Ashamed

Today I’m ashamed to be part of the geek/tech community. No, not just ashamed. Angry. In my normal oblivious way I had originally totally missed Noirin’s post about her sexual assault at ApacheCon and Val’s follow- up. I struggle with Noirin’s decision to name her attacker. I understand why she did it and sympathise but I still have ideals about justice and innocent until proven guilty that are probably largely unrealistic and naive in cases of sexual assault. That aside I was stunned by the comments and associated reactions on Reddit, Hacker News and a dozen other places. Comments that I can sum up simply:

  1. You’re an [ugly] slut - you should just accept that’s what happens when you act/dress/drink/interact with men
  2. Get over it, it’s not a big deal
  3. Shame on you for speaking out and ruining this man’s life

I had to stop reading at that point because I was quaking with anger. I have never read such vitriolic and offensive garbage from a group who I had always felt were more progressive than the mainstream. Shame on me for being so naive. (That being said there were some excellent and supportive comments from men and women in the geek community but many got drowned out.) I’m a proud member of the broader open source/geek/tech community. I’m also a son, a brother, a husband and friend to a number of women. Hell, I’m a member of the human race. People should not treat people like this. Ever. What does it say about us as a culture that a woman making an allegation of a sexual assault is victimised again in such an offensive manner? Shame on you all.

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