This should not be a surprise »« It’s nice to see someone willing to live by their own advice

Adria Richards did everything exactly right

We keep talking about making appropriate responses to sexism — not just those of us who are strongly pro-feminism, but even the regressive thugs on the other side will say that, although we’ll argue about what level of response is appropriate. But this is where I lose patience every goddamned time: apparently no response other than silence and submission is acceptable.

We’ve all seen how “guys, don’t do that” was turned into cause for outrage. Here’s another instance: Adria Richards was at a tech conference when, during a presentation that was about women coders no less, a couple of guys behind her started cracking suggestive jokes.

The guys were clearly in the wrong. They were being rude, distracting, and trying to assert their dudely privilege in one of the few moments granted women during a conference dominated by men. So Richards turned, snapped their picture, and tweeted it to the conference organizers, asking them to handle it.

This was a measured response. It wasn’t a blast of anger, it was a request that the conference enforce its code of conduct. It disrupted the meeting less than a couple of chattering smart-asses did. This is exactly what we should want people to do: polite confrontation through appropriate channels.

The conference organizers also did exactly what they were supposed to do: they called the two men aside and asked them to stop and behave themselves.

I assume the two men also reacted appropriately. There are no tales of angry shouting or rejection of the admonishment. I charitably presume that they were chagrined and a little embarrassed, nothing more.

This should have been the end of it: a happy story of a minor breach of manners handled by grown-ups who moved on to do their jobs professionally. Lessons learned all around; don’t disparage or harass minorities (women were only 20% of the attendees), trust the organizers to manage hiccups smoothly, deal with problems through official channels. Except you know more happened or it wouldn’t be news.

A whole bunch of otherwise uninvolved people completely lost their shit. This is ridiculous.

But instead, the internet decided to throw one epic fucking tantrum. First, one of the men pictured in Richards’s photographs was fired from his job (his company was one of the sponsors of PyCon). Richards did not call for him to be fired, nor did she celebrate the decision, according to this post. Nonetheless, Richards’s company SendGrid—NOT the company that fired the dude—was subject to a DDoS attack courtesy of 4chan (their express purpose was to “ruin her life”). She’s also been subjected to the usual avalanche of violent harassment and rape threats that descends upon any woman who dares to criticize male-dominated tech culture (see: Sarkeesian, Anita; also everything else ever). Sidenote to tech dudes: GET A FUCKING GRIP.

SendGrid subsequently fired Richards.

Firing one of the men over a brief incident of inappropriate behavior: totally inappropriate and excessive. That would only be reasonable if there were far more severe breaches of courtesy.

4chan getting involved: disgraceful. Launching a denial of service attack against Richards’ employer: what the fuck is wrong with these people?

Worse: Richards’ employer, SendGrid, caving in to extortion and firing her. I hope she’s considering legal action. That was incredibly craven.

Worser, appallingly disgusting: the violent reaction by some assholes.

Richards has been called practically every name under the sun. Some Twitter commenters demanded she kill herself. A 4chan user allegedly released Richards’s personal information. But few reactions were more disturbing than this one, sent to her Wednesday evening: a photo (blurred but still NSFW) of a bloody, beheaded woman, bound and stripped, with the caption “when Im done.” Next to it was a home address and phone number, ostensibly Richards’s.

And of course the usual slymepitters are crowing over all this on twitter, taunting via the #ftbullies and #wiscfi hashtags, as they always do. This is the kind of behavior they love to applaud.

This is the heart of the problem. We can build all the protocols for reasonable responses we want; women like Adria Richards can use them; responsible people can implement appropriate reactions.

And then, beneath it all, lies the festering sewer of rape culture that rises in rage at any damned uppity woman who dares to speak out against our very own homegrown Taliban.

And one last bit of insult: the conference organizers retroactively revised their code of conduct to exclude public shaming.

Public shaming can be counter-productive to building a strong community. PyCon does not condone nor participate in such actions out of respect.

Cowards. Just remember, ladies, decorum must be maintained, and the proper young woman will be meek and silent in the face of offense. The men can’t build a strong community if women keep speaking out publicly.

I wonder how many women will now think twice before complaining about asshole behavior at their job or at a meeting? If they’re inhibited, congratulations, scumbags: you got what you wanted. On the other hand, maybe we’ll finally reach a critical mass of outrage, and the next time some dudebro starts with the sexist shit at a conference, a dozen people, men and women alike, will rise up and tell him to grow up or get out.

I know I’m even less inclined to let casual smears slide now. I hope you feel the same way.

Comments

  1. says

    @496 Kate Walters

    My facts? That you’re a victim blaming, misogynistic “chill girl” who lacks basic reading comprehension? The facts you yourself have presented in this very thread?

    Yes, you clearly know me so well. Next you will tell me you are an FBI profiler. Hey kids, this has been fun. Go on to your next target.

  2. says

    kate_waters

    EllenBeth is surely out in left field on this thread and I’m not defending any of her comments here, but if you aren’t aware, and I’m guessing you aren’t, she has been a vocal proponent of FTB and feminism in general in the past.

    She’s also a favorite target of the slymepitters.

    I don’t know if that makes any difference to you or not, but given your comment at 496:

    My facts? That you’re a victim blaming, misogynistic “chill girl”

    I thought maybe you’d want to be aware of that context.

    I’m not demanding you revise your position or anything like that, just giving you some context of which you might not be aware.

  3. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    #502
    evangelineclaire

    Also note that no forking joke was actually made, she assumed that “fork” was said in a sexual nature.. just read the man who was fired’s apology.

    READ THE ENTIRE THREAD ASSHOLE. This has been covered every. single. time. someone decides to stumble in only to show us their ass.

    Why don’t you read what she has to say instead of blindly accepting that dudes words:

    What I will share with you here is the backstory that led to this –

    The guy behind me to the far left was saying he didn’t find much value from the logging session that day. I agreed with him so I turned around and said so. He then went onto say that an earlier session he’d been to where the speaker was talking about images and visualization with Python was really good, even if it seemed to him the speaker wasn’t really an expert on images. He said he would be interested in forking the repo and continuing development.

    That would have been fine until the guy next to him…

    began making sexual forking jokes

  4. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says

    Second page, and here we are at the beginning again.

    Jafafa Hots,
    You can still make this other page all about you. Maybe someone should start giving out numbers, there are just so many who want their moment in the spotlight.
    /kidding

  5. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I can see what happens with merely disagreeing here. It’s too bad.

    You aren’t merely disagreeing. You are attempting an Argument from Authority where one shouldn’t rock the boat with charges of sexist behavior, as your star lecturers may feel upset. At least that’s what keeps coming across. No concern whatsoever about the sexist behavior being displayed. So, why wouldn’t you expect a chilly reception?

  6. Lofty says

    Some people just don’t get how damaging sexism is in society. they just want people to stop making waves and you know, get on with each other. Belittling women by making sexist jokes behind their backs? No problemo, no siree. Just shut up about it and you’ll be fine.
    /puke

  7. kate_waters says

    EllenBeth:

    Fuck right the fuck off you fucking fuck. Go organize a “d00dbro” friendly conference somewhere far away, would you? I’m sure there’s thousands of douchecanoes who would welcome your toxic brand of “rationality”.

  8. ginckgo says

    A lot of speculation is on if the comments were sexual or not. As someone who’s been to many conferences and talks, and had my concentration broken by others’ continuous joking commentary, I have to say, it’s almost irrelevant: shut the fuck up and don’t impose your inanity on everyone, no warnings needed!
    Having said that, I can’t for a second believe that the commenters weren’t aware that what they said was blatantly sexual.

  9. says

    Point is its being implied that hers is a standard reaction and people should expect that people would be so distressed about it.

    Actually what is a standard reaction is yours… sadly.

  10. Pteryxx says

    Sheesh, maybe I can manage to comment on a short page.

    Re conferences – this is more or less accurate:

    The conference organizers have the obligation to determine the facts. Thus the need for the harassment policy and the various ways to report violations.

    With the caveats that since conference staff are not law enforcement, they can only interview their attendees and control access, not do a full investigation looking for miscreants; and also since they’re not a court of law, “innocent until proven guilty” is secondary to reasonable arbitration of complaints. If a complaint were criminal-level they refer it TO law enforcement, that’s the way it works. This is still about mere sexist remarks, not FBI or STFU.

    IN THIS THREAD, we’re going by Richards’s account and the information that has come out since then, including the one guy’s statement-apology admitting to some comments, the firings, public statements, and the internet shitstorm that anyone can read. The conference had none of this at the time and their only responsibility was to enforce their code of conduct at the time.

    However, that’s got nothing to do with massively victim-blaming Richards, much less graphic child abuse and inhumanity and whatever other crap got dragged in to feed the flamewar. Nor does it involve the trustworthiness of said conference regarding the actual incident – Richards said that they handled her complaint appropriately. She has NOT said anything about making her complaint public because of distrust for the conference, as far as I know, and she laid out her reasoning very clearly. If she’d made that claim, it would have been credible to anyone familiar with harassment policies.

    Again – RICHARDS SAID THE CONFERENCE ACTED APPROPRIATELY.

    Obviously, the correct procedure is to treat complaints seriously and with respect while investigating. That’s what harassment guidelines and training recommend, along with being supportive. PyCon apparently responded just as they should, and if their reputation’s damaged, the firings and escalating backlash are doing it.

  11. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    #503
    erikthebassist

    kate_waters

    EllenBeth is surely out in left field on this thread and I’m not defending any of her comments here, but if you aren’t aware, and I’m guessing you aren’t, she has been a vocal proponent of FTB and feminism in general in the past.

    She’s also a favorite target of the slymepitters.

    I’m actually the one who brought the “chill girl” comment into this first, and if that’s really her history then I still stand by what I said. We shouldn’t be nicer to people who are on side but slip up, but be just as strict – because otherwise we start getting complacent and I’ll be damn if I go easy on anyone spouting shit like EllenBeth. I don’t give a fuck about her background.

    I thought maybe you’d want to be aware of that context.

    I’m not demanding you revise your position or anything like that, just giving you some context of which you might not be aware.

    *shrug*
    That context only makes what she’s doing here worse.

  12. John Morales says

    evangelineclaire:

    Well, PZ I’m sorry but I do not see how making puns about the human body is sexist.

    Then perhaps consider the concept of situational context, where sometimes it is and sometimes it isn’t.

    Point is its being implied that hers is a standard reaction and people should expect that people would be so distressed about it.

    PZ’s point is explicit: “This is exactly what we should want people to do: polite confrontation through appropriate channels.” and “This should have been the end of it: a happy story of a minor breach of manners handled by grown-ups who moved on to do their jobs professionally.”

    (How you got it pretty much totally backwards bemuses me)

  13. says

    Erik:

    EllenBeth is surely out in left field on this thread and I’m not defending any of her comments here, but if you aren’t aware, and I’m guessing you aren’t, she has been a vocal proponent of FTB and feminism in general in the past.

    She’s also a favorite target of the slymepitters.

    Who isn’t a fucking target of the ‘pitters? So am I. So what? In this thread, EllenBeth has 1) focused on cusswords, not content, 2) piled blame on Adria Richards, 3) considered Matthew Best’s comments to be utterly rational and on point, 4) proudly announced she suppressed a harassment complaint at a conference she helped organize, and 5) “joked” about me handing over my name.

    Yeah, she’s a light for feminism alright.

  14. says

    Ellen Beth Wachs @479

    Are you kidding me? How out of context can you get? He/she was the one that said they wanted nothing to do with me.

    A fair point.

    So let’s examine it in context.

    In context you took someone’s frustration with an aspect of your behavior in the context of a post in which someone who was foolish enough to trust in a con’s stated harassment policy was exceedingly brutally backlashed against and abused and the con’s main response was “it’s now against policy to complain like that” and decided in context to make a very dark joke.

    A very dark joke that took someone’s frustration about wanting to be involved in your cons if that was your attitude into a very direct “joking” threat about blacklisting the person in question. As a “joke” it fails to be funny. Where’s the comedy inherent in the “joke”? As a threat, as a minimization of a woman’s right to complain, it sadly makes a lot of sense in context. And furthermore, it makes sense in the context of a world where belittling or hierarchical enforcing statements in the disguise of “jokes” are regularly given free passes and are asked to be excused from analysis.

    This especially looks bad in the context of the initial incident being two men making similar “jokes” designed to put women they see as inherently being inferior for being women in their “place” in the context of the challenge they felt being in the audience of a female-centric panel.

    These actions do not occur in vacuums.

    They might not even be fully conscious.

    And the context, sadly, does not do you any favors in making your arguments seem less like unintentional misogyny. Again, I’m sorry to say that as I don’t think you at all intend your comments to be such.

    As far as your further arguments about “the fate given to those who disagree” here. I again must bring up context as you also seem to think of it as important.

    The context here is one in which your arguments have seemed victim-blaming (again not attributing conscious action here, simply how they’ve come off) and also one where your and Matthew’s “disagreements” have come at the expense of yet another female victim of con environments. Where once again, she has been blamed, harassed, threatened, and treated like shit for daring to report on something unacceptable she was unfortunate enough to be witness to. These are not “disagreements”, they are, in context, arguments against women. Arguments that assume women to be deceivers looking to get men in trouble by any excuse and whose words and actions are always suspect. Arguments that assume that men’s motives must always be assumed to be innocent and noble even if they are revealed to be shallow and sexist. Arguments that always find fault with how women handle it, no matter how they handle it (are the pushbacks against this much different than that suffered by you or Rebecca Watson or Sally Strange? Why are they so similar when the actions undertaken by the people affected have been so different?). Arguments that have been used a million times by those seeking to dismiss those who push back and have everything in common with standard misogynist trollgasms seen in other similar instances.

    It’s not arguments that are being treated negatively here, it’s tired misogyny.

    Because many people here have seen it a million times before and been through this dance a million times before and thus have a lower tolerance for educating yet another possibly bad faith person through it.

  15. glodson says

    Sexism or racism in conferences, I agree no one wants to hear that behind them, but I don’t see how anything of that nature happened. It’s pretty clear what sexism and racism is. Or any -ism for that matter.

    And it was dealt with. The guys even seemed to acknowledge that they fucked up. They said something they should have, they got called out on it, the conference stepped up. That should have been the end of it.

    Making dick jokes aren’t the problem in and of themselves. Making one in a professional setting, under the circumstances in which they were made, was thoughtless and stupid. But the reaction of the company to fire Richards after the internet shit storm that was fueled by sexist attitudes, complete with threats of rape and death, are the problem.

    They are symptom. The guys making these jokes are symptoms. Not everyone is comfortable with this kind of talk, that’s why we have rules for behavior at work, and professional settings. Further, the dynamic is different when the genders are reversed. It has to do with how sexism is institutionalized. Women making jokes about their vaginas won’t have the same impact as men making jokes about their dicks.

    But both would be unprofessional. One has the backing of the majority of the field, and the thoughtless sexism of our culture. The other is on the receiving end.

  16. kate_waters says

    Sweet Noodly Appendages! I can’t stand “ChillGirls”. They make me rage.

    Adria is getting death threats and rape threats and this piece of work thinks she’s asking for it. “ChillGirl” thinks victim blaming and goalpost shifting are “rational”. That it’s okay to ask someone for personal information in a comment thread full of toxic asshats who have outright said that Adria DESERVES what’s happening to her.

    What. The. Fucking. Fuck.

    If EllenBeth really is who they are claiming to be then it’ll be easy to avoid conferences where they are an organizer. I’m not, however, entirely sure this chucklehead would know the truth if bit on the ass by it.

  17. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    #511
    evangelineclaire

    PZ, I forgot to add that I hope my post isn’t a TL;DR read as its necessary to read the entire post to really understand my take on this. I hope my previous comment hasn’t really caused any anger either… I know it can be hard to change your mind once you’ve made it up. Please give me a chance.

    Another thing I totally forgot was a tweet I saw written by someone from freethought. I was wondering if this (Zinnia’s take on it) was the general take/reaction on the news that a transgendered man was arrested for sexual assault (He lied to the girl he was having sexual relations with) (see picture): http://imgur.com/DPERNLj. I certainly make no assumptions toward “Yes.”


    …..
    ….What the ever loving fuck is wrong with you?

  18. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    evangelineclaire, my last comment was a cross post. If you do take it to the thunderdome, than I retract that comment. (in sentiment, since I can’t delete it.)

  19. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    #520
    evangelineclaire

    John Morales, how was it treated as a minor breach of manners? She considered herself Joan of Arc, it’s being called sexism, etc. Polite confrontation would have been telling them to stop, but I imagined that the dongle joke only lasted a couple of seconds and that by the time she turned around to smile and snap a picture, it was over.

    It can be considered that she was too shy to confront them but after hearing that she took a picture I don’t think so.

    Okay, now I’m right back to:What the ever loving fuck is wrong with you?

  20. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    #516
    evangelineclaire

    Ginckgo, I don’t think making a joke (or talking about) penises or vaginas is wrong nor should we continue considering it “inappropriate” conversation. There is nothing wrong with either subject.It’s just one of those manners that aren’t really put in place for a good reason.

    Goddamn, I’m tired of dishonest fucks removing all context from comments and situations to twist it into saying whatever the fuck they want.

  21. kate_waters says

    …and just for the record I know who EllenBeth Wachs is. I’m neither stupid, naive, nor living under a rock.

    If this particular person is in fact EllenBeth Wachs?

    Then everything I say goes DOUBLE. Her conduct in this thread has been disgusting. Shameful. Worthy of nothing but contempt.

    She doesn’t get a free pass. You don’t get fucking cookies or redeemable points for having done something decent some other time when you come into a thread like this one and act as she has.

  22. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says

    kate_waters

    I actually don’t know who she is, except someone I vaguely remember from B&W. Googled her, and took a look at her twitter. Yup, it looks like it’s her here and not someone just posting under her name.

  23. says

    evangelineclaire @502

    From her own words about the incident in question:

    The guy behind me to the far left was saying he didn’t find much value from the logging session that day. I agreed with him so I turned around and said so. He then went onto say that an earlier session he’d been to where the speaker was talking about images and visualization with Python was really good, even if it seemed to him the speaker wasn’t really an expert on images. He said he would be interested in forking the repo and continuing development.

    That would have been fine until the guy next to him…

    began making sexual forking jokes

    I was going to let it go. It had been a long week. A long month. I’d been on the road since mid February attending and speaking at conferences. PyCon was my 5th and final conference before heading home.

    I know it’s important to pick my battles.

    I know I don’t have to be a hero in every situation.

    Sometimes I just want to go to a conference and be a geek.

    But…

    like Popeye, I couldn’t “stands it no more” because of what happened –

    Jesse Noller was up on stage thanking the sponsors. The guys behind me (one off to the right) said, “You can thank me, you can thank me”. That told me they were a sponsoring company of Pycon and from the photos I took, his badge had an add-on that said, “Sponsor”.

    My company was a Gold sponsor as well.

    They started talking about “big” dongles. I could feel my face getting flustered.

    Was this really happening?
    How many times do I have to deal with this?
    Can they not hear what Jesse is saying?

    The stuff about the dongles wasn’t even logical and as a self professed nerd, that bothered me. Dongles are intended to be small and unobtrusive. They’re intended for network connectivity and to service as physical licence keys for software. I’d consulted in the past with an automotive shop that needed data recovery and technical support. I know what PCMCIA dongles look like.

    I was telling myself if they made one more sexual joke, I’d say something.

    The it happened….The trigger.

    Jesse was on the main stage with thousands of people sitting in the audience. He was talking about helping the next generation learn to program and how happy PyCon was with the Young Coders workshop (which I volunteered at). He was mentioning that the PyLadies auction had raised $10,000 in a single night and the funds would be used the funds for their initiatives.

    I saw a photo on main stage of a little girl who had been in the Young Coders workshop.

    I realized I had to do something or she would never have the chance to learn and love programming because the ass clowns behind me would make it impossible for her to do so.

    I calculated my next steps. I knew there wasn’t a lot of time and the closing session would be wrapping up. I considered:

    * The type of event
    * The size of the audience
    * How the conference had emphasized their Code of Conduct
    * What I knew about the community and their diversity initiatives
    * How to address this issue effectively and not disrupt the main stage

    So let’s see here. There was a long and continued action on both of them to continue delivering sexist and specifically sexual jokes continuously, rather close to the front of a panel on women. A woman in front of them politely ignoring it as she has been socially trained and the men not at all ceasing their sexist diminishments of various women. A woman sizing up her options in the context of a number of factors and the fact that she was emotionally invested in the panel in question. A woman deciding to do the best she could and try and do the right thing for the sake of young women trying to break into the field. And a woman, by her own words, frustrated over a long day of dealing with shit just like this.

    And she got horrendously punished for doing that right thing. For making the best choice available and after tolerating a lot of “joking” that the men had to know was deeply inappropriate.

    And here we get an endless parade of dismissive assholes defending the poor menz, making her out to be this evil harridan looking for an excuse to be offended, flying off the handle over one little statement, because they want to dismiss and deny that this is unfortunately the face of a lot of tech and geek conferences. Women are actively made to feel like shit over and over for “invading a man’s world” while the men who casually enforce that toxic culture are treated like the real heroes and victims.

    And people wonder why these “good faith arguments” in constant repetition by people who can’t even be bothered to look up what she actually was complaining about are often treated like bad-faith bullshit.

    Oh and yeah, this whole string of bullshit is pretty triggering to me because right now in my workplace I’m having to deal with a lot of bullshit and head-games and “punishments” for doing the right thing and standing up for the younger generation. I did something that put me at even greater risk, just like her, for the sake of the next generation and trying to protect them a little from this sort of entrenched bullshit. And while I’m not suffering nearly as bad as she is for it, I might be later when I have to do other actions for the sake of those who will come after me. And shit like this is the context I am unfortunately aware of when it will come to that.

    In short, fuck all y’all, you misogyny defending douchewaffles.

  24. says

    Caine:

    Who isn’t a fucking target of the ‘pitters? So am I. So what? In this thread, EllenBeth has 1) focused on cusswords, not content, 2) piled blame on Adria Richards, 3) considered Matthew Best’s comments to be utterly rational and on point, 4) proudly announced she suppressed a harassment complaint at a conference she helped organize, and 5) “joked” about me handing over my name.

    Yeah, she’s a light for feminism alright.

    and JAL:

    *shrug*
    That context only makes what she’s doing here worse.

    You are both 100% right of course. I thought I worded that carefully enough to make it clear I’m defending her words here in any way shape or form, but in the past I have seen regulars or other “allies” be given a much broader berth than noobies off the street.

    I was also careful to be clear that I’m not dictating to any one that this information needs to be considered or should be considered when dealing with EBW, just that it might be something that could be factor under consideration when dealing with her.

    I’m thinking specifically of the Paul W thread and how much time and patience was invested in trying to get him to understand the deep flaws in his thinking.

    Again, I’m not comparing what EBW has done here to that, I actually think it’s far worse and she’s going to really regret this after she cools down and thinks about it, I’m only noticing the difference in how Paul W was dealt with versus how EBW is being dealt with here.

    That is surely due to the different nature of the disagreements and the language used right?

  25. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    #533
    erikthebassist

    That is surely due to the different nature of the disagreements and the language used right?

    I’m going to need a link to refresh my memory on that thread.

    But you also need to take into account the recent rape thread and the Shakesville thread where people were specifically calling for people not to give regulars as much leeway.

    (Note: I was not in, apart of, taken a aide or commented on the Shakesville thread so my comments have nothing to do with it but it might be a consideration for others.)

  26. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    Holy FSM.
    Is this going to be one of those threads?

    I think it already is.

  27. says

    Erik, comparing EllenBeth to Paul W is not going to go anywhere. Paul has a long history here, is an OM and was a highly respected member of the commentariat. EllenBeth does not have a history here at all. People were surprised and shocked by Paul’s behaviour, so made an extra effort in that thread. That did *not* stop people from stomping his head into the fucking ground for being such a godsdamned asshole, either, just in case you hadn’t noticed.

  28. says

    evangelineclair @511

    The company’s words you brought up:

    “A SendGrid developer evangelist’s responsibility is to build and strengthen our Developer Community across the globe. In light of the events over the last 48+ hours, it has become obvious that her actions have strongly divided the same community she was supposed to unite. As a result, she can no longer be effective in her role at SendGrid.

    In the end, the consequences that resulted from how she reported the conduct put our business in danger. Our commitment to our 130 employees, their families, our community members and our more than 130,000 valued customers is our primary concern.”

    Ugh, what a pile of nasty weasel wording, victim-blaming crap. They even threw in the “dividing the community she was supposed to unite” barb, because standing up against misogyny and trusting the protocols of the conference she was attending are “divisive” when it’s a woman standing up against misogyny, but not when a pair of loud jackasses are being openly dismissive of women in a women-focused panel.

    It is sickening how conservative so many private workforces are and how they passively and actively enforce -isms of all sort and punish those who dare to either exist as something outside the white cismale model or worse yet push back against those abusive systems and stand up for the law as written.

    And yeah, if you think I’m being uncharitable, I should note that it would have been exceedingly illegal for them to say “yeah, we’re firing her for being a girl who stirred up a pot of shit”, so they had to couch it in these bullshit weasel words in order to “protect the institution” and let all their douchebro customers know that they don’t side with no woman.

    Their actions are the actions of cowards and I hope that their female customers “reward” them for their cowardice by dropping their products if possible.

  29. John Morales says

    evangelineclaire:

    John Morales, how was it treated as a minor breach of manners?

    That’s PZ’s claim, not mine; I was noting that he’d made his point regarding that aspect of this quite explicitly, which wasn’t what you claimed it was.

    She considered herself Joan of Arc, it’s being called sexism, etc.

    You mean her temerity in being uppity was equivalent to zealotry?

    Polite confrontation would have been telling them to stop, but I imagined that the dongle joke only lasted a couple of seconds and that by the time she turned around to smile and snap a picture, it was over.

    Leaving aside what you imagine, be aware that because X is polite confrontation doesn’t mean that there is no Y which also is polite confrontation.

    It can be considered that she was too shy to confront them but after hearing that she took a picture I don’t think so.

    Listen to yourself; you’re speculating about her character and motives with a view to showing she was somehow wrong to do what she did because you yourself would not have.

  30. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    #538
    Caine, Fleur du mal

    Erik, comparing EllenBeth to Paul W is not going to go anywhere. Paul has a long history here, is an OM and was a highly respected member of the commentariat. EllenBeth does not have a history here at all.

    True. I admittedly don’t know a damn thing about who she is and have no plans on looking her up further.

  31. says

    But you also need to take into account the recent rape thread and the Shakesville thread where people were specifically calling for people not to give regulars as much leeway.

    I read a lot, not all of those threads and didn’t catch that, but I grok the argument. The same way we shouldn’t hold past threads against people, we shouldn’t offer free passes to people based on them either.

    So I apologize for coming off like I’m trying to police the thread or dictate how people should feel, that wasn’t my intent but I premptively see how it will be taken that way.

    I had a thought, I didn’t express it well, I’ll retract it, my apologies.

  32. kate_waters says

    Anyway, I should have been in bed about 4 hours ago. I’ve read every damn comment here starting from when it was only 29 comments old and it’s just more of the same sewage that gets splashed around every single time there’s a thread about misogyny.

    It never changes.

    Fucking depressing shit, that.

  33. zhuge, le homme blanc qui ne sait rien mais voudrait says

    So before I begin this post, I want to say a few things.

    It’s fucking absurd, disgusting, and evil to threaten to kill or rape a woman for expressing her dissaproval or discomfort for some dudes behaviour at a conference. And it’s fucking disgusting to, when this is brought up, sit around trying to nitpick the nature of her criticism.

    You know, I get why the men here arguing that point are doing so. When we consider ourselves, we have a really natural empathy with the guys saying that stuff. Because they are men, and we probably have said things that we don’t want repeated. (Hell, I was a teenage libertarian. *Shudder*)

    But you know what: I might prefer that someone talk to me privately and aside and say: “Hey, what you said there bothered me.” But if I make a place uncomfortable for women/minorities, and- because so many times when people are polite they get insulted, yelled at, or dismissed, they decide to post a picture of me and say “This twit was doing something wrong.” Well, I’d be embarassed as hell. And I’d be very angry.

    I’d be angry at myself for having acted in a way that hurt people. I’d be angry at myself for not being circumspect due to my privilige. And I’d be angry at the culture where people had to be afraid of my reaction and couldn’t do the thing I preferred. And I would be furiously, implacably angry at the people threatening the person who reported me.

    Because I have a trifling amount of empathy, and I recognize that my slight feeling of shame is worth a lot less than the systematic suffering o people of minority groups. I can apologize, and try to be a better person. I don’t need to defend myself, doing a sexist thing doesn’t forever label me with the quality of “SEXIST”, it doesn’t take away my moral value or my ability to be a good person, it certainly doesn’t mean I don’t deserve to live.

    Now I recognize he is gone, and I am going to put a trigger warning just because, but I want to address Michael:

    Who says they’re not to blame, Redhead? I admit my earlier hyperbole about “nobody is saying that” (as in nobody in my conversation) was fairly interpreted as nobody ever, anywhere is saying that, and that’s clearly not true.

    But I’m not saying she wasn’t subjected to unacceptable behaviour, and I’m not saying she had no right to react. I’m only saying she was wrong to react at the level she did, with the immediacy she did.

    But what do you know of her situation? When we know that women who bring up these claims are often dismissed and ignored, maybe it’s not unreasonable for her to think that publicly criticising(not shaming, god damn) might be a better method than being dismissed- again. Now you might say “but she can’t know she’ll be dismissed,” but you base that on your experiences. I am a white guy. If someone attacks me at a bar, I call the cops. A black man might not do that if he’s attacked by a white guy, because he knows he will be the “guilty” one in the police’s eyes.

    Am I clear in that? I don’t agree with their behaviour concerning the dongles comments at all. I believe that the guy who got fired was telling the truth when he said there was nothing sexual about his forking comment. I also believe that given the context of the dongles remark, Adria made a good-faith error in judgment in thinking that forking was sexual. I think that if she’d taken the proper steps, instead of taking the most extreme non-violent option she had, nothing would have come of it except the removal of the two men from the convention.

    Look: When people say intent doesn’t matter, this is what they are referring to. Maybe it wasn’t at all sexual. But it clearly, clearly could be interpreted as such. I mean, if at a physics conferences I say that my particle accelerator gave me a Hadron, it might be an innocent remark, or I may have made it as a sexual joke. But if it makes people uncomfortable, and I care about those people, it is my responsibility to try to rephrase that and make everyone comfortable.

    My point, Redhead, is that being the recipient of shit doesn’t entitle a person to behave in whatever manner they please. It’s not unreasonable to think that Adria knew or reasonably ought to have known the potency of a public tweet could have had on this guy’s life for being a two-second shithead.

    No. That’s absurd. By that logic, the guy should have known what an effect being a two second shithead would have, and shouldn’t have acted that way. (In fact, hey, wouldn’t that be neat- using public criticism to urge people to modify their behaviours?) But the fact is, the boss’s reaction was hardly a reasonable one that a reasonable person would have expected.

    People have lapses, and that doesn’t make them bad people deserving to get dragged through the mud. It has nothing to do with the fact that he was fired for it, it has everything to do with the fact that the level of public humiliation is disproportionate. His lapse wasn’t that he “got drunk” and “forgot” that he wasn’t supposed to sexually assault or strike women, like actual, genuine pieces of shit try to claim.

    Who decides the proportionality? Maybe disproportionate sanctions are necessary: If the response of all bosses to people making a single racist comment was to fire them on the spot, then we’d probably see a hell of a lot less racism. If every person who casually uttered the word “bitch” were subject to all their friends yelling at them, they’d probably stop that right quick. And the worst thing that happened to them was that their public behaviour was recorded and they had to own it. Responsibility: Terrifying.

    His lapse was that he made an asinine comment to his friend when he should have known better, and in return Adria took his photo, branded him a sexist frat boy pig when she should have known better.

    That doesn’t mean Adria deserves the death threats she’s been receiving, or the threats to assault her. It just means she wasn’t “right”, “exactly right”, or even “nearly right”. It also doesn’t mean that the two guys were in any way “right”.

