What just blows my mind, is that Adria keeps referring to this as an issue against females. The comment (as clarified by the terrible perpetrator elsewhere) was about a part of male physiology and not directed towards any person, male or female. She just keeps repeating how this is some sort of female issue. I frankly don't see the connection. I do see how some puritanical folks could be upset, because you know, sex is terrible. I could see how the humor is crass. Adria didn't rescue some poor downtrodden female in distress, she took a sexual innuendo that offended her and blew it up publicly.
She mentions a few times playing cards against humanity at Pycon. http://instagram.com/p/W3htw7gaR5/ I'm not sure how "mecha-hilter", "dead babies", "afterbirth", or "eating all of the cookies before the AIDS bakesale" are less offensive than "big dongles". I guess I have to trust her as a the "Joan of Arc" that she is.
I will be honest with you, she scares the crap out of me. Who's next? What's the next juvenile comment that ends someone's job with a publicly posted picture? I don't want to work with her - how do I know my picture won't end up on twitter with some "This guy was talking about mounting his scsi" caption.
This isn't activism, this is emotional terrorism.
As an aside, I feel like the women in tech might misunderstand a lot of us - which is nothing new, who DOES understand us. We didn't grow up the jocks, the cool kids, or the prom king. We larped. We played D&D. We played MUDs. We sat up late coding. We were the dorks. We got wedgies and swirlies. Our chocolate milk was constantly taken by bullies. We got knocked out cold in dodge ball. We were tread on for most of our lives. I think coming into the tech world with the attitude that men need to be stood up to and knocked down is just going to come across to many of us as the same bullying attitude we grew up with. I think if most women in tech sat down with just about any neckbeard I can think of, they would be amazed at how friendly and awesome we are. We are not "the man" you're trying to overcome. We're simply people, who program, and we are happy that other people are entering the field. And really, we don't want to be crass or offensive. We are actually well known for our extremely awkward social skills. Just pull us aside and ask us kindly not to do that - you'd be surprised how nice we want to be.
But what do I know, I'm no longer an engineer, I'm just a (male) housewife. My (female) partner is the software engineer.
Cards Against Humanity is irrelevant to the issue. Also it's not about being puritanical and easily offended.
Being a male geek/dork/nerd/outcast in school doesn't excuse behavior that causes a hostile, sexualized, or otherwise unwelcoming environment. I, a female geek, was an outcast too and participated in many of the activities you mention, yet I came out mature.
You claim that male engineers (which you referred to as neckbeards) just need to be told that their behavior isn't OK and that everything will work out fine. You know what, I've tried that approach many, many times and it always backfires. The first reaction is quite similar to what you have above. Blame the person for being oversensitive and blowing things out of proportion. Then other defensive reactions ranging from yelling to ostracizing the female from the group follow. Rarely, after lots of back and forth emails and other draining communications (where I have to do tons of research in order to educate them about male privilege and other concepts), the issue is resolved. This successful resolution has happened maybe three times in my career.
Guys, if you are faced with a complaint that something was sexist, not cool, etc., please, don't let your first reaction be the defensive reaction we see all the time. Take time, think it over, ask for more information so that you can understand her position. You might just find an opportunity to grow as a person.
I'm glad you take the time to re-educate those around you. It's probably the hardest thing to do, but ultimately the best way forward for everyone. Maybe I'm overly optimistic on the ability of education though.
What I find really suspect is her feeling like and calling herself a hero. Her reference to herself as "Joan of Arc". Also going public immediately.
I have been, more than once in my previous career, in a situation where a female engineer was actually in a real, abusive situation. I handled these situations "by the book". At one point I was asked by HR if I wanted to know the outcome. Of course I said "NO, but please let me know when she is doing better." I can't imagine feeling like a "hero". These were absolutely terrible experiences for me. I never sought out back slapping. I did seek out re-assurance from my father (also one of these god-awful male engineer chauvinistic pigs), and he was supportive. I can't even imagine going public with something like this. Something just strikes me as completely wrong.
And if you're going to complain about offensive public comments, don't post publicly offensive pictures with racial overtones. Sorry, it is relevant. It demonstrates a double standard.
It's hard to understand the "hero" feeling unless you've been quiet and avoided speaking out on similar (and often bigger) events. It feels good to stand up for your fellow females and community, even if you get negative public attention for it. I think more things big and small should be addressed so that it never leads to a "real" abusive environment again (As an aside, you don't get to decide what is a "real, abusive situation").
(nit-pick) There's a difference between sexist and sexualized.
FWIW, I'm not sure where I fall on all of this – but my hunch says there's a bunch to be unhappy about all around. Having said that, I'll throw this out:
In my experience, men (I am one) tend to be more okay with a small amount of sexualization in conversation. Women tend not to be. (extreme generalization, but a real distinction, I believe).
Say what you will about which is right or wrong, but I think that the important point is the general difference between the way men and women see things. That difference is real, regardless what any one of us would want one side or the other to be.
So, the question becomes, how do we deal with it and how do we minimize conflict?
I believe your observation is correct. I'll also throw out a possible reason for women being less okay with sexualisation in conversation: We're the target or object of sexualisation far more often than men are, and sometimes in quite threatening contexts. If you keep getting exposed to something in a negative context, you stop liking even fairly mild occurrences of it. (I'm sure a black person hearing even quite mildly racist jokes will be more annoyed than a white person would, because they are usually the target of these jokes.)
I dunno if you're right about the difference between men and women. I do know that there's a difference between a professional and a non-professional environment. If you're talking about sexy stuff in a professional environment where you don't really know all the people within earshot, at the very least you're exhibiting some fairly poor judgment. And, at worst, you might be making some of the strangers around you very uncomfortable.
Hey, sorry. I didn't mean to write "real, abusive situation". I meant "really abusive situation", as in "very abusive situation". It appears I cannot correct it. I was tired.
Having a discussion with folks like you requires tiring surgical precision with rhetoric. It's interesting that given the two possible interpretations, you picked the most offensive. You should be careful with that - not everyone out there is oblivious and unsympathetic to the problems facing women and underlying currents of a male-dominated society.
I'm glad you consider yourself an ally to the cause of women in tech.
However, your claim of my looking for offense is incorrect. My comment was an aside, a point for reflection on the power of naming something as important or not.
Any internet communication requires surgical rhetoric. The English language has a myriad of ways to express things and it's not always clear what is meant when communications lack human interaction (e.g. tone of voice, body language).
It is tiring to translate thoughts, experiences, and feelings into a digestible and understandable format.
> It is tiring to translate thoughts, experiences, and feelings into a digestible and understandable format.
This is a very telling statement-- it's also somewhat ironic, given that one could easily interpret this as a passive aggressive jab at OP's "inability" to communicate. One could ALSO interpret this as a general sentiment about the importance of vocabulary. So either you did not communicate this point precisely enough, or you intentionally left it vague as some intelligent ploy to poke at the flaws in your own argument. I'll go with the latter cause it sounds more meta.
The actual issue is that it isn't about difficulty. It's actually impossible to translate thoughts in a predictable manner across racial, gender, and cultural lines. We are not machines, and so people interpret statements, and, in some cases, jokes, in the way that they are brought up to interpret them. In a victim-culture, jokes are usually interpreted as malicious devices. The problem here is that while some call for equality and understanding of other cultures/genders/races, this usually only applies to the cultures that are victimized. Equality is a two-way street, and understanding semantics is an important step to equality, because in order to respect, you must first understand. Just because culture/gender X makes a dongle joke, does not mean that culture/gender X meant the dongle joke as some insult to culture/gender Y, even though culture/gender Y might interpret it that way. We (all) have to put effort to understand things in the right contexts, so a dick joke between two guys (with no assumption that women are eavesdropping) is just that-- a dick joke between two guys-- it is not an assault on women (especially given the fact that it seems like it wasn't even meant to be heard by anybody else). Some leeway ought to be given to the interpretation of words, just as you should be reading the OP's text as it was intended, not simply as the words aligned on the page.
That said, I actually love how this very statement ties back to the original issue at hand so perfectly, even though it was some tangential argument about semantics, so thank you for pointing this out.
