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Author Topic: Feminism and Adria Richards's PyCon experience  (Read 4395 times)

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Offline SethalaTopic starter

Re: Feminism and Adria Richards's PyCon experience
« Reply #100 on: April 06, 2013, 02:50:55 PM »
So... wait. It's okay to publicly shame someone as long as you don't actually shame them? Is that seriously what you're saying here? (Hint: It's kinda hard to shame an anonymous person.)

Perhaps I shouldn't have called it "publicly shaming" when I talked about what the waitress did, but yes, that's my point.  It's ok to tell a story and say how rude people can be, it's not ok to say how rude this one particular person can be.

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Re: Feminism and Adria Richards's PyCon experience
« Reply #101 on: April 06, 2013, 02:55:55 PM »
Okay.

Why not?

Offline consortium11

Re: Feminism and Adria Richards's PyCon experience
« Reply #102 on: April 06, 2013, 03:10:27 PM »
I personally believe people could learn to loosen up a bit and sometimes not make everything into a personal crusade, and instead of fighting people, learn to accept people for the faults rather than shaming them for not living up to whatever standard.

I appreciate where this is coming from, but I think this is really dangerous thinking.

After all why should I accept someone's faults when those faults make me uncomfortable and they've shown an unwillingness to not do it?

Take us back a couple of decades to a time when women were, even in a professional environment, regular called, even in a supposedly professional environment "babe", "love", "darling" etc or worse "hot lips"... "big tits". When they were routinely groped and what would now be considered sexual abuse? When they were very much expected to sit there, look pretty, laugh at the jokes about them and not be taken seriously.  Should women in such circumstances have simply accepted people for their faults and let it go on?

Or when people were happy to use derogatory racial terms to describe people. Should people have learnt to accept people for their faults?

What I'm trying to say is, life is too damn short not to make a dongle joke at work.

Surely life is also too short to put up with sexual jokes that make you feel uncomfortable and in reality have no place in a professional environment?

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Feminism and Adria Richards's PyCon experience
« Reply #103 on: April 06, 2013, 03:16:06 PM »
Perhaps I shouldn't have called it "publicly shaming" when I talked about what the waitress did, but yes, that's my point.  It's ok to tell a story and say how rude people can be, it's not ok to say how rude this one particular person can be.
And then I, for one, am back to "If you don't want to be publicly shamed, maybe you shouldn't do things you're ashamed of in public."

Offline Bandita

Re: Feminism and Adria Richards's PyCon experience
« Reply #104 on: April 06, 2013, 03:28:01 PM »
On the subject of the receipt, the waitress herself tried to have the signature removed.  And also, BOTH of them were unable to perform their jobs after it went viral.  The waitress got fired too, even though she herself asked Reddit to remove the signature less than 24 hours after posting it.  She just wanted to share what hell waitresses go through.  But that said, If you don't want to be shamed, don't do shameful things.

As far as Adria Richards goes, I don't think she did anything wrong, per se. It isn't a crime to take pictures of strangers at cons, and describe what they are doing.  I mean, how many 7th graders take pictures of their classmates doing obnoxious things during class and tweet them?  I'm guessing a fair few.  According to every teacher I've ever met they all have their phones out during class all the time.

The difference here is that these were not 7th graders, even though they were acting like them.  And the horrible thing is, Adria's account of the thing, although a bit heavy handed, does seem to imply that she was trying to be careful about what was expected of her.  Like checking the con's website before tweeting about it.  Okay, so she's a snitch, but that's hardly a crime.  The guys were acting like 12 year olds, being offensively inappropriate, and deserved to be disciplined as such. Again, this is my opinion, not really an argument.

Offline Rhapsody

Re: Feminism and Adria Richards's PyCon experience
« Reply #105 on: April 06, 2013, 05:02:08 PM »
I haven't read all this thread, so it's possible this has been linked already. But back on the 27th of November, Twitter lit up with #1reasonwhy. Because someone asked "why aren't there a lot of female game developers?" and this was part of the result. I have friends who are game developers. I myself participated in the discussion, because it expanded to cover women who also play video games and tabletop games, or shop for electronics or play in "boys club" fields.

It was fairly eye-opening, horrifying and disgusting, even for those of us who'd already heard some of the stories.

