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Programming Python Social Networks

Will Donglegate Affect Your Decision To Attend PyCon? 759

Posted by timothy
from the channel-the-monkey-with-the-covered-mouth dept.
theodp writes "Its Code of Conduct describes PyCon as 'a welcoming, friendly event for all.' But will the post-conference fallout from this year's 'Donglegate' debacle and proposed remedies affect your decision — one way or the other — to attend next year's PyCon in ironically naughty Montreal? And even if not, could 'Donglegate' influence the-powers-that-be whose approval you'll need to attend? How about conference sponsors?"
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Will Donglegate Affect Your Decision To Attend PyCon?

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  • What the hell (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 23, 2013 @10:30AM (#43256583)

    is Donglegate?

    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 23, 2013 @10:38AM (#43256631)

      A Donglegate is a novel biological gate revealed to the geeks from beyond the forbidden effeminate walls of feminism. This is a new mystery to geeks. They commented and were punished by god for eating the forbidden fruit. Along with the geek some others in the story were punished as well.

    • Re:What the hell (Score:5, Insightful)

      by kd4zqe (587495) on Saturday March 23, 2013 @11:13AM (#43256929)
      Basically, this feminist can't take a joke... Her tweet [arstechnica.net]

      She gets the guy fired, and gets fired herself for her troubles.

      Nobody wins, because feminism is in of itself, sexism at it's finest. Poor pitiful females that can't defend themselves. Bullshit. They have carved themselves a niche in popular culture that they are untouchable, and because of that they have adopted and invincible attitude, until they feel they have been somehow wronged, and then they turn on the tear-jerking water works about how defenseless they are. Comedian Bill Burr has it right... [youtube.com]

      People need to learn how to take a joke. HR departments need to be wiped out, because in this age, they have long since outlived their usefulness. They had their time, but it has since passed.

      If women want equal rights, then there should be no feminists.

      • Re:What the hell (Score:5, Insightful)

        by hedwards (940851) on Saturday March 23, 2013 @11:56AM (#43257221)

        She was fired over the way in which she handled it. As an evangelist, she is probably being held to a higher standard than other folks, but she should have known that. She could have handled it in a way that at least allowed the individuals to apologize and or explain, tweeting it without even having her facts straight, is hardly conducive to building an inclusive community.

        She also had the opportunity to just ignore it, which is what she should have done if she couldn't handle it in a mature way. Yes, it would have been less good than dealing with it, but as it stands, she's just another data point on the "why we shouldn't trust women" board.

        • Re:What the hell (Score:5, Informative)

          by Weezul (52464) on Saturday March 23, 2013 @01:47PM (#43258013)

          I posted a bunch of details here [slashdot.org] but the main point is :

          Richards had pissed off people by pulling similar publicity stunts before [wordpress.com]. Amanda Blum was one of those people Richard had pissed off. She sent a constructive email to SendGrid suggesting how one keeps such loose cannons under control. SendGrid simply read Blum's email as past behavior and fired Richards rather than taking Blum's constructive advice.

          It's worth noting that Richard actions constitute libel in the U.K. I donno if her accusation of the forking remark constitute libel in the U.S., perhaps given that it's false. I'd assume that her accusation of the dongles remark does not constitute libel in the U.S., being true.

        • Re:What the hell (Score:5, Interesting)

          by SplashMyBandit (1543257) on Saturday March 23, 2013 @03:11PM (#43258515)

          Her job was to evangelize for the community. Instead she decided to wage jihad against jokes she didn't like. She was a fool and her company was right that she was working against the goal they hired her for.

          I find it funny that she disliked the way the men were talking loudly in their private conversation and could be overheard. Those guys must have been *loud*. I say this because as a Bloody Foreigner I find that all (US) Americans are enormously loud when they talk - all sorts of details of their private lives are shouted at each other at maximum decibels. However, as a quiet foreigner I don't feel the need to change their culture, I just mock instead :) Perhaps Richards should have been a bit more accepting of geek culture *while at a PyCon Conference*. Perhaps if the guys had been at a "Women against Domestic Violence" rally instead she would have been appropriate.

