Considered buying it. But "fork my dongle" isn't, technically, a thing.
So I'd feel kinda like a poser wearing it -- like "look, I'm a l33t haxor!" who got it wrong. Or like ones of those Chinese tattoos that doesn't actually mean anything in Chinese. Or like one of those action movies with bogus hacking scenes ("enhance!"). Or like someone wearing an Iron Maiden shirt from Urban Outfitters who's never actually heard the band.
There's a certain type of guy who will use anything about a woman that appears vaguely sexual to a) assume she's "up for grabs" and hit on her/make inappropriate remarks since they feel she's given permission and b) call the same woman a slut and similarly-toned remarks if she tells them that, no, she's not really appreciative of being treated like a sex vending machine.
I mean, literally the point of The Office is that Michael Scott is a racist, sexist bigot. And when you ironically emulate him, the result is that you kind of come off that way yourself. It's not especially pointed irony, either.
I said nothing racist here, just inappropriately sexualized (as the TWSS joke is intended to do).
Just trying to bring a little levity and lulz to a world of seriousness.
Yes, very! But do you really want to emulate a guy whose whole shtick is being wrong and unlikable every time he does anything?
I mean, literally the point of The Office is that Michael Scott is a racist, sexist bigot. And when you ironically emulate him, the result is that you kind of come off that way yourself. It's not especially pointed irony, either.
In addition to the points made by unalone, I'll just add that oftentimes rape apologists will blame the victim with phrases like "Look at her outfit, she was asking for it" type of reasoning. It makes me really self-conscious of what I wear, even though I know it shouldn't matter.
A woman walking around with a metaphoric "fuck my vagina" shirt is asking to be hit on and told dirty jokes. It would be like a straight man going into a gay bar with a shirt that says "My backdoor is open".
Sure, other people may be comfortable wearing those clothing. I'm just saying that I, personally, would not feel comfortable doing so. Unfortunately, the "did you see what she was wearing? she was asking for it!" line of thinking still exists with some people :/
So, to be clear, unlike submitted link's teespring payment arrangements (100% of proceeds will be donated to Girls who Code), 100% of proceeds on your link will be going to your pocket. Not knocking on you, just making it clear you hold no affiliation to the 'Girls who Code' organization as well.
<-- Downvote here and by all means, do not explain your sensitivities.
Why should we care about donating money to Girls who Code? I'm not a girl and I don't see any reason why I should support them, particularly when the only time I hear anything about girls who code is when they're causing some drama.
You know what girls who code should do? They should write code and be humble instead of forming a group called Girls Who Code in order to get attention and hand-outs. To be clear: I'd rather buy a shirt that makes fun of all the drama caused by girls who code and donate the money to Children Who Are Hungry.
The lessons of the last 24 hours have nothing to do with whether or not someone ought to be offended about something. If anything, we've learned that there is really no effective way to establish, objectively, what is an isn't offensive.
The lesson we learned was how to handle being offended: to challenge the offender directly, find a resolution, without involving an internet mob.
OP did this the correct way, and you reacted with hostility instead.
"Retarded" is a word that the bullied (and their loved ones) have heard all throughout their lives used in a pejorative manner. It is also rarely used IRL in a non-pejorative context, even though the definition exists. For someone to associate the word with its pejorative and insulting context is not at all unreasonable.
Except that in this case, the "player" is the one who's using certain words in a pejorative context, giving the implication that anybody to whom that word applies is somehow lesser because of it.
This is why we don't use the words "nigger", "kike", and "faggot" as insults anymore, why calling somebody a "pussy" or "woman" for not being aggressive or assertive enough is generally frowned upon, and, yes, why casually dropping the word "retarded" like it ain't no thang will get people for whom the word actually means something politely asking you not to use it anymore.
Communication is a two-way street, and it's up to the listener to determine how they interpret the words coming out of your mouth. I'm amused and irritated by how many people get frustrated when they're told that their choice of language bothers somebody. It's like, hey, here's an opportunity to refine how to interface with the world! And a bunch of people see that opportunity and go FUCK NO, I'M TIRED OF HAVING TO DO THINGS, SOMEBODY ELSE JUST STOP BEING OFFENDED OKAY
This is the internet. We use "nigger", "kike", and "faggot" all the time. Because WORDS.
If you think the correct answer is to try to get everyone everywhere to not use whatever subset of words you subjectively find offensive versus just IGNORING THINGS THAT OFFEND YOU, I'm not really sure what to tell you, other than perhaps:
"We" do not use those words. "We" are not part of a single interconnected culture. You might use those words, since from what little contact I've had with you you come across as a narcissistic asshole with little concern for others. But I am not you, and I thank my lucky stars for that.
Many people find the word retard (used that way) to be deeply offensive.
Many other people are not aware of that offence, and also would not like to cause that offence, and once they know that many people find the word so offensive are happy to consider their use of language and find another word.
There are lots of great words to use instead of retard and retarded.
And asking someone to consider their language isn't asking for an Internet pile-on nor asking for anyone to lose their jobs.
Genuine question! Do you believe, sincerely, that there is no good reason to complain about anything? Because, leaving aside the fact that your comment makes you a "complainer of the world", I think there are a lot of things worth saying "not cool" to.
What we should be talking about is where exactly the line is drawn, not whether complainers inherently suck.
People with learning disabilities get pretty lousy treatment from society.
They are subjected to verbal abuse, bullying, sexual abuse, and physical violence, sometimes from the people who are supposed to be providing care for them.[1abcd]
People with learning disabilities suffer poor health outcomes, and those are not all explained by their LD.