Or Google Anita Sarkeesian, and see the shit she went through when she was trying to crowdfund through Kickstarter a video series on female tropes in video games. Her Google page was vandalized with porn. She was sent hateful, disgusting messages. Someone even made a flash game where you could punch her face, and she would get progressively bloodier and more bruised.

People who perpetuate the Old Boys Club, who make sexist jokes about female participants need to be publically shamed, in my opinion, because otherwise they don't know it's wrong. The attitudes are so prevalent in these traditionally male-dominated industries, it's practically ingrained. If people don't speak up and make the world aware of it, the attitudes continue, nothing changes.

There's a saying that the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Well, privately dealing with these sorts of comments has done very little for feminism or equality. I guess now people are trying the route of public shaming. And I can't say I disagree with them.

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Re: Feminism and Adria Richards's PyCon experience
« Reply #106 on: April 06, 2013, 05:31:24 PM »
I haven't read all this thread, so it's possible this has been linked already. But back on the 27th of November, Twitter lit up with #1reasonwhy. Because someone asked "why aren't there a lot of female game developers?" and this was part of the result. I have friends who are game developers. I myself participated in the discussion, because it expanded to cover women who also play video games and tabletop games, or shop for electronics or play in "boys club" fields.

It was fairly eye-opening, horrifying and disgusting, even for those of us who'd already heard some of the stories.

>.>

(Because I'm currently getting the highest grade in my networking and programming classes and keep being told by more than one of the compsci students - all guys, by the way; I am one of two girls in the networking class and three girls in the programming class - that they'll be happy to look over my homework for me before I turn it in, or that they can explain what object-oriented programming means in smaller words, or that they're shocked when I explain class polymorphism to the other girl in the class who didn't pick it up at first. This is not an attitude of the past, this is something that is still happening.)

Offline Caehlim

Re: Feminism and Adria Richards's PyCon experience
« Reply #107 on: April 06, 2013, 05:32:48 PM »
Okay.

Why not?

One big reason: The so-called "golden rule". (Source)

Many smaller reasons: The lack of appropriate safeguards over the court of public opinion. The dangers of a mob mentality. A potentially excessive response. A dislike of extra-judicial punishment. The chance that your bringing a person to the attention of people with mental illness. Possibility of triggering suicides.

Whether those are good enough reasons I leave to your judgement, but those are some reasons.

Edit: Fixed some grammar.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2013, 05:34:17 PM by Caehlim »

Offline SethalaTopic starter

Re: Feminism and Adria Richards's PyCon experience
« Reply #108 on: April 06, 2013, 05:35:40 PM »
People who perpetuate the Old Boys Club, who make sexist jokes about female participants need to be publically shamed, in my opinion, because otherwise they don't know it's wrong. The attitudes are so prevalent in these traditionally male-dominated industries, it's practically ingrained. If people don't speak up and make the world aware of it, the attitudes continue, nothing changes.

First off, thank you for the link, it's pretty informative, and I appreciate it.

However, I want to ask you a question about the part I quoted.  Does it matter what was actually said?  Specifically, while we don't know the exact words, reading through both Adria's post and the guy's response, it's pretty clear that the joke wasn't actually aimed at someone in particular.  (The "forking" comment, which he claims wasn't intended to be an innuendo at all but an appreciative comment, was actually directed at a male speaker.)  So, since it was just "a joke about sex" and not "a sexist joke about someone", does that change your mind?  (For discussion purposes, assume that there's no argument about whether the joke was directed at someone or not.)

Offline Caehlim

Re: Feminism and Adria Richards's PyCon experience
« Reply #109 on: April 06, 2013, 05:40:16 PM »
(Because I'm currently getting the highest grade in my networking and programming classes and keep being told by more than one of the compsci students - all guys, by the way; I am one of two girls in the networking class and three girls in the programming class - that they'll be happy to look over my homework for me before I turn it in, or that they can explain what object-oriented programming means in smaller words, or that they're shocked when I explain class polymorphism to the other girl in the class who didn't pick it up at first. This is not an attitude of the past, this is something that is still happening.)

What the heck is wrong with these people? Were they dropped on their heads frequently as children or something?

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Re: Feminism and Adria Richards's PyCon experience
« Reply #110 on: April 06, 2013, 05:41:04 PM »
Is it still socially acceptable to sexually harass dudes though?