    Seriously, if you act like a sexist frat boy pig, then you can be called one. If I say “BUT WHY CAN”T I SAY THE N WORD” and you say on facebook that “Zhuge is a fucking ignorant racist fuck”, well so be it. I was being one. If I apologize and change my ways, then hurray! If not, then I deserve a bad reputation.

    That’s all my position is. That’s it. And no, I’m genuinely not swayed by appeals to emotion or claims to credibility. Every time somebody tells me what I truly secretly believe about women or rapists or patriarchy, or how I think that she deserves to be threatened or the guys behaviour was excusable, that credibility you and everybody else claims goes down the drain a little more. Which might not be a problem for you, but if you sincerely want me to stop posting, just know that I won’t give in to hectoring or claims of knowing what I “feel”.

    Emotion is fucking vital in this situation, you twit. Emotions are the things people feel when in uncomfortable situations, and pointing out that we should take those into consideration isn’t illogical, it’s fucking basic human decency.

    Fuck, if you or anybody else can show me that I’m wrong — without special pleading or emotional appeal or anything like that — and Adria’s response was proportionate, then I’m better for it. I’d rather be wrong and learn something and understand the world a little better, than be right and learn nothing.

    Well there’s that. I’ve tried, but bluntly fuck you for your insensitivity. I know you would prefer that I handhold you and say nice things about how you aren’t a bad person. But you are a bad person, at least until you see how what you’ve been saying is harmful.

    Now was that response disproprotionate? Maybe. But I bet that you and lurkers reading that will be a lot more likely to want to respond to that than to “Well, you aren’t a bad person and everything is basically ok, but we should take into consideration people’s feelings :)” Because that’ll get ignored, glossed over. But you will want to challenge the claim that you are a fucking twit and a bad person. And in doing so you might- if you don’t just get defensive- start to THINK about the issue.
    @Evangeline

    Well, PZ I’m sorry but I do not see how making puns about the human body is sexist. Some people would disagree that it should be talked about in public, but I don’t even agree with that. The human body should not be made taboo. Can you explain this to me? I mean, is it sexist because a woman overheard it?

    It’s not inherently sexist. The joke: I find the arm bone humerous. Is trivially not sexist. Similar jokes about the human body’s sexual aspects need not be sexism. But I worry that using “I’d like to fuck that person” as a compliment is just extremely likely to be sexist. Sex isn’t being treated as a thing two people do together, but a thing a man does to a woman, and which should always be accepted by the woman. This is extreme(“I’d like to fork his/her repository”) but I can see how a woman living in rape culture might find that worrisome. And if it’s addressed at a woman presenter, well, that’s extremely likely to be dismissing her as a sex object instead of as a person.

    Sexism or racism in conferences, I agree no one wants to hear that behind them, but I don’t see how anything of that nature happened. It’s pretty clear what sexism and racism is. Or any -ism for that matter.

    I disagree very much. The ism’s are subtle and hard to see for the priviliged, and even for the oppressed. Everyone agrees racism is bad, more or less, but how many white people think that “All the good music of the 90s, and not the rap” isn’t a racist statement.

    Also note that no forking joke was actually made, she assumed that “fork” was said in a sexual nature.. just read the man who was fired’s apology. It’s said that she simply snapped a picture of them while smiling and gave no warning at all.

    We can’t really know what happened when we have a bunch of different views. But even if it wasn’t meant to be sexual, that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a bad choice of words. If you want to be welcoming to women, and I would argue that is a key point in being not sexist, minding the things you say is important.

    What I find sexist is how Adria responded – as if she were speaking on the behalf of women in general, as if women should be generalized as all behaving like her when they hear about penises. Penises are a natural part of the body just like vaginas are. Benevolent sexism is still sexism. I feel that if the roles were reserved the man reporting and ending up having one of the women fired would provoke much anger (like Adria) but also not have many people who go out of their way to sympathize with what the man “went through” by having to hear about vaginas on the job. As a woman, I don’t want people sympathizing with me due to a view that women are more vulnerable and weak or need extra protection. This would be extra, considering, again, it would be a different story if a man complained about hearing about vaginas. PZ Myers, please consider reading this https://sites.google.com/site/bigdonglegate/ It’s the same thing with the sexes reversed. A projection of what would have happened.

    That’s not it at all, I think. As a man, people don’t constantly sexualize me. They don’t dismiss what I am saying with a joke about my penis. It’s not that I think women need “extra protection from the scary words”, it’s that I think men like myself need to make sure we make it clear that we respect women as human beings and professionals. That means that while my sisters and myself might make that’s what he/she said jokes at home, it would be utterly innapropriate and harmful at a conference. I don’t know what the myriad experience of the other atendees are, and I know what we all need to be respected as is as professionals. And that’s ok.

    If two women were making a USB port pun about vaginas and a man overheard, it would not be sexist. In fact, I would think someone complaining about hearing of vaginas (vaginas… I have one. She has one. What is wrong with vaginas? Nothing.) should she be called a vaginophobe and dismissed. It’s immature to have such a reaction to any body part. Legs, arms, torsos, penises, vaginas, these are all the body. Yes, penises and vaginas can be of a sexual nature. Nothing wrong with the sexual body parts of human beings either

    Of course it wouldn’t be sexist, men don’t have the whole background of sexism objectifying them(us). Of course there is nothing wrong with being sexual WHEN YOU WANT TO BE. If making out with someone I refused to consider them a sexual being, I’d be obtuse. But making it so that at all times you have to be wary that someone is going to consider you a sexual object only is wrong.

    I’m someone who is all for the “slut walk” (please look up the slut walk before assuming I am using the word in a misogynistic manner) so I’m definitely against the human body being made taboo in any way, whether it is complaining about it being mentioned in conversations or complaining about seeing too much of people’s bodies on the street.

    We aren’t talking about a conversation. Look, I guarentee you don’t think all speech involving the human body is a ok. If I said: “vaginas are nasty things and we should make sure never to allow people to use them except as needed for making babies” you’d rightly tell me to fuck off(I hope). Yay, let’s talk about bodies! Yay, let’s remember that many of us our sexual creatures, women have desires and so do men and we can all do fun things together or apart and hurray! But let’s not pretend that being positive about our own sexuality and others’ sexualities means other people have to be willing to display that part of them at all times. That’s absurd.

    If I heard someone talking about penises or vaginas behind me, I would not mind it at all. Maybe some would. Point is its being implied that hers is a standard reaction and people should expect that people would be so distressed about it. (Well, frankly, would you even feel sorry if most people were vaginophobes and were turned off by such talk and wanted to shame people for it? It’d just be a cultural problem.)

    This is a faulty comparison for the reasons discussed above. If men were talking about dick size and how much women loved their dicks, I think it’s quite right to recognize how that is objectifying, and call it out. Maybe you wouldn’t be bothered by someone saying “I’d fuck her/him” as a compliment. So be it. But many people would because of how they’ve been objectified, and that’s understandable too. And in a professional conference we ought to defer to them, because there are lots of ways to compliment people that don’t raise the spectre of objectification and will almost certianly not be sexist or upsetting. .

  34. says

    I had a thought, I didn’t express it well, I’ll retract it, my apologies.

    Thanks, Erik. The main point which is truly bothersome to me was EllenBeth being happy and proud of suppressing a harassment complaint at a conference. That flat out scares me. What’s the point of having a harassment policy in place when conference organizers are going to do such things? No, no thanks. EllenBeth can be all kinds of proud of that, but she’s part of the problem in women not attending conferences. She’s also spent all of her time in this thread defending sexism, misogyny, and victim blaming, which is hardly any sort of comfort.

  35. Radi says

    I know my comment at #457 appears to be jarring against what came for about 300-odd comments before, and seems out of context.

    However, everything that I could possibly say has been said (much better) by Ginmar, Jafafa Hots, PatrickG, JAL and others. I don’t like being a bobble-head doll, which is why I stayed silent about the topic.

    I have to admit that I am rather surprised at EllenBeth’s comments and stance, given what I have read earlier from her (not comments on this thread, but blog posts and articles). I have to disagree with her that the conference was harmed in any way, and agree that it is women at tech conferences, and at PyCon in particular, who have been harmed by PyCon’s retroactive rule change. Same with the respective employers of douchebag# 1 and Adria Richards – they have harmed themselves far more than protected themselves, especially Richards’. I now know which companies to avoid, and which conferences too.

    I sincerely hope Adria Richards finds a better position in a company with a track record of actually supporting employees and not throwing them under the bus. Doucebag #1, too, although I think (ok, I’m hoping) this might not have been the first instance of him fucking up and publicly smearing his employer’s name, given that they fired him. Or else the company that fired him are also big assholes…

  36. says

    Zhuge @545:
    Please do not fall into the same trap others have of focusing too keenly on Adria’s Tweeting of the dudebros’ actions. The misogynistic reactions involving rape and death threats to her, which women get all too often when speaking up, should be the main focus.
    Tweeting the pics of two idiots who acted inappropriately isn’t.

  37. says

    Two of the suggestion from McEwan’s list were the following…
    • Don’t treat women like a monolith. Or any subset of women. Not all atheist women think the same way about any issue.
    • Don’t only listen to the women whose opinions support your perspective. If there is disagreement among atheist women, pay attention.

    Does that only apply to men who disagree with a woman? Do two women disagree cancel each other out?

  38. says

    Okay, let’s be very fucking clear. I, at no time, suppressed a harassment complaint. I do not want this lie being spread. I asked the person multiple times if she wanted to file it. She did not.
    I have not spent all my time in this thread defending sexism misogyny and victim-blaming.

    I simply gave an observation that I didn’t like her tweeting her complaint FFS.

  39. zhuge, le homme blanc qui ne sait rien mais voudrait says

    Tony: I don’t disagree. It’s absurd to think that it’s even relevant to bring up what she did or didn’t do as if there is something she could have done that would have any relevance to the rape and death threats.

    But people have been bringing up the whole “WHY DIDN”T SHE JUST POLITELY TALK TO THEM” and I think it is relevant to the insidiousness of sexism and patriarchy to answer that question. The answer has no bearing on the first part, but I hope it might be a teachable moment.

    But if I am straying from the point, consider it withdrawn.

    And fuck the assholes sending rape and death threats, the fuckfaces defending them, and the god damned ignorarmuses who use nitpicking to deflect the obvious and odious sexism on display in the IT community(and in every fucking community.)

  40. says

    [meta]

    evangeline claire, you should read the commenting rules on PZ’s blog, morphing of identities is not allowed and if you have a persistent pseudonym, you should stick to it. I’m fairly sure people who replied to you upthread aren’t aware that you previously posted on this blog as Eucliwood, and are going by a multitude of nyms around the traps such as Eu, Eunecromancer, Eucliwood Hellscythe, Evangeline Claire, Camomile Lox, etc. etc. etc.

  41. kate_waters says

    EllenBeth:

    You asked her multiple times? How many times did it take for her to finally say “no”?

    You’re so fucking blind to how horrible you are. This isn’t the first time you’ve pulled this kind of shit, is it?

  42. says

    assuming that there’s a clear-cut thing as a moral mistake or flaw in EllenBeth Wach’s opinion. Those it follow that her character be sullied without withholding any judgement?

  43. Stacy says

    EllenBeth’s problems are not in the past. She’s currently being stalked and harassed. She’s currently a prime target of the pittiful (Abbie Smith recently defended the corrupt evangelical Florida sheriff who sent EB to jail and openly called for the pit to continue trolling EB.) She’s lost her job. She’s spent time in jail. Her legal issues are ongoing.

    She did not express herself well on this thread, but she is not in any way, shape or form a chill girl.

  44. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    #552
    Xanthë, chronic tuck

    [meta]

    evangeline claire, you should read the commenting rules on PZ’s blog, morphing of identities is not allowed and if you have a persistent pseudonym, you should stick to it. I’m fairly sure people who replied to you upthread aren’t aware that you previously posted on this blog as Eucliwood, and are going by a multitude of nyms around the traps such as Eu, Eunecromancer, Eucliwood Hellscythe, Evangeline Claire, Camomile Lox, etc. etc. etc.

    O Really? This is my surprised face. I knew that question smelled wrong.

  45. says

    Geeze guys, OK, I give in, you have convinced me(*). OK, OK, have it your way. Adria is a terrible person with no idea of etiquette.

    Now, would you like to explain to me why explicit rape and death threats involving pictures of her naked, beaten, bloody, headless body with her name and address are a suitable punishment for being a terrible person? And how the people sending such things are not, in fact, doing worse things than her terrible terrible sin of whatever it was?

    (*) Not really. Duh.

  46. says

    I started out thinking I’m not sure whether I agree with PZ that Richards did everything right, but in the light of death threats, does it really matter? I agree with SallyStrange @150: at times you have to drop the quibbles, when there are people being hurt, when there are more important issues at stake. Then reading EllenBeth Wachs @370 I realised, yes she did do everything right. If she hadn’t made her complaint public, she would very likely have been pressurised into dropping it: by the organisers and her own company, who both don’t want the hassle.
    There are two things I find profoundly saddening about this thread, not surprising, but painful.
    A man gives us a hypothetical story with reversed roles, and he doesn’t even realise that to make it work – even if he had been fair, and not replaced a “not cool” with insults – he would have to change all of society. Who has the power, who has the money, who gets the jobs, who is respected, who is believed, everything from the bottom up.
    And once again a woman stands up to sexism, all hell breaks loose, and what is the subject under discussion? Her character, her behaviour, her previous history.

  47. Stacy says

    kate_waters:

    You asked her multiple times? How many times did it take for her to finally say “no”?

    You’re so fucking blind to how horrible you are. This isn’t the first time you’ve pulled this kind of shit, is it?

    Now you’re imagining what happened, and excoriating EllenBeth for that?

    Fuck you.

  48. kate_waters says

    Stacy #555:

    Did you bother to read any of the thread? Any of it at all? Because she sure as hell has been acting like an ass here.

    Also, furthermore and to reiterate:

    You don’t get to claim that you get a free pass because you’ve done something right at another time to avoid having to face the consequences of acting like an asshole.

    EllenBeth gets no “points”. No cookies. She’s not a special snowflake. She fucked up and she needs to own that.

  49. Stacy says

    @Caine, EllenBeth didn’t suppress anybody’s harassment complaint.

    A woman complained about Darrel Ray’s speech on duck penises saying it made her uncomfortable. EllenBeth asked her if she wanted to file a formal complaint. The two of them and a third woman discussed it, and the woman decided not to file. End of story.

  50. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I simply gave an observation that I didn’t like her tweeting her complaint FFS.

    And I thought her tweeting it was appropriate. Your opinion is negated with another opinion, and then refuted with many other regulars opinions. Get it?

  51. kate_waters says

    Stacy: Since you’re busy trying to clean up after EllenBeth, would you care to wipe up the other shit she’s flung around here? Because if YOU GO READ THE FUCKING THREAD you’ll see she’s flung it around, stepped in it and wiped her shoes on the carpet.

  52. Stacy says

    kate_waters, if you want to spread lies about people you disagree with, a la:

    You asked her multiple times? How many times did it take for her to finally say “no”?

    ….This isn’t the first time you’ve pulled this kind of shit, is it?

    The Slymepit is thataway —->

  53. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    #561
    Stacy

    @Caine, EllenBeth didn’t suppress anybody’s harassment complaint.

    A woman complained about Darrel Ray’s speech on duck penises saying it made her uncomfortable. EllenBeth asked her if she wanted to file a formal complaint. The two of them and a third woman discussed it, and the woman decided not to file. End of story.

    That was never told here. What we know is what she wrote on this thread which calls everything from her into question.

    Also, who the fuck are you? How do you know this and why isn’t Ellen telling us? You both write and respond re-markedly similar.

    Sock puppet? Anyone know?

  54. says

    Stacy:

    @Caine, EllenBeth didn’t suppress anybody’s harassment complaint.

    EllenBeth could have explained that but chose not to do so. EllenBeth has been a complete asshole in this thread and I’m not in a forgiving mood at the moment. Perhaps EllenBeth is having a bad fucking day, which is why she’s piled on the victim blaming, I don’t know. I’m sure as hell having a bad day with all of that.

  55. narciblog says

    kate_waters @ 553

    You asked her multiple times? How many times did it take for her to finally say “no”?

    Wow, so now EllenBeth is actively pressuring women to drop valid sexual harassment complaints?

    Even though we know nothing about the event in question, why the woman decided to drop the complaint, or even whether what EllenBeth was asking the complainant was “are you sure you don’t want to file a complaint?” we know she’s a mansplaining, victim blaming misogynist.

    I was going to post a comment a while ago, because I’ve been following this thread through most of the day, but the sheer level of vitriol and hostility against even any mild disagreement has made me loathe to do so.

  56. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    Seriously, they all sound the fucking same.

    Agent Smiths in the Matrix indeed.

  57. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    She’s not. Stacy’s okay, I think she’s just feeling really defensive on EllenBeth’s part.

    Ah, okay. My memory sucks with keeping commenters names and personalities straight.

  58. kate_waters says

    @Stacy:

    When someone wants to file a formal complaint you don’t have a conference about it. You take the damn complaint.

    Then again, what the fuck do I know, right? After all, I was only a Senior Administrator at a medium sized construction firm for a little over 5 years. I wouldn’t have a fucking clue about how to handle those kinds of issues, would I? I mean, all those times I dealt with harassment complaints in the proper manner must have been blind fucking luck, eh?

  59. Stacy says

    Also, who the fuck are you?

    @JAL, I’ve been commenting here for 5 years. And yes, I know EllenBeth.

    @Caine, I hear you. I’m not defending her attitude on this thread. I wanted 1) to set the record straight 2) point out that EllenBeth is also someone who’s been under attack from the Slymies, and 3) defend her from hyperbolic asshattery like kate_waters.

  60. Stacy says

    @Caine, re my Slymepit remark: the qualifier there was if you want to post lies about people.

  61. Pteryxx says

    Hey, hey. Do not be discussing the specifics of someone’s complaint that THAT PERSON did not make public!

    Obviously some of you know about this incident, DON’T BE TELLING US ABOUT IT.

  62. narciblog says

    EllenBeth has been a complete asshole …

    EllenBeth has been quite reasonable and rational in this thread, in her original comment, in her clarification, when she disagreed with JAL … and now I’m tired of linking.

    She has not called anyone a shitstain, scumbag, dumbfuck, apologist for misogynist behavior, nor has she accused anyone of covering up sexual harassment.

  63. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    #575
    Stacy

    @Caine, I hear you. I’m not defending her attitude on this thread. I wanted 1) to set the record straight 2) point out that EllenBeth is also someone who’s been under attack from the Slymies, and 3) defend her from hyperbolic asshattery like kate_waters.

    1. She needs to do that herself. She had the opportunity too but apparently ran off and you just happen to show up.
    2. Doesn’t matter like Caine said up thread
    3. “hyperbolic asshattery” is what Ellen did here.

    Jeez, focus not on what she said that was wrong, but on the people complaining about it instead! Great strategy, it’s what the douchebags are doing in this thread.

  64. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    #578
    narciblog

    She has not called anyone a shitstain, scumbag, dumbfuck, apologist for misogynist behavior, nor has she accused anyone of covering up sexual harassment.

    Because it’s the cuss words and insults that are really the problem. Ignore how the content of one’s message can be far more repugent that any cuss word.

  65. Stacy says

    When someone wants to file a formal complaint you don’t have a conference about it. You take the damn complaint

    That makes sense, but as I understand it, in this case EllenBeth asked the woman if she wanted to file. She’d apparently expressed discomfort at the subject of a speaker’s talk–which was about duck penises.

    I wasn’t there, so I’m not going to speculate.

    I won’t defend EllenBeth any further.

  66. kate_waters says

    @Pteryxx #577:

    Yeah, Stacy’s made it quite clear she does not understand how formal complaints about harassment work, what confidentiality is or what it is EllenBeth has implied with her comments about the complaint.

  67. says

    Stacy @561

    @Caine, EllenBeth didn’t suppress anybody’s harassment complaint.

    To be fair to those taking it that way, I can definitely see that interpretation, because it was also my initial reading of her story and something that raised a lot of red flags based on how my evil HR director has handled attempting to discuss the trans* discrimination I’ve been facing at work. Similar “conferences” wherein I am pressured to agree that nothing is going on and I’m perfectly responsible for my silly over-reacting interpretations and so on. And that this action is one that can be done unconsciously and without malicious forethought.

    I don’t think that EllenBeth Wachs did the same (at least I hope not), but I can definitely see how someone whose goal was suppressing harassment complaints to defend the institution would tell a very similar story and I hope she can appreciate the unfortunate comparison that can elicit and why some may be triggered and concerned about the story because of it.

  68. says

    @569

    Even though we know nothing about the event in question, why the woman decided to drop the complaint, or even whether what EllenBeth was asking the complainant was “are you sure you don’t want to file a complaint?” we know she’s a mansplaining, victim blaming misogynist.

    lol seriously?

  69. zmidponk says

    So let me get this straight, a woman gets offended at some sexist ‘jokes’ made by people in her hearing, who she had just been talking to one of, so she makes an off-hand comment that this is ‘not cool’ via Twitter, and the organisers of the conference she was at gets to know about this, and deals with it, in a reasonably low-key way. Then a complete shitstorm of over-reactions, death threats, job losses, etc, etc, etc, occurs, and some people here are seriously suggesting that Richards did something wrong by simply commenting that this was ‘not cool’?

    People, get a fucking grip.

  70. kate_waters says

    Stacy: Thank you for not continuing the discussion re: the complaint. It’s not appropriate AT ALL to give those kinds of details out to the public, okay? If there *had* been a complaint filed that kind of discussion could actually have a real world consequence in that case.

    Coming from my perspective, EllenBeth implied that the person in question wanted to file a complaint and she shut it down. If it was a case of EllenBeth being unclear in her communication of the incident, then so be it. It does not, however, appear that way from her comments on the matter. Comments which, I might add, are incredibly inappropriate for her to be making at all.

    Anyone in her position ought to know you shouldn’t even discuss those matters outside of the complaint process or the administration of the organization unless you have express permission to do so, or until such a point as a formal complaint has been made within a system where it is clearly understood that such actions will be made openly and publicly. Since we have no evidence of the structure of that process here, we should probably just drop it.

  71. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    569
    narciblog

    [1]Even though we know nothing about the event in question, why the woman decided to drop the complaint, or even whether what EllenBeth was asking the complainant was “are you sure you don’t want to file a complaint?” [2]we know she’s a mansplaining, victim blaming misogynist.

    #2 is what she’s shown us with her words on this thread, which leads to the questions regarding her conduct in #1. Not to mention how badly she explained the complaint she was talking about.

  72. John Morales says

    EllenBeth, is it so important to you defend yourself personally to the detriment of the topic at hand?

    You’ve already stated your position, and such as your #585 does nothing to bolster it.

  73. Stacy says

    @EllenBeth, narciblog is ON YOUR SIDE. That was a hyperbolic paraphrase of what the people criticizing you have said.

    I think you should back away from this thread. Come back to Pharyngula another time when you’re not under so much stress, and let people get to know you. Or, don’t. Pharyngula isn’t for everyone. But right now this is turning into a clusterfuck and a derail, and it’s not doing anybody any good.

  74. says

    Mathew Best @354

    You can torture a child endlessly and give them no escape, then turn them loose on society. And there’s a strong likelihood that that child will come to harm others. Battery, rape, murder, torture — any and all of those are likely to happen if you do that.

    Wrong.
    Many violent offenders may have been abused as children. That does not make it “a strong likelihood” an abused child will harm others.
    Many alcoholics/sex-offenders/serial killers drank milk as children. But there is not a “strong likelihood” for a milk-drinking child to become an alcoholic/sex-offender/serial killer.
    And it’s utterly beyond the pale to burden those who have already drawn the short straw and been abused as children with the imputation they will “likely harm others”.

  75. blitzgal says

    EllenBeth has been quite reasonable and rational in this thread, in her original comment, in her clarification, when she disagreed with JAL … and now I’m tired of linking.

    In her original comment, she claimed she hadn’t seen a single person who said Richards deserves what she’s getting. She was immediately provided with TWO examples from this very thread. She ignored that, and went on continue to argue about how wrong Richards was in how she chose to respond to the bad behavior she was witness to. This tactic is a depressingly common one — focus solely on tone or how the conduct of the complainant is faulty in order to gloss over and shift focus away from the fact that the complainant is now getting rape and death threats and her personal information broadcast across the internet in order to incite violence against her.

    As feminists often say, “intent isn’t magic.” EllenBeth may not have intended to employ the very same silencing tactics that are used by misogynists to force women to toe the line and not speak out, but she did use them. And that is why she got the reaction she did.

  76. says

    Anyone in her position ought to know you shouldn’t even discuss those matters outside of the complaint process or the administration of the organization unless you have express permission to do so, or until such a point as a formal complaint has been made within a system where it is clearly understood that such actions will be made openly and publicly

    Say, like TWEETING IT??

  77. ck says

    While I have some small reservations about reporting attendee misconduct through twitter rather than other means, I feel that complaining about this is like taking issue with the food delivered to you from a restaurant by complaining about a water spot on the dishes instead of the fact you were delivered a steaming bowl of feces instead of what you wanted. At this point, we have two people who lost their jobs, a company who was subject to extortion via DDoS, and threats of violence and/or murder. At this point, I don’t think it really matters how the complaint was delivered. The response to its aftermath has been completely absurd.

  78. says

    Stacy:

    @Caine, re my Slymepit remark: the qualifier there was if you want to post lies about people.

    I understand, however, that sort of thing isn’t done here under any circumstance.

  79. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    #594
    EllenBeth Wachs

    Anyone in her position ought to know you shouldn’t even discuss those matters outside of the complaint process or the administration of the organization unless you have express permission to do so, or until such a point as a formal complaint has been made within a system where it is clearly understood that such actions will be made openly and publicly

    Say, like TWEETING IT??

    Brickbrain, this complainant went public with it herself, which is clearly expressed permission. Your and other conference organizers have different rules to follow since you’re an official part of the system.

  80. says

    @Stacy, thanks for the assist. I apparently am the devil today here and can’t do or say anything right in commenters eyes. No worries. This “chill girl” won’t be back. You’ve ensured that.

  81. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    For clarity on my #597, since I forget how reading comprehension is currently in shortage on this thread:

    Brickbrain, this complainant [Richards]went public with it herself, which is clearly expressed permission [from the person making the complaint, who's the only one you'd have to ask permission from]. Your and other conference organizers have different rules to follow since you’re an official part of the system.

  82. Pteryxx says

    Say, like TWEETING IT??

    NO. Confidentiality of reporting protects THE VICTIM’s privacy. The agency receiving reports of harassment has a responsibility to protect the privacy OF the person reporting. Whether the person making the complaint has any obligation to protect THE CONFERENCE is a completely separate issue.

    Conference-blaming is not a thing, victim-blaming IS.

    I understand the concerns about liability, which is why organizations need to have harassment policies and implement them with consideration.

    Disclaimer: for all the studying and volunteering I’ve done, I am NOT qualified to give training on how to handle harassment complaints in accordance with the law. Such training’s easily available from local crisis centers. PLEASE, everyone concerned about this, consider availing yourselves of it.

  83. says

    If you aren’t sufficiently depressed by this thread yet, go read #IAskedPolitely. It’s stories about the responses people get when they just ask politely for people to stop being assholes.

    Turns out it often doesn’t work. Surprise!

  84. says

    EllenBeth @594

    Say, like TWEETING IT??

    Oh my fucking Bob, I can’t handle this shit right now.

    If you really can’t understand how “keep it in house” can be and has been abused by those interested in dismissing complaints of toxic or harassing environments and how that can affect people’s assumption of fair treatment, then I’m truly sorry, but it’s something I really can’t ignore because of the harassment and discrimination I am facing in my daily life right now.

    And furthermore, I included up above Adria’s reasons for why she tweeted as a complaint. Perhaps it would behoove you to pay attention to them so you know how to deal with that if it shows up in one of your cons.

  85. says

    EllenBeth:
    Have you even tried to see the problem?
    Focusing in so narrowly on the question of how she responded to the dudefratbros, rather than the larger issue of the rape/death threats that YET ANOTHER WOMAN HAS GOTTEN FOR SPEAKING UP has the effect-since we do not know your intent-of deflecting away from the real problem.
    I have seen fantastic comments from you before, but you have dropped the ball in this thread.

  86. kate_waters says

    I would like to point out that there was no complaint filed or action taken by any administrative body at the time the tweet was made, therefore EllenBeth is being a disingenuous arse again.

    I suppose, though, that the public nature of the tweet may, if the administration were a bunch of nitpicking douchewads, have some impact on the manner with which the complaint was resolved such as rendering private mediation between parties impossible.

    But it doesn’t negate the process, or destroy the validity of the complaint IN ANY WAY when it is the complainant making it public. But someone who organizes conferences with harassment policies ought to know that.

    Care to try again, EllenBeth? Surely you can do better than that weaksauce BS, can’t you?

  87. says

    #IAskedPolitely at my workplace to not involve the students again in their efforts to fuck me over. They responded by banning the rest of a teaching style I used that had been praised at all levels of the company when I was perceived as a boy and had the highest amount of student engagement of all the styles used at the company based on reviews by other department members, visiting teachers, and students.

    Doing things by the books often leads to the institution protecting itself either consciously or unconsciously and seeking to move towards making the affected party denies their own reality before taking it seriously as a matter of course.

    I wish it wasn’t the case, but it’s an impulse those who seek to do good need to be aware of.

    TRIGGER WARNING
    Oh, something my partner #IAskedPolitely asked? For her rapist to stop.

  88. narciblog says

    She was immediately provided with TWO examples from this very thread.

    Really? Where? In the responses to EllenBeth that I can find, no one pointed out such examples. I didn’t re-read through all 500+ comments again, just searched for instances of her handle, so maybe I missed some.

    EllenBeth may not have intended to employ the very same silencing tactics that are used by misogynists to force women to toe the line and not speak out, but she did use them.

    No one is trying to silence anyone. Being of the opinion that a public Twitter post is not an appropriate way to bring this event to the attention of the conference organizers is not a silencing tactic. EllenBeth has been very clear that she feels (as do I) that Twitter was not a good idea, Adria had a valid point, and that she fully supports Adria in the shitstorm that has followed.

    I’m not sure why, but this whole thread has bothered me to the point where I’m stressed and anxious about it. I may try to avoid it in the near future.

  89. blitzgal says

    If you aren’t sufficiently depressed by this thread yet, go read #IAskedPolitely. It’s stories about the responses people get when they just ask politely for people to stop being assholes.

    Turns out it often doesn’t work. Surprise!

    And I also see that the MRA dudebros are trying to take it over already:

    #IAskedPolitely for her number and when I called it was poison control #misandry

    https://twitter.com/toymachinesh

  90. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    EllenBeth has been very clear that she feels (as do I) that Twitter was not a good idea, Adria had a valid point, and that she fully supports Adria in the shitstorm that has followed.

    We didn’t see that here. What we saw is that EB would have taken her to task for the twitter feed, and then tried to talk her out of the complaint. I’m cooking dinner and don’t have time to find the reference.

  91. arbor says

    What the woman did at the conference was entirely appropriate.

    This thread has been very instructive – I now know of several other people who I regard as scum.

    Matthew Best – go to hell.

    EllenBeth Wachs – get over yourself. You have done nothing but make yourself the center of attention by jacking off about being a “conference organizer”. Big wup. I despise groups of people, especially in conferences, and shall never go to a conference of any type ever again. I don’t give a damn about what you regard as an “inappropriate manner”. She was fully entitled to react as she did and your idiotic ideas of appropriateness were not binding on her. Shut the fuck up.

  92. blitzgal says

    Really? Where? In the responses to EllenBeth that I can find, no one pointed out such examples. I didn’t re-read through all 500+ comments again, just searched for instances of her handle, so maybe I missed some.

    I provided them myself:

    Here are two just in this thread.

    “Live by the mob, die by the mob.”

    “maybe the next woman will think twice before trying to get some innocent guy in trouble.”