People with LD are deprived of their liberty, detained in hospital against their will, without trial. People get caught up in bizarre Kafkesque nightmares. That man was held for a year, with all of his rights ignored.
People with LD are illegally discriminated against in the workplace assuming they can even get a job.
Given all this the pain caused by people carelessly using the word 'retard' trumps your supposed offence at my enabling 'complainers' so I say, politely as I can, FUCK YOU.
See, that's the point. I don't care if you know you are being offensive and want to cause offence. Go ahead. My post was clearly aimed at people who do not know how offensive some words are.
I wouldn't go as far as to say that the lesson learnt recently is "If people get offended at anything it's their fault". If you think that's the case then I've got a Westboro Baptist Church to sell you...
Well, "handicapped" means having a condition that hampers your ability to function optimally, whereas "retarded" means backwards, mentally less advanced, stupid. "Retarded" is very obviously the more pejorative term. Personally I avoid using the term "retarded" because of the extremely negative/unpleasant connotations surrounding the use of the term "retard" in our culture. I know that by invoking either of those words I could make people with handicapped loved ones feel uncomfortable. Yes for now the full choice of my vocabulary is curtailed, but it's called consideration, and it makes you and the people around you feel good. In the meantime there's plenty of other enjoyable/juicy/harmless words to use for something you want to criticise.
I was concentrating on the pejorative use of the term as relating to criticism of people and/or things. I think its obviously fine to say, for example, "the rotation of the wheel was retarded due to friction".
> Even if you're not sensitive to peoples' feelings about words, one good reason not to use "retarded" is that it makes you sound like a playground bully.
In not wanting to sound like a playground bully aren't exhibiting sensitivity to peoples' feelings?
As a parent, I am completely compassionate to your families situation, and obviously I was not referring in any way to you, your son, or your son's condition.
So, while I can understand why that word has a personal sensitivity to you and your situation, I obviously was not directing any of its archaic meaning toward you or your son - so I can't apologize for offending you.
What I can say, is that I appreciate how you simply informed me of the fact that it does hold offense for you and suggested I select a better descriptor, which in the future, I shall do.
Then you entirely got it ... this is an example of how the whole PyCon debacle should have been handled!
I should also note that I hear this frequently, and I'm careful not to "hate" anyone using that term. The word "offended" is a pretty broad word, so it's somewhere between "I'd rather not hear that" and "I challenge you to a duel".
I love this. Finally someone is treating the situation with exactly the right tone.
Quoth PG, from "What You Can't Say":
Best of all, probably, is humor. Zealots, whatever their cause, invariably lack a sense of humor. They can't reply in kind to jokes. They're as unhappy on the territory of humor as a mounted knight on a skating rink. Victorian prudishness, for example, seems to have been defeated mainly by treating it as a joke. Likewise its reincarnation as political correctness. "I am glad that I managed to write 'The Crucible,'" Arthur Miller wrote, "but looking back I have often wished I'd had the temperament to do an absurd comedy, which is what the situation deserved."
Ah, the old "quoth PG" routine. You know, Paul is capable of saying things which are not entirely correct, and quoting his words does not immediately make you in the right.
What Paul misses, in this case, is that there's a difference between "laughing up" and "laughing down" – that is, laughing at an injust situation by mocking the people who benefit from such a situation, the people in power, and laughing at the people hurt by a situation. Laughter is a potent weapon against dogma, sure, but the feminist cause is far from dogmatic. It's a response to the incredibly pervasive anti-woman bias in the programming world, the workplace in general, and society at large.
It is truly unfortunate that Adria triggered such a shitshow, because I do think she overreacted, in a big and kind of cruddy way. But the unfortunate part is less that than the fact that plenty of people will use her as a symbol of how stupid feminism is, how humorless its advocates are, and how right men are to dismiss it as a cause completely. It's a damn shame. There needs to be a discussion about how messed-up our view of women is, and this is the sort of place to be having it. But because the first shot was fired by an overzealous woman, the conversation we should be having isn't being held at all, and instead we're reaching a group consensus that women who think things like this are an issue are full of themselves. Which is almost exactly the wrong consensus to reach here.
"Things like this" aren't an issue. Dongle jokes are not a social injustice. Feminists often do a good job of identifying social injustices and when they do, it's worthwhile to treat those injustices seriously. This is not one of those times.
> Oh let's even forget code and the "fork" jargon and whatnot. Let's talk about hardware engineering. Male connectors? (those are connectors with sticky-outy-pins) Female connectors? (those are the ones that are receptacles for sticky-outy-pins) Genderbenders? (those are adapters you use to make one gender connector into a different one) You "mate" those connectors, of course. You might screw them. If you work in the underwater world like I do, you might have penetrators. Now you get to mate penetrators! lol! Sometimes if you don't have something mated to the penetrator you have to hack a way to make it waterproof just for a quick test so, guess what you put on the penetrator? A condom! (I am not joking, I have put a lot of condoms onto penetrators in my time, they are excellent quick cheap waterproofers) Also, did you know that in Australia, the world "flange" is slang for a woman's genitalia? Guess how excited I was when I found out I (female) had given 30 minutes of training to a bunch of Australian military men including discussion of mating the flanges on our equipment to put some things together?
> The tech world is full of "hilariously" sex-related terminology. When you first learn about it, you get a Beavis and Butthead heh-heh-heh phase to go through. Then you stop thinking of it as pervy and you forget it has a meaning outside of the work you do until someone has their Beavis and Butthead moment and giggles at you, usually in the middle of something you're trying to be smart and professional about. Most of the terminology I think was dreamed up by people (mostly men, because that's who was in the industry) who thought it was hilarious and now that there are women in the industry it's even MORE hilarious that they have to learn and use those terms regularly.
