Rabid Anti-Feminism Strikes Again

Phoenix-

My observation would be that the pics, twitter, and blog post were certainly directed at a specific person. I think a reasonable person would definitely feel harassed given the nature of the response and the resulting actions of their employer.

However, I do think up above I was postulating whether it could be a defamation suit. Richards is making him out to be a sexist, when there really is no evidence that this man treats women any differently in a legally frowned upon way.

Has anyone here ever told a racial/gender joke? Does that make you a racist/sexist? Of course it doesn't, a joke is a joke. It has no bearing on your actual behavior towards real life individuals.

Though I have to say that the irony of her blog post calling the two men "ass clowns" (a sexual charged slur derogatory to homosexuals) is too much for me.

Regardless of the legal ramifications, I think this women is not the brightest tool in the shed.

bandit0013 wrote:

Has anyone here ever told a racial/gender joke? Does that make you a racist/sexist? Of course it doesn't, a joke is a joke. It has no bearing on your actual behavior towards real life individuals.

Disagree. We're all racist/sexist to some degree, that's our nature/culture. I would say it's our responsibility to fight against that nature/culture. There've been arguments made that go so far as claiming those who don't publically denounce racist/sexist jokes when heard around them are racist/sexist.

Parallax Abstraction wrote:
Seth wrote:

I suppose the followup question is -- how many death and rape threats have Alex Reid and mr-hank received in light of this?

I'm quoting quite a ways back here but I haven't been near a computer for a while. This is a straw man, as are the arguments of "this never would have happened if it wasn't a woman who complained." She absolutely didn't deserve those threats and the people who made it should die in a fire but that has no bearing on whether her actions in dealing with the issue were appropriate.

Seth wrote:

Yeah that's the crux of it. "Bitch yelled too loud" seems to be the running theme here. Pretty astonishing, especially in a GWJ space.

This too is also unfair and way out of line. I'm really sick and tired of having snarky insinuations leveled that I'm a mysoginyst because I dared to criticize a woman.

No one did that. Glad we cleared that up! I still think the general trend here is the accusation that she yelled too loud, which was her mistake.

That, however, is a different topic: P&C has been divided for about a year in the camps of whether public shaming has a place in correcting bad behavior. I think a lot of the disagreement here stems from that.

A lot of the disagreement, but not all. I'm still very much convinced this would not have been an issue had it been a man who tweeted a picture, and if it had been a man, there is absolutely NO chance he would have been accused of starting a "crusade."

Seth wrote:

No one did that. Glad we cleared that up! I still think the general trend here is the accusation that she yelled too loud, which was her mistake.

Except no one has made that argument at all once in this thread until you brought it up. The point has pretty much consistently been that going to public shaming FIRST was inappropriate, not that public shaming isn't warranted.

DanB wrote:
Seth wrote:

No one did that. Glad we cleared that up! I still think the general trend here is the accusation that she yelled too loud, which was her mistake.

Except no one has made that argument at all once in this thread. The point has pretty much be consistently that going to public shaming FIRST was inappropriate, not that public shaming isn't warranted.

If the con had a long and documented history of ignoring complaints by women and/or acting like a bunch of women-hating misogynists, then going straight to public shaming might have been appropriate. (I know that there are cons like that out there, but, being only peripherally linked to the tech field in general, and being a male, it is not the type of thing that I recall.) However, we don't know what type of reputation (good or bad) this con has.

No reports have come out indicating that the con was bad in this area (and if it was, this would have come out pretty quickly I think).

mudbunny wrote:
DanB wrote:
Seth wrote:

No one did that. Glad we cleared that up! I still think the general trend here is the accusation that she yelled too loud, which was her mistake.

Except no one has made that argument at all once in this thread. The point has pretty much be consistently that going to public shaming FIRST was inappropriate, not that public shaming isn't warranted.

If the con had a long and documented history of ignoring complaints by women and/or acting like a bunch of women-hating misogynists, then going straight to public shaming might have been appropriate.

