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Thanks for writing this. Tis one of the best posts I've read about the topic. I think what I'm most concerned about right now is that in the movement towards being 'accepting' and conciliatory of what happened to Adria, people are magnanimously willing to concede that she was victimized, even though "her behavior was wrong / she overreacted / she was the bully instigating public shaming". On the surface, it's easy to look at this outcome and count it as a victory for women. After all, we're agreeing the death and rape threats were incomprehensible by any measure, we're agreeing that Sendgrid probably overreacted in kowtowing to anonymous online bullies, we're agreeing that it's okay to talk (a little) about women's issues in tech. But this whole line of reasoning sucks. Who are we to invalidate her reaction to what happened? Who are we to scoff and call her hypersensitive? Who are we to completely disregard her own life history and experiences as the appropriate context for evaluating her reaction? Who are we even to use the word evaluating in that previous sentence? She felt harassed. She took action to protect herself and the community. By whose standards do we judge whether or not she overreacted? By the "social median" whose standards have largely been set in place by privileged white men? The real victory in this situation would be a community wide acknowledgement of our own respective humanity, the acknowledgement that our aim should be validation and support. Regardless of whether or not you're male or female, regardless of your station in life, regardless of your own life experiences. Being able to validate Adria's reaction to the situation is not a mutually exclusive choice.
Sw is now following The Typepad Team
Mar 25, 2013