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Programming Python Social Networks

Will Donglegate Affect Your Decision To Attend PyCon? 759

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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  • 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].

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • by GNUALMAFUERTE ( 697061 ) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <etreufamla>> on Saturday March 23, 2013 @11:53AM (#43257207)


    Fucking stupid. We're in the 21th century, and you still haven't got over sex? It's a part of life, and it's fun to joke about it. Women dress in sexy attires. Men tell dirty jokes. We each have our own way of expressing ourselves. If you can't handle a few dick jokes, then GTFO.

    You say you want the world of coding to welcome woman. We do. But you want US to change our ways. You need us to accommodate everything to the "fragile" females, who can't handle reality? Dirty jokes are rape. Flirting is rape. Looking at you is rape. Woman ARE NOT FRAGILE. They can handle dick jokes, they can talk about sex, and if somebody flirts with them on the job, they can either fuck him or tell him to go away. They don't need protection. It's not Woman in general who are fragile and need protection, it's YOU. It's not a female issue, it's a YOU issue. YOU are fragile, and you have problems with your own sex life, so you can't handle people behaving in a NATURAL way. Go see a psychologist, so that YOU can change to accommodate the world instead of expecting we all change the world to accommodate you.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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

    by dan828 ( 753380 ) on Saturday March 23, 2013 @12:38PM (#43257551)
    Bitch is not sexist in the same way that bastard or asshole is not sexist.
  • Re:What the hell (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Em Adespoton ( 792954 ) <slashdotonly.1.adespoton@spamgourmet.com> on Saturday March 23, 2013 @01:23PM (#43257857) Homepage Journal

    Feminism is not sexism at its finest - it's the logical and expected reaction of rational people who despise sexism against anyone. You making massive sweeping statements about women speaks volumes about how you perceive women. You have some serious issues to deal with, and with them I wish you luck.

    While your central point has merit, "feminism is the logical and expected reaction of rational people who despise sexism against anyone" is patently false. I'm a rational person. I despise sexism. I am male. I am not a feminist. Of course, to me, "sexism" might not mean the same thing it does to you. To me it means overlooking the attributes and characteristics of a person as a whole because of their gender, applying stereotypes associated with that gender even if there is no evidence that they apply to the individual in question. I'd even go so far as to say sexism can refer to the attitude of thinking of or treating someone (or everyone of a gender) as a lesser being due to their gender.

    In my experience, there are, proportionately, at least as many sexist feminists as there are sexist rednecks.

    I'd call myself humanist, except that term's already taken, and I tend to value non-human beings also -- celebrating the natural strengths of all, and supporting those who have areas of weakness where I have areas of strength.

  • 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, Interesting)

    by silanea ( 1241518 ) on Saturday March 23, 2013 @04:24PM (#43259043)

    [...] I seriously hope that the organizers simply would have told these guys in a sincere and compassionate way "you're in public, and your behaviour reflects on the community. This is a family-friendly event and a common problem but we need to change the geek culture. Your sexual innuendos are not in keeping with the environment we're trying to foster at this event and they contradict the code of conduct. Please stop yourselves, and stop your friends. Spread the word.

    Leaving aside the, frankly, rather stupid stereotype you keep playing* there: This is precisely what went down. The woman reported them to staff, they were taken aside, they apologised. But oh, Missus Mighty Righteous could not leave it at that. No, she had to go nuclear on the two of them.

    This has nothing to do with sexism, we agree on that. This is one person being an asshole.

    * I do not know what the proper terminology for that is, but it is not all that different from sexism. Or racism, for that matter. "The geeks" are about as sexually inexperienced as "the women" are incapable of programming or "the blacks" are prone to stealing. I consider myself part of "the geek community", and so far I have seen a level of sexism on par with that in politics, business, academia and the Scouts but not exceeding it. It may well be more visible here, just as public name-calling probably is more rampant on FOSS mailing lists than in corporate boardrooms, due to the specific communicative culture and conventions. But that in and of itself does not mean it is worse than elsewhere.

  • Re:What the hell (Score:3, Interesting)

    by RougeFemme ( 2871421 ) on Saturday March 23, 2013 @04:33PM (#43259097)
    I think a lot of women agreed that she over-reacted. Some women thought she shouldn't have "re"acted at all. But some of those women who were on the fence now find themselves falling off the fence onto her side. Not because she was fired, but because of all the rage directed towards her.

Solutions are obvious if one only has the optical power to observe them over the horizon. -- K.A. Arsdall