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Prominent GitHub Engineer Julie Ann Horvath Quits Citing Harrassment 710

Posted by samzenpus
from the hostile-environment dept.
First time accepted submitter PvtVoid writes in with the story of Julie Ann Horvath alleging a culture of sexism at GitHub. "The exit of engineer Julie Ann Horvath from programming network GitHub has sparked yet another conversation concerning women in technology and startups. Her claims that she faced a sexist internal culture at GitHub came as a surprise to some, given her former defense of the startup and her internal work at the company to promote women in technology."
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Prominent GitHub Engineer Julie Ann Horvath Quits Citing Harrassment

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  • by kthreadd (1558445) on Monday March 17, 2014 @05:16AM (#46503723)

    I'm a guy and after reading her story I would feel the same if I were in her shoes. This is not a gender problem, this is a people problem. A lot of people simply don't know how to behave civilized with other people.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 17, 2014 @05:23AM (#46503751)

    Her problem wasn't sexism, it was with the founder's wife (so she says). 75% of the article talks about her problems with the founder's wife.
    So it's just a tale of one woman being bitchy to another.

    Nothing to see here. Move along.

  • she's a nutcase (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 17, 2014 @05:27AM (#46503777)

    There was a party at Github headquarters attended by employees and their friends. There was music and probably alcohol. Also, hula hoops.

    Two women, one of whom I work with and adore, and a friend of hers were hula hooping to some music. I didn’t have a problem with this. What I did have a problem with is the line of men sitting on one bench facing the hoopers and gawking at them. It looked like something out of a strip club. When I brought this up to male coworkers, they didn’t see a problem with it. But for me it felt unsafe and to be honest, really embarrassing. That was the moment I decided to finally leave GitHub.

    Yes, those MEN had the GALL to WATCH two women hula hooping. Which made her feel unsafe. In other words, she's a lunatic and you can safely ignore anything she says.

  • Re:she's a nutcase (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Chrisq (894406) on Monday March 17, 2014 @05:41AM (#46503825)

    There was a party at Github headquarters attended by employees and their friends. There was music and probably alcohol. Also, hula hoops.

    Two women, one of whom I work with and adore, and a friend of hers were hula hooping to some music. I didn’t have a problem with this. What I did have a problem with is the line of men sitting on one bench facing the hoopers and gawking at them. It looked like something out of a strip club. When I brought this up to male coworkers, they didn’t see a problem with it. But for me it felt unsafe and to be honest, really embarrassing. That was the moment I decided to finally leave GitHub.

    Yes, those MEN had the GALL to WATCH two women hula hooping. Which made her feel unsafe. In other words, she's a lunatic and you can safely ignore anything she says.

    This is very strange. If you have activities like hula hooping, karaoke, etc. at a party then people do it because they want to be watched. If everyone looked the other way it would be very strange - if that's what they wanted they could have set out a "hula hooping cubicle" where people could do it in private - but its not very party like!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 17, 2014 @05:41AM (#46503827)

    Having read all of that, it seems like maybe 10% sexism and 90% people just being horrible in a completely gender-neutral fashion. Inexcusable either way, but pitching this as a "culture of sexism" seems a bit over-the-top given that most of the negative interactions mentioned in the article are between two women.

  • Re:she's a nutcase (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Craefter (71540) on Monday March 17, 2014 @05:44AM (#46503847)

    I wish I could mod the parent up. Really, she was offended because men were men and woman were woman. If they didn't like to be the center of attention they should do their hula hooping exercises at home, with the blinds down, doors closed..... in the basement.

    That being said, maybe she had some other more valid issues but it seems that this is a case where she blames the world for her own sensitivities.

  • by AmiMoJo (196126) * <mojo @ w orld3.net> on Monday March 17, 2014 @05:46AM (#46503857) Homepage

    Unfortunately we don't have enough information to know if it is a gender discrimination issue or not. If she had to deal with this because she is female, if people treated her differently and if there are persistent problems for women then it is sexism. If not it's just a crappy place to work full stop.

