back to article GitHub probes worker's claims of hostile, sexist office culture

GitHub is investigating allegations of sexism and inappropriate behaviour towards its female employees after one code jockey quit and went public on Twitter. Software engineer Julie Horvath left the VC-funded site last week, telling world+dog of an unpleasant culture at work. Horvath used her Twitter profile to allege she had …

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  1. jb99

    Hmm

    The complaints all sounded slightly concerning until the last paragraph about hula-hooping... Umm, yeah what did you expect if you do that in the office?

    Apart from that I don't feel qualified to have an opinion on this as I have no way to know what happened.

    1. Craigness

      Re: Hmm

      If it was guys playing keepy-uppy with guys watching, they would not have been "gawking". If it was girls watching they would not have looked like a strip club. When she says events "went unnoticed by most" I feel I have to go with the majority and assume the complainant's biases were at the root of the problem there. If guys were playing keepy-uppy it would be them at fault for causing a commotion in the office!

      She says she was left crying and shaking after a meeting with one of the founders. That will get her a lot of sympathy and make him look like a monster, but I bet he could say exactly the same things to a male employee and not get the same reaction. Female employees should be treated the same as males, and for their part they should accept equal treatment. But if that means men have to restrict their expression in a "feminized" environment whilst women are free to be themselves then claims of feminization should be taken seriously as sexual harassment.

      1. David Dawson

        Re: Hmm

        Being treated equally does not mean being treated the same.

        Your examples are lazy stereotypes and hyperbole, try again.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Hmm

          Being treated equally does not mean being treated the same.

          That's right, you tell him.

          It's perfectly acceptable to talk to the men in exactly the same way as you've always spoken to them, but you mustn't do that to the women, you must be more delicate and sensitive when you talk to them. They have feelings you know, and you mustn't upset their feelings, and if the men complain you can always call them pussies and ridicule them in front of other men, for not being able to take constructive criticism.

          It's arguments like yours David which are seeing men legally discriminated against, I hope you feel proud.

          1. David Dawson

            Re: Hmm

            ObnoxiousGit, have a good cry about it, it helps to vent your frustrations. (is that the pussy angle covered ok?)

            I'll bite, but your hyperbole is just as silly as the first gents. Where is your reasoning, or properly marshalled arguments?

            To take a different example to illustrate the point. Say, a person born in a wheelchair. We will install ramps, adjust heights of desks, remove lips around doors to give them free and easy access. Obviously more effort is being spent on this person, they are patently not being treated the same as someone blessed with being able bodied.

            However, they are being treated equally. Given equal access to a working environment and something approaching the same opportunities in that environment.

            So, treating someone the same is very different to treating someone equally. The first is based on encouraging similar behaviour, the second on valuing the individual. I know which I prefer in my staff.

            Take another example, someone going through a major life crisis (death in family, divorce, whatever), you really wouldn't deal robustly with them in many a situation, you would (or I would), show some compassion. Someone else though, not undergoing those stresses, they don't get that extra tolerance.

            They are not being treated the same, but are being treated equally according to what I consider reasonable.

            Am I proud? Yup, extremely, thanks for asking.

            (seriously though, get out of whatever work environment you are in where any of what you wrote exists, or is ok, it's not normal...)

            1. wowfood
              Trollface

              Re: Hmm

              David, are you comparing being a women to being handicapped and wheelchair bound? Absolutely disgusting, I expect some level of sexism when I'm on the internet but this just goes way over the line.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: "are you comparing being a women to being handicapped"?

                Apparently:

                http://www.theonion.com/articles/deformed-freak-born-without-penis,34732/

              2. David Dawson

                Re: Hmm

                David, are you comparing being a women to being handicapped and wheelchair bound? Absolutely disgusting, I expect some level of sexism when I'm on the internet but this just goes way over the line.

                ---

                HAHAHAHAHAHAHA ... HAHAHA ...

                ( ... got tired of laughing ... )

                I make a comment saying that someone should be valued as an individual, and you turn it into this. To answer "is being born a (wo)man (your choice) like being born into a wheel chair". Yes, it is, to an extent.

                You get weird stereotypes applied to you all the time, forced into patterns of behaviour you don't want, denied certain opportunities for no reason than an accident of birth. Sure, that actually fits the point I'm making.

                Deal with people. Some people need different things, that's the world. Trying to stick everyone into a generic box marked 'human' and thinking that's equality is delusion.

                BTW, are you saying someone born into a chair is less valuable than a woman? (don't answer, that was hyperbole)

                I expect some delusion when I'm on the internet, but this is AMAZING. ;-)

                1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

                  Re: Hmm

                  "Deal with people. Some people need different things, that's the world."

                  Equality isn't giving some people more and some people less so that we meet a minimum standard of "cuddly friendly happy" with effort, remuneration and tone adjusted to match the emotional state of each person.

                  Equality is ensuring equality of access; that everyone gets the same chance, the same opportunity, the same treatment, with appropriate adjustment for any disabilities that may be required to insure quality of access.

                  It is not equality to demand that I alter my natural - read, genetically precoded - behavior patterns to suit the whims of others whilst they are required to adjust to nothing. It is rank insanity to suggest that is somehow "equal".

                  Everyone has to learn to fucking cope. Whether you have a penis, a vagina, or a 40 ft tall spider robot body.

              3. Roo

                Re: Hmm

                "David, are you comparing being a women to being handicapped and wheelchair bound?"

                No he isn't. Jog on.

              4. Gav

                Comparison - how they work

                "are you comparing being a women to being handicapped and wheelchair bound?"

                God how I hate this dishonest discussion tactic. Rife on the interwebs, of course.

                Let me explain how comparisons work. You take too things (say A and B) that are similar in a few key ways, and you explain this. In doing this you hope that the point you are wanting to get across is easier to understand in B, than it may be in A.

                This is not the same as saying that A = B. If A = B in all things, then B would be A and any comparison would be totally pointless. What is meant is that in certain limited and relevant aspects you can draw parallels between the two.

                Extrapolating this out, by implying that what was intended was all features of B apply to A, is a shoddy debating trick that third rate politicians and other scoundrels employ.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Hmm

              To take a different example to illustrate the point. Say, a person born in a wheelchair. We will install ramps, adjust heights of desks, remove lips around doors to give them free and easy access. Obviously more effort is being spent on this person, they are patently not being treated the same as someone blessed with being able bodied.

