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Mar 26 2013

Ask an ethicist!

Janet Stemwedel has some opinions on Adria Richards and PyCon. Rational opinions based on a sound understanding of ethics.

163 comments

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  1. 1
    Jackie

    Citizen Radio does a pretty good job talking about this today too.

  2. 2
    Jackie

    …and the author of that piece is already being inundated with commenters telling her how biased she is and how feminists are going to rid the world of humor. Also, sexism is apparently not as bad as shaming sexists.

    Is someone somewhere teaching a class on how to be an entitled, whiny, shitspicket? Because there seems to be a script they follow to the letter.

  3. 3
    Doug Hudson

    Jackie @#2, the basic ideas are incalculated by the patriarchy, the script is spread via comments on websites. Like a virus.

    I like “shitspicket” by the way.

  4. 4
    SallyStrange

    oooh, she mentioned “Bayesian priors.”

    It occurs to me that the concept of “privilege” is shorthand for “People’s Bayesian priors differ.”

    Maybe if we phrased it that way the hyperskeptics would stop bleating about how “privilege” is an unscientific hoax.

  5. 5
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    @Sally Strange

    I think a new word for privilege is a good idea anyway; they’ve developed a knee-jerk reaction to it now. Something appropriately verbose and sciencey-sounding would be great, so “Bayesian priors” would suit perfectly. And it’s a legitimate way of phrasing it! Win!

  6. 6
    zhuge, le homme blanc qui ne sait rien mais voudrait

    Sally, yesyesyesyesyes! That is 100% how I feel about becoming a feminist, anti racist, etc. It was a mere matter of reevaluateing the probability that someone’s expression of pain or other experiences was real or common. I have even described it as exactly that, in exactly those words!

  7. 7
    Rawnaeris, Lulu Cthulhu

    That article is excellent. Bookmarked.

  8. 8
    Anthony K

    Rather than wasting everybody’s time, can the assholes who show up in these threads to jerk off over details just admit that they still fully believe the middle-school narrative that when a man makes a dick joke at a conference (asks a woman for coffee in an enclosed space at 4 AM, or rapes an unconscious girl at a party) it’s because he’s a hapless but non-malicious noob who’s just confused by all the rules for social conduct, but a woman who calls out such behaviour is a scheming, manipulative, gold-digging and attention-seeking harpy.

  9. 9
    docfreeride

    But Anthony K, part of what they’re after is getting us to admit they have a right to waste our time!

    (Also, to tell us to smile.)

  10. 10
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    That piece is excellent. All the idiots on both the Adria Richards threads should have specula inserted and be forced to read it.

  11. 11
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Not to be too much of a smartass (Oops, too late!) but what if Jim Butt shows up and dismisses docfreeride because she is a woman?

  12. 12
    Rey Fox

    Anthony: Our longest-running dipstick in the Ars Technica thread did just that.

  13. 13
    Xaivius (Formerly Robpowell, Acolyte of His Majesty Lord Niel DeGrasse Tyson I)

    I also think this piece is excellent! Seconding the love for the term Bayesian Priors. Some of the comments on the piece are asshat shitspigots who need a good thumping, but there was a good comment on the avoidance of offence being a goal of ritualized socialization, i.e. “good manners”.

    And to anyone who thinks this “escalated quickly,” I’d like to posit that had the one of the two asshats not been fired soon afterwards, noone would have cared. It was only after that little bit that the MRAs actually noticed the twitter post and went fucking apeshit (and jimmies were consequently rustled, and there was much gnashing of the teeth, etc.)

  14. 14
    docfreeride

    BTW, the comments-waiting-in-moderation-that-will-never-make-it-out on the above-linked post is a veritable Who’s Who of commenters banned or spammed on the Adria Richards threads here.

    Am I surprised that their comments do not engage at all with the content of the post? No, I am not. Am I amused that they somehow assumed it would be easier to get a comment approved on my little blog than on Pharyngula? Amused to the point of giggle-fits.

  15. 15
    machintelligence

    Amused to the point of giggle-fits.

    Another phrase worth stealing.

  16. 16
    sonofrojblake

    Really excellent article, and seconding (thirding? whatever, just count me in) the love for the use of “Bayesian priors”. Has the additional advantage that when you use it in conversation with someone for whom it’s unfamiliar, it may cause your interlocutor to go look it up and learn about it, which would be another win. “Privilege” is a word people think they understand and don’t need to educate themselves about. Little danger of that with “Bayesian priors”…

    However (there had to be one), the article had the same flaw for me as all the other discussions I’ve seen on this subject, right in its very very first sentence and again later. And before I quote it, let me state up front that I fully agree with every single other point that article makes. But…

    “By now many of you will have heard the news about Adria Richards attending PyCon, notifying the conference staff about attendees behind her telling jokes”.

    Unless I entirely don’t understand how Twitter works (I don’t use it) – do, please, correct me, because if you do, and you’re right, then my one and only point of contention with this story evaporates – that’s not what happened. It’s repeated later on in the same post as

    She alerted the conference staff to the problem via Twitter

    But again, that is not what she did – is it? And isn’t it a little dishonest to pretend that that is all she did?

    If I understand correctly, those sentences should read along the lines of “she alerted the conference staff, and ten thousand other people, simultaneously”.

    Which is, I think, significantly different.

  17. 17
    docfreeride

    Twitter is the tool that Adria Richards used to inform the PyCon staff of the inappropriate joking that was in progress during the session.

    It was a tool that happened ALSO to share the relevant information with Adria Richards’ Twitter followers.

    And, in the post (and comments) I discuss worries about that being the wrong way to approach the problem. Maybe I don’t come to the conclusion you want me to, but it’s a big internet, and likely someone else will satisfy your need to see Adria Richards condemned for not taking the absolutely optimal and perfectly effective hypothetical course of action you think she ought to have taken.

  18. 18
    Jackie

    Janine @#11,
    Every time I see that I wonder to myself, “When exactly has anyone ever gotten a free ride for being a woman?” I was shocked and disappointed to see that even women within the feminist movement suggest that is the case on occasion. Oddly enough it is when you criticize them for being hypercritical of the words and actions of another woman. That one really makes my brain hurt, because if I was handing out free passes to women, wouldn’t they be getting one too?

    The mind, she boggles.

  19. 19
    unclefrogy

    you know I’m beginning to think that there is the possibility that it may have generated less disruption if she had just stood up and spoke up in a loud clear voice to the offending guys directly to please stop with the dirty jokes and disruptive continuous conversation thus stopping the presentation cold while there was the resultant argument..
    if this is the result of trying not to be disruptive it might be just as well to make as big a scene as possible from the very start.
    I don’t want to be taken wrong but maybe a little less “lady like” behavior would be appropriate.

    uncle frogy
    uncle frogy

  20. 20
    Brandon

    I’m not keen on the use of Bayesian priors in a context that’s not truly stats based. Analogies are fun and all, but if someone’s priors are a complete bag of shit, it’s going to take an awful lot of updating to get them into even the general vicinity of truth. If we’re accepting the idea that people have different Bayesian priors (which is certainly true), we have to accept that some people are going to start with truly stupid priors.

  21. 21
    embraceyourinnercrone

    Slightly perhaps OT but there’s a good blog post on Shakesville by Melissa McEwan about the twitter tag she has started in answer to all the people who insist that Adria Richards should have asked more “privately” and “politely” for the sexual jokes in an inappropriate/professional venue to stop:

    I Asked Politely

    One of the comments on that post really hit the point for me:

    “You can tell a lot about a society’s hierarchy by who is required to be polite. In this situation, it seems to serve the function of reminding both the asker and the askee of the asker’s subordinate status. Demanding that people be polite to people who have been (at very least!) impolite to them beforehand states loud and clear that good behavior is solely the lesser people’s problem.”

  22. 22
    SallyStrange

    if someone’s priors are a complete bag of shit, it’s going to take an awful lot of updating to get them into even the general vicinity of truth. If we’re accepting the idea that people have different Bayesian priors (which is certainly true), we have to accept that some people are going to start with truly stupid priors.

    Right… which is what we mean when we say, “Check your privilege.” Like I said, it’s shorthand. Even “Bayesian priors” is shorthand for “Don’t assume everyone has the same set of experiences you have.”

    Not to mention, using “Bayesian priors” in the context of discussing personal experiences with prejudice and various -isms, it’s hardly divorcing it from statistics. How many times do random men tell you to smile? How many times do they tell me to smile? Of those occasions, how many of those men have flipped the fuck out when I didn’t obey their command? Okay, now you see why I’m pissed off that you told me, a complete stranger, to smile.

    For example.

  23. 23
    SallyStrange

    “You can tell a lot about a society’s hierarchy by who is required to be polite. In this situation, it seems to serve the function of reminding both the asker and the askee of the asker’s subordinate status. Demanding that people be polite to people who have been (at very least!) impolite to them beforehand states loud and clear that good behavior is solely the lesser people’s problem.”

    Gee, I wonder what Dan Fincke has to say about that.

  24. 24
    Donnie

    I seem to be blocked at work to scientopia….this is aka Dr. Free-Ride?

  25. 25
    Donnie

    I think that reading through the comments, Docfreeride, she is. I use to follow her on Scienceblogs before the move. Glad to know where she is at….though stupid work software blocks her site :(

  26. 26
    Asher Kay

    @Brandon

    I’m not keen on the use of Bayesian priors in a context that’s not truly stats based.

    I disagree. It got me thinking, just as it did for @SallyStrange, which makes it worth it, IMO.

    Plus…

    but if someone’s priors are a complete bag of shit, it’s going to take an awful lot of updating to get them into even the general vicinity of truth.

