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.
I just got done writing my blog post you can read here: http://butyoureagirl.com/14015/forking-and-dongle-jokes-dont...
See you next year.
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.
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.
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 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.
And if it's different than the one stated so far, why?
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.
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.
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.
And this after you make "sock down your pants" jokes on Twitter. The irony is delicious.
I hope the OP sues you for reproducing his likeness without his permission. PyCon is, after all, a private gathering.
Nope, I never said it.
Nope, she misheard me.
Fuck you, pay me.
Can you say sexual harassment lawsuit?
LOL. This woman is bad news.
She clearly broke the PyCon rules with her public shaming as well. I hope they don't invite her back.
This is exactly the type of attitude that perpetuates the idea that a woman should not say or do anything if uncomfortable.
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.
If someone is making you uncomfortable, you say something. You don't go nuclear just because someone else, somewhere else called you a whore.
Option 1 - Hire a guy
Option 2 - Hire a woman, and out of nowhere she'll cause me trouble with some random harassment charge.
Harassment is a SERIOUS offense. If everything becomes harassment then it stops being serious and it becomes a reason to not hire women.
How many men have caused a stir on a conference over sexism?
EVERY single woman so far behaved correctly, in every single conference?
Or is it the fact that when women misbehave men laugh it off (cause it's cool, right? She made a pass at me, right? right?) and women get on a stupid crusade over ANYTHING and EVERYTHING???
She OVERHEARD them talking. Completely different matter.
I, for one, am offended when people eavesdrop me.
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.
You've never wished the people behind you in a movie theater would hush up?
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.
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.
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.
I actually read more of Adria's site and I read
"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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Since Sendgrid continues to employee you, I'd encourage any developers using Sendgrid to switch to an alternative like Postmark or Mailgun. Let Sendgrid know why you are switching.
For the record, I agree with you that those jokes were inappropriate, but what you did was orders of magnitude more inappropriate and unprofessional.
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.
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.
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.
adriarichards 473 days ago
We all should realize it's Twitter, home of public flame wars.
It seems she had a pretty good understanding of what she did, and from this we can assume she acted with intent.
A "trigger" is something which leaves the sufferer (and it is suffering) with absolutely NO choice in how we react.
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).
Take it outside.
You're not funny, and I can't hear the talk.
I'm going to call the conference police if you don't quiet yourselves.
Or something to that effect? If somebody persists after you ask them to quit, fine, blast away.
It's actually a serious offense and even a crime in other parts of the world, the kind that can send you in jail for quite some time, and on many websites and communities this could get you a ban.
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.
This guy has all rights to feel angry about what she did, but this is not a welcome comment and he should probably be reported to the law enforcement authorities.
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.
if you're serious about that, promote this petition as hard as you did the damaging photo:
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.
Terrorists don't all wear beards and have TNT strapped around their waists while piloting hijacked planes, you know?
I think you've gone too far to apologise now, but you should try and think hard about whether you were right at all to do this.
What actually was the 'forking joke'? Because he seems to claim there wasn't one, but you think there was. He's made a claim about what he said, do you remember what it was?
Enjoy your notoriety.
There's nothing here that merits censorship or violates the rules. On the contrary, if the article itself is worthy of inclusion on HN then the interaction between Hank and Adria certainly is.
Weeell, except you didn't. Or did you miss the part about how PyCon doesn't condone public shaming?
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.
because there was no "forking" joke. There was I'd fork that guy's repo. If you don't know what forking and repo means, well to put it bluntly you're out of place @ a dev conf.
I fail to see how either of which is sexist, although if strained may be sexual. And also Adria made the much more lewd big dongle joke herself on Twitter a while back...
It's all in comments here
If you think that, you're reading way too much into my question.
Maybe you should work on that.
This is code for professional bullshitter. We (the real developers) don't need any "evangelizing." Our work speaks for itself.
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.