I completely and in every way agree with this.

DanB wrote:
Seth wrote:

No one did that. Glad we cleared that up! I still think the general trend here is the accusation that she yelled too loud, which was her mistake.

Except no one has made that argument at all once in this thread until you brought it up. The point has pretty much consistently been that going to public shaming FIRST was inappropriate, not that public shaming isn't warranted.

That's a pretty thin hair to split: what I'm reading is that Adria did not handle a problem the same way others in this thread would've handled it. We can disagree on that, but if that's not what people are saying, perhaps some clarification is in order.

Seth wrote:
DanB wrote:
Seth wrote:

No one did that. Glad we cleared that up! I still think the general trend here is the accusation that she yelled too loud, which was her mistake.

Except no one has made that argument at all once in this thread until you brought it up. The point has pretty much consistently been that going to public shaming FIRST was inappropriate, not that public shaming isn't warranted.

That's a pretty thin hair to split: what I'm reading is that Adria did not handle a problem the same way others in this thread would've handled it. We can disagree on that, but if that's not what people are saying, perhaps some clarification is in order.

It's only a fine hair to split if you think all responses to a problem are completely equivalent. In actual fact there are 3 quite different responses to the issue she had;, with the potential for 3 very different outcomes; talk to the guys, tell the con organisers, go public.

Ultimately it's about context, and the context completely informs you about which of those 3 is appropriate and what the likely outcome will be, if the con had previous form for ignoring such issues then going straight to public shaming would be utterly and completely appropriate.

Seth wrote:

No one did that. Glad we cleared that up! I still think the general trend here is the accusation that she yelled too loud, which was her mistake.

This may just be me splitting hairs, but I think that it is not that she yelled too loud, it is that she bypassed quite a few more appropriate venues first.

She essentially used napalm to clean up some spilled water, when there was a button labelled "alert custodian" right next to her.

Again, though, Dan, you're framing this discussion from your point of view, not Adria's. In reality, there's limitless responses to the situation, from completely ignoring it (which is what everyone else did at the event) to violence. As others have pointed out, there are layers of hidden politics that may have made some choices impossible for her.

We agree that ultimately, it is about context, but none of us were there. Adria made a choice and got death threats for it, and subsequently fired. If her firing was for the public shaming, then I disagree with the firing. If it was in response to the vicious misogyny, then I disagree with that as well. I Adria broke some sort of policy at her company, then the firing was in all likelihood deserved.

Seth wrote:
bandit0013 wrote:

Has anyone here ever told a racial/gender joke? Does that make you a racist/sexist? Of course it doesn't, a joke is a joke. It has no bearing on your actual behavior towards real life individuals.

Disagree. We're all racist/sexist to some degree, that's our nature/culture. I would say it's our responsibility to fight against that nature/culture. There've been arguments made that go so far as claiming those who don't publically denounce racist/sexist jokes when heard around them are racist/sexist.

That line of thinking leads to a path where comedy entertainment no longer exists. Freedom of expression trumps the right to not be offended every day of the week. As I said previously, I think there's a huge difference between what the men in this case were doing (joking to each other) and directing it at someone in an unwelcome manner (harassment).

Harassment is never ok. Mucking with expression is a dangerous precedent.

Seth wrote:

Again, though, Dan, you're framing this discussion from your point of view, not Adria's. In reality, there's limitless responses to the situation, from completely ignoring it (which is what everyone else did at the event) to violence.

For sure, I was restricting the set of choices to those that wouldn't derail/muddy the discussion at hand.

Seth wrote:

As others have pointed out, there are layers of hidden politics that may have made some choices impossible for her.

I've pretty much advocated for that earlier in this thread. Although it's telling that Adria's justification for going "straight to public shaming" doesn't talk about her lack of comfort with directly confronting the guys nor her lack of belief that the PyCon folk would do anything about it. She apparently tweeted it to alert the PyCon folk so she must have had some trust in their ability to address the issue.