    Those two were just here in this thread. Read ANY article about this story to find countless others in the comments sections.

  93. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    #607
    narciblog

    No one is trying to silence anyone. Being of the opinion that a public Twitter post is not an appropriate way to bring this event to the attention of the conference organizers is not a silencing tactic.

    Yes, it is because you rather her be silent than speak out in the way she did.

    She was immediately provided with TWO examples from this very thread.

    Really? Where? In the responses to EllenBeth that I can find, no one pointed out such examples. I didn’t re-read through all 500+ comments again, just searched for instances of her handle, so maybe I missed some.

    OH, look what I found in two seconds because I read the whole thread and payed attention:

    #297 blitzgal

    I have not seen one person saying Adria deserved the response she got.

    Here are two just in this thread.

    “Live by the mob, die by the mob.”

    “maybe the next woman will think twice before trying to get some innocent guy in trouble.”

  94. says

    Hey EllenBeth, I read you wrong once and then backed off and apologized when I realized. Since then I’ve become something of a fan.

    Here’s a hint: you’re in the wrong here.

  95. kate_waters says

    It feels really weird to be discussing administrative minutiae in a thread where the topic is actually about a woman getting death threats for calling out doodbros on their misogynistic asshattery.

    It’s like being in a policy metting at work, but with SO much more swearing.

    (I think Policy Meetings would be improved by some salty language. They’re terribly fucking boring, for the most part.)

    But you want to know the sad thing? All the stupid arguments trying to diminish the validity of the complaint are just the same stupid shit I hear and have to refute in those meetings while simultaneously making copious notes so I can refine the fucking BINDERS full of impenetrable technical writing that has to be done just so assholes can’t weasel out of being held accountable for their assholery.

    It meeting like those that make me wish I was still just a clerk writing Articles of Incorporation all damn day long. I never had to deal with this shit when I was doing that.

  96. narciblog says

    bitzgal @ 610

    Those two were just here in this thread.

    Thank you for pointing those out. I guess at this point my brain filters out the obvious trolls and assholes and only retains people actually trying to participate in the discussion.

    Read ANY article about this story to find countless others in the comments sections.

    Oh god no. I’ve seen YouTube. I know what the rest of the Internet is like.

  97. blitzgal says

    No one is trying to silence anyone. Being of the opinion that a public Twitter post is not an appropriate way to bring this event to the attention of the conference organizers is not a silencing tactic.

    BULLFUCKINGSHIT.

    Are you seriously fucking saying this right now, when this woman is receiving rape and death threats, had her home address spewed across the internet with graphic imagery meant to incite violence, and has been fired from her job?

    How do you not get this? When you focus solely on HER TONE and completely ignore all the other shit going on, you are telling her, and every other woman, that they should just go ahead and not bother to complain, because complaining leads to THIS SHIT RIGHT HERE.

    I cannot fucking believe you. INTENT IS NOT MAGIC. YOU may not intend to silence anyone, but tone policing is a known tactic used by misogynists to silence women from speaking out.

  98. says

    Say, like TWEETING IT??

    I can’t decide whether you are clueless or being deliberately dishonest.

    As others have said, the ORGANIZATION is held to that standard, not the complainant.
    This assertion is ridiculous.

    (And please notice, I didn’t use the dreaded “naughty” words and call this a load of bullshit as I would normally.)

  99. says

    At the beginning of this conversation, I was thinking that I’d probably never use Twitter to report harassment or inappropriate behavior. Now I’m not so sure.

  100. says

    Hey, I co-founded a non-profit and served on the board of directors, and we had annual conventions which drew tons of people from all over the USA and Canada, and some from Europe.

    Does that mean I can pontificate as an authority too? As a conference organizer?
    Does that give my opinion a special Star-Bellied Sneetch Certificate of Betterhood?

  101. kate_waters says

    @EllenBeth:

    I suggest you hire an HR specialist as a consultant to assist you when you’re organizing your next conference. They can assist you with drafting an effective harassment policy, teach your administrative team how to be effective in taking and handling complaints and provide you with a framework to ensure those complaints are handled according to accepted procedures while ensuring you aren’t breaching any privacy laws.

    It is clear from this discussion that you, and the attendees of your conferences, would benefit greatly from such an experience.

  102. Kitterbethe says

    kate_waters

    It feels really weird to be discussing administrative minutiae in a thread where the topic is actually about a woman getting death threats for calling out doodbros on their misogynistic asshattery.

    Quote for truth.

    Why talk about violent threats against women, when the really important topic is how uppity they are, saying things in PUBLIC when it would be so much nicer for MISOGYNISTIC ASSHOLES if it was all nicely “dealt with” privately.

    Also, what’s with there being consequences for being a MISOGYNISTIC ASSHOLE in public? I mean consequences for the ASSHOLES of course. Consequences for the VICTIMS being uncomfortable and turned away from yet another space. Those consequences are fine… /sarcasm

    narciblog

    No one is trying to silence anyone. Being of the opinion that a public Twitter post is not an appropriate way to bring this event to the attention of the conference organizers is not a silencing tactic.

    This is such bullshit.

  103. Kitterbethe says

    …. or what blitzgal and JAL said with a million times the awesome.

    (Note to self: hit refresh before posting!)

    /slinks back to lurking

  104. says

    Kitterbethe @616

    Because men matter and protecting them from consequences matters even more.

    Women on the other hand are tools, like a toaster oven. And if they don’t provide their appropriate role, then they must be treated like such and blamed for rising and turning against their proper overlords.

  105. Crip Dyke, MQ, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    EllenBeth has been quite reasonable and rational in this thread, in her original comment, in her clarification, when she disagreed with JAL … and now I’m tired of linking.

    She has not called anyone a shitstain, scumbag, dumbfuck, apologist for misogynist behavior, nor has she accused anyone of covering up sexual harassment.

    THANK YOU!

    I made that same basic point in this comment!

    I get so frustrated that civility isn’t valued more highly around here…

  106. Tsu Dho Nimh says

    @284 Ellen Beth Wachs ” As a conference organizer myself, I will just note, taking a picture and tweeting it is not an approved method of reporting an instance of harassment. ”

    Perhaps conferences should have some way to electronically report harassment so the harassee doesn’t have to leave the scene and track down security staff.

    Something as easy and fast as Twitter … maybe an e-mail address. [email protected] would be an easy one to remember.

  107. Pteryxx says

    Excerpts from resources on harassment policy implementation for employers and universities. This is background reading, not ammunition.

    The investigative effort is not an easy one. When interviewing the complainant and the alleged harasser, the questions need to be asked in a way that is not accusatory, overly familiar, or impartially supportive. Especially at the start of the investigation, questions should be asked in an open-ended manner; more pointed questions should be saved for the end of the interview or investigation. Make sure that all witnesses are identified as well as any other similar acts of harassment that allegedly occurred. During the investigation, the complainant’s feelings and conduct should be inquired into. How did she respond to the alleged harassment? What action does the complainant want the employer to take as a consequence of the harassment? Advise the complainant that you will commence an investigation rapidly, and provide some idea of when you might get back to the complainant.

    http://www.americanbar.org/newsletter/publications/gp_solo_magazine_home/gp_solo_magazine_index/w96shi.html

    • Counseling and support should be readily available to community members who believe they have been sexually harassed.
    • Implementation and enforcement structures should encourage the informal resolution of grievances when appropriate, with or without the intervention of Law School officials, under the “informal complaint procedures” detailed below, since talking or writing to the alleged harasser, apprising him/her of the impact of his/her conduct, and asking him/her to stop the harassing behavior will often bring sexual harassment to a stop.
    • These guidelines should encourage victims of sexual harassment to voice their complaints, whether informally or formally, without fear of adverse academic or employment consequences. As provided more fully below, retaliation of any kind for raising an issue or bringing a good faith complaint of sexual harassment is strictly prohibited and constitutes an independent basis for disciplinary action.

    http://www.law.suffolk.edu/offices/deanofstu/handbook/policies/harassment.cfm

    Confidentiality

    In conducting any informal investigation and in acting as an intermediary between the informal complainant and the alleged harasser, the official contacted or the person to whom the matter is referred should maintain as much confidentiality as is reasonably practicable under the circumstances. It is expected that parties pursuing informal grievance procedures will normally attempt to maintain reasonable confidentiality as well. Where appropriate, the official contacted or the person to whom a matter is referred may try to secure the agreement of the parties to mutually acceptable confidentiality norms.

    http://www.law.harvard.edu/academics/handbook/legal/2012-13/2012-13-policy-and-guidelines-related-to-sexual-harassment.html

    —-

    Informal reporting systems for sexual harassment may also capture incidents of simple assault, sexual assault, or rape, if any occur. Employer harassment policies generally don’t mention sexual assault or rape at all, but educational policies often do. The role of the informal reporting system in these cases is to provide basic information and support to a victim, maintain confidentiality, and provide the victim with supportive referral to law enforcement or crisis center services.

    One such policy:

    http://students.umw.edu/caps/sexual-assault-information/preventing-and-responding-to-sexual-assault-sexual-harassment-and-stalking-a-resource-guide/

    We strongly encourage students who have been sexually assaulted to report the crime, either for adjudication within the University of Mary Washington system and/or prosecution within the local justice system. Reporting the assault may enhance the victim’s recovery and may make possible the receipt of needed services. Reporting also possibly prevents future assaults on other women/men by the victim’s assailant. A student who has been assaulted has the option of prosecuting his/her assailant within the University’s judicial system. This process is initiated by contacting the Dean of Student Life. The Dean of Student Life or designee will then initiate the Student Conduct Hearing Board process. This procedure is detailed in the Student Handbook. The Student Conduct Hearing Board will be trained annually regarding the appropriate handling of sexual assault cases.

  108. says

    I don’t think anyone who feels they have been harassed is obligated to use what others define as “approved methods” to report what they have experienced.

  109. says

    Crip Dke @619

    Fuck civility.

    So much pain is constantly ignored as long as “bad words aren’t used” and apologies for misogyny, problematic statements or attitudes are always asked to be given a free pass while people’s earnest impression of attitudes as having problematic elements or working in service to greater issues of sexism, racism, etc… are treated in the same bucket as curse words and therefore “uncivil”.

    Civility is used as a trap for the purpose of silencing, so fuck it and fuck how it’s consistently applied in crying crocodile tears for the victimizers.

    Also, some of us were civil and we were ignored like the invisible pixels we are. So take that as you will.

  110. kate_waters says

    Crip Dyke:

    Nice tone policing. Very good on the wind up, excellent follow through and you REALLY stuck the landing! 9.5/10 – Would laugh at it again.

    Since I know you’re a long time reader and commenter here I’m not going to ask you if you’re new to Pharyngula.

    …But you’re sure acting the part.

  111. says

    Pteryxx @621

    Fuck, that list really puts in stark relief how my employers completely sucked at that AT BEST. When I brought up the discrimination and why I was noticing it, it was all trying to force it down their angles and reduce it to something as small as possible to dismiss immediately as minor and illusionary. I had to fight to continue telling what was going on and a lot of the response questions were accusatory and insinuating that I was the type of person who made things up. Sort of exactly the opposite of what is recommended there.

  112. kate_waters says

    @Pteryxx # 621:

    Thank you for posting that. I didn’t think to go looking for the policies of education institutions, which would obviously be open to public scrutiny. I was a bit blinded to that by my inability to discuss the policies I have participated in drafting because they are, in effect, company property and can not be publicly released by me without a whole bunch of hoopla and rigamarole.

  113. says

    Mormons – now THOSE are some nice, civil people.
    Every Mormon I’ve ever met has been extraordinarily civil.

    Maybe we should emulate them.

  114. Crip Dyke, MQ, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Sigh.

    Kate & Cerberus?

    I understand this is an emotional topic. I think I’m fairly consistent in my view. I’m also pretty rough-n-ready with my sarcasm.

    Perhaps you could click the linky now, so when I said made my point in another post, you could see what point I made?

    Or just ignore me, that also works.

  115. says

    Oh dear. Yeah, CripDyke’s post was a pretty effective takedown of the whole idea of civility being useful.

    I’m taking a deep breath and having a drink.

  116. Crip Dyke, MQ, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Y’know Sally, that didn’t occur to me, but I have a bottle of scotch in the house, haven’t had a sip from it in 6 months, and just at this moment I can’t imagine why that streak should continue.

  117. Ichthyic says

    I get so frustrated that civility isn’t valued more highly around here…

    considering I’ve been “here” for well over 6 years, and the level of civility has remained a constant, I’d say your perception of what civility actually is needs some work.

    Since you seemed to have somehow missed ALL the lesson on the subject that have appeared here over the years, maybe you’d prefer Stephen Fry’s lessons on the subject?

    now run along and play.

  118. QueQuoi, traded in her jackboots for jillstilettos says

    I made it to about comment 400 before I couldn’t take it anymore, so forgive me if this is threadrupting.

    To those of you parsing every single action of Ms. Richards, my question to you is this:

    How do any of her actions put her in a position where she should be threatened with rape and murder?

    You can nitpick her situation. You may not agree with her. You might think she is wrong. You might not have acted the same way. You may have reported to the conference differently. None of this matters in the slightest.

    When is it ever acceptable to threaten someone with rape and murder?

  119. Pteryxx says

    Thanks, Kate, and Cerberus, I’m sorry you’re being put through all that minimizing and garbage. For what it’s worth I’ve been following your descriptions and you’re doing an incredible job of resisting it.

    (not quite out of lecture mode yet)

    Many employers assume they should conduct harassment investigation the same way police conduct hostile interrogations of suspects. Which, not coincidentally, tends to be the way police treat rape victims (but not rape suspects.)

    Handling complaints of harassment that don’t rise to criminal levels bears more resemblance to customer service than interrogation. At least it should.

    Tons of evidence that even careless dismissal of complaints discourages already-shaken victims from reporting at all, yadda yadda. Most of it’s linked throughout the early stages of the harassment policy wars last summer.

  120. kate_waters says

    Crip Dyke: I was reading that thread as it happened. Cut the crap. Quit the tone policing. I get to swear here if I want to swear. I enjoy swearing. It doesn’t negate the thrust of my arguments or change the meaning of my comments.

    PZ doesn’t give a flying fuck at a rolling doughnut if I or anyone else uses foul language. When I’m on your blog, I promise I’ll be so nice it’ll seem like I’m pissing sunshine and crapping rainbows, but I’m not in your space right now, am I?

    If PZ or Chris want me to stop swearing I would do so immediately, but you’re not PZ or Chris, are you?

    So frankly:

  121. Ichthyic says

    I didn’t catch the sarcasm.

    that’s because it was simply not catchable. The way it is written makes it simply not belong in this thread.

    sorry, but just… no.

    cryp may think that’s humorous, but if you take a step back, it can only be seen in the context of this thread as something that needs to be challenged.

    it’s a fail at sarcasm.

  122. Goodbye Enemy Janine says

    Damn. I have been avoiding this thread. But I ran into an exchange with Ellen Beth on Twitter and she is just a little bit stunned by what just happened here.

    So I will lay this out. She is not a “chill girl”. She is not a defender of “dudebros”. At no point was she saying that what those two men were doing should be repressed.

    On Twitter and at the pit, she gets as much abuse, stalkers and lies as does Ophelia Benson. I would suggest that all of you take a step back. Ellen Beth is not an enemy.

  123. kate_waters says

    …and I read the link.

    Oh fuck me.

    Sideways.

    On Sunday.

    Twice.

    I confused your comment with another one. Sheee-it.

  124. kate_waters says

    Yeah, Sorry Crip Dyke. I’m a little hot under the collar.
    I also couldn’t handle anyone taking my foul, foul words away. I have to be so bloody neutral and NICE all the damn time in meatspace because it’s frowned on for me to call a difficult client a Shit-brained, lack-witted, fucknugget. No matter how apt it may be.

  125. says

    Pteryxx @638

    Thanks.

    Ichthyic @642

    Nah, the sarcasm was a lot more obvious in the link she included. I was just being stupid and not following that because I didn’t want to deal with a tone troll minutae argument. Sorry for riling people up.

  126. kate_waters says

    Janine:

    No cookies. No redeemable points. Read the thread. Etc, etc, and so on.

    Because I don’t think you really know what you’re defending here.

  127. Crip Dyke, MQ, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Let me apologize, then, ichthyic – and kate & cerberus.

    I generally consider my ‘nym a sarcasm tag, but I get that others don’t. And yes, it’s an emotional topic. I thought I was over the top what with the all caps & such, and clearly it wasn’t.

    I also thought others might click on the link, but clearly many aren’t doing so.

    I thought others wouldn’t judge the post if they didn’t choose to click the link, as I said my point was in that other comment, but people are judging the comment @619 on its own (de)merits.

    So, yes. I’ve failed to communicate, and my assumptions were bad.
    ==================

    Not to try to defend myself, but it really didn’t seem like people jumped on narciblog who made the argument in all seriousness. Makes me curious when things like that happen.

  128. says

    I agree with Janine: EllenBeth is not an enemy. And I think the accusations of her suppressing harassment complaints is a huge misinterpretation of what she said.

    That said, I do think she fucked up here.

  129. kate_waters says

    Crip Dyke: No need to apologize to me. Others may feel differently.

    As for narciblog? I ignored them after the first few comments. My bullshit meter was redlining and I can’t afford to get it serviced AGAIN this week.

  130. says

    Janine @643

    Mm, a number of her comments were either problematic or enough problematic adjacent that the blowback was understandable (such as the example of a complaintant at one of her cons she “talked to and who then decided not to file a complaint” she tried to bring up in order to argue that Adria did a very bad thing in reporting the incident on twitter, which was for, at least me, extremely triggering and as others have noted, bad policy).

    Additionally, she directly ignored Adria’s stated reasons for why she posted to twitter rather than go through the “appropriate channels” as EllenBeth phrased it, even though we were kind enough to post directly to those stated reasons in this thread.

    You can go back and look for yourself if you have the stomach, but it’s unfortunately understandable why she pissed off more than a few regulars with her “arguments” and direct defense of out and out misogyny-defenders.

  131. Crip Dyke, MQ, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Cross-posting…

    I see people are now apologizing to me. It’s seriously not necessary. I wasn’t hurt, I knew the content of my other message, etc. I also could instantly see why someone might be upset. I wanted y’all to read the other message so that *you* might feel better, knowing that there aren’t as many idiots on the thread as it seems. It wasn’t about me getting apologies from you. I should have apologized in the first message, but I was going to go with the neutral misunderstanding-no-one’s-fault position. But it really was my fault.

    So, no harm done to me, all. Thanks, Sally. I have to drive to the store, I just realized, but in about 1/2 an hour I’ll be back in this cushy chair and I’ll raise mine back when I am.

  132. says

    I tried to comment, hit enter, and went to answer the door.
    Came back to an error page, my comment wasn’t posted, and now I forget what it was.

    But I want to take this time to assure all of you that it was simultaneously witty and cut to the point like a laser beam. (One of those laser beams that cuts, not one of those cat-toy laser beams.)

    (seriously people, don’t use a cutting laser to play with your cat. Just don’t.)

  133. Goodbye Enemy Janine says

    I do not think that Ellen Beth was trying to take the focus off of the misogynist reaction. She gets a shit load of misogynistic reaction. (Justin Vacula is one of her harassers.) Her point was that Adria Richards should have reported these two men to the organizers and not used social media. And I do not think she is wrong about that.

    Go ahead and disagree with her on that point. Disagree with me also. But you are being extremely unfair to charge that she is trying to take the focus of all the bullshit that happened to Adria Roberts, that she is some “chill girl” who is trying to make a safe space for “dudebros”.

  134. John Morales says

    [meta]

    I think there’s been a surfeit of discussion about Ellen Beth; the person who hasn’t been on the thread for quite some time.

    Yes, I am aware of the irony in my own meta-commentary, but I think this stuff belongs in Thunderdome and not on a topical thread.

  135. says

    Janine @656

    Sigh… again in Adria’s own words:

    I was telling myself if they made one more sexual joke, I’d say something.

    The it happened….The trigger.

    Jesse was on the main stage with thousands of people sitting in the audience. He was talking about helping the next generation learn to program and how happy PyCon was with the Young Coders workshop (which I volunteered at). He was mentioning that the PyLadies auction had raised $10,000 in a single night and the funds would be used the funds for their initiatives.

    I saw a photo on main stage of a little girl who had been in the Young Coders workshop.

    I realized I had to do something or she would never have the chance to learn and love programming because the ass clowns behind me would make it impossible for her to do so.

    I calculated my next steps. I knew there wasn’t a lot of time and the closing session would be wrapping up. I considered:

    * The type of event
    * The size of the audience
    * How the conference had emphasized their Code of Conduct
    * What I knew about the community and their diversity initiatives
    * How to address this issue effectively and not disrupt the main stage

    She needed to address the issue immediately without disrupting the proceedings after sitting silently through a lot of sexist diminishing “humour” in a space that the men had to know it would be exceedingly inappropriate in. This way was quick, quiet, and lead to an immediate resolution that did not require her to either “make a huge production” or limit her own ability to enjoy the panel she had come specifically to see.

    She did the right thing.

    If convention organizers want a way to do the right thing “in house”, might I suggest making it supremely easy for convention attendees to more easily inform on-staff harassment responders through those methods than it proved to do so through twitter.

    Also, do not see how this rational decision on Adria’s part a) deserves the backlash it did or b) deserves more focus than the abominable actions by Anonymous. Additionally, I’d like to know how in this context EllenBeth’s “story” of a person she talked to directly deciding not to press forward a complaint didn’t look bad in context.

    As this one invisible meaningless pixel has been stating, I trust she didn’t mean anything by it, but those examples and arguments would be used in the same way by those with an interest in silencing harassment reports and in fact has been used by my evil HR director when dismissing my attempt at standing up for myself against the discrimination I’ve suffered at work.

    I know my statements are just so much spittle in this flotsam, but that example in particular raised a really big red flag for me personally and I can see how others would be inclined to be far less charitable in their interpretation given the context and behavior.

    Additionally, I’ll note that she spent a good amount of time on the thread openly defending people who were straight up apologizing for misogynist behavior. Regardless of her other actions, that in and of itself would have been objectionable and so she was called out about it, loudly.

  136. says

    Maybe conferences should consider having some kind of quick contact method, like a cell phone number, email address, or such that people can use if they need to report someone without interrupting a talk or something like that.

    Not because I think what Richards did was wrong… it wasn’t.

    Just because I think it might be a decent idea for people to have a number they can text/email address they can email….

  137. says

    Janine:

    I do not think that Ellen Beth was trying to take the focus off of the misogynist reaction.

    Perhaps she shouldn’t have pointed out Matthew Best as one of the most rational commenters in this thread or stated his points were valid.

  138. says

    More of Adria’s words, because she keeps getting lost in this whole shuffle:

    I did a gut check and waited until Jesse finished introducing Diana who would be the new PyCon US chair for 2014. I stood up slowly, turned around and took three, clear photos. I said back down, did another gut check and started composing a tweet.

    Three things came to me: act, speak and confront in the moment.

    I decided to do things differently this time and didn’t say anything to them directly. I was a guest in the Python community and as such, I wanted to give PyCon the opportunity to address this.

    A few minutes later, one of the PyCon staff member approached to the left. I stood up, went outside to talk with him and explain the situation with a few of the other PyCon staff. They had seen my tweet. After explaining, they wanted to pull the people in question from the main ballroom. I walked back in with the PyCon staff and point them out one by one and they were escorted to the hallway.

    As I walked back to my seat, I cannot tell you how proud I was of the PyCon and Python community at the very moment for keeping their word to make the conference a safe place to be. A bit shaken, I took my seat to continue watching the lightning talks. I sent an updated tweet that the situation was being dealt with and later on, PyCon tweeted they had addressed the issue.

    And

    The forking joke set the stage for the dongle joke. Neither were funny.

    What many of you don’t know is that this wasn’t the first time that day I had to address this issue around harassment and gender.

    I had been talking with a developer after lunch in the hall and he told me he had made a joke. He had been looking for some boxes and said aloud that he was looking under the skirt (he had meant a table skirt) in the expo hall. A woman had “given him a look” and/or made a comment after he said this so he responded by saying “it was bare, just the way he liked it” as an innuendo for when women shave off all their pubic hair. I explained that while this could be funny, it was out of context because:

    * We were at a tech conference
    * There was a job fair going on
    * Women historically have felt unwelcome at tech conferences
    * PyCon was making a special effort to be welcoming to women
    * There were several women’s groups here (PyLadies, Women Who Code, CodeChix, Ada Initiative)
    * He was wearing company logos and that meant his actions and words carried on their behalf

    ….much further than his sense of humor ever would.

    He disagreed. I urged him to talk to someone at the conference who worked for the same company who was a guy and who would understand this issue and potential for brand/reputation damage. We were able to discuss this because we were in the hallway, not a packed ballroom.

    At a conference where it was was celebrated that 20% of attendees were women it wasn’t the place to make “jokes” like this. I felt our chat went well (as well as could be expected) and headed on my way to more sessions and the final closing talks. Why did he share his joke with me? Maybe because I told him I’d just finished a 5 week stand up comedy class and he wanted to reciprocate. Maybe because my job as a developer evangelist means I spend a lot of time around male developers and he thought I would understand. What I did know is I needed to say something instead of laugh.

    I have been to a lot of tech conferences and hackathons over the years. I’ve heard a lot of things said. That means I’m more desensitized than others but it doesn’t make it ok. Here I could go into all sorts of comparisons on things I could say around guys to make them uncomfortable but that’s not the point of this post.

    There is something about crushing a little kid’s dream that gets me really angry.

    Let me quote that last bit again:

    There is something about crushing a little kid’s dream that gets me really angry.

    I know something about that. I have taken risks, I will continue to take risks and possibly make my situation even worse by showing my vulnerabilities and will put myself in even greater risk in the future for standing up for those who will follow.

    That next generation doesn’t need to squelch themselves in a tiny ball because our system is too broken to change. Maybe those of us who go first get burnt, badly, but if we have to to make the society those young people enter into one better than it is, than so be it.

    So many on this thread have ignored what Adria Richards was trying to do. The reasons why she needed to do what she did, when she did it, how she did it.

    So many want to blame Adria Richards for upsetting the status quo no matter what she did.

    Speaking as someone else upsetting the status quo out of love and support for the younger generations, what she did speaks to me and I suspect to many others as well. What has happened to her terrifies me and emboldens me to continue to speak out against how she was and is treated.

    And that goes for all those who seem to find it more concerning that assholes get called out for asshattery than the culture that engenders these behaviors gets called out and examined. This can’t keep happening.

    EVERY. DAMN. TIME.

  139. says

    I should also note that Adria wasn’t out looking to be offended. She didn’t go off on the first inappropriate comment she heard. In fact, she had politely ignored previous douchebaggery earlier in the day. These shitheads were just one more thing in a long day in a really inappropriate space who just. wouldn’t. stop.

    And so much more sympathy is pouring for them than for her or the other attendees affected. And so much more parsing and condemnation of her actions have been given than the conscious choice two douchebros made when they decided to spend an entire panel about women in engineering making sexist jokes to each other, a few scant rows from the panelists themselves.

    Apparently what they did was a “tiny thing”, a “small mistake” that “shouldn’t have been broadcast to the world”. But her doing the right thing is given the third degree. She shouldn’t have made any complaint. Oh wait, maybe it was okay to complain, but not like that. And besides she should have known that it was jokes and didn’t mean anything because any misogyny outside burqas doesn’t count and so on.

    That this disgusting dance continues even after the victim, once again, is made the subject of harassment campaigns and rape/murder threats is not something we should ignore and we shouldn’t give a free pass to those who wished to distract from that so that they could quell their inner demons and divided loyalties.

  140. says

    short skirt : violation of social protocol :: rape : avalanche of misogynist harassment

    The message?

    Don’t expect to participate fully in life, women. You have your realm. The women’s realm. And men have everything else. Politics. Art. Literature. Science. Tech. Gaming. Atheism. You can join in but you can’t expect to not pay a price.

  141. says

    This thread has been jaw-dropping. This. shit. again?

    Too late to add my two cents except:

    Josh #98 I hope this will be discussed more too. Maybe when some of these douchebros realise that they, too, are being fucked over by the hegemony, they might stop harrassing women and continuing to act like it is the wimminz who are taking everything away from them.

    cerberus #661 662 Yes yes yes. Thank you. THe next generation is why we have to speak up and take risks. I wish you success where you are so hard!!

  142. says

    Cerberus:

    Apparently what they did was a “tiny thing”, a “small mistake” that “shouldn’t have been broadcast to the world”.

    Truth. And people have said her tweet caused these men “irrevocable damage”, one of them in this very thread.

    Applause for that whole post, Cerberus. That was a thing of beauty and truth.

  143. Larry Poppins says

    I have been following this thread all day at work where I can not comment. I finally have time to check back in.
    Cerberus @ 661 absolutely made my day.

  144. Kitterbethe says

    so much awesome Cerberus.

    To pull out one part.

    And so much more parsing and condemnation of her actions have been given than the conscious choice two douchebros made when they decided to spend an entire panel about women in engineering making sexist jokes to each other, a few scant rows from the panelists themselves.

    The arrogance of people doing this has left me breathless.

    The ease which people have at ripping a tool (social media of all things!) from the hands of a women, under sexist attack. A tool she, being there in the moment with better understanding of what it was like than we can ever have, chose thoughtfully, to convey her message,. A tool she wielded in the hope of making the world a better place for little girls.

    And for what? To quiver at the injustice of misogynistic assholes being publicly tied to their own words, their own choices?

    i just…I’m so sad.

  145. zhuge, le homme blanc qui ne sait rien mais voudrait says

    Bravo, Ceberus, bra fucking vo. That was amazing, and you should feel amazing about yourself.

  146. propanbutan says

    This “discussion” was very painful to read. The way rational and thoughtful dissent gets treated here speaks volumes about the nature of this community.

  147. says

    propanbutan:

    The way rational and thoughtful dissent gets treated here speaks volumes about the nature of this community.

    You are aware that this ^ sort of thing is a tell, specific to a certain group, right? Because if you think siding with sexism and misogyny is “rational, thoughtful dissent”, you have a serious problem or you aren’t posting in good faith.

  148. iregisteredjust4u says

    @PZ (596):

    If you aren’t sufficiently depressed by this thread yet, go read #IAskedPolitely. It’s stories about the responses people get when they just ask politely for people to stop being assholes.

    Turns out it often doesn’t work. Surprise!

    Asking politely / assertively sometimes fails, ergo, it should never be attempted? What’s the harm in trying, “Guys, keep it down, please,” before tweeting the conference authorities (and, “incidentally,” *thousands* of previously uninvolved followers)? These aren’t drunk frat guys. They’re professionals who showed poor self-restraint. I suspect that it would have worked, and if it didn’t, then what’s the worst that could’ve happened? She can always tweet the organizers as the next step if it’s needed. [This whole response is directed at the title and first few paragraphs; obviously both firings were over-the-top, and 4chan et al are full of idiots, as always]

    As an aside, it seems like the more time one spends communicating online, the less able one is to handle direct assertiveness in meatspace. I suspect this may be because we let our emotions run wild in online confrontations — look at this thread, let alone the responses on less civil sites — and this primes us to have an adrenaline overload in what would be otherwise very minor real-life “confrontations.”

  149. arbor says

    Quote from Good Bye Janine:

    Ellen Beth is not an enemy.

    I have never heard of Ellen Beth before.

    I don’t give a damn about what else she has supposedly done.

    I don’t care who her enemies are.

    Her behavior in this thread has been inexcusable.

    I am now an enemy of hers.

  150. Kitterbethe says

    @iregisteredjust4u

    What’s the harm in trying [being less uppity]

    Attention women, you owe your time, your energy, your spoons, your goodwill to professionals who showed poor self-restraint sexist assholes

    what’s the worst that could’ve happened?

    Also, if they abuse you for giving them this, no big deal.