> I'm a woman in engineering. I'm one of the "cool" girls. I swear and I laugh at dumb inappropriate jokes and i proudly wear our (old, from startup phase) company shirts that say "when size matters" showing the different sizes of our phallic-shaped equipment. But I swear and I laugh and I wear that shirt in the small group of friendly coworkers with whom I am very socially comfortable. When I get the Beavis and Butthead chuckles from those I am not friendly with, it is tiring as all fuck. I don't care about the etymology of the word. I don't care how well-known the word is in the industry jargon. I don't care. What I care about is when I am using the professionally-accepted jargon, someone is giggling at me going "heh heh you know what that sounds like you're saying" because it is immature, distracting, and undermining to me when that's what people are paying attention to when I speak.
> No one invented "Fork me on GitHub" to be pure and virginal about it. Someone was going heh-heh-heh. And now it's "industry accepted." And now we all have to put up with everyone in their heh-heh-heh moments.
Me personally? I'm a young straight cisgendered white guy. I love dirty jokes. I like talking far nastier than mere "dongle" jokes, I assure you. I enjoy my wild and crazy give-no-fucks lifestyle.
The "master-and-slave" thing was mentioned in that MetaFilter discussion I linked you to, by the founder of MetaFilter no less! He talked about how a friend of his did find the terminology offensive, because he was black, and about how upon further consideration it was pretty easy to see why such terminology was offensive.
Does it bother me personally? No. But knowing that it might bother somebody else gives me pause, because I like to consider other people's opinions and emotions. It is not super hard to do! Listening to people is even easier than talking, all you do is stop opening your mouth for a while.
I appreciate your unnecessary sarcasm, Mr. Welch, but I'd like to ask you in turn why it's so hard to consider things that you do that might bother other people. Or to consider the very simple notion that some things are well and good to laugh at, but that laughing at other things dismisses and belittles serious issues that are worth not laughing at.
> I've heard from many women in the last few days that they are, in fact, made uncomfortable by the overt sexualization that happens in programmer culture.
If straight guys in SF would like to get some perspective on this, imagine working 8 hours a day in The Castro in one of the more highly sexually charged environments there. I bet you'd definitely notice that. Being there also gives you a different perspective on what you thought were innocuous things like posters, let me tell you.
Do you want to be more explicit? Right now your comment is surely extremely convincing to people who know which environment you're talking about and what it's like, but will not help to enlighten anyone who doesn't already have the experience you're alluding to. And the people who do have that experience are probably already convinced! By The Castro, do you mean the neighborhood with all the gay people, or something more specific (a theater or bar, maybe)?
There was an instance where part of our team was going through a java object used to encapsulate paging behavior for our service. We had a user story that looked like it it could use it, but the paging object was too specifically designed.
I referred to it as a square peg in a round hole. All of a sudden two of my co-workers started giggling. "haha, get it? You always make innuendos like that, honestly hahahaha" I honestly wanted to throttle the life from them for a brief instant.
I am male. I'm fine with sex jokes, but what these women are complaining about is not the terminology, but the professionalism of the people they work with. They only think it's a gender issue because they only see males giggling. Imagine their surprise should they ever end up in an all female team, and it turns out -gasp- women can be unprofessional too!
There's been plenty of humor by cruel people perpetrating injustices. They thought it was genuinely funny at the time. Sometimes, a bit more time has to pass before things can be laughed off.
Zealots are known for absolutist positions. An absolutist position on laughter is as much a potential big mistake as most other absolutist positions. There's no substitute to being aware of your surroundings and being open to others and the moment.
I will forever remain at a loss about how dongle jokes perpetrate injustice. All I know is that they really got under the skin of an all-too-serious, uptight prig, and the overreaction of that prig means it gets even deeper under the skin of prigs everywhere. And that is always funny.
> I will forever remain at a loss about how dongle jokes perpetrate injustice.
I wasn't talking about the present situation. I have to speak out against the notion that laughter = good. It's not. It's orthogonal. I see so many young people use the good feeling of it to convince themselves they're doing right, though.
> All I know is that they really got under the skin of an all-too-serious, uptight prig, and the overreaction of that prig means it gets even deeper under the skin of prigs everywhere. And that is always funny.
Nope. No bitterness or contempt there at all. Your breadth of experience is such that you can guarantee you have a full understanding of everyone, such that you always know perfectly who has genuine suffering and who is just uptight and trying to control? Sounds entirely plausible and humble to me. Sounds kinda like Santa's list.
Again, this isn't for or against Adria or the other parties, or even about this one issue. Laughter is many things and it's often wonderful, but it isn't a supernatural oracle of good. Taking it to be that is a pathway to madness. It's like worshipping the feeling of being in love. And we all know that never goes wrong.
Funny is relevant. As you say, sexist, racist and homo jokes are sometimes witty too - so unless they are explicitly used to demean and hurt someone, people should be free to joke about all such things. Including jokes about a gay jewish pope eating dead babies, or whatever combination of things offensive to racial/religious/gender/ethnical/etc groups people may think of.
In the Pycon case, my greatest surprise when I discovered that the jokes were made between two audience members - I would understand and fully support the reaction if that insulting joke was made on stage; but I cannot understand why Ms. Richards and PyCon staff were sticking their noses in private conversations of two adults and trying to police that? That was both impolite and unacceptable - if you don't like their biases, then shun them and don't talk to them; they weren't harassing the female audience as far as I heard from both sides.
