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Wednesday, March 27, 2013


Hmmm First I've heard of the story (was away). I must be old and busted, but I think it's not just about adult men with teenaged brains. I think plenty of decent people (female as well as men) have foul mouths and can be socially inappropriate at times, but that doesn't mean they aren't also highly intelligent and valuable workers. Particularly in the tech field, there are so many brilliant but not especially socially skilled people (give me an A, give me an S, give me a P, etc.) to fire somebody because they said something inappropriate is just asinine. Anyone can say something dumb occasionally.

I think it just depends on which sacred cow is being defended that week in the PC media or employer sensitivity training workshops. Isn't it ironic that sensitivity training has not created any significant improvement in understanding or relationships between very different people at work, but it has led to more people being fired, disciplined, and more real hostility towards the groups people are told to make nice to, and great skill at being verbally hypocritical in public about not being prejudiced?

Having said that, the tech culture is so notoriously sexist and anti-female, that I can understand any female in it to have major chips on her shoulder and to be fed up. I have daughters who are brilliant at tech, who were programming for fun in their teens, who flat out refused to pursue anything in the field professionally because of profane, misogynistic attitudes. They didn't want to be resented for invading turf some insecure males viewed as "theirs". So, I think the hositility in this case is not so much about teenaged boys, but is part of the inevitable friction when women "invade" a formerly male domain. But, to be fair, all the techies I know (male and female) tend to use crude language rather casually, even if personally puritanical in their social lives and shy geeks when actually in front of a live membr of the opposite sex as opposed to an avatar.

I suspect the guy's employer fired him to look good to women. Pretty low. Pretty disloyal. They could have taken him in and chewed him out IN PRIVATE and said "go study chivalry, and next time you are out"

Basically we have completely inconsistent atances towards what is viewed as hateful speech or not. One can't insult women, gays, illegals, members of ethnic or religious minorities. Well and good. But we tolerate constant insults against the mentally ill, the disabled, the overweight, against alcoholics, against lawyers, against headshrinkers, against old bats (middle aged women), etc. Members of this second set of groups (and one could add so many to it), are told to suck it up, just practice their ignoring skills, etc.

I'm aware of this tendency in myself, tho (as the mother of a disabled kid) I roar my terrible roar at anyone who talks about "the 'Tard Bus" (they really do in my PC suburb soemtimes), wack jobs, head cases, and how "that one needs to up their meds".

But a women whining about two guy's language at a conference? She should have just ignored them. I've heard so many guys (and some women) using inappropriate sexual language that the idea of ratting them out in a work setting unless a) they were directly threatening me, ie: committing some form of physical harassment with an implied or explicit threat of effects on my job,etc. or
b) they were bothering somebody else, perhaps a young girl or a child or seemed about to assault someone else
I would not dignify the talk with a complaint. Of course, much of my work life, I've worked with guys who do difficult, dangerous manual labor whom I would trust with my life and would feel safer in a lifeboat with than with some charming PC suit or sensitivity training grad.

I was raised sticks and stones may break my bones...

Her actions basically led to a guy getting fired. In this economic climate that's virtual death. OF COURSE he was furious and hated on her. I'm not saying he was right to make threats, but who would not be furious if some prissy twit got them fired for something they said, not something they did???

In a world where rape, genocide, terrorism, insider trading, child abuse, corporate criminality, illegitimacy, divorce and pollution of the indoor and outdoor enviroments ruin lives in tangible and permanent ways, I have little patience with people who whinge about the way people talk. If it is just hypothetical gross sexual talk or political incorrect terms. What really matters about a person is how they behave towards you, and if their actions are kind or cruel.

It seems to me that her employer probably decided not so much to cave to pressure because of DDos attacks (which are a nightmare) but perhaps they realized that someone who postured and made such a bloody fuss wasn't exactly a corporate asset. The ability to tolerate obnoxious behavior and eventually to work professionally with people with different values, standards, and modes of expression is part of being a civilized adult.

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