              Isn't that exactly the same as making doorways high enough for stupidly tall able bodied people to fit through without banging their head. Comparing physical differences like this isn't ever going to work, because we have always built our physical environment to suit the wide range of different physical varieties which humans come in. That's why arguing that you shouldn't have to adapt your building to suit employees with physical disabilities doesn't wash.

              Take another example, someone going through a major life crisis (death in family, divorce, whatever), you really wouldn't deal robustly with them in many a situation, you would (or I would), show some compassion. Someone else though, not undergoing those stresses, they don't get that extra tolerance.

              Wow, and after the first example we have the second argument of "extreme circumstances". I would hope any employer would recognise extreme circumstances in anyones life (male or female) and respond appropriately. That would for example include treating anyone (male or female) with sensitivity and understanding when they are living through such circumstances.

              It's really very simple, if one of your employees makes a mistake which would have you call them a 'moron', that 'moron' statement is universally applied. Male or female should make no difference to that. We call that equality. It has absolutely nothing to do with physical differences, all men and women are physically different, even within the same gender group. It has nothing to do with valuing your employees (male and female) enough to recognise when they need understanding from you.

              Do you not think that after centuries of men treating women as some kind of other being, that actually they deserve to be treated honestly as equals? So how does an employer do that when he is treating women differently because 'they're women'?

              1. Graham Cobb

                Re: Hmm

                A manager has to treat people differently. Different people react differently and must be managed differently. Any professional manager understands that.

                If your goal is a dressing-down sufficiently serious to bring someone to tears then you are going to have to be much harder with some people than others. If your goal is not to bring someone to tears then don't.

                And public feedback like you describe in your previous post is just bullying, whomever is the target -- it has no place in the work environment.

            3. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Hmm

              Did you just describe being a woman as a disability or a life changing disaster?

              I rather think you did.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Hmm

                @AC above don't worry, in his later rebuttel he refers to people being born girls as accidents.

          2. Rob Moir

            Re: Hmm

            Being treated with equality (note the different) does not equate to treating everyone the same. It means treating everyone with the same level of respect, opportunity, etc. I don't know why this is difficult to grasp.

            For example, while you may be treating everyone on your team equally if you buy them all a bacon butty for breakfast every day, by doing so you are not treating any Jewish, Muslim or vegetablist members of your team with respect. It's a trivial example but I hope it helps illustrate the point.

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Hmm

            "It's arguments like yours David which are seeing men legally discriminated against, I hope you feel proud."

            Oh, yeah - it must be terrible to endure the difficulty of being a man in the technology business. Woe unto us! Those dratted women are dominating everything, and we just can't get a fair shake!

            Seriously, the lot of you people - talk about true colors. Seeing dozens of outraged men behave in precisely the way that the woman in the article describes while simultaneously dismissing her claims as false would be comedic if it weren't so pathetic. I mean, really, people accusing her of attention seeking? As if putting yourself in the firing line of tens of thousands of misogynist loudmouths is somr kind of wonderful experience, and something you just do for the hell of it?

            Any reason I might have had for doubting this woman's claims is easily erased by the commentards here giving a live demonstration of the tech world at its Neanderthal worst.

            1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

              Re: Hmm

              I don't think the majority of people here are "dismissing her claims as false." What we aren't doing is "taking her word for it." We are aware that the world is a complicated place and the - shock of fucking shockers - women are just as capable of lying, misrepresenting the truth, being mentally ill, being prejudiced or being out of touch with reality as men.

              None of us in this thread where there, we have no possible way to know how this played out in the real world. To take the lady's side on this without question is just as fucking sexist as to say "she must be wrong because she's a woman." Maybe she's right. Maybe it was a hostile environment. Maybe she's wrong, and it was a perfectly rational environment where people were treated equally and she's just a special flower lashing out because of her own prejudices or mental issues.

              How can you unequivocally take one side in this without all the facts?

              Men and women must be treated equally by law. It's also ethical to do so; there's no rational reason to treat them differently in most circumstances. (Bathroom-related items to one side.)

              Men and women are also treated equally by law. This means both genders are expected to behave without prejudice, are expected to be capable of accepting criticism, are expected to be able to deal with differences in culture, gender behavior and more. There are no absolutes here. This is why discrimination issues are dealt with on a case-by-case basis.

              You are as guilty of rank sexism as the worst chauvinist in these threads. Your pervasive misandry is offensive and I demand an apology.

        2. Gnucklehead

          Re: Hmm

          David Dawson: "Being treated equally does not mean being treated the same."

          Uhuh. What precisely does that mean? Please explain. I need to know. Really, I do.

          What do the NSA and gender feminist ideologues have in common? The same mindwarping semantic word games.

          1. David Dawson

            Re: Hmm

            David Dawson: "Being treated equally does not mean being treated the same."

            Uhuh. What precisely does that mean? Please explain. I need to know. Really, I do.

            What do the NSA and gender feminist ideologues have in common? The same mindwarping semantic word games.

            ----------

            This is the first time I've ever been called a feminist. I think I might have a good cry ;-)

            If you look, I'm not actually spouting feminist ideology, the opposite in fact, and I did explain, you just didn't care to read it.

            I don't want a world where all women are treated the same as I am, as there aren't any 6'6" ginger northern english women software developers.

            I think of myself as an individualist. Everyone should be equal under the law, but that doesn't mean they are treated the same way, as they aren't all the same.

          2. a j eel

            Re: Hmm

            There's nothing embarrassing about calling yourself a feminist, it just means treating women as people. As a man I find other men making stupid claims about this ficticious war on men totally embarrassing... please do shut up. For most of the history of humanity, women have been denied basic rights and it is time we let women have a voice - those that have been oppressed should have their turn to speak, and those that have oppressed them for so long shut just shut up and listen for a bit - instead of seeing equality as a threat to their penis.

            1. Ben Tasker Silver badge

              Re: Hmm

              As a man I find other men making stupid claims about this ficticious war on men totally embarrassing... please do shut up.

              It's not entirely fictitious though, some feminists do seem to be seeking more than equality, take the campaign against lads mags for example.

              That's not to say we shouldn't all be aiming for equality, but we can't blindly accept that everything labelled as 'for equality' will actually lead to it - there will always be those (male or female) who want a bit more, or who unknowingly apply their own prejudices.

              For most of the history of humanity, women have been denied basic rights and it is time we let women have a voice

              I completely agree, but what we shouldn't do is deny anyone the right to criticise what's being said. It's supposed to be a debate not a "oh we oppressed you, you'd better call the shots for a bit".