I can sympathize that creating a hostile environment can be damaging and should be addressed. However, she was listening to a private conversation. These weren't the speakers, they weren't addressing large crowds, they weren't even making jokes publicly online. They were two friends talking amongst themselves.
Which still wouldn't be acceptable, except they weren't actually saying anything offensive per se. Your charge is that they're creating an environment where women feel unwelcome, one in which they feel uncomfortable because it is implied that the audience is male (I'm assuming you agree with the article you linked). But the thing is, the entire audience was composed of males because the entire audience was limited to the one person each man was talking to. It's impossible to make the claim that they're alienating people by creating an implied homogeneous culture when they're speaking privately.
Think about a comparable situation. If a man is reading in a break room with two women talking to each other about how periods suck, are they alienating him? Are they creating an environment in which in which one has to be a biologically typical female under the age of 45 to feel accepted? Or are they just talking about issues which affect them and not worrying about who might be eavesdropping? It should be obvious that it is the latter. The case in which Adria is involved is no different. "Addressing" the situation as she did does nothing but create a polarized, vitriolic atmosphere and makes people less likely to get involved when there actually is real sexism present.
Who decides what's the real abusive situation? I suspect the victim. It's not possible for a third person to objectively know, it can only be guessed in which case some kind of "decision" is necessary. Sorry, but what is a bystander to do? You are upset because he decided something was abusive and acted. I guess you would be happier with inaction? I don't understand.
IMHO this is BS. I'm GLBT and I'm 100% cool with nice looking ladies on slides. People don't read me as heterosexual male (not even close), but just because I'm not one, doesn't mean that I can't have the same interests. I feel sort of invisible when people forward these arguments, because it really is actually possible for people other than men to like ladies. (and vice versa, with ladies being not the only persons to like men)
Admittedly, you don't want to actually show porn or something. That'd be unprofessional. But I don't think attraction to ladies (which is probably a majority interest in the predominantly male tech crowd) ought to be some sort of heavily taboo subject just to protect female feelings. Tech people also tend to like things like video games and comics, should we not mention those either? There are plenty of women who like those things, even if they're traditionally a "male" hobby.
This is one of the most misogynistic posts I have seen in a long time.
-Woman are delicate, and the mere hint of bawdy humor will cause them to faint dead away.
-Woman are weaklings, who need to be supported in their fears.
Both of these are BS. These are excuses people used in the 70s to keep women out of the workforce.
This whole incident will make life worse for everyone involved.
> I, a female geek, was an outcast too and participated in many of the activities you mention, yet I came out mature.
Perhaps you should try being less insufferable.
The reason why no one should ever give in to this women in tech nonsense is that because the complaints are mostly just a projection of the complainer's own social awkwardness -it is easier to blame other people, and to join causes that attribute your (social) difficulties to things other than yourself. If one complaint is resolved, they will just dream up another -because the content of the complaint is not important to them, it is the act of complaining that sustains them.
Can you please explain why you have declared me insufferable? Surely it couldn't be the simple act of sharing my view and expressing a differing option based on my own experiences with sexism and victim blaming.
This is classic derailing: "You Just Enjoy Being Offended"
Check out this blog, does a great job of explaining the frustrations of subtle sexism.
"You, person who told me to lighten up, saw one little thing. It didn't seem like a big deal, did it? One little line! One joke! One comment! But it's not just one thing to me: it's one of thousands that I've had to endure since I was old enough to be told that 'X is for boys!' It's probably not even the first thing I've had to deal with that day, unless you've gotten to me pretty early.
That's the main problem with subtle discrimination. It leaves those that it affects the most powerless against it, quietly discouraging them. If they speak up, they're treated to eye rolls at the least, and at the worst, are called oppressors themselves. We're accused of not wanting equal rights, but of wanting tyranny."
That's postfeminism, I think you mean? And mainly postfeminism isn't "sex-positive" so much as it is a reactionary backlash against 2nd wave feminism's tendency toward slutshaming any woman who didn't fall into line and march alongside her sisters (ALLEGEDLY).
Postfeminism is "sex-positive" in the sense that it's all about how awesome it is to be girly and how gross and narsty those annoying feminists are; girls should go wild! according to this kind of postfeminist attitude. If a woman wants to stay home and raise her kids, well, darn it, postfeminism says there's nothing wrong with that, and it's the dirty stupid "you can have it all" feminists who want to kill the American family! Or who want to shame the women who don't aspire to the things that 2nd wave feminism said women should aspire to. If a man makes a joke that degrades women, the postfeminist says "LAUGH AT IT!!! because it's FUNNY!! why are you so sensitive?!?!" The postfeminist is dtf and she's fun as hell...until you criticize her in some way that she thinks is trying to shame her for just being a woman. And then she's not so much fun.
3rd wave feminism isn't so well defined and I don't think that "wave" has quite crested yet. I see you linked to a wiki page on it, but I'd be surprised to see it offering some kind of cohesive definition. In lots of ways, postfeminism wants to be called 3rd wave feminism...but it lacks credibility since it mostly seems geared towards calling female activists bitches and telling them to stfu about gender-based oppression already.
OP is saying that you are sexually repressed because sex jokes make you uncomfortable. This is a good point, because dongle jokes are actually not "sexist", they are simply sexual. Men hold no exclusive territory over dick jokes, or sex jokes in general. Women can tell dick jokes too. They can also joke about vaginas (Sarah Silverman much?) and both genders can appreciate the humour EQUALLY (yay equality!). Those who don't find it funny are NOT victims of sexism-- they are victims of a shitty sense of humour.
Conferences are generally laid back environments. Of course sexist exclusionary shit that assumes conference goers are male is wrong, but making a totally non-sexist joke to your mate in a talk? Fuck that shit.
Conferences are generally professional environments, which means that some degree of strictures on behaviour is normal. Conferences that are trying to be welcoming to groups that historically have found them unwelcoming try to limit the things that make them unwelcoming. Things like 'Dongle jokes' have been identified as one of those things. The Pythonic way is 'explicit over implicit'. So, Pycon's code of conduct. Can you understand this?
Hi, I'm the guy who made a comment about big dongles. First of all I'd like to say I'm sorry. I really did not mean to offend anyone and I really do regret the comment and how it made Adria feel. She had every right to report me to staff, and I defend her position. However, there is another side to this story. While I did make a big dongle joke about a fictional piece hardware that identified as male, no sexual jokes were made about forking. My friends and I had decided forking someone's repo is a new form of flattery (the highest form being implementation) and we were excited about one of the presenters projects; a friend said "I would fork that guys repo" The sexual context was applied by Adria, and not us.
My second comment is this, Adria has an audience and is a successful person of the media. Just check out her web page linked in her twitter account, her hard work and social activism speaks for itself. With that great power and reach comes responsibility. As a result of the picture she took I was let go from my job today. Which sucks because I have 3 kids and I really liked that job.
She gave me no warning, she smiled while she snapped the pic and sealed my fate. Let this serve as a message to everyone, our actions and words, big or small, can have a serious impact.
I will be at pycon 2014, I will joke and socialize with everyone but I will also be mindful of my audience, accidental or otherwise.
Hopefully you are still reading the comments here as I'm just catching up on all of this and watching how it is continuing to unfold.
Please don't apologize.
As other women before me already have, I want to apologize for this incident; honestly I probably would have been giggling myself if I was in an earshot of you. With respect to Adria's past and her sensitivity to the triggers she refers to, a comment like this is not demeaning to women and her reaction has nothing to do with supporting the future of this industry and the women who partake in it. In fact I'd say just the opposite. Just a few weeks ago we had a similar conversation when Torvalds replied to a woman with the term circlejerk (in regards to the argument they were having) and a few people raised their pitchforks thinking it was offensive in the context of her gender. It has nothing to do with gender.
Taking the photo and posting it for her global audience was just too much. The appropriate course of action would have been to show the picture privately to staff and have them talk to the parties involved individually and maybe bring everyone together to talk about it after-the-fact. I can't even fathom losing my job over something that I know I have made jokes about in the past, jokes that may have a juvenile slant, but that I thought would be acceptable because I was in the company of people who could - if not appreciate them - at least understand what I meant by them, and especially understand that it wasn't sexual.
