It’s been another exciting week of misogyny, sexism and general suckitude! Woo! …wait.
I feel sure that anyone who knows me and thus follows this blog already knows about the trainwreck that happened at PyCon, when “developer evangelist” Adria Richards overheard a joke she found offensive, took pictures of the offending men and posted them to Twitter, resulting in one of the men getting fired, and PyCon changing their code of conduct. Three days after the event, word hit the internet, which responded in about the way you’d expect, sadly. Sexist, racist, misogynistic threats and insults, as well as a DDoS attack on her company, and clearly the reasonable thing to do is to fire Richards. Right?
I’ll be honest, the worst part about this whole mess for me was going to Facebook and seeing post after post insinuating that Richards was to blame for the response because she tweeted a picture rather than confronting the two guys herself. There’s a lot wrong with that type of victim-blaming in general, but Richards posted a nice description of her week prior to PyCon on her blog, which included multiple instances of sexist comments or jokes EARLIER THAT SAME DAY. Additionally, you don’t understand what it’s like as a woman, especially in a conference that is 80 percent male, knowing that if she did speak to the guys, she would likely just be dismissed. Twitter had a great hashtag for a while: #IAskedPolitely to show people how well that usually goes. (Spoiler: not so well.)
I like to think that I’m enlightened and aware, and as such, that I surround myself with other people who are. But reading social media last week was exhausting and depressing and, more than anything, just made me not want to live on this planet. What do you do to combat that? How do you respond when your male friends show such a complete and callous disregard for a woman? How do you reconcile that with what you think about yourself, and the things and people you value?