          Incidentally, why do we need more women in programming? The ones that are there do a great job. The guys that do it also do a great job. So why do we need to change the entire technology culture to get a few reluctant girls to try it out? for what end? what is the problem we are trying to solve? is it just so we can satisfy some academic theory that there is equality in programing because the numbers by gender are more equal? well, that doesn't solve the problem that many girls at the start of their work career choose to things that they like - which is not creating hardware or software. Apart from a few ideologues one has a serious problem with the gender imbalance in nursing or teaching - so why should the gender imbalance in tech be a problem that requires warping the existing tech culture conform to their ideological wishes? If tech culture was "No girls allowed" then there would be a problem. If it was structurally sexist then there would be a problem - but to complain about tech culture (to the point of loss of livelihood) because some loud-mouthed guys make a joke intended to be kinda private too loudly? That is just silly.

          • Re:What the hell (Score:4, Informative)

            by Hal_Porter (817932) on Saturday March 23, 2013 @07:04PM (#43259913)

            We need to attract women like Adria because of their immense tech skills

            http://butyoureagirl.com/14015/forking-and-dongle-jokes-dont-belong-at-tech-conferences/ [butyoureagirl.com]

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

            No wait, we need to attract them because of their superior people skills. Like tweeting a picture of someone and getting them fired over a stupid comment because they were too passive to confront them and too aggressive to just let it slide and then making up a bullshit but-think-of-the-children justification to make it seem like they were doing it for some higher purpose than self promotion.

        • Re:What the hell (Score:5, Insightful)

          by meta-monkey (321000) on Saturday March 23, 2013 @07:35PM (#43260117) Journal

          The worst? As an "evangelist" she had the opportunity to use a "teachable moment."

          The goal, I think we all want, is a workplace and community without gender conflicts. She could have led by example, talked to the guys about the need to be cognizant of the people around them, they would have learned something, and Richards could have regaled her audience with the tale of her enlightened diplomatic prowess so women everywhere would have another example of a peaceful resolution to gender communication issues in IT. But no, instead being a peacemaker and a bridge builder and leader she just threw a tattletale tantrum like a 4th grader and made it more difficult for men and women in IT (who are aware of this situation) to communicate in the future.

          Way to be an evangelist, lady...

  • by Pikoro (844299) <init.init@sh> on Saturday March 23, 2013 @10:31AM (#43256587) Homepage Journal

    Will you idiots stop with this "topic-gate" crap already? A feminist didn't like the jokes that a couple of guys were making. They got fired. Then she got fired for rocking the boar. Case closed.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 23, 2013 @10:40AM (#43256651)

      "Rocking the boar" sounds more interesting than any other part of this story.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 23, 2013 @10:47AM (#43256695)

      No. She got fired because of employee misconduct. She tried to make this poor family man feel ashamed about having a penis. She literally took food off the table of 3 children. All because she faux outraged that "dongle" sounds like "dong" and "fork" sounds like "fuck".

      I'm so fucking glad she got fired. I hope she gets fired from life. People and their fake outrage can die in a fire, or a Walmart trampling.

    • by Zapotek (1032314) <tasos@laskos.gmail@com> on Saturday March 23, 2013 @10:48AM (#43256711) Homepage
      I don't know, I found the title funny -- which was probably the editor's intention in the first place. And she wasn't a feminist, that word has a real meaning that I'd rather we didn't dilute; she was a prissy, attention whoring, holier-than-thou, PC bitch.

      And to answer the article's question: If I were a Python dev, I wouldn't attend. That would send a more clear message to everyone involved that those situations are ridiculous than a bunch of posts on random message boards.
      • by FuzzNugget (2840687) on Saturday March 23, 2013 @11:03AM (#43256837)

        And she wasn't a feminist

        The term you're looking for is "feminazi"

      • by erroneus (253617) on Saturday March 23, 2013 @12:37PM (#43257531) Homepage

        Perfect answer. She is the poison for events and employers and other women who actually want to make an honest living in the world.

        Women have had this amazing free pass on their behavior for so long. I know women who are absolutely ashamed on behalf of these other women. We're afraid to complain about "these people." //What do you mean "these people"?!// You know what I mean and quit pretending to be semi-offended asking me to say something you can use against me.

    • by erroneus (253617) on Saturday March 23, 2013 @10:52AM (#43256753) Homepage

      It's a significant and relevant story.

      We know about race hustlers... people who like to twist any situation into a racist (against blacks) for their fame and profit. It's old news.

      But we don't hear much about the more quiet problem... especially in the work place. The one quite a few of us in this demographic have suffered.

