The tech industry is full of phallic terminology. Every day I make a double entendre about something in the computer and/or programming industry. Granted I’m cognizant of my audience and anyone that might be able to hear what I’m saying. In the case of Adria Richards vs A-Predominately-Male-Industry, while I don’t dismiss her right to be offended, the way she handled it wasn’t prudent either; especially when the comments weren’t even directed toward her.
Be that as it may, the tech industry is dominated by males; and, as a male myself, most of us are neanderthals! I’m not saying that women are not welcome in the tech industry, in fact I encourage more women to get involved because its already too much of a “sausage-fest”. Yes, there is a time and a place for certain remarks and perhaps those boys at PyCon could have picked a better time for their sordid conversation but boys will be boys; and in an industry where stress is as necessary as caffeine, stress needs an outlet. Actually most of the women I know that are in this industry often partake and sometimes take it to a whole new level.
If women like Adria Richards cannot handle an industry full of “forking code”, USB dongles and “fscking” a computer then perhaps you’re not a good fit. I don’t care how much you tweet or blog about how “sexist” these terms are, you cannot change decades of standard vernacular. People, like me, will not stop using appropriate terminology just because it might sound inappropriate (in which case I ask who’s the real pervert).
There are lessons on both sides of the debate here. Be more aware of the volume of your conversation and courteous of those around you. At the same time, be careful what you post on the Internet because the world will see it and you just don’t know what you will stir up. Tibetan Philosophy states “Don’t start none, won’t be none” (source).