Friday, March 22, 2013

A mess all the way around

The controversy at PyCon about possibly-sexist jokes and the reaction to them triggers a few thoughts...and since the title of the blog is "Random Musings," here are some random musings....

  • That such jokes were being made would not be a surprise to anyone who knows geeks. 
  • Yes, they were out of line. "It's part of geek culture" is no excuse, and we can't ignore that kind of thing and then wonder why so few girls are interested in entering the field when they grow up. 
  • That said, it's not clear that asking for the guys to be ejected over a passing joke was the optimum response. Would a withering glare and a "that's not funny" have been impossible? 
  • From there, it's a spiraling tale of corporate cowardice, of firing anyone who's come to the public attention, and bad internet behavior. (Death threats and hacking attacks? Over a misunderstanding over a joke? Everyone take a deep breath and grow up. If the people who got fired aren't making such threats or attacks, I don't see how anyone else has the right to.) 
Though I'm looking forward to the next python meetup get-together, so I can talk with some people who were at the conference... It's usually a good bet that the more the media has come to a consensus about what happened, the more wrong that consensus is.