  • by gweihir (88907) on Monday March 17, 2014 @05:59AM (#46503901)

    Looks like something went seriously wrong there. Does not necessary mean there was a cultural problem though, might just have been a few big egos with small social skills that nobody reigned in. These exist everywhere, not just in the tech field.

    That said, I think what Julie Ann Horvath did was highly unprofessional. You do not badmouth your former employer, no matter what they did. You may sue them or come to an agreement that makes suing them unnecessary. I would not hire her now for the sole reason that she seems to believe discretion and loyalty to a company becomes optional after you leave. Not so.

  • Re:she's a nutcase (Score:3, Insightful)

    by AmiMoJo (196126) * <mojo @ w orld3.net> on Monday March 17, 2014 @06:01AM (#46503913) Homepage

    I can see how a situation where female employees were encouraged to gyrate their bodies while the male employees watched and gawked at them could be off-putting. I'm male and I'd find that uncomfortable to watch.

    If it was just a bunch of people of both genders hula hooping that would be fine, but it sounds like there was a very different atmosphere. Where do you draw the line? Most people would probably say that hiring strippers would be unacceptable, but there is a huge grey area of acceptable behaviour at a work function.

  • by Arker (91948) on Monday March 17, 2014 @06:04AM (#46503929) Homepage
    After reading the referenced article, and the github response, I am still finding myself pretty meh.

    The actual sexism in it seems overblown at best. They had a party, girls were hulu-hooping, guys stared. She seems to somehow have been shocked and perturbed by this, which makes me wonder about her. Is she shocked and perturbed by the affects of gravity or the inverse square law as well? Yet this completely unremarkable scene is cited as the 'last straw' before she left.

    For the most part the real problem appears to have been a founders wife. FTFA: "In her email to TechCrunch, Horvath says she felt "confused and insulted to think that a woman who was not employed by my company was pulling the strings." She also said she felt bullied by someone with perceived power and influence over her personal relationship and her career at GitHub."

    Now I dont know about where Julia is from, but here on Earth a  founders spouse having what might be technically inappropriate involvement in the company business is not exactly unheard of. It's also typical for that spouse to have what we gamers would describe as a great intrigue score - a manipulative deceitful personality that will bluff or lie about her current position in order to improve her position 10 moves later in her game, and who will use you up and throw you away without a hint of remorse if she sees a gain in it. This sort of woman is always scheming, and employees that just want to keep punching their clock and spending their paycheck have to be vigilant to avoid getting involved in her schemes, usually to their detriment.

    Now I dont blame our heroine for being uncomfortable in that spot, Everyone is. I am just saying it's odd that she would actually be surprised by something so common, and odder still that she would attribute it to sexism.

    Github indicates the spouse in question has been dealt with, so frankly it sounds like they may have won on both ends of the deal. Seems an easy bet that at least some of the employees are breathing much more easily in the office today with both of these ladies gone from it.

  • by kthreadd (1558445) on Monday March 17, 2014 @06:05AM (#46503937)

    That's the whole point. There is no "male culture." There's a number of "cultures" and men are not an homogeneous group that can be classified under just one of them. We're all mixed between different "cultures," spanning both genders.

  • by 3247 (161794) on Monday March 17, 2014 @06:10AM (#46503955) Homepage

    So it's just a tale of one woman being bitchy to another.

    That's a sexist remark, you know?

  • by Truth_Quark (219407) on Monday March 17, 2014 @06:10AM (#46503963) Journal

    Maybe she was really bad worker and used 'discrimination' card each time to defend her work?

    The articles seem to refer to her as Influential developer [readwrite.com].

    I don't think that "really bad worker" is likely.

    And her story isn't incredible. There is a lot of sexism in the industry.

    Problem is that GitHub is at lost position. However bad she was, they will be always painted bad boys for throwing dirt on her, so they will probably keep silent...

    Their response (linked by others) is probably the best they could do. But also it looks like they are taking her allegations seriously themselves.

  • Re:she's a nutcase (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MrL0G1C (867445) on Monday March 17, 2014 @06:28AM (#46504041) Journal

    Too right, what next, dancing and showing their ankles? Parties and alcohol clearly need to be banned.

    Note: you changed "were hula hooping" to "were encouraged to gyrate their bodies".

