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Author Topic: Feminism and Adria Richards's PyCon experience  (Read 4391 times)

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Offline Ephiral

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Re: Feminism and Adria Richards's PyCon experience
« Reply #75 on: March 31, 2013, 02:11:31 PM »
Oh, how did I not notice that the tweets weren't directed @PyCon?  (Sidenote for those not used to twitter: If you have part of your message including "@Name", then whoever's name you put in there will see it directly on their twitter feed, no matter if they're following you or not.  Anything with #Something is just a tag that's easy to search for, so PyCon staff would have to actively do a search for the tag in order to see it and respond to it.)  That... changes things significantly for me, honestly, and right now I'm no longer convinced that even tweeting it was the right thing to do, since that's likely not even what got PyCon staff's attention in the first place.
A couple important notes: 1. @PyCon is by far not the only account associated with PyCon staff. The hashtag casts a wider net. 2. It is a matter of public record that a PyCon staffer responded to her within nine minutes of the first tweet. I find it strikingly likely that the twitter post is what garnered this response - and you'll notice that it wasn't from the @PyCon account, and thus wouldn't have happened as quickly if she'd just aimed it there.

Agreed, but what part of talking about the incident requires putting the picture of the people in question and listing their company in the public space?  It would be just as effective for her to tell the story without pictures and saying that they were from one of the companies sponsoring PyCon without naming it.
Requires? Nothing. Forbids? Nothing. They were in a public space as public representatives of their company.

Judging from her comments and her complete lack of acknowledging that she may have done anything wrong by putting it in the public, I'm not so sure her regret is genuine, honestly.
And yet you accept the perpetrator's defense of his remarks, in the same space and with no more evidence? Why?

Answered already, one was telling the joke, the other was listening to it.  Are you honestly going to tell me that someone should be fired because someone else told them a bad joke?
No. I don't think anyone should have been fired. My point was that she cannot have forced them to fire one and not the other, because she took no action that distinguished in any way between the two.

A tweet directed at PyCon would have @PyCon, not #PyCon.  They would be actively monitoring tweets to them, not just tweets about them.  If it were one tweet I could see it being a typo or something, but she made three tweets.  (And saying "she didn't know the difference" isn't going to work for someone that has over 10k followers.)
Addressed above. It cast a wider net - which was actually directly effective in this case. Please actually look at the first tweet and its first response.

Uh, no, that's not what she did.  She went straight to staff (and later, her public blog) without saying anything to the guys.  The only hint she gave them that something was amiss was that she took their picture.  If she did that and they kept making jokes, I'd agree that something else needed to be done.
Note that there's no mention of taking someone aside and saying that's not cool. The point isn't to give someone a deep explanation of social justice causes they're not likely to care about, it's to make everyone present understand that this behaviour is cause for rejection. It is a public shaming tactic, because shaming is a valuable tool in this sort of context. What she did was public shaming - the exact same strategy, tactics modified for the environment she found herself in.

And there's a world of difference between publicly shaming them by calling them out in person, where only people in earshot could hear, and publicly shaming them online, where anyone with an internet connection can see it.
And if she'd done it in person, she'd have been "that bitch who wouldn't shut up and let those poor put-upon men hear the presentation they came for". Assuming anybody noticed or cared at all.

Yes, we disagree. How could this be made any clearer? I thought I covered this already. I particularly don't appreciate you swearing at me based on our holding different moral values.
The point isn't that we hold different moral values, it's that two different moral standards are being applied on your side of the argument - one for Adria Richards, one for everybody else who has ever taken a picture in an active public place.

The design goals of policies are irrelevant to whether an action is sexist.
It's pretty relevant to "what she was complaining about", which I'm pretty sure is a question you asked.

I don't agree. I know plenty of women who enjoy crass and profane conversations, many of whom would be offended by being typecast by their gender in such a fashion. I also know many men who would be uncomfortable in such an environment.
The plural of anecdote is not data. Perhaps there are women who enjoy dealing with strangers creating highly sexualized environments when they just came to do some work. Given the ridiculously low presence of women in these spaces, and the way the numbers tend strongly to improve when steps are taken to address this (of which PyCon itself is an example), I would say they're not representative of the larger group.

