She is speaking through her privilege. She doesn’t like Adria because Adria doesn’t handle things the way Amanda wants her to.
That whole article reads to me like a slam without empathy.
My first thought on reading that was, “maybe she has tried the gentle way before and gotten shut down, blown off, or otherwise treated like her complaint was without merit”
But here’s the other thing. Would those two guys have been making cracks about forking and dongles loud enough for someone to overhear if that someone had not been a woman?
It reads to me like they made the joke expecting to be overheard, but being men, also expected no consequences even though the jokes broke conference policy.
PyCon is at fault too. Their public shaming response is cowardly. Dragon*Con has a rider on every badge indicating that by attending you accept that people can and will take your photo without your knowledge or consent. That’s because at a crowded event people get in shots. But it’d work here too. There’s a tumblr dedicated to calling out the creeper types who only take button shots of females, obviously without having asked. To my mind, the Adria sitch is not far removed.
They were at a con. They knew the code of behavior and they chose to break it. They chose to do it to a woman who didn’t just quietly take it.
I have also read that Adria did notify the PyCon management, but any female congoer will tell you that is usually wasted breath. I had to repeatedly call the management of the Marriott and threaten to take my business to another hotel to get them to address the sexual harassment and assaults that took place repeatedly during Dragon*Con 2010. Those same complaints had to number in the dozens and be backed up by men for the Con to finally announce they were going to work with the hotels to find a solution.
The truth is that nobody takes it seriously until we raise the stakes. And by raising the stakes, we’re not being the demure ladies society has trained people to expect. Which gets us branded as troublemakers or gendered slurs. Add Adria’s race into it for another layer of “uppity person stepping out of their place” reaction. And that’s a big part of why Amanda Blum does not have my respect or agreement here. None of what I mentioned above seems to have been taken into consideration in her blog post.
Do a twitter search for . More women who tried it Amanda’s way… At first.
Privilege? What privilege?
She’s speaking through her privilege as a white tech industry feminist. As a white woman, she has privilege over a black woman.
But she didn’t even try to contact the con staff!
She didn’t _have to_ try. She knew the code, she knew they’d violated it. Other than that, how many other cons has she gone through where reporting it has been a wasted effort? What incentive did PyCon give to think her experience would be any different? That’s with the code in place. That’s usually just presented as “see, we care about it” but stops when a call to action is required.
But she got someone fired!
She didn’t get the jokester fired. He got himself fired for the same thing any person representing a company but acting unprofessionally would get fired for — showing himself in a bad light while serving as a representation to the company. So she doesn’t deserve the blame for getting dude fired for his dudebro antics.
Men? Well, I guess I’m just not a man, then!
Your experience as a guy doesn’t supercede Adria’s as a woman, or mine. Many cases of guys making cracks about what they’d do to a woman are made with specific knowledge of the woman’s presence, and with the intent to make her uncomfortable (and then defended by, “it was a compliment!”).
You’re a man, but you’re not men In the overarching sense. And the truth of the matter is that men — particularly straight white men — still have the world strongly tilted in their favor. Scalzi lays this out in The Lowest Difficulty Setting There Is: http://whatever.scalzi.com/2012/05/15/straight-white-male-the-lowest-difficulty-setting-there-is
So while you, individually, may expect consequences, the majority of them are raised to, and used to, being able to say and do whatever they want without consequences (or less harsh consequences than anyone who is not a straight white male).
Aw, you can’t blame them for not reading the policy document. Those things are dry and boring and they have con events to get to!
You should always read TOS, EULA, and con policies. I don’t like reading them, but I find standing in line or waiting for events to start is a good way to get that done in small pieces. If you don’t read them, you don’t know what you’re agreeing to.
You have to “raise the stakes”? That’s a creepy effect to go for.
It’s not a “chilling effect I’m going for”. It’s life as a woman.
One of my personal experiences at work:
Me: “does anybody know where the Baby Geniuses content has been moved?”
Male Coworker: “ask one of the other females. They should know.”
Me: “Why should I ask another female? You work here in the same job they have, and should have the same knowledge.”
Male coworker: “But they’re the moms.”
Me: “And the guys are not dads?”
Male Coworker: “*sputter*”
I should not have to have that conversation, arguing that women would know about baby related content sooner than men, and that it wasn’t his job to know because he’s a guy and moms raise the kids. But I do. Repeatedly. But I have more knowledge than most of my coworkers and I get paid less because I’m female, and less again because I’m black. And the only thing I get told is to not use the knowledge I have because they can’t pay me more. They tell me to take ownership and then penalize me for doing so.
And that’s just one instance from one woman. There were hundreds of comments on LJ posts in the dragon_con community about the sexual harassment. My one phone call to the Marriott was given the sort of polite lip service that meant nothing until I showed them the links and comments. At which point it meant enough to their bottom line — because people would pick another hotel — costing them money — if they didn’t work on solving the problem.
But what if if the takeaway if women keep raising the stakes is that it’s too risky to include women? Then what?
If the takeaway is that “allowing women is too risky” that will start a bigger firestorm than this one. Because women all over will perceive that as “not only are women unwanted, but it is too much trouble to look out for their safety and security”. And we’ll be right about it. We already have to fight to try to get paid what men get paid. We already have to fight to control our own bodies. We already have to fight to not be held responsible when someone forces their idea of control on our bodies. So it’s not like one more fight will be that much of a strain for us to take on.
Come on, she should’ve just called them on it one on one and worked it out with them privately.
“Call them on it and work it out privately” is all well and good if you can expect respectful and professional response. From the response of the Father of 3, after the fact, maybe she’d have got it. But in experience as a female — probably not. And as a father of 3, what kind of example is he setting for his kids anyway if he’s making remarks like that loud enough to be overheard? The truth is that many women have already tried and failed the “asking politely” method so many times that they now see it as a huge waste of effort, and immediately seek to try something else.
I didn’t even know or care what race Adria Richards is! It doesn’t matter! She still shoulda done it by asking politely.
For the record, it’s nice that you don’t know or care what Adria’s race is. But again. You’re thinking of your perspective, rather than the big picture. As a woman who is also a person of color, Adria unfortunately has a smaller luxury than that.
Also, keep in mind:
how many wars against oppressors have been won by the oppressed being gentle and polite? Did it get us from colonies to states? Did it free the slaves? Did it win civil rights?
Unfortunately, the answer is no. The “keep doing it the gentle way” method is the refrain of the oppressors.