    The fact that the priors have such a large effect is one of the reasons why “Bayesian” describes it so well. The way our minds naturally process prior experience is pretty danged Bayesian in a lot of ways. Which is why bayesian networks/statistics/learning is so effective at modeling human-style prediction/classification/judgements.

    Obviously, I’m qualifying the hell out of that. But it’s really a strong and useful analogy.

  27. 27
    embraceyourinnercrone

    SallyStrange@ 23 I can probably guess what Dan Fincke would have to say but I have never understood that mentality. Why would I be under an obligation to be polite to someone who is being a rude jerk to me?
    “Be Nice” I have found is sometimes highly overrated, I always try to be nice as a default in a neutral situation, and if someone is rude to me I usually try to look at the power dynamics. If the person at the checkout ringing me up at Target is rude, well they probably aren’t having a great day, why would I want to make it worse by getting them in trouble. However if the person who is being rude is some random person who says “Smile, it can’t be that bad!” I am under no obligation to be fake happy for them.

    Being nice, quiet and polite has many times gotten me ignored, talked over/past, had my ideas co-opted, etc. I am raising my daughter to understand that being kind and caring about people is good. Trying to make the world a little better is good, BUT occasionally being thought of as an arrogant bitch is not necessarily a bad thing. I told her a long time ago that since she was short and blonde, people may assume she’s not that bright. (they don’t make that assumption more than once )

  28. 28
    Xaivius (Formerly Robpowell, Acolyte of His Majesty Lord Niel DeGrasse Tyson I)

    @sonofrojblake 16: I disagree. Twitter does not broadcast. One has to find/follow a user on twitter, or have a direct reference to find the tweet in reference, or be included in a @ or # tag. In short, you are, in fact, incorrect. Her tweet was read by her followers, and directly referenced back to the conference through the @ tag. see my post above. It wasn’t until one dingleberry got fired that this was suddenly an issue of ‘naming and shaming.’ Even then, its a lesson in “don’t say shit in public that makes you (or your company) look bad if you don’t want to get called on it later”

  29. 29
    Xaivius (Formerly Robpowell, Acolyte of His Majesty Lord Niel DeGrasse Tyson I)

    @Docfreeride 9, SallyStrange 22: Waitwat? Is it seriously a thing that strangers will ask women to smile? What the fuck? How the fuck did this become a thing? Who the fuck does this shit? WHY?! I’ve never even heard of such things till now. Could someone tell me about this phenomenon, and where these assholes derived that they can ask someone they don’t know to smile and NOT get a “Fuck off, Creep” in response?

    Sorry, but Mind = Full of Fuck at the moment.

  30. 30
    okstop

    SallyStrange… the Bayesian priors thing has just sent me scrambling to reframe my entire lecture on privilege. That is awesome and I will use it every damn semester. You rule.

    @robpowell (#29): I had the same reaction when I heard about that. I had an even worse reaction when I realized I’d done it before, unthinkingly. Women get such a raw fuckin’ deal in this society, it’s not even funny.

  31. 31
    SallyStrange

    @robpowell

    Yup, it is most definitely A Thing.

    Today I saw a website full of artwork, posters, and t-shirts by a woman who got so fed up with random men telling her to smile that she made posters and t-shirts to that effect: “Stop telling women to smile.”

    Why do they do it? Because on some level, they have absorbed the patriarchal message that women’s functions and worth are derived from their ability to give men boners and make babies. Being decorative while in public is a secondary function of giving men boners. Failing to smile mean that you are failing to be adequately decorative in public, and will be met with chastisement. Also, because it allows them to get a little power kick from reminding women of their subordinate social status.

  32. 32
    embraceyourinnercrone

    robpowell @29

    Your question was not addressed to me, but I hope you don’t mind if I take a minute to try to reply. In a word and I am talking about my life experience, Yes. This is a real thing, it happens to me much less now that I am over 50 and a wrinkly older woman (crone) but, when I was younger it happened all the time, as in a couple times a week, average. Some guy (I have only had a woman do this to me once) would pass me on the street, on the bus, be in line with me at oh, 7-11 or be passing me in the passageway on base and say some version of “Smile! It can’t be that bad!” or “Smile! You look like someone died”

    Being the nice, proper catholic-raised young woman I was, I usually smiled politely
    Now I say something alone the lines of ” My dog died, I don’t want to smile today thank” I am sorry my normal “at rest” expression is not pleasing to the world…Oh wait I’m not sorry any more at all.

    For some more examples check out the comments(in the link at my comment @21) to the I Asked Politely post at Shakesville.

    Also for the usually young, usually female people who get the SMILE treatment, responding the way one would like is neither always feasible (if you work in the service industry) or safe (say you are on a bus and the SMILE jerk gets mad you mouthed off and follows you off at your stop).

    I’m in my fifties this isn’t anything new.

  33. 33
    SallyStrange

    Ah, here’s the link to the woman’s blog, with artwork and shirts, and other good stuff. Her name is Tatyana Fazlalizadeh.

    http://fazstreetart.tumblr.com/

  34. 34
    Maureen Brian

    Where have you been, robpowell? Sometimes people ask you to smile: more often they instruct you to smile. Some get mighty upset when you don’t.

    Such people also sit down at the other end of a park bench or bus seat and stretch their legs wider and wider so that they take up 90% of the space and you fall off the end.

    And just in case there are others who have not read A Million Ways to Make a Woman Uncomfortable – never out of print since a week after Seneca Falls – I’m not going to mention any of the other techniques in case it gives someone ideas.

  35. 35
    SallyStrange

    SallyStrange… the Bayesian priors thing has just sent me scrambling to reframe my entire lecture on privilege. That is awesome and I will use it every damn semester. You rule.

    I’d be curious to see the results!

  36. 36
    docfreeride

    On the “Smile!” thing:

    Another grave breach of agency, which is related to the failure to acknowledge consent, boundaries, and autonomy, is telling a woman how to behave. One of the most common complaints among feminist women regarding failures to respect their agency is being told to smile.

    (Or cheer up. Or be happy. Or some variation on that theme.)

    Exhorting a woman to “Smile!” on demand simultaneously suggests ownership—that her existence is only to please you, to do what you want—and robs her entirely of agency. A woman who is not smiling has, as does every human being, reason to not be smiling. To bark a command, no matter how “charming,” that she should ignore her own life experience and emotions in order to please like a performing pony, is just an absolute clusterfuck of contempt for agency by someone who, intentionally or not, positions himself as her master.

    Essentially, what SallyStrange said @31.

    And it happens all. The. Time.

  37. 37
    Inaji

    Rob:

    Waitwat? Is it seriously a thing that strangers will ask women to smile?

    All. The. Damn. Time. Hell, I’m 55 and I still get it. When I was younger, it was almost constant. “Can’t be that bad, smile!” “You’d look much prettier if you smiled!” and so on. We’re treated like decorative ornaments.

  38. 38
    okstop

    @SallyStrange (#35):

    Well, it’ll require introducing the concept of Bayesian epistemology to my ethics students, but I’m willing to do a thumbnail sketch of the topic just so I can get this term stuck in their heads. It’s beautiful, it’s perfect, it captures everything relevant about the whole privilege problem. But I’ll give a shout out when I get the lecture rewritten.

  39. 39
    SallyStrange

    Hey, Doc Freeride, your signature’s link goes to a 404 page. Just so you know.

    Thanks for commenting here, BTW! I really appreciated it.

  40. 40
    Asher Kay

    Okay — I apologize for the nerdiness of this in advance.

    The bayesian thing really got me thinking about what probabilities would be at work if someone were making a real, bayesian-style decision about whether to go the “ask politely” route. It is pretty interesting (well, to me anyway).

    What the person is looking for is basically something like: What is the probability that the doodbros are amenable to being “asked politely” given that they are making sexual jokes during a presentation (which really means: the likelihood that it will be *effective* to “ask politely”). To use Bayes’ theorem on this, you’d need the following:

    1. The probability that any random group of doodbros is amenable to being asked politely in general.

    2. The probability that a random group of doodbros is *not* amenable to being asked politely (basically, the complement of #1)

    3. The probability that doodbros are making sexual jokes during a presentation given that they are amenable to being “asked politely” (A looser way of phrasing this would be, “what are the chances that people who are amenable to politeness are behaving very impolitely during a presentation?”).

    These are the questions one is consciously or semi-consciously evaluating — even if one is only vaguely thinking in a Bayesian way (which we very often do). What kind of number would you give for question #3?

    So now imagine asking one of the lovely miscreants from the other Richards threads to give numbers for these. First, they’d be making guesses about what percentage of doodbros in general are amenable. Being experts on all thing manly, I assume that they’d feel supremely confident in their numbers, and that their number for #1 would be large (near 1.0). But what are the chances that their number would be based on *real, repeated experience* of *actually asking other doodbros politely to stop being douches*?

    Next, they’d be guessing at #3 — a number that is *contextual* to the situation of sexual jokes being told *during a fricking presentation*.

    Now, if you participated in the other Richards thread, you will have a pretty good estimate of the ability of said miscreants to appreciate context (spoiler alert: near zero). But beyond that, it is again an estimate that is honed by repeated experience — this time with the behavior of men who are known to be basically decent people who don’t get nasty when called out. And if our miscreants have such experience, it is definitely with people other than themselves.

    So…. Even if there’s no statistically precise way to assign probabilities, it’s pretty clear that someone’s prior experience will weigh very heavily in their estimates, and that a person with a lot of experience will have more accurate estimates.