    Drunk people are often embarrassing, but the uncomfortableness that is embarrassment is something that a reasonable adult puts up with when they see that the other people are having harmless fun.

  • Re:she's a nutcase (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 17, 2014 @06:31AM (#46504055)

    To paraphrase Robert Heinlein, "if some men like to stare at women hula-hooping, then at least some women must enjoy hula-hooping while being stated at by men, otherwise there is something fundamentally wrong with the human species".

    Being offended by proxy is a totally self-inflicted punishment. If that was the thing that made her leave (and not the behaviour of the co-founder's wife), then indeed she is a nutcase. If that wasn't the trigger, but it's what she's using as an excuse, then she's a manipulative hypocrite, trying to blame "sexism" simply because she hopes it'll get superficial readers on her side, and generate more bad press for GitHub.

  • by Draugo (1674528) on Monday March 17, 2014 @06:33AM (#46504073)
    How? If the matter was about two men and AC had said "It's a tale of one man being asshole to another" you would never have raised the sexism flag.
  • by EthanV2 (1211444) on Monday March 17, 2014 @06:35AM (#46504077) Homepage
    GitHub relies on Git, not the other way around. There is nothing stopping you (apart from technical expertise) from starting your own GitHub clone.
  • Re:she's a nutcase (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MrL0G1C (867445) on Monday March 17, 2014 @06:40AM (#46504101) Journal

    Anyway, I decided to break with form and RTFA. It's not about sexism, it's about one of the founders and his wife being bonkers and victimising the woman, she probably has a good case of constructive dismissal.

    The hula thing is a red herring and this amounts to victim bashing.

  • by abies (607076) on Monday March 17, 2014 @06:40AM (#46504103)

    Their response (linked by others) is probably the best they could do. But also it looks like they are taking her allegations seriously themselves.

    This is my point. Even if she is wrong, they would have to pretend she is right. There is no way of them saying "She overreacted and tried to play 'harrassed woman' card when in reality she was just bad'.

    And regarding 'influential developer'... "influential developer known for helping make GitHub a more attractive place for women programmers to work". Sounds like she was known for being women activist and influencing the view of the company in female circles, rather than influencing the code base/architecture/whatever. She _might_ be a very good developer - I just don't see it claimed anywhere yet.

    Issue is that it is not any longer possible to say "this particular woman is horrible and crap programmer" without being understood as "all women are horrible programmers and I'm chauvinist pig". And while I agree that industry is quite sexist and in many cases attacks are underserved, I refuse to give special handling to a worker doing bad job just because he/she comes from some opressed minority.

    To be honest, I would find it a lot more sexist to give the hell to the guy producing bad code routinely, while being all time calm, smiling and forgiving to woman doing same thing. I'm probably 'chauvinist' enough to put a line at physical violence (like effectively defending myself against physical assault of man versus assult of women), but I'm not going to hold back on opinions just because of gender (or color of skin, disability or sexual orientation).

    Again - not saying she is bad. I'm just stressing that in current PR climate, we will probably never learn, because it will be always better for company to sacrifice a good male programmer than try to fight to expose bad female programmer publicly.

  • by Bazman (4849) on Monday March 17, 2014 @06:49AM (#46504141) Journal

    Which is why in civilised countries we have unions and employment law. If I have a grievance like she did with my employer, I go to my union, I don't resign. They understand employment law, contract law, case law, and I have a right to a union rep at meetings with management. Why resign? Does she have a legal case for suing the company? Because I know that's how you leftpondians prefer to do it.

  • by emj (15659) on Monday March 17, 2014 @07:10AM (#46504233) Homepage Journal

    Which is why in civilised countries we have unions and employment law.

