Freaks and Geeks and Subcultures
In the last few days, there have been a flurry of stories about this supposedly sexist scenario at PyCon called Donglegate. Two dudes told some stupid dick jokes (referring to them as ‘dongles’) in the audience, a prominent female speaker heard them behind her, and she opted to make a big deal about it. Such a big deal, in fact, that they got fired from their jobs. I’m going to pull the “What the F***” card on this one. Lady – find somewhere else to make your soapbox stand, would you? This industry has REAL issues with sexism, but stupid dick jokes aren’t the problem, especially when they were obviously meant to be private conversation and not directed at anyone with malicious intent. Sheesh.
There’s been a lot of drama in the IT, and specifically the security, industries in the last few years. I think we’re experiencing a sort of cognitive dissonance, really. We keep being told that we need to be more professional and businesslike, so we are trying VERY hard to fit this ideal as an industry. I’ve come around on this thing, though. I am a product of a subculture, and I like that subculture. I like nose rings, tattoos, colored hair, stupid black T-shirts with juvenile and snarky slogans, and the idea that we still might be the smartest people in the room. And I don’t want to change ALL of it to fit an ideal someone else is creating for me.
I clean up well. I can wear business clothes and hang out in corporate environments with clients all day, and so do many of you. But I’m still the same tattooed geek who has been breaking shit since the 70’s. A lot of this drama, I think, is us feeling like we need to behave in a certain way to attain credibility…for SOME reason. We should stop this. I never want to hear this dumbass “getting a seat at the business table” crap anymore. If that is your goal in life, play the corporate politics and let the geeks do our thing. But do NOT deliberately create strife for others who are being nerds in their own culture, with their own peeps, and hurting no one in the process. If a crime is committed, do something. If someone offended you? FFS, get over yourself and adjust, or find your own damn subculture where you don’t need thick skin to hang with the people in the black T-shirts. Because we’ll be telling dick jokes. Awkwardly, granted, but…that’s us.