  41. 41
    Xaivius (Formerly Robpowell, Acolyte of His Majesty Lord Niel DeGrasse Tyson I)

    All the replies! O.O

    Apparently my parents raised me right or something, because that just wasn’t a thing. Honestly, I know I was raised in a strange home (Atheist only child in eastern Washington state, out in the boonies) but one of the big things was ‘Thou shalt not impose thyself upon others’, as my mother put it. Invading someone’s privacy to dictate their actions was seriously verboten.

    @Maureen Brian 34: Apparently, according to my friends, it really isn’t as much of a thing here. But mostly, I think it’s just being dense combined with white and male.

  42. 42
    Maureen Brian

    You’re living proof, robpowell, that being and arsehole or a dudebro is not an inevitable result of evolution but learned behaviour, er, just like politeness.

    Well done!

  43. 43
    okstop

    @Asher (#40):

    Hell, I’ll just steal that for my lecture! Awesome!

  44. 44
    docfreeride

    SallyStrange, thanks for the heads-up on the bad link — fixed now. Also, I lurk here a lot, but don’t usually comment on account of the Horde having it under control and having to attend to other stuff. (At present, I have commenting time because we’re on Spring Break and I’m pretending I don’t have piles of papers to grade.)

    Asher Kay @40, awesome back-of-envelope calculations for that particular circumstance!

    robpowell @41, call your family and thank them. Also, feel free to be vocal in expressing your incredulity to those you observe behaving in ways that don’t respect other people’s comfort, boundaries, or humanity. It could help wake them up.

  45. 45
    Asher Kay

    @okstop @docfreeride: Thanks!

    I should mention that for simplicity, I left out question #4: the probability doodbros are making sexual jokes during a presentation given that they are douches (i.e., don’t respond well to politeness). I assumed the complement of #3, but that’s not necessarily the case in all situations involving doodbros and douchiness.

  46. 46
    crumbumcorvette

    Im sorry I just don’t get how when a person gets offended by a dick joke im supposed to be on their side? We should judge what the person is offended by shouldnt we?

  47. 47
    Inaji

    Im sorry I just don’t get how when a person gets offended by a dick joke im supposed to be on their side? We should judge what the person is offended by shouldnt we?

    Oh FFS. Did you bother to read the article? Let me guess: no. We are over our quota of assholes who are looking for nothing except being able to blame Ms. Richards and want to argue that “that’s not sexist!” Go away and do some damn reading.

  48. 48
    crumbumcorvette

    Oh FFS. Did you bother to read the article? Let me guess: no. We are over our quota of assholes who are looking for nothing except being able to blame Ms. Richards and want to argue that “that’s not sexist!” Go away and do some damn reading.

    That wasnt helpful at all. I did read the article I just dont get it. Number 2 in the article is trying to answer this but it doesnt. People are offended by lots of stupid things ie gay marriage, womens rights, two guys telling techie dick jokes, and teaching science in schools. With all off these things we judge the merits of the what these people get offended by

  49. 49
    Xaivius (Formerly Robpowell, Acolyte of His Majesty Lord Niel DeGrasse Tyson I)

    @Maureen Brian 42: I thought it was just being a decent person? Gah. This sort of praise, even when sarcastic, reminds me of Chris Rock’s “You don’t get a fucking cookie for not beating your kids.”

    @docfreeride: As much as my mother and I might have argued and fought, she did impart a lot of good advice and standards on me. As to calling others out, I tend to do so, and rudely. Especially my brother-in-law, who, despite being 18 with 2 progressive sisters, is turning into an MRA.

    On a side note, I’ve noticed that there seems to be zero male-gendered insults. It’s odd and disturbing. The gendered insults for men are removal of masculinity or implication of being feminine. I’ve been working on removing gendered insults from vocabulary and just concentrating on bodily functions/vulgarity for my profanities.

  50. 50
    Xaivius (Formerly Robpowell, Acolyte of His Majesty Lord Niel DeGrasse Tyson I)

    @crumbumcorvette 48: Let me break this down for you: Woman attends tech conference. During a talk specifically about engaging women and minorities in tech, man tells dick joke to buddy loudly enough for her to hear. She reports this to the conference through twitter, which has words with both of the men. Woman later receives death threats, which is about par for the course, and completely fucking unacceptable. Your searching for some reason to discredit this shows a need of some sort to protect this status quo. Docfreeride, and the vast majority of commenters here, vehemently disagree, and believe that this situation must be changed in order to achieve equality.

  51. 51
    okstop

    @crumbumcorvette (#48):

    Alright. I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt, here, and assume you’re legitimately confused and legitimately looking for an answer to this.

    Yes, it’s absolutely true that we don’t care if fundies are offended by teaching evolution, but we do care if a woman is offended by sexually-crude humor. And we do judge based on the substance of the offending material. That is correct. But calling sexually-crude humor “a dick joke” actually distorts the situation. Here’s the differentiating principle: if the act is one that contributes to the furtherance of a social arrangement that has been independently decided to be unjust, we care about people being offended by it. And whether you know it or like it or not, “dick jokes” do this.

    There’s scads of evidence that show that sexist language helps maintain and reinforce social norms that are financially, socially, emotionally, psychologically, and just generally damaging to women. “Dick jokes” are a form of sexist language. So, we are morally obligated to pay heed when someone is offended by this kind of stuff, whereas we would not be morally obligated to pay heed if someone were offended by, say, my choice to wear flip-flops rather than shoes.

    That’s really it. If you want further information, I recommend Ann Cudd’s superb “Analyzing Oppression.”

  52. 52
    daniellavine

    @crumbcorvette:

    Note that no one is denying that creationists are offended by the teaching of evolution, nor is anyone denying their right to complain about this, etc. etc. Whether or not anyone finds their complaints to have any merit is beside the point.

    The guys making the dick jokes agree they were acting inappropriately under the circumstances; why do you doubt their perspective given they were the ones making the jokes and dealing with the consequences?

    @robpowell and everyone in the “smile” discussion:

    Ophelia has written a couple things about this phenomenon.

    Old
    New

  53. 53
    crumbumcorvette

    What status Quo am I protecting? That people shouldnt be publicly shamed for a telling their friend a pg-13 dick joke. Oh and apparently Adria tells dick jokes her twitter for the public to see so she was offended that these two guys were telling each other a dick joke because obviously she is the most rational person on the planet. Im hoping you dont think im pro death threat but if you do let me break this down for you: Just because I think Adria is stupid doesnt mean im giving her death threats or that I advocate giving her death threats. Also just because she is getting death threats doesnt mean she is right about the first incident where she publicly shamed two people for telling dick jokes.

  54. 54
    okstop

    @crumbumcorvette (#53):

    If you ask a question, then ignore the answer, you’re a troll. I gave you the benefit of the doubt that you weren’t, but your current behavior is not bearing out that gamble. It’s already been explained to you that the joke just in itself is not what the men were being shamed for, because the joke is part of a larger social phenomenon that these men were – consciously or not – participating in.

    Basically, it goes like this: the dick jokes are – whether they were meant to be or not – an acting out of the systems of male dominance in society. Perpetrating male dominance in society is shame-worthy. Ergo, it was permissible for Richards to have shamed them.

    You’re not going to budge me on premise #1 – I’ve read too much on the subject to come to any other conclusion. Premise #2 should be obvious to anyone with a working moral conscience. The conclusion follows directly.

  55. 55
    JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness

    #53 crumbumcorvette

    What status Quo am I protecting? That people shouldnt be publicly shamed for a telling their friend a pg-13 dick joke.

    That’s not what happened. She didn’t shame them. She just said “not cool guys”. She notified the conference employees of inappropriate behavior at a professional conference in a way as to not disturb the current speaker. Any shame they feel is their own doing, their own fault and is completely warranted since they were acting like jerks.

    Oh and apparently Adria tells dick jokes her twitter for the public to see so she was offended that these two guys were telling each other a dick joke because obviously she is the most rational person on the planet.

    That’s not what happened. Did you read the fucking tweet or just following your ignorant MRA script? Who ever writes that up needs to go back to school, so you don’t look so fucking incompetent at basic writing skills.

    Go read the first two threads about this topic dipshit.

  56. 56
    crumbumcorvette

    If you ask a question, then ignore the answer, you’re a troll.

    I havent even responded to you yet.

  57. 57
    daniellavine

    crumbcorvette@53:

    Is there no greater injustice in the world to complain about than the public shaming of two guys making dick jokes?

    Also, if they weren’t doing anything wrong how does pointing out what they were doing constitute “shaming”? That’s a question I have yet to see answered by people taking your line.

  58. 58
    daniellavine

    crumbcorvette@56:

    We don’t know who the fuck you’re responding to if you don’t tell us.

  59. 59
    okstop

    @crumbumcorvette (#56):

    First, what daniellavine (#58) said. Amen.

    Second, my reply in #51 obviates several of the things you claim or assume in #53. If you’d read and understood my reply, you’d have realized your whole line in #53 is absurd.

  60. 60
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    Oh and apparently Adria tells dick jokes her twitter for the public to see so she was offended that these two guys were telling each other a dick joke because obviously she is the most rational person on the planet.

    Even if she had made sexual jokes on her twitter, it’s all about context. She wasn’t in a professional conference event, like the two men in question were. And hello, they admitted they were at fault. Feck.

  61. 61
    Inaji

    This was a good discussion until assholecorvette waltzed in to ruin it.

  62. 62
    yazikus

    @robpowell

    (Atheist only child in eastern Washington state, out in the boonies)

    Do you mind if I ask where in the eastern WA boonies?
    As for the smiling thing, I love a response a commenter mentioned on Ophelia’s blog, “I’m not your monkey!”. Because that is essentially what they are doing.

  63. 63
    okstop

    We can go back to ignoring him. Frankly, I’d rather. It’s an approach I decided on when I first started teaching in grad school. I call it “Life Flunking.”