Some jokes are not okay in the presence of certain people or during certain times. This was not one of them, and again I'm so sorry for what you're dealing with because of it. Best wishes to you.
Totally with you there. I am a huge fan of Amanda Blum's post on the matter, she really got down to the nitty-gritty of it: don't be a dick, you're ruining it for everyone. I also had the privilege of meeting and speaking to Blum a few times at RailsGirls PDX (which she also helped put together) and she was an absolute pleasure; really cared about the even from beginning to end and set a fantastic mood for the day (and a half) with her enthusiasm. If she said this woman was hard to work with, I believe her.
Adria did a disservice to other women in IT. Also the whole "Joan of Arc" thing and "I'm fighting for the future of female developers" stuff were hilarious. I don't get how this benefits anybody. How can "I'd fork that guy's repo" be sexist? In which context? "I'd fork that guy/girl" can be, in a way (if you're Adria perhaps), termed sexist/misogynic/misoandric (yeah, lol) but IRL... Only "evangelists", PR and lawyers would do such a thing.
I'd said to my GF (yeah, she's a dev too) that I wanna fork her multiple times and I didn't get one slap or my face plastered over the internet... Behaving like a total enabler she laughed and ... She should have reported me, I'd let her know when she wakes up. Or better yet, post my pic on #sexist or something, because that's what sane people do.
Now being serious. Using offensive jokes is not appropriate. Using offensive jokes in my crowd is kind of expected. Using them outside my crowd. Big no no. I don't deem sex jokes fall in inappropriate. Sexist/racist/N-ist jokes however do. If someone got offended, I'll apologise. Promptly. Like a SANE PERSON. I don't plaster his/her face over the public 'net.
All this was a cold and calculated move that backfired (this time). It has surely done more harm than good. If any good at all. The state in the industry is now much better than it was 10-15 years ago and we should continue driving that forward. Only trust, cooperation and the direct approach in conflicts, not us-versus-them mentality, will drive that change.
I am totally with you on this. I would have chuckled along with you. I also would have made my own comments too. I worked in the male-dominated worlds of turbine enginrs for 5 years and trucking industry for 7. In those 12 years so many inappropriate things were heard and said but not one was ever directed at anyone specific. I was one to partake in makung those comments and also egged on my co*workers. It was fun and funny.
This woman has totally blown an innocent comment way out of proportion.
I am glad to see I'm not the only woman with this opinion.
Frankly, I think mr-hank should file criminal charges, under VAWA section 2261A on stalking, which states that an individual is guilty of stalking if, with intent to harass or intimidate another person, uses the mail, any interactive computer service or electronic communication service or electronic communication system of interstate commerce, or any other facility of interstate or foreign commerce to engage in a course of conduct that causes, attempts to cause, or would be reasonably expected to cause substantial emotional distress to that person.
I think it can be reasonably stated that public shaming is intended to cause emotional distress, and mr-hank suffered damages (job loss) as a result, affecting not just himself but the welfare of his family.
With the addition of the much-touted nondiscrimination clause, the law should apply equally to his situation as it would to a woman under similar circumstances.
Hi I am not from India but the US. I feel the need to pint out that your example of perspective would be ill advised in most parts of the us. Ill manners are ill manners. You would be better off to move than to confront. You see you do not know who you are dealing with. There could be consequences, painful consequences. The idea is to live and let live.
It really is unfortunate that Adria didn't just reach out to you. I think we can all agree with that. At this point, it's clear to most of us that we all just need to be a bit more human with each other when running around at tech events. It's about intentions, you didn't intend harm; alas, it seems she did (no doubt to a much lesser degree than what actually happened).
It's classy to apologize when you think you've upset someone. And if that's how you're going to sleep at night, apologize.
What's awful at this point is the amount of hatred going around in regards to this situation. Here we have a sane response to an immature situation. Sine then, there is an army of commenters attacking Adria with hate on your behalf (something I know isn't your fault). People are sending Adria pictures of chopped up bodies with threats that she's next. They're asking for her to be raped, or threatening to do it themselves. She's been called every word in the book, with the worst intentions ever.
Seems Adria got her feminist conversation, but not in the way she had intended. There are some really really horrible people out there in internet land.
^ Agree. I just wanted to also add that recently I was speaking with a friend of mine, he is in the process of hiring and he was saying that it's hard because he would like to bring a woman onto the team, but is weary because of past experiences of working with women like Adria. But I really don't feel like this situation is gender related, although it's things like this that make it hard for women to fit into a work environment that is male dominant. I happen to be in the military and have been in a few situations where I'm more or less ignored for safety's sake.
You're right on with this. It's hilarious to see all the posts replying to you and saying that you're an adria apologist. Not sure how anyone would conclude that from what you wrote. Thank you for being a reasonable and rational human being who doesn't publicly shame and harm the lives of people over something so small. Hypersensitivity at it's worst.
Its simple: When you are in public learn to think before you speak. Its really not that difficult. I have enough sense not just blurt out things that could offend others when I am in public so I don't have these problems.
People with this mindset have never been to a conference this size before or they're forgetting what the environment is like. You are going to come across opinions and jokes that may not be in your taste, and it is up to you to either choose to ignore them because you were not a part of that conversation, or to discretely alert someone to the presence of this humor because you think it is actually harmful to people and the event itself.
She took a comment that had nothing, nada to do with the sexualization of women and tried to spin it into some sort of anti-women/"This is what we're talking about!" ridiculousness (p.s. this isn't actually at all what we're talking about when we bring up inequality, which is why women like me are furious about this).
We know from her blog post (and her previous tweets about stuffing socks into pants to impress TSA agents and her playing Cards Against Humanity at the same event - where she held up "Eating all the cookies before the AIDS bake sale.") that she wasn't actually offended; she saw the guy was a sponsor and determined that she was going to use him and his total non-issue of a statement to humiliate him because that little girl on the screen was going to grow up so fragile that she couldn't possibly handle two guys in public making an audible joke. Less people congregate at a random public place than at this event, does that stop you from hearing filth there? Can you handle it? Are you going to make a mockery of them over your public and professional Twitter account with thousands of followers?
Worse, she'd already had a dialogue with the men in which she butted into their conversation to add to it just a few minutes prior. So here we have someone admitting they're eavesdropping into conversations, which in itself isn't a crime, but you can't just listen in on what people are saying when you're not a part of the conversation and pull out a penalty flag when you hear something that "offends" you. A flag so big that the dude got fired over a joke that less people overheard than people saw her tweets on stuffing pants and eating AIDs cookies.
Do you have a comprehensive list? Is it calibrated to what country or audience you are in, or do you just avoid saying anything that could offend anyone anywhere. I made a joke about corruption once that hit too close to home for the people I was with, if I would have thought harder about where I was I should have kept my mouth shut.
There's no comprehensive list, and it would be impossible to make one. Anything we do might potentially offend somebody, somewhere, and nobody can understand every little nuance of every culture and every individual's life experiences.
Like, what if you're wearing a green sweater, and somebody was once assaulted by a person wearing a green sweater and your sweater really upsets somebody? There's no way we possibly could have known.
It's really complicated sometimes.
Here's the thing though: it's not always complicated!
Sexual comments around women we don't know? Totally an easy one. We should avoid those comments. Some women don't care, some find them hilarious, but a significant portion of women really don't want to hear that kind of talk from men they don't know.
We don't have to be mind readers, or even particularly sensitive to understand this. (In fact, we don't even have to understand it. Just memorize it.)
Yes, my common sense tells what is appropriate and what isn't in public. You have to keep in mind that every single person has something that they are sensitive about and they usually have a legitimate reason for that. Thew problem is a lot of people don't have a filter between their brain and their mouth. They just say whatever is on their mind without thinking. And this is what can happen when you do that. I basically don't say anything in public that could be offensive to people in general but yes I also take the crowd i'm with into consideration as well, like with your situation.
And of course, before anyone says it.... Its not about being "PC" its about not being a douchebag.
Of course its being PC since this is exactly how PC is defined. You don't get to wish away the label simply because you don't like it, especially when you've just repeated the definition.