              WRT the story, the Hula-hoop thing strikes me as a minor thing, but innappropriate if the guys were sat there just short of drooling.

        3. Bullseyed

          Re: Hmm

          "Being treated equally does not mean being treated the same."

          It sounds like David is suggesting some kind of "separate but equal" scenario. Perhaps we can just segregate everyone to make him happy.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hmm

      Presumably she was simply no good at making the tea and coffee.

      1. Viper1j
        Linux

        Re: Hmm

        Or hulu hooping.

    3. Oh Homer
      Trollface

      Re: Hmm

      GitHub chief executive and co-founder Chris Wanstrath said a “full investigation” of hula-hooping had been launched.

      mod edit - link is to mildly NSFW Youtube vid, girl in underwear demonstrating hula hooping. Brightened up my morning, but please don't forget to mark stuff like this as NSFW in future.

      1. Lionel Baden

        Re: Hmm

        NSFW TAG PLEASE !!!!

    4. busycoder99

      Re: Hmm

      Another day, another feminist ruining the world for everyone else. Someone should remind her she was hired to code, not making the workplace a "better" place for women (when what she really wants is a hostile environment for men, and more privileges for women).

      Sick and tired of these feminist types, they are the ones who constantly try and change everything for everyone else (when they are the ones who should be adapting), then bitch and moan when they don't get their way.

      Feminism has lost its purpose and is now getting to be ridiculous.

  2. Forget It

    Git Hub

    the clue is in the name ?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Git Hub

      No no. That's Porn hub.

  3. Keep Refrigerated

    A company full of gits?

    If there is a genuine claim of sexual harassment and intimidation, then the employee presumably has the avenue of an industrial tribunal, or whatever the US equivalent is and that is where the matter should be taken and be kept.

    Unfortunately, no matter how substantial your claim, taking it to Twitter and the Tech press is going to get accusations of attention seeking, and arguably in some cases it has been justified (not to say in this case without knowing all the details).

    Regardless, I had to chuckle at the hula-hooping part, sorry - I couldn't put off the vivid image that appeared in my head as I read the paragraph. What else can you expect of a company called Github, borrowing from the name of the 'Git' repository, whose creator in his typical self-effacing manner described the reason for naming it, quote: '"I'm an egotistical bastard, and I name all my projects after myself. First 'Linux', now 'Git'".

    It's typical to have a self-depreciating and comedic outlook within the coding community. I know this now verges on speculation, but people who tend to take themselves a bit too seriously may find themselves ostracised by more relaxed colleagues, who might try to avoid them for the risk of creating awkwardness. If both the girls and guys were enjoying the hoopla and the attention... maybe they weren't the problem?

    Then again, maybe it's not the kind of professional atmosphere you want to work in, which brings us back round to the question, why work for the type of company that names itself after a 'git'?

    1. Petrea Mitchell
      Paris Hilton

      Re: A company full of gits?

      "If there is a genuine claim of sexual harassment and intimidation, then the employee presumably has the avenue of an industrial tribunal, or whatever the US equivalent is [...]"

      Do you mean something like this?

      http://www.employmenttribunalsni.co.uk/index/employment_tribunals/industrial_tribunals.htm

      There's no US equivalent. If a court gets involved, it has to be through a plain old lawsuit.

    2. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

      Re: A company full of gits?

      If there is a genuine claim of sexual harassment and intimidation, then the employee presumably has the avenue of an industrial tribunal, or whatever the US equivalent is and that is where the matter should be taken and be kept.

      Not everyone wants compensation for a wrong or sees that as justice done. They may prefer letting people know what they experienced and having the company shamed into change.

      Even if seeking compensation it is best to speak out before they place a gagging clause on any compensation arrangement.

      There can also be strategic advantages in speaking out and letting the ex-employer sue for defamation and counter-claiming than commencing a case as a claimant.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I don't like....

    my boss.

    my boss's family.

    my working environment.

    my colleagues.

    my job.

    my career prospects.

    my work/life balance.

    my shoes.

    What's the cause of all my problems? Sexual harassment!

    Victim culture strikes again.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I don't like....

      Is that why women don't make it to the top? they would complain about the men using the glass ceiling to look up their skirts.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Uncle Siggy

      Re: I don't like....

      > Victim culture strikes again.

      Idiot culture is alive and well too, it seems.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I don't like....

        Uncle Siggy > 'Idiot culture is alive and well too, it seems.'

        You're right. I should have more sympathy for a person who make a private matter a public affair.

        1. Rob Moir

          Re: I don't like....

          You're right. She should help the people who want to sweep things like this under the carpet. That's clearly the way to force them to change.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: I don't like....

            You're right. She should help the people who want to sweep things like this under the carpet. That's clearly the way to force them to change.

            You're right, those women who happily took part in the hula-hooping incident must be forced to change so that they conform to the standards that this particular woman believes are acceptable.

            They must come to understand that they have failed their gender, that women everywhere will be abused, maybe even raped, because they thought they could engage in such an activity.

            1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

              Re: I don't like....

              "You're right, those women who happily took part in the hula-hooping incident must be forced to change so that they conform to the standards that this particular woman believes are acceptable.

              They must come to understand that they have failed their gender, that women everywhere will be abused, maybe even raped, because they thought they could engage in such an activity."

              This. 10,000x this.

              Why does a company's culture get to be determined by the loudest individual? At what point is it "one person with a problem" and not "everyone else in the company" who has the problem?

              I am not saying that there is or is not real gender prejudice occurring here. I am not there so I can't possibly know for sure. Despite this, the lady's own account contains incidences of other women being perfectly chill with the corporate culture; enough to make me question "is this the culture or the individual?"

              If I am uncomfortable with ladies walking around with clothing that sexually excites me against my will am I allowed to request that they alter their behavior? Or will I go to jail for making the request because the mere fact of making that request is sexual harassment? Why then can this lady demand others change their behavior when it when it would seem everyone involved is totally okay with things (the hula hooping incident) except her?

              Why does having been born with one's reproductive organs on the inside as opposed to the outside confer upon the person in question a socially acceptable "right" to demand dramatic changes in behavior in others whilst simultaneously providing a blanket immunity to similar standards for that individual?

              This is a complex issue and one that cannot be judged based upon hearsay. And if saying that makes me a misogynist in the minds of some, so be it.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I don't like....

        Uncle Siggy > 'Idiot culture is alive and well too, it seems.'

        You're right. I should have more sympathy for a person who makes a private matter a public affair.