The convention is welcome to adopt its code of conduct as it sees fit, and I certainly have no objection to it enforcing a professional standard of behaviour in which all its participants have a safe environment in which to interact.

However I fail to understand how this is in any way sexist.
You honestly don't see how behaviour that falls into a pattern with a well-documented track record of driving away hugely significant portions of one gender is sexist?

EDIT: Important detail: On review of the four original tweets... I'll have to ask you to point out what makes you think her original complaint was "This is sexist!" and not "This is sexualized and not cool, and in violation of policy!".
« Last Edit: March 31, 2013, 02:13:08 PM by Ephiral »

Offline Skynet

Re: Feminism and Adria Richards's PyCon experience
« Reply #76 on: March 31, 2013, 02:13:55 PM »
I've followed the PyCon thing briefly.  From my understanding, the con made a recent zero-tolerance policy against crude sexual jokes, and attendants were forewarned.  So the guys making dongle jokes were making a foolish risk.

On the other hand, posting their pictures online through a publicly-accessible Twitter feed was a bad way of handling things.  When the staff responded, the picture should have been taken down once the issue was resolved (can you do that on Twitter?).

I don't think that anybody should have been fired, and all parties over-reacted.

But the parties I have the most disdain for are the Reddit MRAs and 4chan-based harassers who flooded Ardria's Twitter with obscene and threatening comments in an attempt to silence her.  I also think it's strange that she's decried as a feminist when I haven't seen her identify herself as one at any point (Probably another case of MRAs slinging it around as an insult to any 'uppity' woman).

I think it's not good that Richard's company appeared to cave in to anonymous Internet threats, and it appears that their decision to fire here was made on this basis.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2013, 02:54:50 PM by Skynet »

Offline Kythia

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Re: Feminism and Adria Richards's PyCon experience
« Reply #77 on: March 31, 2013, 02:20:15 PM »
A couple important notes: 1. @PyCon is by far not the only account associated with PyCon staff. The hashtag casts a wider net. 2. It is a matter of public record that a PyCon staffer responded to her within nine minutes of the first tweet. I find it strikingly likely that the twitter post is what garnered this response - and you'll notice that it wasn't from the @PyCon account, and thus wouldn't have happened as quickly if she'd just aimed it there.

Once again, she texted them.  She sent them a text message.  I find it strikingly likely it was THAT that got their attention, when their pocket started ringing rather than, bu sheerest fluke, they happened to do a search within that nine minute period.

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Feminism and Adria Richards's PyCon experience
« Reply #78 on: March 31, 2013, 02:26:19 PM »
Once again, she texted them.  She sent them a text message.  I find it strikingly likely it was THAT that got their attention, when their pocket started ringing rather than, bu sheerest fluke, they happened to do a search within that nine minute period.
I don't, since Noah Kantrowitz isn't on the list of contact numbers.

EDIT: And it's hardly unknown for event staffers to maintain active monitoring of relevant hashtags precisely so they can stay on top of issues and make sure they're maintaining a positive vibe at their events.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2013, 02:27:44 PM by Ephiral »

Offline consortium11

Re: Feminism and Adria Richards's PyCon experience
« Reply #79 on: March 31, 2013, 02:31:01 PM »
If someone was still made uncomfortable, then the situation was still unfolding. Not until that was dealt with is it over.

I'm struggling with your argument.

In your original reply to me you essentially wrote off the option of going to talk to a member of staff at the time because it would be rude. Of course, that is actually what happened... following the tweet staff came to talk to her, they left the presentation, had a conversation, came back in and removed the pair.

So by sending the tweet all she did is delay, in your words, "rudely leaving in the middle of the presentation".

There was a natural break in the presentation, which was the time she stood up and took the photo. If standing up and taking a photo isn't rude then neither is leaving... or simply attracting the attention of a member of staff.

