How To Talk Dirty

November 9th, 2011

Today there is much chatter on Twitter about Brittany Tarvin’s A Letter to the Developer Community. In a nutshell: Brittany attended MacTech last week, and was offended by the unprofessional vibe in a few instances, but in particular, with regard to sexual jokes that comprised the content of one. It reads to me less like she was less personally offended than surprised and disappointed by the behavior of her peers. My takeaway after reading her piece is that she feels juvenile humor simply does not have a place at a professional conference.

Judging by the massive response on Twitter in support of her opinion, I think that most people tend to agree. However, I think that the vagueness of her description of the incident leaves much to the imagination, and is causing people to leap to condemnation of the talk, the conference, and the industry. I am not saying the condemnation is unwarranted, but my feelings about this particular event are complicated, and I think yours might be too, if you knew more of the details.

The talk in question was titled The Ten Dirty Words and How To Use Them. The talk was given by my friend Andy Lee, and his synopsis from the conference session descriptions reads:

In 2003, I came up with “The Top Ten Cocoa Words That Sound Dirty But Aren’t.” By finding APIs via this arbitrary way, we talk a random stroll through Cocoa, which can stimulate curiosity and lead to new discoveries and new questions. What would you guess NSInsertionPosition is for? (I incorrectly guessed text editing.) It can also be worthwhile reviewing familiar ground. We all autorelease — some of us every day — but it may still be possible to learn a thing or two about it. I will talk about the proper use of each word in the list.

To give you a more specific idea of the offensiveness of the API method names that Andy discussed, take a look at his blog post listing the API methods under discussion. [Update: MacTech has just posted slides from the talk.]

The genius of this talk is it takes a running gag in the Cocoa community, that occasional API names here and there were unfortunately named, and runs with that gag as a scaffolding for exploring the specific APIs in more detail. As for the sexual jokes, I think they basically write themselves in the individual minds of the audience. As anybody who has sat through an all-too-dry conference talk about the specific technical blah, blah, blah of any subject can attest, it is generally a good idea to inject some humor into a talk’s structure.

So was the humor in this case too much, or too vulgar? I’m sure that Brittany was not the only person in the room who was offended by the talk. On the other hand, as the one “comic relief” talk in a 3 day schedule that contained more than its fair share of professionalism, I think it’s probably fair to say that some members of the audience were relieved to have a chance to laugh about something.

Injecting humor into any talk is dangerous. Especially with a diverse crowd, you are liable to offend somebody. Jokes of a sexual nature are even more dangerous. Even if the joke is not sexist, per se, there is a strong possibility that members of the audience will take offense because of sexual taboos in society. I also imagine the discussion of sex in a strongly gender-imbalanced setting will make members of the minority gender more uncomfortable than the rest of the room.

But neglecting to inject humor is also dangerous. The Mac and iOS communities have a strong tradition of humor in our conferences. Many of us feel annoyed and cheated by a conference if there isn’t a bit of liveliness. So, it goes both ways. It’s important to process this incident carefully to understand how it went wrong. Was the problem that there was a session with a noticeably lower level of “seriousness” than the other sessions? Was it that the session’s jokes were of a sexual nature? Or was it that the sexual nature of the talk’s jokes were not made clear enough to the audience before it took place?

I think what is happening on the web now is many people are seizing onto the angle of Brittany’s complaint that most resonates with their own frustrations about the conduct of our community. This is a valuable reaction and a good opening for further exploration. But what isn’t useful is the large number of people who are condemning the conference and the speaker without significant information about the context of what happened. I hope that I have at least helped to clarify that to some extent. If you still feel that blanket condemnation is the appropriate response, then I’m happier with your opinion now that you’ve read mine.

 

30 Responses to “How To Talk Dirty”

  1. Benjamin Ragheb Says:

    “I think that the vagueness of her description of the incident leaves much to the imagination, and is causing people to leap to condemnation of the talk, the conference, and the industry.”

    Nailed it.