    I was trying to reach EVERY KID in class, when one of my mentors told me that just wasn’t possible. Some are beyond your help. Maybe not forever, but certainly for the current semester. So, after a certain point, I don’t really bother any more. Either the kid helps his or her self or not. I don’t close off any opportunities, but I sure as shit don’t exert myself after that point has been reached. Kids in that situation usually flunk the class, and that’s fine. The exact way my mentor put it was, “Well, shit, man. Sometimes kids flunk.” It really was wisdom.

    So that’s how I deal with people in the world, too. Shit, man. Sometimes kids flunk. Dipshit Corvette flunks. I’m done. Kicking the dust off my sandals, as the Xtians might say.

    It really does help keep me sane, by reminding me not to get into interminable arguments with morons.

  64. 64
    Xaivius (Formerly Robpowell, Acolyte of His Majesty Lord Niel DeGrasse Tyson I)

    @crumbumcorvette 53:

    What status Quo am I protecting? That people shouldnt be publicly shamed for a telling their friend a pg-13 dick joke.

    What public shame? She sent a @ callout on twitter because two assholes were violating the code of conduct at a con, and loudly enough that if she could hear them, so could others. The shame didn’t come until later

    Oh and apparently Adria tells dick jokes her twitter for the public to see so she was offended that these two guys were telling each other a dick joke because obviously she is the most rational person on the planet.

    Tu quoque

    Im hoping you dont think im pro death threat

    By these statements, you, in fact, are. The rest of the argument writes itself. Please proceed to implode in a angry ball of testosterone fueled rage and mansplain to me why you’re not a steaming shitspigot.

  65. 65
    John Morales

    crumbumcorvette:

    Also just because she is getting death threats doesnt mean she is right about the first incident where she publicly shamed two people for telling dick jokes.

    You have that backwards; just because she she publicly shamed two people for telling dick jokes* doesn’t mean getting death threats is ethically conscionable.

    * It’s irrelevant whether or not she was correct in so doing.

  66. 66
    PatrickG

    @ Brandon:

    Just another person loving the Bayesian priors suggestions, precisely because of the sentence you follow your objection to (slightly paraphrased):

    “Everyone has differing Bayesian priors. Yours, however, are truly stupid.”

    The baffled response by our oh-so-erudite trolls would be massively entertaining. Would send me into giggle-fits! (also shamelessly stolen)

    @ crumbumcorvette:

    If you’re sincere in your expression of bafflement, be very aware that there are already two threads with close to 4000 comments filled with people who are extremely … insincere.

    If you get a hostile response, realize you’re walking into a pre-existing hostile situation. If you really don’t get it, read those threads. I, for one, have zero interest in rehashing them again (and again!) here. Nor interest in being patient if you continue to “just ask questions” here.

    Again, if you don’t understand, and want to comment… read those threads first.

  67. 67
    crumbumcorvette

    Is there no greater injustice in the world to complain about than the public shaming of two guys making dick jokes?

    You see this is blog entry about particular incident but yes there are greater injustices.

    Also, if they weren’t doing anything wrong how does pointing out what they were doing constitute “shaming”? That’s a question I have yet to see answered by people taking your line.

    She took a picture of the guys and explained to the internet that these guys were doing something wrong. One of these guys lost his job because of it and people are saying what they did was shameful so thats why I would call it shaming. I dont think its shameful but thats because im not offended by this. In Ohio with the rape case that girl got shamed for drinking and wearing seductive clothing but just because I dont think she did anything wrong doesnt mean she isnt getting shamed by stupid assholes. I know this isnt the best comparison but what im trying to say is that shaming occurs even if the person did nothing wrong.

  68. 68
    John Morales

    [meta]

    PatrickG, for someone loving the Bayesian priors suggestions, you sure don’t seem to apply them well.

    (crumbumcorvette’s stink of troll)

  69. 69
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    You see this is blog entry about particular incident but yes there are greater injustices.

    Have you ever complained about anything anywhere that wasn’t someone literally being murdered? What gave you the nerve to complain, when there are always “bigger problems”?

  70. 70
    yazikus

    I know this isnt the best comparison

    This may possibly be the biggest understatement. Ever.

  71. 71
    SallyStrange

    BTW, Robpowell, I will also mention that the “Smile!” thing seems to occur MUCH more frequently in densely populated areas. I grew up a rural part of NY State and never really encountered it until I started living in cities.

  72. 72
    glodson

    You see this is blog entry about particular incident but yes there are greater injustices.

    What an original argument. The whole “hey, there exist another problem that is worse so let’s not even address this” isn’t a totally dishonest way of trying to deflect off the issue.

  73. 73
    Xaivius (Formerly Robpowell, Acolyte of His Majesty Lord Niel DeGrasse Tyson I)

    @yazikus 62: Lower yakima-valley/columbia basin, I-82 corridor. There’s a few small towns out there. Still work there. Living in the Tri-cities these days.

    @John Morales 65: Tu quoque is a huge fallacy in these cases, and entirely used as a distraction from the main issue (in this case, the real issue is not name and shame, but HUGE FUCKING DEATH THREATS.) I’m going to repeat your sentiment: It does not matter how Adria reported it, it was the fact that when she did and something happened, she was almost immediately besieged with threats. The matter of the methodology of her reporting is quibbling over the brand of pyrex slides used in finding the cure for AIDS.

  74. 74
    daniellavine

    crumbumcorvette@67:

    First of all, I already asked why you disagree with the assessments of the gentlemen in question who seem to agree their behavior was inappropriate. Don’t you think they’d have a better sense of this than you would since they were there, they were the ones engaged in the behavior, and they dealt with the consequences?

    She took a picture of the guys and explained to the internet that these guys were doing something wrong.

    So?

    One of these guys lost his job because of it and people are saying what they did was shameful so thats why I would call it shaming.

    This is not actually true. SendGrid fired one of the gentlemen but not both suggesting to me that the one who was fired was not fired for this reason, or at any rate not fired for this reason alone. Of course, SendGrid didn’t specify why they fired him because doing so would expose them to legal liability. But that also means you can’t honestly claim he was fired because of this. You just don’t know that.

    I dont think its shameful but thats because im not offended by this. In Ohio with the rape case that girl got shamed for drinking and wearing seductive clothing but just because I dont think she did anything wrong doesnt mean she isnt getting shamed by stupid assholes. I know this isnt the best comparison but what im trying to say is that shaming occurs even if the person did nothing wrong.

    Yeah, it’s really not a very good comparison. Let’s put it this way: what would you say is the difference between “shaming” and “calling out bad behavior”? We can agree that “calling out bad behavior” is a fair thing to do right?

    We should also acknowledge that not everyone agrees on what constitutes “bad behavior” so that sometimes someone with a different idea of “bad behavior” might call out bad behavior in an instance where we disagree. On what basis do you think we can shame, say, patent trolls or rapists if we can’t call out bad behavior even in instances where others think the behavior wasn’t so bad?

  75. 75
    PatrickG

    @ crumbumcorvette:

    It’s becoming very obvious you haven’t even read the linked article. Here’s a handy quote from the second paragraph of the linked article:

    Subsequently, one of them was fired by his employer, although it’s in no way clear that he was fired on account of this incident (or even if this incident had anything to do with the firing)

    Now, I’m only speaking for myself. Maybe there’s someone here who sincerely wants to engage you. I’m not one of those people, and until a regular tells me to shut up so they can talk to you…. well, here’s where I’m coming from:

    Once again, this is dealt with at length in the threads that have already discussed these issues. If you want to “innocently ask questions”, you’re in the wrong place for that. Because those questions have been dealt with.

    Here, have a couple links to the threads in question:

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2013/03/24/ars-technica-weighs-in-on-adria-richards-and-flaunts-a-double-standard/ note the 1255 comments

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2013/03/22/adria-richards-did-everything-exactly-right/ note the 1950 comments

    Nothing you’re saying is new. Nothing you’re saying hasn’t been dealt with in those threads. Go read them, if you’re sincerely confused. Just don’t mind the profanity.

    Speaking of which, firing up my profanity machine… got a feeling it might be needed.

  76. 76
    glodson

    I dont think its shameful but thats because im not offended by this. In Ohio with the rape case that girl got shamed for drinking and wearing seductive clothing but just because I dont think she did anything wrong doesnt mean she isnt getting shamed by stupid assholes. I know this isnt the best comparison but what im trying to say is that shaming occurs even if the person did nothing wrong.

    So… you are comparing the case where guys took pictures of an unconscious girl and posted them online as they raped her and Richards taking the picture of two unnamed guys in order to report their comments to the PyCon people?

    Yea….

  77. 77
    daniellavine

    Portia@69:

    To be fair, I’m the one invoking “bigger problems” here, crumbum is just responding.

  78. 78
    daniellavine

    @crumbumcorvette:

    Yeah, read the links in the OP and at PatrickG’s 75. The fact that you’re claiming that the guy got fired over this indicates either:
    1. You’re not paying close attention to the factual details of the event.
    or
    2. You’re a lying shitweasel.

    Either way I’m kinda tired of this shit and don’t want to deal with you right now.

  79. 79
    yazikus

    @robpowell
    Ah the Tri-Cities… Such an interesting place! Something about “has the most PHD’s per-capita of any city in America” right? And wine.

  80. 80
    PatrickG

    @ daniellavine:

    I’m betting #2, but really, #1 isn’t exactly a proud place for anyone to be at this point, either.

    In any case, my FuckSpewer 9000 is happily purring away. All the profanity in the world, just waiting to be hooked up. :P

  81. 81
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    Daniellavine @77

    Fair enough. Sorry I missed that bit in your earlier comment (or it just didn’t register). Sad though, that xe thinks that on the scale of things, “someone pointed out they made a dick joke” is higher on the scale of important problems than “a woman is getting death threats for a personnel decision she had nothing to do with.”

