Rabid Anti-Feminism Strikes Again

LouZiffer wrote:
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.

It's all good.

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.

I get your point, but I don't think it is healthy to force women, or any minority in any situation, to keep all complaints in house, as I think we benefit from hearing their stories. But, it really contributes to the feeling that men don't want to know what women put up with, because it is inconvenient. This should have been a good time to hash out what is and isn't appropriate in different settings, with input from women. Instead, the male dominated programming field doubled-down on shutting her up and isolating her.

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.

She was not - in fact, this was her post on HackerNews in response to Mr. Hank's apology.

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.

Certainly, given some of Adria's history (especially speaking here to the additional context in Amanda Blum's good "How We All Lost" post), it is plausible that Adria was either being oversensitive or even possibly intending to grandstand a bit.

It does not seem at all likely that either of the parties involved were acting out of malice. As I see it, the sequence was:

* Off-color joke made during a presentation (to me, fairly mild - but I'm mindful of the fact that there is always a spectrum of reasonable interpretations)
* Adria alerts the PyCon staff through Twitter
* PyCon staff handles the situation well
* Mr. Hank is fired
* Adria expresses sympathy for the firing
* Vicious, nasty misogyny (including sustained DDoS on Sendgrid, Adria's employer, and her personal blog)
* Adria is fired

Misogyny and sexism are huge issues (still) in the tech industry (and elsewhere, but tech is the one I'm most personally familiar with). I'm definitely disappointed by the number of times I've seen folks trying to paint Adria as somehow "deserving" the vast amounts of rape and death threats that came her way, by virtue of contacting the PyCon staff via Twitter. Were there less-public ways to contact them? Sure, and I'm not a big fan of public shaming, either. It's also clear (in hindsight) that a private word with Mr. Hank would have addressed the issue, given that he admits he was out of line - but there's no way she could have known that ahead of time, and given the huge amounts of venom and vitriol that apparently are on tap if you are female and don't speak out "the right way" about something that's uncool, I'm not sure I would have been comfortable confronting them directly if I were in her shoes.

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 don't think I could disagree more strongly about whether these events make that case.

In addition to much of what Hypatian and Switchbreak already wrote, the following tweet nailed where I am on this whole mess:

Jess Zimmerman[/url]]A dick joke: Not necessarily sexist. A culture where a woman can't complain about being made uncomfortable by dick jokes: Sexist.

Dimmerswitch wrote:

In addition to much of what Hypatian and Switchbreak already wrote, the following tweet nailed where I am on this whole mess:

Jess Zimmerman[/url]]A dick joke: Not necessarily sexist. A culture where a woman can't complain about being made uncomfortable by dick jokes: Sexist.

Problem to me from people seems to be more of the forum for the complaint.

bandit0013 wrote:
Dimmerswitch wrote:

In addition to much of what Hypatian and Switchbreak already wrote, the following tweet nailed where I am on this whole mess:

Jess Zimmerman[/url]]A dick joke: Not necessarily sexist. A culture where a woman can't complain about being made uncomfortable by dick jokes: Sexist.

Problem to me from people seems to be more of the forum for the complaint.

Yeah, but then there's this response to Zimmerman's tweet which I agree with:

@eevee wrote:

@adrianovaroli if complaining on twitter is "over the top" then i am in trouble

FWIW, the dick jokes and finger - butt meme around here often make me uncomfortable and the only reason I feel brave enough to say it now is because I give less of a damn now how the GWJ community thinks or acts.

There's a lot of stuff around here I don't feel comfortable pointing out. The bizarre dick joking is just one of them.

BadKen wrote:
bandit0013 wrote:
Dimmerswitch wrote:

In addition to much of what Hypatian and Switchbreak already wrote, the following tweet nailed where I am on this whole mess:

Jess Zimmerman[/url]]A dick joke: Not necessarily sexist. A culture where a woman can't complain about being made uncomfortable by dick jokes: Sexist.

Problem to me from people seems to be more of the forum for the complaint.