  151. says

    What’s the harm in trying, “Guys, keep it down, please,”

    It’s been tried before. Millions upon millions of times. It rarely works and the issue was not about chatting during a presentation, just in case you missed that bit. Here’s a thought: why don’t you try reading all the comments before making another one? Astonishing as it is, you aren’t the first one to bring up such a point and it has been damn near endlessly refuted.

  152. says

    @672:
    Thanks. I wasnt sure if I was going to grab a drink with friends. I was feeling down after this thread and a flood of psinful memories from another one. Thanks to your massively stupid, cant read for shit persona I am not melancholy any more. Back to mad. Thanks for that.

    Now trot trot and fuck right off.

  153. Stacy says

    I am now an enemy of hers

    Oreally?

    Some background: http://www.randi.org/site/index.php/swift-blog/1399-polk-county-sheriff-grady-judd-loses-fight-against-humanist-activist.html

    Abbie Smith has recently called for her to be trolled–and defended Sheriff Grady Judd in his treatment of her. EllenBeth is somebody who has been a prime target of the misogynists. She’s gone to jail for defending secularism in the Deep South. She’s currently dealing with a particularly crazed stalker/harasser. She may, just possibly, be under a tad bit of stress–y’think?–and she’s unfamiliar with Pharyngula culture.

    And you don’t care who she is or where she’s coming from; you won’t support her against shit like that because you disagree with her about whether or not Adria Richards should have tweeted her complaint.

    Because the best way to support one woman is to attack another, right?

    And please, no lazy “Don’t tell me that because of her past I can’t disagree with EllenBeth!” I’m not fucking saying that. I’m protesting over-the-top attacks on a woman who also deserves our support.

    /flouncing

  154. says

    Stacy:

    you won’t support her against shit like that because you disagree with her about whether or not Adria Richards should have tweeted her complaint.

    I’m just going to clarify here. It isn’t about disagreement over whether or not the tweet was appropriate. EllenBeth decided to focus on that to the exclusion of all else, and in doing so, said some very stupid things which people rightly took issue with. I won’t write her off and I’m very sorry for the shit she’s taking, that’s absolutely wrong on the part of those loathsome assholes. That said, she defended one the most loathsome assholes in this thread, which didn’t exactly help matters. She may do and say the absolute right thing in all else or in other places, but that doesn’t excuse her behaviour in this thread.

  155. Orange Utan says

    @Stacy

    I’m protesting over-the-top attacks on a woman who also deserves our support.

    Like Adria Richards? Shame the thread got derailed to ignore this bit and focus on her actions instead.

  156. says

    I had much the same conversation with EllenBeth – whom I like a great deal — on Twitter within the last 36 hours as was had here.

    I strongly disagree with much of what she said here. My rhetorical sentiments and assessment of what happened here largely parallel Caine’s, perhaps adjusting a bit for my friendship with EBW. But the difference between the conversation on Twitter and the one here is interesting to me. The conversation we had on Twitter had not been thoroughly poisoned by intense misogynist provocation over the previous days, with deliberate triggering and prodding.

    This one was.

    It’s illuminating, though perhaps only to me: this might be 101-level stuff for many of you. For all that the misogynists decry Deep Rifts, they’re awfully good at creating them — and the vultures are now circling, telling EllenBeth on Twitter that despite their “ribbing” they’ve always been nicer to her than we just were. She’s too smart for that shit, thankfully. But it’s an interesting glimpse into their M.O.

  157. Goodbye Enemy Janine says

    Alright, I found where EllenBeth made her mistake, saying that the borderline MRA troll Matthew Best had a rational point. I explained to her how and why this was a huge mistake.

    She stepped in here without know the culture.

    As I told her, I am not out to bring about a reconciliation between her and the Horde. She stepped in it big time without truly knowing what she was getting into.

    But she is hardly the defender of people like Matthew Best. But I wish she had a better grasp on the shitty game he was playing.

    With that, I am done. I have nothing more to say and no desire to hash out the point. I am just a bit upset that people I have respect for are very upset with each other.

  158. says

    Janine:

    I am just a bit upset that people I have respect for are very upset with each other.

    I understand that, and I am sorry for adding to the dogpile, which may have seriously overwhelmed her. The fast and furious nature of Pharyngula threads can be very difficult for a lot of people to do with, it’s certainly not for everyone. Given how high her stress level must be, I’m sure that didn’t help her out either. I’ll say the same for myself and a few others too. This has been a highly difficult week for many of the commentariat, with triggers and tempers going off all over the place.

    For what little it’s worth, I’m very sorry I said nasty shit about EllenBeth in regard to the harassment complaint at her conference. I did not have the whole story and without that, unfortunately, as Cerberus noted, it set off alarms all over the place – it certainly set off mine. That said, I could have enquired and been much more thoughtful. Instead, I was an ass and made assumptions. I am very sorry I did that, EllenBeth.

  159. mildlymagnificent says

    What’s the harm in trying, “Guys, keep it down, please,”

    You must have read the whole thread. So I presume you didn’t click on PZ’s link to Iaskedpolitely. You may be surprised to learn that practically every woman commenting on this thread has tried that – that would be because none of us have been crowing about how wondrously successful that’s been in the past. If it works (not when – IF it works) it’s pure serendipity.

    I suspect that it would have worked, and if it didn’t, then what’s the worst that could’ve happened?

    I suggest you try PZ’s link and get a taste of the worst that could happen.

    As an aside, it seems like the more time one spends communicating online, the less able one is to handle direct assertiveness in meatspace.

    Well, no. My experience with conferences in my former lines of work/activism ended long before online / mobile communication was more than an expensive plaything. “Direct assertiveness in meatspace” has sometimes worked for me in the past. I suspect that that was only because my antenna was so finely tuned by years and endless years of experience that I was reasonably good at judging when I was more likely to get away with it. And ‘getting away with it’ is how it felt. No triumph, just relief that I hadn’t “provoked” some brickbrained asshole into shouting at me. You can never be sure who is/n’t a b-b a-h until it after the event.

  160. AtheistPowerlifter says

    @SallyStrange #150

    I am beginning to think that PZ said that “Adria Richards did everything perfectly” on purpose, as a shibboleth to see who is a decent person and who is not. Decent persons, like myself, might think, “Eh well, maybe email would have been better than Twitter, but whatever! that’s beside the point. I’m not going to share my opinion about that right now because clearly this pattern of public misogynist abuse of women who speak up about sexism is the more important thing here.” Non-decent persons, like you, think, well. I don’t know what the fuck you all think because I’m a decent person. Maybe you can explain.

    Word.

    I was thinking the exact same thing (though I have no fucking idea what a ‘shibboleth’ is…google later). I am slowly making my way through this thread but laughed out loud at how close this was to my own impression (the only difference was me thinking that instead of “Eh, well maybe email would have been better…”, as you did; I thought: “Eh, well maybe glaring and telling them to grow the fuck up may have been better…” – but of course that’s because of my privlege as a large male, which I recognize now. Kudos Pharyngula comment section for teaching me that).

    So thanks for your comment.

    I am shamed to admit that before I began reading the comments (after I had read PZ’s piece) my unbidden initail thought was – “Why the fuck would she do…?!?” Then I stopped myself and thought – hold on a fuckin’ minute – you can’t put yourself in her shoes (for one), and these two guys were dumbasses (for two), so read on. And maybe learn something.

    Not saying that I am a great person or an insightful person. Am not. But it just goes to show that no matter how enlightened you think you are or how much you have learned about privlege; it takes a lot of work to stay in the good and decent zone.

    That’s all I got.

    Back to the lurk.

    AP

  161. says

    mildlymagnificent:

    “Direct assertiveness in meatspace”

    If there’s anything amusing to take away from this thread, it’s clueless declarations like the above that you were patient enough to deal with. In a world where the majority of men are hesitant to be directly assertive in meatspace due to potentially bad reactions, it’s amusing how they feel free to lecture women about it.

  162. Goodbye Enemy Janine says

    Sorry for being OT on a very stressful thread. But Chris Clarke, what is you moniker on Twitter? I want to find you so that I can follow. I am janphar.

    And, once more, I am sorry.

  163. iregisteredjust4u says

    @677:
    My post is not about gender. It is specifically about the idea that avoiding a simple direct encounter and escalating things by complaining to authority is “exactly” the way to handle such a situation. I lodge this complaint against both sexes equally, as I have plenty of male friends who apparently would rather suffer through a similar situation, let it ruin their day, and complain later on Facebook, instead of just taking a simple and direct step to fix the problem. I know I came “late to the party” (and will be leaving it forthwith), and tempers are already high. But there is no subtext here. Besides, wouldn’t turning and directly asking somebody to knock it off would be considered more “uppity” than asking somebody else to handle it?

    I hadn’t read her full post before, but now I find it ironic that she writes,

    What has to change is that everyone must take personal accountability and speak up when they hear something that isn’t ok. It takes three words to make a difference:

    “That’s not cool.”

    and yet can’t bring herself to say these words to the dongle fork joker. Again, there are plenty of men who wouldn’t have been able to do it, either, but I really doubt the rest of the quiet crowd was just waiting for her to say something so they could abuse her to protect their hero, dongleforkman.

    @678: I can imagine.
    @686: I read maybe a few hundred or so tweets. Some were awful situations, many were stupid immature jokes, but none of them seemed to apply to someone, in a quiet crowd of professionals, asking another to act a little more professional. But thank you for your perspective on my other point. You mention having had a finely tuned social antenna, and I wonder how much it erodes when so much of our discourse via these virtual monologues and in the complete absence of nonverbal cues that make up such an important part of face-to-face communication.
    @688: Precisely. See above. For what it’s worth, I learned to be assertive from my mother; my father would rather bend over backward to avoid confrontation.

    Parting thought: Adria Roberts refers to deindividualization in her post. All the *individuals* in this story, while they may have made some mistakes (and some certainly much moreso than others!!!), behaved reasonably well (at least after they were asked to). It’s the deindividualized internet mob that went nuts. And now I’m leaving. This deindividualized crowd can go ahead and rip me to shreds for only sharing 99.5% of their norms.

  164. says

    Janine, Chris:
    For my part, I did not come down heavy on EllenBeth. Iveven mentioned that I have seen her around and generally enjoy her contributions. That said, the way she presented herself here was in the role of someone focused on the “”inappropriate”” nature of Adria’s handling of her complaint. Between that and her defense of the shitstain Matthew Best, I feel she was in the wrong here. I won’t write her off, because of her contributions elsewhere. But I am disappointed.

  165. anchor says

    I know I’m even less inclined to let casual smears slide now. I hope you feel the same way.

    yep, absolutely…man, its really hard to find any words to add

    my disgust runneth over

    i think i shall be sick now

    now that i’ve had a good barf [really and truly, a messy fact], i think i will henceforth identify with innocent brainless worms, and still have at least that much dignity i might rely on as a reference of what sort of creature i belong to…because assholes with big brains apparently can’t even measure up to the responsibility of a fucking worm.

  166. anchor says

    i must apologize to worms everywhere for any perceived insinuation suggested by the comparison

  167. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    Well, I finally went and got some sleep.

    Regarding EllenBeth:

    She defended the asshole who triggered me and several others. So yeah, I had every right to go as harsh as I did.

    As far as her being targeted is concerned: If that becomes the topic I know I won’t pull the shit she did – I’ll focus on the assholes doing it and the asshole defending those who threaten.

    It’s kind of a fucking thing I do. And I’m insulted at this shit:

    #680 Stacy

    I am now an enemy of hers

    Oreally?

    [...]
    And you don’t care who she is or where she’s coming from; you won’t support her against shit like that because you disagree with her about whether or not Adria Richards should have tweeted her complaint.

    Because the best way to support one woman is to attack another, right?

    And please, no lazy “Don’t tell me that because of her past I can’t disagree with EllenBeth!” I’m not fucking saying that. I’m protesting over-the-top attacks on a woman who also deserves our support.

    /flouncing

    DON’T EQUATE US WITH THEM. This isn’t the fucking slyme pit. Saying she’s my enemy doesn’t fucking mean we’ll do the same thing the slymies do or what she did here. How fucking dare you assume that means we won’t support her when her abuse is the topic. Guess fucking what? Her history and threats had FUCK all do with this thread and what she said. I’m seriously insulted that now people think I’m going to pull the shit that she did and focus on how I don’t like her when there’s a thread about the threats against her.

    FUCK THAT. I have a fucking history here. Her words, her deflecting the topic and siding with Mathew Best flies in the face of her history. That doesn’t mean I’m going to against my history.

    How many times has it been said on threads here: those fucking up trying to bring in their volunteering and support of good charities like it changes their words. It doesn’t. It doesn’t for EllenBeth either.

    Again, bringing up her history just makes it look worse. Would she act the same way and focus on “not the proper” way if we had a thread about her getting harassed and threatened?

    Yeah, right. Fuck her. She didn’t support the victim in this thread but I’m sure she’d support herself in that thread. Oh, maybe because she does everything “proper”.

    *snort*

    Whatever.

  168. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    Oh, and before anyone brings this up:

    If I fuck up and say/do something that bad, I sure as fuck would admit it, apologize and (try ) not to do it again. I wouldn’t keep making things worse. I would tell anyone trying to defend me, don’t because I screwed up and it’s my own fault for people making logical conclusions based on the fucked up (badly phrased or just plain wrong) words I used. If people don’t like me for my own bad behavior, that’s their right and, again, my own fault for being wrong. Would I like a chance to prove I can do better? Sure, but I don’t, and won’t, damn people treat me like a special snowflake. And since I post here frequently I’d hope my performance afterwords would change people’s opinions of me. But that’s not an obligation and not something to demand

  169. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    not something to demand

    *sigh*

    For clarity, I was actually referring to Ellen herself when I wrote this because of her attitude of “I do good thing so you shouldn’t speak to me like this!” without, you know, actually acting accordingly.

    Everyone else is just having this “But she’s a good person and my friend. She’s really not like that.” conversation.

    Okay, now I’m fucking done.

  170. ashlarr says

    @304

    “And really, I don’t blame PyCon for changing their policy. I really don’t! They just reached the 20% female attendance this year, want to raise the number, and because TWO PEOPLE made a dick joke the conference has gone from being a more inclusive environment in years past, to being perceived as being a woman-hostile environment.”

    i just don’t see how this follows… as a woman, when i read that PyCon responded to adria’s alert within minutes to address even such a minor offense (in my opinion), my impression of PyCon skyrocketed and i thought “holy FSM, now THIS is a conference that is serious about making women feel comfortable and welcome!”

    …and then i read that they changed their policy to add the new clause right in the middle of internet backlash and my opinion of them plummeted to rock bottom and now i am disgusted with them and no longer view them positively.

    i don’t have a problem with them adding a clause about “public shaming”. i personally feel that adria should not have publicly tweeted a photo of the offenders, and that email or something only the conference organizers could see would have been better. however RIGHT NOW is not that time. RIGHT NOW is the time for PyCon to be showing their full support for adria in the face of the backlash against her and standing beside her unwaveringly after she reported an incidence of sexism at their conference and is now receiving hatred for it. they can add a “no public shaming” clause four or five months from now, when the bruhaha is over, and when it is no longer an act of siding against and abandoning a woman who reported sexism at their conference. they chose not to do that.

  171. thedude says

    #350

    JAL

    It is also sad that some people, who obviously hasn’t been near the software industry in their entire life, insists that forking a repository means something that it really doesn’t mean even after they have been explained the proper meaning several times.

    STOP LYING. THAT’S NOT WHAT HAPPENED.

    The guy behind me to the far left was saying he didn’t find much value from the logging session that day. I agreed with him so I turned around and said so. He then went onto say that an earlier session he’d been to where the speaker was talking about images and visualization with Python was really good, even if it seemed to him the speaker wasn’t really an expert on images. He said he would be interested in forking the repo and continuing development.

    That would have been fine until the guy next to him…

    began making sexual forking jokes

    I’m amazed that you thought that I meant Ms. Richards, as she worked in the software business at the time of the incident. I obviously meant the various commenters in this thread who keep on insisting that this is a sexual metaphor. For those who still thinks that it is: http://lmgtfy.com/?q=forking+repo . You might notice that most of the 10 first results are about the technical terms. For me 9 were about the technical usage, and 1 was about the perceived usage of the words in the incident discussed here.

  172. thedude says

    For some reason the standard usage of html tags doesn’t appear to work here. I hope people still understand that

    I’m amazed that you thought that I meant Ms. Richards, as she worked in the software business at the time of the incident. I obviously meant the various commenters in this thread who keep on insisting that this is a sexual metaphor. For those who still thinks that it is: http://lmgtfy.com/?q=forking+repo . You might notice that most of the 10 first results are about the technical terms. For me 9 were about the technical usage, and 1 was about the perceived usage of the words in the incident discussed here.

    was my response to JAL.

  173. thedude says

    #351

    Josh

    that forking a repository means something that it really doesn’t mean even after they have been explained the proper meaning several times. I guess that to some people everything has a sexual meaning.

    Fuck you. I don’t even believe you really believe that. Don’t insult us.

    I just feel som warm inside with all the love that comes from the regulars at this safe place.
    http://lmgtfy.com/?q=forking+repo

  174. John Morales says

    [meta + OT]

    thedude:

    For some reason the standard usage of html tags doesn’t appear to work here.

    Anyone can see the source, you know.

    (The tags did what you told them to do)

  175. John Morales says

    thedude, I also note you’re comprehension-challenged.

    “That would have been fine until the guy next to him…” takes care of your quibble; it was not that particular usage that triggered her action, but rather subsequent actions.

    (That “until” should have been your clue)

  176. thedude says

    #702

    John

    Ok, I guess it’s just too early for me to get them right. It’s not like I use html tags every day, most sites have systems that incorporate them automatically these days. Manually adding tags is just so 1995 :-)

  177. John Morales says

    [OT]

    thedude:

    Manually adding tags is just so 1995 :-)

    First you stuffed up the blockquote and blamed the software as faulty, now you blame your incompetence on the software being dated. It’s informative about you.

    (The fact remains that it was user error)

  178. blitzgal says

    “Hardcore forking action”

    Oh, how could ANYONE assume that’s a sexual innuendo?

  179. thedude says

    #703

    John:

    thedude, I also note you’re comprehension-challenged.

    “That would have been fine until the guy next to him…” takes care of your quibble; it was not that particular usage that triggered her action, but rather subsequent actions.

    (That “until” should have been your clue)

    Sigh. I think I have to repeat myself: I was not referring to Ms. Richards, but to the comments here, such as this:

    So…a gaggle of dudebros “decide” that a phrase that sounds both sexual and insulting to most English-speaking people, is now “flattery;” and one woman who didn’t get the memo of that decision (because they didn’t send it to her) is to blame for not keeping up with the dudebros’ changes in the meaning of words

    Some of the commenters here seem to have decided that these words are somehow “dirty”, and that the to men at that conference had a private understanding of these words that differed from the standard usage. It is possible that the men used the words in a sexual way after the initial comment, it is also possible that Ms. Richards misunderstood and attributed a sexual meaning where none were intended. If they used the words in a sexual way, why didn’t she qoute that instead of the innocent usage she decided to qoute?

  180. Maureen Brian says

    thedude,

    Ms Richards was there to observe such things as tone of voice, inflection, how many people were involved even passively, loudness of the disruption and the difficulty she was having following what was being said at a conference still in session.

    You lack this information. It will always remain a mystery to you. Ergo, you will never be in a better position that her to judge the rightness of her action.

    Live with it!

  181. John Morales says

    thedude:

    Sigh. I think I have to repeat myself: I was not referring to Ms. Richards, but to the comments here, such as this:

    So, your example refers to this comment by Raging Bee.

    Sigh indeed.

    That comment was a response to a quotation by “Hi, I’m the guy who made a comment about big dongles.”, and it was snark at the weak rationalisation offered as an excuse for a personal failing.

    (Uncannily similar to your own attitude, actually)

  182. fatpie42 says

    This has clearly blown way out of proportion in terrible ways and I don’t think Richards is responsible for a companies dodgy hiring and firing decisions at all.

    I would however question, as an isolated incident unrelated to anything else, her decision to post those two men’s images publicly online. It seems to me that secretly photographing two people in order to shame them by posting them on a live and very public forum on the internet is a big breach of privacy. What’s more, considering her intentions when photographing them, there would seem to be no reason to have done that. The conference could have received the photo privately in a number of ways, but Twitter does not only share the photo with the conference leaders but rather with every single Tom, Dick and Harry on the internet.

    I don’t personally use Twitter so perhaps I’m missing some context here, but if I made a stupid comment (which I might later feel embarrassed about) I would feel extremely wronged if the fact that I had made such a comment was broadcast across the internet with an identifiable photo of me next to the accusation. Once something has happened on the internet it is very hard to take it back.

  183. Maureen Brian says

    I wonder – are the people rushing to express outrage at this “breach of privacy” the same ones who cried that it was unfair to out Whassisname for promoting voyeurism on reddit?

    Or the ones over at Michael Nugent’s blog pronouncing that women should make it totally clear when they do not welcome a particular behaviour from a man or men?

  184. John Morales says

    fatpie42:

    It seems to me that secretly photographing two people in order to shame them by posting them on a live and very public forum on the internet is a big breach of privacy.

    Secretly, eh?

    It seems to me you should inform yourself before pontificating; one of the men is impishly looking right at the camera.

    Suddenly, unexpectedly, unpredictably, yes.

    Secretly, not-so-much.

    What’s more, considering her intentions when photographing them, there would seem to be no reason to have done that.

    That you imagine she acted without reason suggests you’re committing the fundamental attribution error, which in turn suggests you’re denigrating her ability as a person whether consciously or not.

    The conference could have received the photo privately in a number of ways, but Twitter does not only share the photo with the conference leaders but rather with every single Tom, Dick and Harry on the internet.

    You’re doing that right now, as PZ has noted earlier.

    I don’t personally use Twitter so perhaps I’m missing some context here, but if I made a stupid comment (which I might later feel embarrassed about) I would feel extremely wronged if the fact that I had made such a comment was broadcast across the internet with an identifiable photo of me next to the accusation.

    I don’t personally use Twitter either, but I’m not missing that you’re focusing on what Adria might have done different rather than on her subsequent unfair dismissal due to inconvenience suffered by her employer at the hands of those who vandalised her workplace’s sites.

    As PZ wrote in the OP: “We’ve all seen how “guys, don’t do that” was turned into cause for outrage. Here’s another instance:”

    Once something has happened on the internet it is very hard to take it back.

    And here you are on the internet. :)

  185. scimaths says

    I would however question, as an isolated incident unrelated to anything else, her decision …

    Why ? Why would you question her decision at all, how is this relevant ? Why are you declaring her behaviour unrelated and yet focusing on it as the most important point here ?

    How is it so difficult for you to grasp what people are telling you ? That is: in whatever way this woman had made her complaint, no matter how she made the complaint, no matter what manner or method she had used she would get exactly what every other woman gets when she dares to point out, in any way shape or form, harrasment or harrasing behaviour from men.

    Her behaviour is really really not the problem here

  186. racissrick says

    PZ did make sure to fully inform himself before commenting, right? Looking at Adria’s tweets she is a full blown closeminded bigot with a small minded agenda to push. I can understand her employer’s desire to have no part in that.

  187. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    PZ did make sure to fully inform himself before commenting, right? Looking at Adria’s tweets she is a full blown closeminded bigot with a small minded agenda to push.

    Gee, why do I suspect you are the closeminded bigot? Yes, you are sounding like one…

  188. says

    Dear dumbshit: party of racissrick: you’re wrong, you’re factually wrong, we already covered this, and you’re a racist, sexist, illiterate ignoranus who needs to suffer a fate I will devote some gleeful time to imagining.

    Right, that’s it, fuck all this shit, we need a revolution. I have officially had it.

  189. shawn says

    This may just be my opinion but, shouldn’t harassment policies be there to aide the victim and not as a means to control how a victim responds to harassment. Shouldn’t the event of a victim using other means be seen as a failure of the policy and not a failure of the victim to use appropriate channels?

  190. Amphiox says

    Looking at Adria’s tweets she is a full blown closeminded bigot with a small minded agenda to push.

    Even if this were true, it is irrelevant.

  191. Amphiox says

    I would however question, as an isolated incident unrelated to anything else, her decision to post those two men’s images publicly online.

    Perhaps instead you should spend more time and effort questioning the decision of the men who’s behavior prompted that tweet.

    Or perhaps instead you should spend more time questioning the decision of all those overreacting to her response, said disproportionate overreaction being, after all, the main thing at issue here.

    Because if we want to talk about gross and unjustifiable disproportionate overreactions to supposedly mild transgressions, then the latter is the greatest by massive orders of magnitude.

  192. Amphiox says

    Looking at Adria’s tweets she is a full blown closeminded bigot with a small minded agenda to push.

    This is in fact directly analogous to questioning a rape victim’s prior sexual history, and just as manifestly disgusting.

  193. Pteryxx says

    shawn: it’s not just you. Harassment policies (good ones, anyway) focus on giving the victim the option to report and on making that decision as accessible as possible, because harassment by nature entails removing the targeted person’s social support and confidence in the system.

    Another example I just pulled off the net: (emphasis mine)

    This policy relates to all staff of University College London. UCL has a firm commitment to equality of opportunity and as such will not tolerate the harassment or bullying of one member of its community by another. The purpose of this policy is to assist in developing a working environment in which harassment & bullying are known to be unacceptable and where individuals have the confidence to complain about harassment & bullying, should it arise, in the knowledge that their concerns will be dealt with appropriately and fairly. The policy outlines procedures to be followed if a member of staff feels they are being harassed or bullied in the course of their work or as a result of their employment by UCL. Advice to students on harassment and bullying is issued in the Student Handbook.

    http://www.ucl.ac.uk/hr/docs/harassment_bullying.php

    So the purpose of harassment policies is not to mete out punishment without investigation, or go looking for incidents to discipline, or always punish some man (which is how certain jackasses like to misrepresent it). Harassment policies recognize that toleration of harassment, and the toxic environment that results, are the problems to be addressed.

    I’d clarify that when a victim chooses other means of responding (which may also include not reporting at all), the policy hasn’t necessarily failed; the culture has. Harassment policies are meant to defuse a hostile, toxic environment that already exists.

  194. Pteryxx says

    tangentially… that UCL policy happens to be excellent and very readable. It even includes a table of appropriate response times for each level of response. Excerpts: (bolds mine)

    Harassment & bullying can take a variety of different forms ranging from repeatedly ignoring a colleague or subjecting them to unwelcome attention, to intimidation, humiliation, ridicule or offence. More extreme forms of harassment & bullying include physical threats or violence. Harassment & bullying may consist of a single incident or a series of incidents. Behaviour that may appear trivial as a single incident, can constitute harassment or bullying when repeated, or in the context of the staff/student or manager/employee relationship. Harassment & bullying behaviour may not always be intentional, but is always unacceptable, whether intentional or not.

    UCL has a responsibility towards protecting staff from harassment and bullying within the workplace and off-site at work-related events (e.g. at conferences, departmental social events with work colleagues, or through deliberate exclusion from an event).

    [...]

    4 How will allegations of harassment be dealt with?

    4.1 In the event that a member of staff considers that they are experiencing harassment they have a number of options open to them. They may be able to speak directly to the individual concerned or to write to him/her expressing their concerns and requesting that the harassing behaviour stop immediately. Alternatively, (or subsequently if they achieve no success) they may wish to talk to someone in order to obtain another perspective on the situation and to ensure that someone else knows about it and can take action with them to ensure that it stops. A final option is to make a formal complaint.

    [...]

    5.2 Anyone approached by a member of staff who wishes to discuss the matter informally should

    find a quiet place to discuss the issue confidentially and without interruption

    listen carefully to what they are being told and ensure that they understand the full facts

    when they are sure they understand and if they feel confident to do so, they should discuss the options open to the individual.

    5.3 Confidentiality is very important in dealing with cases of alleged harassment as experience shows that they will be much more difficult to resolve informally if information about the matter becomes common knowledge. Anyone approaching a manager or Harassment Advisor for advice may however wish to be accompanied by a work colleague.

    From the (very detailed) section on formal complaint procedures:

    6.2 While the formal complaint is under investigation, an alternative location, or timetable for the work of the complainant will be considered where requested (although there can be no guarantees that an alternative location can always be found). Where it is necessary to facilitate ongoing professional relations between the two parties, other possibilities such as an embargo on one to one meetings between the parties, or meetings without a third party present should be considered and facilitated by the line manager and Head of Department.

    I’ve never seen a policy specifically address the need to avoid one-on-one harasser-target situations before. I’m very impressed.

    That link again: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/hr/docs/harassment_bullying.php

  195. PatrickG says

    PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT:

    For people just finding this thread, and filled with the overwhelming urge to weigh in with wisdom, please note the number of comments already made on this thread (at the time of writing, 722).

    Look at your comment. Ask yourself whether or not it has already been said 5, 10, 20 times. Ask yourself whether or not it has been responded to. Read the thread to find out. Or just post blindly without any attempt at figuring out local context, and be prepared for possible impoliteness.

    If you post something stupid, you’re going to get several cans of whoop-ass unloaded in your general direction. Because, again, the stupid has been dealt with previously.

    In short: There be dragons here.

    END PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT


    Now nobody can complain about how mean the regulars are, right? Right?

    Also, Cerberus, those summation posts earlier were things of beauty. However, I hold you personally responsible for my feelings of shame and inadequacy when it comes to writing. You monster!

  196. says

    I made the mistake of reading another blog post on the issue. Horrifying as the writer’s positon is (“Reporting the incident to the PyCon staff is not appropriate. [...]she violated the privacy rights of these two men.”), it suggests at least some people may learn from the incident: “[...]code of condu[c]t… Didn’t know that such a thing existed.”

  197. Pteryxx says

    In short: There be dragons here.

    *pointy grin*

    from the Manboobz writeup: ugh.

    Others happily gave the Men’s Rights movement credit for Richards’ firing. The execrable EvilPundit got 180 upvotes for a post essentially endorsing the virtual lynch mob and declaring Richards’ firing to be proof that the Men’s Rights movement had entered a “new phase.”

    Sorry to burst your bubble, Mr. Pundit, but there’s nothing new about men harassing and threatening a black woman.

    Much more impressive readings. A few tweets from Melissa McEwan:

    The world looks very different once you replace “I don’t think you should feel that way” with “I want to understand why you feel that way.”
    — Melissa McEwan (@Shakestweetz) March 22, 2013

    Says I, as a person with certain privileges who used to be an asshole wielder of a validity prism.
    — Melissa McEwan (@Shakestweetz) March 22, 2013

    Validity Prism = Filtering other people’s lived experiences through your own perspective to establish authenticity. Auditing vs. empathy.
    — Melissa McEwan (@Shakestweetz) March 22, 2013

    How Adria Richards Spoke For Me

    Midway through our senior year, Techy Boyfriend and I got involved with a nonprofit whose claimed gig was introducing kids of all ages to accessible tech. Making this stuff fun and readily available, so geeky types could build the next Mir and non-geeky types could, I don’t know, send e-mails without accidentally blowing up Mars. (that’s a thing, right?) Said nonprofit was run by a handful of guys built from the exact same mold as the two jokes Adria Richards outed via Twitter – and one woman, whose job was to make fast-food runs and be the butt of every sexual innuendo that occurred to the dudebros bogarting the computers.

    That woman was me.

    And this considered essay by Christie Koehler, recommended by a commenter:

    She comes at it from just about every relevant angle: as a fellow attendee of PyCon, as someone who runs tech conferences herself, and as someone who has spoken up about toxic tech culture and been threatened as a result.

    Bold Ideas Uttered Publicly: PyCon, Richards and Responding to Conduct Violations

    Shame isn’t always a bad thing. When you’ve done something you know to be wrong and you feel shameful, that is an appropriate response. If someone calls out your behavior publicly and you feel shame as a result, that’s probably a sign you should pay attention and evaluate your behavior. Shame is contextual. It doesn’t work the same way going up the power hierarchy as it does going down. Power magnifies shame and magnifies the damage it does when applied incorrectly. A young child can’t shame a parent and have the same effect as when a parent shames a child. A white male using shame against a women or a person of color to uphold his social status is not the same thing as a women or a person of color using public shame to bring visibility to inappropriate behavior.