The liberty to swing your fist ends at my nose; and as they weren't hurting Ms. Richards, they had the right to discuss their business in whatever way they wanted, and they had the right to be left alone.
> people should be free to joke about all such things.
Agreed. But let me disagree about your first sentence. Actually, I think you just showed that funny is orthogonal. The salient point, as you pointed out, is for people to mind their own business about other people's business. This would have applied if the comments between those men were a silly joke or more of a bitter complaint. There would've been far less funny in the 2nd situation, but you still would've had the same result.
OK. Yes. Funny is orthogonal to "should X be permitted" or "should X be left alone".
My intent with that sentence was "funny has importance to people". I.e., crass jokes aren't simply empty words or accidents or mistakes, but that they were somewhat important to these who told the jokes and listened to them. Being able to tell a crude joke to a friend without worrying is a kind of freedom that (some?) people value and prohibiting that has a non-zero cost to society.
> There's been plenty of humor by cruel people perpetrating injustices. They thought it was genuinely funny at the time.
Yes. Exactly. And there is no hard-and-fast rule to determine what kind of humor perpetrates injustices, because, frankly, it is up to every single individual who hears the joke. And that's scary, especially when people think that normal socializing behaviors can all of a sudden get them fired and nobody's told them what the new rules are. Because, as I said, there really are no new rules.
So use an old rule: Common courtesy. Giving people the benefit of the doubt. Treating other people as stupid human beings. Yes, "stupid". More offense is caused by stupidity than actual malice.
Of course, if you find that the other person really is being malicious, knock them down with a righteous wrath and tell us all about it afterwards.
> So use an old rule: Common courtesy. Giving people the benefit of the doubt. Treating other people as stupid human beings. Yes, "stupid". More offense is caused by stupidity than actual malice.
> Of course, if you find that the other person really is being malicious, knock them down with a righteous wrath and tell us all about it afterwards.
I find there's more hate and malice than ever before nowadays. It's also more self-righteous than it was before too. It's like the Internet is the Babelfish from the Hitchikers series, causing more acrimony than ever before, now that we have fuller access to what everyone else thinks.
FWIW, I think it's great. One of the things that bugged me about this whole sordid business was the crazy and untrue implication that women are too dainty to handle off-color jokes, or that if you think they're funny, then you're against women in tech. I think this is an appropriate and reasonable, not to mention fun, response.
> the crazy and untrue implication that women are too dainty to handle off-color jokes
Which is sexist, and I can't see how others can't see how sexist it is. It is pure, straight-up middle-class Victorian bullshit of the kind first wave feminists fought against. It's the idea that women are not naturally sexual beings until they're corrupted by the cruder, more physical men, and the related idea that women are naturally more pure in thought and deed than men. This leads directly into the Madonna-Whore complex and every evil, stupid, petty thing that flows from it.
Real humans shit. Real humans sweat. Real humans fuck, and make love, and occasionally forget the difference between the two, and act like idiots because of it. Real humans are strange, flawed, hormonal animals from the day we're born to the day we die, and there are no exceptions. Making exceptions in your mind means putting the person you're making the exception for into a non-human category. It is literally dehumanizing, and, yes, I am using the word 'literally' in its literal sense.
There are no gods. There are no monsters. There are just people, however scary and wonderful that is.
You need to make it clear "Girls Who Code" has nothing to do with this shirt.
"We intend to give the money to Girls Who Code. In the event that they do not accept the money we'll look for another charity that supports women in tech."
While I firmly stand on the side of the poor bastard who got fired for making a simple joke, I find it distasteful that a bunch of guys would design a shirt making fun of the situation and then donate the money the a charity that "supports women in tech."
If Girls Who Code actually made the design, it'd be different.
I don't understand why you find that distasteful? I've spent way more time than I should have following many, many conversations about this insanity. When you filter out the crazies on either side, it seems that most rational people have decided that it's ok to make fun of things, even if your joke isn't for everyone.
I think it's unfortunate that you're saying that a man or group of men shouldn't be able to raise money for a group aimed at getting more women into technology. They're more than likely not using it as a cover for their bro-vinistic villainy.
I personally think the more people we can get to make fun of all of this stuff, the better off we'll all be. Fun, it's what makes life worth living.
Because a woman got fired because she got a guy fired for making a completely innocent joke and then a bunch of guys all started harassing that woman on the internet to the point where I had to kinda feel bad for her even though she was entirely in the wrong and I was glad she got fired.
So a bunch of guys then making fun of the whole thing with a shirt seems mean-spirited. Like, your gender won (well, common sense won, but) let it go.
> Because a woman got fired because she got a guy fired
She got fired because she showed the whole world (and by whole world, I of course refer to the ridiculous tech circus that cares about this at all) that she it exceptionally bad at exactly what she is payed to do, which is to maintain a healthy relationship with the developer community of her employer.
I'm sorry you feel that way. There was really no intention to be mean spirited. As a software engineer myself I definitely want to see more women in tech. I've seen a lot of interest in the donglegate story over the last couple of days and just saw an opportunity to shift focus onto a worthwhile cause.
Being part of a group that is, statistically and on the whole, more powerful does not necessarily make an individual more powerful. Contrariwise, being part of a group that is, statistically and on the whole, less powerful does not make an individual less powerful. I'd say that being able to influence firing decisions with a Tweet is pretty damned powerful.
Wow... How did HN become a den of self-righteous, humorless self-flagellation. Someone tried to do something funny after all the overheated rhetoric of the past of couple of days along with introducing a clever bit of entrepreneurship in the process. Whether you'd buy the shirt or not (I won't) at least try to appreciate the initiative and cheekiness.