  2. allgood2 Says:

    I assumed Brittany was deliberately vague, because she didn’t want people to condemn the conference or the speaker directly, which is why no names were mention. Obviously a number of people knew who she was talking about, but even more didn’t.

    I think allowing for the non-specific, staved off criticism of Andy and his talk, but also just allowed people to focus on the state of not just the Mac community but the whole ‘development’, ‘consumer web’ or tech community in general. Now most of the criticisms I saw stayed pretty non-specific. I wondered which conference, but wasn’t planning on devoting any time to trying to figure it out.

    This is the first article I saw that mentioned the conference and the speaker and while its a great defense of that, unfortunately does reframe the issue, I think for many. I know for me the issue was more ‘is this what are community is becoming’ or ‘do we want a community that’s better than this— more empathetic, more open, more welcoming to women, minorities, and not just young white males.’

    The naming, now sets the focus on should Andy be condemn. No, obviously not, which is why his name wasn’t mentioned.

  3. Daniel Jalkut Says:

    allgood2: I decided to bring the specifics into the conversation, because I knew that the specifics were “reachable enough” by anybody who was interested enough to go hunting, but not easily enough for those who were just making a flip reaction to the limited information available.

    Because the information was available and would inevitably come out, I thought it was only fair to get Andy’s full exposition out on the table, so he can be judged for what he did or didn’t do at the conference.

  4. haineux Says:

    In classic Mac OS, there was an icon drawn in the printing Page Setup dialog box, to show the orientation of the image on the paper. The programmer found an appropriate symbol in a font that was already shipping — a black and white cartoonish image that the font artist thought was a puppy. But soon Apple’s Developer Tech Support team christened the icon “Clarus The DogCow” and made up an elaborate set of jokes around her.

    Turns out that some people were deeply offended by this name, and in some countries, the icon was changed to be a horse. These two events were probably not related, but it still goes to show that “not offending people” can be difficult work.

    And, just to be clear — I always expend some effort not to offend people. If I do something, and find out later it offended someone, I apologize, learn from the incident, and do better in the future.

    Based on reading the slides, I can say definitively that I have seen MUCH worse. However, since I wasn’t in the room, I can’t say much more than that.

  5. Rob... Says:

    At the point I started a second reply tweet, I thought I should comment here! I wasn’t there, so I want to talk about the general case here rather than the specifics of this particular talk and the words that were actually spoken by the presenter.

    Sexual humour tends to be at the expense of women and exclusionary. I find that this makes me uncomfortable as I don’t want to be part of a community that looks down on others implicitly. Sexual jokes on-stage reinforce this attitude in my opinion. Obviously, I don’t know about this specific talk or what sort of jokes were made verbally, but what seems “harmless” as a man isn’t necessarily from a women’s point of view. If we really are part of a respectful community, then making others uncomfortable and left out doesn’t seem acceptable to me.

    Similarly ‘in jokes’ or ‘running gag’s are also exclusionary if you’re not “in” on them. I’m sure that they are funny to those in the know, but the rest of us feel excluded, unwelcome and belittled because we’re not part of the “cool” people.

    Having I completely agree about dry conference talks – I’m guilty of giving some myself! I would hope that it’s possible to inject humour into a talk and into a conference without making some of the paying attendees uncomfortable though.

    Regards,

    Rob….

  6. John C. Welch Says:

    Humor and lame attempts at entendre that even Beavis would bag on are two different things. “toolTip”? “insertBacktab”? Seriously? I’m actually more astonished that was the content.

    But, and I say this as the guy who gets more “appropriate content” warnings than probably anyone else in the entire Mac Community, there is a time and a place for that kind of schtick and it’s absolutely not hard (THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID HUR HUR HUR) to see where that wasn’t it. It’s the same thing with Gruber’s infamous “Who the fuck (HE SAID “FUCK” HUR HUR HUR) is mick jagger” shirt at Macworld last year. Was it funny? Kinda. Was it the thing to wear on the Expo Main Stage at friggin’ noon or so? No.