    Being the trigger of shame in others while documenting a broken system is not the same thing as enacting revenge.

    Also check her previous writings:

    Related posts:

    Codes of Conduct and Censorship in Technical Communities
    On Accountability
    The (Overdue) Need for Community Conduct Standards at Mozilla
    Advice to Women Seeking Careers in Technology
    Death Threats in Open Source Are not Occurring in a Vacuum

  198. Pteryxx says

    it suggests at least some people may learn from the incident: “[...]code of condu[c]t… Didn’t know that such a thing existed.”

    … *sigh*

  199. says

    @Pteryxx: Yes, *sigh*.
    .
    On the plus side, there are a few measured voices out there.

    Robert Heinlein said “an armed society is a polite society”. [...]

    Like firearms, both social media and authority figures are equalizers. Maybe once the men in our industry have seen several examples of a woman “going nuclear”, they’ll have an incentive to be as respectful to a woman saying “not cool” as they would be to, say, me. Maybe then a woman will be able to turn around and say “knock it off” and be 99% sure that the guys she’s talking to will say “crap, sorry about that”. And then we’ll be able to have nice things.

    - Avdi Grimm

    What a pity that when a woman uses these equalizers, she basically self-immolates.

  200. golliblog says

    Before the PYCON Code of Conduct was amended it said:

    “Harassment includes offensive verbal comments related to gender, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, religion, sexual images in public spaces, deliberate intimidation, stalking, following, harassing photography or recording … ”

    Clearly Adria Richards’ behavior in taking a picture that features the faces of dozens of men, only a couple of whom she had a grievance with, then putting it up on the Web with a range of unproven accusations after the grievance had already been dealt with by PYCON constituted harassing behavior as defined by the PYCON Code of Conduct.

    Richards’ behaved in an unethical manner, breached the PYCON Code of Conduct and demonstrated an unusual degree of vindictiveness. Accordingly I think it is appropriate that she was fired.

  201. Pteryxx says

    spin, spin, spin, failure to understand how Twitter works, elision, time reversal, spin, spin…

    and demonstrated an unusual degree of vindictiveness.

    ROFL IRONY

  202. Pteryxx says

    on the other hand, at least this person knows that a code of conduct EXISTS. Progress?

  203. says

    @golliblog
    Taking a single picture they apparently agreed to is not harassing photography.
    The men on the other hand undoubtedly breached the code of conduct, so I guess you think it’s good at least one of them was fired?

  204. says

    thedude-

    Oh hey, more people putting on the pretense of ignorance so they can pretend that she “got all bent out of shape” over one isolated joke in an otherwise supportive, carefree day. Gosh, wouldn’t it have been terrible to these narratives if Adria told her story in her own words, explaining exactly what it was that set her off.

    But I understand, following links is hard. As is scrolling up the page to see where I and others have quoted sections of the post itself. Such tasks are too unimportant for people with such a giant space brain that mere html tagging is beneath you. As such, allow me to make your life easier by once again quoting her own words.

    The guy behind me to the far left was saying he didn’t find much value from the logging session that day. I agreed with him so I turned around and said so. He then went onto say that an earlier session he’d been to where the speaker was talking about images and visualization with Python was really good, even if it seemed to him the speaker wasn’t really an expert on images. He said he would be interested in forking the repo and continuing development.

    That would have been fine until the guy next to him…

    began making sexual forking jokes

    I was going to let it go. It had been a long week. A long month. I’d been on the road since mid February attending and speaking at conferences. PyCon was my 5th and final conference before heading home.

    I know it’s important to pick my battles.

    I know I don’t have to be a hero in every situation.

    Sometimes I just want to go to a conference and be a geek.

    But…

    like Popeye, I couldn’t “stands it no more” because of what happened –

    Jesse Noller was up on stage thanking the sponsors. The guys behind me (one off to the right) said, “You can thank me, you can thank me”. That told me they were a sponsoring company of Pycon and from the photos I took, his badge had an add-on that said, “Sponsor”.

    My company was a Gold sponsor as well.

    They started talking about “big” dongles. I could feel my face getting flustered.

    Was this really happening?
    How many times do I have to deal with this?
    Can they not hear what Jesse is saying?

    The stuff about the dongles wasn’t even logical and as a self professed nerd, that bothered me. Dongles are intended to be small and unobtrusive. They’re intended for network connectivity and to service as physical licence keys for software. I’d consulted in the past with an automotive shop that needed data recovery and technical support. I know what PCMCIA dongles look like.

    I was telling myself if they made one more sexual joke, I’d say something.

    The it happened….The trigger.

    Jesse was on the main stage with thousands of people sitting in the audience. He was talking about helping the next generation learn to program and how happy PyCon was with the Young Coders workshop (which I volunteered at). He was mentioning that the PyLadies auction had raised $10,000 in a single night and the funds would be used the funds for their initiatives.

    I saw a photo on main stage of a little girl who had been in the Young Coders workshop.

    I realized I had to do something or she would never have the chance to learn and love programming because the ass clowns behind me would make it impossible for her to do so.

    It wasn’t the one innocuous statement (in fact, the one innocuous statement on topic was seen as innocuous by Richards herself), it was an unrelenting stream of sexual innuendos (see, sexual innuendos are when you take something that has one meaning and then make it a sexual thing like “I would like to beat her eggs” or “I would like to plug in his controller”, saying “but those things have real meanings” just makes you look like a fucking idiot) all the way through a panel specifically about women that was one final straw in a day of polite tolerance of douchery on Adria’s part.

    This wasn’t even the first time that day that Adria was dealing with sexist sexual jokes intending to diminish women, but it was one in such an unbelievably inappropriate context and so very close to the main panel and in a context where she was most likely to feel that she needed to speak out.

    This routine demonization of women who push back against sexist culture, pretending their words are not visible and that no matter what “they must have gone off on one or two innocent comments” is sickening and the way you are participating in that makes you look monstrous, even if that is not your intention.

    Adria Richards tolerated a lot of sexism, has tolerated a lot of sexism to get to where she was. This was one series of dehumanizing jokes too far, a long stream of sexist sexual abuse that men in these cons feel spewing not caring about how it makes the women of the conference feel (even though they were in a women-centric panel).

    And here we have this pack of invading douchebros to try and deny that and make her out to be some evil mastermind scheming to get men in trouble because they slipped up once and made one little innocuous comment that only Richards attributed sexual context to. Because they don’t want to admit the real reason they hate Adria Richards.

    On that note…

    racissrick @715

    Ah ha ha ha ha ha.

    Go fuck yourself.

    She has done no such thing and your attempt to demonize her and lie about her when we all can follow the context and see that you have done so is sickening and obvious in its attempt to rationalize the actions taken against her as right.

    Of course, Adria Richards must be a monster who has done… something terrible to deserve it, just like Anita Sarkeesian must have done something to deserve it or Zerlina Maxwell or Sandra Fluke… And it’s because otherwise you would have to face the reality, that when women speak out against cultures that abuse them, dare be “uppity”, the response is brutal, violent, and filled with rape threats. No matter what they do, who they are, etc…

    They are treated exactly the same.

    And you are supporting that diseased culture that does that. You are complicit in a culture of dehumanizing the target of abuse and a victim whose only “crime” was not remaining silent like a “good girl” for yet another example of sexism. You have chosen to be so and to try and smear her name with obvious lies over her “crime” of being aware of the existence of douchebags.

    Think deeply over what that means about you (and that goes for all the other invading mansplainers on this thread). Think deeply on what that says about your character,

    fatpie @710

    I also point you to Adria’s words. Again. Like people have done constantly because these “innocent comments” are 90% of the time not so “innocent” at all. So here we go, once more with feeling:

    I saw a photo on main stage of a little girl who had been in the Young Coders workshop.

    I realized I had to do something or she would never have the chance to learn and love programming because the ass clowns behind me would make it impossible for her to do so.

    I calculated my next steps. I knew there wasn’t a lot of time and the closing session would be wrapping up. I considered:

    * The type of event
    * The size of the audience
    * How the conference had emphasized their Code of Conduct
    * What I knew about the community and their diversity initiatives
    * How to address this issue effectively and not disrupt the main stage

    She needed to move quick. She did. Her decision resolved it fast and ensured she didn’t have to become the brunt of the sexist jokes like she would if she had confronted them directly (cause, c’mon, we both know that’s what would have happened 9 times out of 10 if she had, because she would have been “a humorless bitch” who “was crazy”)

    Would the two genetlemen involved have liked it to have been a super quiet issue that was a once off that they could joke about later as being “bitches be uppity, man”? Of course they would have. But see, here’s the problem.

    They were making a toxic environment in a women-focused space continuously, because they believed that by virtue of being at a geek con (i.e. a male dominated space), they would be culturally supported in doing so. That their right to respond to their lack of comfort in being at a space specifically about women’s issues trumped the right of others around them to enjoy that tiny space carved out of the walls. That because women are socialized to accept dehumanizing sexist “humor” in their day to day lives, over and over again, they didn’t need to maintain the same standards of decency and humanity that their fellow con-goers did, even though they were representatives for their company.

    They made a choice to be so.

    Would they have preferred that it wasn’t broadcast to the world? Probably. I imagine that they also would have preferred that Adria suffered in silence through a panel she actually cared about while they didn’t, so that only her day would have been ruined, that her and other women in the panel feeling unwelcome and hurt was a small price to pay for feeling embarrassed and chastised by the con.

    Because people who do bad things don’t want to be caught.

    They may feel unjustly punished because other douchenozzles have gotten away with this otherizing behavior before and in general they would have gotten away with it. And the same is true for the Steubenville rapists.

    But feeling betrayed because their particular act of entitled sexism was the bit that got the response, doesn’t make what they did right or minor or a small mistake.

    Did he deserve to be fired for it? No. But the swarm that has come afterwards, making sure no good deed goes unpunished and the way the institutions have betrayed their principles in service to a toxic abusive geek masculinity culture is sickening in the extreme and should really be the part under analysis here.

    Because the fact that this keeps happening for obviously tiny fabricated reasons is an issue for all geeks, women and men alike. Women because they keep getting targeted. Men because by their silence or support are associated with these undeniable acts of harassment and abuse.

    Laying all this bare is in an of itself a great reason for her to use twitter, above and beyond her actual rational reasons at the time to use twitter, and it’s high time we started actually looking at that…

    Which might be why so many trolls have been so desperate to disperse and silence that conversation by making it all about Adria’s supposed “sin” in tweeting the incident. Because they really don’t like what that little heart-to-heart might look like.

  205. Pteryxx says

    Delft: ugh, the (civil) comments on Avdi Grimm’s post. The word “Taliban” came into play. Guess to which side it referred.

  206. says

    PatrickG @724

    Aw, thanks.

    golliblog @729

    What an unbelievably disingenuous gobshite you are.

    I want you to do something for me. I want you to really look inside yourself and I want you to be brutally honest about what first pissed you off about Adria. Not what you’ve convinced yourself would sound like a noble reason that would have justified in your mind the rape and murder threats she has received.

    But what personally drove you into needing to rationalize hating her when you first heard about it.

    Be brutally honest and learn from it.

    Or spend the rest of your life wondering why women seem to be repelled from you, friends never seem to stay as close as they should, and why everyone you seem to hang out with seems to be violent, hateful assholes.

    Your choice.

  207. says

    Pteryxx @735
    I was referring only to the OP, which sounded quite civil.
    Checking back for the comments now, yes, there are some awful people in that thread.

  208. arbor says

    Quote from Stacy in 680

    And please, no lazy “Don’t tell me that because of her past I can’t disagree with EllenBeth!” I’m not fucking saying that. I’m protesting over-the-top attacks on a woman who also deserves our support.

    You really don’t get it, Stacy. It doesn’t matter what EllenBeth did prior to walking into this thread. What she did here is inexecusable and wipes out any good she may have done before. In fact, she’s in a very very deep hole.

    The enemy of my enemy is not my friend.

    There are too many people out there that are worth knowing – far more than I’ll ever have the pleasure of encountering.

    Why the hell should I waste another moment on EllenBeth?

  209. john55 says

    People enjoy throwing around the concept of “privilege” quite frequently, so I’ll reframe the issue. All I see here is someone using her relative privilege – she appears to be at least somewhat well known and high profile within her field and online, certainly as compared to the men involved here – to publicly shame them for some minor, off color jokes. If hearing some minor, off color jokes is the worst thing that has happened to you all day, then that is the very definition of privilege.

    I recall the wisdom of Fran in times like these: “Being offended is the natural consequence of leaving one’s home. I do not like after shave lotion, adults who roller skate, children who speak French or anyone who is unduly tan. I do not, however, go around enacting legislation and putting up signs.” And it’s true, the flip side also holds – you can’t necessarily expect people not to call you out on things you are doing they don’t like. But the idea that a massive dose of public shaming is the correct response to some minor, off color jokes, is a troubling sign of an authoritarian personality.

  210. kate_waters says

    I would just like to say, as someone who took her to task upthread:

    EllenBeth was not acting in good faith. She claimed we ought to listen to Mr. Best because he was being rational.

    This means she either:

    a) Didn’t bother to read what he actually wrote, or even read any of the thread before she jumped in.

    or

    b) Agreed with what he said.

    That’s some weapons-grade stupid coming from someone who claims to be so very active in the atheist/skeptic community and a champion of equality.

    She then went on to discuss what appeared to be a harassment complaint “handled” at one of “her” conferences. From first reading it appeared she shut the victim down and pretty much prevented the complaint from even being handled. After clarification is became clear she just has no clue how to handle such situations or how to draft an effective harassment policy.

    Again: That’s some weapons-grade stupid.

    Then she doubled down. And doubled down again. Victim blamed. Shifted goalposts. Stomped her feet and DEMANDED our respect.

    I have no reason, at this time, to believe she is my ally in anything. I have no reason to think she will ever truly be an ally to women given her behaviour here. She’s given me no proof that she would be and plenty to the contrary. That’s how skepticism works, folks. It’s based on evidence.

    When she can provide evidence that she learned something here I’ll be open to changing my mind about her. Until that happens I will maintain the position I have arrived at by simply observing her actions and the consequences of said actions.

  211. says

    Okay, I had a few minutes to kill while I drink my tea, so I come to Pharyngula and see that this thread has ballooned to gargantuan proportions since yesterday (I think it was at about comment 30 when I last saw it). I haven’t even reached comment 100, and by this one (97 I think)…

    Yes, PZ, the ‘defence’ here is that she should not have immediately made this a public matter by using a public Twitter feed to communicate with the conference organisers.

    That is simply unprofessional conduct and turned a situation that could reasonably have been dealt with via a private warning from the conference organisers and, perhaps, a disciplinary warning from the guy’s employer into one which led to one of the guys being dismissed for making a schoolboy joke, an outcome that is out of all proportion to the original offence.

    … I’m pretty much at the point where I’m thinking that no, actually, if it takes people being fired to get it through their heads that making sexual comments in a professional setting, or that making sexist comments, or that sexually harassing women is inappropriate full stop, then maybe firing isn’t a disproportionate outcome.

    What’s wrong is how Richards is suffering for calling out the inappropriate behaviour. I doubt all these defenders (yeah, I’m looking at you Matthew Best–unless you’ve done a 180 in between comment 90-something and now) of the men would not be making such excuses and rationalisations or decrying the public shaming if these two yahoos had been making racist double entendres and “jokes” instead of sexual/sexist ones.

    Anyway, now I’m going to go back and read some more comments here if I can stomach ‘em.

  212. says

    John, you’re a moron.

    And how come so very very many dudely dudes keep conveniently leaving out the wave of terroristic threats that rained down on her hea?

    Also, douchebros? Stop issuing pronouncements on your opinion of sexual harassment. If you got to define it, it wouldn’t exist. You’re not fooling anyone.

  213. sharkjack says

    People enjoy throwing around the concept of “privilege” quite frequently, so I’ll reframe the issue. All I see here is someone using her relative privilege – she appears to be at least somewhat well known and high profile within her field and online, certainly as compared to the men involved here – to publicly shame them for some minor, off color jokes.

    If that’s all you see then that’s part of the problem. Because I see a toxic environment being created for a minority with behavior that also happens to breach the code of conduct.

    If hearing some minor, off color jokes is the worst thing that has happened to you all day, then that is the very definition of privilege.

    I’ve got a feeling some Dear Muslima is getting a lot of letters again.
    Fighting to correct one privilege doesn’t directly prevent you from fighting other privileges, nor does it make you blind from other privileges. Yes she has white privilege and wealth privilege and probably other privileges too, but that doesn’t excuse their behavior and doesn’t make calling it out wrong.

  214. ck says

    I do find it somewhat telling that most of the people who complain loudest about FREEZE PEACH are among those claiming that Ms Richards should not have tweeted this. I thought they always claimed that the solution to speech you don’t like was more speech?

  215. says

    It amazes me that this thread has ballooned to nearly 800 comments.

    All because a woman stepped out of line. Spoke a little too loudly. Helped to get a couple of douchebag men fired.

    Yep.

    Where was the outrage when, not too long ago, a woman was fired for being too attractive?

    And I’ve been fired for less. I just don’t give a shit about these jack asses. They got fired for acting like assholes in a public and professional space.

    BOO HOOH.

  216. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    People enjoy throwing around the concept of “privilege” quite frequently, so I’ll reframe the issue.

    But then you show you don’t understand the concept of privilege by using it wrong. Your reframing fails the reality test.

  217. Goodbye Enemy Janine says

    Kate_waters, if you do not want to have anything to do with EllenBeth Wachs, fine. It is up to you. She made a huge mistake and it has been pointed out to her. But to argue that she is out to protect dudebro space is both a lie and unfair.

    And, as Stacy stated, she has been getting harassment from from the pit and from AVfM. Shit, last night, at least one rather vile MRA by the moniker of AstroKidNJ was taunting her with quotes from this thread.

    Also, other Pharyngulites have been trying to calm everyone down over this.

    As it stands, she is not likely to be back. You you need not worry that she will be defending the rights of dudebros here. Not that she ever was. She made a mistake when she stepped into the middle of an on going and rather emotional argument with a troll. Just leave it at that.

    I would be more upset with the likes sharkjack. Adria Richards has white privileged?

  218. fishgom00 says

    Long time lurker here. I registered just now because I’m confused on how most of the commenters react. First things first: No one – no man or woman – deserves the vile treatment which seems to be pouring down on M(r?)s Richards. No matter what – no one should be harrassed that way by these vile cowards.

    That part I don’t get is that especially here on ftb the common narrative seems to be that Mrs Richards was the victim of sexism, spoke out and got punished for it. Which is not true, in my view. She did get punished in the end by losing her job but that’s a result on how she handled the situation, I think. Not that I think that she deserved that either.

    Let’s have a look at how she handled the situation. There were two guys sitting behind her cracking stupid, sexualized jokes between themselfes.

    She needed to move quick. She did. Her decision resolved it fast and ensured she didn’t have to become the brunt of the sexist jokes like she would if she had confronted them directly

    Yeah, moving quick involves posting to your private twitter feed? Not really. She instead could have used the phone numbers provided in the PyCon Code of conduct to contact organizers. She could have sent an email. Could have grabbed someone onsite. Whatever. If you think the solution to a social/personal problem involves the use of Twitter then you are doing something very, very wrong.
    I think she wanted to make an example of those two guys, because she felt that:

    I realized I had to do something or she would never have the chance to learn and love programming because the ass clowns behind me would make it impossible for her to do so.

    She clearly wasn’t interested in just solving the situation. She was out for drama or at least wanted to make a point publicly. That’s clearly not the same. The organizers did notice her tweets and from what I’ve read the two men were removed from the audience and were talked to.

    But come on – is this the way to treat the mentioned problem? If I’ve got a problem with my neighbour because some leaves or whatever are blowing on my property then I don’t start printing and distributing leaflets stating how much a raging asshole my neighbour is and expect to solve the issue with that.
    If you decide to take the public route then you should be aware that there could be some unexpected fallout. No, I do not excuse the hateful treatment of her. I just think that she acted like a jerk and that is, I believe, the reason why so many people reacted strongly. Again, this is no excuse for how she was treated.

  219. says

    fishgom00:

    Let’s have a look at how she handled the situation.

    Let’s not, asshole. In case it somehow managed to evade your notice, there are over 750 comments on this post. Don’t even imagine that we have not already heard from one asshole after another in regard to their take on the “situation”. You’re one in a very long line of dipshits who think their analysis of Richard’s reaction to asshole behaviour at a professional conference is all amazing and rational and all things wonderful. Shut the fuck up and go away with your “hey, no excuse for how she’s treated, but let’s talk about how fucked up she was, okay?” Christ.

  220. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says

    If you decide to take the public route then you should be aware that there could be some unexpected fallout. No, I do not excuse the hateful treatment of her. I just think that she acted like a jerk and that is, I believe, the reason why so many people reacted strongly. Again, this is no excuse for how she was treated.

    If you do X you can expect Y to happen…. but I’m not blaming you for Y happening. I just think doing Z can lead to people reacting with Y. Again, this is no excuse for Y happening to you.
    [Except that it is, because you should have expected it when you acted the way you did... Not that I'm blaming you or anything]


    It never ends.

  221. Rey Fox says

    Again, this is no excuse for how she was treated.

    …he posted, after several paragraphs of excuses for how she was treated.

  222. says

    Is there any chance this thread could be locked down tight? It’s run its course and I think it’s doing more harm than its worth.

    fishgom00… your point is taken, but it’s off-topic. This thread should never have been about anything other than the response Richards received, from the rape and death threats, many bearing her personal address, to being fired from her job.

    In other words, it really doesn’t matter what you think about how Richards handled the situation, because how she did is not what this was ever about. If you want to talk about how Richards initially responded at the convention, the Thunderdome is better for it, although I would not recommend it right now because that conversation has been severely poisoned mainly by Matthew Best, who contributed to the triggering of a whole lot of people who’ve already been triggered by some rather disgusting “discussions” over Steubenville.

    So my request is that either a) this thread is watched heavily to be kept on topic, or b) it be locked because it isn’t worth the harm it’s causing.

  223. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says

    I wrote it at least twice already, but I think that was on the first page. Other have given some variations too:

    I don’t give a fuck if her reaction wasn’t absolutely bloody perfect. In this whole story, with two people losing their jobs and one of them harassed and threatened with rape and death… all you fucking shitstains are interested in discussing is how she “could have handled the situation better”.
    Not blaming the victim my ass.

    Fuck the hell off. Or at least read the thread and try to come up with something novel instead of boring old shit.

  224. says

    Nate:

    the Thunderdome is better for it

    Absofuckinglutely not. The assholes can stay right here. Most of them are drive-bys anyway. PZ rarely locks threads. He already stated that this thread is to rage at the asshats. We’re doing that.

  225. says

    Ginmar @717:
    Mad though you may be at other posters, wishing for or imagining some sort of “fate” to befall them is not cool. Even if you are trying to be vague about it.
    ****

    raccisrick:
    You are the one who needs to inform hirself.
    You make the assertion she is a fullblown bigot? I see no evidence of that. Go find some evidence, and post in the Thunderdome where that doesn’t derail the thread–because that is irrelevant.

    ****
    John55:
    Privilege-a word you appear to know nothing about.
    Again, as I have mentioned before, dealing with guys who make sexual innuendoes, or act like entitled dudebros happens all the time for women. This builds and builds. These little microaggressions, taken in isolation *might* be shoulder shrug worthy (that is to be determined by the woman in question), but as they build, they get more and more frustrating. What happened to Adria did not occur in a vacuum. Far too many men think that the tech world, or the gaming community, or the comic book community, or the online atheist community are spaces for men.
    They.
    Are.
    Not.
    This fucking toxic, archaic, regressive, patriarchal, sexist sludge needs to be highlighted. It needs to be called out. It SHOULD be shamed, because it is shameful behavior.

    Oh, by the way, you do not get to determine what is or is or is not a minor offense to women. You have not lived your whole life being treated as an objectified sex toy who exists for the gratification of men. You have not struggled to have your voice heard while all the men in the room make fun of, laugh at, or dismiss you because of your gender. You have not had it beaten into your head that because of your gender, you belong in certain fields.

    In short, your privilege–it is showing.

  226. fishgom00 says

    Caine, Fleur du mal:

    Don’t even imagine that we have not already heard from one asshole after another in regard to their take on the “situation”.

    Interesting. I do realize that most things have already been said and that nearly everytime the reply from the local community is just “go away you pig”. That’s not the peak of rational discussion if I may say so. Especially when virtually every other interpretation I’ve read on this issue says that the problem should have been handled different in the first place.

    What I don’t get is, why she instantly became imune to criticism the moment the hatemongers came down on her? Yes, these vile creatures should drop dead for all I care but would you please care to elaborate your position? Thank you.

  227. Pteryxx says

    Maybe the two guys should have known better than to make innuendoes at a woman with a camera who has turned her back on them while trying to pay attention to the talk they’re all attending just because she spoke with them briefly. Ya think?

  228. says

    Caine @ #756

    Apologies. I just want this thread to die. I don’t want to see another fucking post about how Richards initially responded. It is off-topic as all hell. Yet it seems that people desperately want to talk about it.

    I’d actually be up for talking about it myself, just not here, and not with such a poisoned fucking atmosphere around it.

    This is getting shitty even for those of us who don’t have triggers.

  229. says

    Richards has been called practically every name under the sun. Some Twitter commenters demanded she kill herself. A 4chan user allegedly released Richards’s personal information. But few reactions were more disturbing than this one, sent to her Wednesday evening: a photo (blurred but still NSFW) of a bloody, beheaded woman, bound and stripped, with the caption “when Im done.” Next to it was a home address and phone number, ostensibly Richards’s.

    Richards has been called practically every name under the sun. Some Twitter commenters demanded she kill herself. A 4chan user allegedly released Richards’s personal information. But few reactions were more disturbing than this one, sent to her Wednesday evening: a photo (blurred but still NSFW) of a bloody, beheaded woman, bound and stripped, with the caption “when Im done.” Next to it was a home address and phone number, ostensibly Richards’s.

    Richards has been called practically every name under the sun. Some Twitter commenters demanded she kill herself. A 4chan user allegedly released Richards’s personal information. But few reactions were more disturbing than this one, sent to her Wednesday evening: a photo (blurred but still NSFW) of a bloody, beheaded woman, bound and stripped, with the caption “when Im done.” Next to it was a home address and phone number, ostensibly Richards’s.

    Richards has been called practically every name under the sun. Some Twitter commenters demanded she kill herself. A 4chan user allegedly released Richards’s personal information. But few reactions were more disturbing than this one, sent to her Wednesday evening: a photo (blurred but still NSFW) of a bloody, beheaded woman, bound and stripped, with the caption “when Im done.” Next to it was a home address and phone number, ostensibly Richards’s.

    Richards has been called practically every name under the sun. Some Twitter commenters demanded she kill herself. A 4chan user allegedly released Richards’s personal information. But few reactions were more disturbing than this one, sent to her Wednesday evening: a photo (blurred but still NSFW) of a bloody, beheaded woman, bound and stripped, with the caption “when Im done.” Next to it was a home address and phone number, ostensibly Richards’s.

  230. Pteryxx says

    Christie Koehler on Twitter:

    It’s a good thing that Facebook has a real names policy that prevents people from making death and other kinds of threats. Oh, wait…

  231. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I just think that she acted like a jerk and that is, I believe, the reason why so many people reacted strongly. Again, this is no excuse for how she was treated.

    Gee, your mansplainin’ and victim blaming is showing strong. Why should anybody listen to those who blame the victims, and not those causing the problems? I don’t. You haven’t defined the root problem. You only appear to have done so because you like the answer. The root problem is two yahoos acting in an unprofessional manner, and management taking the easy way out.

  232. says

    This inability to to see the inappropriateness of quibbling about some irrelevant detail in the face of much, much more important things – like death threats, or silencing of an oppressed group:
    is it some kind of brain condition? Or is it a massive gap in socialisation?
    I don’t think “they’re nasty people” is enough to explain this phenomenon – it’s too widespread for that. And even people who otherwise seem to be fairly decent can succumb to it.

  233. says

    Nate:

    This is getting shitty even for those of us who don’t have triggers.

    Yeah, I know. This is far from the first time this sort of thing has taken place. Right now, TeaDome is a refuge for the rest of us. I don’t want the assholes there right now. Sorry for yelling.

  234. says

    Before anyone else comments, please fucking read Caine’s post at #762. That is what this thread is about.

    It is not about the convention. It is not about how Richards responded to those two guys.

    It is about what Caine posted in 762.

    Please, anyone else itching to comment about how Richards shouldn’t have responded the way she did, read Caine’s 762 and DON’T FUCKING POST YOUR STUPID FUCKING COMMENT!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Is this really that hard of an idea to grasp?

  235. says

    Delft:

    is it some kind of brain condition? Or is it a massive gap in socialisation?

    Systemic sexism, and rape culture, all stemming from the deep foundation of misogyny. You might find Misogyny: The World’s Oldest Prejudice by Jack Holland of interest.

  236. says

    Caine @ #766

    Don’t apologize for yelling. If I’m having trouble with this thread, then you have every right to yell at whoever you want for whatever you want.

    Thinking about it, I agree with you.

    So I take back what I said before… stay away from [Tea]Dome for now, everyone who wants to cry about how Richards responded the wrong way or whatever. Can we just not have this discussion anymore?

  237. fishgom00 says

    Ok, I realize that this is neither the time nor the place to discuss “inital problems” or whatever. I am sorry and I hope the terrorizing stops and Mrs Richards can return to a normal life. Thank you.

  238. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says

    What I don’t get is, why she instantly became imune to criticism the moment the hatemongers came down on her?

    Let’s make an example you might be able to relate to.

    Jack is a nice guy. He sees neighbor’s dog shitting in other people’s gardens, Jack’s garden among them. Neighbor let his dog shit in Jack’s garden when Jack was standing right there, so Jack isn’t sure what to do since, you know, neighbor obviously didn’t care enough when he noticed Jack watching him and his dog.

    So, Jack prints a couple of flyers saying that he is kindly asking Mr. so and so not to let his dog shit in people’s gardens.

    Next morning, Jack finds a huge pile of shit in front of his front door. When he comes to work, he sees that the front door of his building has been smeared with shit and there was a note left saying that was done because of him. He starts getting threatening mail. The mail arrives at his workplace too. He gets phone calls threatening him with death. More shit is left in front of his workplace. His bosses aren’t happy with all the shit and the bad smell around Jack, so they fire him.

    Now… the takeaway from this story is that Jack should have acted differently or that Jesus tapdancing Christ but that is some disproportionate answer to what may or may not have been a good move by Jack?

    Oh, and Jack is white. Middle class. A really nice guy.

  239. Pteryxx says

    also, NateHevens – I suggest reading Koehler’s essay and previous writings on the topic. I certainly am.

    /derail

  240. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says

    Aw, and there goes my analogy.

    Note to self: be quicker.

    fishgom00, good for you.

  241. says

    fishgom00:
    Your arrogance is astounding.
    Instead of reading the preceding 750+ comments to get a better understanding of Caine’s position–and hopefully see why your asinine focus is wrongheaded–you ask her to elaborate for you. Whats your special snowflake number?
    Read the thread. Hell, you should be able to figure out, from the last 50 comments or so, that many of us have grown weary explaining this shit over and over. You want to enter the convrsation this late and rehash refuted bullshit again? Be ready for impoliteness.

  242. Rey Fox says

    Before anyone else comments, please fucking read Caine’s post at #762. That is what this thread is about.

    And then read Josh’s #98. And never mind his “italics fail”, I think that part was well deserving of being italicized.

  243. says

    fishgom00:

    I am sorry and I hope the terrorizing stops and Mrs Richards can return to a normal life. Thank you.

    Thank you. I invite you to read all the comments in this thread, I expect you’ll find the answers you’re looking for. Start with page 1 (link above ‘Leave a Reply’).

  244. sharkjack says

    It seems I really fucked up here, Adria Richards indeed does not have white privilege. I was sloppy, it´s my fault, I´m sorry.