I'm just getting tired of it... I want to learn things when I come here, and I want to watch great conversations unfold, sometimes even participate in them, but these meme-cycles... the whole "x will get google reader'd!" thing, the fork my dongle thing, the chart.js 'scandal', all of these just senseless, tiring mass bursts of outrage that pop up everywhere are getting in the way of my goal of learning and conversing, and I'm just getting tired of it...
I agree with you, but this excitement is a fundamental "thing". Its a "thing" that people chase because it adds something to their day. Bored unexciting people flock to the drama and this will always be the way.
(I'm about to generalize based on my experiences)
This is why I love living in Australia. I moved from the UK about 5 years ago and people here in Perth generally have more interesting lives and there is a lot less useless drama. I remember the UK as being so much drama about nothing, our lives consisted of so much rubbish in comparison. Granted I lived in a poor part of the UK. I just love this place (Perth) so much.
Sometimes I tire of the drama, although sometimes I join in because i'm a little bored from studying and I disagree with what someone said.
Not really sure where I was going with this. Something alone the lines of people need drama. blah blah.
Hi rmrfrmrf. I went through your recent comments. By and large, they're highly inflammatory. Ease off on the vitriol and your life might get a bit easier.
To be precise, these are the comments that I find inflammatory:
> Because anti-woman and anti-black hate groups are trying to game HN with mass account creation and upvote spam.
> SendGrid would have come out stronger from weathering the storm as a defender and promoter of women in tech. Instead, they're giving in to terrorism. Anyone feeling a sense of relief out of this situation is out of their mind.
> I hope she sues the shit out of them and gets enough money to spend the rest of her life advocating for women in tech without fear of retaliation.
> No, this situation is the worst thing for women in tech. I can't begin to imagine the waves of misogyny that're about to run rampant through the tech community knowing that any woman who speaks out will be fired.
> Please take your special snowflakery elsewhere.
> No. (without explanation)
> In other words, it's OK if men do it, but not if a woman does it. (which was a complete non sequitur)
> I can't even begin to explain how fallacious this argument is. (without explanation, and it wasn't fallacious)
> Is it really that hard to act like a professional adult while you're at work? The simplest solution is to simply stop telling penis jokes at work.
> Still unfunny and tasteless. Imagine that.
> Really? All it says to me is that people in the tech field are so against a woman standing up for herself that they're actually willing to bring down the company she works for. It's disgusting.
> (cont.) Will you also feel schadenfreude when they hack her bank account?
> I bet he won't make the same mistake again. Perhaps we're all so used to going through the 6 month HR-slap-on-the-wrist process that we have lost touch of what it actually takes to change a person's behavior. (supporting mr-hank getting fired)
> Thank you -- all of these hate-laden comments are making me lose my mind.
> Since when is Twitter the same thing as a professional conference? Why are the majority of the commenters on HN completely missing the point?
> She @-replied pycon staff. Compare that to the HN and Reddit communities out for Adria's head.
> "We're not choosing your company because we believe in the right for men to tell dick jokes."
> (cont.) I'd quickly e-mail back: "don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out."
> Thank you, Adria, for fighting the good fight. I hope that the voices of support for you drown out the rampant hate that you're receiving. Seems like HN turns into a complete shithole the second a woman "has the nerve to choose to be offended" or whatever bullshit these misogynist assholes peddle.
> (cont.) The benefit that I always see from situations like this is that it empowers the women who, in the past, have been too nervous to call people out on their shit. Just know that you're doing amazing work and are paving the way to creating an environment of gender equality.
I initially wrote a snarky comment along the lines of "that you disagree with a comment does not make it inflammatory", but looking at your comment history, it appears that you've actually tried to play the voice of reason for the whole forky-dongly "scandal". So good for you. You seem to be alone (if you ignore all the cowards - like me - who just decided to be quiet).
I don't find the above comments to be very inflammatory, though. There's a not-totally-insane POV from which Adria's actions were not only reasonable, but commendable, and necessary to disrupt an inherently hostile environment. (I don't agree with this point-of-view, and think it addresses superficial problems with culture rather than attack fundamental problems with education, but whatever.) From that same point of view, these comments are entirely reasonable - the fact that Adria is being treated as she is is only another incarnation of appalling systematic misogyny. Adria, by posting those guys' photos to twitter, was standing up to that perceived culture (if you buy into this - I personally think she was just power-tripping), and attacking Adria for doing that sounds a lot like someone saying "shut up, sit down, stop causing trouble" to someone reporting a fire.
That rmrfrmrf's comments were taken as inflammatory (by you) seems to me to be less of an indicator of the vitriol in his rhetoric, and more a measure of the gap between the two sides of this debate. (A gap this fiasco has apparently done nothing to bridge, sadly.)
That rmrfrmrf's comments were taken as inflammatory by those who sent the death threats / dismembered baby pics, on the other hand, is a good measure of the number of complete idiots who frequent HN. Hopefully not too many.
Lastly, please do /not/ tell someone who has received (or claims to have received - just to be fair) death threats to take a metaphorical chill-pill, or otherwise imply that he/she ought to correct his/her own behavior to make the death threats stop. That /is/ inflammatory.
I don't find the dongle jokes offensive, but obviously Adria did. My advice to guys at conferences would probably be, don't make dick jokes in public, because it seems somebody might overreact and you might get hurt. That has nothing to do with whether or not I think the dongle jokes are appropriate or inherently offensive. Similarly, I don't find rmrfrmrf's comments to be super inflammatory, probably because I don't feel like my position, if any, is being attacked, but if I was way polarized on the antagonist's side of things I almost certainly would.