    Not being boring doesn’t require you to shove lame jokes that even a six year old wouldn’t giggle at into your presentation. (THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID, HUR HUR HUR) It means you have to be a better speaker than you may currently be, and you may have to work harder to keep people engaged, but the idea that sans “member: hurhurhur” talks will be boring and dry is just silly.

  7. nataliepo Says:

    I listened to Andy’s talk when I was the only woman in the room at Cocoaheads NYC a few months ago, and, yes, categorically, it’s a tech talk that revolves around penis and anal sex jokes. It does not feel good to be the only woman in the room when somebody’s telling dick jokes for an hour. I was rendered invisible among my peers.

    Would a talk like this be appropriate at an architecture conference? Or a writer’s event? Or one with a profession that’s predominantly female — nursing? Absolutely not. As funny as some might find it, it’s never appropriate. But what saddens me about the reactions to this talk (and the reactions to the reactions) is that we consider tech an industry exempt from professional standards. Our collective “I’ve seen worse” reaction is the ultimate wrongdoing. And why do we still see worse than this? Is it because our dress code is adamantly informal? Is it because there isn’t a strong female presence to encourage males to be on their best behavior? Who knows, but the tide against it starts with the average community member (male or female alike) speaking up, and, for that, I thank Brittany and Daniel for furthering the discussion.

    I will say, though, Andy is a genuinely good guy and I believe he has the best of intentions. Beyond my personal discomfort with the topic among my peers, my ultimate takeaway from the talk was that there’s a lot of history and collaborative strife in a language over the years, and some of it had tongue-in-cheek sexual references, and some of it was pure coincidence. If the presentation can be toned down, I think it should be. Regardless, I’ll be back to Cocoaheads NYC soon because they’re a group of approachable, smart people who I believe will respond positively to feedback like this.

  8. Mike Piontek Says:

    It’s one thing to add humor or even be immature up to a point. But if most of your talk is dick jokes, and most of your audience is male, don’t you think that’s going to make the few women in the audience really uncomfortable? Maybe even a bit threatened, if the audience is getting into it and you start talking about women as sex objects?

    I wasn’t at the talk so I can’t judge it. But Brittany’s post wasn’t even about that specific talk—it was an example. Discussing the specific talk is kind of getting away from the point, really. I read posts like hers all the time, from women in various industries that are male-dominated (like video games and comics). She talks about how she felt uncomfortable and why, and then a bunch of guys gang up on her and tell her she just needs to lighten up. It’s awful. It happens over and over and over.

    To the guys it all seems innocent, because it’s just a joke, after all. Yes, jokes often offend people. But you’re also basically saying it’s her fault for being uncomfortable, you don’t care because you want to have fun, and, well… ultimately you’d rather women stay out of your industry than have to think about the implications of your jokes. Is that what you want?

  9. John Wilker Says:

    This type of thing has come up from time to time, every few years, at various conferences. This comment is from the perspective of an event organizer. The issue of offensiveness, # of women in tech/women at conferences, etc all kind of intertwine.

    As an organizer it’s hard to know what the slides will be until the session starts, at which point you really only have two options; let it go, or the nuclear option. Even if you demand slides in advance to proof, you can’t know what the speaker will say, or if the deck might change last minute (and speakers rarely have their decks done in advance of the event anyway, LOL)

    There’s a fine (and often moving) line of what’s appropriate and what isn’t. What one finds funny, many might not, and some might complain. While never being in this exact situation, I’ve gotten complaints about speakers and it weighs on ya. Do you black list that speaker? Talk to them? Ignore the complaint(s)? I tend to take each case on it’s own merits and make a decision.

    I think sometimes the attempt at humor blinds us to the existence and our crossing of that ever moving line of appropriateness. It sounds like that might be the case here. Harm intended, no. Lesson learned, I’d imagine so.