Yeah, but then there's this response to Zimmerman's tweet which I agree with:

@eevee wrote:

@adrianovaroli if complaining on twitter is "over the top" then i am in trouble

Yeah, but there's a difference between me tweeting "The server at McDonald's was rude" and taking the server's pic and posting it for all the world to see.

Lawyer weighs in on Forbes.com. Relevant snippet:

This is noise to be tuned out, or boorish behavior to be reported to the conference organizers in keeping with event policy. It would be harassment if it were aimed at her, which by all accounts it was not — or if these yahoos persisted after Richards made it clear she could overhear and found their remarks offensive. Without those things, it lacks the necessary element of intent. Clearly nobody intended to hurt, harm, intimidate, or harass her. By contrast, everything about Richards’ conduct was deliberate, intended to cause as much harm and/or milk as much publicity as she could from that single event.
Dimmerswitch wrote:

* Off-color joke made during a presentation (to me, fairly mild - but I'm mindful of the fact that there is always a spectrum of reasonable interpretations)
* Adria alerts thousands of people, including the PyCon staff through Twitter
* PyCon staff handles the situation well
* Mr. Hank is fired
* Adria expresses sympathy for the firing
* Vicious, nasty misogyny (including sustained DDoS on Sendgrid, Adria's employer, and her personal blog)
* Adria is fired

Fixed for what happened. She didn't DM PyCon's twitter account or something like that.

I would like to plop one of these oversensitive types into a Navy smoke pit for an hour just to see their veins popping out. Some of the most off-color jokes I have ever heard have come from women in the smoke pit. Men too of course, it is the military after all.

Many people have fought and died for your right to offend others. Freedom of speech isn't for the accepted kind of speech, it is for the kind that offends and upsets people. It is unfortunate that these people have lost their jobs over a mild penis joke but that's what a large corporation is going to do for anybody who creates bad PR unless they are big hitters in the company or own a large enough portion of it.

Here's a better article from Forbes.
http://www.forbes.com/sites/deannaza...

Jayhawker:

It's drawing a false equivalence in the context of conversation in this thread. I don't think Adria deserved anything negative, but calling her out for jerk behavior is exactly the sort of thing that's appropriate. Calling out the contents of a private conversation you overheard is rude; publicizing it is colosally rude. This doesn't mean that I approve of her being fired, or her receiving death threats.

Is there any conversation to be had about how we condemn the misogynist actions taken against Adria? Is anyone around here for that? I don't see a difference of opinion there. How many pages of +1's do we need to waste?

(That's not a rhetorical question. I know how GWJers are fond of repeating the same thing over and over again).

LarryC wrote:

Jayhawker:

It's drawing a false equivalence in the context of conversation in this thread. I don't think Adria deserved anything negative, but calling her out for jerk behavior is exactly the sort of thing that's appropriate. Calling out the contents of a private conversation you overheard is rude; publicizing it is colosally rude. This doesn't mean that I approve of her being fired, or her receiving death threats.

Is there any conversation about how we condemn the misogynist actions taken against Adria? Is anyone around here for that?

She wasn't fired until after the crapstorm caused by her actions. The company has lost a lot of money in the denial of service attacks and several of their customers spoke out against what happened. I don't think her firing had anything to do with her gender at all. She was a political timebomb and the company attempted to distance themselves.

Doesn't make it right, but I don't think it was gender motivated.

For those that don't use Twitter, hashtags are keywords. You do a search, everyone who's using that keyword in their tweets will pop up. The hashtag #pycon was used in the initial tweet and subsequent tweets. This means she was sending the tweets to her followers and whoever was following the discussion at #pycon. Officials at Pycon either caught wind of this in #pycon or her tweets were brought to their attention by another party. Pycon does have a Twitter page which is @Pycon. She doesn't mention contacting Pycon directly via Twitter, email, etc. So, this was the equivalent of trying to get the attention of PAX enforcers solely by using the #PAX hashtag.

Pycon seems to have done a great job handling the situation. They spoke to the dudes in question and that was it..

Personally, I feel posting their photo was very poor form. There was no reason to do that. Pycon got involved, handled it well and everything was settled. But not giving Pycon a chance to take care of it first was messed up IMO. And they did take care of it. Pycon's system works.