      There are women out there who are equally prepared to play the sexism-card when it serves their interests. In this case, this woman is a pretty good example. People have been digging up her internet content everywhere exposing what she is and does. On one hand she has a clear history of sex related things. If she was so offended by sex related things, she has a weird way of showing it. So it wasn't the sex related things that bothered her. I have little doubt that she was harmed or offended by what she thought she heard.

      She may have been annoyed by the cut-ups going on behind her. That's understandable. But instead of addressing the real problem, she made up a worse one. She created this drama. She got what she expected... at first. But then the community unexpectedly returned fire. Her employer couldn't afford to have her any longer. B'Bye bitch.

      This is the unspoken reason there may be reservations about women in the workplace and especially in the tech fields. We're a BUNCH of immature geeks who care less about social crap and more about technical crap. When women enter the room, we're immediately terrified that our haven is being changed leaving us nowhere to go. The unspoken fear is that we know what women can and will bring. She is a perfect example of it. Once again, her self-documented history of sexy-flirty crap spins around in an instant to "I'm offended by this double entendre!!" And of course, everyone who seeks not to be branded "a part of the problem" is forced into doing whatever pleases her.

      Nice play. For once it didn't work out quite as she expected. I wonder what she will advocate next? This geek crowd she offended? They are anonymous. They don't forget. They don't forgive. And she represents every woman in the workplace who has ever played that game. And I sincerely hope her hell will give other women cause to give a second thought about playing the sexism card like this.

      • by emj (15659) on Saturday March 23, 2013 @11:07AM (#43256867) Homepage Journal

        Nice play. For once it didn't work out quite as she expected

        Actually I think she knew exactly what would happen, the same thing as always, people rape threatning her and calling her all kind of things. Amanda Blum's excelent blog post [wordpress.com] highlights the problem with Adrias behaviour but hopefully give you some insight to the larger problem.

        If this has thought us something it is that there are some serious problem with sexism at tech conferences, even if you don't like what she did the backlash kind of proved her point IMHO.

        • by erroneus (253617) on Saturday March 23, 2013 @11:43AM (#43257159) Homepage

          Informative link.

          "Money Shot" does not mean porn. Yes. Porn made the term famous, but the meaning isn't quite "semen being ejected." It's "this is what people came here to see!" Steve Jobs holding up a new iThing was "the money shot."

          The woman has a serious problem in that she makes her problem a problem for everyone else.

          Very enlightening.

          She was not going to be re-trained. And the blogger demonstrated that she has a history of choosing the stir up trouble rather than trying to work things out. Clearly the company that fired her made the right choice.

          I'm rather surprised she even attended PyCon. After all, pythons and snakes in general are often used to describe penises.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          No. The problem is that people like you cannot distinguish between sexism and dirtbaggery. The developers were crude, not sexist. Adria was a dirtbag, not a sexist. Sexism is wrong. Being crude in a professional setting is wrong. Being a dirtbag is wrong. Killing is wrong. Stealling is wrong. Just don't pretend that these are the same thing. The backlash simply proves that you have dirtbags wherever you have people. Not new news. Sexism may exist in tech conferences, but the backlash was not an

        • by hsmith (818216) on Saturday March 23, 2013 @12:07PM (#43257329)
          In reality - she wanted it both ways. She leveraged the Internet mob (her twitter followers) on the two guys that "offended" her.

          Yet, we know the Internet mob is a fickle beast. She got the reaction she wanted - but - it also lashed back at her. They brutally attacked her.

          Which, who knows, that could have been part of the scheme all along. She knew the Internet kids would strike back with real sexism and real attacks - validating the "hatred against women" she wants to perpetuate.

          Live by the mob, die by the mob.
    • by wonkey_monkey (2592601) on Saturday March 23, 2013 @11:26AM (#43257045) Homepage

      Then she got fired for rocking the boar.

      Dude, what the hell goes on at PyCon?!

    • by donscarletti (569232) on Saturday March 23, 2013 @12:26PM (#43257473)

      The whole thing is worrying.

      I am a male lead programmer in China, I hire a lot of female programmers and extol the virtues of hiring female programmers to my Chinese peers who lead other projects, who have started hiring female programmers also, seeing my success in using female programmers to achieve good results. I think they are more consistent and reliable, about 10-30% cheaper then men and have better company loyalty than men. There is a surprising amount of coding that could do with a woman's touch. I like to have over 30% of my team to be women since in my experience if a woman has done something before, she's much less likely to make a mess of it than a man is, since men of above average IQ tend to get bored, lazy and arrogant the second time around. Women also don't like being assigned repetitive work, but even if they get angry with me, they generally still don't screw it up, though they will quit eventually if one exploits this too much.