    I’m sure MacTech, the same as myself tries to ensure that the event is as welcoming to men and women alike, etc. and that this is a huge learning experience.

  10. Anil Says:

    “As an organizer it’s hard to know what the slides will be until the session starts, at which point you really only have two options; let it go, or the nuclear option. Even if you demand slides in advance to proof, you can’t know what the speaker will say, or if the deck might change last minute (and speakers rarely have their decks done in advance of the event anyway, LOL)”

    John, with respect, I’ve helped advise or lead a number of large events (Web 2.0 Expo here in NYC probably best-known among them), and this is a false dichotomy. There is a simple, effective third option: Communicate to speakers that images, messages and content that make audience members uncomfortable or excluded are not appropriate and will not be welcome at the conference. Then there’s no need to guess, and deploying the “nuclear option”, as you’ve described it, is only necessary in cases of deliberate disobedience, in which case it’s a clear prerogative anyway.

  11. haineux Says:

    OK, so now we’ve heard from someone who was there, who was offended. She’s explained that the talk, partially because there were very few women in the room, made her feel “invisible.” I think most people will agree that that is not acceptable.

    (And to those people who think that it is, somehow, acceptable — how are there ever going to be more women programmers if technical conferences make them feel “invisible?” More personally, how are you going to have women friends?)

    So now what do we do about it? Sincerely apologize, learn, and improve in the future.

    I am deeply sorry, myself, because I did not realize that those jokes would make someone feel that way. I would (almost) never want anyone to feel that way. I now realize that “dick jokes” are not OK at a technical conference, even though they seem like they’d be acceptable on the Beavis and Butthead show. When I next give a public talk, I’ll make sure to avoid any sexual humor at all.

    I’ll add one more thing: thank the person who spoke up. No, really. So often, people who speak up get criticized, called names, ostracized. It requires bravery to speak up, especially when you’re not being anonymous.

  12. Andy Says:

    This lady sounds like a normal person trapped amongst nerds.

    Many years ago I read Jeff Bigler’s piece on “tact filter” orientation — http://www.mit.edu/~jcb/tact.html — and rarely has anything rung so true to me. It explains so much about situations like this.

  13. Nick Says:

    Brittany was correct to think this was inappropriate. As a male attending this talk I would have been asking myself why I should sit through another moment of someone publicly speaking like a 14 year old boy in a locker room. Then leave.

  14. Seth Bracken Says:

    If you condition yourself to be sensitive to ______, don’t be surprised when you’re offended. Perhaps we should stand Shakespeare up and tsk-tsk him for such unprofessional language that permeates his comedies. The attraction to software development seems in part that devs are judged on their work alone, not their politics, tastes (or lack thereof), or non-imperiling behavior. The problem for people like Brittney is that people who enjoy the freedom of being a dev tend to be people who revel in that freedom from professionalism as well as in their freedom from stale ideas and strictures that prevent creative problem solving. That may also be why the filed is particularly attractive to men as well. Guys prefer to crash through barriers, women tend to prefer building consensus. Please note her reference to the several other people who stayed and were offended as well. For the most part a truly offended guy would have rammed the speaker at full steam, damn the torpedoes. Could you imagine John Gruber drumming up consensus to support one of his posts condemning the idiocy of some AAPL stock forecaster or some such? YMMV, but speaking broadly I think this is the case, and while unprofessional behavior may be off putting, it is not harmful, whereas fettering and corralling these mavericks may annoy them enough to drive them out.

  15. Zachery Bir Says:

    @Seth: If this industry needs juvenile humor to survive, perhaps it doesn’t deserve to.

    Personally, I think there are enough intelligent, creative, passionate, inquisitive, and grown-up folks who have sense enough to avoid making dick jokes in a conference presentation to keep this community alive.

    Furthermore, I suspect there are also enough compassionate and caring leaders of the community to guide and shape this discussion away from witchhunts and towards a path of inclusion for both sides of these events. Drawing the people who feel marginalized in, and drawing the people who go a little too far back back towards a place where they can get their message across without alienating folks needlessly.