Moreover, did the fact that the two were removed suddenly make Ms Richard's comfortable with the fact they'd been speaking in such a manner? Is she comfortable with it now? If defining an event as unfolding is based on the victim feeling comfortable then when exactly does any even fully unfold?

So your ideal response is "Fire messages that may or may not be received and are not documented off, then sit and wait for something to happen"? Seems like a poor way to get things done.

1) It's not my ideal response. It's one that I very quickly thought of. My own preference would have been to talk to the two directly or, if I wasn't comfortable doing that, talking to a member of staff directly.

2) Text messages can quite easily be documented.

3) Her eventual response was to do something that she wasn't certain to be picked up and then sit and wait for something to happen.

4) Beyond that... she did actually text Pycon staff and get a response, if her blog posting on the events are accurate. Its simply that she decided to supplement it with some twitterverse shaming (without the two gentlemen being away).

...striking the only less-public option likely to get a quick response from the list. What are the chances that an event feed is following every attending employee of every sponsor?

I don't know if she was being followed back by any staff members at Pycon. She may well have been. It was still an option that she didn't take. Not using @pycon and instead using the hashtag seems to indicate she was less interested in having Pycon be aware of it then she was in letting everyone else know.

Here I know you're wrong, as there has been a policy update since.

So the website has been updated since. I didn't check the code of conduct and any updates; I went straight for the emails.

Are you alleging that these have all only been added after the fact?

Maybe. Or maybe it would have been written off as generalized bitching and not a specific currently-ongoing issue, and swept under the rug. All too common.

Or Pycon, who according to Ms Richards, have a pretty good of dealing with such things, would have picked it up and dealt with it.

Would the response have been much different from their side if she had sent the exact same tweet without the photo?

Offline Kythia

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Re: Feminism and Adria Richards's PyCon experience
« Reply #80 on: March 31, 2013, 02:32:40 PM »
Sorry, Im very confused by your point.  You seem to be suggesting that the PyCon staff don't have any ability to talk to each other - to say "Just got this text.  Hop on twitter and see whats going on."   

Further, Noah's number is on the list of contact, the one here which is specufucally linked from the code of conduct "reporting harassment" page.  He is the "Tech Co Lead", apparently.

Offline Caehlim

Re: Feminism and Adria Richards's PyCon experience
« Reply #81 on: March 31, 2013, 02:40:15 PM »
Ephiral, I'm not responding to that post because I believe that you're making a strawman of my opinions to argue against. You have no idea what my stance is on public photos, you've never asked. You're objecting to my anecdote which was in response to an anecdote from you. I also perceive a tone underlying many points of your post that you believe or wish to imply that I am lying.

I can understand getting caught up in a spirited debate, but I don't want to be a part of this one. It's getting a bit too heated and unpleasant for me.

Offline SethalaTopic starter

Re: Feminism and Adria Richards's PyCon experience
« Reply #82 on: March 31, 2013, 02:41:32 PM »
A couple important notes: 1. @PyCon is by far not the only account associated with PyCon staff. The hashtag casts a wider net. 2. It is a matter of public record that a PyCon staffer responded to her within nine minutes of the first tweet. I find it strikingly likely that the twitter post is what garnered this response - and you'll notice that it wasn't from the @PyCon account, and thus wouldn't have happened as quickly if she'd just aimed it there.

Fair point, I didn't notice the response to that.  (Sidenote: how do you bring up a separate page for a tweet and all responses to it?).  I still think it would have been better to include "@PyCon" as well, as she had plenty of space for it and it's still possible for other accounts to search for tweets directed at someone, so whoever was monitoring the hashtag could be monitoring tweets to PyCon directly as well.

Quote
Requires? Nothing. Forbids? Nothing. They were in a public space as public representatives of their company.

Yet they were talking quietly amongst themselves, not broadcasting loud enough for the entire internet (or even the entire room) to hear.  And I would say that "common decency" would be enough of a reason to forbid something like this.  Apparently I have different standards for what passes for decency here.