  245. says

    Sharkjack:

    It seems I really fucked up here, Adria Richards indeed does not have white privilege. I was sloppy, it´s my fault, I´m sorry.

    No worries, we all make mistakes.

  246. says

    Fishgom….her company’s website was attacked so badly by the same people who attacked her that it went down. It could not handle the traffic.

    Then her company fired her. It looks an awful lot like they bowed to harassment to take it out on her, and by doing so, they gave the trolls ammo, because that’s what their new goal will be.

  247. Pteryxx says

    I came across a thought-provoking, anonymous comment. This is about a completely different incident in the tech community, where the harassment (including threats) took the form of public comments, the harassing employee was disciplined, but no public apology was required and the person remained anonymous. This commenter calls the harasser X.

    I am just one little engineer in one tech company in my part of the world, but I will tell you what X has also done: poisoned me for any job candidate that comes across my desk with [association] during this & the last few months.

    My brain will wonder: could this be X? Would I want X working here? No. But is this X, or a talented engineer I might not consider because he or she might not be X?

    While I don’t, at this time, participate in the hiring process, I have before & I will again. I will protect my friends & fellow employees from the possibility of X if I can. It might be stupid, or wrong, but I will.

    Good job, X. I could have just turned you down some day. Now I might turn down some of your colleagues to be on the safe side. Probably assholish of me, but at least they won’t know to blame you. They’ll just never get that first interview call.

  248. says

    Bob damnitt, fuck the goddamn MRA baton toss as they try and prove their “daniel into the lion’s den” street creds by shouting down actual discussion of their vile actions and reactions by trumpeting their weak-ass rationalization du jour.

    I mean, think about your argument. Tweets. Mother fucking TWEETS are so double-plus Hitler that it’s of course understandable for a woman’s life to be ruined and for her to be subjected to non-stop harassment and threats of death so she will hopefully be flung out of the community (oh, hey, that’s not at all like something black people would find intimately familiar, nope).

    It never fucking changes. This carousel of excuses. EVER.

    And you know, what, no, let’s talk about all of you. You want to be special snowflakes deserving of our full undivided attention.

    Let’s give it to ya!

    You have decided to hate a black woman for speaking up against something that was wrong. That PyCon considered wrong. That the offender in question thought was wrong. That his employers thought was wrong. Because you hate her.

    Because you hate a black woman reflexively, without reason, or rationality, because she dared “spoil some dude’s fun” and you’re worried that you might be similarly affected if women dared get enough self-esteem to call you out.

    Good. When brought aware of your privilege and the choice inherent, you sided with terrorists, people who spent graphic amounts of effort trying to destroy

    One

    Person. And despite your protests to the contrary, you are here, being willing accomplices in this terrorism, trying to shout down any analysis or support and trying to actively demonize this one woman, because… Oh, I’m sure you’ve convinced yourself you have great reasons, but you’ve shared those reasons with us, and frankly honey, they are shit and in no way rivals the shit YOU and YOUR SHITHEAD ALLIES are putting her through. The alliance you chose out of your own free will when the option was laid down.

    So frightened were you that someone somewhere might stand up, meekly and mildly, to the endless poison you spew forth in “everybody does it” ways, that you doubled down and joined the harassers, death and rape threat spewers, professional misogynists, and other scum of the earth and emphasized most strongly with them. Actively participated in a demonization you so know is fiction that you can’t even bother to deconstruct it.

    You

    Every damn last one of YOU

    Chose to do this. Chose to be worse people. Chose to take this “minor incident” and wear it as a badge of pride, a hood of solidarity, as a motherfucking prize. You can try and justify it, try and make your allies look spit-shiningly clean because the harsh light of morning brings bad dreams.

    But you will get no sympathy from me or any of the others on these threads. We can see what you’ve decided to dress in and what you’ve decided to do and who you’ve decided to align yourselves with.

    And you are all… scum.

    Beneath contempt, beneath regard, doomed to spend your life wondering why women seem to grow uneasy around you and friends seem to be fleeting and why you’ll feel more and more miserable as the world keeps passing you by and all sorts of “uppity” creatures keep refusing to take your status-quo reinforcing faux-argument bullshit ANYMORE.

    May you all have the lives you deserve and good. fucking. day.

  249. says

    Pteryxx:

    I came across a thought-provoking, anonymous comment.

    Interesting perspective, one I hadn’t thought of at all. Let’s hope that makes some people think.

  250. PatrickG says

    *blinks more*

    fishgom00, sharkjack: thanks much for correcting yourselves/retracting comments.

    You came into a really virulent thread that contains a lot of truly awful arguments, some jaw-dropping assholery, and so forth. Most of which centered around the basic argument that she (might have) made a social faux pas, which must be analyzed in excruciating detail, because it was quite possibly an incidence of TWITLER TWITLER I TELL YOU*. It’s also a biased reaction because I loathe Twitter. (Side note: I feel really sorry for the next person to recommend Twitter to me… I probably won’t be able to restrain myself!)

    So anyway, it was like balm on a sunburn to see people come in, look around and say ‘yeah, uh, no, not going to continue that’.

    * In case my cleverness is not obvious, yes, I’m godwinning. But damn, I half expected MB earlier to start asserting “First, Hitler started tweeting about the Jews…” After he brought up Westboro Baptist Church as a refutation, seemed like anything might happen. :P

  251. Hairhead, whose head is entirely filled with Too Much Stuff says

    I’ve read every one of the comments so far, up to and including #791, and here are my contributions.

    1) This thread is supposedly about the terrible situation Adria Richards is in: unemployed, vilified, and threatened. What is she doing to protect herself? Who is protecting her? Are law enforcement officials tracking down those scumbags who made the death threats and posted the terrifying photo & promise? They did it for the creeps who threatened the Steubenville victim — are they doing it for Adria? How can we let her know that we support her? (Her website is down and as far as I know she is off Twitter.) That’s what I want to know. Is she safe? How can I help?

    After surfing through a number of sites I found one where she states that she is “staying safe.” Breath of relief there.

    2) I find it difficult to believe that so many here are acquiescing to SendGrid’s decision to fire her. “At will”, nothing! I’ve worked in employment for two decades, and the Civil Rights Act, the Whistleblower Act, and other legal precedents give her an excellent case for wrongful dismissal. My opinion of this is backed up in the article at http://www.mercurynews.com/jobs/ci_22852550/adria-richards-firing-tech-developer-twitter-pycon?source=most_viewed

    We need to find/set up a legal defence (or in this case, legal offense) fund so that Ms. Richards can fight this and make sure it doesn’t happen again.

  252. zmidponk says

    To all the people saying ‘let’s look at how Richards handled the situation’, and other things to that effect, I’m going to leave aside the arguments as to how we really shouldn’t, even though I actually agree with those arguments, and am going to do exactly as you suggest:

    Adria Richards heard a couple of men behind her making sexually suggestive, sexist comments. She decided to snap a quick picture of them and put it up on her Twitter with a simple comment about how their conduct was ‘not cool’, and tagged it with the hashtag of the conference she was at. Care to explain exactly how a person complaining in a public, but extremely mild way about some sexist comments is wrong? The only thing I have seen is that she shouldn’t have done it via Twitter because that’s making it public. Well, the comments were made in a public place, so I don’t really see what the problem is with publicly posting comments about the public conduct of the people in question.

  253. Ichthyic says

    The only thing I have seen is that she shouldn’t have done it via Twitter because that’s making it public.

    irrelevant.

    If she had wrote an opinion commentary for her local newspaper, that too would have been public.

    the point is, she did not call for their heads, their jobs, their firstborn, or anything else for that matter. Instead, what we see is how the REACTION to anyone posting anything about sexism or discrimination on the internet is the problem.

    It’s NOT Richard’s problem! It’s OURS.

  254. Ichthyic says

    Is she safe?

    the last public communication from her was, and I quote:

    “I’m staying safe.”

  255. PatrickG says

    @ Hairhead: The comments section on the SJ Mercury piece is … illustrative. Feminazi references, repeated assertions that she needs to “grow a pair”… but my personal favorite comment was:

    No male developer other the usual spineless supplicants whould ever want to come closer than a 100 yards of hear since she could “feel uncomfortable” and cry harrassment anytime.

    There’s just so much wrong with that….
    - male developers function as a bloc
    - any male developer who deviates from “approved” behavior becomes “spineless”
    - “a 100 yards of hear”. (/snicker)
    - feeling uncomfortable/crying “harrassment” is all it takes to ruin people’s lives

    Honestly, reading that comment thread really crystallized something for me. There really is a feeling of absolute fear in the more vicious commentators (here, there, elsewhere). I mean, the Preemptive Strike mentality is just truly staggering. Also an amazing logical fallacy, when it comes to that 4th item:

    Richards tweets + Company fires man = Richards got the man fired. Which obviously has its more general form of “Woman does X, Someone else does Y, therefore Woman did Y”

    The transference of power to the woman in these situations is absolutely breathtaking. Particularly in this case, where the woman clearly has absolutely no power in the resultant situation at all. It’s just amazing — Richards had absolutely no agency in firing the man. The company chose to do that. And yet, Richards is the one who gets buried in the avalanche. I’m realizing that after this thread, and reading more commentary at other sites than I care to think of, I actually can’t name the company the fired guy worked for.

    And when you go to articles (e.g. this one)… Richards and SendText are mentioned repeatedly. The name of the fired guy and the company that fired him? Completely absent. As if this is just irrelevant, because obviously the company had no choice but to comply immediately with the secret Tech Woman Cabal, and obviously we want to spare them further shame(!).

    I want to note that I don’t necessarily think that information — particularly the name of the men involved — needs to be included in every random article I pull up on Google. The story here is the abominable overreaction and vicious attack on Richards. But, the company that fired him? Relevant. A part of the story. Their decision was the trigger point that started all this!

    As an aside, I still find it really hard to swallow that the man was fired based on an uninvestigated tweet alleging sexually inappropriate behavior — one that by all reports was handled quietly at the conference, to the satisfaction of all involved. I’m also seeing lots of allegations that the other man suffered employment repercussions, but I can’t find any documentation. As far as I can tell (perhaps weak google-fu), it’s only Richards and the original man (mr_hank, I think?) fired. But suddenly it’s “she got these two men fired” and so forth.

    The sheer lack of curiosity into how — exactly — the man got fired is just amazing. Apparently, the only possible conclusion is that One Bitch exercised her Feminazi power, which extends through The Known Universe. Because the other Feminazi Bitchez control the world. Stop them before they destroy us all!

    And that’s when it suddenly hit me. These people are just afraid. No scratch that, they live in unreasoning levels of terror not often found outside of Lovecraftian fiction. They’re actually that scared of the Uppity Wimmenz and the Spineless Men Who Worship Them, who will bring about the End of All That We Know.

    There isn’t a thesaurus in the world that can provide enough synonyms for the all kinds of baffled I am right now. Like, I sort of “get it”, but … no, no I don’t.

    Well, I for one welcome my new Feminist Overlords. I remind them that I can be useful for rounding up males for the sugar mines, and plead only to be spread the ritual castration that accompanies being a decent human being. /snark

    And by the gods I don’t believe in, I so look forward to a day in which something likes this happen, and the only that comes of it is people ferociously debating the etiquette of social media. The only thing. Probably won’t live long enough, but that’s the dream, isn’t it?

    Sorry for sort of a rambling post. I know most of this isn’t groundbreaking stuff, but I barely squeaked by my required 101 course and am now continuing my night courses in Feminazi Control Dynamics (/snark!). Every once in a while something clicks, or at least I manage to partially wrap my mind around a dynamic that makes no fucking sense, and I figure people here might be able to help me out with more pointed insights.

    P.S. Newspaper comment sections really are the worst. Both for content and style. I really wish people would realize that being on the internet does not absolve you from holding to at least a basic level of grammar and spelling. Honestly. Hope this person doesn’t write technical documentation. (/pointless snark)

    P.P.S. It suddenly hit me. Feminists smuggled the WMDs out of Iraq! Nothing else explains the sense of imminent threat. I’m both disappointed not to have been told and eager. When do I get access to the launch codes?

  256. PatrickG says

    As an aside, I don’t consider myself that great a writer, and I didn’t put nearly the same effort into this comment that I did into real-time contempt for MB earlier. Anyway, I’m immediately seeing several things I’d like to rephrase. Rather than try and tweak my comment, I’ll just see whether or not the problems with certain phrases are actually there, or only in my own head. :)

  257. says

    Patrick G, someone on the first page mentioned that the man who was fired was not fired exclusively due to this incident, but it was the last in long line of other problems. I don’t know that for a fact, but I find that more credible than his being fired over this incident.

    As for the fear and insecurity? Part of the ongoing backlash. For all of recorded history, autonomy has been the preserve of men. For every push women have made, the backlash has been toxic and gets more so with each stride, as more and more men feel that women have now invaded, encroached on and feminized every single homosocial retreat.

  258. says

    762

    Caine, Fleur du mal

    Richards has been called practically every name under the sun. Some Twitter commenters demanded she kill herself. A 4chan user allegedly released Richards’s personal information. But few reactions were more disturbing than this one, sent to her Wednesday evening: a photo (blurred but still NSFW) of a bloody, beheaded woman, bound and stripped, with the caption “when Im done.” Next to it was a home address and phone number, ostensibly Richards’s.

    Richards has been called practically every name under the sun. Some Twitter commenters demanded she kill herself. A 4chan user allegedly released Richards’s personal information. But few reactions were more disturbing than this one, sent to her Wednesday evening: a photo (blurred but still NSFW) of a bloody, beheaded woman, bound and stripped, with the caption “when Im done.” Next to it was a home address and phone number, ostensibly Richards’s.

    Richards has been called practically every name under the sun. Some Twitter commenters demanded she kill herself. A 4chan user allegedly released Richards’s personal information. But few reactions were more disturbing than this one, sent to her Wednesday evening: a photo (blurred but still NSFW) of a bloody, beheaded woman, bound and stripped, with the caption “when Im done.” Next to it was a home address and phone number, ostensibly Richards’s.

    Richards has been called practically every name under the sun. Some Twitter commenters demanded she kill herself. A 4chan user allegedly released Richards’s personal information. But few reactions were more disturbing than this one, sent to her Wednesday evening: a photo (blurred but still NSFW) of a bloody, beheaded woman, bound and stripped, with the caption “when Im done.” Next to it was a home address and phone number, ostensibly Richards’s.

    Richards has been called practically every name under the sun. Some Twitter commenters demanded she kill herself. A 4chan user allegedly released Richards’s personal information. But few reactions were more disturbing than this one, sent to her Wednesday evening: a photo (blurred but still NSFW) of a bloody, beheaded woman, bound and stripped, with the caption “when Im done.” Next to it was a home address and phone number, ostensibly Richards’s.

    QFT and because that should be the only thing people are concerned about, period, end of story, full fucking stop.

  259. says

    To follow up on Ichthyic:
    For anyone out there lurking, can someone explain why, of all the reactions to the Tweet and the firing, why is the “appropriate response” to send Adria Richards rape and death threats? Even IF she were responsible for getting the guy fired, it still would not justify such ourageously misogynistic behavior. So WHY? Can someone explain that?
    (under no circumstances do I feel this shit is appropriate; I just want to know why some people think it is)

  260. PatrickG says

    Caine:

    Yeah, I saw the same comment, but it was unsourced (and acknowledged as such). But it’s certainly an extremely plausible explanation, and one that has just been completely buried by all the rampant bullshit. The SJ Mercury thread is notable for the “it’s fine to fire Richards because at-will employment, but the man was a VICTIM!” argument. Dissonance. It’s what’s for dinner.

    And by the way, that’s the kind of pointed insight I was looking for. Particularly appropriate since you’re the one who’s been haranguing men like me to stop shutting up so much. :) That basically summed up what I was trying to say, though I was also trying to convey a sense of “I was once there too.” It’s weird though… I do “get it”, but … it’s really difficult to reconstruct the worldview that leads to that kind of myopia. Not that I’m perfect or anything, just that I’ve come a long way since those days.

    Honestly, though? I like to think I wasn’t “really there” back in the day. Maybe I’m wrong. If I’d had the ability to lob cyberattacks — or been more set in the community who does such — against the company who employed the woman, as opposed to the company who fired the man… who knows? I’m not there now, and I’ll just go with that. I should add also that I came of age in a time before social media existed*, and perhaps I could have been exactly the kind of rampant asshole so much on display these days, too.

    * Not quite true. I grew up on BBS and usenet. Also, I don’t care how much I appreciate your writing here, or how you were one of the commenters that sucked me into Pharyngula. You try to get me on Twitter, and we’re going to have words.

  261. says

    Tony:

    I just want to know why some people think it is

    I don’t, because I already know why. They won’t actually tell the truth, you know. All you’ll get is bullshit piled on bullshit. Every speck of it all comes down to a woman not being in her proper place, especially as she’s in a known homosocial preserve.

  262. Ichthyic says

    I doubt you will get an honest answer to that question, Tony, if any at all. In part because such extreme reactions will of course STILL thankfully be in the vast minority, and partly because cowards will not want to own up to such behavior.

    it’s not just misogynistic behavior, it’s the violent public overreaction that is at issue. personally, I think it comes from people who feel frustrated or powerless in their own personal lives, and take that out in what they consider a relatively “safe” medium for overreaction: the internet.

    but that’s just a guess.

    What’s more, I wonder if the actual RESULTS of this current internet debacle will impress upon the overreactionaries that indeed, the internet is no longer the “safe” medium to blow your stack in that it might have been at one time. Nobody here is really anonymous anymore.

  263. says

    Patrick:

    I should add also that I came of age in a time before social media existed*, and perhaps I could have been exactly the kind of rampant asshole so much on display these days, too.

    I grew up before the ‘net was a gleam in anyone’s eye. I can’t even begin to say how happy I am for that, either. Oh, and I don’t twit. Tweet. Whatever.

  264. PatrickG says

    @ Tony:

    (under no circumstances do I feel this shit is appropriate; I just want to know why some people think it is)

    That’s something that’s really been striking me. Everybody’s at great pains to say that of COURSE they’re not in favor of this, and of COURSE nobody should do that.

    But you play with matches, and you’re going to get burned. Because fire. Just a naturally occurring event. Completely unavoidable. Just part of nature and the way things are.

    Shit.

  265. Pearson says

    Tony:

    I just want to know why some people think it is

    Isn’t this also just another way of silencing victims? As hard as it is for any victim of harassment, bullying, or abuse to come forward and ask for help, I am never going to be one to say that any way a victim asks for help is inappropriate. If they found the strength to ask, lay off on how they asked and help them. Something about this whole thing reminds me of that rape victim who got into trouble for tweeting about the rapist. Victims should be allowed to talk about their experiences in ANY WAY they want and to ask for help in ANY WAY they want. Full stop.

  266. says

    @PatrickG
    Now you mention it a lot of comments I’ve read (on this as on similar issues) show a completely mystifying fear society is becoming dominated by women.
    Of course, if you’re used to having it all your own way, the idea of having to share even a little bit may sound like the womenz are taking over the world.
    And I’m sure the geeks all saw Star Maidens. Without, of course, ever recognising how terribly sexist it is…

  267. says

    Delft @ #810

    Now you mention it a lot of comments I’ve read (on this as on similar issues) show a completely mystifying fear society is becoming dominated by women.

    You know… I’m not gonna lie… I don’t think that this is what’s happening, but if it were, it might actually be good for society. Maybe we do need to go in this direction for shit to change…

    Just a thought…

  268. says

    Delft:

    Now you mention it a lot of comments I’ve read (on this as on similar issues) show a completely mystifying fear society is becoming dominated by women.

    It’s not mystifying and it’s a very real fear, unfortunately. The concept of masculinity is a toxic one, it does no one any favours, including men. Masculinity is defined by what it is not: feminine. The fear of this, that and the other becoming feminized has been well documented throughout the ages.

  269. PatrickG says

    Something about this whole thing reminds me of that rape victim who got into trouble for tweeting about the rapist.

    There’s been a few mentions of how this really reeks of the same bullshit found in discussions of Steubenville. Think about the lives you’re ruining! They had such promising careers! Children to feed (now or later)! How DARE you?

    Just to be totally clear (for the benefit of the reading-challenged), NO, of course I’m not equating rape with a sexually offensive professional environment.

    But the response to those two situations? In a lot of these comments, I’d be hard pressed to tell you which events someone was referring to, if I were given the comment out of context. But then, feminazi and life-destroyer are just such multipurpose terms. :P

    Hrmm, sounds like a fun webgame.

  270. says

    To clarify and expand a bit, men (in general) don’t know their place anymore. All the rules have changed, they aren’t The Breadwinner anymore, they aren’t The Father anymore, they aren’t The Head of the Family anymore, etc. Men (in general) haven’t figured out that the concept of being masculine, of being a man, can be self defined.

  271. says

    @Caine, Fleur du mal
    I agree the concept of masculinity is toxic.
    What is mystifying to me is how anyone can dream up the idea society is becoming dominated by women, when it’s obvious we are not even within shouting distance of equality. Today a woman can literally not raise her voice, or even be seen without having her humanity questioned, so wtf?

  272. PatrickG says

    Damn it, Caine, you keep expressing things in text better than I can in my own head.

    But yeah, since we’ve broadened the conversation slightly… I came to a proto-feminist viewpoint specifically because of the gay men I’d known who were just getting so much shit (in BERKELEY, CA) for not being “real men”. The sheer idiocy caused thought.

    Started narrowly, but casting my gaze back it’s all too easy to identify the fear of OtherMan in men who weren’t sure they measured up to some nebulous standard that changed depending on the situation.

    On another note, I wonder if it’s almost more difficult in more “progressive” areas. Real Men don’t hit, but Real Men demand sex. Because we don’t hit. We’re totally enlightened! Plus, we’re not like those religious nuts, we’re totally into sexytime and body-affirmation, so put out already woman! You’re not prissy, are you? Plus, I don’t hit you!

    So easy to give oneself cookies in one area, and throw pie in other people’s faces in others. Not quite sure where I’m going with this, but there it is. I should probably stop, since I’m going offtopic.

  273. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Care to explain exactly how a person complaining in a public, but extremely mild way about some sexist comments is wrong?

    Patriarchy and privilege. DUH. Learn how to listen, especially about the way women are silenced for speaking up to men who don’t appreciate it….

  274. says

    Patrick:

    Damn it, Caine, you keep expressing things in text better than I can in my own head.

    I’ve been doing a lot of reading on this subject lately. Misogyny by Jack Holland, Manhood in America: a cultural history by Michael Kimmel and Guyland by Michael Kimmel. Boys are raised to have certain expectations in regard to being a man and also raised and subjected to immense peer pressure to meet certain standards of masculinity. These expectations and standards are, just…nuts.

    In the same way that women have continued to stand up and push back and re-define what it is to be a woman, is what men have to do. The more men that speak up, the more men that will nod in aggreement and decide to speak up too. There’s strength in numbers, there’s strength and comfort in a chorus of voices.

  275. says

    Caine:

    The more men that speak up, the more men that will nod in aggreement and decide to speak up too. There’s strength in numbers, there’s strength and comfort in a chorus of voices.

    Restated, and bolded because the truth of it bears repeating. If you’re a guy lurking out there, please speak up. If you’re a guy out there who does speak up, please try to do so a little bit more.

  276. says

    PatrickG #799 I was foolishly excited to see this post (I thought all of your posts last night were stellar, btw, thanks). I don’t find this idea that some men (the MRA types, for sure) are actually afraid that women are “taking over the world” hard to believe at all. I have at least one fairly close relative who flabbergasted me one night by launching into an hours-long tirade where he rewrote chapter and verse from the beginning of recorded history claiming that every single horror, every single war, every single bad thing that has ever happened in the world was caused by women – lying, scheming, sex-teasing women. I kid you not. I stood there stupefied, literally afraid to speak because he was in a roaring fury (the tirade began over some frivolous piece of news that was mentioned during an -up to that moment- regular social evening). I was aghast. I had had an inkling that this person had some issues with women, but this was a level of irrational rage and misogyny that just went beyond belief. We had always got along fairly well, but after that, I allowed some distance to open up between us – and in that space I really began to notice more. It was from him that I first became aware of the “men’s rights movement”.

    Anecdotal obviously, but after that I became aware of the “tells” of MRAs and misogynists and like others have said this week, there are days when it is just overwhelming how widespread it really is. I think there is great, crawling, enraged fear out there. I also think it is more prevalent than we would like to think (:-( ) Rape Culture and misogyny are not limited to a very tiny minority on the very fringes of society – they’re everywhere. It bubbles under every part of society. It influences all of our actions every fucking day. Whether overtly – coming at us from openly misogynistic people, or covertly – eating us up from the inside out because we’ve swallowed and absorbed so much of it ourselves.

    I think Adria Richards did perhaps the only thing she could do that would have any effect at all. These harassment policies are just paying lip service to the reality that women (and other oppressed people) experience. This business of a person experiencing harassment needing to privately and quietly go find an event official to report harassment and then allow the event officials to quietly and privately have a little chat with the offenders and then everyone carry on as if nothing has happened – well that is pretty much as if nothing has happened! Which is exactly how most people in power want to keep things – they pay lip service to “sensitivity to chilly climate/creating a more welcoming place for women” by setting up these essentially useless policies.There is no consequence for the offenders and the person making the complaint must jump through hoops, possibly missing out on some of the conference she paid to attend, for what? This sort of thing is like a twist on the old joke: they’ll make the woman really work for it do everything they can short of actual, effective help!

    I think Adria took a calculated risk – she sent out a tweet not unlike a thousand other tweets people send every day hoping to use the medium to put some real social pressure on those douchebros and others like them which no private (non-public, silent ) reporting has ever been known to do. It was also hardly an unprecedented tactic: Who hasn’t seen tweets about the co-worker dozing off at meetings/the mom on the cellphone while her baby’s stroller tips over/a thousand other things caught on phone camera and tweeted and most people point and laugh and say “Dude, come on! You know there is always a camera around these days! You were caught being an ass – suck it up!” and people usually do. But, when it is a woman tweeting about something that is a real problem for women in a “man’s world” well all normal social dynamics are upended. The offenders do not receive the social opprobrium that they deserve and then think twice about doing that shit again in the future – instead a shitstorm is unleashed on the woman who tweeted. Because she was trying to bring meaningful change to a persistent problem and the misogynist rape culture we live in rears up to slap that woman down.

  277. says

    I’ve been doing a lot of reading on this subject lately. Misogyny by Jack Holland, Manhood in America: a cultural history by Michael Kimmel and Guyland by Michael Kimmel. Boys are raised to have certain expectations in regard to being a man and also raised and subjected to immense peer pressure to meet certain standards of masculinity. These expectations and standards are, just…nuts.

    This is the truth (I must get my hands on these books). Like Patrick said above, men are afraid of other men , too, and maybe that is actually the root cause of the whole sick culture!
    I worry about my sons away at college as much as (or even more than) my daughters. One of my sons has already had to deal with a roommate being “jumped” while walking home at night and I know he dreads the day when he will be caught there – afraid, but having to stand his ground to help a buddy or himself because they (musicians/nerds) aren’t in the “in” (ie sports) crowd and the “in” crowd decides to take offense or whatever the hell crap reason guys have for picking on other guys. Most men I know have had to face this at least once in their youth and often more.

    In the same way that women have continued to stand up and push back and re-define what it is to be a woman, is what men have to do. The more men that speak up, the more men that will nod in aggreement and decide to speak up too. There’s strength in numbers, there’s strength and comfort in a chorus of voices.

    This gives me hope. And ideas. What a great thought! I am going to work on some ideas in this vein – and maybe throw a few questions out there next weekend when the NiftyOffspring will all be home. They are not as slow as their madre and have probably already grokked that this might be a way to push back against the way patriarchy hurts boys as well as girls – but maybe just maybe they haven’t thought of it either! Thanks, Caine!

  278. says

    Niftyatheist:

    Thanks, Caine!

    You’re welcome. If you can, get your sons to read Guyland. It’s about the culture and age they are immersed in right now. If they have tablets, it’s available as an e-book and it’s a quick read.

  279. says

    Niftyatheist:

    men are afraid of other men , too,

    In terms of masculinity, it’s the only fear that matters. Men look to other men for approval, for judgment, for praise, and they fear, greatly, disapproval or scorn or contempt from other men. Manhood in America covers this beautifully, throughout the book. Nothing is quite as important to a man than what other men think or feel about him, and anything do with his life. Other men are what you measure *everything* against.

    Homosociality has been, and is, crucial for men. One of the reasons the backlash is so severe at the moment is not only because women keep claiming the right to autonomy, but there’s a pervasive sense that there is no homosocial preserve anymore. Women are in schools. Women are in the workplace. Women are in the home. Women are bloody everywhere now, and it’s causing the same fucking upset it has caused throughout history.

  280. says

    I have to say, the death threats and the stalking and the DDOS attacks are so awful, but what pushes me over the top is that Pycon basically reversed its stance on bullying. Shameful, harmful, cowardly. Someone over there needs to grow a spine.

  281. says

    Niftyatheist:
    I just checked out Amazon.com and there are multiple used copies of each of those books. I think, given my reading habits (it takes me a while to finish books), I will order one at a time.

  282. domah says

    This fucking toxic, archaic, regressive, patriarchal, sexist sludge needs to be highlighted. It needs to be called out. It SHOULD be shamed, because it is shameful behavior.
    Don’t believe the crap about the patriarchy. More women are accepted and attend college. More degrees are awarded to women than men. Women outlive men. More men commit suicide. Men are twice as likely to be victims of violence, including murder. If you consider sexual assaults in prisons, twice as many men are raped as women (society thinks prison rape is funny). The streets are littered with homeless men, sprinkled with a few homeless women. Statically, women are happier than men. The myth that girls are being cheated by are educational system is belied by the fact that schools are bastions of femininity, mostly run by and taught by women. Girls outperform boys in school. It is the boys in school getting fucked over, and prescribed ritalin for being boys. Real wages for men are falling, while real wages for women are rising. Just because someone says something enough times, doesn’t make it true.

  283. says

    Don’t believe the crap about the patriarchy.

    You’re in the wrong place, Cupcake.

    (society thinks prison rape is funny)

    The society here doesn’t, especially as Pharyngula is full of rape survivors, men and women.

  284. shirakawasuna says

    I just don’t see how the statements made by those two men are sexist. They are sexual and juvenile (which is fun… we can all agree that sexual and juvenile jokes are fun, right?), but that does not imply any form of gender discrimination. Adria Richards herself has made similarly juvenile and sexual jokes on her twitter account and they are benign.

    I’m sure many of you disagree with me – I’d like to see a good argument for their comments being sexist, and therefore their public shaming as being sexist (and consequent firing) be justified. I searched through all the posts for the word ‘sexist’, hoping to see an explanation of how what they said was actually sexist, but failed.

  285. Pteryxx says

    In terms of masculinity, it’s the only fear that matters. Men look to other men for approval, for judgment, for praise, and they fear, greatly, disapproval or scorn or contempt from other men.

    …That’s extremely disturbing in light of an article I just read at Yes Means Yes.

    *serious warning for rape discussion at the link*

    Maybe the Lovecraftian-level terror that some of these men display comes from a fear that, if they’re tainted by associating respectfully with women, other men will treat them like this. It matches the discussion a few days ago about how toxic masculinity always seems to require a target.

  286. PatrickG says

    Popped in to see if this semi-dormant thread was actually dormant, and what do I see…

    @ domah:

    Sigh. I’ll have to do a thorough fisking of you later, if it hasn’t happened by tomorrow (which I’m sure it will), as this is time dedicated to me and my partner. She’d be happy to laugh at you too, though. :P

    @ niftyatheist:

    Thanks for the kind words! I’ll have to again credit Caine for pushing men to talk more. More substantive response to your comments when I have time.

  287. says

    shirakawasuna:

    I’d like to see a good argument for their comments being sexist,

    Then read all the godsdamned comments, both pages of them. FFS, where are all you dim bulbs coming from?

  288. shirakawasuna says

    And to be clear, if they were making sexist jokes at a conference, public shaming them is A-OK with me. I have no problem with the methods, though I can see why a company would want to avoid what appears to be a knee-jerk overreaction. Again, I’m open to correction on that last point.

