Thursday, March 21, 2013

Female-friendly industry

Every so often, the technology industry is given an object lesson in the foolishness of trying to be female-friendly.  The recent affair at PyCon, in which one, and possibly two, male developers lost their jobs for the crime of holding a private conversation within earshot of a woman, is only the most recent example.  But what got me thinking was the response of some technology white knights, who lamented how the woman's action "damages the reputation of everyone trying to make this industry more female-friendly."

And yet, what is the point of making an industry "more female-friendly"?  Consider the television, film, and publishing industries.  I don't think anyone would dispute that all three are considerably more "female-friendly" than they were 30 years ago.  And yet, all three of them are also suffering from declining revenues and observably reduced quality despite their female-friendliness.  Has Hollywood benefited from imitating When Harry Met Sally instead of Star Wars and The Godfather?  Has fiction improved because authors increasingly aspire to be the next JK Rowling or Anne Rice instead of the next JRR Tolkien or Frank Herbert?

Meanwhile, the supposedly female-unfriendly game and technology industries appear to be doing rather well in comparison, the current cyclical downturn in the game industry notwithstanding.  This leads to the obvious question: what is the expected benefit of these proposed female-friendly policies to either an industry or its consumers?

UPDATE: It appears game and technology companies are not the right place for would-be thought police to seek employment.

"Effective immediately, SendGrid has terminated the employment of Adria Richards. While we generally are sensitive and confidential with respect to employee matters, the situation has taken on a public nature. We have taken action that we believe is in the overall best interests of SendGrid, its employees, and our customers. As we continue to process the vast amount of information, we will post something more comprehensive."


Lugo said...

But Leftists ideology does not care about profitability. The expected "benefits" from making anything "female friendly" are not monetary, but political and psychological.

Doom said...

Can't say that I have much sympathy, having so much liberalism shoved at me THROUGH their fucking games. Look, either they make a real stand and shove this crap out, including out of the games, or they get used to being forced to sit to piss like the sissy bitches they can be.

Fix it or take a number.

taterearl said...

I recently discovered old episodes of All in the Family recently. TV was more entertaining when you have a patriarch that actually acts like a man...and crushes the hamsters of women and emasculated men.

Brendan said...

I'd agree that the profitability is beside the point. After all, isn't a focus on profitability "typical of a patriarchal, phallo-centric, competitive worldview"?

Gaming is becoming increasingly feminist. It's not across the board, yet, but major publishers are really pushing the feminist and leftist ideas through gaming. Mass Effect was one example of this (which got more pushy and preachy as it went on, reaching a kind of fever pitch in the third one), and the new Bioshock game, designed to make so-called "nativists" the enemy, is another one. There are many others, as well.

Anonymous said...

Female-friendly means Speech Police (and, increasingly, Thought Police) and lower quality.

Quite simply, women can't compete with men. They needa a massively slanted field to even have a chance. The results speak for themselves.

- Apollyon

Anonymous said...

A lot of feminists agree with Margaret Mead about 'The Inevitability of Patriarchy'. It's inevitable. So? They also agree with Katharine Hepburn in the Bogart movie: "Nature, Mr , is what we are placed here to rise above."

Feminism is a place for kids to be lousy. Like anonymous comments in the better sort of weblog.

Ioweenie said...

It's insane that these guys lost their jobs. Insane. Which causes me to continue scratching my head over this question: If said action (kowtowing to women/feminist/pc ideology) doesn't result in tangible benefit (which based on sales in some entertainment industries versus the game industry demonstrates does not), why do people in power/men cave to the pressure to behave a certain way?

While probably naive, this is a completely serious question. From Adam on down, why do men submit to women?

Cail Corishev said...

From a religious viewpoint, if something is a Good, you don't worry about whether it's practical; you just do it. Vows of poverty or chastity don't seem like they'd make people happy in a practical way, but they do for believers who don't question their Goodness.

For liberals, liberalism is their religion, and one of its virtues is equality, which is defined in socio-sexual terms as making sure women get dibs on everything. It doesn't matter whether it's practical or makes sense; it doesn't even matter whether women want it in a particular case. It's a Good, therefore it must be done.

