Last Updated: February 25, 2016
· OJ

Don't be so keen to burn the Witch

It's common for people to jump on a bandwagon to visibly distance themselves from something that has been considered bad or poor by the wider community. There are times when this is valid, such as when Boston Code Jam blatantly ostracised women in their marketing brochure.

There are, however, cases where doing so is wrong. The most recent case I can think of is at NDC Oslo where a Microsoft sponsored event consisted of girls dancing on stage and the words "penis" and "vagina" appearing in the lyrics of the song.

When news of this broke my Twitter feed went nuts with "BURN THE WITCH"-style comments and devs saying "if your'e not offended or insulted then you're part of the problem."

I don't agree with the sentiment. The dancing girls were putting on a show, and were not wearing anything offensive nor revealing too much of themselves. I do not find the words "penis" or "vagina" insulting or offensive.

With that it mind, I want to make it clear that I do not think that this style of entertainment has any place at a technical conference. Nobody would be insulted or offended if they were out for a night of entertainment somewhere else and they saw this on stage. The reason the geek world went nuts is because degrading and alienation of women is a hot and very important topic.

To sum up: "entertainment" like this isn't offensive or insulting, it's just lame, disappointing, embarrassing and very much out of place. It doesn't belong in a place like NDC or any other technical gathering.

Don't be so keen to burn the witch.