Picture snipped.  Seriously.  - Staff
Because I mean look at that ass....Seriously.

« Last Edit: April 06, 2013, 06:35:56 PM by Oniya »

Offline Trieste

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Re: Feminism and Adria Richards's PyCon experience
« Reply #111 on: April 06, 2013, 05:44:22 PM »
What the heck is wrong with these people? Were they dropped on their heads frequently as children or something?

I have no idea, but I wish my experience was an unusual one. Evidence suggests it is not.

Offline Caehlim

Re: Feminism and Adria Richards's PyCon experience
« Reply #112 on: April 06, 2013, 05:47:21 PM »
Is it still socially acceptable to sexually harass dudes though?

It's a tricky question. Historically it's been frequently considered impossible for a female to sexually harass a male. (Men "always want it" after all). Secondly "He hit on me, so I defended myself" has been an excuse for violently assaulting gay males in the past.

It brings up all sorts of serious issues.

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Feminism and Adria Richards's PyCon experience
« Reply #113 on: April 06, 2013, 05:49:12 PM »
One big reason: The so-called "golden rule". (Source)
If you catch me pulling discriminatory, othering bullshit in a space that specifically bars it, call me on it. Please. Loudly and publicly. I'll be humiliated - and I'll remember it.

First off, thank you for the link, it's pretty informative, and I appreciate it.

However, I want to ask you a question about the part I quoted.  Does it matter what was actually said?  Specifically, while we don't know the exact words, reading through both Adria's post and the guy's response, it's pretty clear that the joke wasn't actually aimed at someone in particular.  (The "forking" comment, which he claims wasn't intended to be an innuendo at all but an appreciative comment, was actually directed at a male speaker.)  So, since it was just "a joke about sex" and not "a sexist joke about someone", does that change your mind?  (For discussion purposes, assume that there's no argument about whether the joke was directed at someone or not.)
Does it fucking matter if it was targeted or not? Jokes like that are part of an atmosphere that objectifies women and treats them as little more than arm-candy or sex objects. They directly contribute to the exact bullshit outlined above.

Is it still socially acceptable to sexually harass dudes though?
Because I mean look at that ass....Seriously.
I am. And at the transphobic, othering bullshit written across it. Seriously, you thought that would add some levity to the thread?

On a more general note: It seems the key point here was that she did this publicly.

Slavery wasn't ended because slaves took their masters aside and politely asked to be freed.
Women didn't get the vote by chatting with their husbands about it over dinner.
Institutional racism and segregation didn't stop because black people asked white people "Uhh, can we talk with you for a moment?"
Gay people aren't getting the right to marry because they were quiet and polite about it.

Why the hell do you think sexism is the special case?

Offline Caehlim

Re: Feminism and Adria Richards's PyCon experience
« Reply #114 on: April 06, 2013, 05:53:44 PM »
I have no idea, but I wish my experience was an unusual one. Evidence suggests it is not.

Yeah, I've seen it myself with my sister all to frequently being judged for being "too smart" or "too geeky", in ways that although it lead to a certain amount of social ostracism for myself just seemed to be done in a much nastier way to her for being female.

It somehow seems more unacceptable for women to like computers (unless it's for facebook and Zenga games). I don't get that. Doesn't the industry want to double its sales? Don't straight male geeks want a girlfriend who doesn't judge them for playing world of warcraft?

Seriously it just makes no sense to me, how could anyone be that stupid?

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Feminism and Adria Richards's PyCon experience
« Reply #115 on: April 06, 2013, 06:00:39 PM »
Yeah, I've seen it myself with my sister all to frequently being judged for being "too smart" or "too geeky", in ways that although it lead to a certain amount of social ostracism for myself just seemed to be done in a much nastier way to her for being female.

It somehow seems more unacceptable for women to like computers (unless it's for facebook and Zenga games). I don't get that. Doesn't the industry want to double its sales? Don't straight male geeks want a girlfriend who doesn't judge them for playing world of warcraft?

Seriously it just makes no sense to me, how could anyone be that stupid?
For added fun, if she happens to mention on the Internet how she likes any of that "smart" or "geeky" stuff, she can get judged by thousands of angry geeks who will decide whether or not she's a fake! But sexism is over, right guys?

