Mar 192012
 

Jessamyn Smith found a subtle, yet very effective, way of dealing with clueless nerd guy making a particular sexist joke.

One of the most interesting, and telling, things about her post was the reaction of some of her co-workers. While some of them thought it was pretty cool, others objected – often in irrational and bizarre ways that had nothing whatsoever to do with the stated objection. (For example, a complaint about the bot’s name being too long, or about “spamming” even though it was a response to a bot that, itself, was “spamming”.)

To me, all of this seems like typical geek behaviour: something is making them uncomfortable, and so they attack it on “rational” grounds. Most likely, they aren’t even aware of the gut reaction fueling their logic.

Spot on. Geeks are not very good at admitting to having irrational emotions, particularly if they are not especially admirable ones, and will construct jaw-droppingly elaborate towers of logicfail in order to prove themselves “right”. Even so, Smith’s constructive criticism made her point elegantly in a way that presented no purchase for sexist flailing. Kudos.

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mythago

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