  16. Kimberley Says:

    I’m a human-computer interaction student at UW. I have participated in quite a few projects / conferences / etc where there was a large group and I was the only woman. I run a nonprofit coworking group for women who do programming, design, UX, etc. in Seattle.

    I wanted to comment on:
    “It does not feel good to be the only woman in the room when somebody’s telling dick jokes for an hour.”

    Here are things I don’t feel good about:

    – an entire conference passing where every reference to an engineer, dev, designer, or end user uses “he” or “him”
    – nearly every book i’ve read about technology only using “he” or “him”
    – programming being taught in a way that is well-suited for some learning
    styles, ill-suited for others, and ignoring the fact that the style of
    instruction can influence who gets involved more than the topic itself
    – t-shirt schwag that’s only printed on t-shirts for men… or on “unisex” shirts (because if you made a dress in a size that would fit a dude, that would suddenly make it “male”?)
    – if a woman is on a presentation slide, it’s via stock photography with cleavage and heels
    – being asked if i’m there with a boyfriend / husband
    – being asked if i’m lost
    – conversations that pause to slowly explain technical things to me in small words with the assumption that i don’t already know what they’re talking about without anyone having asked my background / level of knowledge
    etc.

    So I definitely understand having a frequent sense of frustration, overall feeling of alienation, etc.

    That said, I am perfectly fine with being the only woman in the room when someone’s telling dick jokes (assuming they’re potentially funny). I’m not known for “appropriate” humor myself. That’s not to say that I can’t understand why
    someone else might find that offensive or hurtful. But I find it frustrating when anyone says all women are / aren’t _______, regardless of whether the person saying that is female or male.

    If the majority of talks at a conference do not involve dick jokes or references to
    “tits and ass”, I can’t agree that the presence of a few that do is a clear indication
    that the developer community as a whole approves of that content.

    That’s not to say that I think people should sit idly by while things happen that make them feel uncomfortable. I’m glad she spoke up. However, to me, a dick joke indicates that you know you may be about to offend someone. The silent, unspoken assumptions about women that permeate many tech events / forums are something that I find much more offensive and damaging than pointing out that knobThickness sounds like the topic of an adult film. In some ways, pointing that out indicates that a man is openly acknowledging the presence of a “boys club”… to me, acknowledging that a situation exists is the first step toward change.

  17. Kimberley Says:

    “That may also be why the filed is particularly attractive to men as well. Guys prefer to crash through barriers, women tend to prefer building consensus.”

    If guys are universally into crashing through barriers, wouldn’t that mean that a field where men were the minority would be particularly attractive to them? Wouldn’t they relish the challenge of being the only dude in a room where all the women talked as though they didn’t exist? Wouldn’t they adore going to a career event where the schwag was all babydoll t-shirts that were 5 sizes too small?

    If you aren’t spending a large amount of time in a situation where you’re the minority, I wouldn’t be so sure that you love crashing through barriers and being a wild maverick. People tend to subconsciously avoid things that they don’t think are “for them” and then tell themselves that they just aren’t very interested in the topic.

    Example: Sapna Cheryan talked at TEDxSeattle about a study she did at UW about undergraduate women who were considering majoring in computer science.

    It’s on youtube. It begins by asking what your mental image is when you hear “nurse” vs. “programmer”. Next you see google’s image search result.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TYwI-qM20x4

  18. Andy Lee Says:

    I’m the conference speaker being discussed. Just chiming in to mention that the Andy who commented earlier is a different Andy, in case it wasn’t clear.

    A lot of strong and instructive points made here. Thanks to Daniel for providing this forum.

  19. Nate Says:

    Ummm… who cares? People need to get off their high horses and thicken their skin. There are ACTUAL problems in the world, THIS is not one of them.

  20. Tom Says:

    I’m a little puzzled by the reaction.