        1. Not That Andrew

          Re: I don't like....

          As far as I can tell, she only went public about her reasons for resigning after the anonymous posts accusing her of being a terrible coder and incapable of taking criticism.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I don't like....

      You work at Oracle don't you?

  5. Daniele Procida

    GitHub's official response

    I wasn't there either and I don't know what happened. However, anyone whose immediate announcement is "yeah yeah victim culture feminization so-called sexual harassment" is saying more about their own attitudes, and their own likely refusal to see bullying and marginalisation when it's going on under their noses, than about whatever happened.

    And given GitHub's official response: https://github.com/blog/1800-update-on-julie-horvath-s-departure it's pretty clear that whatever precisely she did suffer, it probably was horrible, and probably wasn't too different from her description of it.

    1. Anons anon

      Re: GitHub's official response

      Eh, no... GitHubs official reply says nothing at all. It's just the standard reaction of a company, and standard reply in a situation like this: Serious accusations have been made, (no matter how baseless they may be), and a tabloid with very low editorial standards, and a voracious appetite for clicks is on the story. If you don't do anything, it'll just further feed the story. Call the lawyers? The law might be on your side, but it automatically seems suspect and will just give the Tech-Tabloids twice the appetite for clicks.

      So the best response is to make a solemn condemnation of sexism, hand out a month or two of paid leave to a couple of people, while you do a "thorough investigation". In a month or two, the interest has passed, the people on leave will come back from their vacation in Europe, and everything will go back to normal.

      And if the investigation would happen to uncover evidence of Julie Ann Horvath being a s**tstirrer extraordinaire and that the accusations are completely baseless, you can be pretty sure that Techcrunch won't touch it with a ten foot pole. They'll be off to the next scandal or startup they're hyping.

  6. This post has been deleted by its author

  7. Old Handle
    Headmaster

    I just wanted to point out, since some people seem confused on this point, that she is not alleging sexual harassment. Just the regular kind. In fact the most substantial allegation seems to involve grudge against her on the part of a company founders' wife.

    1. Doctor Evil

      I just wanted to point out, since some people seem confused on this point, that she is not alleging sexual harassment

      Nope, she is.

      Reference the interaction with a GitHub employee who professed his love for her, was sent packing, and subsequently began to "disappear" her code changes (TechCrunch story, search for "awkward, almost aggressive encounter").

      I believe that falls under the definition.

      1. Old Handle

        I suppose you're right. But it's not the type people usually imagine, where the harassment itself is sexual comments and such. I'm not saying one is less serious than the other, I just got the impression some people had the wrong idea what this was mainly about.

  8. localzuk

    Awful lot of misogynists here

    The comments above typify the male dominated IT industry. Its pathetic. A woman makes a complaint, and everyone instantly comes and attacks her for it. Its like you're 12!

    How about waiting for the investigation to be completed before deciding that this is just a case of her being over sensitive or whatever other pathetic attacks you can think up?

    Not to mention, the attacks because she aired it all on Twitter. Where else could she go with this problem? Her account of the issues says that the company wasn't paying any attention/didn't care. There aren't industrial tribunals like we have in the UK. Her only outlet was to tell people what happens there and leave, or to go through the courts - which would most likely end up bankrupting her and turn even more people against her as she'd be attacking an "open source company".

    No, what it seems like to me is that a pile of the commenters here think such things as sexual harassment and inappropriate behaviour should be brushed under the carpet nice and quietly. Which is absolute nonsense.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Awful lot of misogynists here

      I agree with you. I think that 'sexual harassment and inappropriate behaviour' is shameful and I look forward to the day when it no longer exists. I believe that everyone should have the same rights and opportunities. I believe that every person deserves to be treated with respect and should feel safe and appreciated in the workplace and in society as a whole.

      My 'beef' is that this story is being told from one side. We only have in this article 'the victim's' account. She doesn't tell us is what caused others to act in the manner she describes. Other women working there seem to be comfortable enough to use hula hoops and play music in front of colleagues . If they were forced to do this she doesn't say. Could it be that her behaviour caused the friction?

      Either she isn't telling us the whole story, or she was on the receiving end of some outrageous behaviour. If the latter, I hope the perpetrators are caught and punished.

      1. Daniele Procida

        Re: Awful lot of misogynists here

        My 'beef' is that this story is being told from one side. We only have in this article 'the victim's' account.

        No we don't. We also have GitHub's reply: https://github.com/blog/1800-update-on-julie-horvath-s-departure.

        There's not much room for doubt.

        1. wowfood

          Re: Awful lot of misogynists here

          No we don't. We also have GitHub's reply: https://github.com/blog/1800-update-on-julie-horvath-s-departure.

          There's not much room for doubt.

          Actually there's plenty of room for doubt. That's a fairly standard response to a HR situation. Do nothing about it at all and say "They didn't do anything wrong" and you're the bad guy. If they haven't done anything wrong and you let them go instantly you're open to unfair dismissal. If you give them leave (doesn't say unpaid) while you investigate further it gives the impression something is being done. This investigation will either come back as "they've been let go" or "we have found little evidence of her claims"

          Can't make any claims for or against her because, like everyone else we only have one side of the story (as stated the github response is a non factor since it's standard to cover their backs) it could be that she was harassed, it could be that she didn't fit in and began to feel everyone was against her. We just don't know, and we won't know until the investigation is complete (internal or otherwise)

        2. No, I will not fix your computer

          Re: Awful lot of misogynists here

          If somebody is accused of harassment (sexual or otherwise) then the "correct" procedure (or at least usual) is to be separated (often by leave), this doesn't mean that there was wrongdoing, just enough evidence that it's possible, also now allowing the Founders wife at work is just usual practice (how many partners can come and go at the other persons workplace?).

          GitHub, I suspect has taken legal advice, and they have have been told to post a carefully crafted statement to avoid vicarious liability, i.e. it's the individuals not "the company" if you want to sue someone, sue them not us (there's very little mileage suing individuals, but companies have money)

          I've seen the same thing before (first hand), and I've seen similar conversations between management and their legal advisor's.

          The engineer will be hung out to dry (unless he claims it was "cultural", again vicarious responsibility, he better get a solicitor quick and don't assume that the company will support him in any way) - perhaps he deserves if he was a dick, the Founder will probably take one for the team short-term, but be back in a few months as if nothing happened.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Awful lot of misandrists here

      The comment above typifies a female dominated society. Its pathetic. A man makes a complaint, and you instantly comes and attack him for it. Its like you're sexist, misandrist and chauvanist.