Quote
And yet you accept the perpetrator's defense of his remarks, in the same space and with no more evidence? Why?

Which defense have I accepted?  Just him saying that the forking comment wasn't sexual?  That's nowhere near as significant of a claim, especially since he's also admitting that the dongle joke was sexual and in bad form.  As for apology, he's directly said he's sorry he made the comment.  Nowhere has Adria said she's sorry she called him out in public (at least nowhere I've seen).

Quote
No. I don't think anyone should have been fired. My point was that she cannot have forced them to fire one and not the other, because she took no action that distinguished in any way between the two.

She did talk to PyCon staff to give them more information, and it's easy enough for the company to have asked them who said what when they were deciding what to do.  I honestly don't see what your point is here though; how is only one of them getting fired any proof that Adria's public shaming had nothing to do with him getting fired?

Quote
Note that there's no mention of taking someone aside and saying that's not cool. The point isn't to give someone a deep explanation of social justice causes they're not likely to care about, it's to make everyone present understand that this behaviour is cause for rejection. It is a public shaming tactic, because shaming is a valuable tool in this sort of context. What she did was public shaming - the exact same strategy, tactics modified for the environment she found herself in.

And if she'd done it in person, she'd have been "that bitch who wouldn't shut up and let those poor put-upon men hear the presentation they came for". Assuming anybody noticed or cared at all.

So basically you're saying that everyone who makes a slight faux pas should have their picture plastered on a blog with a caption saying "this guy makes sexist jokes" and then get fired?  I mean, I know I'm kind of setting up a strawman here, but I can't really figure out any other way to read your comments.

Offline SethalaTopic starter

Re: Feminism and Adria Richards's PyCon experience
« Reply #83 on: March 31, 2013, 02:45:13 PM »
I can understand getting caught up in a spirited debate, but I don't want to be a part of this one. It's getting a bit too heated and unpleasant for me.

That's unfortunate really, I enjoyed your insight on the matter, once the initial misunderstanding was cleared up.  Either way though, thanks for stopping by and giving us your input.

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Feminism and Adria Richards's PyCon experience
« Reply #84 on: March 31, 2013, 02:51:15 PM »
Ephiral, I'm not responding to that post because I believe that you're making a strawman of my opinions to argue against. You have no idea what my stance is on public photos, you've never asked. You're objecting to my anecdote which was in response to an anecdote from you. I also perceive a tone underlying many points of your post that you believe or wish to imply that I am lying.

I can understand getting caught up in a spirited debate, but I don't want to be a part of this one. It's getting a bit too heated and unpleasant for me.

And I'm going to step away from this thread for a while. I'm sorry, folks, but the point where I start causing unintentional offense is the point where i need to step back and think for a bit.

Offline Kythia

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Re: Feminism and Adria Richards's PyCon experience
« Reply #85 on: March 31, 2013, 02:53:29 PM »
LOL.

And I just came to this thread to give my apologies, specifically to Ephiral but also to everyone else reading.  I feel I got a bit over aggresive there and the embarassing part is I have absolutely no idea why.  Call it the heat of the moment if you will.

Anyway, my apologies to any and all.  'Twas wrong.

K

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Feminism and Adria Richards's PyCon experience
« Reply #86 on: March 31, 2013, 02:56:41 PM »
Rules of conduct at many conventions and work conduct are quite strict.  For women this has been especially true as nearly every aspect of their dress and mannerisms was dictated to them by policy.  The length of skirt, the type of jewelry and so on were all regulated by agencies so that a woman appeared presentable and did not send out the wrong image.  Few people scoffed at the idea and still do not.  A look at the employee guidelines for many companies will still reveal an extensive policy of dress for female employees and very little for men so long as they are “presentable.”  A woman could be sent home for wearing something she considered fashionable but was considered scandalous by a co-worker.  If said co-worker had taken a picture of the outfit she was wearing and broadcast that out to the internet, would this conversation be happening?

