Adria Richards, PyCon & “Donglegate”: What You Should Know and Read About This Case

You’ve probably heard of “Donglegate”. If not, start with Jill Filipovic’s excellent rundown of the matter: Sexism in the workplace is alive and well, and Adria Richards is latest victim

The following people have all written excellent, smart, and cogent analyses about the issue. Each of these posts addresses different aspects, and every single one of them is worth reading. In fact, if you care about improving the culture of tech, these are required reading.

These articles will give you a wealth of knowledge, insight and perspective on this very intricate situation, and the bigger issue itself. You may not agree with all of them, but I encourage you to read them with an open mind, setting your own biases and privileges aside.

Somewhat in order of personal preference:

Sarah Milstein: I Have A Few Things To Say About Adria

Matt LeMay: On PyCon

Melissa McEwan: Adria Richards Does Belong at Tech Conferences, and A Few More Thoughts on Adria Richards

Deanna Zandt: Why Asking What Adria Richards Could Have Done Differently Is The Wrong Question

Rachel Sklar: The Firing Of Adria Richards Looks Like Knee-jerk Appeasement To The Troll Armies

Janet D. Stemwedel: Naming, shaming, victim-blaming: thoughts on Adria Richards and PyCon

Stephanie Zvan: Not in public!

Soraya Chemaly: Online Threats Against Women Aren’t Trivial and Don’t Happen in a Vacuum

P.Z. Myers: Adria Richards did everything exactly right, and Ars Technica weighs in on Adria Richards, and flaunts a double-standard

Aja Romano: In defense of Adria Richards and call-out culture

Gayle Laakmann McDowell: Digging Beneath the Surface: That Amanda Blum Article on Adria Richards is Not What It Seems

Valerie Aurora: Adria Richards’ Story Shows How Sexual Harassment Endures in Tech Community

Chris Yeh: Sexism in tech is like an onion–it has many layers and makes people cry

Courtney Stanton: A Woman Walks Into A Tech Conference

Estelle Weyl: Death by 1000 cuts

Dani Alexis: How Adria Richards Spoke For Me

Alexis Ohanian: Dear Fellow Geeks: WTF

Dan Nakaso: Lawyers say firing of developer who outed inappropriate comments on Twitter hard to defend in court

Unrelated to the Adria Richards case, but a good read about public shaming in general, is Janet D. Stemwedel’s The ethics of naming and shaming.

You might notice a central theme here: none of these people are blaming the victim (Richards). If you think she was in the wrong to publicly report the two guys, you should definitely read all of the articles above very carefully. I’m not saying there isn’t an argument to be made against that perspective, but thus far I’ve been unable to find a piece trying to do so that wasn’t steeped in the authors’ biases and/or their inability to examine their own privileges. As Stephanie Zvan points out, this is all about politics, and so these privileges and biases are very important to overcome.

If you know of an article about this case that you feel is worthy of inclusion (and doesn’t suffer from obvious privilege/bias issues), please let me know on Twitter and I’ll check it out. (My thanks to Gabe Glick and James Baker for several additions)

I have a lot of things to say about the case myself, and only some are addressed in the above pieces. So, more posts to follow.

If you liked this, you should follow me on Twitter!