Do we want to encourage crazy volatile feminism at conferences? Obviously no. Do we want to encourage even crazier volatile misogyny on the internet? Obviously no. Is it unreasonable, or unkind even, to encourage someone who is complaining about the negative attention they are receiving, who I perceive to be actively encouraging that negative attention without realizing it, to tone it down a little? Personally, I don't believe so, but if it falls on deaf ears, it falls on deaf ears. I just don't think that the anxiety of receiving death threats is good for anyone, and that level of anxiety can cause people to make choices that have big long term consequences. Adria has already demonstrated a predisposition to overreaction that has already led to long term consequences, and death threats are significantly more serious than whatever happened at the conference. It is not unreasonable to assume that someone actively defending her position might also overreact.
There are lots of things that I do everyday that I wouldn't do in an ideal world, but that nevertheless make existence tolerable, good even. I was simply trying to share that experience.
I'm not sure why it's cowardly to suggest that. Could you elaborate? I thought it was good advice. If inflammatory comments are even possibly leading to death threats (and it seemed to me like they might be), it's probably a good idea to not post inflammatory comments. I mean, surely nobody wants to receive death threats. Are you saying that his/her comments are not inflammatory?
My standard for cowardly posting is verbal abuse and death threats, but YMMV.
These comments support somebody I absolutely disagree with, but two rights don't make a wrong. Just like it might not be a good idea to say something offensive to somebody else, does not mean you deserve death threats for it.
It should be OK to express your support for unpopular ideas on HN, like saying Adria Richards was right or that the people prosecuting Aaron Schwartz did the right thing. On the other hand, people sending threats... To quote the original poster, "don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out." You disagree with stuff? Fine. Downvote and move on, or reply to it and explain why. Don't play anonymous coward.
> If inflammatory comments are even possibly leading to death threats (and it seemed to me like they might be), it's probably a good idea to not post inflammatory comments.
That's 'victim blaming' and fairly inflammatory. That's not your intent. It's no different then telling women not to wear provocative clothing if they don't want to be raped (And before people suggest it, I'm not equating rape to anything here).
Basically, your intent is sound (how not to receive death threats), but your approach is insulting. The result is, the persons you are talking to are more likely to dismiss what you say because, in effect, you are blaming them for the death threats.
You seem to actually care about helping. I wish I could offer some direct advice about how to approach this different, but I can't think of any at the moment. I just know that this approach is confrontational, and completely in the opposite direction of which you seem to want to go.
> That's 'victim blaming' and fairly inflammatory.
That's ridiculous. If I play in a busy street everyday, you'd blame me when I eventually got hit by a car even though cars are always supposed to be driven under control. There are actions that victims take that increase or decrease their chances of being victimized.
> it's no different then telling women not to wear provocative clothing if they don't want to be raped (And before people suggest it, I'm not equating rape to anything here).
What about if it is telling women to go out with their friends and look after each other when they are at bars? To be aware of their surroundings? Is that victim blaming to prepare your daughter for the realities of the world?
> If I play in a busy street everyday, you'd blame me when I eventually got hit by a car even though cars are always supposed to be driven under control.
Context. You are supposed to comment on HN. You are not supposed to play in the street. If you played in a park, I'd expect you not to get hit by a car. If someone does get hit by a car while playing in a park, you don't suggest to that person they should avoid playing in the park.
> What about if it is telling women to go out with their friends and look after each other when they are at bars? To be aware of their surroundings? Is that victim blaming to prepare your daughter for the realities of the world?
No, that's good advice! And there is a distinct difference.
Yes, I know, the reality is that wearing provocative clothes can entice men, and some men will get the wrong idea, and might do bad things. But it's a bad solution to adopt the "change what you wear" approach. It doesn't solve the problem.
Basically, it's the same as this type of advice: If you don't want to get into an accident, don't use a car. Of if you dont' want to get into an plane crash, don't fly a plane. If you don't want to drown, stay out of water.
Or, if you don't want to get raped, look ugly.
But telling you daughter to go with friends, to be aware, to check in? These don't change her behavior. It minimizes risk. Indeed, if you think about it, the advice you give up there is much better than not wearing provocative clothing. Mostly because wearing provocative clothing has little to do with getting raped.
Anyways, I hope you understand better what I was trying to say. Again, it's not some new concept that I'm spouting. Spend some time reading up on it. Others do a better job at explaining it then I do.
For what it's worth, I didn't tell her to shut up. (I'm assuming it's a woman.) I just said I don't think it's such a good idea to write such inflammatory messages if you're concerned about the death threats you're receiving. This includes things like using curse words (e.g. HN is a shithole), and insulting people in other ways.
And I'm sorry, but if you know that a park is dangerous because a bunch of drunken teenagers are driving around doing donuts in it, you absolutely don't send your kid to play in it, no matter how safe it's supposed to be. And in particular, if they are, you tell your kid to stop yelling at the kids in the cars. (I realize this isn't what you suggested, but it makes your analogy less of a straw man.)
So, this isn't "don't play in traffic", this is "don't actively provoke known-to-be-crazy drivers while running around in oncoming traffic". It's just a bad idea. Especially if you're complaining about getting hurt.
Yes, all of these examples are hyperbole, but then again we have no idea about the seriousness of the threats.
Okay. You came up with the park analogy, saying that if someone got hit by a car in it, that you wouldn't not play in it on that basis. This is a fallacy because that was not the original position. The fallacy is called a straw man, because you put up the "straw man" that is supposedly my argument and then knocked it down.