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Re: Feminism and Adria Richards's PyCon experience
« Reply #116 on: April 06, 2013, 06:02:17 PM »
If you catch me pulling discriminatory, othering bullshit in a space that specifically bars it, call me on it. Please. Loudly and publicly. I'll be humiliated - and I'll remember it.
Does it fucking matter if it was targeted or not? Jokes like that are part of an atmosphere that objectifies women and treats them as little more than arm-candy or sex objects. They directly contribute to the exact bullshit outlined above.
I am. And at the transphobic, othering bullshit written across it. Seriously, you thought that would add some levity to the thread?

On a more general note: It seems the key point here was that she did this publicly.

Slavery wasn't ended because slaves took their masters aside and politely asked to be freed.
Women didn't get the vote by chatting with their husbands about it over dinner.
Institutional racism and segregation didn't stop because black people asked white people "Uhh, can we talk with you for a moment?"
Gay people aren't getting the right to marry because they were quiet and polite about it.

Why the hell do you think sexism is the special case?


Of course not. Because you have no sense of humor and are unable to laugh.
Perhaps you should get a humor transplant. It's like a heart transplant for people who  are uptight  close minded buffoons.





Offline Rhapsody

Re: Feminism and Adria Richards's PyCon experience
« Reply #117 on: April 06, 2013, 06:04:25 PM »
First off, thank you for the link, it's pretty informative, and I appreciate it.

However, I want to ask you a question about the part I quoted.  Does it matter what was actually said?  Specifically, while we don't know the exact words, reading through both Adria's post and the guy's response, it's pretty clear that the joke wasn't actually aimed at someone in particular.  (The "forking" comment, which he claims wasn't intended to be an innuendo at all but an appreciative comment, was actually directed at a male speaker.)  So, since it was just "a joke about sex" and not "a sexist joke about someone", does that change your mind?  (For discussion purposes, assume that there's no argument about whether the joke was directed at someone or not.)

To me? No. It doesn't matter if it's directed at someone in particular, or if it's just a general comment. See, the problem isn't what people say, it's the general attitude behind it. Traditionally male industries, like computers and video games and RPGs, are rampant with sexism and misogynistic behaviour, even to the point where it's implicit that certain behaviours are acceptable from men whereas they are not from women (including jokes about sex); inappropriate comments shouldn't need to be directed at anyone in particular to be called out as inappropriate. This isn't even touching the fact that it was a professional gathering, and commenting about sex in any respect is opening yourself to harrassment accusations.

As for the prevalent behaviour, let me give you a personal example: I'm a pretty avid gamer, both console and PC. Back before Christmas, I went to the electronics section of Wal-Mart to buy a currency card for the PlayStation store. The card wouldn't swipe properly to ring up, and the clerk (who was very apologetic but had a hard time looking me in the eyes) had to call in a manager to fix it. The CSM didn't look at me once, didn't apologize, didn't even address me at all. Instead, he addressed my seven-year-old son, who he assumed the card was for.

The attitude is even reinforced in areas you'd never expect. I love Big Bang Theory, but there was one episode in particular that really bothered me. The guys were on their way to a Star Trek convention, and the girls decided to give comic books a try. Now, the parts of nerdity I really enjoy (comics, video games, fantasy shows, etc) are typically male-dominated in the show, to the point where the guys, overhearing a fairly heated discussion the girls are having about the Hulk and Thor's Hammer, wonder if it's a new shade of nail polish they're discussing. Where the comic book shop has basement dwellers staring awkwardly at the girls in the shop. You laugh, because you think it's funny. Hell, I did too. But at the same time, it's enraging, because it's subtly reinforcing the idea that girls are out of place in a world of nerds and geeks, because they're pretty or they have boyfriends or they don't have some mental disorder -- the sole girl they showed at the comic book shop had social anxiety disorder, and she just wandered in to "get out of her comfort zone".

The attitude is everywhere. Everywhere. And people think it's normal. And that's wrong on so many levels, I can't even begin to count them.

To make a long story short, yes. Inappropriate comments are inappropriate, no matter who they appear to be directed at.

