Ein Einblick in Adria Richards Denkweise

Etwa im März 2013 hatte Adria Richards einen großen Skandal aus einem mitgehörten Witz und einer Bemerkung über Dongles gemacht , der zunächst dazu führte, dass die entsprechenden Männer aus dem Konferenzsaal entfernt worden sind und zumindest einer seinen Job verlor. Im Folgenden verlor dann Adria Richards selbst ihren Job.

Zehn Monate später hat ein Reporter sowohl den entsprechenden Mann als auch Adria Richards interviewt. (via Vox Populi, wo der hier interessante Teil herausgenommen ist)

Dem Mann, der als erfahrener Programmierer umgehend wieder einen Job gefunden hat, tut das ganze schrecklich leid. Er bedauert auch, dass es für  Adria Richards solche Konsequenzen hatte und das sie danach von vielen blöd angemacht worden ist.

Die Auswirkungen auf sein Verhalten schildert er wie folgt:

I asked Hank if he found himself behaving differently since the incident. Had it altered how he lived his life? “I distance myself from female developers a little bit now,” he replied. “I’m not as friendly. There’s humour, but it’s very mundane. You just don’t know. I can’t afford another Donglegate.”

“Give me an example,” I said. “So you’re in your new workplace [Hank was offered another job right away] and you’re talking to a female developer. In what way do you act differently towards her?’

“Well,” Hank said, “we don’t have any female developers at the place I’m working at now. So.”

Von einer ähnliche Zurückhaltung von Männern hatte auch Breakpoint berichtet. Die Verschärfung des Klimas trägt nicht unbedingt dazu bei, dass Frauen es besser haben. Eher dazu, dass man ihnen gegenüber reservierter ist.

Interessanter als sein Verhalten fand ich jedoch Adrias Gedanken zu den damaligen Vorfällen:

Ten months later, I was sitting opposite Adria Richards in a cafe at San Francisco airport. She seemed introverted and delicate, just the way Hank had come across over Google Hangout. She told me about the moment she overheard the comment about the big dongle. “Have you ever had an altercation at school and you could feel the hairs rise up on your back?” she asked me.

“You felt fear?” I asked.

“Danger,” she said. “Clearly my body was telling me, ‘You are unsafe.’”

Which was why, she said, even though she’d never before complained about sexual harassment, she “slowly stood up, rotated from my hips, and took three photos”. She tweeted one, “with a very brief summary of what they said. Then I sent another tweet describing my location. Right? And then the third tweet was the [conference’s] code of conduct.”

“You talked about danger,” I said. “What were you imagining might…?”

Have you ever heard that thing, men are afraid that women will laugh at them and women are afraid that men will kill them?” she replied. “So. Yeah.”

‚He’s a white male,‘ Adria said. ‚I’m a black Jewish female. He said things that could be inferred as offensive to me‘

I told Adria that people might consider that an overblown thing to say. She had, after all, been at a tech conference with 2,000 bystanders.

“Sure,” she replied. “And those people would probably be white and they would probably be male.”

“Somebody getting fired is pretty bad,” I said. “I know you didn’t call for him to be fired, but you must have felt pretty bad.”

“Not too bad,” she said. She thought more and shook her head decisively. “He’s a white male. I’m a black Jewish female. He was saying things that could be inferred as offensive to me, sitting in front of him. I do have empathy for him, but it only goes so far. If he had Down’s syndrome and he accidently pushed someone off a subway, that would be different… I’ve seen things where people are like, ‘Adria didn’t know what she was doing by tweeting it.’ Yes, I did.”

Man wundert sich, warum sie keiner mehr einstellt. Sie fühlte sich also bedroht, in einem Raum mit 2.000 Leuten, weil diese weiß waren und weil es Männer waren. Es wäre vollkommen offensichtlich, dass es sich hier um einen irrationalen Rassismus handeln würde, wenn eine Frau sagen würde „es waren schwarze Männer und ich eine weiße Frau, natürlich war ich in Gefahr“. Warum die gleiche Irrationalität, die typisch für den intersektionalen Feminismus ist, dagegen so wenig auffällt ist eigentlich erstaunlich.