I can always tell when I'm talking to someone with a strong filter and it always makes me feel uncomfortable. They don't seem genuine, they don't seem honest, they don't seem real. I wonder how they are really like when relaxed with their filters down. What if they really are a douchebag? I've met plenty of people who filter heavily but are still basically sociopaths.
I've heard there is now corporate training on how to have a strong filter without letting other people know that you have one, by intentionally and strategically letting out noticeable but forgivable gaffes at certain points to make it appear as if you are genuine.
You can never make a joke that isn't offensive to at least one person somewhere one way or another, unless you give up joking altogether. You said it yourself "every single person has something that they are sensitive about". It could be as legitimately rightful as sexist jokes.. or as unrightful as joking about anything else entirely, maybe my mother was run over by a bus driver.. does that mean that you cannot joke about bus drivers next to me?.. Well actually yes, but only "if" you knew of my particular situation and in this case he did not.
The general rules of decency dictate that you steer away from the generally offensive jokes in your respective crowd and the joke he made was not such, it was if anything something that fits that crowd perfectly.
I for one had no idea what it was supposed to mean outside the tech lingo but unlike her I was not in a PyCon conference.
Thank you for being a voice of reason here. I think AR went too far by posting a pic and hunting people down, but her objection has merit. When you're at a conference in an official capacity, don't general workplace rules apply? And don't most workplace sexual harassment rules include something about not using sexual language and not making the workplace uncomfortable for others? Richards could've said something to the men directly, or to staff at the conference. It didn't have to get so out of hand, and two people didn't have to lose their jobs.
You must work at a very sedate, serious, mature workplace.
Where I work, every time someone says "fsck" or "fork" or "Poller" (it's an elderly in-house system) someone snickers. Usually a woman.
The rest of us have a little fun at work, there's the occasional double entendre, and the work gets done.
Once I was in a meeting during a very high frustration time in a project and as we went around giving status everyone said "fuck" at some point. Including the very genteel female BA who said "I might as well too" right before she dropped her f-bomb. It was a good laugh and a good stress relief.
AR unquestionably went too far - she over-reacted, she broadcast what she should have uni-cast, and she appeared to have questionable motivations.
Right, I was confused why he thought I would be offended by that when my point was that the joke was a non-issue. That sketch is fantastic and isn't new to me. What I find so silly about this whole thing - which is exactly what the skit helps imply - is that you can hardly even say the word dongle without laughing; you don't even need to know what it really is to see the low-hanging humor in it (no pun intended). It's just one of those words. She'd have an entire magazine spread if she went to some of the gaming-related events I've been to.
We were all in 5th grade once, I think a conference for adults can handle that same behavior.
Although I commented on the wrong part of the thread, my point was that if we are able to accept a sketch on tv mentioning a dongle in good humour, why is it a sackable offence within earshot of someone?
Granted it's toilet humour but who doesn't like that every now and again. Being a programmer, I'd love to have more women in my industry and indeed within my workplace. The problem has been exacerbated by Adria and her knee-jerk reaction to something that should have just been a quick snigger between the two involved and then move on.
If I felt I had to tip-toe around any female colleague for fear of being fired for something so innocuous, I think I would change career or work alone. I don't need that kind of attitude.
I accept every colleague as an equal and certainly I temper the things I say around some people but I never go out of my way to offend, it's simply not worth it or called for.
I guess I hope we all forget about this incident and try to move on and rebuild the damage this has caused. Bring on more women in tech.
"if we are able to accept a sketch on tv mentioning a
dongle in good humour, why is it a sackable offence
within earshot of someone?"
I don't have an opinion on whether or not it should be sackable/firable, but there's a big difference between something on television and something in real life.
Would you really see no difference between your mother hearing a penis joke on television and a stranger telling her one on a train?
If you hear a joke you don't like on television, you change the channel and maybe don't watch that show again. Somebody's making sexualized conversation you don't want to hear in public, it's not always fair/convenient/possible for you to leave. In the case of the PyCon thing, perhaps Adria could have handled it better, but why should she have to give up her seat and leave the presentation (or even go to a worse seat) because she doesn't want to hear the guys behind her making sexual jokes?
Thanks for speaking up, contributing your viewpoint on HN and not attacking me.
I'm sorry to hear your employer deciding to not to work with you on this and I hope they reconsider, bring you back on and dealing with it constructively.
For context, I'm a developer evangelist.
That means I'm an advocate for developers, male and female. While I hear abou demanding bosses with impossible deadlines for product launches, I also hear about the experiences of women working at startups.
In both cases I offer suggestions, ideas and mentoring to help the developers become problems solvers. Sometimes the answer is our API or not answering email after 7pm while other times it about being assertive and shedding impostor syndrome.
The forking joke set the stage for the dongle joke.
Yes, this time I decided I didn't want to argue my perspective. I decided instead to accept it bothered me and took action based on the PyCon Code of Conduct. It sounds like if I'd said something about the forking you would have denied it having a sexual association. Not sure if I smiled but I'm also unsure what facial expression you would have expected.
The problem I see here is that you snapped a picture and posted it in public - being prosecutor, judge, jury and executor in one person. That's not how things should work out. There's two sides of the story and I think it would have been better if a neutral party heard both sides instead of public summary execution. The guys conduct may not have been appropriate, but IMHO yours was not as well. Had you done all of this without posting the picture and let the organizers resolve this in a professional manner I'd be totally on your side, but the way things played out I'm not.
Sorry but the company were judge, jury and executor, not her.
If you report a crime to the police and as a result the person gets sent to prison did you send them to prison? Of course not.
She reported something that happened (which the person in question doesn't deny) - that's a reasonable thing to do.
The neutral party you ask for should then be the employer who can listen to both sides of the story and work out the appropriate way forward. If they felt there was damage to their reputation it feels a public apology from both the individual and the company, plus possibly some sort of corrective training seems more than enough.
Instead, based on what I've read the employer has over reacted and that balance didn't happen, but you can't blame that on the person reporting the event.
Yes it's utterly shitty that he lost his job over this and it really shouldn't have happened but it's not fair to lay it at her door in this way.
No, if I witness a scene on the road, take a picture and post it online, then I'm judge, jury and executor. I might be right or might be wrong in my assertion that a crime has happened - but that's not for me to decide. If due to me posting said picture somebody looses his job or gets into any kind of trouble with a lynch mob, that's the consequence of my actions. And if I'm wrong, or overreacted in the course of me prosecuting a perceived crime, then I'm at fault (and potentially liable).
Now, if I take said picture and hand it to the police, they investigate, then I've done the right thing: The justice system gets to work and the decision about the appropriate punishment is made by a neutral party in due process. This is how we handle things since we've become a civilized society.
Don't get me wrong: The OP may be right and the guys made inappropriate jokes - but she's at least partially wrong as well. She didn't give them any chance to hear their side, maybe clear up any misunderstanding - instead she called for the lynch mob. That's the point I'm criticizing. The way I see it is that she's to blame as well. It's a pity since she's right in what she wanted to achieve, but her means didn't justify that goal.
So once the information is public the person who publishes it responsible for any and all consequences resulting (even if what he or she posts is factual)?
I agree that it wasn't the best way to handle it (at least publishing the photo wasn't, I'm fine with the rest) but that's different to being held responsible for all actions that follow.
The person in question has responsibility for what they did, the company has responsibility for what they did. There are many points during this whole process where the chain can be broken, not just one.
The person who publishes does not bear all blame - every actor gets his own share for his own decisions. However, the contrary is not true either - the fact that other actors made their own decisions does not absolve the person who publishes from all responsibility. So yes, for her own actions, for publishing the picture, she shares the blame. She chose the nuclear option and decided to judge.
I accept that she has to take her share of the blame doesn't make her judge, jury and executioner.
The company had plenty of other options about how they handled it and firing was in no way a foregone conclusion.