    Go to a stand-up comedy event. You will hear two hours of dick jokes and anal sex references, whether it’s Frankie Boyle or Sandy Toksvig, Ed Byrne or Sarah Millican (Sarah can be especially crude). Sorry for being UK-centred in my choice of comedy; hope no-one’s offended. Male and female comedians today use a lot of sex in their routines, and we don’t really bat an eyelid. Their audiences are full of men and women laughing at the jokes in equal measure.

    So it’s not like IT conferences are full of inappropriate humour that our wider society finds unacceptable; on the contrary, the very crude humour of our wider society occasionally creeps into IT conferences, and when it does a very few people get very upset.

    I can think of two possible reasons. One is that there is a certain type of person who is always going to be upset by this sort of thing, and that sort of person is particularly drawn to IT. This is plausible: Women entering a male-dominated field need to be either very thick-skinned or very vocal in objecting to mis-treatment, and it is the second sort who are going to get upset by this sort of thing. The historical prepondernace of men in the field will tend to filter out the women who don’t like it but don’t feel they can anything; they’ll just leave rather than cause a fuss.

    The other reason I can think of is that a sexual joke that a woman might find funny in a sociable group that is 50/50 men and women suddenly seems a lot less funny and perhaps even a bit threatening when you don’t really know anyone well and the mix is more like 98/2.

  21. Adam R Says:

    I just wanted to say that Seth Bracken nailed it, and explained quite clearly why I’ve loved being in the software development industry for the past decade, and look forward to the next decade even more.

    If you’re too thin-skinned to hear some dick jokes, then maybe this industry isn’t for you. I know plenty of incredibly intelligent women who wound’t be offended in the least by such silliness. For all the other, easily offended women out there, well, go become business analysts or something.

  22. James Morris Says:

    “Ward, you’ve been a little rough on the Beaver lately.” Is this a simple comment that could have been made by the mother to the father regarding the father’s recent treatment of their youngest son on the classic television show “Leave It To Beaver” or could this be the dirtiest thing ever said on tv by a wife to her husband?

    It is all where your mind takes you.

    Without discussing gender issues and the appropriateness of topics, I will simply say:

    If I were to see a conference topic titled “The Ten Dirty Words and How to Use Them” and I am easily offended by the possibility of double entendre and the potential of sexual jokes, I would not attend.

  23. Nadia G. Says:

    That’s right, just don’t go if you are easily offended. And if they offend you in most places Engineers go, just become a housewife. How about “Ten Racist Words and How To Use Them”? Just don’t go if you don’t like racial jokes.

    I went to VSLive even recently, and one of the speakers, Miguel Castro, shared this joke: “XAML is like a woman, no one can understand it.” Men looked around and stared at the two women present. The speaker continued: “What?! All men agree with me!” More laughter and staring. It’s difficult to offend me, and it didn’t, but isn’t this just a tad unprofessional?

  24. Paul Says:

    Personally, I am skeptical of the motives of most aspiring computer scientists, regardless of their genders. I assume that 90% want to be involved because it is “cool” and trendy, or because they believe they will make good money. In turn, the general population that this 90% comes from is conditioned to judge most everything in their lives on superficial grounds, mostly based on social identity and status. Only a small percentage of aspiring computer scientists understand the scope of and are interested in the actual subject matter. The rest will attempt to contort it to their narcissistic social identity needs, and that includes the so-called “geeks”.

  25. emrys Says:

    If you are offended by content, then leave. If the content is important, then concentrate on it and ignore the chaff.

    The world can be a hard place. Learn to cope!

  26. KahunaPig Says:

    I’m glad I’m an old guy and due to retire (think of Mad Men, Pan Am, etc.), but don’t make any jokes about old fat white guys, who aren’t with it, are old fossils, or what ever else, because I might be offended. Be offended by starvation still in our society, or 99% vs. 1%, or disfunctional governments, or wife beating, or child abuse, or a million other truely important things. But stupid tasteless jokes? Come on. Get up and walk out, as said above. Stop being all about “Me”.