    I was a bit sad when I read that she had to request HR to be present at a meeting with the boss, you need a union on your side when you have those conversations.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 17, 2014 @07:31AM (#46504289)

    Don't forget that the founder's wife treated her the way she did, precisely because she couldn't see Horvath as an engineer, but only as a potential lust object for the founder. And the founder let her. And then there's the atrocious meeting incident, where HR also proved to be totally useless.
    By themselves the points may not seem all that bad, but together they're more fishy, and when you put them in a context of a company with gender issues they're quite damning. This is one of the problems with cases like this: gender discrimination usually pervades the atmosphere of a company and provides the context in which events happen. (I've seen this myself at a Dutch IT service company. I'm a man and even I could see it, so I'm pretty sure the women must have felt it too.) The events themselves aren't that bad by themselves:
    * A competent woman doesn't get promoted. So what, you cannot promote everyone. But the guy who didn't promote her, always promoted only men, and some of them were incompetent.
    * A junior colleague jokes that rape is just a case of economics. The colleague was a guy who regularly mistreated women. Not so funny now, eh?
    * There were no women in management. Okay, that happens sometimes, women like management less anyway, and some women preferred to promote out of the company. But when you know that management consisted of a bunch of sex-obsessed baboons who did nothing but continually laugh at each other's misogynistic ‘jokes’ the picture changes.
    That IT company was sort of an extreme case, but I've since seen more subtle variants elsewhere. These things aren't always that easy to put in words, and every example you might cite will be wiped off the table by someone who doesn't want to understand that there is a problem, but they create an incredibly sickening atmosphere.
    It's hard enough to take for a man; if I were a woman, I would have permanently left IT ages ago.

  • by Cenan (1892902) on Monday March 17, 2014 @07:35AM (#46504303)

    You do not badmouth your former employer, no matter what they did.

    And had she not done so, you would still be able to read the quoted statement, right? Wrong. Nothing happens if people don't speak up, and if it has to be in a public statement about the hows and whys, so be it. It can only be construed as illoyal or unprofessional if your first course of action is whining on the Internet. That is not what happened, according to both Julie and GitHub.

    Suing is not going to fix the problem, it is most likely to end in a dismissal or a settlement (with an NDA), both outcomes less than ideal for the other employees.

    If your company culture is so sick, that it cannot survive the light of day, I'm not sure you deserve to hire Julie, or anyone else for that matter.

  • by BitZtream (692029) on Monday March 17, 2014 @07:49AM (#46504365)

    Sneak a push in that now one notices immediately and the ability to notice it sneaked in goes away RAPIDLY and completely as soon as everyone syncs up again.

    Removing stuff from git is trivial, and it cleans up the fragments left around for you.

    It does require unfettered access to the git database, but beyond that, its trivial.

  • by BitZtream (692029) on Monday March 17, 2014 @08:26AM (#46504597)

    Not really. If it was men, you'd say they were assholes too each other.

    Stop trying to read more into it than there is asshole.

    There are different terms used for people with differences ... and guess what no how much you like it, men and women are different from each other ... I know this because I Can't pass a bowling ball through my penis, yet my wife can spit out a baby (with a lot of effort!).

    Pull your head out of your ass and stop acting like we're all exactly the same and you'll find yourself a lot less concerned with being politically correct to the point of uselessness.

  • Re:she's a nutcase (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MrL0G1C (867445) on Monday March 17, 2014 @08:31AM (#46504643) Journal

    It's a red herring for the people who want to take a bash at Horvarth.

    It may have been the straw that broke the camels back, but that's the point, she had been driven to the point where the straw became a back-breaker by the ill-treatment issue.

    The whole point of the straw proverb is that it's not the straw that matters (red herring), it's the prior weight.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S... [wikipedia.org]

  • by AmiMoJo (196126) * <mojo @ w orld3.net> on Monday March 17, 2014 @08:33AM (#46504647) Homepage

    And regarding 'influential developer'... "influential developer known for helping make GitHub a more attractive place for women programmers to work". Sounds like she was known for being women activist and influencing the view of the company in female circles, rather than influencing the code base/architecture/whatever. She _might_ be a very good developer - I just don't see it claimed anywhere yet.

    Issue is that it is not any longer possible to say "this particular woman is horrible and crap programmer" without being understood as "all women are horrible programmers and I'm chauvinist pig". And while I agree that industry is quite sexist and in many cases attacks are underserved, I refuse to give special handling to a worker doing bad job just because he/she comes from some opressed minority.

    Sorry, but that is complete bollocks.