      My little sister and cousin are both female programmers in Australia. They are both excellent, consistent and make very few mistakes, my cousin even has some of the problem solving creativity that the women I've managed seem to lack and I'm optimistic about my sister developing that skill too with time. This high profile firing stuff makes me somewhat concerned for the careers of these two dear young ladies.

      The thing is, in China, sexism is a non-issue, by which I mean, it exists in a huge way, but nobody talks about it. In the west, it's a big issue with big consequences, so I realised, if a manager was considering hiring a woman in Australia into an all male team, they would quite likely first measure up the probability and possible severity of a sexual harassment issue and offset that against her utility as an employee. For large companies who have various HR policies supporting diversity and for whom maintaining a completely male workforce would be utterly impractical anyway, this is a non issue, the risk is lower and the reward is higher. For smaller, up-coming companies with higher potential for growth but larger exposure to risk, this is going to really going to work against female candidates. This is somewhat irrelevant anyway, because these two young ladies both work for absolutely enormous multinationals, but for others, or in the future, who knows.

      I completely agree that inappropriate behaviour in the workplace is bad and should be stopped. But for a manager, being forced to fire potentially crucial people for something unrelated to performance is extremely scary. If a manager looks at a candidate and has any niggling doubt that "HR has a remote chance of making me fire some people I need if I hire this person and something goes wrong" then it really doesn't help the candidate. I really do not think this helps women in the industry.

  • Put simply; yes (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bazmail (764941) on Saturday March 23, 2013 @10:35AM (#43256609)
    It will also put me off talking freely and in an unguarded manner in front of female attendees at any conference. Who knows which one will want to be the next twitterverse celeb getting notoriety by making a big thing out of nothing. That victimhood addict who reported those 2 guys for "inappropriate" comments went on to make very inappropriate comments herself about those guys (search for her TSA socks stuffing comments).

    She is a hypocrite troublemaker who is creating divisions in the dev community along gender lines for no good reason only her own need to validate herself out of victimhood. Next time a woman mentions at work how far along she in in her pregnancy, can she be reported for inappropriate comments?Because this is where this is all going.
    • Re:Put simply; yes (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Baron_Yam (643147) on Saturday March 23, 2013 @10:43AM (#43256673)

      If you try to strike this woman down, every woman with a militant feminist agenda will stand up and scream 'patriarchy!'.

      The best you can hope for is that ignoring her leads to the problem going away - because keeping her in the limelight is almost certainly going to result in people creating policies to 'protect' everyone, and the reasonable voices will be drowned out, partially because they don't make as good news copy and partially because the reasonable people generally have something other than 'advocacy' to engage in, and are busy with it.

      • Re:Put simply; yes (Score:5, Insightful)

        by bazmail (764941) on Saturday March 23, 2013 @10:54AM (#43256761)
        I'm not trying to "strike her down" and make her into some feminist Obi Wan. I'm simply learning how the game works nowadays. If I'm hanging out with some of my colleagues during conference breaks and chatting, and a female attendee walks in, my job and my 2 kids college fund/food supply/roof depends on me immediately maintaining a silence and uttering "Yes m'am" or "No ma'm" if and when appropriate, and that is all. There will be no conversation, exchanging views on squat, smiling etc. Its just gotten too dangerous to talk freely now.
      • Re:Put simply; yes (Score:4, Interesting)

        by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Saturday March 23, 2013 @11:11AM (#43256907) Homepage Journal

        If you try to strike this woman down, every woman with a militant feminist agenda will stand up and scream 'patriarchy!'. The best you can hope for is that ignoring her leads to the problem going away

        Oh right, I'm supposed to just lay back and enjoy it? That's pure fucking bullshit, son. Every woman with a militant feminist agenda will stand up and scream patriarchy whether I hug a fluffy kitten or enjoy my morning constitutional or stay home and eat cheetos. Why should I not stand up for what I believe in?

        I understand fully that there are those who stand up and say "See, look at this evil evil woman, she proves that women are evil" and I sure don't want to be conflated with them, but I'm conflated with them if I do anything other than parrot a party line, and even then some women will describe me as a rapist even though I haven't and won't ever because I find the very idea abhorrent in every way simply because I am a tripod. These women are very much in the minority, and that is the point. I'm not going to censor myself because they're loud, and suggesting that anyone should is pathetic at best.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      It will also put me off talking freely and in an unguarded manner in front of female attendees at any conference.

