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[2]: Both sides
by sparkyERTW on Fri 22nd Mar 2013 13:50 UTC 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

RE[4]: Both sides
by sparkyERTW on Fri 22nd Mar 2013 15:58 in reply to "RE[3]: Both sides"
sparkyERTW Member since:
2010-06-09

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.


Well, semi-private; we are talking a professional conference. It's roughly the same as if I we're in my cubicle at work telling a off-colour joke to work friend or someone on the phone: if another co-worker in an adjoining cubicle or walking by can hear it and is upset by it, I'm liable as I am expected to conduct myself professionally within the confines of the office, just as the developer was expected to conduct himself professionally within the confines of the conference, as per PyCon's Code of Conduct.

Even outside of a professional context, it's basic etiquette to be aware of your surroundings in a public place. If I'm sitting in a coffee shop and nearby customers are made uncomfortable because they can overhear my end of an explicit, vulger or otherwise offensive conversation, I'm at fault and they have every right to tell me off or go to the management.

Overt and directed or not, going to the PyCon administration was an acceptable alternative to confronting them directly. What was not an appropriate response was turning the table and publicly humiliating the developer, especially considering that the PyCon staff approach worked.

Reply Parent Score: 2