As an aside it is another reminder that we now live in an age where we may all be held to account for things that would otherwise have passed largely unnoticed. There needs to be adjustment on all sides - we all need to start acting in ways we'd be happy to be publicised, we all need to be aware that publicising others behaviour might have wider consequences than we'd initially anticipate, and we all also need to be a little more balanced in our judgement when it comes to behaviour which might be closer to an isolated incident than representative of something more.
in uk, yes... consider recent case of ex politician being wrongly accused of being paedophile by influential twitter users... they are now getting sued. even those that merely retweeted... there is no defensce to claim it was public knowledge already. it was untrue and damaging
Sorry but the company were judge, jury and executor, not her.
What would you do in this day if you were a company? No one wants to be dealing with a potential major sexual harassment case ever.
This country is based on such limited knowledge of how to communicate with one another, it is upsetting. This post upsets me because she just sounds like a typical American person in that she used others to attack someone, rather than talking to him. Judging by his response, he was not some crazy college kid with aggression problems that would have physically attacked her.
The tech community is not perfect, but I think people in tech are far more open to talking through things than any other spots. SF especially. Maybe these people are not from the bay area,.. I don't know.
This doesn't feel like it's a major sexual harassment case in the making but if it is then the damage has already been done and sacking someone can't remove that liability.
I hope I'd also look at the cost and difficulty of recruiting decent developers, the opportunity to possibly salvage the PR situation (which I think a constructive approach might get us, unlike sacking someone) and the fact that there seems to be genuine remorse and that the individual in question seems like a reasonable guy who did an unreasonable thing rather than some arsehole.
Thing is, due to (mostly righteous) backlash, companies are running shit-scared. If you associate a company with something that could even be remotely construed as sexist (despite in this instance it not being), they will do everything in their power to distance themselves from it.
The police here would be the pycon would acted responsibly and dealt with the issue accordingly.
But the report was not towards the police but towards a potential mob of vigilantes, namely the internet at large and an opinionated group of followers which would probably be outraged by the way the report was crafted.
It would be closer to printing hundreds of tracts and poster and posting them in the neighborhood and distributing them to concerned people hoping someone from law enforcement would see them than reporting to the police.
The employer is all but neutral in this issue, the neutral party is obviously the PyCon staff and they did their part as expected from reasonable and sound responsible people, respecting the privacy of everybody involved.
I wonder how you can not see how her actions lead to his demise.
> Thanks for speaking up, contributing your viewpoint on HN and not attacking me.
No but I will be speaking up and attacking you.
> bring you back on and dealing with it constructively.
And by constructively you mean maybe they'll post his picture on the billboard and call him publicly an "ass clown".
So yeah, how about them insults? Is PyCon a conference where taking face shots of attendees and posting them for the whole world to see then calling them ass clown?
> to not to work with you on this and
Not to work with him on what. What kind of double speak is that? "Don't use toilet humor when talking to your co-workers at a conference". Yes, I hope his employer 'works' hard with him on that.
> I also hear about the experiences of women working at startups.
Do you hear about backstabbing, public humiliations and taking advantage situations for personal profit at the expense of other's lives?
> Sometimes the answer is our API or not answering email after 7pm while other times it about being assertive and shedding impostor syndrome.
Sometimes the answer is public flogging in a middle of the street.
> The forking joke set the stage for the dongle joke.
You are a developer's evangelist and you don't know what "forking" a repo is. You might consider filing a lawsuit against Github and Linus Torvalds because that's all they do. One invented it then other place is where forking happens all day every day.
> It sounds like if I'd said something about the forking you would have denied it having a sexual association.
And that is because ... it doesn't. Your title has 'developer' in it, you should at least find out what forking really means.
All I'll say is this, and really it's what it boils down to. Regardless of if you think she was in the right or the wrong, she is a developer evangelist. That means she goes around and tries to get companies to pick up her product. After all this, I wouldn't get near her with a 40 foot pole. God forbid I slip and say something that get's misconstrued and I or my company gets dragged through the mud. With that being said, I feel like she's lost the ability to do her job. If she's an evangelist and the people she's supposed to be evangelizing don't want to be around her, where does that leave her or Sendgrid?
Definitely not. She's clearly in the abuser position and her reaction was disproportionate and inconsiderate, to the like of baseless sexual harassment lawsuits we've all heard about.
I'd even go an extra step and say IMHO what she did was misplaced sexism as she misinterpreted and misrepresented the situation and would probably not have done anything if women were making the same dongle joke.
I find this idea that, just because you are in a public place, you cannot act privately, rather hilarious. Granted, it would be stupid to say something secret you wouldn't want broadcast to the world, in the middle of a crowd, while someone is speaking...but is it really unreasonable to expect to be left alone when all you want to do, is to turn your head to your coworker, and say some sort of wisecrack?
I have been to many conferences, and have, many times, told something to someone that I thought might have been funny. While I don't think I have ever said something that I would think was harmful I nonetheless have said things that I would be embarrassed of they went "public", because I simply would not have wanted to be the focus of the attention.
I have read Adrian's blogpost, and she doesn't give enough detail for me to know just what it was about the comments that was offensive. Whether they were or not, I don't think it's unreasonable to expect that the two developers were expecting their conversation to be quasi-private.
Adria, its the photo that's the problem. Using to identify the people in question is OK. Posting it to the internet is wrong.
Unlike your explanation states you did not let the staff resolve it. You took matters into your own hands, and served up justice vigilante style. Just as someone has to watch their mouth, you also have responsibilities. I am sure you are sorry mr-hank lost his job. But just like his dumb ass comments posting photos cannot be undone.
Yea I am on accord with you on this. This is a case where she tried to make things better, but her slight immaturity made someone lose their job, and now kind of makes her look worse. cringe why do the people who think they are going to help us (women) the most, make us look the worst at times. I just feel both parties should have communicated to each other. She didn't need to make this about social media and a fight for women on this planet. This is nuts--- everyone thinks that they are speakers for "all of us". I just wish Americans left their high horse standings and realized this is not okay.
Adria, right in line with this comment, your blog post is out of control. You took it personally by taking things you heard earlier in the day and unleashed it on one person. You have to own up and address that your behavior was immature and irresponsible as a person. You should have turned around and told them you could hear and were offended. If there was not proper apology then, contact security. IN NO WAY was it appropriate to post a picture of them in their company's shirts and take something out of context, let alone make a claim that it was a "feminist action" or that you were acting as the "Joan of Arc of the digital age."
You want to do something that fits with your supposed goal set that you keep talking about. Own up to your behavior and take a stand for what is actually right. His company did nothing to defend him for fear of looking bad. At the same time that company and other companies allow behavior that you are so opposed to happen in offices all over the bay.
If you want to be a leader than take an honest evaluation of what beliefs are for the better whole and what you are taking personally and reacting to. I am embarrassed that you are representing us as a female activist because you are actually making it HARDER to gain equality in the space.
I agree with you 100%. I'm embarrassed that she's a self proclaimed representative of 'women in tech'.
If she really wanted to make a point she could have turned around and told the guy that what he said was not OK. Not only would it would have driven the point across that some people are more sensitive than others, but it would be treating the guy like a fellow human being.
"Because of my experiences growing up, I have triggers. This means that I’m always scanning for danger; for situations that seem like something from the past that could hurt me. When I recognize something that matches, I can overreact and feel intense fear, anger or anxiety."
Which explains a lot. I am shocked to read about Adria's experiences as a child, and would urge everyone to go a little easier on her.
"and would urge everyone to go a little easier on her."
She is aware of her behavior and that she overreacts, and also has to take responsibility when she chooses to be a public figure. She makes her choices very clear, and her actions have very real repercussions, just as her childhood experiences had repercussions on her.
Heavy sigh. This is the crux of the matter, people. The NSPCC in the UK reports that 30% of girls (and I think you can therefore extend that to women) admit to having been subjected to sexualised assault. And that's admit. Who knows what the true figure is. As your female friends, or indeed, if you are female, have you yourself been assaulted? Now, imagine for a moment sitting in a conference, which is a known space where all kinds of offensive remarks and behaviour toward women occur, which absolutely puts women off going to conferences, or speaking at them. Then the guys next to you make jokes which are sexist, provocative... Potentially nasty... With absolutely no awareness or maturity. Nothing in them thinks 'Well maybe some of the women who are sitting around me might not just be offended by my sexist banter, but might actively be reminded of awful examples of trust abuse'. Of course not! Why would any guy think that? I mean come on, deal with it women, if you have issues! You can listen to us talking about women in an offensive way in public, surely? That's not an unconscious assertion of power, I mean come on! You're being paranoid!