    Firstly she says that her code was deleted/reverted without explanation, or with hostile comments left. It doesn't matter how terrible a programmer she might be, that kind of thing is unacceptable. Criticism and reverts are fine, as long as they are constructive and don't amount to bullying.

    You can freely criticise women as long as it is constructive, and the rule is the same for men and gay people and black people and every other minority. You don't have to treat women differently, just fairly as you would any other human being. Giving someone "hell" for writing bad code is rarely appropriate and unlikely to create a good, productive work environment compared to, you know, helping them improve. Arguably men are more likely to put up with it but that doesn't make it right.

  • false dichotomy (Score:2, Insightful)

    by globaljustin (574257) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <labolgnitsuj>> on Monday March 17, 2014 @08:43AM (#46504719) Homepage Journal

    If she had to deal with this because she is female, if people treated her differently and if there are persistent problems for women then it is sexism. If not it's just a crappy place to work full stop.

    So it's either sexual harrassment OR just a crappy place to work???

    Not a chance, AmiMoJo...both go hand in hand...sexism in the workplace is a **symptom** of a greater problem...it's **one way** unprofessionalism can be expressed. These things do not happen in compartmentalized little spaces...it's a sign of institutional rot.

    This woman was an **engineer** she's one of us. She obviously is trying to use careful language to not seem inflamitory...if anything, she is ***downplaying*** the level of sexism in her workplace...like a humble geek/engineer would!

    from TFA:

    Horvath told us that she “participated in the boys’ club upon joining,” but when her “character started being discussed in inappropriate places like on pull requests and issues,” the situation changed.

    I object to the notion that because she sent tweets, when she *first started working* about how she liked her job, that means we should some how be critical of what she is saying now...things change at a job after the first few months, everyone knows this.

  • This is not a gender problem, this is a people problem.

    Gender problems are people problems you fool!

    This false dichotomy you purvey, that this social situation is "either A or B" is reductive and shows how far our industry has sunk.

    So, is murder not a violence problem, but just a people problem? Rape...by your logic not sexual in nature...just a people problem!

    Racism? Naw...that's just a people problem...by your logic.

    Your reductive contextualization **insures** that you will misidentify the cause of the problem and whatever you do as a fix *will not work*

    Until *men* in the tech industry mature beyond adolesence we will have this problem. It's **our fault** and we must be **proactive** to fix the problem.

  • Re:she's a nutcase (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MrL0G1C (867445) on Monday March 17, 2014 @09:15AM (#46504987) Journal

    Note - I don't think she's a nutcase, I think she has been treated very badly and I hope she gets a sensible amount of compensation.

    But at the same time, she wasn't being asked to hula hoop and she didn't say the woman didn't start hula-hooping of their own volition, some people like to be looked at, I don't think the men gawping is a big deal. I think by the time this happened she had gotten so sensitive to the harassment she had received that this was the final straw.

  • Re:she's a nutcase (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Monday March 17, 2014 @09:23AM (#46505063) Homepage Journal

    In other words they are just trying to help encourage women to give lectures on IT related subjects because they feel that they are otherwise under-represented.

    This misses the point of Jane Elliott's brown-eyes-blue-eyes experiment [youtube.com]. Women don't need separate-but-equal facilities to excel - there is no functional difference between a man and a woman in an IT role. Telling them they need a special venue is telling them they're not good enough for the "men's lecture". It's an insidious form of sexism.

    Do individual women need encouragement? Of course - our culture favors quiet little mermaids, not bold warrior princesses. But do encourage those women who need the encouragement and *don't* tell them they're not good enough for the men's group, but also encourage the quiet nerdy guy who's terrified to speak in front of a group. And if you do encounter this fabled guy who is trying to keep women down in IT - kick 'em in the balls and tell him that women don't have that weakness.

  • by DaveV1.0 (203135) on Monday March 17, 2014 @09:35AM (#46505173) Journal
    This was because of the founder's wife and the founder believing what his wife tells him. This isn't about her being a woman, it is about her failure to see what was going on and the politics involved.

    the wife went on to claim that she was responsible for hires at GitHub, and asked Horvath to explain to her what she was working on. The wife also claimed to employ “spies” inside of GitHub, and claimed to be able to, again according to Horvath, read GitHub employees’ private chat-room logs, which only employees are supposed to have access to.