    Blarg.

  82. 82
    daniellavine

    SallyStrange@71:

    I wonder if that has to do with something I read in Jane Jacobs’ “Death and Life of Great American Cities” — that one of the things that makes a city a city is the fact that a city is full of people who don’t know each other (i.e. strangers).

    Maybe people in cities deal with so many strangers that they feel more entitled to time and other things from strangers whereas in less urbanized areas it’s understood that you leave strangers alone.

  83. 83
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    Maybe people in cities deal with so many strangers that they feel more entitled to time and other things from strangers whereas in less urbanized areas it’s understood that you leave strangers alone.

    …as a person who has lived in rural areas most of my life and spent three in the third largest city in the U.S., my personal anecdata would defeat this hypothesis to a laughable extent. There’s way more “leave everyone to their own business” in the big city. Whereas here, I get comments about my lights being on or not, my front door being open, where my car is parked….on and on. And no one tells me to smile walking down the street. Possibly because I know them if I see them so I’m going to smile anyway. All that said, I’m not sure what would contribute to the disparity.

  84. 84
    daniellavine

    Portia@81:

    That’s how I feel too. There must be a reason that so many people want to focus on Richards’ actions here and that reason obviously isn’t the wrongfulness of those actions — I agree she wasn’t exactly in the right but even from that perspective she didn’t do anything particularly heinous. The moral equivalent of eating your roommate’s ice cream or something. So I wanted to ask just to see if I could get crumbum to ask himself why he’s so obsessed over Richards when there’s, you know, much worse stuff to worry about probably in his own life let alone on the internet.

    But fair’s fair, and if I’m not going to accept the “there’s bigger problems” argument then no one should have to accept it from me either. Fair point to crumbum from my perspective.

  85. 85
    John Morales

    [meta + OT]

    PatrickG, you are a regular.

  86. 86
    profpedant

    “I’ve noticed that there seems to be zero male-gendered insults. It’s odd and disturbing.”

    I can think of two off of the top of my head: “Don’t be a dick” and “He is such a prick”.

    It is interesting that those two male-gendered insults are roughly equivalent to “Don’t be a jerk”….but that “Don’t be a pussy” is roughly equivalent to “Don’t be a weakling”….particularly since many men seem to think that the best way to demonstrate that they are not ‘weak’ is to ‘be a jerk’. (“Don’t be a bitch” has some connotations of “don’t be a jerk”, but it seems to also have connotations of “do as you are told” or “shut up”.)

  87. 87
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    But fair’s fair, and if I’m not going to accept the “there’s bigger problems” argument then no one should have to accept it from me either. Fair point to crumbum from my perspective.

    Didn’t mean to defeat you when you’re doing good work. : ) There are lots of other fronts to fight on, and I think you’re doing a great job.

    Myself, I don’t think she did anything wrong. I think it was JAL who point out in the “she did everything right” thread that women lose without direct evidence. (As distinct from circumstantial, which is when you say someone said something). There was nothing she should have done better, imo.

  88. 88
    daniellavine

    Portia@87:

    I think that’s also a defensible perspective. Let me amend myself:

    “No worse than the moral equivalent of stealing your roommate’s ice cream.”

  89. 89
    Xaivius (Formerly Robpowell, Acolyte of His Majesty Lord Niel DeGrasse Tyson I)

    @yazikus 79: We have PhDs coming out our ears, and I happen to work for a bunch of them. Fun times! The wine industry up here has taken off in a big way. Lots of Napa trained guys moving up here to open up and produce some really nice vintages! =D

    @SallyStrange 71: I think that follows as well. My wife informs me that she doesn’t see it terribly often, but her younger female cousin complains of it, so it might just be an age gap thing. Few friends in Seattle say they’ve experienced it as well, but one said it was MUCH worse in Atlanta.

    @daniellavine 52: Thanks for the links! Really helps to put that matter in perspective. Reminds me of an anecdote from some site (not sure where, possibly NotAlwaysRight?) about a woman tending the counter at a store, where a male customer refused to deal with her, demanding to speak with “The man in charge.” She was the store manager. That blew my mind that someone could be that fucking rude. Oh my naivete

  90. 90
    PatrickG

    @ John Morales: I just wanted to make it clear that my impending storm of SHIT FUCK IDIOT would be averted if anybody *I* recognize as a regular wanted to continue engaging with that particular series of comments.

    But thanks. :)

  91. 91
    jacobvfox

    What a great bunch of comments, responses and discussion, and thanks to those who mentioned and expounded on men telling women to smile. I can’t imagine telling any stranger to smile and the more I think about it the more condescending and pejorative the practice seems. Also I wonder if the smile command is more prevalent in some parts of the country than others because I don’t have a recollection of hearing it much around here.

  92. 92
    jacobvfox

    And by around here I mean a small fairly liberal city about half way between Seattle and Vancouver BC.

  93. 93
    Delft

    The smile thing:
    Does anyone know of an article that explains why it’s sexist? I’d need a short and simple version for people with a short attention span (Shakesville is too advanced).
    I really want to send a link to my boss who does it all. the. time. God, I loathe it! I have tried to explain, not from the sexism angle, just that it disrespects my feelings (as the most frequent victim). But I know he believes he’s just trying to make me feel better…

  94. 94
    yazikus

    @delft
    There are a lot of really good comments on the article Ophelia wrote the other day: http://freethoughtblogs.com/butterfliesandwheels/2013/03/he-was-just-trying-to-compliment-you/#comments Sorry for the ugly link.

  95. 95
    yazikus

    @jacobvfox There was some discussion of why it may be more prevalent in cities, where most people don’t know each other, rather than small towns where you may have to see them again. I’ve found as well that the West Side has a reputation for frowny people (the rain, don’t cha know) so maybe that is why it happens less- fear of being snapped at? Then again, the link from Ophelia’s article was by a woman from Seattle I think… So there goes that theory.

  96. 96
    Maureen Brian

    Hey, robpowell, I wasn’t getting at you. I admit the tone was a bit sarky – sorry – but that was meant to be a modicum of praise. Dang, failed again!

  97. 97
    mildlymagnificent

    Dunno, Delft.

    “trying to make me feel better”?! Better than what? I presume this same person would react with the usual horror if you responded to a conventional “How are you today” with not a conventional “Fine. Thanks.” but with a detailed rundown of every single health, family and personal problem that was besetting you at the time.

    If someone wants to make another ‘feel better’ because their interpretation of a facial expression is that the person is unhappy or in pain, the right thing to do is to ensure you don’t make things any worse for them. Giving them a direct instruction to look brighter is the exact opposite of this. It’s intended to make them feel good. And that is disregarding or over-riding how the not-wonderful-facial-expression’s owner feels right then.

    (I remember being strangely pleased one day in the lift. A bloke I knew was also there and I regarded him as a bit boofy and insensitive. We exchanged the usual how-are-yous and fine-thank-yous, at which point he said, “You’re lying, aren’t you.” I was, as usual, suffering from back and joint pain but I tried to just get on with things, but this man, who wasn’t any kind of close friend, readily picked up that I was feeling unwonderful. Nothing more was said or came of it, but it was oddly comforting.)

  98. 98
    Delft

    @yazikus
    Thanks for the link.
    Interesting, but he wouldn’t get it. As he’s not a random stranger, and “asks nicely” or smiles / jokes to try and make me smile, he wouldn’t see the connection.
    But of course he gets upset if I don’t play.

  99. 99
    mudpuddles

    caine (#37)

    All. The. Damn. Time. Hell, I’m 55 and I still get it. When I was younger, it was almost constant. “Can’t be that bad, smile!” “You’d look much prettier if you smiled!” and so on. We’re treated like decorative ornaments.

    Just from my own experience here in Ireland and the UK, this is said to guys a lot here too – mostly by other guys and occasionally by women. And its bloody annoying. Not too long ago, sitting in a pub with a few friends, some random stranger told one of us “smile! it might never happen!”. When they were out of earshot we all groaned and muttered “fuck off!” It always comes off as a weird and pretty obnoxious intrusion, as well as being bloody insulting and extremely condescending. Worst was when someone said that same sentence to me when I was sitting on my own in a cafe. My dad had passed away a few days previously, so if I looked like I needed a smile there was a good reason and none of their beeswax. Wankers.

    And if its said out of the blue to someone who’s otherwise actually feeling like its a pretty good day, it just about pisses on their corn flakes, doesn’t it?

  100. 100
    Delft

    @mildlymagnificent
    No, if I want to pour out all my troubles he is sympathetic, and tries to help.
    But I don’t necessarily want to. And I don’t want to have to justify my not smiling.

  101. 101
    daniellavine

    @mildlymagnificent:

    (I remember being strangely pleased one day in the lift. A bloke I knew was also there and I regarded him as a bit boofy and insensitive. We exchanged the usual how-are-yous and fine-thank-yous, at which point he said, “You’re lying, aren’t you.” I was, as usual, suffering from back and joint pain but I tried to just get on with things, but this man, who wasn’t any kind of close friend, readily picked up that I was feeling unwonderful. Nothing more was said or came of it, but it was oddly comforting.)

    A lyric from the one song I’ve actually written (and probably the cleverest thing I’ve ever come up with):

    I’m glad
    To hear you’re doing well
    You ask about me
    Do you wanna know
    Or is that just some
    Fancy way of saying hello?
    I’m mad

    (It’s a song about being mad)

  102. 102
    daniellavine

    Back to smiling, Portia’s comments on my idea about strangers has made me revise my thinking. My hypothesis now is simply that higher population density means more assholes per square mile.

    mudpuddles’ comment made me realize that the “smile” thing isn’t always sexist. Sometimes it’s just obnoxious.

