Stand and Be Counted
Posted by Nick Sieger Thu, 30 Apr 2009 03:07:47 GMT
Noirin Plunkett: (Regarding Mike Gunderloy’s decision to leave the Rails team.) It seems like so often in these things, even the “good guys” just tsk-tsk and shake their heads, without being willing to stand up and be counted. Actions speak louder than words...
I don’t like to use this blog as a soapbox for non-technical content, but I too have been conflicted over the past week. So I’m standing up to be counted. As a father of two girls who are starting to show an interest in computing, I consider it my obligation. If you agree with me, I hope you will do so as well by posting a brief statement on your own blogs. If you do, send me a link and I’ll link to you from here. So here’s my statement:
I want the Ruby, Rails, open source, and web development communities to be a dignified, respectful, inclusive, and welcoming place. Acts like putting questionable imagery in a conference talk are regrettable and harmful to those aims. We’ve all been witnesses to off-color jokes, misogynistic back channel chatter and unnecessary, trolling comments. I pledge to do better to stand up and call this behavior out when I see it in conferences, online and other public settings. I don’t expect it to go away but I’m not going to tacitly condone it any longer.
I think we can have our cake and eat it too. We can have a welcoming community while still courting the creativity, edginess and even controversy that makes us who we are; we also need to actively listen and be open to alternative viewpoints. There’s always another side to any story and we need to seek it out, especially when it’s drowned out by online discussion boards run amok.
I’m looking forward to continuing the conversation at the Women in Rails panel next week. I hope to see you there.
Update: I think the individual at the source of the incident that sparked this debate has been through enough so I’m following others’ leads and have anonymized the post.
Other statements (Thank you!):