Also [huge generalization coming], most of the kind of guys who work in IT don't exactly get a lot of dates, so they're apt to climb on this bandwagon in the hope that it'll bring more girls around and maybe one of them will be nice someday. Few things in this world are more coveted than the Girl Gamer.

Lugo said...

Mass Effect was one example of this (which got more pushy and preachy as it went on, reaching a kind of fever pitch in the third one),

How the hell did I miss that? Was that all in the single player mode? Multi-player coop is all about running around shooting stuff, and is actually pretty awesome. Don't remember any pushy / preachy crap in coop mode.

Heh said...

They also agree with Katharine Hepburn in the Bogart movie: "Nature, Mr , is what we are placed here to rise above."

"I'll try to keep that in mind when you're underneath me gasping and wiggling."

VD said...

While probably naive, this is a completely serious question. From Adam on down, why do men submit to women?

I believe Limp Bizkit anticipated and answered your question.

MrGreenMan said...

They're turning games into where Sci-Fi went 20 years ago - a swirling pool of offal, urine, estrogen, and other discarded waste - because they want to break anything that men have as men.

It's a driver behind the desire to confiscate guns as well. They can't figure out how to make the bang not really happen, or have it play a preachy statement about how you should thank Momma Gaia for whatever you just shot.

Cail Corishev said...

While probably naive, this is a completely serious question. From Adam on down, why do men submit to women?

The traditional Catholic answer is that, because Adam submitted (and Eve usurped his authority), their descendants will continue to struggle against the same impulses.

Men, if not trained to be otherwise, are pretty lazy. If a man can get a woman to sleep with him, drive him around, work for a paycheck (or share her welfare/WIC/child support) so he can work less, handle the finances, and make the scary decisions, he's liable to let her unless he knows better, because it seems easier that way. Problem is, once she gets in the habit of sitting at the head of the table, literally or figuratively, she's in charge of everything whether he realizes it or not, and he can't just decide to take charge when he feels like it.

Cail Corishev said...

They're turning games into where Sci-Fi went 20 years ago

Good thing I prefer the older games, then. In the original Pool of Radiance (based on AD&D rules), you could make your characters male or female. It didn't matter a bit to the story, but here's the fun part: only male fighters could have the highest Strength score of 18(100). Females topped out at 18(50), I think, and there were other stats/races where they had lower limits. I don't think the makers went to any trouble to give them a boost somewhere else, like Charisma, to make up for it, either.

So if you wanted to have a female or two in your party of 6 (a good idea, if only because there weren't that many character faces to choose from), she'd always be a magic user or something that didn't need fighting stats. Guess they'd never get away with that now.

Michael Maier said...

That's an interesting point, Cail. I know the 18/100 wasn't available to women in the paper / book version of AD&D either.

I wonder if they've "fixed" that in later versions?

Cail Corishev said...


Yeah, I think the male/female differences on stats were exclusive to version 1.

halibetlector said...

This is old hat in silicon valley. This isn't even the first pycon where somebody has complained about "crude jokes". Over the past few years, incidents like this have happened on a fairly regular basis. But I do believe this is the first one that resulted in somebody losing their job. Previously, it just resulted in zero-tolerance policies at conventions, with men being kicked out and not allowed to return.

What's really funny is the joke Adria overheard was a dick joke. Nothing sexual about it, just a little crude humor. She herself made a dick joke on twitter, a day or two after the fracas started.

If you really want a show, check out the hacker news commentary ( The women mostly agree Adria was out of line. The men bend over backwards trying to fit this into their PC leftist version of the world. It makes me sad for my industry.

Jehu said...

Amusingly, 1st edition, which gives most liberals the hives for its maximums on female strength (the particular maximums differ by race too, some races have larger or smaller differences) seriously underestimates the magnitude of the difference in strength between men and women. In reality the difference is like 2 or 3 sigmas, and NOT just at the absolute top end (if I recall, 18/00 was set to be awfully close to the strongest man's lift---military press I think).

Bryan said...

The just announced that they fired her.

halibetlector said...

It also looks like the PyCon code of conduct was changed to avoid public shaming -

Ioweenie said...

Thanks Cail for your response, which in summary is that men are lazy, as, I would contend, are most women.