      The reason men don't make complaints like that in public isn't because men don't have shitty workplaces and shitty co-workers and shitty bosses. It's because the only sympathy men care about is sympathy from women, and they know better than to think that complaining will get them any any of that.

    3. Ole Juul Silver badge

      Re: Awful lot of misogynists here

      ". . . the male dominated IT industry."

      Perhaps not dominated by, but certainly strongly represented by 12 year old boys who lack parental oversight. And that regardless of chronological age.

    4. codejunky Silver badge

      Re: Awful lot of misogynists here

      @ localzuk

      "A woman makes a complaint, and everyone instantly comes and attacks her for it."

      I caught this on slashdot and the comments at the time were very similar to the comments I see on here. People dont seem to be attacking her for being a woman and complaining, they seem to be attacking the self diagnosis of sexism.

      So far this entire story consists of a single persons perspective and a standard (non-informative) response from the business. If that is enough for a conviction then we have a return to the witch trials.

      From her point of view it very much sounds like bullying. Pretty standard, unpleasant, and she may not have been the only victim. What about the other workers? Hopefully the investigation will figure out if bullying occurred and who was targeted.

      "How about waiting for the investigation to be completed before deciding that this is just a case of her being over sensitive or whatever other pathetic attacks you can think up?"

      Maybe it was her wording but her 'final straw' was gawking men at girls doing hula hoops. That does sound a very over sensitive comment which she has placed in the public domain to stir a reaction (that is the point of airing this in public). So yes she will be judged by the public reading her public outburst and an over sensitive comment like this will be treated as such. Gawking is looking with interest and as a commenter earlier said, the same can be said for guys playing keepy-uppy.

      Her complaint may be valid. Maybe she did receive some bad treatment and that is now being investigated. But she brought up sexism as the reason and so that is the focus of the commenter's.

      It does seem that calling sexism against yourself is an own goal now (at least in IT). Just as it became comedy to use the argument 'is it coz am black?'. The argument is so badly abused that claiming it as the reason for being attacked without some seriously good reason to do so actually puts you in a bad light. And I feel sorry for her that she feels she has a genuine case of bullying but chose to make the claim of sexism and particularly adding the final straw bit which seems very over sensitive.

      I expect soon it will be seen comical for a bloke to complain by saying 'is it coz am a man?'.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Awful lot of misogynists here

      I totally agree it's pathetic, it has echos of the "I'll tell you who the real minority is - it's white straight men." that comes out of the mouths of so many men who don't realize that they are why they aren't getting on, not some misplaced political correctness.

      I doubt these people even wonder why there are so few women in IT, let alone what to do about it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Awful lot of misogynists here

        I doubt these people even wonder why there are so few women in IT

        Each and everyone of these commentards earnt their place (however lowly that place may be) by dealing with whatever circumstances came their way... why should they be expected to support any argument which has women having to be given special treatment to work in IT?

        The women are either their equal, or they're not. If they're the equal of these commentards they too must deal with whatever comes their way.

        Do you think they have any reason to care "why" there are so few women in IT, when all they ever hear is how they must adjust their behaviour because their are women present?

      2. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

        Re: Awful lot of misogynists here

        "I doubt these people even wonder why there are so few women in IT, let alone what to do about it."

        Here's a better question: why should I care why there are "so few women in IT?" I treat women as equally as I know how. They get the same respect I would show any man. I see no reason to do anything differently than that. If women want to be in IT, I have no problem with that. Some of the smartest IT practitioners I've ever met are women and I think gender plays zero role in one's ability in this field.

        If women don't want to be in IT, I'm okay with that too. I have never had this whole issue adequately explained to me such that anyone can convince me that every single field on earth should have gender equality. Women should have the right to choose what they want to do and I think it's sexist for us to dump umpteen squillion dollars into trying to change their minds en masse.

        There are fields where women dominate and men are the distinct minority. We don't dump anywhere near the amount of money into attracting men into those professions that we lavish on women. Why? If absolute gender equality is the goal shouldn't all things be equal in this regard?

        It isn't my job to worry about the grand cosmic gender balance. It's my job to treat everyone the same regardless of gender. So I do. They can choose to do whatever the hell they want for a living, I refuse to presume to direct their desires just to fill some fucking quota.

        1. localzuk

          Re: Awful lot of misogynists here

          I have a view of equal opportunities but not equal staffing. Everyone should have equal opportunities to do anything they want. They shouldn't be discriminated against for any reason like gender, age, disability, race or whatever.

  9. Zmodem

    the rich un-named shodow figures are always into their gimps, strap-ons and swinger parties, those are probably strange run ins to most

    1. Stoneshop Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Zmodem again

      Once more an incoherent and irrelevant comment.

      Sod off, pathetic brainless twerp.

      1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  10. Paul J Turner

    Code ripped from projects

    "She also claimed to have experienced harassment from a male colleague whom she alleges ripped her code from projects after she turned down his romantic advances."

    Maybe it wasn't that the male colleague did the wrong thing AFTER being turned down, Perhaps he allowed her sub-standard code in in hopes of favorable consideration and when it didn't eventuate, he applied the standards that he should have applied in the first place.

    We don't know, but it may not be the way it is presented.

    1. 's water music Silver badge

      Re: Code ripped from projects

      snip wierd interpretation

      Are you suggesting that that would be a more acceptable office culture

    2. boltar Silver badge

      Re: Code ripped from projects

      Just as FYI - if you code for an organisation its not YOUR code , its THEIR code. Another employee using what you've written seems perfectly normal to me.

      1. Faye B

        Re: Code ripped from projects

        If it represents your input and effort for a company and your reputation as a coder stands on that input then, yes its your code (that's why there are comments at the top saying who wrote it). You, as the coder, are responsible for it and your professional standing is judged by it. The fact that someone else can use that code does not give them the right to remove it from the company's stock of software, only to stop their personal use of it. If her code had already been peer reviewed and accepted by the company then there was no reason to remove it from the code base.

        1. Tom 38 Silver badge

          Re: Code ripped from projects

          There shouldn't be comments at the top of a file declaring ownership because you should not "own" the code you write, it leads to terrible confrontations when someone refactors or otherwise rewrites "your" code in a way "you" don't like. Oh snap.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The hula hooping one is fine as I doubt the women were forced to do that. I'm surprised she didn't quit over the other events mentioned.