I do agree that the situation was handled poorly.  Still this woman is working in a field known for being sexist and unresponsive to the plight of female employees.  I cannot help but understand why she felt that her issue would be ignored.  From what I am understanding the rules were newly put in place which meant until recently her interaction with such behavior would require such public shaming to have an effect.  So the response, in other gatherings, would be the only one she had at her disposal.  We will also never know if her response was justified because she had not attempted to use the proper channels.  Though once more she could have had this experience somewhere else and was tired of the response being minimal. 

As for whether the man should’ve been fired, I think he should have been.  The company he is representing paid money for him to be there.  As an employee he is being paid for his time and for his behavior.  He is in a professional work environment, not at a bar or out in the park with his buddies.  He made a comment in public that was overheard by a person that took offense.  Whether she was eavesdropping or not is irrelevant.  If I go parading around my front yard naked and someone calls the police, nobody cares that the neighbor has been watching my house all day.  Also, as I eluded to in the first portion of this post, women have been sent home or reprimanded for simply wearing the wrong article of clothing.  I think men can tolerate being reprimanded for their actions being offensive as well.

More telling is the response to her actions and the rush to defend this man’s penis joke.  I think we feminists are seeing the long road ahead still.

Offline Caehlim

Re: Feminism and Adria Richards's PyCon experience
« Reply #87 on: March 31, 2013, 02:57:02 PM »
Ephiral, I think perhaps we both just got a bit worked up and read too much into the other person's posts. It's 6am and I've been up all night so I'm not necessarily taking everything in properly. Plus it's been a very rapidly moving discussion with you responding to an awful lot of people.

I'm not actually sure that other than disagreeing on privacy we're actually opposed on many opinions but it's getting blown out of proportion by misunderstandings on both sides.

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Feminism and Adria Richards's PyCon experience
« Reply #88 on: March 31, 2013, 02:59:43 PM »
Ephiral, I think perhaps we both just got a bit worked up and read too much into the other person's posts. It's 6am and I've been up all night so I'm not necessarily taking everything in properly. Plus it's been a very rapidly moving discussion with you responding to an awful lot of people.

I'm not actually sure that other than disagreeing on privacy we're actually opposed on many opinions but it's getting blown out of proportion by misunderstandings on both sides.
That strikes me as entirely likely - and honestly I'd probably like to discuss matters of privacy with you in a more relaxed atmosphere at some point. Either way, though... I did not convey as I intended, and offended you as a result. For this, I can only apologize. Now go get some sleep.  :-)

Offline Caehlim

Re: Feminism and Adria Richards's PyCon experience
« Reply #89 on: March 31, 2013, 03:07:01 PM »
For the record, since I am actually a hobbyist photographer I have thought a great deal about the ethics of taking people's photographs. My personal belief is that anyone who is;

A) Given any form of direction in the shot by a director/the photographer
B) Appears within the depth of field of the shot
C) Is in any way prominent or noticeable on an individual level within the final product

Should give their consent before being shown in any public medium. The more public, the more explicit that consent should be. The internet, with its infinite republishing nature and eternal record keeping is by far the one to be most careful with.

Most streetview type photographs that I've seen try to stick to this sort of philosophy and it's common amongst many of the amateur photographers that I know.

It's a fairly subjective standard, but it's not a legal policy, just a way of showing common courtesy to people.

After all I would be quite troubled if someone published a picture of me kissing a boyfriend on the street outside a gay club where I feel safe (but technically in public) and then printed it in other contexts. I'm not ashamed of my sexuality, but I would prefer to be in control of how those photos would be dispersed.

Edit: Thanks for your reply there Ephiral. I'm glad we talked this out. I'm sorry if I offended you at all as well. I'm heading off to bed, that should cover the basics of my ethics re: photography and privacy but I'd be happy to discuss it in further detail later on with you.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2013, 03:10:47 PM by Caehlim »

Offline SethalaTopic starter

Re: Feminism and Adria Richards's PyCon experience
« Reply #90 on: March 31, 2013, 03:20:08 PM »
Well, since a few people are leaving the discussion (at least for the moment) and it seems to be winding down, I think I want to put up the conclusions I've had after the discussion, as I have had some change in perspective.