All I did was attempt to make your analogy match reality more closely, to make it less of a straw man. It is a less flawed analogy now. The reality we are discussing is the situation of the person receiving death threats, not any of this other analogous stuff.
But, you know, if you just generally want to have discussions about what to do in different situations where one might or might not need to exercise caution, that can be okay. Of course if someone got hit by accident in a park I wouldn't say that other kids shouldn't play in it.
> Context. You are supposed to comment on HN. You are not supposed to play in the street. If you played in a park, I'd expect you not to get hit by a car. If someone does get hit by a car while playing in a park, you don't suggest to that person they should avoid playing in the park.
What can I say, I just genuinely don't understand why this isn't a straw man. Part of this has to do with me not being the sharpest knife in the block. Of course, if someone just randomly posted a comment here and received one death threat for doing so, I wouldn't say that they shouldn't post anymore. Isn't that the closest interpretation of your analogy? I'm serious.
The reason I think the analogy doesn't fit is due to a few differences. First, the person in question has a history of writing fairly inflammatory comments, based on my personal reaction, based on the comments containing curse words, sarcasm, insults, and all-caps (more recently), and finally based on the comments receiving downvotes. The second difference is that it's not one death threat, but multiple death threats that were alleged. The third difference is that I didn't say don't post at all, I just said don't post in such an inflammatory way. Given these three fairly significant differences, I concluded that your argument was a straw man. I could be wrong about that, but you'll have to convince me.
I now believe she was referring to Adria and not herself, so I'm really just interested in understanding whether or not the claim of it being a straw man is correct. I mean, I don't want to accuse other people of throwing up straw men if I'm just making a fool of myself. And you're right, although I've known about logic for a while, it's only recently that I started taking it more seriously in the context of discussions. I linked to Wikipedia because I thought you didn't know what a straw man was, I apologize for the insult.
Whether or not I'm trolling, I don't know what to say. It strikes me that a lot of people who troll don't even realize that this is what they're doing, so maybe I am, I don't know. It's not conscious, if so. Apologies in advance?
I get the point. My point is that reaction to "victim blaming" has swung way too far.
Kids don't deserve to get hit even if they play in the street -- even if it is expected to eventually happen. I just think there is a cognitive break in responsibility (don't blame the victim -- they have 0 responsibility for their actions) to taking some responsibility for limiting your risk.
I'm not touching the provocative clothes argument, because it's extreme and might not be backed up by the statistics. I'm just saying there are some careless actions by victims (like flashing money around in really really bad areas by yourself) that means the victims while completely undeserving of being victimized realistically need to shoulder some of the responsibility.
The poster above suggested, that if an action a poster is doing is causing death threats, it might be prudent to tone it down. I don't see that as blaming the victim.
It's no different then telling women not to wear
provocative clothing if they don't want to be raped
Telling women that not wearing provocative clothing will lower their chance of being raped is simply stating a truth. We wish it were otherwise, but it isn't. It's thus by definition sound advice and much more useful advice than stating "men shouldn't rape". Gee, thanks, the victim wasn't aware of that. Giving advice does not mean you agree with what necessitated the advice. It also does not mean that you think that if someone does not follow the advice, she deserves, morally or legally, anything that happens. Either of which you are currently arguing.
Seriously. Confusion's statement contradicts all my own reading, as well as comments from rape victims/friends of rape victims. Rapists are usually not strangers looking to score. It's almost always someone the victim knows, and it's usually about power, not looks.
 Survivor is a better word, but it was a clunky read when I tried it. I won't be bothered if you use it instead if you reply.
I actually just thought it was a given, but it isn't relevant to my argument. Consider it replaced by "Telling women that not getting drunk will lower their chance of being raped" or "Telling women that not rejecting advances will lower their chance of being raped" or something else that you know is unfortunately true.
 Even among 'friends' (acquaintances?), chances you will be hit on are higher when wearing 'less' and considering hitting-on-and-being-rejected is a common precursor to rape...
I find it distasteful because it's not really that funny in this context. Dongle's a funny word, sure, but here, it just feels meanspirited. It's taking sides in an issue where nobody looks good.
I don't have a problem with the joke being made. I don't have a problem Richards being offended and reporting it to the convention staff, and, as a matter of fact, I applaud her decision to do something about it. And PyCon's staff, from all reports, handled themselves very well in this situation. Could the two guys in the photo been a little more sensitive to those around them? Sure. Could Richards have followed the advice she wrote in her own blog post and talked to the two men or alerted the staff privately? Absolutely. Would this entire clusterfuck have been avoided if one of those two things happened? Yes.
But both of those things happened, and it spiraled out of control. Because of one somewhat insensitive joke, and a really bad twitter post. Everything that's happened after: the twitter posts, the blog posts, the firings, the harrasment, the DDOS', it all leaves a really bad taste in my mouth, and I don't see anything funny about this at all.
Because nobody involved here came out looking sympathetic. Richards used her soapbox to publicly shame two men who really didn't deserve much more than maybe a simple talking to. The two men who made the joke could have shown some restraint, but did not. Both of the companies probably made the wrong decision to fire the two, though in Play Haven's case, there could be other things we don't know about, and Richards dragged in her company into the conversation probably without their approval.
Because it's been twisted into everyone's pet racism/sexism/ism trigger topic. Bigots are using Adria's behavior as an example of why women can't be trusted. People sensitive to issues of gender, sex, and race are using it as an example for why the entire industry's a cesspool of bigotry and sexism. For those of us who know that the truth is neither of those, it's incredibly disheartening, because you can choose your belief, and there's something here that will validate it.