    This sounds like the founder's wife is a loose cannon with a her own little unofficial organization within the company. I have seen this before. This seems like the founder's wife was trying to recruit her into her network of spies.

    Horvath called the situation, aptly, “bananas.”

    Yeah, I can guess who the head banana is, the founder's wife

    In her email to TechCrunch, Horvath says she felt “confused and insulted to think that a woman who was not employed by my company was pulling the strings.” She also said she felt bullied by someone with perceived power and influence over her personal relationship and her career at GitHub.

    As anyone would be.

    Horvath then told her partner, also a GitHub employee, about what was happening. She warned him against being close to the founder and his wife, and asked him not to relay information to them.

    This was good idea.

    According to Horvath, her partner “agreed this was best.” He had talked with the founder’s wife, who agreed to give Horvath space.

    This is where things are going sideways and neither she nor her partner see what is going on. By Horvath's partner talking to the founder's wife, they both made it onto her enemy list and became targets.

    Instead of the issue blowing over, Horvath received a meeting request from HR at GitHub, and was asked to “relay the details of that personal conversation that took place out of the office.” Horvath recalls that she was “uncomfortable with this but complied to the best of my ability.” Her partner was also asked to relay past events.

    This is an indication that HR has been made aware of a situation and is investigating it. This was probably initiated by the founder's wife via the founder because of Horvath's partner.

    Radio silence ensued for a month, according to Horvath, while rumors cropped up that the founder was asking other employees about her, as well as her relationship with her partner. To Horvath, the silence made her think that she was “being bullied into leaving.”

    This is the investigation.

    At this point, Horvath said she began to feel threatened.

    Why exactly? Was it

    She said that having her personal relationship dragged into her work life and put on show for her coworkers didn’t sit well with her.

    That is always a danger when one dates or is married to a coworker. Or was it

    The aforementioned wife began a pattern of passive-aggressive behavior that included sitting close to Horvath to, as she told TechCrunch, “make a point of intimidating” her.

    Or was it something else? The fact that the founder's wife is sittng close to her raises the question of whether the founder's wife has an official capacity in the organization which would partially contradict what Horvath has said thus far.

    This stalemate ended when the founder asked to see her. Horvath said that she “wasn’t going to put myself in a position like that, so I required HR be present if we were to meet.” The meeting did not go well.

    If she thought it would, she was a fool

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 17, 2014 @09:37AM (#46505191)

    Oh bull, quit sucking down the kool-aid

    I've worked under the leadership of both women and men, good and bad. The only women I've seen labeled as "bossy" are the same kinds as men who would be labeled "bossy" - Middle management pointy haired people who feel they need to inject themselves into your work to validate their jobs instead of actually LEADING.

    Good leadership is universal, regardless of gender.
    This social engineering campaign doesn't serve women at all well and instead enforces the stereotype that women need to be coddled to be considered as equals.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 17, 2014 @09:39AM (#46505201)

    And the founder let her.

    Isn't that statement a little sexist?

    No. As an executive of a company, the founder has the responsibility to act to prevent anyone interfering with the company, either taking action himself or hiring someone to do it within legal means.

    As his wife is doing the interfering, he himself is the most appropriate person to put a stop to it. By taking no action, he is "letting" it happen. "Let" not as "giving permission", but as "not taking action against", i.e. "let it happen".

  • by Kielistic (1273232) on Monday March 17, 2014 @09:53AM (#46505311)
    "Bossy" is probably less offensive than anything I've ever called a male boss that behaved like a dick. If a word like "bossy" is preventing you from being a leader then you just aren't leadership material. If you try to ban words as a means to assert your dominance- you aren't leadership material. But that does make you bossy.
  • by BronsCon (927697) <social@bronstrup.com> on Monday March 17, 2014 @10:06AM (#46505427) Journal
    Or, you'd treat your wife or girlfriend with respect. Of course, the knife cuts both ways; I was removed from my position at a company because I turned my *female* manager down for a date, because I was already in a relationship. She was absolutely stunning and, were the situation different, I would have been all over her, but that doesn't change the fact that I was already taken.
  • No false dichotomy there. Gender problems are people problems, but people problems are *not* gender problems. This was not a gender problem, but it was, and is, a people problem.
  • According to Horvath: "I met her and almost immediately the conversation that I thought was supposed to be causal turned into something very inappropriate. She began telling me about how she informs her husband's decision-making at GitHub, how I better not leave GitHub and write something bad about them, and how she had been told by her husband that she should intervene with my relationship to be sure I was 'made very happy' so that I wouldn't quit and say something nasty about her husband's company because 'he had worked so hard.' "