First, I'm still of the opinion that the public shaming was unnecessary, and was more to push Adria's agenda (and stoke her ego) than to actually help anything.  She should have taken care of things privately with PyCon staff, possibly notified PlayHaven to give feedback on their employee's actions, and the blog post should have been about sexism and poor taste in general, without featuring a picture and without mentioning the company's name.  If PyCon refused to assist her, then the blog post would have also been an excellent way to shame them into taking better action when presented with complaints next time.  I'm admittedly not convinced that the tweets were the best way to get staff attention, especially including the picture in the tweet, but I can see that it did help get results.

I don't think the PlayHaven employee should have been fired, but that's more with me not liking the overly strict mentality towards off-color jokes.  That is, I think that if he had made the same joke to his coworker in the office and was overheard by another coworker, I don't think he should have been fired then either.  What I'm most against, however, is if the decision to fire him was a result of the public shaming, rather than a result of company policy.

I do think Adria should at least have been given a warning about her actions, since the backlash makes it harder for her to actually perform her job.  I agree that SendGrid shouldn't make the decision based on troll attacks, but I do think there was more to the decision than just internet trolls.

Finally, I'm not going to comment much on how "open" the tech community is to women.  I don't think sexual jokes are as large of a barrier to entry as what Adria is trying to claim, but I don't know much on the issue of feminism and sexism against women, so my opinion on the matter as a whole is not a very strong one in either direction.

Offline Caehlim

Re: Feminism and Adria Richards's PyCon experience
« Reply #91 on: March 31, 2013, 03:51:38 PM »
A look at the employee guidelines for many companies will still reveal an extensive policy of dress for female employees and very little for men so long as they are “presentable.”

I was going to bed but spotted this post which I had missed. I just wanted to comment that I agree and have noticed this at some of the places I've worked before. Even my current workplace, which is usually a very equal opportunity place does this. The sad thing is that I know at my current job it was written by women, I don't think the problem is with the workplaces themselves (well not necessarily, though it could be that too) but rather with how women's fashion is treated in general amongst professional culture.

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Feminism and Adria Richards's PyCon experience
« Reply #92 on: March 31, 2013, 05:14:37 PM »
Interesting note:  After posting in this topic I went to go get nachos at a local place.  I was waiting for my order when I noticed someone had scrawled on the waitress's pad "<insert name> loves <insert image of penis and balls squirting cum>". 

Just thought that was interesting with this discussion going on. 

Offline Chris Brady

Re: Feminism and Adria Richards's PyCon experience
« Reply #93 on: March 31, 2013, 05:46:16 PM »
I was going to bed but spotted this post which I had missed. I just wanted to comment that I agree and have noticed this at some of the places I've worked before. Even my current workplace, which is usually a very equal opportunity place does this. The sad thing is that I know at my current job it was written by women, I don't think the problem is with the workplaces themselves (well not necessarily, though it could be that too) but rather with how women's fashion is treated in general amongst professional culture.
Actually, the HR department for Compaq and then HP in the call center that I used to work in were also staffed by women, and they had stricter guidelines for the women than the guys.  In fact, I remember (anecdotal) that at least one woman kept getting singled out for 'violations'.  I don't ever recall her actually breaking the rules, though.  She preferred slacks over skirts, often wore a sweater because that place was very freakin' cold.

Offline BlackestKnight

Re: Feminism and Adria Richards's PyCon experience
« Reply #94 on: April 06, 2013, 01:08:34 PM »
What aren't people offended by these days? Two nerds making obscure jokes about dongles seems like a bit of a stretch to say that it creates an atmosphere of oppressive dialogue. You could make better arguments for discriminatory dress codes and actual sexual harassing statements.  I recall when Representative  Brown issued the now famous "vagina" remark  , the media ran crazy with that in an attempt to paint her opposition as uptight fuddy duddy's for taking offense to the representative's comment, but the actual quote itself was arguable worse than donglegate because it invoked  actual rape and it was said in a far more formal setting. She implied her conservative opposition had lecherous --even felonious intentions.  It just seems like people are being selective in what they find offensive based on who is saying what rather than any sort of objective dissection of the intent. I fight for the intent, not for peoples politics.