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      I was going to say the same

      Took the words out of my mouth. Hoola-hooping != harrassment, sexism, etc. People should get a life and stop behaving like HotLips.

      Now the rest, including involvment of spouses in work matters is beyond disgusting (if even a small fraction of it proves to be true).

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I was going to say the same

        Mention of the spouse reminds me of some people I know. (Actually an old co-worker).

        His partner was high up management somewhere, and he'd always claim "If he's ever unsure of something he always comes to me for advice" "If you want a job I can have a word with him" etc etc. Effectively the 'having his ear' went as far as work talk and gripes.

        Y'know "Need to hire a new receptionist, narrowed it down to the last two but can't make my mind up" or something to that effect. Y'know where the decision is already practically made and it's a coin toss situation to decide who to hire. And even then he never said "Hire fred" it was always "Who did you click best with" I imagine this chaps wife had the same inflated sense of self importance to think that equated to power over hiring and firing. It's just idle gossip.

  12. mickey mouse the fith

    Yawn

    Sounds like she just didnt get along with others in that particular workplace. Who the fuck complains about people hula hooping and having a bit of fun in the office once in a while?

    My guess is that she rubbed people up the wrong way, you dont see anyone else from the company backing her up (the directors apology is just damage limitation, they probably dont actually care or even believe her story).

    What the spurned coder did was pretty low, but its not sexual harassment, its just being an arsehole.

    And why did no one notice or care about all this code erasing?, if it was my business id be pretty fucking livid if a worker was wasting another workers time on my money, and Id be watching said employees like a hawk.

    1. Mike Flex

      Re: Yawn

      "And why did no one notice or care about all this code erasing?"

      Lost code? If only they had access to a software revision control system.

      1. Oninoshiko

        Re: Yawn

        Are you kidding? Every line of code deleted is twice as productive as a line written!

        Seriously though, this one doesn't make much sense to me either. If he could delete the code and there be nothing affected, it was dead code which shouldn't have been in the main repository at all. If it was some uncompleted feature, it should have only been in her repo, until she's ready to have a pull. If he restructured it we should probably be looking at how and why.

        Either Github isn't using git, or she has no idea how to use it properly.

  13. John Deeb

    Stereotyping galore

    The story itself provides enough stereotyping: yes, a woman bitching about another woman (the founder's wife) and indirectly sneering at the hooping girls for putting up a show for all the males in the office. She doesn't appears to realize why she was irritated by the setting at all and directs her anger at the audience, of all people. Remarkable! Without knowing much more this story it already has all the hallmarks of same-sex competition, jealousy and frustration. Possibly that founder's wife contributed her share of it but Horvath goes one step further: blaming all the men and the bosses. Yes, another stereotype! And probably her code was indeed reviewed to be substandard by a coder who might have behaved rather "feminine" in his vengefulness after having being brushed off by a woman who appears to have no insight in why she feels the way she does. But all the hysterical signs are certainly there. Luckily many women are above these self-defeating games.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Regardless...

    of we think are the facts of the matter, allegations have been made and there has been sufficient suspicion to put staff on garden leave and bar other individuals from the premises.

    Were the allegations made by lady in question untrue, I'm certain that GitHub's lawyers would be on the case immediately, seeking a order to prevent Mr Horvath from discussing the matter further. As far as we can see, they're not, which speaks volumes - either they're remarkably restrained (hah) or there's more than a grain of truth to the allegations.

    As an aside, I (personally) don't feel their new "experienced HR lead" is going to be particularly effective if they're incapable of dealing with or even identifying a possible workplace bullying / harassment issue when it's brought to their door.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Regardless...

      At the same time however, if the allegations were true and they went after a non disclosure it would reflect terribly on the company. And right now whether it's true of false is still under consideration.

      It's safer to do nothing, and fix things slowly than it is to try to silence them and trigger the dreaded streisand effect. This way they can say "We're looking in to this" and one of two scenarios comes up. Firstly they find wrongdoing, the guy who ripped out her code is let go and the co-founder winds up taking a prolonged period of leave from the company to reassess.

      On the other hand it turns out there is no evidence of what she said, (wife was just a gossip, the code was removed because it failed to follow standards / interfered with other code during a merge etc) and she's blown things out of proportion. At that point I imagine a second statement would be released, and she'd wind up blacklisted from any number of high profile companies because of her attitude.

      Seeking a court order to shut her up will only lead to negative rumours no matter the facts . "What are they hiding?" etc. Letting her talk gives them time to save face, or time to let her dig her own grave depending.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Gee, I wish...

    ...fights like that would break out around here. It's all too boring at work. Gotta get out of the office.

    Something about harassing women? Yeah, and I am sorry about it. I told her too. She forgave me and said she was sorry for changing her clothes in server room. I don't know why she is stalking me now. There are a few things I haven't figured out yet.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Women in position of authority ..

    “Your invite to connect is inappropriate, beneficial only to you, and tacky .. Don’t ever write me again” link

    1. cracked
      Childcatcher

      Re: Women in position of authority ..

      Thanks very much, for today's Free Giggle :-)

      "Ms Blazek" [the apologist] "was named 2013 Communicator of the Year by the Cleveland Chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators."

      And more seriously: A large proportion of the IT industry is an over-privileged, under-worked and over-paid, cesspool. From the way it makes its products/services available, to the business models it adopts, to the treatment of many of its employees, to the attitudes of many of those employees and to the management practices employed.

      30-odd years ago it could legitimately use the excuse that it was new - Now, not so much. But then 30-odd years ago it was worth the sum total of f**k all - Now, so much more.

    2. C Yates
      Happy

      Re: Women in position of authority ..

      Seconded!

      This is gold, thanks so much for brightening up my day =)

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    gawk

    They might have been gawking, but at least they weren't grepping

    1. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

      Re: gawk

      In this context, gawk was being used as substitute for vgrep. But they sed nothing and they didn't finger(1).

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: gawk

        They tried to touch but permission was denied.

  18. Anons anon

    CALL THE POLICE!

    Oh dear, oh dear... So she had to suffer through the indignity of watching female coworkers being forced to hula-hoop by brutish male coworkers for profit?!?

    Thank god this brave soul got out in time, and can expose this misogynistic, hula hoop-pimping corporation an.... What? She wasn't forced to watch you say? And the other females were hula hooping voluntarily? And they didn't complain about the male attention, it was Julie Ann Horvath who "felt unsafe" when she brought it up with other coworkers, and they didn't see the problem.

    I see...