    I think this guy had something worthwhile to say about it.

  103. 103
    ck

    profpedant wrote:

    It is interesting that those two male-gendered insults are roughly equivalent to “Don’t be a jerk”

    The other male-gendered insults tend to be euphemisms for male masturbation. i.e. wanker, jerk, etc.

  104. 104
    carlie

    The smile thing:
    Does anyone know of an article that explains why it’s sexist? I’d need a short and simple version for people with a short attention span

    Do they say it to men? If not, why not? Those are good questions to make them stop short and think for a minute. They won’t be able to come up with a good answer, but you can respond with “if you wouldn’t say it to men, you shouldn’t say it to women either”. There’s no good retort I can think of to that.

    Or you can take the angle that besides being sexist, it’s just plain rude. There are all kinds of stories out there of people (all women of course) being told to “Smile!” or “Cheer up, nothing’s that bad!” when they’re on the way home from the hospital watching their parent die or something. If they’re not smiling, they probably have a reason for that, and it’s their reason and it’s not your business. If you really think you have to make small talk, and you really think you want to cheer someone up, say something nice about the weather or something – don’t just demand that they exhibit outward signs of happiness on your cue. (I know you don’t, it’s the “you” you can use on others)

  105. 105
    Inaji

    Mudpuddles:

    Worst was when someone said that same sentence to me when I was sitting on my own in a cafe. My dad had passed away a few days previously, so if I looked like I needed a smile there was a good reason and none of their beeswax. Wankers.

    Jesus, I’m so sorry. It’s inexcusably obnoxious, no matter who it’s directed at, and I think snotty retorts are about the only way to deal with it. One I’ve used before is “I’ll smile when you go away.”

  106. 106
    mildlymagnificent

    If you really think you have to make small talk, and you really think you want to cheer someone up, say something nice about the weather or something – don’t just demand that they exhibit outward signs of happiness on your cue. (I know you don’t, it’s the “you” you can use on others)

    Bu … bu …. but carlie! How could you!

    You mean it’s up to the person making the comment to make an effort to brighten the non-smiling person’s day. That can’t be right. It’s supposed to be the non-smiler who makes all the effort.

    Isn’t it?

  107. 107
    JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness

    #105
    Caine, Fleur du mal

    Jesus, I’m so sorry. It’s inexcusably obnoxious, no matter who it’s directed at, and I think snotty retorts are about the only way to deal with it. One I’ve used before is “I’ll smile when you go away.”

    Agreed, I HATE being told “smile” or “be happy” or “it couldn’t be that bad!” Like they even give a fuck why I’m not smiling. Whenever I go the route of “Oh, so I should smile when [insert problems]” they act like I’m just so hysterical. *snort*

    I’ve gotten to just doing the stare down or straight ignoring them. Either making them look at how unhappy I am or making them realize just how many fucks I give about how they feel about it.

    Or if I really want to creep them out I start with the dead stare and slowly start the smile on one side….
    *evil grin*

    I’d try snappy retorts but I’m not good at that sort of thing in meatspace. Fucking assholes.

  108. 108
    JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness

    Er, I meant the people telling others to smile are the fucking assholes, not you Caine. That didn’t come out right at the end of my last comment. =/

  109. 109
    mildlymagnificent

    Another thought crossed my mind. I’ve spent far too many hours trudging down hospital corridors lately.

    Would these same people say such things in that environment? We all know that people with unhappy or grim expressions in such places are probably dealing with some not-good news. What’s so different half an hour later when they’re on the bus or eating a meal?

    If you wouldn’t do it in a hospital corridor or cafe, don’t do it anywhere else. The advantage of ‘anywhere else’ is that a mention of a clear sky or nice weather can be a good strategy if you have this urge (inexplicable to me, but anyway) to change other people’s facial expressions. (You wouldn’t try that with a stranger inside a hospital.)

  110. 110
    harvardmba

    Oh, wow. Another college professor has a opinion. We’re all so impressed.

    As expected, another ivory tower denizen lacks basic logic. When confronted with the basic reality that asking the rude people to pipe down, she asserts: “This question assumes that asking nicely is a reliably effective strategy.”

    Notice the slick sleight of hand here: She dismissed that which we have used for centuries with a little professorial flourish. Voila! Argument defeated! Except, not.

    The point about the old-school manual method is …

    She didn’t try it at all. She went right for the “solutionist” approach, which is that everything we do now is web-enabled, because … you know … transparency and openness are ALWAYS GOOD! So sayeth the solutionist! In reality, had she tried the manual approach first, perhaps it would have worked. If not, then asking security may have worked. If not, then maybe the web 2.0 approach would be warranted. This elementary logic escapes the good professor. No surprise there.

    But, hey. That’s why she’s a professor. Nice and safe in the ivory tower where accountability is a non-issue.

  111. 111
    Inaji

    Comment by harvardmba blocked. [unhush]​[show comment]

    JAL, no worries!

  112. 112
    ck

    harvardmba makes marginally more sense when fed through translationparty.

    Oh, wow. University Professor says. We are impressed by all.

    Projected Street, lacks the basic logic of another ivory tower residents. She see a pipe to face the requirements necessary for the fundamental realities of the rude people: this question is “check of the requirements for an effective strategy.”

    Smooth cover caution: most she stood from the denial of this century. And voila! Beat the argument! This is no exception.

    Is a point about the old-school manual.

    She looks fantastic. All rights reserved Web enabled her “very solutionist” is. Maintain transparency and openness we know. It is a solutionist sayeth! Perhaps she needs to work actually. When used for security reasons. [Web 2.0 approach.] This elementary logic escapes the good Professor. There are surprises.

    But, Hey… Why good ivory tower is responsible for safety issues.

    I agree that good ivory tower must be concerned about safety issues, especially since that ivory could become very slick when wet. And I wholeheartedly agree about your thoughts on rude people at the struggles they experience when formulating strategies to deal with the fundamental realities of the world.

  113. 113
    daniellavine

    Notice the slick sleight of hand here: She dismissed that which we have used for centuries with a little professorial flourish. Voila! Argument defeated! Except, not.

    Let’s assume it’s true that asking politely has worked for centuries. During most of those centuries women were considered scarcely more than chattel. May I take it that’s your preferred pattern of social organization?

    But then let’s consider whether it actually works. Did MLK ask: “May I have a dream?” Did the sufragettes say “please”?

    I’m starting to like your “solutionist” epithet because it seems to me that the “solutionist” methods are actually the ones that work making it simply an apt description.

  114. 114
    okstop

    harvardmba (#110) wins the Ironic Exhibition of Privilege Award with his disdain for the observation that one cannot assume that Richards “asking nicely” would have produced results. “We” have used “asking nicely” for quite some time now, but “we” are white males dealing with other white males. Astonishingly, just asking nicely doesn’t work all that well for the marginalized and oppressed.

    Of course, any time I hear someone nattering on about “the Ivory Tower,” I immediately suspect, on long experience, that this person has little to no experience with higher education… soi-disant Harvard pedigree notwithstanding.

  115. 115
    Inaji

    A known troll, people. Not interested in discussion at all.

  116. 116
    docfreeride

    harvardmba @110,

    The “sleight of hand” amounts to asking why it’s reasonable for observers to be 100% certain that politely asking the PyCon jokers to knock it off would have worked — or even why they are certain it would have been as successful in addressing the inappropriate behavior as what Adria Richards actually did. As described in the post (and at length elsewhere, as linked), many of us paying careful attention to the empirical evidence of our own interactions in this world are calculating the probabilities differently than you are.

    I imagine you’d like your incisive comment to throw me into deep doubt about my professional trajectory. However, as someone who went to college in the greater Boston area, I must confess that my priors on Harvard MBAs make that response to your disapproval … unlikely.

  117. 117
    psanity

    crossposted from Adventures in Ethics and Science, because I think it is so weird that some people seem to think it’s some outrageous personal invasion to document some jerk’s behavior in public. Like, y’know, he’s invisible and inaudible until Twittified, or something.

    I think it’s also worth mentioning, regarding your #5 above, that we’re talking about public behavior here. People who are behaving boorishly in public do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy regarding how that behavior is addressed. If someone representing my company behaves in such a manner at a professional conference, it reflects badly on my company whether it ends up on Twitter or not, because it’s already public, and disciplinary measures would reflect that.

    If PyCon changes their policy to exclude public shaming of public behavior, then shame on them — they’re simply making it clear that they no longer intend to interfere with obnoxious or unprofessional behavior at their con.

    Adria’s action made me think of “Hollaback”:

    http://www.ihollaback.org

  118. 118
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    “You can tell a lot about a society’s hierarchy by who is required to be polite. In this situation, it seems to serve the function of reminding both the asker and the askee of the asker’s subordinate status. Demanding that people be polite to people who have been (at very least!) impolite to them beforehand states loud and clear that good behavior is solely the lesser people’s problem.”

    ….thank you whoever originally wrote this. It clarifies so much of why I’ve always been so uncomfortable with “politeness.”

  119. 119
    nutella

    robpowell @13

    “had the one of the two asshats not been fired soon afterwards, noone would have cared. It was only after that little bit that the MRAs actually noticed the twitter post”

    Actually I’d say what set it off was the joker who was fired writing his whiny complaint to Hacker News. (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5398681)

    Have you all noticed that the joker has not been identified? The name of his colleague who was not fired has been disclosed in some articles but the joker’s name has not. Hundreds of people must have recognized him from the famous tweet photo but not one has published it. It’s like the whole internet has gotten together to protect this guy. When he’s looking for a job Google won’t report the dongle incident.

