Why Asking What Adria Richards Could Have Done Differently Is The Wrong Question – Forbes
If you haven’t read about “Donglegate,” you should. This piece reminded me of the thousand paper cuts post from last week. Adria Richards spoke out against one of those cuts. There’s a very nice piece on Wired that analyzes these as “microagressions” and why they are significant. “Sadly, what happened to Adria Richards tells women they’re only welcome in technology if they keep their mouths shut.”
Some say she should have gone to the conference organizers first. As someone who has repeatedly gone to conference organizers (with offers of constructive help, no less!) on sexist behavior, panel lineups, and more, and been basically patted on the head over and over, I can tell you that’s also not the first avenue of action for many women experiencing sexist behavior. We’ve been Skinner-boxed and Pavloved into believing that “going to the authorities” isn’t going to change anything. That may or may not be true for PyCon–they (happily) have a code of conduct that includes harassment, so they may have been more open to a complaint. But again, we can’t ignore the cultural baggage that we all bring to this kind of table.