Geek Feminism Wiki

PyCon 2013 was held in Santa Clara in March 2013. The conference had a code of conduct in place (as did PyCon 2012, and the Python Software Foundation now requires it of their conferences).

PyCon attendee and exhibitor employee Adria Richards publicly shamed and reported inappropriate behaviour to PyCon organisers publicly via twitter, including a photo of the attendees in question:

Yesterday, I publicly called out a group of guys at the PyCon conference who were not being respectful to the community. ...

I tweeted a photo of the guys behind me: Not cool. Jokes about forking repo’s in a sexual way and “big” dongles. Right behind me #pycon

I publicly asked for help with addressing the problem: Can someone talk to these guys about their conduct? I’m in lightning talks, top right near stage, 10 rows back #pycon

PyCon organizers spoke with the attendees and issued them with a warning but did not expel them or take other action. One of the attendees, "mr-hank" on Hacker News, endorsed both PyCon's actions and Adria's decision to report his comments to staff and verified that no sanctions were imposed by PyCon. He also stated that he was let go by his employer -- later confirmed in a blog post from them -- and claimed that his comments on "forking" were not intended to be sexual in nature.



TRIGGER WARNING This article or section, or pages it links to, contains information about sexual assault and/or violence which may be triggering to survivors.

MORE INFO WANTED re reports of the incident on 4chan, Reddit and Hacker News and resulting backlash. This may be worth its own page.

On Sunday at PyCon, Adria Richards felt comments made behind her during a conference session were inappropriate and of an offensive, sexual nature. We understand that Adria believed the conduct to be inappropriate and support her right to report the incident to PyCon personnel. To be clear, SendGrid supports the right to report inappropriate behavior, whenever and wherever it occurs. What we do not support was how she reported the conduct. Her decision to tweet the comments and photographs of the people who made the comments crossed the line. ...
A SendGrid developer evangelist’s responsibility is to build and strengthen our Developer Community across the globe. In light of the events over the last 48+ hours, it has become obvious that her actions have strongly divided the same community she was supposed to unite. As a result, she can no longer be effective in her role at SendGrid.
In the end, the consequences that resulted from how she reported the conduct put our business in danger. Our commitment to our 130 employees, their families, our community members and our more than 130,000 valued customers is our primary concern.

Media Coverage[]

Richards' reaction[]

  • On 27 March, 10 days after the original incident, Richard issued a statement of her own, calling for dialog to address the problems surrounding diversity in tech.

See also[]