      Which will make these women notice the subconscious cues that they are unwanted and unwelcome because of what Adria Richards did, leading to a drop in women attendees, which people like Adria Richards will then blame on the overbearing masculinity of the leadership until the leaders are expelled for their non-existent problem with women so that people loyal to Adria Richards can take over the gro

    • Re:Put simply; yes (Score:4, Insightful)

      by BLKMGK (34057) <morejunk4me@hoFO ... m minus language> on Saturday March 23, 2013 @10:59AM (#43256799) Homepage Journal

      THIS. I don't attend this conference but if I did I certainly wouldn't next year for fear that it would be invaded by others looking to make a splash just as she did. In fact the conferences that I DO attend are going to feel more hostile and I'm not sure I like that either. I'm not in the habit of making off color jokes generally but worrying that someone for whatever reason is going to decide to make an issue out of something and post pictures all over the place for their moment in the sun just sux. This woman was a drama queen but her erratic behavior is going to now have to be taken into account at other conferences too. If this woman thought she was advancing things she was sorely mistaken - she's done just the opposite. I wonder - would this have gotten nearly the attention had the gender roles been reversed? Had she commented on their small penis size, lack of stature, looks, affinity for anal sex with other men, whatever, would this have made so much as a blip? Would they have simply laughed it off or ignored her? How about had she been saying this quietly to another woman next to her? No one would be supportive of them taking such actions against her, no one would be screaming for ribbons.... Actually I think that guy's idea for ribbons is awesome and that every conference should do it. That way I'll know who to stay away from and just maybe by lack of uptake they would get a clue as to what folks thought of this commotion.

      I hope like hell that anyone Googling for her former company or her name name comes across this incident and takes it into account before making any decisions. I hope that anyone considering going to work for the company that fired the conference attendee comes across this as well!

    • Re:Put simply; yes (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Rogerborg (306625) on Saturday March 23, 2013 @11:00AM (#43256807) Homepage

      hypocrite troublemaker who is creating divisions in the dev community along gender lines for no good reason only her own need to validate herself out of victimhood

      Bit strong, but not too far from Amanda Blums's experiences with Adria Richards [wordpress.com].

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      "It will also put me off talking freely and in an unguarded manner in front of female attendees at any conference."

      Oh, please. There is nothing quite so pathetic as the lament of someone in the privileged class. This particular story may involve a woman who gamed the system, but if you think women aren't generally discriminated against and made to feel uncomfortable with sexual innuendo then you are not paying attention.

  • by Baron_Yam (643147) on Saturday March 23, 2013 @10:37AM (#43256627)

    Pycon put out a statement that it was regrettable somebody was oversensitive and overreacted to something mildly offensive.

    That under these particular circumstances it might have been best if the offended party had expressed the fact that she was offended directly to those offending her (as they were not the least bit threatening) or perhaps escalated it to Pycon security.

    That Adria Richards was banned from all future events for violating Pycon privacy policies and making a hostile environment for all attendees, and the developers banned for a year for their part.

    Imagine a world where Pycon did that, and stated that there would be no changes in policy as a result of the 'donglegate' effect, because no Pycon policy was an issue in the events as they unfolded.

    • by styrotech (136124) on Saturday March 23, 2013 @03:43PM (#43258737)

      Pycon put out a statement that it was regrettable somebody was oversensitive and overreacted to something mildly offensive.

      Well they did update their code of conduct to disallow public shaming of anyone.

      That under these particular circumstances it might have been best if the offended party had expressed the fact that she was offended directly to those offending her (as they were not the least bit threatening) or perhaps escalated it to Pycon security.

      She did inform the organisers. They privately dealt with it, the jokers sincerely apologised, and the organisers left it at that. The tweeting of their photo was in addition to that.

      I can't fault the PyCon organisers for anything in this. If anything, they now have a more robust code of conduct now. Future events should hopefully be free of any of this nonsense.

  • Nope (Score:5, Informative)

    by CrankyFool (680025) on Saturday March 23, 2013 @10:41AM (#43256657)

    At least part of the reason I go to Pycon is for recruiting; that means that I wear a company-branded t-shirt, and -- obviously -- my name tag has my company's name on it. I expect that I should always behave in a way that is consistent with representing my company well, and part of that means keeping my conduct strictly professional.

