Hi my name is Karina and if my name doesn’t give it away, I am a woman. I am a woman of Hispanic Heritage. I am a hispanic woman studying computer science.
While studying Computer Science, I don’t think I have ever faced misogyny. At least none that I can clearly remember or classify as misogyny. My friends and classmates believe that I am as capable as they are regardless of my race, color, and gender. But just because I haven’t faced it doesn’t mean other women have not nor does it mean that I will never face it.
Whether you realize it or not women do face prejudice, sexual, and demeaning comments more frequently than men. Now, I said MORE than men, not that men don’t because I also acknowledge that men are also targeted. These types of unacceptable comments and experiences are mostly detected or heard of in the technological industry. I believe this is because it is a male dominated field, not including Latinos or African American men.
I am not a feminist. I don’t take everything offensive or heart felt. I understand how to take a joke. I know the difference between a joke and a racist, sexist, and demeaning joke or statement. I don’t want to be the nagging and annoying woman, but if we do not address this issue and educate the culprits then we will keep being the “weak” humans who are not as good as men in this field. However, I also do agree that there is a limit to “educating” or calling out someone who has used words that are offensive to women.
On May 17, 2013, Adria Richards, a DevOps course developer at Udacity, had the atrocious audacity to snap a picture of two men who she allegedly accused of making “Jokes about forking repo’s in a sexual way and “big” dongles”. Of course, it might not have been the most appropriate subject for a PyCon conference, but was it demeaning woman? Since when does sexual content become woman content? In fact, I don’t think this was a joke targeted to women. It just happened to be content that happened to offend Ms. Adria Richards.
The way she responded, could have been better. But only occasionally do people “respond appropriately” in situations that make them angry, uncomfortable, and sad. For starters, she should have started by NOT taking a picture of the two men and letting them know that those jokes offended her. A direct communication, one on one is more reasonable, responsible, and mature. Of course if such communication didn’t work, she could have easily contacted staff. Instead she decided to tweet the picture causing both of them their jobs.
The man did apologize for his imprudent language and stated that he would be more careful and mindful of his audience when speaking out loud. However, he also said, that “the sexual context was applied by Adria”, when he said “”I would fork that guys repo”. In other words, Ms.Richards sealed this man’s fate because she, on her own, added the sexual context to some words that were never meant to be sexual.
Hey don’t blame others for the sexual contexts that your mind puts on words.
In all, the tech. field is a male-dominated field, it will be a while until it is a diverse field. Of course, meanwhile we should speak up when something offends us, both men and women, but we should also learn how to approach a problem.
We are adults let’s try to act like one.