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Feminism because why not make a thread for it?
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stripeypants



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 12:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Isn't there an old religious idea about how men can control them, but women are evil lusty children who can't control their wants?
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Sam



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 12:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

women are uncontrolled lustbeasts that must be kept in check with strict social controls.

they must also be kept modest, because immodest women will end up provoking men to take them sexually.

not that these ideas are contradictory or indicate that it is actually the men who are the uncontrolled lustbeasts and perhaps the kept-in-check restrictions make more sense for them under this worldview.

because patriarchy
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bitflipper



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 12:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In another thread, Sam wrote:
Let's not mince words: no matter the intention or internal reasoning, Adria Richards did a stupid, mean, and wrong thing, but more important is what led her to her overreaction: she's part of a culture which incentivizes really bad habits which delegitimize important causes and good ends and good lord does she need to be called out on that shit, even if not everyone is going to be doing it fairly, or with the best of intentions.

To quote one of my partners:

Quote:
She was completely in the wrong and championing a kind of benevolent sexism that says women are too precious and delicate for our ears to hear the bad mans saying icky swear words. I should note -- and this is a pretty important point -- that the jokes weren't directed at her, weren't sexualising or objectifying women or the space, and as far as I've been able to glean was fairly innocent potty humour between two friends.

She didn't even bother saying to their faces "hey, that's not cool". Instead she barfed whimpers for help for the damsel in distress all over Twitter.

Was the humour childish? Yeah. Did the guy deserve to get fired over it? Absolutely fucking not. I make jokes like that at work. (Someday I'll tell you about the time I had to test a stream with porn because that's what the customer was using.) The guy has 3 kids.

I would be really annoyed if my male coworkers started walking on eggshells around me because of my gender, or because they feared retribution because my gender is too fragile for the occasional dick joke. I like to think that having a vagina doesn't prohibit me from saying "hey, that isn't okay". A lot of making spaces safe consists of redefining masculinity (right now it's essentially "not femininity", which has wide-ranging implications for why femininity is seen as inferior and often forcing men into a role they don't necessarily want to be in), but I digress.

In that environment, nothing was barring her from turning around and saying "hey, guys, could you save that for after the talks, it's making me uncomfortable". Considering the dudes were there representing their companies, if either of them had an ounce of sense they'd have immediately apologised. If they hadn't, she'd have been totally justified escalating it, but in this case, she jumped the gun.

Her blog post about it is pretty atrocious.


Now, I think she didn't really just "barf whimpers for help" on twitter. No, she has tragically gotten caught up in a culture that rewards what is effectively concerted performance art, incentivized by a pathological shame culture. It rewards working to find and capture targets for social justice communities, because it gets you cred and "signal boosting" in the social networks they utilize. Her overreaction for the benefit of the mark-for-shame response was the expected output of a culture of shame cred and crusader cred, because doing this nets you attention, followers, and standing. Social Justice points, I guess. I should know, I garnered quite a few once upon a time. Shit like this has been expanding so rapidly that it has caused many of these social justice communities to practically implode in (and note the extreme irony of a gendered word describing the concept) conformist witchhunts and the increased alienation of otherwise perfectly moral allies. In addition, when she talked up her decision to do these things (and yes, she sure talked the fuck up out of them — used pseudopsychology to say that the men were being disrespectful because of deindividualization and that she would stand up against it and framed it as "the future of programming" was on the line in her decision to speak up) and responded to criticism about her crusade with textbook responses about how people were just trying to paint over her experience or 'gaslight' her, it all comes down to SJ culture and the various rights-apportioning and justifications issues that it has folded over in layers for itself. It is astounding to watch.

There are so many reasons why it's not good, most important being what it does to progressive social change when circles devoted to it demand non-relational activism and locks movement power up in increasingly stratified and openly hostile elements.

But okay. I'd rather talk about that later. Right now, it's just that Richards was a tool. In the same conference where she smiled at those two men and snapped that picture over about the most innocuous humor possible, she was also playing Cards Against Humanity. A game which makes far worse than any dongle humor those two guys were sharing amongst themselves. If she was participating in it, couldn't she have definitely understood the extent to which it is ridiculously hypocritical to target those two other people for untargeted forked/dongle comments then herself publicly participate in a game where you can literally play "date rape" to win points and was pretty much engaging in salacious humor herself? Shouldn't she have taken a picture of herself and posted it as NOT COOL OMG SIGNAL BOOST, or whatever?