    I don't see anything here that makes Pycon less useful, or interesting, or relevant to me, nor do I see any action on the part of the Pycon folks that I disagree with. And, having just talked with my management last night about Donglegate, I know they feel the same.

    Now, Pycon being in Montreal is a different matter -- I don't really want to cross borders for Pycon.

  • by Improv (2467) <pgunn@dachte.org> on Saturday March 23, 2013 @10:43AM (#43256669) Homepage Journal

    Calling someone something they don't like, to their face and particularly with malicious intent, might be inappropriate but it is not harassment per se. Doing so after being asked to stop (refusing to stop if there is no malicious intent does not constitute malice) probably is harassment.

    A joke that somebody doesn't like, particularly if it's not told *to* them, shouldn't be considered harassment and we should be wary of attempts to ban salty jokes.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 23, 2013 @10:45AM (#43256687)

    My decision, made many years ago, to remain a reclusive hermit who shuns contact with other human beings and only leaves his domicile to work and fetch food, is clearly shown to be correct by incidents such as this one. (It has, however, had the sad effect of making me communicate almost entirely in run-on sentences on internet web boards.)

  • by Rogerborg (306625) on Saturday March 23, 2013 @10:46AM (#43256693) Homepage

    In as much as I view it as a self indulgent echo chamber where converts congratulate themselves on choosing the one true religion.

    Python is just one tool in the box - sorry, one implement in the storage vessel. All single-language conference attendees really need to get over themselves.

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      Python is just one tool in the box - sorry, one implement in the storage vessel.

      I'd like to put my implement in— well, you know the rest.

      The truth is that anything can be dirty. To me that means at least two things. One, if you're in public, be as euphemistic as possible, it might help. Two, if you're offended by things people say, and you're not a captive audience, go listen to someone else and then you won't be offended. Spin on!

  • by michaelmalak (91262) <michael@michaelmalak.com> on Saturday March 23, 2013 @10:48AM (#43256701) Homepage
    I might have been interested in attending PyCon to learn more about Python and to network, but rather than being "offended at sexist remarks", I take the B&B comments as indication of the caliber of people I might have met at a PyCon. It may not be true, but that's the perception I have now, and I'm now more likely to attend data analytics or HPC conferences where Python happens to be discussed.
  • Chilling effect (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ilsaloving (1534307) on Saturday March 23, 2013 @11:07AM (#43256863)

    is put a chilling effect on developer conferences in general, and put pressure on conference staff to create policies that shouldn't even be necessary.

    Talk freely and openly? Not anymore. Oh no! Someone said compile and link in the same sentence! I'm offended! As a female myself, now I have to worry that if I walk up to another developer, their first thought will be, "Oh shit, it's a woman. Gotta scoot!"

    Do you have a smart phone? Sorry, you're not allowed to use it anymore because you might be taking photos of other people to post on your twitfaceplus feed in order to disrupt their lives.

    This whole thing is a big pile of idiocy, and mindbogglingly poorly handled on ALL sides.

    • Re:Chilling effect (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 23, 2013 @12:01PM (#43257281)

      "...chilling effect on developer conferences in general.."

      Probable correct. This 'effect' for tech conference is an extension of the workplace enviroment.

      My employer recently lost an excellant (female) engineer because she grew wreary of the social and professional isolation. An incident with a previous female employee had made some male employees somewhat paranoid. Perhaps a type of 'inverse discrimination', where the female becomes isolated because males become too risk-averse and actively avoid accupying same area as a female.

      • Re:Chilling effect (Score:4, Insightful)

        by bzipitidoo (647217) <bzipitidoo@yahoo.com> on Saturday March 23, 2013 @12:21PM (#43257435) Journal

        It's the employers who made this so chilling by reaching for the pink slips. People ought to give that aspect more consideration. Send a message to the employers that termination over something like that is too extreme.

        If not for the firings, this incident would be no big deal. Reprimand a few people, make sure they understand they acted inappropriately, and move on. Without the firings, the Twitter shaming would be the worst of it, for both sides, since it's nigh impossible to have things forgotten once they're online.

      • by broward (416376)

        Si. Si!
        I learned my lesson the hard way.
        I keep my exposure to women at a minimum now. yuk, yuk.

        Many have been raised to believe that they can lie or exaggerate a situation because they've been "discriminated against" for eons. Just not worth goofing with them.