Now, if the officials and staff at this convention didn't handle this situation properly, which has definitely happened before at other conventions, I'd have no problem with someone escalating the situation all the way to the top, to Twitter, Facebook, on the streets, etc. But to do that as step one? The behavior of the men in question was inappropriate but I also consider her method of solving the issue inappropriate too. And, just as the behavior of the men can make their employer look bad, so could her way of handling the situation. In my eyes, no one comes out of this looking good.

But the internet rage? It's terrible. And it keeps happening over and over and over again with no way to stop it. That a group of people can just harass, threaten and destroy at will is insanity. There doesn't seem to be an effective way of fighting back either. It's completely out of line and frightening as hell.

bandit0013 wrote:
LarryC wrote:

Is there any conversation about how we condemn the misogynist actions taken against Adria? Is anyone around here for that?

She wasn't fired until after the crapstorm caused by her actions. The company has lost a lot of money in the denial of service attacks and several of their customers spoke out against what happened. I don't think her firing had anything to do with her gender at all. She was a political timebomb and the company attempted to distance themselves.

Doesn't make it right, but I don't think it was gender motivated.

Yes, but the DDoS attacks and such [em]are[/em] pretty likely to be gender motivated, given it's the same MO as the crap that gets thrown at people like Anita Sarkeesian for speaking out about misogyny, and on feminist issues in general. So... I'm not sure "this other stuff wasn't misogynist" is a terribly good answer to "can we have a conversation about the misogynist stuff?"

Hypatian wrote:

Yes, but the DDoS attacks and such [em]are[/em] pretty likely to be gender motivated, given it's the same MO as the crap that gets thrown at people like Anita Sarkeesian for speaking out about misogyny, and on feminist issues in general. So... I'm not sure "this other stuff wasn't misogynist" is a terribly good answer to "can we have a conversation about the misogynist stuff?"

What use would having a conversation about internet vigilante groups be? Someone told a racist joke, let's discuss the KKK?

BadKen wrote:
bandit0013 wrote:
Dimmerswitch wrote:

In addition to much of what Hypatian and Switchbreak already wrote, the following tweet nailed where I am on this whole mess:

Jess Zimmerman[/url]]A dick joke: Not necessarily sexist. A culture where a woman can't complain about being made uncomfortable by dick jokes: Sexist.

Problem to me from people seems to be more of the forum for the complaint.

Yeah, but then there's this response to Zimmerman's tweet which I agree with:

@eevee wrote:

@adrianovaroli if complaining on twitter is "over the top" then i am in trouble

And this:

@eevee wrote:

@adrianovaroli this seems pretty inconsistent though: what's the problem with complaining about a public remark in public

Because the public complaint identifies the person with a picture. That makes a big difference in my mind. One is an attempt to point out a problem. The other seems more like an attempt to embarrass.

"Oh. You're the guy who made a dick joke at Pycon." will follow this guy if he stays in his current field. People won't even have to know his name. Is that the sort of resolution she intended? I don't know. It is what happens when that's tweeted to thousands of followers who are close to that line of work though.

Given the size of her follower group, I'd say it was closer to Gabe unleashing the Penny Arcade hordes on the target of his wrath. Is it tragic that her initial attack didn't have the same ferocity and power of the attacks directed her way? Would the outcome have been better if the guys in question received rape and death threats?

Worse possibility: the publicity of the stunt and the way employers simply throw away resumes if you have so much as a drunken picture on your FB account could have dire consequences for the future employment prospects of these people for an indeterminate period of time. How would YOU like to made unemployable because you made a dick joke on a GWJ thread that I found inappropriate?

LarryC wrote:

How would YOU like to made unemployable because you made a dick joke on a GWJ thread that I found inappropriate?

Personally, if a company is willing to toss away a resume or fire me for something like that it wouldn't be a company I'd want to work for anyway.

CptDomano wrote:
LarryC wrote:

How would YOU like to made unemployable because you made a dick joke on a GWJ thread that I found inappropriate?

Personally, if a company is willing to toss away a resume or fire me for something like that It wouldn't be a company I'd want to work for anyway.