It's all about how things are interpreted by the individual, if I were a hardcore social justice type I would probably take offense to dongles, but I'm not that gung ho. 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. It's a shame anyone was fired. Everyone lost for not communicating like adults. The human thing to do is to talk to someone one-on-one about that sort of thing to reach an understanding, but I guess that's a lost art in the age of the internet.

 Immaturity is not a conspiracy theory. What I'm trying to say is, life is too damn short not to make a dongle joke at work.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2013, 01:16:23 PM by BlackestKnight »

Offline SethalaTopic starter

Re: Feminism and Adria Richards's PyCon experience
« Reply #95 on: April 06, 2013, 01:17:54 PM »
One thing that bugs me...

Why is it that a sexually-charged atmosphere, where people are free to make sex jokes, is considered oppressive to women in particular?  As far as my understanding goes, men don't have a monopoly on sex, women are just as able to participate, and they're perfectly able to make sex jokes of their own.  (Sidenote: I'm using the term "sex jokes", not "sexist jokes", because from my understanding the dongle comment isn't sexist, just about sex; feel free to argue otherwise however, I'd like to know how it could be taken as sexist.)  If the jokes were demeaning to women in particular, or directed at a specific person, I'd understand claims of harassment.  But it's clear from Adria's blog that she considers that just a joke about sex in general is part of what's making the tech industry hostile to women, and that's something I just don't understand.

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Feminism and Adria Richards's PyCon experience
« Reply #96 on: April 06, 2013, 01:20:15 PM »
One thing that bugs me...

Why is it that a sexually-charged atmosphere, where people are free to make sex jokes, is considered oppressive to women in particular?  As far as my understanding goes, men don't have a monopoly on sex, women are just as able to participate, and they're perfectly able to make sex jokes of their own.  (Sidenote: I'm using the term "sex jokes", not "sexist jokes", because from my understanding the dongle comment isn't sexist, just about sex; feel free to argue otherwise however, I'd like to know how it could be taken as sexist.)  If the jokes were demeaning to women in particular, or directed at a specific person, I'd understand claims of harassment.  But it's clear from Adria's blog that she considers that just a joke about sex in general is part of what's making the tech industry hostile to women, and that's something I just don't understand.
Because it is overwhelmingly women who tend to be objectified, groped, leered at, propositioned unwelcomely, etc in such environments.

Offline Bandita

Re: Feminism and Adria Richards's PyCon experience
« Reply #97 on: April 06, 2013, 01:41:01 PM »
This kind of reminds me about the bitchy pastor who signed their bill at a breakfast joint, saying "I give god 10%, why do you get 18%". Not that the receipt  was the issue, but the waitress got fired for taking a picture of the receipt and shaming the pastor.  That one went viral too.  So, the question here is, does one have the right to shame someone else publicly for being a douchebag?

I'd say, yeah.  If you're going to be a total jerk in public, you are making yourself a target.  I try to be on good behavior when I'm in a crowd, or at work.  I don't do anything I might get hurt for, or be ashamed of later.  I think most people do, it's just those few who just can't sit down and be quiet who have to be disrespectful.

I mean, hell, making dongle jokes at a conference, against conference rules, while the speaker is speaking, and disturbing other's enjoyment, or at least enrichment from the speech, and then acting like you've been wronged..... it's like making a porno and collecting the checks but then sueing the company when your mother finds out.  I mean, you know you were acting like a jerkface.  You know you did something that is frowned upon.  But you just assume that the wrong people (your boss, your mother, whatever) won't find out.  Well, they did, 'cuz you did your thing in public.  Deal with it.