    Perhaps this is isn't really a case of a sexism and a "hostile workplace", and more a case of a toxic coworker? The toxic coworker being Julie Ann Horvath herself.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: CALL THE POLICE!

      It does at least seem possible that she simply didn't fit in - and tried to rationalize that to herself as being a victim. I'd probably think differently except that her hula-hooping female colleagues don't seem to have noticed any problem. So if there was sexism, it didn't seem to be spread around very evenly.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    She had it coming...

    While nobody here is qualified to know for sure what did and didn't happen at Github, Julie Ann Horvath certainly comes across as a toxic and egocentric coworker, who uses (office) politics and her gender as a replacement for performs and skills.

    Most of us have probably had a coworker like that at one time or another. The kind of person who's never wrong, but always being wronged, according to themselves.

    Julie Ann Horvath sounds exactly like that. She deflects any criticism of herself and her performance as "sexism" or revenge for spurning unwanted sexual advances. And when she finds out that no one else is seeing it this way, and the only person who thinks there is a problem is herself, obviously it isn't with her that the problem lies. Oh no! It's everyone else who is a jerk! And the whole place is toxic and rotten to the core!

    Unfortunately for GitHub, Techcrunch is always willing to lend an ear and an article for a one sided, scandalous but undocumented airing of grievances. Who cares if it's true or not, as long as you include a little solemn editorial screed about how horrible sexism is, and how we all know that it's a huge problem in the tech industry, and anyone who disagrees is an Ahole in league with climate-deniers and holocaust revisionists.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: She had it coming...

      She has to hope however that github find something wrong. Because if they finish their investigations on these two folks who are on leave, and find they did nothing wrong. (Wife was just a gossip type and occasionally spoke to husband about stuff, guy removed her code because it didn't adhere to standards etc) her career is effectively over .

      If I tweeted that my last employer was unfair, sexist, and mistreated me and then nothing came out of it, I wouldn't expect to be hired by anyone... ever. Who would hire somebody who will try and make a publicity case out of every wrongdoing? I mean if wrongdoing actually occurred then sure, there will still be some companies who will hire her, but if it turns out nothing was going on and she's blown stuff out of proportion, or something happened, but not to the degree she claimed it had, she's effectively attached a nuclear hazard sign to herself.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I Lost a job once because of the GF

    Bosses GF was receptionist and he had to let me go because of the fact she bitched about me in the evening, and it didn't stop.

    Anon because I am ashamed, and I don't blame the bloke tbh. Company a little too family tied in anyway for any movement.

  21. Benjol

    Is it just me, or does this article just say the same thing twice?

  22. Gert Leboski
    Trollface

    This is terrible...

    It is always sad to see somebody lose, or feel forced to resign from, their job.

    I wish her well for the future.

    Doesn't she look a bit like Jen from the IT Crowd.

    I wonder if she can do the voice?

    It would be nice to see her back in gainful employment soon.

    If she can do the voice and doesn't mind a bit of role-play, maybe involving some 'dressing up', then I have a position that she might want to consider taking up..... ;-)

  23. Stretch

    You will pay to get your code back...

    ...when the VC runs out. Fools use GitHub.

    1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

      Re: You will pay to get your code back...

      You don't know how Git works, do you ?

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Standard workplace bad fit/bullying case. I don't see how the 'spurned advances' part constitutes sexual harassment as some people make out.

    The last part about hula hooping is where it strays into feminist BS though. If some women want to hula hoop in the office, more power to them. Unless she was forced to take part then there would be a grievance.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      [quote] I don't see how the 'spurned advances' part constitutes sexual harassment as some people make out.[/quote]

      http://www.eeoc.gov/facts/fs-sex.html

      It was due to her rejection he created conditions that affected her work performance & ability to work by ripping out her code. The retaliation was directly related to the rejected advance, that's how it's sexual harassment according to the US EEOC.

      1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

        That is her interpretation of those events. It could just as easily be that she's incorrect and that the two events were not related at all. There is no rational reason to believe her interpretation of events until evidence is presented.

    2. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      "Unless she was forced to take part then there would be a grievance."

      Technically that's not entirely accurate. If she were somehow punished or experienced retribution for not taking part then there would also be a grievance. That isn't the same as "being forced to take part" as the "forced" indicated there is a threat at the time of the event, as opposed to petty vindictiveness afterwards with no advance warning.

      A minor quibble, but the latter is a heck of a lot harder to prove than the former, but constitutes some pretty up there douchebaggery all the same.

    3. Bernardo Sviso

      Some people appear to not even know what "sexual harassment" is

      > Standard workplace bad fit/bullying case. I don't see how the 'spurned advances' part constitutes sexual harassment as some people make out.

      Actually, that part, if true, would be an absolutely text-book example of the worst sort of sexual harassment.

      Arguably, everything *else* (aside perhaps from part about the boss's wife) in her complaint sounds mostly like her being judgemental, ideological, and difficult to get along with.

      But if some guy in a position of power or authority over her/her work/her job/her career propositioned her, then abused their position to punish her in retaliation for not being receptive to his advances -- that *by definition* would *most definitely* be sexual harassment, of the most pronounced, unmistakable and most despicable kind.

      Some people appear to not even know what "sexual harassment" is, any more -- maybe there's been too much focus on swimsuit calendars and other relatively minor (but potentially problematic) stuff, that makes women feel "uncomfortable" but really, everybody, lets not forget the basic principles...

  25. Gordon Pryra

    Hula Hoopping

    I work at a local council, I shudder to think of the Hula Hooping antics being carried out here.

    Then again, when I worked at some of the big city bank head offices, its a different game of bouncy bouncy.

    Anyway, whats wrong with nubile pooly paid young ladies entertaining the hardworking males?

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There's more to this

    This is the person who complained that a carpet promoting GitHub as a meritocracy was sexist. On the face of it she doesn't want equality, she wants women favoured before men and that it EXACTLY the kind of shit we should be avoiding.

    Sure, try to catch more women candidates in the net. Try to encourage more women into STEM. But when push comes to shove; either you are the best for the job or you are not.

    A bias in either direction means hiring less capable candidates for a position.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: There's more to this

      http://readwrite.com/2014/01/24/github-meritocracy-rug#awesm=~oyRUyjWwwqsaBH

      Wasn't even aware of that before. That just makes me believe further that this entire situation has been blown out of proportions, and that she's a toxic element I would not want working with me.

      In response to the post above, apparently the meritocracy is sexist because in the IT world men are still advanced to higher positions than women, because they have more opportunities.