On Eve usurping Adam's authority . . . Doesn't usurpation depend on force? Adam submitted to Eve doing something God had instructed him not to do, not her. Satan played on her inherent weakness and propensity to be easily influenced/believe & embrace a lie/want leadership (to be as God) and Adam didn't assume the role God had given him to NOT eat. Scripture doesn't even state up to point that Adam was to lead Eve, but it doesn't state that God instructed Eve to not eat. However, inherent in Satan's deception is a question that assumes Eve knew God had forbidden them to eat the fruit of that tree, but how? Regardless, are you suggesting it was laziness that caused Adam to not assume authority over Eve in obedience to God's command to him?

Ioweenie said...

Hit publish accidentally, before revising this sentence:

Adam didn't assume the role God had given him to NOT eat. - to -

Adam didn't respect the rule God gave him to NOT eat.

Ioweenie said...

re: Limp Bizkit

Not familiar with its lyrics. Anyone care to point me in that direction?

Vidad said...


What is "I did it all for the noogie," Alex.

Retrenched said...

That's the end game of gender feminism -- to give women the power to police all male behavior, everywhere, to give women the ability to have men punished anytime they do or say anything that offends them, regardless of what the behavior is or what the man's intent actually was.

Take note of the white knights and manginas who are siding with Richards on this. As a man it's always good to know who your enemies are.

Beefy Levinson said...

The Catholic Church made a huge blunder by allowing altar girls (basically, bishops allowed them despite the vigorous protests of the Vatican until the Holy See eventually caved.) It's no coincidence that there are now almost always more girls than boys assisting at Mass.

Ioweenie said...

Vidad, thanks. That made me smile.

Sometimes still hard to accept it's that "simple." I remember at 21 "not getting it" and sharing with an older male acquaintance (31) that some men seemed annoyed and angry at women, as if - just by being present - we were coercing or messing with them in some way.

He just smiled and said, "Yes."

moe jones said...

Yeah, she got fired too. I wonder what the company's rationale is going to be. It will be interesting to see the lawsuits behind this.

Really, the entire story is a joke. Girl gets offended, girl blows up a silly situation, everyone gets fired, people get mad.

moe jones said...

It's also worth noting that she has posted things like this in her twitter feed:

If the world is "equal" (laughable, but the government says so) then people need to be equally accountable for their actions.

Brendan said...

How the hell did I miss that? Was that all in the single player mode? Multi-player coop is all about running around shooting stuff, and is actually pretty awesome. Don't remember any pushy / preachy crap in coop mode.

You played Mass Effect 3 only in multiplayer mode?

Yes, it's in the story.

Brendan said...

Examples just off the top of my head from memory ...

The Normandy has a new shuttle pilot who is a gay latino, and he goes on and on about how his husband was killed during combat and Shepard is supposed to comfort him.

On the citadel, you walk past a couple of women who are discussing one of them leaving her husband, who is also away fighting in the reaper war, for the other woman she is talking to, her lover I guess, and the lover is encouraging her to be strong and just do it.

Also on the citadel, there is a woman inquiring at the human embassy about her wife, who has gone missing in the war ...

And that's just the most obvious social messaging (which was really quite prominent in the third game as compared with the first two).

tz said...

While probably naive, this is a completely serious question. From Adam on down, why do men submit to women?

Because men are just as fallen as women. They should only submit if the women are right (old joke about stopped clock applies, however using a monthly cycle).

Why do men continue to submit to the devil? temptation? sin?

Adam's problem was Adam, blaming Eve was just an excuse.

However I observed on voxday that Women might be wise to avoid conference with serpents - including python - as a main theme.

Ioweenie said...

@ tz: However I observed on voxday that Women might be wise to avoid conference with serpents - including python - as a main theme.


Ioweenie said...

So might we say Satan tempted Eve with the promise of power, then used Eve to tempt Adam with the promise of sex?

And on it goes . . .

MrGreenMan said...

On Twitter, she said that SendGrid supported her and was behind her move. Game, set, match - a technology evangelist who tries to prove her biggest PC bleeding bona fides who then asserts repeatedly that her employer is supportive of her crusade for little girls everywhere to be able to post penis jokes but not have to hear them deserves what she gets.