  289. shirakawasuna says

    Then read all the godsdamned comments, both pages of them. FFS, where are all you dim bulbs coming from?

    I did. Perhaps rather than insulting me, you could enlighten.

  290. says

    Pteryxx:

    Maybe the Lovecraftian-level terror that some of these men display comes from a fear that, if they’re tainted by associating respectfully with women, other men will treat them like this. It matches the discussion a few days ago about how toxic masculinity always seems to require a target.

    It’s very much that, yes. And yes, it’s frightening as hell, which is why a lot of men don’t speak up or buck the status quo – *that’s* where the value in talking to other men, and finding ones who are unhappy with things too, makes the difference. Where one man alone may be too afraid to say “I think that’s wrong”, two or more can make changes.

  291. says

    I did. Perhaps rather than insulting me, you could enlighten.

    If you took away nothing from over 800 comments, I’m not going to be your personal tutor. Your apparent inability to comprehend anything you’ve read is your problem.

  292. says

    shirakawasuna…

    If you had actually read the entirety of both pages, then you would have seen the numerous notes, by many different people, stating again and again what this thread is actually about.

    If you had actually read the entirety of both pages, you would have seen the numerous different pleas for the discussion you are trying to re-start to end.

    If you had actually read the entirety of both pages, then you would not be asking the questions you are now.

    So seriously… read the thread. I know 830+ comments is a lot, but I promise you we’ve beat this horse to dust, and no one here is in any way ready to start up again.

  293. Pteryxx says

    Where one man alone may be too afraid to say “I think that’s wrong”, two or more can make changes.

    …That’s important to consider. In the context of harassment policies, such policies should also protect men who come forward, as victims or witnesses, or who may be subject to retaliation for coming forward in the first place.

  294. shirakawasuna says

    I haven’t asked for a personal tutor. I’ve asked for a case to be made on the central issue raised by this topic. I have not seen it properly addressed in those comments, though I’ve seen a very large amount of creative rationalization on both sides.

  295. says

    domah:

    Don’t believe the crap about the patriarchy. More women are accepted and attend college. More degrees are awarded to women than men. Women outlive men. More men commit suicide. Men are twice as likely to be victims of violence, including murder. If you consider sexual assaults in prisons, twice as many men are raped as women (society thinks prison rape is funny). The streets are littered with homeless men, sprinkled with a few homeless women. Statically, women are happier than men. The myth that girls are being cheated by are educational system is belied by the fact that schools are bastions of femininity, mostly run by and taught by women. Girls outperform boys in school. It is the boys in school getting fucked over, and prescribed ritalin for being boys. Real wages for men are falling, while real wages for women are rising. Just because someone says something enough times, doesn’t make it true.

    I’ve done enough research on the topic to realize how VERY true the concept of patriarchy is.
    Have you?
    I see no proof of anything in your comment.
    I see your assertions.
    Assertions backed by nothing are POOF! meaningless.
    Come back when you learn how to back up what you say with actual evidence, and not Mens Rights talking points.

  296. shirakawasuna says

    Whup. Screwed up the quoting system. My last message was intended for Caine, Fleur le Mal’s #838.

  297. says

    domah @ #829…

    I know you’re a drive-by and won’t be back, but in case you’re looking… I think you want “A Voice for Men”. Or maybe the Men’s Rights subreddit. Google for ‘em, ’cause I’m sure as shit not linking to ‘em here. But they’re what you’re looking for. This is a feminist blog on an atheist/feminist network. We’ve heard the bullshit before and we’re not buying it.

    So you’re in the wrong place.

  298. says

    I just don’t see how the statements made by those two men are sexist. They are sexual and juvenile (which is fun… we can all agree that sexual and juvenile jokes are fun, right?), but that does not imply any form of gender discrimination. Adria Richards herself has made similarly juvenile and sexual jokes on her twitter account and they are benign.

    This thread is not for the discussion of whether or not the statements were sexist.
    THIS THREAD IS ABOUT THE REACTION ADRIA RICHARDS RECEIVED FROM THE ONLINE MISOGYNISTIC FUCKWADS.
    Stay on topic or go away.

  299. says

    Pteryxx:

    In the context of harassment policies, such policies should also protect men who come forward, as victims or witnesses, or who may be subject to retaliation for coming forward in the first place.

    Oh, absolutely.

  300. says

    shirakawasuna:
    Moreover, I am sick to death of people like you strutting in here attempting to veer the conversation into what you’ve decided is more important.
    I do not give two shits whether or not the guys were being sexist.
    I do not give two shits whether Adria should or should not have Tweeted about it.

    I care about the reaction she received.
    I care about the fact that yet another woman chose to speak up and was greeted with rape and death threats.
    If you do not care about that…you are in the wrong place. And you should recheck your empathy.

  301. shirakawasuna says

    I have specifically read the first 400 in their entirety now, and my first pass of searching for key terms came up empty. All I see is James Deng saying this (and a bunch of other stuff) and getting the same response – it’s already been answered (but I sure don’t see it).

    I guess this is a no-win situation.

  302. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Don’t believe the crap about the patriarchy.

    I don’t believe anything you say, if you say crap like that. You and reality are divorced.

  303. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I just don’t see how the statements made by those two men are sexist.

    The, cupcake, go away and let those who understand the language, including double entendre. Your not seeing isn’t our problem. Deal with your ignorance elsewhere.

  304. says

    shirakawasuna, for you, because you’re such a dense twit:

    Richards has been called practically every name under the sun. Some Twitter commenters demanded she kill herself. A 4chan user allegedly released Richards’s personal information. But few reactions were more disturbing than this one, sent to her Wednesday evening: a photo (blurred but still NSFW) of a bloody, beheaded woman, bound and stripped, with the caption “when Im done.” Next to it was a home address and phone number, ostensibly Richards’s.

    Richards has been called practically every name under the sun. Some Twitter commenters demanded she kill herself. A 4chan user allegedly released Richards’s personal information. But few reactions were more disturbing than this one, sent to her Wednesday evening: a photo (blurred but still NSFW) of a bloody, beheaded woman, bound and stripped, with the caption “when Im done.” Next to it was a home address and phone number, ostensibly Richards’s.

    Richards has been called practically every name under the sun. Some Twitter commenters demanded she kill herself. A 4chan user allegedly released Richards’s personal information. But few reactions were more disturbing than this one, sent to her Wednesday evening: a photo (blurred but still NSFW) of a bloody, beheaded woman, bound and stripped, with the caption “when Im done.” Next to it was a home address and phone number, ostensibly Richards’s.

    Richards has been called practically every name under the sun. Some Twitter commenters demanded she kill herself. A 4chan user allegedly released Richards’s personal information. But few reactions were more disturbing than this one, sent to her Wednesday evening: a photo (blurred but still NSFW) of a bloody, beheaded woman, bound and stripped, with the caption “when Im done.” Next to it was a home address and phone number, ostensibly Richards’s.

    Richards has been called practically every name under the sun. Some Twitter commenters demanded she kill herself. A 4chan user allegedly released Richards’s personal information. But few reactions were more disturbing than this one, sent to her Wednesday evening: a photo (blurred but still NSFW) of a bloody, beheaded woman, bound and stripped, with the caption “when Im done.” Next to it was a home address and phone number, ostensibly Richards’s.

    Richards has been called practically every name under the sun. Some Twitter commenters demanded she kill herself. A 4chan user allegedly released Richards’s personal information. But few reactions were more disturbing than this one, sent to her Wednesday evening: a photo (blurred but still NSFW) of a bloody, beheaded woman, bound and stripped, with the caption “when Im done.” Next to it was a home address and phone number, ostensibly Richards’s.

    Richards has been called practically every name under the sun. Some Twitter commenters demanded she kill herself. A 4chan user allegedly released Richards’s personal information. But few reactions were more disturbing than this one, sent to her Wednesday evening: a photo (blurred but still NSFW) of a bloody, beheaded woman, bound and stripped, with the caption “when Im done.” Next to it was a home address and phone number, ostensibly Richards’s.

  305. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    My last message was intended for Caine,

    When you post here, you talk to all of us. No private conversations. You seem to be totally out of the real picture.

  306. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I did. Perhaps rather than insulting me, you could enlighten.

    Only abject losers expect others to do their homework for them…

  307. says

    My last message was intended for Caine,

    I don’t much care for idiots who can’t manage to find a clue in over 800 comments. Go talk to someone else. Preferably somewhere else.

  308. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I’ve asked for a case to be made on the central issue raised by this topic.

    Then read the OP and links therein, and all the comments. Shut the fuck up until you are done.

  309. says

    shirakawasuna, please don’t. Don’t do it. Don’t continue this conversation. Stop just searching for key words. Actually read each post in context.

    Please.

    No one here want to have this conversation again.

    The reason why nobody answered your question is because it is NOT THE TOPIC OF THIS POST.

    This post is about the misogynistic rape and death threats Richards got, and how she was fired from her job.

    this thread is NOT about what those guys said. It is NOT about how Richards responded to it. No one here wants to talk about any of that, because it means FUCK ALL in relation to this post.

    So please. I’m begging you.

    Let it go.

  310. Pteryxx says

    At this point I’m flashing on images of creepy guys in bars coming up to women and saying “I just don’t understand how sexual harassment works, would you mind explaining it to me?” as if it’s a pick-up line.

  311. says

    Pteryxx:

    At this point I’m flashing on images of creepy guys in bars coming up to women and saying “I just don’t understand how sexual harassment works, would you mind explaining it to me?” as if it’s a pick-up line.

    Auugh! I did not need that in my head. Just in case: any clueless idiots out there: do not do that. Ever.

  312. golliblog says

    Adria Richards breached the PYCON Code of Conduct when she engaged in harassing photography. The Code of Conduct expressly forbids harassing photography. It is totally not OK to take a photo of a large group of people at a work related function then put the photo on the Web with a string of accusations against unidentified persons in the photo. We can’t be entirely sure which men in the photo are the subject of Richards’ allegations, so accordingly everyone in the photo, guilty or innocent, is smeared by association. Even if Richards’ had done the decent thing and blacked out the faces of the men she is not accusing, her behaviour would still constitute harassment in part because her Code of Conduct complaint had already been dealt with.

    Here is the relevant extract from the PYCON Code of Conduct. It is a pity Richards’ defenders haven’t taken the trouble to read it:

    “Harassment includes offensive verbal comments related to gender, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, religion, sexual images in public spaces, deliberate intimidation, stalking, following, harassing photography or recording … ”

  313. cm's changeable moniker says

    men are afraid of other men , too,

    In terms of masculinity, it’s the only fear that matters. Men look to other men for approval, for judgment, for praise, and they fear, greatly, disapproval or scorn or contempt from other men. Manhood in America covers this beautifully, throughout the book. Nothing is quite as important to a man than what other men think or feel about him, and anything do with his life. Other men are what you measure *everything* against.

    Homosociality has been, and is, crucial for men.

    This is (actually these are) testable proposition(s).

    Empirically, then, men, what do you think?

  314. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    harassing photography.

    Gee, talk about your straw photographs. Nothing harassing about it. Only in your warped mind.

  315. says

    Nate:

    Caine… how do you do that?

    You need to use Firefox, then get the greasemonkey add-on. Once you have that, go to the Pharyngula wiki and type greasemonkey in the search box, where you’ll find the script for a killfile.

  316. says

    golliblog:

    Adria Richards breached the PYCON Code of Conduct when she engaged in harassing photography.

    Oh for fucks sake.
    I’m going to field this one even though it is NOT the goddamned topic of the thread.
    One of the hallmarks of harassment is REPETITION. Adria took one pic and tweeted that. One pic does not constitute harassing photography. If she had taken multiple pics of the guys, then *that* would be harassing photography.
    AND IN ANY FUCKING CASE, IT DOESN’T EXCUSE THE FLOOD OF RAPE AND DEATH THREATS SHE RECEIVED.
    Do you understand that yet?
    Now either get on topic or get out.

  317. says

    IF THE IDIOTS WOULD LEARN TO READ AND ACTUALLY BOTHER TO READ EVERY FUCKING COMMENT, THEY WOULD FIND THEIR IDIOCY HAS ALREADY BEEN REFUTED, MULTIPLE TIMES.

    LEARN TO READ.

  318. says

    cm’s changeable moniker:

    Empirically, then, men, what do you think?

    I’m sure answers won’t be biased if we test ourselves :)

    In all seriousness, I think there’s something to the idea that men seek approval from other men; probably in ways we don’t even realize.

  319. Larry Poppins says

    I just checked back in only to find the thread is still infested with the same sort of twits that filled it up all day yesterday. I want to express my admiration to the regulars who have the courage and stamina to keep up with the feeding. It is my sincere hope that you can burst them all by morning. Pity you can’t feed them porcupines any more.

  320. golliblog says

    To those who say I’m off topic, please note the title of the PZM’s post is “Adria Richards Did Everything Right”. The post goes on to reiterate that point, so I am bang on target in arguing otherwise.

    Also, whatever happened to manners? Let’s all remain polite. Rudeness gets us nowhere. Rudeness is what got Richards’ fired in the first place.

  321. nightshadequeen says

    According to this press release, PlayHaven didn’t fire mr_hank just because of the tweet.

    It has come to our attention that a topic concerning a former PlayHaven employee has generated a passionate online debate.

    There are a number of inaccuracies being reported and I would like to take this opportunity to provide some clarity.

    PlayHaven had an employee who was identified as making inappropriate comments at PyCon, and as a company that is dedicated to gender equality and values honorable behavior, we conducted a thorough investigation. The result of this investigation led to the unfortunate outcome of having to let this employee go. We value and protect the privacy of our employees, both past and present, and we will not comment on all the factors that contributed to our parting ways.

    This employee was not Alex Reid, who is still with the company and a valued employee.

    We believe in the importance of discussing sensitive topics such as gender and conduct and we hope to move forward with a civil dialogue based on the facts.

  322. cm's changeable moniker says

    Tony, cm is just attempting a dig at me

    No, it’s a reasonable critique. Is it true that:

    Nothing is quite as important to a man than what other men think or feel about him, and anything do with his life. Other men are what you measure *everything* against.

    Homosociality has been, and is, crucial for men.

    Hint. Hegemonic masculinity is not the only game in town.

  323. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Also, whatever happened to manners? Let’s all remain polite. Rudeness gets us nowhere. Rudeness is what got Richards’ fired in the first place.

    Rudeness is what you deserve when you devalue half the population due to their lady bits. And your abject ignorance, not know what real harassing photos are. You are on dumb repetitive know-nothing. Why can’t you show a trace of intelligence and shut the fuck up?

  324. golliblog says

    Tony’

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. You said this:

    “One of the hallmarks of harassment is REPETITION. Adria took one pic and tweeted that. One pic does not constitute harassing photography. If she had taken multiple pics of the guys, then *that* would be harassing photography.”

    Actually Adria Richards went further than that. She posted the photo in a lengthy blog post that contains multiple accusation about some of the men in the photo. The unaccused men in the photo do not have their faces blacked out; they are collateral damage. I think this is rude and inappropriate behaviour. Since Richards’ grievance had already been dealth with by PYCON, their is no excuse for such rude and vindictive behaviour.

  325. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Actually Adria Richards went further than that.

    NOPE, ONLY ONE PICTURE. AND NOT A SEXUALLY HARASSING PICTURE. WHAT AN ABJECT LOSER YOU ARE.

  326. zhuge, le homme blanc qui ne sait rien mais voudrait says

    To those who say I’m off topic, please note the title of the PZM’s post is “Adria Richards Did Everything Right”. The post goes on to reiterate that point, so I am bang on target in arguing otherwise.

    Also, whatever happened to manners? Let’s all remain polite. Rudeness gets us nowhere. Rudeness is what got Richards’ fired in the first place.

    Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.

    (If there is any doubt, I am laughing at you, not with you.)

    Rudeness gets us a lot of places. MLK was pretty god damned rude, breaking the law, forcing people to hear about the struggle of American blacks. And rudeness pretty much always means “saying things that upset the majority groups”, and saying we’re being rude is just another fucking silencing tactic. And rudeness didn’t get her fired. Narcisstic, jackass fucking evil fuckfaces got her fired by pressuring her sexist, dumbass fuckface bosses.

    Because if she had just said “guys don’t do that” we already fucking know that’s rude. If she had said “this made me uncomfortable” she’d just be a frigid humorless woman.

  327. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I think this is rude and inappropriate behaviour.

    Why the fuck do you think (or rather don’t) we should care about your ignorant and misogynist opinions? Here’s the definition of sexual harassment. Show me where that one picture falls into the real definition, not your imagufactured fuckwitted one. Which is why your OPINION will always *floosh* be treated with the respect it deserves….

  328. says

    Golliblog:
    You must be new. This is a rude blog.
    I noticed you did not even address the fact that it takes more than 1 picture to be harassing photography .
    I have no interest in being polite to people like you who show more concern for”inappropriate” picture taking over rape and death threats .

  329. John Morales says

    [meta]

    nightshadequeen, informative. Thank you.

    cm, take it to Thunderdome.

  330. says

    This is a rude blog. We like to argue — heck, we like a loud angry brawl. Don’t waste time whining at anyone that they’re not nice, because this gang will take pride in that and rhetorically hand you a rotting porcupine and tell you to stuff it up your nether orifice. If you intrude here and violate any of the previous three mores, people won’t like you, and they won’t hold back—they’ll tell you so, probably in colorful terms.

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2011/08/01/pharyngula-standards-practices/

  331. nightshadequeen says

    Wait, taking pictures of people is harassments?

    Does this mean I can go yell at the tourists blocking the infinite?

    </sarcasm>

  332. John Morales says

    [OT]

    golliblog:

    To those who say I’m off topic, please note the title of the PZM’s post is “Adria Richards Did Everything Right”. The post goes on to reiterate that point, so I am bang on target in arguing otherwise.

    That’s because you apparently think that unless it’s perfect, it can’t be right.

    (Quite the contrary, it can be right without being perfect; or not about the technique of doing)

  333. Pteryxx says

    Can we talk about how death threats with graphic bloody photos may constitute harassment now? /notreally

  334. golliblog says

    Richards’ grievance had already been dealt with by PYCON. She invited her own dismissal when she decided to escalate matters.

    Arguably the men who have been unfairly smeared by Richards’ action (the innocent parties in the photo) have been defamed and they would be well advised to seek legal counsel in respect of a defamation suit.

    Let this be a timely lesson for those who have misplaced their manners.

  335. John Morales says

    [OT]

    golliblog:

    The unaccused men in the photo do not have their faces blacked out; they are collateral damage.

    This is an absolutely ridiculous claim, in particular because you are fucking acknowledging that they are unaccused.

    (I hereby sneer at this example of doltishness: <_<)

  336. says

    Pteryxx:

    Can we talk about how death threats with graphic bloody photos may constitute harassment now? /notreally

    Well…there was only one, right? And just whose harassment policy are we consulting in regard to death threats with graphic bloody photos of a bound, stripped, beheaded woman?

  337. golliblog says

    Dear Tony,

    Once again thanks for sharing your thoughts. You say one photo cannot constitute harassment. I have reread the PYCON Code of Conduct and I cannot see how you arrive at such a conclusion. Indeed, you’ve sent me to a link on “upskirting” that expressly says a single photo of such a type constitutes harassment.

    .

  338. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    the men who have been unfairly smeared by Richards’ action (

    They smeared themselves. Why are you being so abjectly stupid?

    Let this be a timely lesson for those who have misplaced their manners.

    I doubt if they or you learned anything. Fuckwits like you stopped learning in elementary school. The only lessons are the stupidity of the men involved, and those defending them mindlessly, like yourself. Your attitude is bullshit, lies, and posturing of the misinformed.

  339. Pteryxx says

    unfairly smeared by Richards’ action (the innocent parties in the photo)

    Wow. That comment about how scared menz think being within ‘a 100 yards’ of an uppity woman constitutes harassment just got de-parodied.

  340. John Morales says

    golliblog:

    Richards’ grievance had already been dealt with by PYCON. She invited her own dismissal when she decided to escalate matters.

    I make it that you are almost certainly trolling; as is clear by the unequivocal sequence of events, her employment was terminated because action was taken against the company (they caved in to actual harassment) and not because she made that tweet.

    (Bah — by trolling, you’re inviting your likely fate)

  341. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Indeed, you’ve sent me to a link on “upskirting” that expressly says a single photo of such a type constitutes harassment.

    But fuckwit, you haven’t shown the picture constitutes sexual harassment, unlike upskirt, downblouse, closeups of crotches, rear ends, breasts….one gets the picture, but you are unable to comprehend what is really meant. You are that ignorant.

  342. golliblog says

    Dear John,

    You say:

    “This is an absolutely ridiculous claim, in particular because you are fucking acknowledging that they are unaccused.”

    When you look at the photo, can you tell which group of men constitute the accused and thus by default, which men are not accused? The answer, obviously, is no. Everybody in the photo is smeared by Richards’ accusations.

  343. John Morales says

    [meta]

    golliblog:

    Indeed, you’ve sent me to a link on “upskirting” that expressly says a single photo of such a type constitutes harassment.

    Trolling fool is unaware of the concept of contrasts to illuminate categorical differences.

    (I wonder if it has even seen the actual tweeted photo)

  344. says

    god you’re dumb .
    lookup the definition of harassment you idiot
    lookup the definition of sexual harassment you idiot

    I suppose my drivers license picture is a harassing photo
    taking a picture of the President is now harassment according to this dumb f***

  345. John Morales says

    [OT]

    Trollish golliblog:

    When you look at the photo, can you tell which group of men constitute the accused and thus by default, which men are not accused? The answer, obviously, is no. Everybody in the photo is smeared by Richards’ accusations.

    Then whence your adjective of “unaccused”?

    (You do realise that by claiming that you cannot tell who are the accused you invalidate your own claim of consequence?)

  346. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    When you look at the photo, can you tell which group of men constitute the accused and thus by default, which men are not accused? The answer, obviously, is no. Everybody in the photo is smeared by Richards’ accusations.

    Nobody was smeared by the accusations, liar and bullshitter. They smeared themselves by being assholes, like you are being. No evidence for your claim *floosh* dimissed as lies and bullshit from an ignorant asshole.

  347. shirakawasuna says

    From Tony! The Lonely Queer Shoop:

    This thread is not for the discussion of whether or not the statements were sexist.
    THIS THREAD IS ABOUT THE REACTION ADRIA RICHARDS RECEIVED FROM THE ONLINE MISOGYNISTIC FUCKWADS.
    Stay on topic or go away.

    That’s a valid topic, and the misogynistic response on the internet is appalling, but it’s hardly the only topic. I mean, the title of the post is “Adria Richards did everything exactly right”.

    Moreover, I am sick to death of people like you strutting in here attempting to veer the conversation into what you’ve decided is more important.
    I do not give two shits whether or not the guys were being sexist.
    I do not give two shits whether Adria should or should not have Tweeted about it.

    Complaining about having to see someone else talk about something is ludicrous. I was (and still am) just interested in discussing what I perceive to be a pretty core issue in PZ’s post. If you don’t care about it, you should probably stop talking about it and ignore what I say.

    I care about the reaction she received.

    I think that’s more important as well. I’m only commenting on the issue I raised because it’s essential to the thesis of PZ’s post. I’ve already participated in discussions on how horrible the overall reaction has been (particularly coming from facebook).

    I care about the fact that yet another woman chose to speak up and was greeted with rape and death threats.
    If you do not care about that…you are in the wrong place. And you should recheck your empathy.

    Then it’s a good thing I do care about that, huh?

    From: Caine, Fleur du mal

    shirakawasuna, shut. the. fuck. up. No one is interested in your idiotic whining.

    I guess this is just a case of internet tough guy situation or something? You’re not obligated to read what I say, or respond to me.

    From Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls:

    The, cupcake, go away and let those who understand the language, including double entendre. Your not seeing isn’t our problem. Deal with your ignorance elsewhere.

    I seem to be getting a lot of these sleazy responses, really just excuses to dump on someone. I know what a double entendre is. A double entendre does not imply sexism, if you’re interested in a discussion.

  348. shirakawasuna says

    From Caine, Fleur du mal:

    Richards has been called practically every name under the sun. Some Twitter commenters demanded she kill herself. A 4chan user allegedly released Richards’s personal information. But few reactions were more disturbing than this one, sent to her Wednesday evening: a photo (blurred but still NSFW) of a bloody, beheaded woman, bound and stripped, with the caption “when Im done.” Next to it was a home address and phone number, ostensibly Richards’s.

    Irrelevant to whether the two men at PyCon said something sexist…

  349. John Morales says

    shirakawasuna:

    That’s a valid topic, and the misogynistic response on the internet is appalling, but it’s hardly the only topic. I mean, the title of the post is “Adria Richards did everything exactly right”.

    I repeat: That’s because you apparently think that unless it’s perfect, it can’t be right.

  350. shirakawasuna says

    From Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls:

    When you post here, you talk to all of us. No private conversations. You seem to be totally out of the real picture.

    I was only clarifying that the post was a response to something Caine, Fleur du mal posted. So much jumping to conclusions…

    Only abject losers expect others to do their homework for them…

    I haven’t asked for such a thing.

    Then read the OP and links therein, and all the comments. Shut the fuck up until you are done.

    I did. It was entirely irrelevant.

  351. John Morales says

    shirakawasuna:

    Irrelevant to whether the two men at PyCon said something sexist…

    Had you read the comments before claiming to be informed, you’d be aware one of those men apologised (and that the complaint had been validated); you are making out a settled issue is in contention.

    (Any irrelevance is yours)

  352. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    but it’s hardly the only topic.

    That is the topic of this thread. Simply because you want to derail the thread with your fuckwitted opinion, doesn’t mean we have to follow. Who the fuck are you to decide what we discuss? Get real.

    I seem to be getting a lot of these sleazy responses, really just excuses to dump on someone.

    Again, if you decide you want to discuss something, you can try. but we can say anything in response to you, including call you a idjit, which you are. Who the fuck are you to tell us what to discuss?

  353. John Morales says

    [meta]

    shirakawasuna:

    Then read the OP and links therein, and all the comments. Shut the fuck up until you are done.

    I did.

    I am >.< that close to certain that you have not, given your apparent ignorance.

    Care to assert your point has not already been addressed herein? I dare you!

    (Let all doubt be dispelled)

  354. Pteryxx says

    Same old pattern as always…

    ‘is it harassment now? how about now? What about now?

    ‘is it rape now? but is it rape now? how about now?

    ‘is it the woman’s fault now? it’s her fault now right? but this makes it her fault now?

    http://subfictional.com/2012/10/08/death-threats-in-open-source-are-not-occurring-in-a-vacuum/

    (bolds mine)

    Individuals who make death threats start with less egregious behavior and systematically test the boundaries of the communities in which they exist. When they get away with small violations, they often move on to larger ones. They watch what others are able to get away with, too. The pattern of behavior is common among abusers. If you’re an abuse survivor, you know this implicitly.

    Want to lessen the number of death threats that women (and others) in open source receive? Adopt a strong code of conduct and enforce it. Do not allow misogynist, sexist, racist, homophobic, etc. comments or behavior, no matter how trivial they feel to you. Don’t ask people like me to explain to you ad nauseam why a fellow community member saying “we don’t want you around” is a threat.

    In other words, reducing and eliminating death threats in the open source community starts with being intolerant of microagressions.

  355. chigau (違う) says

    shirakawasuna #915

    I seem to be getting a lot of these sleazy responses..

    nonono
    You are sleazy.
    The responses appear sleazy because you are sleazy.

  356. Pteryxx says

    Irrelevant to whether the two men at PyCon said something sexist…

    Well, it’s easy to see what’s most important to YOU. *spits*

  357. zhuge, le homme blanc qui ne sait rien mais voudrait says

    Irrelevant to whether the two men at PyCon said something sexist…

    GOD DAMN!

    Look: Sexism isn’t something that happens in someone’s head, at least not always. There is a bunch of context floating around. Is making a sexually charged joke inherently sexist? Of course not!

    But is making a sexually charged joke(and that’s what the double entendre was) at a professional conference in a field that historically and currently has been extremely unwelcoming to women at a panal discussing women in that field something likely to contribute to making some women feel unwelcome since they anticpate being seen only as sexual objects and not as fellow professionals? (THE ANSWER IS YES JESUS FUCK)

    And is making an unwelcoming climate for women something sexist? (THE ANSWER IS AGAIN YES)

    Does this mean the two men are certified members of the he man woman haters club? Of course fucking not. I like to consider myself an ally, but I fuck up and say something sexist on occassion. I might accidently make a place a little less welcoming for women than I’d like. It happens when you live in a culture awash in casual sexism. If someone called me out on it publicly, I’d be embarassed as hell, but it would be my fault and it would still be sexist.

    What would be a huge plus would be if after being called out, I said: Oh dear, so sorry, I will endeavor not to do so again. Because then I would be improving the situation and showing that I am in fact someone who doesn’t hate women.

    Responding by making rape and death threats(or firing your employees over them, or not fucking calling out these fuckers- I’m looking at the two dudebros here-) doesn’t do that. And if you do those things, then you are definitely mysogynstic as all fuck and fuck you and anyone who apologizes for you.

  358. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Irrelevant to whether the two men at PyCon said something sexist…

    Evidently another fuckwit who doesn’t understand who decides what constitutes sexual harassment. Hint, the harasseee makes that call, not you or your friends. So, your OPINION isn’t worth the electrons to make a post. Welcome to reality.

  359. says

    Pteryxx:

    Same old pattern as always…

    ‘is it harassment now? how about now? What about now?‘

    ‘is it rape now? but is it rape now? how about now?‘

    ‘is it the woman’s fault now? it’s her fault now right? but this makes it her fault now?‘

    Yep. It’s a sick game they just love to play. Loathsome assholes who wouldn’t know how to be a decent human being under any circumstance.

  360. shirakawasuna says

    From NateHevens, resident SOOPER-GENIUS… apparently…

    shirakawasuna, please don’t. Don’t do it. Don’t continue this conversation. Stop just searching for key words. Actually read each post in context.

    Please.

    I did and have not gotten what I was told to expect, at all. I’ve seen a lot of people spend a surprising amount of time finding both direct and roundabout ways to insult me, however. I don’t think I need to explain how easy it is to just ignore me if you don’t want to have a discussion. It’s not like I’m forcing you.

    The reason why nobody answered your question is because it is NOT THE TOPIC OF THIS POST.

    This post is about the misogynistic rape and death threats Richards got, and how she was fired from her job.

    this thread is NOT about what those guys said. It is NOT about how Richards responded to it. No one here wants to talk about any of that, because it means FUCK ALL in relation to this post.

    So please. I’m begging you.

    Let it go.

    That is an important aspect of the post, and the thread, but it is obviously not the sole focus. I mean… look at the title: ‘Adria Richards did everything exactly right’. The intro sums up the primary point: ‘ But this is where I lose patience every goddamned time: apparently no response other than silence and submission is acceptable.’

    The question of whether the comments were sexist is actually pretty important to that point, and is central to this entire series of events. It’s taken as a given here and pretty much every other place I’ve seen that they made sexist comments – I’ve followed this since seeing references to the initial post on the python subreddit, before any firings, before any backlash. I think that’s a fairly key part of the fallout, and so far as I can tell it’s false.

    Because it is apparently necessary, I need to point out that none of that excuses the misogyny from 4chan and others. The point I’m raising is not about the horror of that response at all, nor should you think I’m comparing a question about the facts of the case to death threats and bigotry.

    But again, you don’t have to justify ignoring me. Just do it if you think it’s right.

  361. says

    So Caine says:

    Richards has been called practically every name under the sun. Some Twitter commenters demanded she kill herself. A 4chan user allegedly released Richards’s personal information. But few reactions were more disturbing than this one, sent to her Wednesday evening: a photo (blurred but still NSFW) of a bloody, beheaded woman, bound and stripped, with the caption “when Im done.” Next to it was a home address and phone number, ostensibly Richards’s.

    and THIS is shirakawasuna’s response to that horrifying situation:

    Irrelevant to whether the two men at PyCon said something sexist…

    Asshole isn’t even pretending to be arguing in good faith. Fuck off, troll.