30%.Just remember that.
By the way, me personally, I would have told them to stop being ass holes. However, many women would not. Many women would silently put up with that kind of horse-shit, as Tey do, daily. You really have to wake up, guys. Wake Up. It's not you, who are spending your lives looking over your shoulders. It really isn't. So. Whilst I do not agree it was the best of actions, I wholly defend the right of anyone to take it. And will therefore stand by them if they do.
> You really have to wake up, guys. Wake Up. It's not you, who are spending your lives looking over your shoulders. It really isn't. So. Whilst I do not agree it was the best of actions, I wholly defend the right of anyone to take it. And will therefore stand by them if they do.
I just want to highlight that you're supporting an exaggerated public shaming for people who were just exchanging words in a semi-private conversation. Not even particularly offensive words at that. Words that are and were clearly misconstrued.
And you defend this behaviour because many women suffer sexual abuse? Tell me, should preachers be forbidden from speaking in public because some people were caned by priests as children too? Should visible minorities be cautious around everyone because some people have been mugged by black men?
Joking around is immature, particularly sexist and racist humour, but it's not irresponsible. Suggesting that public witch-hunts are the way to solve these problems is just plain irresponsible.
A known "Developer Evangelist" with a large following that's been featured on mainstream media tweets a picture of someone in the technology field that has offended her, as opposed to simply confronting him, or just notifying the conference management. You were very aware that there would be repercussions. No offering of suggestions, ideas or mentoring to help solve a problem, simply call the masses and authorities to deal with it. I realize that my opinion doesn't matter to you, however I think that you were wrong in this instance.
No, you, because of your actions, made a person lose their job. In this environment that is a near death sentence. And with the seeming recent trend of over reacting conventions you knew full well what was going to happen. ( ex. violetblue's issue that I'm sure you are aware of) You acted irresponsibly, publicly, and should feel bad about yourself. You took advantage of a known community issue and leveraged it for your own gain. Please consider your actions in the future WHEN PEOPLE'S JOBS ARE ON THE LINE.
Death sentence? A little extreme, don't you think? Unemployment is pretty low in the tech sector. In the very worst case (no one ever hiring him again [which is unlikely]), he has the skills to create his own projects/business.
I also fail to see what she had to gain by this directly. Best case, she achieves community awareness and growth (which doesn't seem to be happening judging by the threads I've read) and worst case being vilified for speaking out (which is happening).
Jobs are always on the line. If you are at a conference, you are the face of your company and your actions reflect on that company.
Her website is called "butyouragirl" and you don't see what she has to gain by shaming men developers? She calls herself an "activist" but uses the fact that she is FEMALE to get ahead, as opposed to the quality of her work. Joan of Arc would be rolling in her grave.
He has been fired for cause. Best case is the victim (whose real name we should cease using in this affair) wins a ruinous lawsuit for long-term damage to his career, and Adria Richards is blackballed by the industry as vindictive and profoundly unsafe to have any kind of interaction with. But we know that nothing is going to happen.
Ah that's ok then. Totally ok to threaten the financial future of someone and their kids because they repeated an old bit of innuendo.
Yes, there are massive issues with women in the tech community, but colossally overreacting to something that isn't even wrong isn't going to help, it's just going to create an atmosphere of paranoia and distrust.
You didn't want to argue your perspective so you went full nuclear on people. And that full nuclear got someone fired, simply because you didn't want to have to talk to them. I can understand you may be sick and tired of arguing your perspective with other people, but I hope you've learned something as well here as I doubt that this was the outcome you were looking for.
Anyone who makes up a title like this is an ego-maniac, regardless of their sex. Good thing that the start-up you work for is crap and won't get acquired any time soon. Once you hit the job market, HR departments and hiring managers will remember your name and I doubt you will get many call-backs.
How many terrible jokes have been made along the lines of "I'd like to put my hard drive in her RAM slot".
Jokes like that were old and corny 20 years ago.
HINT: though it uses the terms "hard drive" and "RAM slot", as used, they don't actually refer to a hard drive or a RAM slot.
It's entirely reasonable to know what forking and dongles mean in the normal sense, yet to hear comments about "forking" and "big dongles" and understand they're not being used to refer to the usual things.
There's a massive difference between general innuendo and innuendo directed at someone. Yes the jokes are corny, but since when have corny jokes been grounds for complete humiliation and losing your job?
You can do just about anything you want, it's the way you do it that matters. You went over the line when you publicly posted their photo, plain and simple.
And your defense of possible misunderstanding is, to be blunt, far short of logical. You don't know that he didn't defend himself to the organizers and that they rejected his defense (unless I've missed something).
Adria, in all this please take one thing from me. Please do not use the term "trigger" for things that make you angry or uncomfortable or sad. Triggers are powerful psychological events, things that make people near-catatonic, unable to act, have physical and psychological repercussions. A rape survivor, a soldier or police officer or survivor of domestic abuse won't smile, snap a picture, and use their significant power to shame someone if "triggered". Quite in the contrary. Your use of the word sets the stage for people to presume that someone who has a trigger could have "discussed it out" as you could have done. And that is demeaning and dangerous to everyone who really has psychological triggers.
You're one childish person. You should behave like a grown up, and learn to speak up correctly. Here in the US there's something called "Freedom of Speech" and if someone at a public event cannot make a private joke that somehow overheard by some crazy, cookoo person, then you got it all wrong.
And you are deserved to be forked for being a nasty person. And no, your repos on Github (if you have any) are not even worth to be starred.
I want to believe that I'm misinterpreting your comment about "deserved to be forked", but in the context of this discussion it sounds like a truly crude, offensive and sexist thing to say. I am disgusted. There is no place for a comment with the implications here - in any context, at any time.
If I've misinterpreted, I apologize - but next time be more careful with how you choose your words.
I am constantly surprised at the bipolar nature of HN. It ranges from intelligent and considered posts about technology to unpleasant playground posts relating to politics and especially to sexual politics.
I am usually able to sigh, roll my eye and close the browser tab but your comment 'deserved to be forked' demanded a response.
Your post wasn't intelligent, wasn't constructive and offended me.
Far be from me to defend Adria Richards but "freedom of speech" means something different than what you think. The government cannot infringe on your right to express your opinion, etc. Also, the violent insinuation as no place on HN or anywhere.
Mr Hank, due to your privacy being violated in this crazy creepy manner I was able to find who you are. Good luck to you sir. There are a lot of men and women who are on your side.
One thing I will say is, that your former employer is crazy not to have your back. Is there no way they can change their mind? (I am not sure you would want your job back because they really let you down)
Actually, no, you are not. You are - by definition - a terrorist, applying unlawful use of force or violence against people with the intention of intimidating or coercing groups of people and societies for ideological or political reasons.
The fact that you do have supporters shows the sad state of affairs this world is in.
Wow, you give tech a bad name both by your massively offensive accusation, as well as your completely wrong use of the word "terrorist" thereby reducing its significance. The thing showing a sad state of affairs here is you.
What a hypocrite. You can joke dirty publicly, but when it comes to 2 friends making private jokes with one another, you become Joan of Arc, a heroine, an activist. Well "calculated" though, I have to say.
Adria, can you please do us all a huge favor and provide for us the exact wording of both the "dongle" and "forking" remarks that were made?
All we have so far are assertions that these remarks were sexual in nature, but not evidence. I'm not saying I'd be surprised if one, or both of them were (knowing all too well the way men sometimes are, at these conferences).
But really, it shouldn't be too hard for you to just tell us exactly what you heard, along with any supporting context that you feel would help us understand your position.