Seth wrote:

We agree that ultimately, it is about context, but none of us were there. Adria made a choice and got death threats for it, and subsequently fired. If her firing was for the public shaming, then I disagree with the firing. If it was in response to the vicious misogyny, then I disagree with that as well. I Adria broke some sort of policy at her company, then the firing was in all likelihood deserved.

To be honest I think absolutely everything that has happened since PyCon; the death/rape threats , DDos attacks and both the firings are utterly reprehensible. But I don't think any of that is in dispute.

edit: And importantly when it comes time to use the public shaming option Adria shouldn't be made to feel censored by some douchebags online or her employer for that matter.

Seth wrote:

A lot of the disagreement, but not all. I'm still very much convinced this would not have been an issue had it been a man who tweeted a picture, and if it had been a man, there is absolutely NO chance he would have been accused of starting a "crusade."

Really? You think that if a male had taken offense at that overhead conversation at a con, posted that photo of those guys in a rage tweet instead of any number of other, more moderate responses, and indirectly cost them their jobs it wouldn't be an issue? Especially if that male had a history of engaging in similarly questionable "crusades" against other people and events in the tech industry in order to drive traffic to his blog and twitter feed?

I agree that the response from the dark corners of tech have almost certainly been less disproportionate and revolting if Richards was a male, but I find it really unlikely that a man would have been given a pass for this kind of behavior.

bandit0013 wrote:

Phoenix-

My observation would be that the pics, twitter, and blog post were certainly directed at a specific person. I think a reasonable person would definitely feel harassed given the nature of the response and the resulting actions of their employer.

You're conflating two things here: Richards actions and the reactions of others. One is not dependent upon the other in order to have a claim (or not have a claim) of harassment. You can be harassed with or without any resulting fallout.

And, of course, her action was directed at specific persons. That still doesn't qualify it as harassment. (Again, if pictures, a tweet and a critical blog post constituted harassment, there would be about 50 million or more people with a harassment claim.)

Additionally, the law is not based on what a person would "feel." The legal definitions are set out, and I would be jaw-droppingly shocked if any court ever said or would say, "Oh, well, if you feel harassed, then you were harassed."

If a guy had tweeted the picture you wouldn't have seen the death/rape threats, you wouldn't have seen the initial dude get fired in case he was being a sexist ass at the conference, you wouldn't have seen the DDos attacks and you wouldn't have seen the tweeter then get fired. But as I say everything that has happened after that tweet has been way out of line.

That said, if a guy had tweeted that pic instead of going through that provided channels first that would have been a bit of dick move in much that same way that it was a bit of dick move for Adria to do the same.

This makes a solid case for "don't interact, look at, or speak above a whisper while a woman is in the room", she definitely didn't help feminism by doing this, she just made it harder for men to trust a woman coworker won't completely f*ck their life up over something trivial and frankly, silly.

Yes, what this whole incident reveals is that MEN are unsafe around WOMEN. Jesus Christ. Excuse me while I go bang my head against my desk and scream.

I could have sworn her tweet just said it was "uncool.". Why did that result in someone getting fired?

Yet it was guys that overreacted by firing the programmer, sent threats to Richards, trashed Richards' employer's web site, and then fired Richards to make clear that women should feel as isolated within the programmer community as possible.

So Richards said dongle jokes were uncool, and she is the threat. Poor men just can't be expected to act like adults with uppity women around. Richards definitely deserved to have her life turned upside down for calling a couple of guys, "uncool."

Jayhawker wrote:

So Richards said dongle jokes were uncool, and she is the threat. Poor men just can't be expected to act like adults with uppity women around. Richards definitely deserved to have her life turned upside down for calling a couple of guys, "uncool."

Completely dismissing the fact that tried to publicly shame them while also painting them as sexists creating an environment of sexism that would prevent girls from making it in the industry. So many people are making apologies for her terrible behavior because SEXISM!

