Trigger Warning: Rape, Physical Assault
My heart and my support go out to Adria.
Also, my righteous anger.
Here’s the gist of what happened. Adria was at PyCon, a developer conference, and noticed that two men behind her were making lewd sexual jokes. She snapped a photo, tweeted it, brought up the behavior to PyCon officials (since they did have a code of conduct for their conference), and the situation was “handled”.
What’s happened after that is a prime example of why women and people of color (and women of color, of course) are few and far between in the world of tech.
One of the men making the jokes, who was there representing his employer, got fired for his actions. Adria’s website starts getting DDoS attacks, as does her employer’s website. People are leaving her nasty comments and she’s been getting death threats and rape threats tweeted to her since yesterday.
Today, SendGrid fired Adria. And they didn’t just fire her, but they announced it on Twitter and on Facebook so people could spread the word and comment on it. The Facebook comments are particularly vile, including one where a man details a particularly gruesome threat against Adria, concluded with the words “Make her pay. Make her obey.”
All of this for speaking up about something which made her uncomfortable.
To say that this is problematic would be an understatement, and it’s particularly troubling in a week when we’ve already seen two high-profile (and altogether disturbing) responses to sexual assault cases capture media headlines. We can’t figure out what possible justification SendGrid thinks they have for terminating Adria — and don’t even get us started on how they handled it — but if you’re as curious as we are then here’s SendGrid’s contact information.
Nope. Make some noise, people. This is not. okay.