end (pun intended).

Here are the unwritten 'rules' that have worked for me:

  • Don't hang at non-business parties and try to make friends with guys. (Playing golf is a MUCH better route to getting deals inked.)
  • Always wear pants. Let them focus on business - not your legs.
  • Arrive early to conferences and leave early. Real networking goes on before the conference, the suggestive come-ons usually happen after everyone's had drinks at the post-conference reception.
  • Never let anyone know where you live. Don't have anyone stop by 'just to pick-up files' - if you don't have office space, meet them (even women) in a public place.
  • Don't let anyone know if or whom you're dating. Keep your man out of your public business.
  • Stop trying to be 'friends' and get down to business.

By no means am I saying that what is happening to Jade - or any woman - is her fault if she DIDN'T follow these unwritten rules, of course. For all I know she may have done so. I'm just saying these rules have worked for me.

These lewd images attempted to reduce Jade. But, she's not reduced at all in my eyes. And, in fact, her team was ON IT and slapped the offending website with legal papers so fast their digital heads spoun in their sockets. I admire her swift and scathing response. They'll think twice before doing something like that again - and they'll be more vigilant about imagery what they allow on their servers.

Bottomline: Sometimes I do feel like I want to write more about women who 'make it' and then are, in some way, dogged out by their male counterparts, but I know that where our attention goes, energy flows. I'd rather write more about solutions than the problems - although SOMEONE needs to write about the challenges to even start a dialogue about the solutions. *sigh* Have you had an experience like Jade? What was the outcome? How did you publicly and personally triumph over it?


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Lena West

NW Guy:

Thanks for your kind words and for your apology for all men. Nice gesture.

I believe that Kathy Sierra had similar B.S. happen to her, yes.

I was reading an article today about how some sickos are trying to use nooses to scare Black people again - but this time it's not working.

I think many people are trying the same thing with scare us. And, guess what? It ain't workin' either.

It's all the same game - I'm glad to be on the winning side.

Thanks for reading and commenting,


NW Guy


Very nice blog (I linked over for the Lucky? post and kept reading). It isn't good that this type of activity still happens today; my apologies that we (men) still have issues.

BTW; I didn't look for the post but believe that something like this chased Kathy Sierra ( a wizard on usability/customer experience) from the blog world.

Hopefully vigilence will win out and we can work together productively. Even then your hints are good rules to live by; for women and men.

Lena West


Yes, I know the articles about Jade to which you are referring.

In my opinion the two topics are totally different. Even if someone did think that Jade "sold out" to Ubisoft so that they could play-up her sex appeal (which I don't think happened - from what I've read about her, she appears to be smarter than that), that has nothing to do with the crude cartoon that was posted about the Internet. Sometimes people can't see the forest for the trees - the confuse issues, you know? Almost to say that because she's doing swift business with Ubisoft that that pardons the sickos that created and distributed that cartoon.

You situation sounds really weird and that's why I'm so careful never to reveal anything about my parents. I mention totally unidentifiable things about them - same with the rest of my family and friends. But, people do have a way of finding out weird things about our lives and exploiting them. I wonder how Oprah deals with this? :)

Anyway, thanks for sharing your tip about cleavage. You would think that it should go without saying but, guess nothing does nowadays.

Thanks for reading and commenting,


Carol Andrade

Thankfuly someone isn't writting about how jade raymond made a deal to the evil empire that is ubisoft in which they would explore her attractiveness and give her success in exchange!!

I can't stand those articles at the mtv site anymore!!!

Once I had one very unpleasant experience with internet. Some man (i still don't know if he was from work or university), posted my parents phone number at one site as a sexy advertisement. As a result, about 60 men called me or my family looking for the easy sex announced on the internet. I felt really disgusted, and it was like someone had undermined the fact that i'm a attractive woman who is clever and has some professional success (oh, and i've never shown my face on tv!). It's like your privacy means nothing to others and you have no control over your own life. Anyway, time passed by, and i have learnt to cope with it.

Finally, i would just add another rule:

Be carefull with cleavage at work. Men tend to get confused if they see a female who wears a piece of clothing which does not cover the top of them. They might think that instead of looking ate the eyes of the woman they are talking to, they should stare at their brests.

Take care,

P.S.: After reading your post and finding out about the story, I also think Jade Raymond is a hero.

Lena L. West


Yes, I had not heard of this either until a friend brought it to my attention.

Thanks for adding your tips to the list. The one about blogging is so important. We all tend to want to share, share, share.

I might be totally paranoid, but only about 10 people in the whole world know where I actually live.

Thanks for weighing in!


Anita Bruzzese

I had not heard of this and am so glad you brought it to my attention. Funny how after 25 years in the business world, I am sad to say the same crap is going on for many women.
Your safeguards are spot on. I'd like to add some:
1. Be careful blogging. Writing that your husband/partner is out of town, you're home alone with the kids, you live alone, what time you get home from work, etc. is very risky. Think they can't figure out where you live? Hah. A few key taps on the Internet and they can even zero in a photo of your vegetable garden.
2. Be vigilant while traveling. Don't ever meet in anyone's hotel room or in any dark bar/restaurant. Scope out a well-lit area or the hotel lobby. Ask the concierge about proper "business" type restaurants.
3. Do not try and tell risque jokes with male colleagues. You'll never be one of the guys, so don't go there. You'll always regret is someway, somehow.
Anita Bruzzese

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