MaverickDago wrote:

This makes a solid case for "don't interact, look at, or speak above a whisper while a woman is in the room", she definitely didn't help feminism by doing this, she just made it harder for men to trust a woman coworker won't completely f*ck their life up over something trivial and frankly, silly.

I'm not on Richards' side on all aspects of this issue but seriously, that's what you take from this?!

Jayhawker wrote:

Poor men just can't be expected to act like adults with uppity women around. Richards definitely deserved to have her life turned upside down for calling a couple of guys, "uncool."

When you're ready to start arguing with real people instead of your fantasy bogeymen, I'll be happy to continue the conversation.

I thought the Verge had a good take on it.

http://www.theverge.com/2013/3/21/41...

What we most want, across the board, is for this not to have happened. It was such a simple joke, in the beginning — the kind of thing high school boys tell, before enough women call them out on it and they stop. Why couldn't Richards have called them out the same way? Over and over, observers have put forward the same fantasy, in which Richards talks to the developers face-to-face, they fess up, and the whole thing lives and dies as a quiet argument in the tenth row of an otherwise-boring tech conference.

But in a world where thousands of anonymous men can instantly gather to deliver swift retribution against any perceived threat, it's easy to understand why more women don't speak out.

LouZiffer wrote:
Jayhawker wrote:

Poor men just can't be expected to act like adults with uppity women around. Richards definitely deserved to have her life turned upside down for calling a couple of guys, "uncool."

When you're ready to start arguing with real people instead of your fantasy bogeymen, I'll be happy to continue the conversation.

My response was to this:

MaverickDago wrote:

This makes a solid case for "don't interact, look at, or speak above a whisper while a woman is in the room", she definitely didn't help feminism by doing this, she just made it harder for men to trust a woman coworker won't completely f*ck their life up over something trivial and frankly, silly.

Was she actively trying to get them fired? I think the whole thing definitely spiraled out of control, seems like most people agree on that part.

I just have a real hard time pitting the jobs of 3+ people against a some hurt feelings, a desire to stay hidden, or to have some meek personality.

People need to learn to talk in public. People also need to learn to be big boys and girls with how to confront certain things.

Boys should not make jokes about dicks in public, girls should not make Va-Jay-Jay jokes or talk about their periods. And if someone takes offense to such talk, there are often channels to voice that to make it stop. I am pretty sure this sh*t is covered on Sesame Street.

DanB wrote:

If a guy had tweeted the picture you wouldn't have seen the death/rape threats, you wouldn't have seen the initial dude get fired in case he was being a sexist ass at the conference, you wouldn't have seen the DDos attacks and you wouldn't have seen the tweeter then get fired. But as I say everything that has happened after that tweet has been way out of line.

That said, if a guy had tweeted that pic instead of going through that provided channels first that would have been a bit of dick move in much that same way that it was a bit of dick move for Adria to do the same.

I totally agree with you, except that I would also argue that it is more than a bit of a dick move. Given the context, it is a major dick move.

Jayhawker wrote:
LouZiffer wrote:
Jayhawker wrote:

Poor men just can't be expected to act like adults with uppity women around. Richards definitely deserved to have her life turned upside down for calling a couple of guys, "uncool."

When you're ready to start arguing with real people instead of your fantasy bogeymen, I'll be happy to continue the conversation.

My response was to this:

MaverickDago wrote:

This makes a solid case for "don't interact, look at, or speak above a whisper while a woman is in the room", she definitely didn't help feminism by doing this, she just made it harder for men to trust a woman coworker won't completely f*ck their life up over something trivial and frankly, silly.

Got it, Jayhawker. I apologize, as I didn't have that context.