      News flash. when 9/10 people in an industry are men, all other things being equal, there is a 1/10 chance of the individual getting an opportunity, there is only 1/10 chance that individual is female. That is not sexist, that's basic maths. If you feel that the woman deserves a higher chance at getting said opportunity because of her gender, that is gender entitlement and goes against the very thing a meritocracy is meant to stand for.

  27. GotThumbs
    Paris Hilton

    Why going to Twitter before going to Human Resources? Only one reason.

    If she truly felt she had a case, she should have gone straight to the companies HR office, not Twitter. Twitter is for whiners IMO. It's not the proper forum for addressing work issues between an employee and an employer. She has marked herself as Trouble for any future employer IMO.

    If she was the only one offended by the Hula Hoop, then maybe she should have left the room as it began. Make an excuse to go to the restroom or something. It's not like the hoops magically appeared. It's clear she and the company have different ideas about the desired work environment.

    Creative people let loose in different ways.

    She seems to have taken a job for a company that does not fit her work environment expectations.

    She should have left earlier IMO.

    It's a fool who expects a whole company to revolve/change around their whim.

    She should start her own company and then she can run it exactly as she likes.

    Simple solution IMO.

  28. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    Interesting that the woman cannot even tweet enough English to properly express her accomplishments (or was she really boasting of making herself a fit place for women to work?).

    The straw that broke the camel's back seems to be a victimless crime to me, but I wasn't there. It was likely unprofessional behavior, but again, possibly not depending on the circumstances. *shrug*

  29. Jim 59

    Dunno

    People don't just give up their jobs and livelihoods over nothing, so something happened. Unless other people are questioned, it is impossible to know which side is in the right. But Github's apology (above, Daniele Procida) seems to acknowledge some fault, indicating that there is some basis in Julie Horvath's accounts. I read her Twitter stream, it is not silly and the tone is pretty reasonable.

    If I was the the investor who gave GitHub $100,000,000 to stand around hula-hooping, I would be picking up the phone to the make a few polite inquiries.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Dunno

      Easy there Icahn

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Issue: Woman says that men gawking at hula hooping was sexist

    Response from Reg readers, apparently without irony: Don't be ridiculous, there's nothing sexist about wanting to see some jiggling boobies! Women are so hysterical, they need to control themselves, it has nothing to do with sexism!

    Wow. What a bunch of supreme fucktards. It almost defies belief how thoroughly the collective stone-age mentalities here can manage to act in precisely the way that generates a poisonous environment while simultaneously denying that any such environment exists.

    Pathetic.

    1. Josh Holman

      Sexism: prejudice or discrimination based on sex; especially : discrimination against women

      Not hiring women because they belong in the kitchen == sexist.

      Gawking at women hula-hooping,jump-roping,jogging,etc == genetics.

      Defies belief how many people can't use a dictionary.

      Idiot.

    2. Ben Tasker Silver badge

      Don't be ridiculous, there's nothing sexist about wanting to see some jiggling boobies!

      Are the Diet Coke ads sexist? A group of women gawking at a well toned man? Sexual attraction is a base drive, and 'objectification' flies both ways. There's plenty of objectification going on in mags for women as well, is that sexist? I don't think so, though I'd say that it's sexist to claim it's OK for one gender to gawk and objectify but not the other..

      Is gawking suitable behaviour in a professional environment? Not really, but calling it sexist is completely ignoring the fact that many women do the same thing.

      Giving a bloke a task because you don't feel a woman would do it properly/correctly would be sexist, gawking is unwanted attention but it's not and never has been sexism (unless you want to argue that only gawking based on your own sexual preferences shows prejudice).

      So no, there's nothing sexist about wanting to see some 'jiggling boobies', though ideally it shouldn't be happening in the workplace. But then, I've also worked at places where the hula-hooping itself would be considered inappropriate behaviour, so ymmv.

      I suspect, as well, that many would have far more sympathy if one of the hula-hoopers had complained, it does come across as someone being offended on someone elses behalf and the link someone posted earlier regarding the rug does suggest that she was perhaps over sensitive at times. It doesn't automatically mean she's wrong in this case, of course, but we all get judged by our past actions, especially when something relevant pops up on the net.

    3. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      Exactly what is sexist about wanting to see some jiggling boobies? Please explain this in detail. I'm genetically programmed to want to see jiggling boobies. Reproduction/mate acquisition is quite literally one of the most fundamental instincts our species has.

      Are you honestly trying to say that it is somehow not sexist to demand that an entire gender repress/deny their own base instincts while it is somehow sexist for that same gender to acknowledge those same base instincts with the full participation of consenting adults? And what does this say about your views on women that you feel they don't have the right or capability to choose when and where they allow men to ogle them?

      What right does anyone - man or woman - have to tell me whom I may or may not ogle, except the person whom I happen to be ogling at the time? If $individual doesn't want me to look at them they have every right to tell me to piss off. By what right does a third party - any third party, regardless of gender - insert themselves?

      Are they next to tell me whom I can mate with? Perhaps I cannot mate with a member of my own gender? Or perhaps I cannot mate with a member of the opposite gender? Or perhaps I must undergo some meaningless religious ceremony before I am allowed to mate? Maybe I need to get a form signed in triplicate before I can even attempt to initiate a mating encounter?

      There is nothing wrong withe human sexuality. It is an absolutely normal and natural part of life. There is everything with forcing unwanted sexual advances upon someone else, but nothing at all wrong with consenting adults having whatever fun they wish with however many layers of sexual - or, for that matter non-sexual - overtones.

      Where in any of this does it say the hola-hooping ladies weren't digging the attention? And frankly, why wouldn't they? What we have is a third party getting upset because she observed a consensual display of interpersonal amusement that may potentially have had very mild sexual overtones. There is no indication anyone forced her to watch, to participate or even to acknowledge that the event was occurring.

      Based on the evidence available she chose to insert herself into the interpersonal activities of others without invitation or desire on behalf of anyone else.

      Your comments come across as misandrist. Pure and simple.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Misandrist? Oh for the love of god. Yeah, that's it - I hate men.

        Seriously?

        It's times like these that I sorely miss the presence of Sarah Bee.

        1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

          Aye. I do believe that your words indicate a belief that men are of less value than women. That their nature, desires, thoughts, emotions and so forth are a secondary to those of women. I get this in large part from your lashing out at people who call for equality while praising those who demand special treatment for women.

          So yeah, misandrist. I do believe you are one.

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