Adria Richards, Forking und Dongle Witze

Adria Richards war auf einer IT-Konferenz und belauschte dort ein Gespräch zwischen zwei anderen Teilnehmern hinter ihr.

Aus ihrer Beschreibung:

The guy behind me to the far left was saying he didn’t find much value from the logging session that day. I agreed with him so I turned around and said so. He then went onto say that an earlier session he’d been to where the speaker was talking about images and visualization with Python was really good, even if it seemed to him the speaker wasn’t really an expert on images. He said he would be interested in forking the repo and continuing development.

That would have been fine until the guy next to him…

began making sexual forking jokes

Was sie dann zum Handeln bewegte:

I was telling myself if they made one more sexual joke, I’d say something.

The it happened….The trigger.

Jesse was on the main stage with thousands of people sitting in the audience. He was talking about helping the next generation learn to program and how happy PyCon was with the Young Coders workshop (which I volunteered at). He was mentioning that the PyLadies auction had raised $10,000 in a single night and the funds would be used the funds for their initiatives.

I saw a photo on main stage of a little girl who had been in the Young Coders workshop.

I realized I had to do something or she would never have the chance to learn and love programming because the ass clowns behind me would make it impossible for her to do so.

Also tweete sie zu ihren etwa 10.000 Followern:


Die Veranstalter reagierten sofort:

A few minutes later, one of the PyCon staff member approached to the left. I stood up, went outside to talk with him and explain the situation with a few of the other PyCon staff. They had seen my tweet. After explaining, they wanted to pull the people in question from the main ballroom. I walked back in with the PyCon staff and point them out one by one and they were escorted to the hallway.

As I walked back to my seat, I cannot tell you how proud I was of the PyCon and Python community at the very moment for keeping their word to make the conference a safe place to be. A bit shaken, I took my seat to continue watching the lightning talks. I sent an updated tweet that the situation was being dealt with and later on, PyCon tweeted they had addressed the issue.

Da sie ein Foto der beiden gepostet hatte kam das auch zu dem Arbeitgeber eines der beiden zurück, der ihn daraufhin feuerte.

Hier seine Darstellung des Ganzen:

Hi, I’m the guy who made a comment about big dongles. First of all I’d like to say I’m sorry. I really did not mean to offend anyone and I really do regret the comment and how it made Adria feel. She had every right to report me to staff, and I defend her position. However, there is another side to this story. While I did make a big dongle joke about a fictional piece hardware that identified as male, no sexual jokes were made about forking. My friends and I had decided forking someone’s repo is a new form of flattery (the highest form being implementation) and we were excited about one of the presenters projects; a friend said „I would fork that guys repo“ The sexual context was applied by Adria, and not us.

My second comment is this, Adria has an audience and is a successful person of the media. Just check out her web page linked in her twitter account, her hard work and social activism speaks for itself. With that great power and reach comes responsibility. As a result of the picture she took I was let go from my job today. Which sucks because I have 3 kids and I really liked that job.

She gave me no warning, she smiled while she snapped the pic and sealed my fate. Let this serve as a message to everyone, our actions and words, big or small, can have a serious impact.

I will be at pycon 2014, I will joke and socialize with everyone but I will also be mindful of my audience, accidental or otherwise.

Again, I apologize.

In dem Blog von Adria Ricarda fand sich sodann einiges an Kritik dafür, dass sie die Männer wegen ein paar unter Ihnen ausgetauschten und vergleichsweise harmlosen Witzen so öffentlich bloß gestellt hatte und dies auch ohne sie vorher selbst einmal aufzufordern, solche Witze in Zukunft zu lassen:

Hier der Kommentar einer Kommentatorin:

You know I love the crap out of you, Adria, and I’m not trying to pick a fight, but I’m just as likely to make a forking joke or a dongle joke as any guy. Why? Because dongle is a hilariously silly word.

I realize that I’m about to invite the ire of an army of feminists who will accuse me of condoning sexism and rape culture through my own casual sexism and that being a woman, I should be ashamed and am the biggest part of the problem and so on.