AFAIK we haven't quoted the original remarks and the phrase on the shirt is a nonsensical paraphrase of what was said. Part of the intention was to neutralize the words. Really, it's just a bit of fun and the best outcome would be to raise some money for women in tech.
Sorry, but there's no substitute for being wise, being open, and listening generously. History's villains had humor and laughter too. Laughter is not a magical ultimate good. It's just laughter, it's orthogonal to morality, and it doesn't excuse you from using your best judgement and "being a good guy."
> Villains are often wise, open, and listen generously. Actually mafia types are often some of the nicest people, as long as you don't cross them.
Manners, charm, and good listening are all things that are orthogonal to that whole good and evil thing. They are powerful tools, and often make ones life easier. They can even be a tremendous force for good. These are all orthogonal to good/evil, though.
Musical talent is another thing people get mixed up about. Someone can be a musically talented jerkwad. The same goes for beauty, obviously. The same even goes for programming talent.
> Regardless, humor is an important technique for bringing perspective to situations, and helps us come back to realizing life is about being happy, not settling scores.
It can also be used as a bitter condiment while settling scores. Once again my point: Humor is orthogonal!
Sometimes, it's an equitable sharing. Sometimes, it's someone exercising power over another and rubbing their face in it. There are times and places where deliberate and literally criminal cruelty to strangers is thought hilarious. I know this for a fact.
You assume human beings always do a good job of treating other human beings. Ask a seasoned police investigator -- not always true. And sometimes, they'll even be laughing about it.
How is it mean spirited? I don't like the joke too much (maybe I'm too geeky but the underlying premise doesn't make sense to me and in a good joke it IMHO should) but why is it "mean"? Probably if you're invited to visit the home of one of the persons who suffered in the ordeal, it'd be mean to wear it, but otherwise - why mean?
I am considering linking to this on ycuniverse.com because it uses TeeSpring.com. However, the shirt doesn't seem available in ladies' sizes. Given the cause, I would think you'd want to make the shirt available in ladies' sizes. Can you enable that option?
If you could somehow merge the two campaigns, then you'd be able to reach your goal faster. I know the Watsi.org campaign somehow offered both regular and ladies' sizes ( http://teespring.com/hntees ). There wasn't a way to add the ladies' sizes to the original campaign?
There was originally only one shirt that was not identified as male or female. One of your fellow commenters asked if there was a female version of the shirt available, hence the inclusion of a shirt with that description. The "men's" shirt is a standard American Apparel cut. The "women's" shirt was described as such by teespring and seems to have been designed for a smaller framed human. Women should feel free to order the "men's" shirt and vice versa.
Get shamed for this? Sometimes I feel I live in a different world to the people in this forum.
Even my feminist friends would have no problem with this stuff, its all a bit funny.
What did Linus say? "I like offending people, because I think people who get offended should be offended"
I like that quote, why? Because some people get offended too easily which makes everyone's life a little harder.
I think maybe Adria wanted to be the center of attention, and she was on a "Joan of Arc" mission which is a little self-involved. Wouldn't you agree?
At the end of the day, it was a joke, you people in the tech community need to lighten up, everyone is so serious here. You should come to Australia and have some fun, although you will probably get offended.
I get the same impression, someone gets uptight about a bit of juvenile sexual humour, and complains. All seems a bit Victorian and silly to me, but then I'm not from the US and I've not got any major hang ups about the human body. Male or female.
> I like that quote, why? Because some people get offended too easily which makes everyone's life a little harder.
As a general principle, this doesn't work quite well enough. It gets one by well enough most of the time, with only a small failure rate. Those can be real doozies, though. Eventually, you will meet someone who you will offend and didn't get offended too easily. No one is perfect or knows everything, after all.
But if one is well intentioned and stays cool, it will probably work out in the end.
How is this the real problem? To me, it seems like the solution. The whole situation is absolutely ridiculous and sounds like a scene from a third grade classroom. To accuse these guys of encouraging sexism or whatever you're implying is akin to accusing Stephen Colbert of spreading anti-intellectualism.
Part of being a mature adult in 2013 is having the ability to not be offended by silly, immature humor. The childish response is to cry and tattle.
And this, folks, is how you make lemonade. Though I'm a bit cautious as to what percentage of the proceeds are actually going toward the cause as I'm weary of another product already being sold with a dubious cost benefit. Cookies.
Wonderful idea out of an unfortunately bad and highly public situation. I'll buy this for the charity aspect, but doubt I would wear it though. I feel bad for the guy who lost his job because of this situation who has a wife and 3 kids to support. Supporting Girls Who Code is a noble cause, but I'd love to see some support for the guy who lost his job and has a family. The fact nobody seems to care about that part in this fiasco, that doesn't sit well with me.
Good to know this on the FrontPage of HN. I was wondering how the community could say, "hey, we heard some women are offended by sexually implicit humor, and we think a professional environment should be sexualized,so we're just going to let it all hang out and if you care at all, go fork yourself."
Taking advantage of an inoffensive joke to start a battle for feminism is very hypocrite if I might say. Sexual harassment is not hearing a dirty joke in someone's private conversation! What should actual victims of sexual abuse think about such drama queens?
I want to say the following even if I will be down-voted to negative infinitum:
This case is just fucked up. Two guys exchanged some silly benign jokes. Is it silly? Yes. Childish? Yes. But, harmful? Detrimental to younger generation of coders? Excuse me, I am totally against sexual-harassment in any form, but I won't regard that conversation between friends as one. Having someone fired over this is way off IMHO.