Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 21st Mar 2013 20:17 UTC
In the News "An incident at the annual Python developer conference has led to allegations of sexism, death threats, the firings of two people, and - apparently - multiple DDoS (distributed denial-of-service) attacks." Absolutely bizarre.
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RE: Both sides
by ricegf on Fri 22nd Mar 2013 11:06 UTC in reply to "Both sides"
ricegf
Member since:
2007-04-25

I've attended PyCon every year since 2006 - it's my favourite all-time conference. Ironically, this was the first year I've missed since (budget cuts or fate, whatever).

The sad thing to me is that the Python Foundation has invested such exceptional effort to build a welcoming community for women. The conference committee actively seeks female presenters at all levels (and I've attended some excellent talks as a result). They implemented and publicized a code of conduct many PyCons ago, and have addressed the few issues I'm aware that have come up (including this one) with professionalism. They sponsor PyLadies ("women who love coding in Python"), even hosting a fund-raising event this year to expand their activities.

And all of this without ever once making me feel less welcome as a man.

These are fine people who bring credit to the world of software engineering. I'm so sad that this happened. How simple would it have been to say, "That joke is offensive, please stop"?

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: Both sides
by sparkyERTW on Fri 22nd Mar 2013 13:50 in reply to "RE: Both sides"
sparkyERTW Member since:
2010-06-09

How simple would it have been to say, "That joke is offensive, please stop"?


Well, there's the school of thought that having to do so is a secondary act of harrasment: the first is the comments/act that caused the person to feel uncomfortable, while the second is the embarrassment of having to stand in front of that person and let them know how their comments/act made them feel, forcing the victim to put their private emotions/feelings on display for the perpetrator. There's a certain amount of truth to it, but not so much that I feel it should be an automatic reason to escalation in every situation (and definitely not in this one, where the comments were not directed nor even about the offended person - or even explicitly their gender - in question).

In any case... I think this is a case where both parties were in the wrong. The developer making the joke was at a professional conference representing his company, and should have conducted himself as he would have in front of any partner, client, vendor, etc. Adria's response was also greatly disproportionate; instead of leaving it at reporting it to PyCon - whose Code of Conduct was violated - she took it public in a manner in which she was also representing her company, and did so in a way that greatly overstated the severity of the situation (little girls everywhere never learning to program because of their "big dongle" joke? Characterizing their behaviour as lynch mob-ish, Lord of the Flies anarchy? Come on). Not to mention she made essentially the same faux pas via Twitter days earlier (if you don't see the equivalence, give your head a shake).

Should they both have been fired? Cant' say. But at the very least they both acted poorly. If anything I feel more sympathy for the fired developer; at least he seems to regret his actions, while Adria is still proudly beating her chest over what she did (though I am disgusted to hear that death/rape threats being leveled at her; inexcusable).

Edited 2013-03-22 13:55 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Both sides
by ricegf on Fri 22nd Mar 2013 14:46 in reply to "RE[2]: Both sides"
ricegf Member since:
2007-04-25

I agree in general, but I think this is a different school than the one to which this thought applies. The men were engaging in a private conversation. If she doesn't tell them she is eavesdropping and is offended, how exactly are they supposed to know?

Other than in cases of overt and directed harassment, I think women are tough enough to say "Stop it". Never bothrd me.

Reply Parent Score: 2