  362. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    The question of whether the comments were sexist is actually pretty important to that point,

    You don’t get to make the value judgement of whether they are sexist. Only the person who feels harassed makes that judgment. You whole point it moot. You haven’t any say in that decision.

  363. says

    shirakawasuna

    That is an important aspect of the post, and the thread, but it is obviously not the sole focus.

    Shut the fuck up. You do not get to come in here and tell us how the thread must go.

  364. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    But again, you don’t have to justify ignoring me. Just do it if you think it’s right.

    We don’t ignore trolls. We feed them until they explode. And you are pointlessly trolling.

  365. Pteryxx says

    srsly. The world could be burning down around them, beams falling on their heads, and they’d still be clinging to the keyboard typing some variant of ‘but bitchez lie! It’s all their fault!’

  366. says

    Pteryxx:

    srsly. The world could be burning down around them, beams falling on their heads, and they’d still be clinging to the keyboard typing some variant of ‘but bitchez lie! It’s all their fault!’

    Yep. Exactly the same as those who gleefully made the rape and death threats and attacked Richard’s company. Wouldn’t be in the least bit surprised if they did.

  367. shirakawasuna says

    From John Morales:

    I repeat: That’s because you apparently think that unless it’s perfect, it can’t be right.

    No I just think this one thing is pretty wrong and suggested I was open to correction. Look at out blown out of proportion that’s gotten.

  368. shirakawasuna says

    Had you read the comments before claiming to be informed, you’d be aware one of those men apologised (and that the complaint had been validated); you are making out a settled issue is in contention.

    (Any irrelevance is yours)

    I was aware of that well before this thread was posted. It actually doesn’t say, nor imply, that the comments were sexist.

  369. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I was aware of that well before this thread was posted. It actually doesn’t say, nor imply, that the comments were sexist.

    WHAT PART OF YOU DON’T MAKE THAT CALL DON’T YOU UNDERSTAND? CITE CASE LAW WHERE YOU MAKE THE DECISION, NOT THE PERSON BEING HARASSED.

  370. shirakawasuna says

    From Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls:

    That is the topic of this thread. Simply because you want to derail the thread with your fuckwitted opinion, doesn’t mean we have to follow. Who the fuck are you to decide what we discuss? Get real.

    I haven’t told anyone what to discuss… I can’t understand on what basis you make that claim. I’m justifying my own, single point, as relevant to the original post.

  371. shirakawasuna says

    From John Morales:

    I am >.< that close to certain that you have not, given your apparent ignorance.

    Care to assert your point has not already been addressed herein? I dare you!

    (Let all doubt be dispelled)

    Yes.

    From Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls:

    Sorry, you obviously don’t understand the protocol around here. And this is a rude blog.
    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2011/08/01/pharyngula-standards-practices/

    I am fully aware of the standards of this blog, and support rudeness. Rudeness as a substitute for cogency should be pointed out as the meaningless atmosphere that it is.

  372. Pteryxx says

    shirakawasuna, do you have a job or attend a school with a harassment policy? Go ask someone in Human Resources. Say “I don’t understand how these remarks could be sexist.” They’ll be glad to explain.

  373. says

    Comment by shirakawasuna blocked. [unhush]​[show comment]

    Comment by shirakawasuna blocked. [unhush]​[show comment]

    Comment by shirakawasuna blocked. [unhush]​[show comment]

    Comment by shirakawasuna blocked. [unhush]​[show comment]

    Comment by shirakawasuna blocked. [unhush]​[show comment]

  374. shirakawasuna says

    From chigau (違う):

    nonono
    You are sleazy.
    The responses appear sleazy because you are sleazy.

    How am I sleazy?

  375. shirakawasuna says

    From Pteryxx:

    Well, it’s easy to see what’s most important to YOU. *spits*

    More like I thought this would actually be a good place to be corrected, assuming I was wrong. I figured the readers here would be more informed and could quickly say one or two sentences of how I was wrong. If I was lucky, maybe even a link to a comment that does that already.

  376. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I’m justifying my own, single point, as relevant to the original post.

    You have not point. The harassee makes the judgement whether it is sexist or not. You have no say in the matter. Therefore, you have no point. All you have is bluster, ignorance, stupidity, and lack of training in sexual harassment. Otherwise, you would know better.

  377. says

    the wave 9of harassment is directly relevant t9o whether the men’s c9omments were sexist. it is the fact that they are facing c9onsequences f9or p9ossibly being sexist that has triggered the mis9ogynist abuse.

    Ap9ol9ogies, i’m using my br9oken keyb9oard.

  378. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    And if you are smart, read up.

    I figured the readers here would be more informed and could quickly say one or two sentences of how I was wrong.

    We have. You don’t like the answer, because you question is irrelevant. You don’t make the decision.

  379. says

    Quoting Caine:

    Richards has been called practically every name under the sun. Some Twitter commenters demanded she kill herself. A 4chan user allegedly released Richards’s personal information. But few reactions were more disturbing than this one, sent to her Wednesday evening: a photo (blurred but still NSFW) of a bloody, beheaded woman, bound and stripped, with the caption “when Im done.” Next to it was a home address and phone number, ostensibly Richards’s.

    Next to that, asshole, nothing is relevant.

  380. chigau (違う) says

    shirakawasuna

    ..we can all agree that sexual and juvenile jokes are fun, right?

    No.

  381. Pteryxx says

    What Is Sexual Harassment (bolds mine)

    Behaviors that may contribute to a hostile environment include, but are not limited to:

    verbal, non-verbal, and physical sexual behaviors
    coerced sex
    sexual jokes and innuendoes
    remarks about a person’s body
    turning discussions inappropriately to sexual topics
    whistling or cat calls
    looking a person up and down or staring in a sexually suggestive manner
    invading someone’s personal space or blocking her/his path
    sexually explicit visuals such as pin-ups
    suggestions of sexual intimacy
    repeated requests for dates
    unwanted letters, electronic mail or other computer communications
    unwanted gifts
    touching, hugging, massaging, and other gestures or sounds that a reasonable person of the same sex as the recipient would find offensive

    It is important to be aware that in many instances, the intentions of the accused may be regarded as irrelevant in determining whether her/his behaviors constitute sexual harassment; it is the effect of the behavior on the recipient that may define a hostile environment.

    If that’s still not clear to you, feel free to take a copy to your HR department or equivalent and politely ask them to explain.

  382. says

    HOLY FUCKING HELL GOLLIBLOG WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU?!?!?

    THIS THREAD IS ABOUT THE FUCKING GODDAMN HARASSMENT THAT RICHARDS HAS RECEIVED ONLINE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    SHUT THE FUCK UP ABOUT HOW RICHARDS HANDLED “TEH POOR MENZ”!!!!!!!! THIS THREAD ISN’T ABOUT THEM SO BACK THE FUCK OFF!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Caine @ #870

    Holy hell this is a beautiful little thing you got me here. I can see a shit-ton of posters being hushed now. It’s gonna make interacting her much nicer. Thank you.

  383. shirakawasuna says

    Hi zhuge,

    First, thank you responding to my question. I really do appreciate it!

    From zhuge, le homme blanc qui ne sait rien mais voudrait:

    But is making a sexually charged joke(and that’s what the double entendre was) at a professional conference in a field that historically and currently has been extremely unwelcoming to women at a panal discussing women in that field something likely to contribute to making some women feel unwelcome since they anticpate being seen only as sexual objects and not as fellow professionals? (THE ANSWER IS YES JESUS FUCK)

    The context is important, and that’s a good point. But I don’t agree that making that sexually charged joke in that instance should be expected to make women feel objectified. So far as we know – from both accounts – it was some jokes about dongles and jokes about forking a repo, both sexual and both without any reference to the current speaker or events.

    I would make a guess that they weren’t really paying attention to the speaker at that point. That’s disrespectful of the speaker and surrounding patrons, but doesn’t imply sexism. I don’t feel like I’m overly giving them the benefit of the doubt on that.

    And is making an unwelcoming climate for women something sexist? (THE ANSWER IS AGAIN YES)

    So the argument is that passing a fairly innocuous sexual joke at the wrong time in an audience at a conference is sexist because it might make some women feel unwelcome? I know the flow of your logic is different, but I think it comes down to that.

    There are comments all the time that men don’t notice, or don’t care about because they’re misogynistic assholes, that make women uncomfortable or unwelcome – not just at conferences but any location, professional or otherwise. I don’t think these comments fall under the category of things to watch out for.

    Does this mean the two men are certified members of the he man woman haters club? Of course fucking not. I like to consider myself an ally, but I fuck up and say something sexist on occassion. I might accidently make a place a little less welcoming for women than I’d like. It happens when you live in a culture awash in casual sexism. If someone called me out on it publicly, I’d be embarassed as hell, but it would be my fault and it would still be sexist.

    What would be a huge plus would be if after being called out, I said: Oh dear, so sorry, I will endeavor not to do so again. Because then I would be improving the situation and showing that I am in fact someone who doesn’t hate women.

    I agree with all of this wholeheartedly.

    Responding by making rape and death threats(or firing your employees over them, or not fucking calling out these fuckers- I’m looking at the two dudebros here-) doesn’t do that.

    Calling them dudebros implies they’re sexist pieces of bro… which is kind of the point.

    Those two can’t be expected to put themselves in the public spotlight anymore than they already have. That’s what got them (and Adria) fired in the first place. And one has issued a public apology to Adria for being disruptive – though he did not say he was sexist at any point.

    99.99% of the time someone is identified as sexist, or their comments as sexist, they really are and you don’t need to wait for verification. I think this is just one of the 0.01% where we did/do.

    And if you do those things, then you are definitely mysogynstic as all fuck and fuck you and anyone who apologizes for you.

    Absolutely.

  384. gakxz1 says

    Yeah, I’m not reading 900 comments, so this might be repetitive, but…

    It’s seems simple enough. The two men were wrong for their comments, and were necessarily singled out for them. The woman was wrong for taking the picture and posting it on twitter. The internet reaction subsequently demonizing the woman was both wrong and terrible. The actions of the employers firing the woman and one of the men were wrong. The man’s apology was good just for that, but has moments of immaturity and pleas for sympathy. Whatever retroactive thing the conference did was wrong. All in all, a situation handled poorly by nearly everyone involved. In a just world, only one group should really be culpable; 4chan, and the subsequent internet reaction attacking the woman. That’s it. Or am I being too robotic?

  385. says

    How is it that 900+comments in people still trot in here thinking that ‘whether or not it was sexism’ is relevant. It is not. Why?
    Because no matter what a woman talks about– atheism, politics, cooking, knitting…it does not matter– women face those misogynistic assholes calling for them to be raped or killed.

    You people so hung up on ‘was it sexist?’ or ‘it was inappropriate to tweet the pic’ miss the fact that those questions simply are not important. If women faced substantially less violent responses…if misogynists did not try to silence women who speak out…the questions might be tmore important. Why? Because the reaction would not have pointed to deep seated hatred for women.

    That is the reason why thid shit is so bad.
    Misogyny.
    Hatred of women.

    And that is why it does not matter if the men said anything sexist.
    Thats why it does not matter that Adria tweeted that pic.

  386. shirakawasuna says

    From Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls:

    Evidently another fuckwit who doesn’t understand who decides what constitutes sexual harassment. Hint, the harasseee makes that call, not you or your friends. So, your OPINION isn’t worth the electrons to make a post. Welcome to reality.

    No, it really just is totally irrelevant to what I’m talking about. The quotes offered to me were about the misogynistic response like that on 4chan, when I’m talking about what was said at PyCon.

  387. says

    Nate:

    Holy hell this is a beautiful little thing you got me here. I can see a shit-ton of posters being hushed now. It’s gonna make interacting her much nicer. Thank you.

    You’re welcome. SG (Strange Gods Before Me) deserves a ton of credit for making it workable every time the FTB monkeys make changes, he’s gone out of his way to help people get it to work.

  388. shirakawasuna says

    From myeck waters:

    Asshole isn’t even pretending to be arguing in good faith. Fuck off, troll.

    No, I’m just interested in having my point hashed out, and that was not related to my point at all. Just because it’s irrelevant to what I’m discussing doesn’t mean it’s unimportant.

  389. says

    Yeah, I’m not reading 900 comments, so this

    makes you another in a long line of dipsticks whose commentary is not needed. What in the fuck is so complex about shut up and read that so many of you just can’t manage it?

  390. zhuge, le homme blanc qui ne sait rien mais voudrait says

    So the argument is that passing a fairly innocuous sexual joke at the wrong time in an audience at a conference is sexist because it might make some women feel unwelcome? I know the flow of your logic is different, but I think it comes down to that.

    Yes? I mean Jesus, imagine that day in and day out you hear jokes about how you are only useful as a sex object, and someone says as a “compliment” that they want to fuck someone. How the hell will that make you feel?

    There are comments all the time that men don’t notice, or don’t care about because they’re misogynistic assholes, that make women uncomfortable or unwelcome – not just at conferences but any location, professional or otherwise. I don’t think these comments fall under the category of things to watch out for.

    And yet clearly at least one woman did. And many more women here agree. So I am going to go with the “they aren’t all just making stuff up” and figure that while I can’t fully understand because I am a guy who doesn’t deal with that shit on a daily basis, I have some extremely basic empathy and so can figure: well, I might make “that’s what he/she said jokes with my sisters at home, but I won’t do it at lab meetings.” Basic-ass shit, that.

    Calling them dudebros implies they’re sexist pieces of bro… which is kind of the point.

    Those two can’t be expected to put themselves in the public spotlight anymore than they already have. That’s what got them (and Adria) fired in the first place. And one has issued a public apology to Adria for being disruptive – though he did not say he was sexist at any point.

    I think that if they don’t tell their “defenders” to go fuck themselves, they are complicit in their silence. If they don’t do that, then I think they are “sexist pieces of bro.”

  391. zhuge, le homme blanc qui ne sait rien mais voudrait says

    I have lots, actually! I can vicariously pull some out for you?

  392. mildlymagnificent says

    Worried about PZ’s choice of words for the title of this piece, are we?

    Let’s think. (Yes, I confess, I tutor schoolkids.) What words and expressions could he have chosen?

    Good, better, best might be a starting point. Alternatives to those words might be …
    good – satisfactory, good enough, adequate, appropriate, to the point, right, correct, ……
    better – well-chosen, exactly right, commendable, admirable, …..
    best – couldn’t be bettered, first-class, excellent, outstanding, superb, exceptional, splendid, spectacular.

    There are plenty of others, unsurprisingly for such a common concept, but I can’t be bothered finely distinguishing them on this kind of scale. Let alone including the various expressions for missing the mark or trivial mistakes or not quite good enough.

    So I’ve offered 19 options here, from among twice as many. PZ chose pretty well – neither damning with faint praise nor exaggerating by excessive commendation.

    Anyone care to guess what the reactions of certain people might have been to any other choices in my, pretty casually classified, “good” or “better” categories?

    THE WORDS DON’T MATTER.
    NOT EVEN THE CONCEPT MATTERS.

    That’s not what this is about. For pity’s sake, get a grip and address the issue. Yes, I confess again, tutoring year 9 students brings out certain issues. Like. Answer the question as it is set.

  393. says

    Tony:

    Someone have any spare hair for me? I need to pull some out, but I shave my head…

    I have a pony tail in the cedar chest, I think. From when I cut my hair years ago. It’s about 34, 36″ long. That enough?

  394. shirakawasuna says

    From Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls:

    You don’t get to make the value judgement of whether they are sexist. Only the person who feels harassed makes that judgment. You whole point it moot. You haven’t any say in that decision.

    Actually, everyone gets to make that judgment, and plenty have in this thread by labeling the jokes as sexist. I am not devaluing how Adria felt in any way by questioning whether something said to her was actually sexist – I am simply aware of human error. I also refer to her own account of events, which does not show anything sexist.

    I’m fully aware of the pattern of dismissing a victim of sexism, or any other form of discrimination, as oversensitive. It’s a form of blaming the victim. But at some point, the facts of the situation must be paramount.

  395. zhuge, le homme blanc qui ne sait rien mais voudrait says

    Actually I’ll respond to this too:

    The context is important, and that’s a good point. But I don’t agree that making that sexually charged joke in that instance should be expected to make women feel objectified. So far as we know – from both accounts – it was some jokes about dongles and jokes about forking a repo, both sexual and both without any reference to the current speaker or events.

    I would make a guess that they weren’t really paying attention to the speaker at that point. That’s disrespectful of the speaker and surrounding patrons, but doesn’t imply sexism. I don’t feel like I’m overly giving them the benefit of the doubt on that.

    So here’s a question: Why do you give the two men the benefit of the doubt that what they were saying wasn’t harmful to women, but not the benefit of the doubt to the woman claiming it was harmful?

    It doesn’t “imply” sexism. That doesn’t even make any goddamned sense. It has clear, demonstrated adverse affects on women. Ergo, it is sexist. The act itself is sexist. I don’t know what the guys were thinking in their heads, and I don’t give one fuck.

    (Also, a further thought experiment: Two men ignoring a woman speaker during a panel on women in technology in order to make a joke? That isn’t sexist in itself, even ignoring the rest?)

  396. shirakawasuna says

    From myeck waters:

    Shut the fuck up. You do not get to come in here and tell us how the thread must go.

    I’m doing the exact opposite of that. Discuss whatever you want. I’m actually the one being told what should and shouldn’t be discussed, so I’m justifying the relevance of my point.

  397. Asher Kay says

    @shirakawasuna:

    No, I’m just interested in having my point hashed out, and that was not related to my point at all. Just because it’s irrelevant to what I’m discussing doesn’t mean it’s unimportant.

    Your point – the thing that’s so important to you – is to parse whether the jokes were sexist.

    Do a google news search on “donglegate”. You will find a metric fuck-tonne of articles that will parse and parse and parse that. You will find that most of these articles have a bunch of comments that suggest that Richards “got what she deserved” (see wired.com for one example).

    Do you know what you will have an incredibly difficult time finding?

    A single article that even mentions that she received death and rape threats.

    Do you see?

  398. shirakawasuna says

    From Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls:

    We don’t ignore trolls. We feed them until they explode. And you are pointlessly trolling.

    No, trolling is a bad-faith attempt to annoy someone (in effect) or waste their time.

    I’d be perfectly happy if no one but zhuge ever replied to me – or no one at all. And I’m actually interested in learning more about what happened at PyCon and adjusting my opinion as necessary.

  399. shirakawasuna says

    From Pteryxx:

    shirakawasuna, do you have a job or attend a school with a harassment policy? Go ask someone in Human Resources. Say “I don’t understand how these remarks could be sexist.” They’ll be glad to explain.

    Actually, I would ask, ‘how are those remarks sexist?’ and they would ask why the hell I was talking to them.

    And what would they explain? That’s the only thing I’ve been interested in. Please tell me.

  400. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    But I don’t agree that making that sexually charged joke in that instance should be expected to make women feel objectified.

    YOUR OPINION IS IRRELEVANT. YOU HAVEN’T SHOWN IT IS EVEN TO BE CONSIDERED, WHEREAS THE LAW SAYS THE HARASSEE MAKES THE DECISION, NOT YOU. PROVE OTHERWISE BY CITING CASE LAW, OR SHUT THE FUCK UP.

  401. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    And what would they explain? That’s the only thing I’ve been interested in. Please tell me.

    GET REAL. THE WOMAN MAKES THE DECISION, NOT YOU OR US. YOUR OPINION IS WORTHLESS. WHEN IN DOUBT, SHUT THE FUCK UP. AS IN ALL CASES OF POTENTIAL HARASSMENT.

  402. shirakawasuna says

    From Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls:

    I figured the readers here would be more informed and could quickly say one or two sentences of how I was wrong.

    We have. You don’t like the answer, because you question is irrelevant. You don’t make the decision.

    You haven’t…

    And to clarify, by more informed I only mean more informed than me, not that you all are uninformed.

  403. says

    “YOUR OPINION IS IRRELEVANT. YOU HAVEN’T SHOWN IT IS EVEN TO BE CONSIDERED, WHEREAS THE LAW SAYS THE HARASSEE MAKES THE DECISION, NOT YOU. PROVE OTHERWISE BY CITING CASE LAW, OR SHUT THE FUCK UP.” ~ Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    I’m yelling on the internet, YEAH!!!!!!

  404. zhuge, le homme blanc qui ne sait rien mais voudrait says

    I’d be perfectly happy if no one but zhuge ever replied to me – or no one at all. And I’m actually interested in learning more about what happened at PyCon and adjusting my opinion as necessary.

    Those are both awful ideas. I am a straight white dude(it’s mostly in my name: l’homme blanc!) I don’t know this shit, I didn’t study it in school, and I’ve read nearly nothing by major feminist writers, especially compared to the people who post here who aren’t me. If people are yelling at you, trust that they know a hell of a lot more than me and that if they are telling you to fuck off, they have very good reason. I don’t have to deal with this shit in my life and, for a number of reasons relating to my childhood, I have an exceptionally long fuse. It isn’t fair or reasonable to expect most people(or anyone) to be so patient with you.

    That said, you fundamentally know all the facts of PyCon. There’s nothing left to parse there. What you need to learn about is sexism and women in STEM fields. Seriously: http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/cocktail-party-physics/2011/07/20/is-it-cold-in-here/

    Not one paragraph in it mentions double entendres as one of the off putting things that exist on a spectrum contributing to the “chilly climate.”

    Read, learn, stop talking. You don’t know what you’re talking about, and if I can tell you that, it means you REALLY don’t know what you’re talking about.

  405. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    The quotes offered to me were about the misogynistic response like that on 4chan, when I’m talking about what was said at PyCon.

    YOUR OPINION OF THEIR SEXISM IS IRRELEVANT. ONLY THE HARASSEE MAKES THE DECISION. SHOW OTHERWISE WITH CASE LAW. I’m yelling as you appear to be not only deaf, but daft.

  406. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Read, learn, stop talking. You don’t know what you’re talking about, and if I can tell you that, it means you REALLY don’t know what you’re talking about.

    You don’t know what you are talking about. You don’t make the decision. The harassee does. Show otherwise.

  407. mildlymagnificent says

    shirakawasuna

    I also refer to her own account of events, which does not show anything sexist.

    Oh, well that’s alright then.

    Are you serious? I’ve been in meetings where men have managed to make a ‘joke’ by turning the professionally used words of company law into sexually charged idiocy. Anything can be turned in this way by people so inclined. Anything at all.

  408. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I’m yelling on the internet, YEAH!!!!!!

    With dumbshit misogynist trolls, one must get through to them. Tell them they are irrelevant.

  409. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    And to clarify, by more informed I only mean more informed than me, not that you all are uninformed.

    You have been answered. When in doubt, shut the fuck up. You’ll never get into trouble saying nothing. In fact, shutting the fuck up now would be smart. Your ignorance is showing.

  410. Orange Utan says

    From A Few More Thoughts on Adria Richards:

    1. To send a picture was cowardly. Nope. I don’t know Adria Richards, but I feel reasonably confident that she knew damn well that she risked this exact kind of backlash, in nature if not in scope, by taking the approach that she did. She was not a coward. She was brave.

    2. She should have politely asked the guys making sexist jokes to knock it off. Nope. It is a privilege to be able to imagine that politely asking would have stopped their behavior. And it doesn’t matter if in this one specific case it would have, which we cannot know. The context of this situation is that women have been politely (and impolitely) asking men to stop behaving in sexually inappropriate ways for centuries, and asking DOESN’T WORK. In most cases, confronting men who are behaving in sexually inappropriate ways only escalates unsafety, rather than minimizing it. This argument also elides racial power disparities while simultaneously scolding a black woman for her “uppity” behavior.

    3. She should have gone and personally spoken to the conference organizers. Nope. See aforementioned disparities. Also: It was not incumbent on Adria Richards to get up and leave a professional conference and miss part of something she wanted to experience in order to contact the conference organizers. Her approach centered her right to be there.

  411. says

    Zhuge:

    I am a straight white dude(it’s mostly in my name: l’homme blanc!) I don’t know this shit, I didn’t study it in school, and I’ve read nearly nothing by major feminist writers, especially compared to the people who post here who aren’t me.

    You are, however, a decent human being. For as long as you have been here (which is how long I’ve been familiar with you), you have demonstrated a willingness to listen. You have demonstrated a desire and willingness to learn. You have listened. You have learned. You have helped others to understand and become better at this being a decent human being business. No one needs to be an “expert” in these matters. All that’s needed is that desire to be a decent human being and listen and learn how to accomplish that in life.

  412. shirakawasuna says

    From Pteryxx:

    Behaviors that may contribute to a hostile environment include, but are not limited to:

    verbal, non-verbal, and physical sexual behaviors
    coerced sex
    sexual jokes and innuendoes
    remarks about a person’s body
    turning discussions inappropriately to sexual topics
    whistling or cat calls
    looking a person up and down or staring in a sexually suggestive manner
    invading someone’s personal space or blocking her/his path
    sexually explicit visuals such as pin-ups
    suggestions of sexual intimacy
    repeated requests for dates
    unwanted letters, electronic mail or other computer communications
    unwanted gifts
    touching, hugging, massaging, and other gestures or sounds that a reasonable person of the same sex as the recipient would find offensive

    It is important to be aware that in many instances, the intentions of the accused may be regarded as irrelevant in determining whether her/his behaviors constitute sexual harassment; it is the effect of the behavior on the recipient that may define a hostile environment.

    If that’s still not clear to you, feel free to take a copy to your HR department or equivalent and politely ask them to explain.

    That is an extremely qualified list and bolded statement – it’s frankly purposefully vague. If we sum the statement about the list and the bolded statement, then it’s saying that a sexual joke or inuendo may contribute to a hostile environment, which may be determined by the recipient.

    Those are a long ways removed from justifying that the jokes are PyCon were sexist. It effectively comes down to, ‘Adria says the jokes were sexist so we must believe it to be so’.

  413. zhuge, le homme blanc qui ne sait rien mais voudrait says

    Seriously: I get how it can seem weird that making a double entendre can be sexist. I know what my reaction to that would have been a half decade ago: preposterous! We shouldn’t be demonizing sexuality! Take a joke!

    Because as a straight white guy, I don’t have to deal with people objectifying me. When I or anyone make(s) those puns they are always, always on my terms or terms that don’t dehumanize me. So I experience those things very, very differently.

    I mean, all I can say is read women’s own stories. Be empathetic. Consider the things you already know to be true: women can’t walk alone at night or at all and be safe, women always avoid drinking beverages offered to them at parties, one in four women will be raped in her lifetime. Think about how those are very different from your own experiences. How you don’t have to worry if someone offers you a drink, how you can walk outside alone and get away from things, how you can date someone and get into their car without worrying if this will be the last night you haven’t been raped, or your very last night on earth.

    Maybe you’ve seen professors dismiss women asking questions? Maybe you’ve seen people shout over women who are talking. I certainly have. Have you heard a professor joke about using class to scout out a girlfriend? I’ve heard that too. Have you been told your whole life that you don’t need to work hard because you have a nice ass and can get a man to marry you, so don’t bother going into CS?

    And now consider how, in that context, a double entendre might not be so innocuous. How it might be upsetting, demeaning and trivializing. And ask yourself one more question: If that might be the case, is the slight joy I get from saying the joke, and the slight difficulty of self-censorship more important than alienating women?

    Because if your answer is yes, then you are a sexist fuckface, and fuck you? If your answer is no, well, you’ve answered all your questions and you ought to be feeling very silly.

  414. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    If we sum the statement about the list and the bolded statement, then it’s saying that a sexual joke or inuendo may contribute to a hostile environment, which may [is] be determined by the recipient.

    Fixed it for you. That is the law. Your opinion of the law is irrelevant. Nobody cares what you think about the law, but rather that you follow it.

  415. gakxz1 says

    #960- Sorry you’re right, came off as a bit of an ass I’ll admit (ok, part of me might have been going for that…apologies?). I read ~100 comments, then just wanted to add my 5 cents. At any rate, just want to add that, ok, I don’t think it’s wrong to post on twitter; if you see bad things happen, on a daily basis even, you complain any way you can, and twitter would provide that venue. I don’t think that it’s appropriate in every instance though. But that’s not the issue anyway (as far as I see it), it’s the subsequent attacks on her that is. At any rate, I’ll admit, had I read 200 comments, I might change my mind on this too. Going too sleep now…

  416. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Those are a long ways removed from justifying that the jokes are PyCon were sexist. I

    Yes, but they are why your desire to see why they are sexist is irrelevant, and always will be. Your opinion is irrelevant. You have no say. Don’t like it? Deal with it elsewhere.

  417. says

    Zhuge:

    Maybe you’ve seen people shout over women who are talking. I certainly have.

    Mister has an acquaintance that refuses to acknowledge women conversationally. If a woman talks, he won’t look at them and starts talking to the nearest man. The last time he did that around me, Mister looked away and refused to respond to him. Took the guy a while, but he finally noticed and asked Mister what he was doing. Mister said “my wife had something to say about ___”. It was a good point and you’re a goddamn asshole.” Guy said “I don’t talk to women, they’re stupid.” Neither one of us has seen or talked to him since.

  418. Pteryxx says

    shirakawasuna, here’s your problem. You think if you SAY you’re not trolling, that makes it objectively true. You think if you SAY you’re not devaluing Richards, that makes it objectively true. And you think if you SAY something isn’t sexist, then it objectively isn’t. But your refusal to believe someone else’s experience does not constitute reality, accuracy, or facts.

    I am not devaluing how Adria felt in any way by questioning whether something said to her was actually sexist [in my opinion] – I am simply aware of human error [simply think I know better than her about the situation she was in.] I also refer to her own account of events, which does not show [I don't believe counts as] anything sexist.

    I’m fully aware of the pattern of dismissing a victim of sexism, or any other form of discrimination, as oversensitive. It’s a form of blaming the victim. But at some point, the facts of [my interpretation of] the situation must be paramount.

    And your 988:

    If we sum the statement about the list and the bolded statement, then it’s saying that a sexual joke or inuendo may contribute to a hostile environment, which may be determined by the recipient.

    YES. That is how harassment works. Harassment is decided by its effect ON THE RECIPIENT. There is no physics-based sexism-meter, and you will not be able to run a line of text through a program and measure the appropriateness.

  419. gakxz1 says

    …I mean change my mind on the twitter thing I said, not (obviously) on the point that the problem here is the internet chatter, which I’m, in hubris, contributing too. Going to sleep!

  420. shirakawasuna says

    From Tony! The Lonely Queer Shoop:

    You people so hung up on ‘was it sexist?’ or ‘it was inappropriate to tweet the pic’ miss the fact that those questions simply are not important. If women faced substantially less violent responses…if misogynists did not try to silence women who speak out…the questions might be tmore important. Why? Because the reaction would not have pointed to deep seated hatred for women.

    I’m interested in knowing what actually happened a PyCon since I’m concerned about its public perception. This does not mean I’m not interested in or disgusted by the misogynistic responses that Richards received, only that I expected this particular community would be able to quickly disabuse me of my notions, if I was wrong. So far that is not the case, which is solidfying my opinion further, actually – I’m getting pure irrationality and vitriol rather than information.

  421. says

    gakxz1:

    But that’s not the issue anyway (as far as I see it), it’s the subsequent attacks on her that is.

    Yes, that is the issue. Unfortunately, most of this thread has been eaten up by loathsome assholes who insist on blaming Richards for this, that, and the other.

  422. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I’m getting pure irrationality and vitriol rather than information.

    Wrong. You are getting the information about the situation, but not the information you seem to want, which is up in the thread if you go back and actually do your homework.

    The decision as to whether the jokes were sexist/harassment is made the harassee, and she made the call. Your OPINION of those jokes is irrelevant to that call. If you can’t deal with that, which is reality, you have no business posting here.

  423. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    [rhetorical
    Why do irrational sexists like shirakawasuna think there is some absolute standard for defining sexism. The law is plain if they bothered to look. It is relative to the one being harassed, or think they are being harassed. That is the standard.
    [/rhetorical