    One of the boys, I guess.

  120. 120
    PatrickG

    @ psanity:

    Adria’s action made me think of “Hollaback”

    THANK YOU. That site has been sort of bouncing around in the back of my brain through all of these threads. When you said it explicitly, some little thought-fireworks went off. They get a hell of a lot of pushback, too. You know, for being public about … public spaces.

    That’s all I got at the moment, but wanted to offer a virtual high-five. :)

  121. 121
    Inaji

    Nutella:

    Have you all noticed that the joker has not been identified?

    Believe me, we’ve noticed. Boy, have we noticed. There are two prior threads about this. One is at 4 pages with 1,895 comments and the second one is at 4 pages with 1,519 comments.

  122. 122
    ekwhite

    docfreeride@116:

    I am in awe of your response to HarvardTroll@110. That was one of the most concise and effective putdowns I have ever read.

    Thank you also for bringing the concept of Bayesian Priors to the discussion of the Adria Richards affair. This entire discussion (sans trolls) has been fascinating and enlightening.

  123. 123
    Dabu

    Demanding smiles fits neatly into the set of extremely rude behaviors. The non-smiling person is being told “It’s my world, now be the decoration.”

  124. 124
    Inaji

    Dabu:

    The non-smiling person is being told “It’s my world, now be the decoration.”

    Very much so. I dislike it more than other obnoxious behaviour, because of what someone else noted upthread – it’s dismissing spontaneity and sincerity as unimportant.

  125. 125
    crumbumcorvette

    from 54
    Basically, it goes like this: the dick jokes are – whether they were meant to be or not – an acting out of the systems of male dominance in society. Perpetrating male dominance in society is shame-worthy. Ergo, it was permissible for Richards to have shamed them.

    yeah that doesnt make any sense at all and you provide no evidence. I guess since Saudi Arabia is shitty towards women it must be a country that is just filled to the brim with dick jokes. Adria uses dick jokes too so I guess she is suppressing women as well so you should probably shame her when you get the chance.

    “Dick jokes” are a form of sexist language. So, we are morally obligated to pay heed when someone is offended by this kind of stuff,

    Dick jokes are discriminatory towards women because they dont have this sex organ? Because she isnt included in the joke? I am sorry you really dont make any sense on any level of logic here. So we should only care when someone is offended? So really dick jokes arent bad only if they occur and somebody is offended? Its gotta be a package deal? Is this supposed to make sense or am I just supposed to smile and nod my head?

  126. 126
    sonofrojblake

    @robpowell:

    Twitter does not broadcast

    My twitter account certainly doesn’t, because I’ve got precisely five followers, all people I’m related to, and I’ve tweeted probably five times, total. But if by “broadcast” you mean in the usual sense of transmit to a large, dispersed audience, you seem to contradict yourself:

    Her tweet was read by her followers

    And those people number in excess of ten thousand, and probably hardly any were in the room. That fits my understanding of the word “broadcast” pretty well.

    The problem I have here is that over and over and over again the incident is described in terms of two guys making dick jokes and one woman complaining to the conference organisers – and that’s simply not what happened. Two guys made dick jokes, and one woman complained to ten thousand people (and the conference organisers). This seems to get repeatedly glossed over because it doesn’t fit the narrative that her actions were in all ways perfectly justifiable and correct and any backlash was entirely unpredictable. This woman had made in excess of thirty thousand tweets – she knows how it works. It doesn’t make any of what followed justifiable, obviously (and I did make that abundantly clear in my first post). It just seems there’s a pattern of dishonestly pretending that her complaint was discreetly directed at the conference staff, when it definitely wasn’t.

    ————————-

    Re: “smile” – there’s a highly irritating variant here in the UK which is definitely not sexist. I’ve been on the receiving end of it many times, and seen it said many more times to men than women. The UK wording goes along the lines of “cheer up, it might never ‘appen!”, often in a cod-cheery-Cockerney accent, and is directed at strangers, work colleagues, fellow students, people of the same or opposite gender, whatever, and gets used roughly equally by both genders by my own observation. It’s hatefully intrusive regardless of gender. The (presumably peculiarly US) version described above sounds similarly unpleasant with a side order of creepy and sexist too, but then to many people from the UK “Have a nice day” comes across as creepy.

  127. 127
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    @crumbumcorvette #125

    Dick jokes are discriminatory towards women because they dont have this sex organ? Because she isnt included in the joke?

    Jesus but you’re an idiot.

    am I just supposed to smile and nod my head?

    No, you’re supposed to shut up and go away. There are two threads dealing with exactly the same bullshit you are bringing up, the Adria Richards Did Everything Exactly Right thread and the the Ars Technica thread.

    They contain all the information you need, up to and including links to first hand accounts of what actually happened. Go and read them, or at least one of them, get a fucking clue, and then come back and offer an informed opinion.

    This thread was really interesting. I was learning about ethics and Bayesian Priors. There was an interesting discussion on why the whole “Cheer up, love!” thing is so fucking insulting. And then up pops one of you arseholes, on come the shit-spigot, and we have to deal with all the same shit that we’ve been dealing with for the past two days. I am fucking sick of dealing with the same bullshit from clueless wankers who haven’t even bothered to read up on what actually happened. Now piss off.

  128. 128
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    @sonofrojblake

    Why do people feel the need to put on a faux-cockney accent when they do that? The worst bit is how it’s such a throwaway line. People don’t want an answer, they just saunter past you and throw it over their shoulder at you in an atrocious cockney accent and carry on blithely with their day.

    It doesn’t happen to me often, I rarely look miserable. But when it does, I usually fucking apologise for looking unhappy! #ingrained British-ness

  129. 129
    SallyStrange

    one woman complained to ten thousand people (and the conference organisers). This seems to get repeatedly glossed over because it doesn’t fit the narrative that her actions were in all ways perfectly justifiable and correct and any backlash was entirely unpredictable.

    Hmm, yes. Ten thousand people, maybe, saw her tweet. Probably somewhat less.

    And what did those ten thousand people do?

    Nothing. Certainly they didn’t launch any DDOS attacks, nor call for his firing, nor recruit 4chan to send a massive wave of verbal abuse, including rape and death threats.

    So, really, who fucking cares? What’s the big fucking deal? If those guys are grown-up to make dick jokes at a conference, then they’re grown-up to live with the knowledge that 10,000 people know about them making dick jokes at a conference. If they really, really wanted to keep the fact that they like to make dick jokes at conferences a secret, maybe they should have made more of an effort to keep their voices down. Or maybe they should have not made the dick jokes while in conversation with Adria Richards.

    Seriously. Why should anyone care that 10,000 people know that these two dudes made dick jokes at a conference?

    Unless you’re saying that there’s something… you know… BAD about making dick jokes at a conference?

  130. 130
    SallyStrange

    Hey folks guess what–there’s been another wave of misogynist online harassment in response to women and girls daring to speak up about sexism. This time it’s in response to an 8-year-old girl’s Kickstarter project to go to an RPG camp to learn how to make video games.

    http://boingboing.net/2013/03/26/girls-kickstarter-to-go-to-r.html

    Are any of the trolls seeing the trend here yet? How many waves of online misogynist abuse and death threats do we have to have before it’s common knowledge that a.) this happens on a regular basis and b.) it’s seriously fucked up?

  131. 131
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    @SallyStrange

    Jesus Christ, there are some delusional misogynistic fuckwits on the original article… what fucking clowns.

  132. 132
    Jackie

    Thread hopping to say that if you don’t know about the smile thing, you might want to know about the way people talk to and TOUCH pregnant women.

    I had total strangers touch my distended abdomen too many times. I had strangers give me unsolicited advice about how many kids to have and what genders to have in what order. But the absolute worst was getting groped in a women’s dressing room by a friend who “just had to touch my big round tummy!” after we got out of the pool.

    All of those people thought they were being nice to me.

    Of course, considering the numbers of forced birth supporters in the US, the disregard for pregnant women’s bodily autonomy should not be shocking.

  133. 133
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    @Jackie

    Yeah, I’ve noticed the touching thing. Always creeps me out. Why does the fact a woman is pregnant mean strangers get to rub their belly without even asking for permission? That’s wierd. You wouldn’t do it under any other circumstances. It’s just… wierd.

  134. 134
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    If I’m ever pregnant, and that ever happens, I plan to rub the offender’s tummy in return.

  135. 135
    Jackie

    Asher,
    I like how you broke that down.

    My husband and I discussed where we think the “ask politely” assumption comes from. He pointed to a situation at work. There is a woman there who interrupts other women, takes things out of their hands and other rude stuff. He never gets that treatment from her. He’s not sure if she just feels ultra friendly towards him or if it is because he’s a man. But he knows his maleness has gotten him more respect than his female coworkers receive before. His money is on that being the case this time. I tend to agree.

    How many men never notice?
    How many men notice, but are sure they deserve better treatment in the first place?

    So, this is what I think I’ve learned from all of this:

    Men living in a sexist world (which is currently the only world we have) may really believe that asking politely works, because it may well work for them. If they are unaware of their privilege and are steeped in sexism themselves (as we all are), they are unlikely to either recognize the effect of microaggressions on women or how any kind of complaint from a woman (especially toward men who have already demonstrated sexist disregard) is either dismissed or rebuffed. They may be unaware of how many times “asking politely” hasn’t worked on them. They don’t notice because any politely phrased complaint may have been written off as “some bitch being rude and uppity.” Because they are either accustomed to or believe they deserve the lion’s share of respect in any given situation involving a woman. They can’t see past their own experiences and personal narratives.

