STFU, Conservatives
A reader asks: About Andria. The two men she reported on were programmers who made a joke involving the world dongle. The joke was geek humor between the two of them, which she ease dropped on and then reported and got the two men fired for. People were angry that she got two men fired for a joke that not only did she ease drop on but that she misinterpreted due to knowing little to nothing about programming. And so people were mad when they found out.

(referencing this post)

(note: the OP apologized for sending this without doing more research into it)

OK, a few things here.

  • She’s a coder and developer, so she does in fact know a thing or two about programming. She regularly speaks at coding conferences.
  • If you read her post about the incident, you’ll see there was no “misinterpreting” about what programming is: “The stuff about the dongles wasn’t even logical and as a self professed nerd, that bothered me. Dongles are intended to be small and unobtrusive. They’re intended for network connectivity and to service as physical licence keys for software. I’d consulted in the past with an automotive shop that needed data recovery and technical support. I know what PCMCIA dongles look like.”
  • She wasn’t eavesdropping. Again, read her post. She had chatted with the guys for a couple minutes and was sitting right in front of them, and they were speaking loud enough for her to hear. It was a tightly packed conference hall. It’s not like she camped out under their table at a bar and waited for them to say something and then popped out with her camera and went “A-HA! SEXISM!!!!!” and tweeted it.

I’ll cite Adria’s own bullet points for the lowdown on why she was right and they were wrong:

  • We were at a tech conference
  • There was a job fair going on
  • Women historically have felt unwelcome at tech conferences
  • PyCon was making a special effort to be welcoming to women
  • There were several women’s groups here (PyLadiesWomen Who CodeCodeChixAda Initiative)
  • He was wearing company logos and that meant his actions and words carried on their behalf
If you make sexist jokes loudly enough for other people to hear while wearing a company shirt and a “Sponsor” nametag, at a conference on a subject that is historically unfriendly to women, you deserve to get fired. Reporting it? Does not mean you deserve to be fired. People are mad because a woman - a woman of color, at that - dared to challenge two nerdy white guys’ right to say whatever offensive thing they want whenever they want as loud as they want. They got caught doing something wrong. You and everyone else who’s mad at Adria should probably redirect your anger to being mad at the fact that it’s not only OK, but defensible to make inappropriate jokes at a work event.
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