It's amazing how many thought-control loons are out there saying how inappropriate it was that the one guy dared mention that he's out of a great job that he used to provide for his three little girls. I didn't think they could get their digs in on fatherhood with this one, but the angry womyn of all genders found a way.

tz said...

This is even worse from all angles. It simply shows the escalation of hatred and anger. She is outraged so instead of calling the juveniles on their crudeness, she decides for a public humiliation. This causes their employer to fire them. That provokes a backlash where she is threatened online an herself fired.

This is Iraq war + 10. Have we learned nothing? (I pray Merkel has no WMDs).

Being easily offended is a vice. Having sexual-harassment and vulgarity as verbal rape laws makes it into a hostile environment. Women were always mistreated by vulgar men, and defended by others. But with an un-empowered hamster, they learned to ignore or deflect it.

My Mother was the "one woman" in management with a bunch of men. I don't doubt she was subjected to far worse (and was paid less though did more! Really! But she would get the extra hockey tickets and had the prime parking spot). But she never mentioned it nor complained about anything except the idiot man that randomized her (manilla folder in cabinet) files (or the worse female intern). It was a strange combination of crudity and chivalry, but she was never in danger. (My father was also strong so could handle her - long story - two really smart and strong people).

A similar problem is the Americans with Disabilities Act. As far as I can determine, more disabled were hired BEFORE the act, as employers were willing to make more than reasonable accommodation, and work with people. Now to hire one invites a series of demands and lawsuits. It is easier to find some excuse not to hire them in the first place.

Without the Political Correctness, Ms Easily Offended would have had her tirade, with some being annoyed, outraged, with others laughing, the crude boys maybe laughing but then being more circumspect during the actual conference lectures, and it would blow over quickly and be forgotten and everyone would live happily ever after.

Then there is the ultimate virtue of forgiveness (qualifications noted). "Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us". "If you don't forgive others then neither will your sins be forgiven" "A man owed 300 talents...".

Now with the global village, courtesy of the internet, there is a pillory waiting for everyone. And employers can't just let it pass (they really, really, should!).

Women's quick-on-the-draw emotional reaction is more dangerous in a world of instant communication, made worse with their passive-agressive methods and inability to shake hands after the winner and loser are obvious (For men, the victor doesn't have to kill the loser).

Lugo said...

"You played Mass Effect 3 only in multiplayer mode?"

Yup. Can't remember if it has a coop campaign where you go through the story, but we didn't do that.

kh123 said...

There's a female author who runs the speaking circuit in the gaming world, who left a comment on an article about a then-recent case of cyber bullying, high school trolling on a girl's Myspace page, etc; with the end result being the targeted kid committing suicide if I remember correctly.

The author's solution - and those in the last row, make sure to catch those in front of you when they fall backwards from shock - was to implement laws that could convict an individual for something they may have said at any time on the internet, that might have hurt another person's feelings, and led them to hurt themselves.

Whether or not this ex-post-facto cyber-bully guilt would only apply if it lead to a case of clear physical self flagellation, or if conviction could extend to lesser examples of the victim being induced to self-loathing or hurt feelings in general, she didn't make clear.

Which is only fair: The suggester of ideas can't be held to be the author of such far reaching legislation, after all. Nor to be bound by it.

Toby Temple said...

Effective immediately, SendGrid has terminated the employment of Adria Richards.

Good. ~sips coffee~

Brendan said...

Yup. Can't remember if it has a coop campaign where you go through the story, but we didn't do that.

Cool. I don't think most people bought/played ME for the coop combat mode (ME3 was the only one of the three that even had that possibility), but it's cool -- everyone has their own thing.

dadofhomeschoolers said...

Re the Adam and Eve thing, was there ever a bigger let down?
Serpent "You will be like God, knowing good and evil."
They realized they were naked.
That's it? I threw it all away only to find out I'm naked?
Funny but most things like that are a let down.

Anonymous said...

I'm a feminist - have been for 25+ years (I'm reading this blog because it's interesting to see alternative perspectives). If all this involved were a couple of jokes about dongles, especially between guys who knew one another and presumably had a track record of banter, I really don't see what all the fuss is about, and I do feel that this is the sort of thing that gets feminism a bad name. I'm interested in equal pay and helping women who are facing really serious issues (e.g. in Afghanistan), not this continual nit-picking thought policing.

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