The Verge article would be much better if it didn't state there was an outright denial of the sexual connotation behind the overheard statements when it was admitted to and apologized for (for the 'dongle' comment), and it didn't mention that there were official reporting mechanisms in place which would have also avoided a direct confrontation. In my mind those omissions undermine their reporting and causes it to look like they're skewing the facts to cater to their overall point, which admittedly is a good one.

clover wrote:

Was she actively trying to get them fired? I think the whole thing definitely spiraled out of control, seems like most people agree on that part.

No, but my take from the Verge is that if you publicly confront someone, or go over someone's head some people on Twitter might be mean to you for a week.

I am not in the norm, my wife and I are very keen to speak our mind when people go about like the world is their oyster. I get that.

People also have options to talk with management/security, to move seats, or to extricate themselves. Or you can put something on Facebook/Twitter. I had this happen to me a couple of times. In my experience, dumb people pick this route.

I also did a ninja edit, sorry. But at some point between the age of 10 and death, people need to learn to take a modicum of charge when unpleasant or offensive things come their way.

KingGorilla wrote:
clover wrote:

Was she actively trying to get them fired? I think the whole thing definitely spiraled out of control, seems like most people agree on that part.

No, but my take from the Verge is that if you publicly confront someone, or go over someone's head some people on Twitter might be mean to you for a week.

I am not in the norm, my wife and I are very keen to speak our mind when people go about like the world is their oyster. I get that.

People also have options to talk with management/security, to move seats, or to extricate themselves. Or you can put something on Facebook/Twitter. I had this happen to me a couple of times. In my experience, dumb people pick this route.

I also did a ninja edit, sorry. But at some point between the age of 10 and death, people need to learn to take a modicum of charge when unpleasant or offensive things come their way.

I agree with you on that... I personally wouldn't have gone for the nuclear option straight away like that either.

::

I do have some sympathy for her choice of action, even though I don't think it was very smart to start with it. Women deal with a daily fire hose of negative messaging that men don't have to engage with, or even see. It's hard for me to begrudge her a chip on her shoulder (as much as I wish she had a less abrasive personality) because I know how taxing it can be to function in a male-dominated field.

Dick jokes are everywhere, constantly (see the instantaneous explosion of fellatio suggestions in the thread started by a coffee-grinder GF wanting birthday present ideas) and when you're a woman running into dick talk everywhere you go it can be easy to overreact sometimes. Because in your head it's not the first offense, it's the zillionth time and you're tired of either ignoring it and feeling sh*tty, or saying something to the dudes in question and getting bingoed (c'mon, can't you take a joke?) and maybe you just want to watch a goddamned preso without more goddamned dick talk just one goddamned time in your life. Her error was in acting from that space, of reacting to the entirety. The guys, themselves, were not the full, deafening cacophony of dick talk she (or most women) hears everyday, they were just a couple more unthinking instruments in it.

Nobody has full context for her feelings except her, so I just have to assume there's more to her thought process than I know about. It's just a real shame it all went where it did.

(And yes, I love a well-timed dick joke, but context is king. Prederick has made a few excellent posts on the relative acceptability of questionably racist jokes, and this is pretty much the same.)

Parallax Abstraction wrote:
MaverickDago wrote:

This makes a solid case for "don't interact, look at, or speak above a whisper while a woman is in the room", she definitely didn't help feminism by doing this, she just made it harder for men to trust a woman coworker won't completely f*ck their life up over something trivial and frankly, silly.

I'm not on Richards' side on all aspects of this issue but seriously, that's what you take from this?!

I wouldn't be dismissive of this observation. As someone who has been in a position power as a hiring manager, director level, I have witnessed cases where the fear of sexual harassment charges has made otherwise decent men intentionally exclude their female coworkers from bonding activities (going to lunch, happy hour after work, etc). I find it very unfortunate that the lines are so blurred that some people are afraid to express humor. When the poo hits the fan at work and everyone needs to pull together and be a team, I'd rather have people who have a strong bond and rapport on that team. This is not even to mention how events like this diminish the ... perception? of real harassment.