Edit: not making any kind of argument here.  Not trying to convince anyone either.  Just my 2 cents worth because it's an interesting topic.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2013, 01:42:11 PM by Bandita »

Offline SethalaTopic starter

Re: Feminism and Adria Richards's PyCon experience
« Reply #98 on: April 06, 2013, 02:33:32 PM »
This kind of reminds me about the bitchy pastor who signed their bill at a breakfast joint, saying "I give god 10%, why do you get 18%". Not that the receipt  was the issue, but the waitress got fired for taking a picture of the receipt and shaming the pastor.  That one went viral too.  So, the question here is, does one have the right to shame someone else publicly for being a douchebag?

I'd say, yeah.  If you're going to be a total jerk in public, you are making yourself a target.  I try to be on good behavior when I'm in a crowd, or at work.  I don't do anything I might get hurt for, or be ashamed of later.  I think most people do, it's just those few who just can't sit down and be quiet who have to be disrespectful.

I mean, hell, making dongle jokes at a conference, against conference rules, while the speaker is speaking, and disturbing other's enjoyment, or at least enrichment from the speech, and then acting like you've been wronged..... it's like making a porno and collecting the checks but then sueing the company when your mother finds out.  I mean, you know you were acting like a jerkface.  You know you did something that is frowned upon.  But you just assume that the wrong people (your boss, your mother, whatever) won't find out.  Well, they did, 'cuz you did your thing in public.  Deal with it.

Edit: not making any kind of argument here.  Not trying to convince anyone either.  Just my 2 cents worth because it's an interesting topic.

To be fair, as far as I can tell the guy that got caught telling the joke hasn't tried to defend himself for saying it, or tried to play it off as "no big thing" at all; he's openly admitted that he was wrong for doing it. 

There's also a difference between his dongle joke and the pastor's note on the receipt.  The joke was intended to be a harmless comment.  We don't have the full context, but there's nothing indicating it was intended to be directed at a specific person in particular, and despite who overheard it, the intended recipient of the joke was someone that would appreciate the humor.  The pastor's comment, on the other hand, is directed at someone specific, and intended to be heard by someone who would find the comment hurtful.  It's not a silly joke, it's a direct, inflammatory comment intended to hurt (and worse, she also tried to refuse to give any tip whatsoever on the receipt, which directly impacts her financial situation - admittedly, by only a few dollars, but it's still more than just a comment).

Now, should either of them be publicly shamed?  Here's the other difference: anonymity.  Take a look at the picture in this Reddit post.  You see some of the guy's handwriting and a little bit of his signature, but you don't see his full name, you don't see his picture, and there's no indication of what city or even what restaurant this happened at.  As far as I can tell, the only reason it's even known that this is a real receipt, let alone who the pastor in question was, was because the pastor herself went public after it went viral by attempting to get Applebee's to fire the waitress.  It's clear that the waitress did everything possible to hide the identity of the pastor in question, and refused to say anything more when asked by other members of Reddit, which in my mind makes this receipt story much more forgivable.  (I also said that I wouldn't have a problem with Adria's blog if she hadn't posted a picture of the guys and hadn't named the company they work for; again, it's a matter of telling a story and keeping the people in it anonymous.)

Finally, should either of them be fired for public shaming?  I'm going to say no, for both the waitress and Adria, but I have to caveat that.  Adria's situation is unique, because her ability to perform her job was compromised by her actions.  As someone that works in PR, and is a public face for the company, ending up in an internet shitstorm is going to affect how other people act with her, and by extension her company.

Edit: Reading a bit further into it, the current version of the receipt on Reddit has been cropped to remove the signature, so it was there when she originally posted.  However, according to this news story, she did everything she could to get people to stop trying to identify the pastor once she realized it went viral, and she claimed that no one actually guessed the right person until the pastor in question contacted Applebee's.  So, my point stands.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2013, 02:49:25 PM by Sethala »

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Feminism and Adria Richards's PyCon experience
« Reply #99 on: April 06, 2013, 02:48:51 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.)