Dongle-Gate: The sterilization of men in tech culture

Earlier this week Adria Richards, employee of SendGrid, created the latest media shitstorm after tweeting about two guys behind her in a tech conference. Outraged by the conversation they were having, she took a pic of them, then publicly tweeted their picture and the outrageous behavior.

What the now former engineer for Play Haven and his friend didn’t know; Was that the conference they were attending had copy and pasted their code of conduct from the Ada Initiative’s example code of conduct. This code of conduct forbids any sexual discussion. You heard that right, a public convention, with thousands of people, talking, socializing, etc. explicitly forbids any discussion about sex or sexual remarks amongst conference goers.

Some back story here:

The Ada Initiative is a feminist organization aimed at removing male sexuality from tech spaces while allowing feminism approved flavors of female sexuality to remain. I really wish I was being hyperbolic here, but this an exact quote on that topic:


The Ada Initiative explicitly supports discussion of sex when it is on-topic for the conference and done in a woman-positive way, and has published specific guidelines on how to achieve this.

While explaining why they shut down a talk about sex at a hacker conference late last month, they made their agenda and ideology even more well-known: Men can’t handle thinking about sex without harassing, groping, and even raping women. Think that’s more hyperbole? Here are some more excerpts from the same article quoted above:

Certain sexual topics can trigger PTSD in people who have been sexually assaulted, and can be perceived as encouragement to humiliate, objectify, and assault women, regardless of the intent of the speaker.

Discussing sex creates a “sexualized environment” which many people take as a signal to treat women as sexual objects rather than as fellow conference attendees, resulting in a higher incidence of harassment and assault of women. Too many women have been raped at technical conferences; we should do everything we can to prevent future rapes.

Many people are unable to separate “talking about sex” and “saying derogatory things about women,” and take the introduction of one for permission to do the other.

Sex in many societies is strongly tied to the objectification and humiliation of women.

I was honestly at a loss for words when I read that article. This is the biggest feminist group advocating for inclusiveness in tech spaces, and they associate men thinking or talking about sex with the victimization of women.

This is what men going to tech conferences have to look forward to; this is the new elevator-gate, and even though Adria Richards isn’t associated with The Ada Initiative (the new skepchick), she is poised to become the next Rebecca Watson, enabled by policies put forth by The Ada Initiative. If you thought this would be limited to Atheist conferences, you were wrong.

Adria harpooned in a blog post about how the image of some little girl in a slideshow was her “trigger” for publicly humiliating two men for making a joke among themselves. She opined that this girl wouldn’t be able to enter the tech field when she grew up “because the ass clowns behind (Adria) would make it impossible for her to do so.” That this was justification for getting a guy fired and creating a massive media outrage. Talk about hyperbole.

Adria Richards is no small fry. She is a public speaker, proposes to be a communication bridge between developers and upper management. She even has personal friendships with the organizers at PyCon, to the point that after tweeting about these men, she contacted PyCon to request they be handled, via text.

Men, this is how your sexuality is viewed by women and men like this. DongleGate goes beyond ElevatorGate, because now are you not only forbidden from saying anything to a woman that she doesn’t like, but you also can’t say anything within earshot of women that they might not like.

I suppose it would be too much to ask that she at least lead by example?


Guess so. In AdriaSpeak, this could be described as the recommendation to sexually harass TSA members.

And ladies: This is how weak women like Ms Richards think you are:

Women in technology need consistent messaging from birth through retirement they are welcome, competent and valued in the industry.


Not only are you children who can’t handle adult conversations, but you also need consistent condescending encouragement (and maybe some “good job” stickers?) to be able handle a job in the technology industry. I on the other hand happen to think more highly of women.


While flaunting herself as a “Joan of Arc”, she ended her blog with this statement:


Yesterday the future of programming was on the line and I made myself heard.

Today, the future of tech culture is on the line, and we are making ourselves heard. We will not stand by idle while ideologues promote a culture of hatred, fear and victimhood.


Addendum from the publisher: I have just been informed by Kyle Spier-Swenson that Sendgrid is not near as happy with Adria Richards as she appear to be with herself. They fired her crazy ass.

From Twitter:

Adria fired

And from Facebook:
Adria fired 2

There now, who says there is no good news in the world?

And yet another addition to the addendum, more evidence that Adria’s mouth is a perfect match for her foot:
Fired, three

L O Fucking L

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