If it were a choice between having a job or not, I'm not sure if I could be that picky on that particular principle.

LouZiffer wrote:
CptDomano wrote:
LarryC wrote:

How would YOU like to made unemployable because you made a dick joke on a GWJ thread that I found inappropriate?

Personally, if a company is willing to toss away a resume or fire me for something like that It wouldn't be a company I'd want to work for anyway.

If it were a choice between having a job or not, I'm not sure if I could be that picky on that particular principle.

Yeah, but at that point it's not my choice to make.

bandit0013 wrote:

Problem to me from people seems to be more of the forum for the complaint.

bnpederson wrote:

Fixed for what happened. She didn't DM PyCon's twitter account or something like that.

LarryC wrote:

Given the size of her follower group, I'd say it was closer to Gabe unleashing the Penny Arcade hordes on the target of his wrath.

More fixation on Adria not objecting "right" - and I'm not sure that Adria having some threshold of followers is especially relevant (she had ~10k followers at the time this happened - hardly a PA-size "horde"). For whatever reason, she chose a fairly public forum to make the PyCon staff aware of what was happening.

Because I've discovered that some folks I've discussed this with haven't actually read the initial series of tweets, I've screencapped them below.

IMAGE(http://i.imgur.com/rDVgEan.jpg)

To me, that sequence doesn't read like someone whose goal is stirring up trouble, and certainly not like someone who was hoping to get anyone fired.

Dimmerswitch:

If it provides any context, I also criticized Gabe for behaving the same way. It's not just the Twitter stream. She blogged about the incident as well, all but labeling these guys as sexist; for a non-sexist joke they made amongst themselves, in a private conversation she's supposed to be trying to ignore (because it's impolite to listen in on private conversations, even in an event).

If she had a problem with the noise pollution, she should have said that. What she did is not right because it's abusive and invasive. It absolutely looks to me like someone looking to create a scene where there isn't any, for the purpose of persecution.

Maybe I'm just too sensitive to things you guys tolerate. FWIW, I also find talking over people insensitive and rude. I found it rude on the CC, and I continue to find it rude even now. It bothers me that Sands has to say, "Please let me finish!" just to have his say.

LarryC wrote:

If it provides any context, I also criticized Gabe for behaving the same way. It's not just the Twitter stream. She blogged about the incident as well, all but labeling these guys as sexist; for a non-sexist joke they made amongst themselves, in a private conversation she's supposed to be trying to ignore (because it's impolite to listen in on private conversations, even in an event).

I have some difficulty understanding the ideology that a "private conversation" can be maintained while sitting in the middle of a venue with hundreds of people because the expectation is that others should be tuning out what can be heard in earshot.

The onus on keeping a conversation "private" is up to the parties directly involved in the conversation, not those who can hear what they are saying.

Phoenix Rev:

I suspect it's because I'm always within earshot of someone who isn't involved in various conversations. I'm often in a situation where there are thousands of people in the same venue and you're supposed to ignore the content of any conversation you happen to overhear. If you don't, you're supposed to pretend you didn't hear and then do your best to forget.

How does it make sense that I'm supposed to censor my private conversations based on things I don't have any way of knowing?

LarryC wrote:

It's not just the Twitter stream. She blogged about the incident as well, all but labeling these guys as sexist; for a non-sexist joke they made amongst themselves, in a private conversation she's supposed to be trying to ignore (because it's impolite to listen in on private conversations, even in an event).

Mr. Hank, who made the joke, admitted that the big dongle joke was out of line, that Adria was right to contact PyCon staff, and apologized (though he claims there was no sexual context for the "forking" commentary).

You don't cite the portions of Adria's post you object to, so I can't speak to that.

But again, I think that "she objected wrong" is secondary to the bigger point, namely that even at a tech conference that is making major efforts to be inclusive, a woman apparently can't call out behavior that makes her uncomfortable without having to fear a flood of rape and death threats.

That is incredibly toxic, and to my mind is the actual problem worth trying to solve.