The larger issue is, of course, fucked to all hell by all the crazy creepy shit that women continue to have to face at all sorts of tech events and conferences and jobs. She will doubtlessly receive a goddamned torrential outpouring of the creepiest shit you could possibly imagine in retribution for being some uppity woman what got some men fired. She was working and advocating towards change in an industry culture which is unbelievably (as in, more so than usual) shitty for women. Most people will be attacking Richards because her mistake has become, by proxy, something they can use as a convenient validation of their shitty beliefs (see: Original Poster). But none of that changes that what she did was inappropriate false light defamation, and her blog post on the matter really illuminates the extraordinary hypersensitive self-serving grandiosity she applied to her decision to target those two dudes.

Has social justice actually degenerated now into nothing more than a status battle for who can garner the most cred points in blaming others and crusading, or is it still about the Cause? What do other 'Festers think?
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Lasairfiona



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 1:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think crusading with coverage (twitter, tv, etc) can be a side effect of people taking the issue seriously. It is like that annoying cough that comes with pneumonia - it shows up but it isn't the main point.
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WheelsOfConfusion



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 3:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In some cases, particularly the Richards incident, it seems to be mostly the result of publicly crowd-sourced retaliation.
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bitflipper



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 4:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

WheelsOfConfusion wrote:
In some cases, particularly the Richards incident, it seems to be mostly the result of publicly crowd-sourced retaliation.

A witch-hunt with smart-phones? Perhaps. But it's been argued--by people well-known for their stances on women's issues and in support of social justice--that Richards only reaped what she, herself, sowed. I'm trying to reserve judgment, myself; the whole nasty episode bespeaks over-reaction piled upon over-reaction.

I think that the Cause itself, the pursuit of social justice, is still very much alive and well. And that it will be so for many, many years yet to come, as the idea of social justice evolves from being an issue among Western societies to becoming a global human rights issue. We're already beginning to see some of that now, in Egypt, for example, and in India.

But, there are fringe members of the movement who are indeed exactly as Sam describes them: caught up in SJ culture and more concerned with their blame-cred and their crusade-cred than they are with the actual Cause, itself. They have horror story after horror story to tell, but damn few success stories.

This is not due to a lack of success for the movement overall--while women still have a struggle ahead of them to attain a reasonable equality in terms of available opportunities, respect in the workplace, respect for their person, elimination of stereotypes, and recognition of the unique needs of a female biology, at least progress has been made. I remember the 70s, when the sexism was far more open and blatant. When my mother would go interview for a job, the question she ran into the most was not "Tell me about your background," but "How quickly can you type?" Today, my daughter is asked about her education, training, and background, and, if there's even a hint of sexism shown to her in the interview, that interviewer can expect to be in hot water, very quickly. This is progress! Even though there is still far more progress to be made. And this doesn't even begin to touch on the progress in Civil Rights made since the 60s, nor the global efforts at protecting human rights such as Amnesty International and other watchdog and aide groups. Social Justice is alive and well, and moving forward with a speed that can be measured in months and years instead of the generations and centuries crawl of a pace that had historically been its lot.

But, to return to the fringe element, they seldom seem to have any knowledge of the movement's progress and its victories. But they can certainly recite incident after incident of insulting, sexist behavior, even if they have to deliberately misinterpret events and sweep their own actions under the rug in order to have an incident worthy of reciting.

I'm afraid every movement has such a fringe element, though. There is something human that seemingly wants to nip at the heels of others and decry foul actions even when those actions have to be blown out of all reasonable proportion in order to demonstrate how foul they are.

So, long and short: while Sam has indeed pointed out a fringe element to the cause of social justice doing what fringe elements do so well, I think we can rest assured that the real movement is still strong, steady, and making progress in the face of millenia of opposition, all around the world.
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WheelsOfConfusion



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 4:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bitflipper wrote:
WheelsOfConfusion wrote:
In some cases, particularly the Richards incident, it seems to be mostly the result of publicly crowd-sourced retaliation.

A witch-hunt with smart-phones? Perhaps. But it's been argued--by people well-known for their stances on women's issues and in support of social justice--that Richards only reaped what she, herself, sowed.

That's exactly my point. She got offended or annoyed and instantly decided to recruit the internet to punish the people who did it. Unfortunately, whatever you post on the public internet is... in public. So her calls for people to harass the guys she had a problem with also exposed her to people who decided to harass her instead. This also left her open for recursive crowd-sourced retaliation when some people decided that her original call for retaliation was wrong.
I don't think she was doing it for "cred," just for spite, and it backfired the way it did because her method was very public. If she had just been spiteful by filing a trumped-up harassment claim and getting those guys kicked out of the conference, maybe in a way that would have still gotten the guy fired, it likely wouldn't have blown up in her face. But no, she had to do it On The Internet by outsourcing her effort.
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stripeypants



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 1:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My question is: Would a man doing exactly what she did have recieved death threats?
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Felgraf



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 2:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

stripeypants wrote:
My question is: Would a man doing exactly what she did have recieved death threats?