    You could take gender out of this and insert any social power differential and get the same effect. It’s a “I haven’t seen it, but it’s seen me” sort of phenomenon.

    How this happens is getting clearer for me. Thanks to everyone who has been willing to share their insight.

    So, how do you show someone who is emotionally invested in not seeing this to actually see it?

    I thought that skeptics and atheists were good at letting go of sacred cows. Turns out, that’s not always the case.

  136. 136
    Jackie

    Portia,
    I hope that works, but I’m starting to think they wouldn’t understand the gesture. I mean, sure they get to touch you but who do you think you are to touch them back? You’d probably just be told to be more polite.
    :P

  137. 137
    Jackie

    Thumper,
    I think that’s because subconsciously people don’t think of a pregnant woman’s body as her own in the first place. Also, because pregnancy is fascinating. That’s no excuse though. I find alot of things about the human body fascinating. I sure as shit don’t just walk up and touch those human bodies.

  138. 138
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    Jackie:
    Yeah, you’re right. It would certainly depend on who was doing the touching.
    I usually don’t have trouble being told I’m rude in my reaction when someone touches my non-pregnant body in a clear breach of etiquette, though, so…*shrug*

  139. 139
    Jackie

    Portia,
    I know that feel so well.
    Too fucking well.

  140. 140
    myeck waters

    A right-wing radio host would probably say that by agreeing to the sex that resulted in her pregnancy, the woman was agreeing to any and all forms of contact ever from anybody.

    I’m wondering if there would be a market for maternity clothing that had “ASK FIRST DAMMIT” across the abdomen.

  141. 141
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    I’m wondering if there would be a market for maternity clothing that had “ASK FIRST DAMMIT” across the abdomen.

    YES. Now that’s a great idea. (to the google…)

    Jackie:
    When I’m in a safe situation (like the bar down the block where I always know 70%+of the patrons and all of the staff) I have gotten some sick enjoyment out of throwing a goddamn fit about unwanted touching from a skeezy guy. The real joy is their surprise that their usual privilege is being challenged and overturned.

  142. 142
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    @Jackie

    I think that’s because subconsciously people don’t think of a pregnant woman’s body as her own in the first place. Also, because pregnancy is fascinating.

    The latter I get, the former… Ugh, I wish I could deny it, but I have the sinking feeling that you may be on to something there :(

  143. 143
    okstop

    @corvettedimwit (#125):

    Good lord, man, you’re too stupid to live.

  144. 144
    crumbumcorvette

    Good lord, man, you’re too stupid to live.

    wow you really changed my opinion with that great argument now i feel so stupid for not agreeing with you because you are so much smarter than me you must have gone college and learned things that obviously are important and a stupid fuckface like myself could never understand because im so below you i should just prostrate myself before you because you deserve it for being such a great person because you probably save a womans life per dick joke you get offended by

  145. 145
    okstop

    @crumbumcorvette (#144):

    No, no. You’re just a dolt.

    I’m sure you’ve been informed by others.

    Frequently.

  146. 146
    SallyStrange

    @crumbumcorvette

    Prostrating yourself wouldn’t be a bad idea–at the very least, it wold fuck with that neuronal module that convinces you that there’s no need to listen to other people’s opinion about their own experiences. Prostrate yourself to whoever the fuck you feel like, so long as it’s not your own ego/stunted intellect.

  147. 147
    Ichthyic

    you are so much smarter than me you must have gone college and learned things that obviously are important and a stupid fuckface like myself could never understand because im so below you i should just prostrate myself before you

    KNEEL BEFORE ZOD!

  148. 148
    myeck waters

    Hi crumbumcorvette! I’ve never been to university. Nope. There was high school, a year at a trade school, and then off to a fancy-pants job in a factory, that’s my story.
     
    You’re an idiot.
     
    There’s a pretty good way to stop being called an idiot* though. It’s called “not acting like an idiot”.
     
    *Note: doesn’t work if you’re talking to Fox News.

  149. 149
    rq

    Portia @134
    I say do it.
    Having been on the receiving end of such treatment, I say with some pride that I have actually, physically and obviously flinched away from such contact, even from ‘close’ relatives (of the future baby, that is).
    (By the way, I wonder if this goes back to a superstition that rubbing a pregnant woman’s belly is good luck? Although a quick google search indicates only partially…)

  150. 150
    rq

    PS Portia @134
    One of the comments on an article about belly-touching:

    I just finally made a shirt that said “If you didn’t put it here then don’t touch” right over my belly. So far its working on the strangers at Target.

    I will now stop being off-topic.

  151. 151
    crumbumcorvette

    I like TYTs views on the subject

  152. 152
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    wow you really changed my opinion with that great argument now i feel so stupid for not agreeing with you because you are so much smarter than me you must have gone college and learned things that obviously are important and a stupid fuckface like myself could never understand…

    Such as syntax, grammar, and punctuation.

  153. 153
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    @crumbumcorvette

    Of course you like TYTs views on the subject; the first minute is them trying to relay the facts of the story but getting them wrong, and then after that is some bloke repeating the same view you have. It’s basically you, but as a video. I gave up before I got to two minutes.

    “Hey look, I found this source which completely mirrors my own view. Guess what!? I like it!”. Shocker.

  154. 154
    myeck waters

    So…the video wasn’t a bunny? In that case I won’t bother watching it.

  155. 155
    crumbumcorvette

    1. You’re not paying close attention to the factual details of the event.
    or
    2. You’re a lying shitweasel.

    Well the second one is already true sans the lying. So your saying that the guy didnt get fired for this incident? Did you read his apology on the subject? It sounds like he got fired for this incident.

    First of all, I already asked why you disagree with the assessments of the gentlemen in question who seem to agree their behavior was inappropriate. Don’t you think they’d have a better sense of this than you would since they were there, they were the ones engaged in the behavior, and they dealt with the consequences?

    I would apologize too but that’s because I would want future employment. I’m sure they don’t really care if dick jokes are appropriate or not seeing as how dick jokes only offend the stupidest people on the planet.

  156. 156
    myeck waters

    That last post was all about bunnies, right? I’m pretty sure it was bunnies.

  157. 157
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    So your saying that the guy didnt get fired for this incident? Did you read his apology on the subject? It sounds like he got fired for this incident.

    Gee ignorant fuckwitted idjit. If you educadted yourself by reading the 3500+ posts on two threads, you would know the smartmouth that got fired was on his way out already. The incident was the straw that broke the camel’s back. But then, when do you care about the real truth, just your distorted version making the innocent party, Adria, who shouldn’t have been fired, the blame for the idjit behaving in a manner unbecoming his company, and sexual harassment policies world-wide. LOSER.

  158. 158
    Cyranothe2nd, there's no such thing as a moderate ally

    Rob Powell @ 41–

    I grew up in Moses Lake :) Where you from?

  159. 159
    Cyranothe2nd, there's no such thing as a moderate ally

    Aaaaand ingnore my @ 158–already asked and answered.

  160. 160
    mathema

    I disagree. I think what she did was blatantly and objectively shitty, regardless of the situation in our culture. This was a guy saying dongle, not apologizing for rape or making a joke about women. It was some dumb ass saying a word that is related to his own sex (one which is a very narrow, tech joke, and saying “big” in conjunction with it is something that was started and is used almost exclusively by women in a sexist way, oddly enough), a word that most people wouldn’t even recognize. It was malevolent to put that on twitter. If that’s your thing, go ahead. But don’t expect people to take you seriously if this is the stuff you do and the stuff you worry about, rather than rape or women being tortured and killed in less privileged, rarely spoken about places in the world on a daily basis. Is this what western feminism has become? I’ll leave on my own, don’t bother telling me, I get it.

  161. 161
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    I think what she did

    Who gives a shit what you think? Since you obviously can’t. Your OPINION isn’t and never will facts. Facts say you are wrong….

  162. 162
    Rey Fox

    It was malevolent to put that on twitter.

    Why?

  163. 163
    sonofrojblake

    @SallyStrange, 129

    Ten thousand people, maybe, saw her tweet. Probably somewhat less. And what did those ten thousand people do?

    I have absolutely no idea. Ten thousand people is a lot of people, quite likely quite different people, who would have all sorts of different reactions to seeing that tweet. I don’t see how I could know what even ten people would do in response, much less ten thousand.

    Nothing. Certainly they didn’t launch any DDOS attacks, nor call for his firing, nor recruit 4chan to send a massive wave of verbal abuse, including rape and death threats.

    And you know this… how? (You don’t, obviously. You have no idea. You have a fantasy of who those ten thousand people are and what they are like, and not a single one of them could possibly do something so mean, huh?)

    Also, irrelevant. The photo was broadcast. It was not “sent to the conference organisers”, it was broadcast to a five-figure audience. And this fact is continually glossed over in the discussion of the incident because it doesn’t fit the narrative of reasonable behaviour.

    So, really, who fucking cares? What’s the big fucking deal?

    The bfd is that if you’re going to set, as an acceptable standard of behaviour, broadcasting without permission photographs you’ve taken of people who’ve done things that you find offensive… stand by.

    Seriously. Why should anyone care that 10,000 people know that these two dudes made dick jokes at a conference?

    See previous point about what you’re setting up as an acceptable standard of behaviour. If someone takes your photo and broadcasts it to an audience of ten thousand on the internet because of something you said that offended them, are you OK with that? Bear in mind that you don’t get to set their standards for offense.

    Unless you’re saying that there’s something… you know… BAD about making dick jokes at a conference?

    Oh, you read and understood post 16, then? Y’know, where I said “let me state up front that I fully agree with every single other point that article makes”? Good for you. Because you came across for a moment there like you thought I was in some way not condemning the making of dick jokes in a professional setting.

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