I think the basic problem here that you are a documented fraud. You claimed to be some kind of Joan of Arc "minus the visions." Honestly, it seems to be it is more like "plus greater delusions of grandeur." You seem to have jumped on this as a way to drive your popularity; you were just too short sighted to see the backlash, I suppose. Perhaps, you enjoy some of the backlash because it may allow you to pivot toward some other activist role. I just don't think you are, in any way, authentic about this incident or other incidents. My problem is there is a clear pattern and smugness about the way you project yourself. I don't think you speak for all women and I don't think women want you to speak for them. You would take any criticism as simple victim blaming and that is unfortunate because it can be difficult, rhetorically, to argue against. However, I think many people can see through this veneer. As well, it could be innocent but your blog URL is yet another a signal to me; I don't think you intend well for any of this. You are looking for any issue for which you can champion yourself as some sort of Betty Friedan; unfortunately, you are no Betty Friedan, Sandra Day O'Connor or any other great female leader.
Others are focusing on whether or not you can take a joke or if you should have discussed it with the people you publicly shamed instead. We know you weren't really offended, that wasn't the point. This was a prop for you. This is unfair to women that face will discrimination, prejudice, and so on that we should all denounce. This is just opportunism potentially gone awry.
I could applaud you for actually coming to HN and making a statement but what you wrote is just smug and serving.
Her taking a picture and posting it to Twitter (which is different from publishing) is not illegal. She didn't need a model release. The only time you need a model release is if you intend to sell the photograph of a person to be used for commercial purposes. You know, sell the picture to a company for the company to use it in an advertisement. At that time, a model release is required. No monetary gain was acquired in this situation, so why would a release be required?
Know Copyright and publishing laws when you comment... just sayin'
I doubt they would invite you or let you attend next year. If they do, they shall have to rent a bigger venue just to make room for you and the empty seats around you. Not joking. I wouldn't want to be near you, leave alone having a conversation. Not the hate, it's fear to be fired or maybe sued for sexual harassment.
After looking at Adria's vague explanation, you should show your employer her blogpost because "large dongle" is not sexual harassment. This seems more like a case of someone so deep in a cause that they have lost sight of what the core idea of the cause is. This is very overreaching and I feel this way after reading her blogpost, before I thought her complaint had merit but not now.
Not only that. Overreaction goes both ways. It swings like pendulum. It went one way, Adria's and this guy's employer's way. But I am afraid it went to far, and now on the way back it might damage them more than it damaged this guy.
What do I mean? His employer before evaluating the situation jumped the gun and fired guy with 3 kids to support. That is fucked up.
Adria's online presence will forever be marred by this. It seemed like a win first, and her intentions were perhaps good, but it turned out to be a bad decision. I think she will regret this when the dust settles.
Anyone know the name of the company, I couldn't read it on the badge, so that next time I see them a at conference I have a nice 'pleasant' talk with them?
Some from the tech community might be immature and like to make stupid jokes. What else they don't like is bullying and irrational and bureaucratic decisions. I have a feeling this will come back and bite them harder than they expected.
Sure they are to the same extent his employer is since her posse made sure they fired him.
She is a horrific bully who has destroyed an innocent person's career to advance her own personal publicity and branding. She's a bad person. I would never hire her or have anything to do with her or anyone who defends her insane, horrific and unethical actions. I also will have nothing to do with PyCon henceforth.
she did not destroy anyone's career; he made an off color comment at a tech conference, someone reported that he did so, and his employer made a decision to fire him because of how it reflected on their company. had he not said it, she'd have nothing to report; had his employer not agreed that it was inconsistent with the public image they wish to present, they would not have fired him.
If you're going to base your whole argument just on the actions of the companies involved, I think you'll run into a pickle when you incorporate the fact that she was just fired herself over her actions.
Back up your opinion with self-sufficient evidence and justification. It does not suffice to just point at what others have done.
Do you actually know what she was fired over? All I've seen in a statement that her employment was terminated.
For all I know the situation went like this:
SendGrid: We think you handled this situation badly, and since you were there as a SendGrid employee, that reflects badly on the company. We'd like you to make a public apology about they way in which you dealt with it.
SG: We're not asking
Adria: But I'm not doing it
SG: Then we don't think you can continue working here.
Which is to say, she may have been terminated because of how she handled the situation within SendGrid, rather than what she did at the Con. Or maybe not. I don't think we've been given enough information to know & nor are we ever likely to unless Adria posts it.
Actually, not quite factually true. She did not "report" it. She used her significant media presence to shame someone with vague allusions. The right thing to do would have been for his company to get his side of the story (which we see above) and make a public statement, not to fire him over pitchforks and torches at the gates.
Yes they are. The same way the guys were representing their company, she was representing SendGrid at the conference. You can't be an "Evangelist" at a tech conference and pretend your actions don't represent your company as well.
Seriously? You're going to let the fact that he called someone a moron overshadow the fact that he points out her blatant hypocrisy over this entire thing?
It's apparently alright for women to make sexual references in a public setting (e.g. Twitter), but when men do it amongst themselves in a crowd it's just wrong?
Did she ever once say "Hey guys, can you keep it down?" or how about "Your jokes are making me un-comfortable, please stop."? Nope, instead she tries to get people to take out their pitchforks and torches. This is what she does.
Yes. He escalated in the same manner that she did. He made a personal attack.
The ends do not justify the means... especially when that one sentence was completely unnecessary. He could easily have taken a more civil tone... maybe said "Your pandering to her makes me feel uncomfortable"... the same way that you are suggesting that she approach the topic.
Dude, you have nothing to apologize for. I understand why you feel like you do, I would to, but you don't. She took the liberty to be offended over something not directed at her, at your expense. By doing so she caused great damage, not only screwing you over greatly but also doing a huge disservice to the struggle for equality within the tech industry. I realize women have to put up with a lot of crap. I'm often flabbergasted by the kind of harassing childish behaviour women witness to at workplaces, conferences and user groups. The kind of stuff you can't believe adults can resort to. This is something different completely.
I hope you find a new job soon. Don't let this unexpected bump keep you down.
Luckily she got fired today! +1 SendGrid, -1000 PlayHaven! I am a big fan of SmartGrid now that they got rid of her. I don't know who would hire Adria as "Evangelist" now, since she is probably the most hated person among developers now! I also hope that all the best developers stay 1,000 miles away from PlayHaven!
While everyone is riled up about Adria Richards getting offended and publicly shaming the person who made a joke about big dongles, you should keep in mind that she did not fire anyone. PlayHaven did.
PlayHaven could have decided to be the responsible party and handle the incident constructively, but they did not want to do that. Even Adria, who still appears to think that the public shaming was a good thing to do, also thinks that PlayHaven should have not fired the person.
So please, if you think firing mr-hank was unreasonable, please let PlayHaven know that, and also how this might affect your image of PlayHaven.
Which, if we are taking responsibility for "what we say and do," then the focus really is back on Adria because she decided to make a big deal out of nothing.
Sure, PlayHaven fired this dude. But guess what? Their employee was being marked as sexist all over Twitter? To them, they might not have had a choice.
But Adria, she had a choice. She could have kept her mouth shut like 99% of everyone else who probably also heard the remarks, but instead she decided to post to twitter to whore out her name more, and then perfectly finds herself in the spot light leaving "logical" people to blame PlayHaven for what happened.
Nope, Adria is out of line, hypocritical at best, and now men won't trust women around them in the tech industry. Two steps back for everyone. Bravo.
You're right. The company should have practiced a little rationality instead of instantly reacting. But she should be held responsible above all because she took offense to a joke instead of taking it to superiors or confronting the guy, she posted it for all to see and read. Her actions did lead to his firing regardless of the company's questionable decision. You don't publicly humiliate someone for something so small. If he had been sexist or made a sexist joke to her or to someone else around then I would understand the company taking action, but I still wouldn't condone the public humiliation unless it was very egregious.
and the dude acknowledged what he said was inappropriate, i just think the company may have been quick to fire, imho. if this was big corporation, they would have a session with HR for sensitivity training and put the dude on probationary terms and then everyone would go out for happy hour.
sad, sad adria. shes on a crusade to delete everyones opinion that outs her as a hypocrite. shes deleted all the comments on her facebook, all the negative comments on her blog, wherever she can shes deleting it. all of this couldve been avoided if she could learn to act like an adult, and apologize. i HOPE she's really reflecting on all of this and will change her ways. i doubt it though..