  • by Erich (151) on Saturday March 23, 2013 @11:07AM (#43256869) Homepage Journal
    There seem to be two groups of people here:

    The first group of people is not offended by jokes, including jokes influenced by sexuality.

    The second group of people is offended by jokes, especially jokes influenced by sexuality. A subset of this group is offended by such jokes when spoken by members of a certain gender. Of course, this is discriminatory so we will ignore that aspect and categorize them as offended in general.

    I think there is a desire to be respectful of the second group while avoiding strict censorship of the [majority] first group.

    I suggest a clearly visible sign that someone is offended by jokes influenced by sexuality (or, perhaps broadening this to include all jokes?). Perhaps a yellow hat or something like that. People within earshot of such people should refrain from telling such jokes. People wearing the sensitivity marker who hear things offensive to them can raise the issue to convention staff who will attempt to deal with the issue. People wearing the "sensitivity" marker who make such jokes will permanently lose the right to wear them.

    People not wearing the sensitivity marker who hear something offensive to them should either (A) indicate to the offensive person directly that their conduct is perhaps inappropriate, or (B) move away from the offensive person so that they are no longer offended. If (A) is ineffective and (B) is ineffective or impossible the convention staff can be notified and they may or may not choose to act; anyone not wearing a sensitivity marker who is upset is free to go put on a sensitivity marker.

    People may wish to have activities which may include things that people find offensive, they are free to ban sensitivity markers. Additionally, "sensitivity-marker free zones" or "automatic sensitivity marker" zones could be created. Or even entire conventions where no sensitivity markers are allowed -- one would expect a crude joke convention to probably not cater to overly sensitive people.

    Of course, in an ideal world, everyone would be adult enough to know to watch their language a little bit, and to not overreact a lot. But given that certain people are especially sensitive for various reasons, we should find a way to allow them to coexist with the rest of society.

    • by ATMAvatar (648864) on Saturday March 23, 2013 @12:54PM (#43257637) Journal

      Unfortunately, you're missing a third group: people who look to be offended so they can play a victim and get attention. Adria's in this last group.

      The truly despicable part about this last group is that in the face of a true problem and real victims, this third group makes the problem worse for everyone. It detracts from the real victims' ability to stand up for their rights, reinforces the stereotypes held by the people causing the problem, and paints a larger group as aggressors because the group causing the problem happens to be a subset.

      Luckily, while I'm a guy and risk being demonized, I'm saved by another geek stereotype of which I strongly adhere - I'm too anti-social to find myself in the position of making inappropriate jokes with anyone, and I care more about learning the technologies presented at conferences to be chatting during a talk even if I wasn't..

    • by guttentag (313541)
      What color hat do you get if you have Cocklaphobia (the fear of hats or headgear [urbandictionary.com])? No really, it's actually called Cocklaphobia. I'm so not making this up. What do you mean you're offended?
  • I predict a resurgence in traditional men's clubs.

    • by guttentag (313541)
      10,000 Adrias with Google Glasses? Wouldn't that be a Beowulf Cluster in She-eeps clothing?
  • Human Beings (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mlwmohawk (801821) on Saturday March 23, 2013 @11:14AM (#43256945)

    We are all at risk here. Even though we have freedom of speech, we run the risk of losing our livelihoods if we say something that might offend someone somewhere. Richards was being a real "bitch." I say "bitch" because it is a disparaging name for a female. Not because I wish to be sexist. If the perpetrator of this nonsense was a guy, I'd call him a real "bastard." Calling a woman a "bastard" doesn't seem to be the correct usage in the English language. If someone can come up with a disparaging name to call a female that is not sexist, please suggest one, but if it is not sexists to call a guy a bastard, I refuse to accept that there is no non-sexist name we can call a woman when we are condemning her and her actions, but I digress.

    Seriously, I've been in the situation where I have been pulled aside by management for saying something offensive, but they won't say what, to someone, but they won't say who, and that I should stop it, but they don't say how. The whole harassment mentality is very kafka-esque. The REAL hostile work environment is created by zero-tolerance crap, which, by definition, means "intolerant."

    Human beings are imperfect. "Appropriate" behavior is a myth of the modern workplace police. Human beings build relationships and we communicate. We are not robots. Humor is part of humanity, and sometimes humor is off color. There is a difference between saying, "Hey, my dongle is bigger than yours" and "Have sex with me or your fired."