It depends, I supposse? It may have to do with whether they have a history of such things (other choice twitter posts from this woman include things like "Black people cannot be racist against white people".)

That said, my gut feeling is 'Probably not'. A lot of immature teens and preteens (and, unfortunately, child-adults) on large portions of 4-chan (/b/ especially) behaved in a morally reprehrensible manner, and should be taken to task. Their reaction was in no way called for. (And the guy who was fired certainly didn't ask them to do this). At the very least, if a guy did the same thing, he wouldn't have gotten death threats *from the same people*.

(However! If I guy did this... wouldn't it be considered 'slut-shaming'? EDIT: I should note I do not ask this as a devil's advocate or a coy question: This is sincerely making sure I am using the word right. If a male took a picture of women using foul language in a public/social setting, and posted on the internet about how awful it was and everyone should know that they are horrible people, I was under the impression that that would be the *DEFINITION* of slut shaming. I may be misunderstanding the word, though.)

Either way, it should bear research. Internet Death Threats tend to be what happens when, well, large chunks of the internet decide you've done something they don't like.

That said, that also doesn't have much bearing on whether *her* actions were appropriate, either....
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Salpta



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 6:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A blog I agree and keep up with posted this. I agree completely.

https://amandablumwords.wordpress.com/2013/03/21/3/
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stripeypants



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 9:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If a man did that to a group of women, it would be a bit different - because that man is inviting those women to recieve death threats and rape theeats by the whole internet. I don't think that is considered slut shaming, though, because it doesn't involve a person shaming someone else for having sex or enjoying anything to do with sex.

I don't have advice for how a man should handle such a situation.

Ideally she could have gone to the staff about this, but there are many cons where the staff do absolutely nothing, or even do everything they can to make sure the woman just won't come back.


Here is a handy list I just found of sexist incidents in tech/geek culture.

http://geekfeminism.wikia.com/wiki/Timeline_of_incidents
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Sam



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 9:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yeah, that is pretty much the long and short of it from a position that starts with an educated standpoint on the tech world's portion of the overreaction (the part I largely didn't cover) and reminds us all that HA HA, WHAT A SHITTY SITUATION, WE ALL LOST.

of course as is usual for the world, not everyone loses equally. Blum also punts this forth eloquently:

Quote:
She didn’t get the developer in question fired… Play Haven did that and there are probably details of that transaction we aren’t privy to. It is a tragedy, but one that isn’t her fault. She committed one single offense: not approaching the men like an adult and saying “hey. guys- cmon, that’s offensive to me.”. On her own blog, she states “it only takes three words: ‘That’s not cool‘”, which I agree with. She should have said them to the developers in question. If she was that uncomfortable doing so in a full room, she could have contacted PyCon officials privately, there were certainly channels to do so. Its important to note Adria’s entire job was conversing with developers. There were multiple steps she could have taken before she once again dropped a public bomb on twitter and her blog. In her own take on the situation, Adria claims to have considered many things like the size of the room and the audience. All she had to consider was “what outcome am I looking for?”. If the outcome is “change the way these men are speaking” she’d have taken a different route. If “make as big a deal of this as humanly possible with no thought to consequence” was her outcome, she chose right.


I slightly disagree! It is not really 'make as big a deal of this as humanly possible with no thought to consequence' that she was going for. It was, as I said before, a concerted offering, to the ends of social justice warrior cred, which she plays into because the culture rewards her for it.
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stripeypants



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 9:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do think that if you are a professional who will be interacting with other professionals, you should already know how to behave appropriately. I think if the folks who manage such cons tended to be serious about addressing concerns over sexist behavior, things would be different. But really, if you are female and attending these things, you're either on your own dealing with harassment and rape threats, or you surround yourself with other people who will help you. No inbetween there, as far as I know.

Incidentally, this is the biggest reason (beyond lack of funds) why I don't go to cons. I heard Orycon has always been good and wanted to go there the next time it ran, but apparently it has been sliding downhill fast the last couple of years. Such a disappointment.
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Snorri



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 9:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Felgraf wrote:

That said, my gut feeling is 'Probably not'.


I'm going with 'Probably a lot fewer'. We are dealing with the internet after all.
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Sam



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 10:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dude, she's a girl who situationally became an outlet target for people who want to validate the whole "women are out to get me" mentality. She is doubtlessly drowned in death threats. you get death threats for everything, but what she did will make her the target of a number of groups that give you way more death threats on average.
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