    BTW, I’ll be on a farm, out in the country, where I won’t be able to offend any of the so sensitive crowd. Boo hoo.

  27. haineux Says:

    Let’s consider a hypothetical situation: One of your colleagues, who is a good programmer, someone who’s (indirectly or directly) helped you in the past, is offended by something you say.

    You have two choices:
    1) Apologize, learn something, do better the in the future. Maybe even make some new friends because you’re less of an offensive jerk.
    2) Tell them “Just get over yourself.” They never speak to you again. Good riddance.

    Here’s the thing: Most people have this image of themselves as a badass programmer, who never needs help, who literally BEATS the compiler into doing their bidding.

    Is that really true? If it were, why are you reading this blog? Shouldn’t you be carving optimized binary code directly into the surface of your hard drive with a BOWIE KNIFE?

    After all, real programmers don’t need any help. At all. Ever.

  28. Adam R Says:

    @haineux

    That’s a straw man. There’s a big difference between acting cordially toward your friends, and insisting on trying to remove any trace of edginess/fun from a presentation since, omg, perish the thought, someone in the audience might get offended.

    Presentations on APIs are inherently boring. Good for Andy for trying to make it more interesting by talking about the api calls that sound dirty, but aren’t—like KnobThickness!

  29. Wilhelm Reuch Says:

    But why is it always women? And since when is women a minority group?

    Why not make it easy … if it is announced as a developer conference open to anyone then it is plain rude to the visitors to have to deal with dick jokes or even sexist clip-art or whatever. If you feel the need to laugh – go to a comedy club and listen to professionals.

    By allowing these kind of populistic speeches they are also disrespecting the more serious speakers and branding not only their own conference but the profession as a whole.

    The conference mentioned in the article could simply have avoided this by declaring
    that this was “a conference for mac developers that like to giggle at repeated dick jokes”. They would have done everyone a service by doing so. If bigotry comes out in the open it is easier to deal with.

  30. Carolina S. Says:

    I waited a few days to post this because this subject is so infurating to me, I’d probably say things I’d regret.

    The only thing that matters is if a presentation was adequate or not. It matters if it was professional or not.

    In my opinion, just judging by the slides, it was poor… not because it had sexual references, but because it wasn’t funny at all. Pretty meh, if you ask me.

    Now comes this female attendee feeling all offended BECAUSE she’s female and damn the sexist developer community?

    EQUALITY FOR ALL… but treat me special cause I’m a chick?
    Double-standards much?

    About the presentation… it was either something to do again, or something to avoid, but NOBODY cares about your gender. It doesn’t matter, remember? That’s what not being sexist is all about.

    Now if somebody complains BECAUSE they are female, THEY are the sexist ones. The vast majority of women I know are sexist, and they all complain about being “victims” of sexism, when THEY are the aggressors.

    “No real man man would ever do that”…. “be a man”… “gotta learn how to talk to the ladies.”

    How come there’s no “no real woman would ever do that” or “be a woman” or “gotta learn how to talk to the dudes.”

    All the sexism I’ve ever witnessed, having lived on 3 continents, and experienced many cultures… is that, on “developed nations,” sexism is a weapon used against men, relentlessly, by women. If anybody complains, “look at the taliban, look at what they do to women.” You lose.

    Keep that bullshit out of the developer community.
    Want to be treated as respect? Don’t pull the gender card. That’s cheap and extremely unfair.

    Reader, wanna see how sexist you are? I’m a female. Could you have guessed that?
    The correct answer is: there was a 50%/50% chance.

    All I ever see is “I’m a woman, treat me with equality,” then something goes wrong and it turns into “I’m a woman, give me a break” or “I’m a woman, do this for me /sexysmile.”

    NOBODY would care if the person complaining were a man.

    I am a straight woman. I like men. I do not like how other women emasculate men at every chance they get. I do not want men to check-in their balls at the door if I ever go to MacTech.

    Still… the presentation was, at best, mediocre. Not the issue, though.

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