    Also, lets be honest here, if ms Richard heard these jokes from her friends at that conference, she would not have complained. She should try to understand and take to heart Voltaire's quote: "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." An evangelist should stand for something besides her own notoriety. Gatherings of human beings are generally improved when we all try to be tolerant of one another.

    • Re:Human Beings (Score:4, Insightful)

      by DNS-and-BIND (461968) on Saturday March 23, 2013 @11:50AM (#43257193) Homepage
      Whenever feminists talk about tolerance, they are never talking about themselves.
    • Re:Human Beings (Score:5, Informative)

      by Bearhouse (1034238) on Saturday March 23, 2013 @11:57AM (#43257247)

      If someone can come up with a disparaging name to call a female that is not sexist, please suggest one

      There are plenty...'idiot' works for me. If you want extra strength, 'nasty, hypocritical attention-seeking idiot' would seem to apply in this case.
      Why do you feel the need for something gender-specific?

      Note that you can just as well call a female a 'bastard' if you like, it's just slang for 'illegitimate'.

      Strangely enough, just about the stongest word you can use against a man in the English language is of course 'cunt'; go figure.

      Overall, though, swear word tends to detract from the overall message. I once worked for a boss that I never, ever heard use a swer word.
      But when he (rarely) felt he had to, he could take verbally take people to pieces like I've never seen.

      Now get off my fucking lawn.

    • Re:Human Beings (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Psyborgue (699890) on Saturday March 23, 2013 @01:15PM (#43257791) Homepage Journal
      Also "dick". You can't call a woman a dick. You can call a man a dick. This is considered acceptable. To call a woman a "cunt" on the other hand, is considered highly offensive. If women wish to be treated with equality, they need to stop with the double standard bullshit.
  • by Gordonjcp (186804) on Saturday March 23, 2013 @11:23AM (#43257023) Homepage

    Certainly not if my job can be put at risk because some attention-seeker decides to be offended by an innocent remark I make in a private conversation that they happen to overhear.

    I don't care if you're offended. There's a bunch of stuff that offends me but you don't hear me whining on about it, because I'm a grown-up and I have learned that other people think differently from me.

  • Montreal (Score:4, Informative)

    by sunderland56 (621843) on Saturday March 23, 2013 @11:29AM (#43257057)

    I'm not sure what the "naughty Montreal" comment is about; Montreal is an ideal location to get over this episode. Women in general, and women in industry in particular, are treated fairly and equitably. While there aren't 50% female developers, the numbers are higher than I've seen elsewhere in North America.

    I just hope conference attendees are ready for 51% of the sessions to be held in French, and all printed materials being predominantly in French, as required by law.

  • by khallow (566160) on Saturday March 23, 2013 @12:42PM (#43257567)
    What they should be asking is whether anyone will ever live in the state of California (where this most notorious of conferences happened) again. One can't be human and live in such a state. It would warp the body and destroy the very soul to try.

    So I imagine there are tens of millions of refugees trying to get into neighboring states like Arizona, Nevada, or Mexico. I say we welcome them with open arms and help heal these terrible things that have happened to them.
  • by Ranger (1783) on Saturday March 23, 2013 @01:48PM (#43258019) Homepage
    It was one minor incident in a conference full of win. I didn't even hear about it until the conference was over. 20% of the 2500 attendees were women. There were people from 41 countries. There were quite a few young programmers in attendance as well because of the education track. PyCon and the Python community has made great strides in outreach. In attendance, there were for organizations for women in tech: Pyladies, LadyCoders, Women Who Code, and CodeChix.

    Here's the best take I've read on what happened and what should have happened:

    Adria Richards, PyCon, and How We All Lost http://amandablumwords.wordpress.com/2013/03/21/3/ [wordpress.com]

    Everyone involved could have handled the situation better. I'm annoyed that this one incident, important for those directly involved, got blown way out of proportion and has shit on all the great things that PyCon achieved this year. Adria Richards does not deserve the abuse she's received even if she handled the situation wrong.
  • by Foresto (127767) on Saturday March 23, 2013 @02:24PM (#43258219) Homepage

    All the accounts I've read indicate that this was a problem between two or three individuals, and that PyCon handled the complaint they received professionally, reasonably, and quickly. Why would it affect anyone's decision to attend a future PyCon?

    I would downvote the question if I could, as it seems to be about as useful as a "first post" comment. I wonder if the submitter just wanted to see himself published on slashdot.

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