Dimmerswitch wrote:
bandit0013 wrote:

Problem to me from people seems to be more of the forum for the complaint.

bnpederson wrote:

Fixed for what happened. She didn't DM PyCon's twitter account or something like that.

LarryC wrote:

Given the size of her follower group, I'd say it was closer to Gabe unleashing the Penny Arcade hordes on the target of his wrath.

More fixation on Adria not objecting "right" - and I'm not sure that Adria having some threshold of followers is especially relevant (she had ~10k followers at the time this happened - hardly a PA-size "horde"). For whatever reason, she chose a fairly public forum to make the PyCon staff aware of what was happening.

Because I've discovered that some folks I've discussed this with haven't actually read the initial series of tweets, I've screencapped them below.

--image--

To me, that sequence doesn't read like someone whose goal is stirring up trouble, and certainly not like someone who was hoping to get anyone fired.

Yes, if someone is at a ticketed event that has staff and methods to contact that staff, they should directly contact the staff regarding any issues first. I didn't say anything about her trying to make trouble, either.

I thought Mystic Violet put it quite well.

Mystic Violet wrote:

For those that don't use Twitter, hashtags are keywords. You do a search, everyone who's using that keyword in their tweets will pop up. The hashtag #pycon was used in the initial tweet and subsequent tweets. This means she was sending the tweets to her followers and whoever was following the discussion at #pycon. Officials at Pycon either caught wind of this in #pycon or her tweets were brought to their attention by another party. Pycon does have a Twitter page which is @Pycon. She doesn't mention contacting Pycon directly via Twitter, email, etc. So, this was the equivalent of trying to get the attention of PAX enforcers solely by using the #PAX hashtag.

Pycon seems to have done a great job handling the situation. They spoke to the dudes in question and that was it..

Personally, I feel posting their photo was very poor form. There was no reason to do that. Pycon got involved, handled it well and everything was settled. But not giving Pycon a chance to take care of it first was messed up IMO. And they did take care of it. Pycon's system works.

Now, if the officials and staff at this convention didn't handle this situation properly, which has definitely happened before at other conventions, I'd have no problem with someone escalating the situation all the way to the top, to Twitter, Facebook, on the streets, etc. But to do that as step one? The behavior of the men in question was inappropriate but I also consider her method of solving the issue inappropriate too. And, just as the behavior of the men can make their employer look bad, so could her way of handling the situation. In my eyes, no one comes out of this looking good.

But the internet rage? It's terrible. And it keeps happening over and over and over again with no way to stop it. That a group of people can just harass, threaten and destroy at will is insanity. There doesn't seem to be an effective way of fighting back either. It's completely out of line and frightening as hell.

LarryC wrote:

Phoenix Rev:

I suspect it's because I'm always within earshot of someone who isn't involved in various conversations. I'm often in a situation where there are thousands of people in the same venue and you're supposed to ignore the content of any conversation you happen to overhear. If you don't, you're supposed to pretend you didn't hear and then do your best to forget.

How does it make sense that I'm supposed to censor my private conversations based on things I don't have any way of knowing?

I am not suggesting you censor your private conversations. I am suggesting you take your conversation to a place where it cannot be heard.

I don't think I have ever been in a venue where there isn't a nook where I could pull someone aside and share a moment of private conversation. Even a packed stadium has spaces where one can retreat if one doesn't want to be overheard.

And if, on the odd chance, you are in a place with absolutely no retreat and you have to have that private conversation, why not whisper into the ear of your conversation companion?

bandit0013 wrote:

@Phoenix

Why should anyone have to do that to use the word dongle?

They don't "have" to. I specifically said I was suggesting.

The two guys involved have the freedom to say whatever they want.

That freedom does not negate the freedom of others to be critical.

@Phoenix

Why should anyone have to do that to use the word dongle?

Edit: What I'm pointing out is that she took offense to Forking the Repo, which is a common programmer term. The presentation obviously mentioned the word dongle, and the guy was able in context to construe it to mean penis. If this is the bar for offense in our society, we can pretty much say goodbye to all forms of media.

Can you imagine the horror if you were in a public place and a tv network was playing seinfeld or sex in the city?