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Re: Feminism and Adria Richards's PyCon experience
« Reply #118 on: April 06, 2013, 06:07:35 PM »
Of course not. Because you have no sense of humor and are unable to laugh.
Perhaps you should get a humor transplant. It's like a heart transplant for people who  are uptight  close minded buffoons.
Look to the left. Do you see the tag over my avatar? Perhaps you might want to think for a moment about exactly what that word, in that context, means to someone like me.

Offline Caehlim

Re: Feminism and Adria Richards's PyCon experience
« Reply #119 on: April 06, 2013, 06:07:54 PM »
If you catch me pulling discriminatory, othering bullshit in a space that specifically bars it, call me on it. Please. Loudly and publicly. I'll be humiliated - and I'll remember it.

I get that idea, definitely. But what makes me qualified to decide whether what you said was inappropriate or not.

What if someone snaps a picture of a trans* person struggling with their gender identity examining the women's clothing in their local target store and uploads it onto the internet along with sufficient information to identify them?

Now in this case, I think we would both agree that this was wrong. However this hypothetical bigot I'm describing would probably believe that they were doing the moral thing and would justify it with statements like "They shouldn't do this in public if they don't want people to see it".

From our external vantage point Adria Richards and this hypothetical person clearly have different motives, but from their own internal opinion they both have the same motive. They both want to shame someone for doing something that they think is wrong.

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Re: Feminism and Adria Richards's PyCon experience
« Reply #120 on: April 06, 2013, 06:09:55 PM »

Of course not. Because you have no sense of humor and are unable to laugh.
Perhaps you should get a humor transplant. It's like a heart transplant for people who  are uptight  close minded buffoons.

...

Relevant:

To make a long story short, yes. Inappropriate comments are inappropriate, no matter who they appear to be directed at.

Offline SethalaTopic starter

Re: Feminism and Adria Richards's PyCon experience
« Reply #121 on: April 06, 2013, 06:11:37 PM »
On a more general note: It seems the key point here was that she did this publicly.

Slavery wasn't ended because slaves took their masters aside and politely asked to be freed.
Women didn't get the vote by chatting with their husbands about it over dinner.
Institutional racism and segregation didn't stop because black people asked white people "Uhh, can we talk with you for a moment?"
Gay people aren't getting the right to marry because they were quiet and polite about it.

Why the hell do you think sexism is the special case?

Yet as far as I can tell, none of those movements had to break down and shame individual people for private comments like sexism is doing.  Give me one incident where a single individual or small group was publicly shamed in front of a significantly large audience for making a private joke about something other than sexism, and that it was considered socially acceptable to shame them.

Offline Caehlim

Re: Feminism and Adria Richards's PyCon experience
« Reply #122 on: April 06, 2013, 06:12:59 PM »
Of course not. Because you have no sense of humor and are unable to laugh.
Perhaps you should get a humor transplant. It's like a heart transplant for people who  are uptight  close minded buffoons.

Feel free to consider me humourless as well if you like, but the pic did seem somewhat inappropriate to me as well. Why is "This is a man but he looks like a woman" funny if it's not playing off people's level on uncomfortableness with the idea? This can be done to draw attention to people's subconscious biases and make them question them (I personally feel that Sarah Silverman does this style quite well) however it also has the danger of being insensitive or offensive.

You should probably be careful about using things like that for jokes.

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Re: Feminism and Adria Richards's PyCon experience
« Reply #123 on: April 06, 2013, 06:13:53 PM »
Yet as far as I can tell, none of those movements had to break down and shame individual people for private comments like sexism is doing.  Give me one incident where a single individual or small group was publicly shamed in front of a significantly large audience for making a private joke about something other than sexism, and that it was considered socially acceptable to shame them.

Mitt Romney's 47% comment.

Offline Caehlim

Re: Feminism and Adria Richards's PyCon experience
« Reply #124 on: April 06, 2013, 06:19:26 PM »
Mitt Romney's 47% comment.

I absolutely agree. It was good to see the backlash on that one and I hope it discourages such things from coming up again.

However I think that there could be a case made for that being in the public domain due to his position. I personally don't feel that politicians should benefit from the same level of privacy as the average citizen due to the public nature of their profession.

Edit: Sorry, I kind of missed the point on what you were saying there and tied it into an unrelated issue. My apologies.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2013, 06:23:03 PM by Caehlim »