    (Should be "casual".) These things seem like a reasonable opinion:

    1) A lot happened that Julie Ann Horvath is not mentioning. It is impossible to judge the situation with the small amount of information, especially since it comes from only one person.

    2) The major incident mentioned in the TechCrunch story involves 2 women.

    GitHub says it is investigating the matter: "We're looking into this."

    3) TechCrunch damaged its reputation by acting as though the story is extremely important when clearly the TechCrunch writer knows only one side. That story calls into question whether TechCrunch is adequately edited. Can we trust TechCrunch to be sure stories are reported accurately? Or is TechCrunch the Fox News of technology?

    4) Many companies have a somewhat unhealthy social environment. Most men would just get a job elsewhere. At present, a woman can claim that there was discrimination against her, and people will say that the problems can be understood as men against women.

    5) A book about feminism a woman friend gave me many years ago said, "In Italy feminism is pro-female. In the U.S. feminism is anti-male." The way the story in reported seems to indicate that Julie Ann Horvath was using the company as a target for her anger, anger that was there long before she joined the company.

  • by chaboud (231590) on Monday March 17, 2014 @10:23AM (#46505613) Homepage Journal

    That is classic Slashdot. Oversimplification and grand declarations regarding the behavior of others at the helm of businesses.

    How about this: Social interactions, personal conflicts, and politics are all part of business (and, really, any team environment), and you'd better be ready for it or be ready to get out.

    It is completely unrealistic to expect business to somehow be an antiseptic environment, like some ideal altar of pure motivation. When people hide behind claims of protecting shareholder interest, it's the same shit.

    It's still a group of people, behaving like, shocker, people...

  • Re:Maybe, but (Score:4, Insightful)

    by westlake (615356) on Monday March 17, 2014 @10:30AM (#46505701)

    Men can be very rough to their coworkers and subordinates.

    This doesn't say a hell of a lot for the traditional male dominant corporate culture, Even in professional sports there has been a push-back against this kind of adolescent behavior.

  • by Atypical Geek (1466627) on Monday March 17, 2014 @10:46AM (#46505859)

    Horvath has a background in marketing and virtually no examples of code to be found anywhere. Being able to sprinkle a little script onto some markup does not make you an engineer.

    And keep in mind that this is not the first time she's played the sexism card. Horvath led a 'geek feminism' campaign to get rid of a rug (yes, a rug) because she objected to the word 'meritocracy'. Because we all know that meritocracy is a myth and that everyone's contribution to Open Source is equally important. Focusing on the people who actually write code is just sexism. *Gag*

  • Re:she's a nutcase (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Kielistic (1273232) on Monday March 17, 2014 @11:06AM (#46506019)
    You're first problem is equating hulahooping with stripping. Your second problem is feeling entitled to holding everybody else down because you do not think you are attractive enough to get the same attention.
  • by mellon (7048) on Monday March 17, 2014 @11:08AM (#46506055) Homepage

    This is why harassment continues. You're damned if you speak out, and damned if you don't.

  • by BitZtream (692029) on Monday March 17, 2014 @11:19AM (#46506193)

    Then you're a pretty drama queen kind of douche bag guy then.

    I read her story and I see someone who can't accept the reality of working at most small companies - nepotism. Not exactly whats going on here, but close enough. Could be worse really, they could have just put her on the payroll, then Julie would have nothing at all to bitch about other than being naive.

