Last Updated: February 25, 2016
· krainboltgreene

Things That Were Said About PyCon

Here's some common arguments I've seen about PyCon:

Dongle jokes aren't bad this is all about nothing!

No, but they are sexual innuendoes and are thus prohibited by PyCon's Code of Conduct. They broke the rules by making these jokes in a public setting that is considered to be professional in nature.

She should have just talked to them OR told them to shut up!

The PyCon Code of Conduct which she agreed to and followed tells con-goers to report activity that makes them or others feel uncomfortable.

She broke the rules too by taking a photograph and publicly shamed them!

Yes, she broke the photograph rule, but the shaming rule wasn't written until after this incident.

She should have just called the organizers!

She did, via twitter, as was required by her from the code of conduct.

She forced him to be fired OR She forced them to get kicked out!

No, she neither forced them to be fired nor did she force them to get kicked out. No one got kicked out according to the PyCon organizers. They took both parties aside and talked to them individually.

He didn't deserve to be fired.

We don't know that and we can't know that. There's numerous reasons why he could have been fired and we only have his word that this was the problem. It's dubious at best considering he's a developer in a developer starved economy.

She deserved to be fired because she ruined her reputation with developers!

We don't know that and we can't know that. We do know a vocal group of people were unhappy, but we have no idea on how it was affecting the business. We do know it incited a DDOS on SendGrid and they made a business decision to not back her up based on that.

She shouldn't have used twitter as a weapon! (No one said these words exactly)

She spoke out against feeling uncomfortable at a public professional setting. How she spoke out is really not something anyone would judge least it become too easy to judge anyone for speaking out about anything. We should cherish that she spoke out. We can definitely chide the delivery method, but probably shouldn't.

If she hadn't done this the fiasco wouldn't have occurred!

We can only assume that. Equally we can assume that if mr-hank hadn't been fired we also wouldn't have anything to talk about. That's the company's fault, not Ms. Richards'.

She should have just kept quiet!

I suppose keeping silent in the face of someone making you uncomfortable is a choice geeks and nerds like myself are well acquainted with from very early our childhood. It's easy to tell someone else to do the same, but rarely do we enjoy it when it happens to us. Ultimately she spoke out against somehting she found uncomfortable and unprofessional. Then a company fired someone for something related to this. Then SendGrid fired her because they were possibly losing money.

What the future probably looks like based on this:

  • If you are a woman and you speak out publicly you will get death threats, gore pictures, and your address posted on the internet.
  • Companies value money over people, every time.
  • SendGrid will lose business, but maybe less than otherwise.
  • Those who left SendGrid will probably go back because they dominate the field.
  • Ms. Richards, a black female, will have a significantly harder time finding a job than a white male developer.

4 Responses
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She should have approached the PyCon organizers first if she didn't feel comfortable confronting her offenders directly. She should have not have further broken the PyCon code of conduct by publishing a photograph of her offenders. She also should not have stayed silent if she was offended. There's nothing wrong with voicing your opinion on something that offends you, but it doesn't mean you have to publicly shame people you don't even know. He made a dongle joke. Was it appropriate? Probably not. Was it appropriate for Richards to make a much bigger deal out of it than it was? Probably not. Was it appropriate for Richards to then go on to comparing herself to Joan of Arc like some kind of martyr for women's rights? Definitely not. Richards IS NOT A HERO. Is she a villain? No, but definitely not righteous and framing herself as such is just as immature as dongle jokes.

over 1 year ago ·

Stated opinion above does not apply to dog shaming. That shit's funny.

over 1 year ago ·

She should have approached the PyCon organizers first

She did.

Was it appropriate? Probably not.

According to the code of conduct it was absolutely inappropriate. There's no question or "probably".

The rest is just your opinion on the matter and has no factual or reasonable backing. Save it for people who care.

over 1 year ago ·

She DID NOT approach the organizers first. She composed a tweet with a photo of her offenders and published it. She approached the organizers after they (and the rest of her online audience) had already seen the tweet.

I don't know (and neither does anyone else except those directly involved in the fiasco) what the joke was aside from involving the word "dongle." So there is certainly a question of whether or not the joke was offensive enough to warrant the actions Richards took.

I am in no way condoning death threats or doxxing attempts. Those kinds of things are never appropriate either. She is right for standing up for herself and saying something when she felt offended, but the way she went about it was wrong in almost every possible way. Even when confronting an offender, good human beings still have a responsibility to be polite and non-offensive in their confrontation. Two wrongs don't make a right.

over 1 year ago ·