But seriously? It was a joke. A stupid, silly joke that a 12 year old would make. Yes, it’s a professional conference, but then maybe that means I don’t belong at conferences (even the ones I speak at?) if we’re not allowed to make the occasional childish remark.

Da wird eigentlich der klassische Konflikt zwischen „Jede sexuelle Äußerung in der Nähe von Frauen ist sexistisch“ und „Sex ist auch für Frauen ein Thema, über das man Witze machen kann“ deutlich.  Im Endeffekt der Streit, der sich auch bei sexpositiven und sexnegativen Feminismus findet. Und natürlich die Frage des Überreagierens. Die Bemerkungen waren nicht an sie gerichtet, sie waren vergleichsweise harmlos, sie selbst war nicht deren Thema, sie waren teilweise vielleicht noch nicht mal sexuell, wenn man seine Sicht zugrunde legt.

Auch ein interessanter Kommentar:

This is satire of what an overzealous feminist would do… right? You didnt *ACTUALLY* ruin 2 peoples(and by extension, their families) lives because of a immature and harmless joke, right? And you wouldn’t flaunt that ability as some wonderful accomplishment, right?

The saddest part about all of this is, these women think this 3rd wave of feminism is going to work in their interest. It isnt. 3 months ago i would have considered myself a feminist, since we’re all trying to work for true equality, right? But the more i read about this…. the Anita Sarkeesian’s, the Rebecca Watson’s, and now the Andria Richard’s… The more i realize this is less about equality, and more about feelings of victimization and ‚getting even with men‘, regardless what the individual did, just as long as he has a penis. Sorry, but i cant be associated with that anymore. Id rather hit the glass ceiling than blindly and arbitrarily ruin my peers lives because i dont have a penis.

You’re a simple minded PERSON Andria. What you did reflects poorly on all of us women, but even worse on humankind.

Das dürfte wohl das Gefühl nicht weniger Frauen sein, die ebenfalls keine Lust haben, dass sie beständig Opfer sind und die mit harmlosen sexuellen Witzen auch gut zurechtkommen und sie selbst gerne machen.

Und wo wir bei diesen Frauen sind, ein weiterer interessanter Kommentar:

ow are jokes about ‚forking‘ exclusively disparaging toward women? These are jokes about sexuality, which, last time I checked, women only hold a 50% stake in.

Are these more or less disparaging towards women, than jokes about socks down pants are towards men? [1]

Are jokes about socks in pants less about penises than jokes about big dongles? I’m confused.

How about retweeting cracks about autism? [2], or innuendo of dollar bills being ’six inches long‘ [3] — this implies a sexuality that others may not be comfortable with.

As a developer, I find your jokes about the social awkwardness of other developers to be offensive. [4] (Am I overreacting because you used the hashtag of Joke? Is that what these guys were missing?)

Or is it okay to be sexist and offensive if it’s done via twitter?

Hinter den Zahlen verbergen sich jeweils Tweets von Adria Richards selbst, nämlich die Folgenden:

Anscheinend hat sie kein Problem mit ein paar Peniswitzen, wenn sie sie selbst macht, was man dann doch besser sein lassen sollte, wenn man solche Aktionen startet.

Der Protest im Internet war von beiden Seiten groß. Auf ihren Arbeitgeber, die Firma Sendgrid, die wohl einen Emailservice betreibt, wurde dann wohl auch ein entsprechender DDOS-Angriff gestartet als Protest.

Der allgemeine Protest führte dann wohl dazu, dass sich Sendgrid wiederum von Adria Richards trennte und sie entlassen hat:

Was eine interessante Entwicklung ist, die sie einerseits in feministischen Kreisen noch mehr aufwerten wird, weil sie, die sich gegen sexuelle Belästigung gewehrt hat, nunmehr zum Opfer geworden ist, was ja nur ein Beweis ist, wie das Patriarchat mit Kritik umgeht, aber auch weil es der erste mir bekannte Fall ist, wo auf eine solche Aktion tatsächlich ein Nachteil entstanden ist (wenn die Kündigung nicht nur dazu diente die DDOS-Attacke zu beenden).