Adria thinks she won something here, she doesn't give a damn she destroyed someone's career over a simple sexual pun in a private conversation that she wasn't apart of nor was it directed towards her.
I wish you luck in finding a new job where the company will actually try to defend their employee against such sensationalist nonsense masked as equality.
I feel so sad about this. I am not liking the path of sexual harassment cases being so quick to be made in the USA. This is ridiculous that you were FIRED over this situation! As a female, I am upset at the way everyone can be such babies in this country.
Even sadder that your employer doesn't see things any other way. In fact, you should be happy that you are not employed by people who easily fall to emotional terrorism. Might have been a great coding job but it's better to work with people who think like you and not just code like you.
Actually, to many people harassment isn't a serious thing. It's just a "casual" snide comment about being cute or looking hot. Many men don't realize they're making women feel uncomfortable in geek circles.
Yes well i don't really like it how some women seem to think its their right to feel uncomfortable at the drop of a hat, ruins it for the rest of us. Anyone can feel uncomfortable about anything for any reason. they should toughen up and say something when they are, it 'll make life easier for themselves and other women like me who have to deal with the stereotype created by it. I am not a delicate flower that must be protected from all the things.
Don't be apologetic. It's people like Adria that fucks everything up for the rest of us. Who cares you made some tech-related joke, hell i give you a thumbs up for the dongle one. Adria shouldnt be calling herself a tech evangelist, but a feminist zealot hypocrit.
If I would be Mr Hank I would go and sue Adria as she took a photo of him and distributed it without his consent. This is a serious privacy issue.
I would like to read her post after she gets fired in a similar way because of a photo. I'm sure she would feel the pain.
> In the United States [..] consent is not as a rule required to photograph people in public places and publish those photos. Hence, unless there are specific local laws to the contrary, overriding legal concerns (e.g., defamation) or moral concerns (e.g., picture unfairly obtained) [..]
Try getting away from Wiki and read your local laws. PyCon happend in California, which is so ubersensitive about privacy that even call centers and debt collectors have to inform you and recieve consent to record your conversations.
Having been a vidographer and photographer for bands in and around California, it's a pain in the ass all the legal forms and releases you need to obtain in order to publish the likeness of someone. There's a reason "extras" are paid in California.
First, for taking his photo without consent, then turning around and using it in an official disciplinary capacity - totally against the law. Whatever his wages were, she may be liable for paying him out of her pocket as a result.
Second, she even admitted here in this thread - she took something as being sexual that totally wasnt - so she's made up her mind that this was offensive and inappropriate. Shame on her, and I do truly hope that she joins the ranks of unemployed soon for her actions (turnabout is fair play after all, arent we trying for equality?)
Lastly, she admits in her blog post that they were talking amongst themselves and she overheard something and decided arbitrarily and without invitation to join the conversation. Having done so, it's also your responsibility, not the trade show organizers, to attempt to resolve the situation which she clearly refused to and even refuses to acknowledge - she should have asked them to knock it off.
Instead, she chose to rally the troops instead of talking with authorities directly and skip the step of asking them to knock it off - it's only harassing if they persist.
members of the public have a very limited scope of privacy rights when they are in public places. Basically anyone can be photographed without their consent except when they have secluded themselves in places where they have a reasonable expectation of privacy such as dressing rooms, rest-rooms, medical facilities and inside their homes
That's about the USA, which is where they were, but I'd be hard pushed to see a public conference as a place with a reasonable expectation of privacy even in a country with no law about photographic privacy.
You did nothing wrong and shouldn't apologize to an absurdly psychopathic feminist "developer evangelist" (what the f* is that?). You made a mildly off color comment then she set out to ruin you. She thinks she's a hero for creating an unemployed family of five. She's genuinely insane and genuinely evil, and i'm guessing if you polled average Americans 90% of them would agree with the sentiment (including a huge majority of women).
California Legal Code 96(k) states that: The Labor Commissioner and his or her deputies and
representatives authorized by him or her in writing shall, upon the
filing of a claim therefor by an employee, or an employee
representative authorized in writing by an employee, with the Labor
Commissioner, take assignments of:
(k) Claims for loss of wages as the result of demotion,
suspension, or discharge from employment for lawful conduct occurring
during nonworking hours away from the employer's premises.
You're citing a procedural detail that I don't think really supports the claim that his termination was unlawful.
All that section says is that if the guy files a claim with the labor commissioner for wrongful discharge, then the commissioner can "take assignment" of his claim, meaning they can sue the company in his name. It doesn't really say anything about whether his firing was OK or not.
I thought that posting a photo without someone's consent is illegal (at least in EU not sure how it is in USA), but I'm not a lawyer.
I always thought that was the case when Google removed faces from StreetView.
i think that you HAVE TO go to your job and explain your situation, This was not a case of harrassment Adria, i dont know if you intended for this man to get fired. you need to make this right and get this mans job back. Because if you did, spiritually, your in so much trouble, and you wont be able to keep a job your self and become an outcast.
I think it's worth noting that Alex's name badge was clearly displayed and he was prominently framed in the photo. I believe the image and caption published by Ms. Richards implies his involvement. Possibly others in the photo as well.
Thank you for the offer but I respectfully decline. I feel as though this situation has already received far more attention than it should have. Right now I'm focused on finding a new start-up to pour my heart into and taking care of my family.
It probably wouldn't be a big deal in a more equitable society, but an innocent remark can easily be taken the wrong way when it comes after the chain of sexism women deal with in any given day.
Someone wrote an article (that I can't find) about how she felt bad about all those times she overreacted to an innocent remark, and how it was probably counterproductive. It's hard to filter the harmless dongle jokes from the sheer volume of real sexism that surrounds us.
Meeting her halfway with empathy and communication was the right thing to do.
"an innocent remark can easily be taken the wrong way when it comes after the chain of sexism women deal with in any given day."
...what? How much effort do you put in to finding everything sexist?
This ladybug mounting another ladybug outside my window? Sexually oppressive. The female ladybug should be capable of choosing which position is preferable for her. This pencil in my hand? It's long. Hence a phallic object. Hence sexually intimidating. I am forced to involuntarily hold penises as I write on paper. This mouse under my palm is being raped as it has no matter of choice by which I guide it and its wheel (symbolic of the empowering clitoris, which I voluntarily scroll with) to accomplish my task. It has no say in when I click it or how I click it. Hence I am depriving it of free choice. Hence I am raping it.
In this case it actually does. There's absolutely no need to change strawman to strawpeople, other than the necessary implied injustice that you feel for the fact that the word contains 'man', and therefore must somehow be corrected to contain both sexes. It's a silly changing of nomenclature for no other purpose than to generate a feeling of self congratulatory accomplishment over a wrong that doesn't actually exist, much like the severity of the injustice that you feel is placed upon women in society every day.
Using it because it sounds better can sometimes run contrary with the word and its meaning. In this case being confused with a pretty bitchin' New Zealand band. But let's be honest here, with the sprinkling of select phrases in other posts, we both know exactly what you meant and why you used it.
No, apparently you can't police your own language. But your act of "correcting" strawman to "strawperson" IS an act of "language policing" -- you're policing the language of the person who used "strawman".
And it was you yourself who said that language policing proves one wrong.
Sure, you do indeed have the right to prove yourself wrong.
what the employers should do is poll their company employees and customers and target audiences/industry and let the population decide both the guy that got fired and Adria's fate.
I bet that we'd find an overwhelming support for the guy RETAINING his job, and Adria REMAINING fired.
The problem with this case is one woman, with a huge social following and thus a LOUD COMMUNICATOR in the social media sense had a disproportionate affect on people around her.
It's always those who yell loudest who seem to get disproportionate attention and time.
The best punishment for someone like her is to be shunned and ignored, thus taking away her ability to abuse the power she wields.
As another father of 3 children I am EXTREMELY OFFENDED by her reaction and the impact it has had on the guy who happened to be unlucky enough to be sitting behind her.
His wife, and all 3 of his children, not to mention himself will be put through an incredible amount of stress to their marriage and family due to the loss of his job, and that is simply UNACCEPTABLE just because she couldn't keep out of their business and do what every other mature person would do, ignore them.