    She's pissed off because some women respected did some hula hooping and some guys watched them ... in public ... Jealous much? Thats what this is, she's jealous that those women are getting the attention, that then gets twisted into OMG GUYS ARE SCUM FOR WATCHING ... you know WHY those women used the hula hoop AT A PARTY? TO GET FUCKING ATTENTION AND GUYS TO LOOK AT THEM. ... So she's pissed off because those women got EXACTLY what they wanted ... and she didn't.

    And she can't deal with the fact that the bosses wife has a great deal of influence of the boss ...

    I'm sorry, if you can't deal with that last one, you are well and truly FUCKED in this world because that is a reality of EVERY BUSINESS ON THE PLANET.

    The bosses wife (or husband) IS ALWAYS GOING TO HAVE MORE SAY THAN YOU DO. Perhaps one day get in a relationship and you'll understand the dynamics and you'll understand why the significant other carries so much weight.

    If you continue you ignore it and pretend like it doesn't happen, you'll simply never get anywhere ... and you'll probably remain single as well.

    Hope she likes being a figure head for feminism (I did not say women's rights), because thats all anyone is going to think of her for the rest of her life. She had something[ to bitch about and turned it into a men vs women thing. She's more sexist than anyone she's bitching about.

    You don't scream sexism and then exclusively talk about how a member of the same sex harassed you, and then casually mention something SOME ONE ELSE DID AND SOMEONE ELSE LOOKED AT ... which Julie had ABSOLUTELY NO INVOLVEMENT WHAT SO EVER with ... as your reason for leaving. She's a worthless trouble maker doing nothing other than making women look bad.

    If the bosses wife did try to job assassinate her, which is more or less what she's claiming, then leaving is the right thing to do. Ranting and raving about it on some sensationalizing blog so you get some attention? That just makes you look like you're causing problems.
    If you feel the same as her, you are part of the problem and need help. You guys are truly fucked up and WAY to sensitive about shit that has nothing at all to do with you. Get help, the problem is yours, not ours.

  • by BitZtream (692029) on Monday March 17, 2014 @11:20AM (#46506209)

    If calling you bossy makes you not a leader, you aren't a leader in the first place.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 17, 2014 @11:55AM (#46506601)

    If there is even a kernel of truth in Horvath's claims of victimization and marginalization then it had everything to do with the fact that she is an obnoxious, self righteous wannabe with poor technical skills, and nothing to do with her gender.

    "They keep discussing my character when evaluating patches."

    Yes bitch, it's because they're wondering what pointless crusade you're on that would motivate you to keep trying to participate in a field you are not qualified for. Having a vagina and an inflated sense of entitlement does not mean others have to applaud your work.

  • by phantomfive (622387) on Monday March 17, 2014 @12:10PM (#46506773) Journal

    I would not hire her now for the sole reason that she seems to believe discretion and loyalty to a company becomes optional after you leave.

    Pro tip: your company will never be loyal to you even while you are working there. They will fire you as soon as it matches their profit/cost equations. Don't expect to get anything from your loyalty.

    Be loyal and cultivate relationships with people, not companies.

  • by Blakey Rat (99501) on Monday March 17, 2014 @12:21PM (#46506923)

    Sexist claims aside, the critique that a non-employee is allowed to hang-out in the office and harass employees-- and is still there even after being repeatedly banned from that area of the building-- that is a real HR problem, and that alone would be enough for me to quit a company.

  • by Gregg M (2076) on Monday March 17, 2014 @12:27PM (#46507023) Homepage
    If a woman is treating you differently, because you are a woman, then it is sexism.
  • by roman_mir (125474) on Monday March 17, 2014 @12:42PM (#46507267) Homepage Journal

    Wrong, I consider my private property to be my private property and I treat my employees well enough for them to work for me, clearly offering them conditions better than they could get somewhere else, otherwise they would have been there and not here.

    Since you can't comprehend simple things like that, I am not going to expect you to understand anything else beyond that, like what individual freedoms are. Good luck to you and your economy.

  • Re:Engineer? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by c2me2 (2202232) on Monday March 17, 2014 @01:35PM (#46508041)
    I don't even have a college degree, but I've been working as a software engineer for 20+ years. So what's your point? Also, should open source projects begin requiring college degrees from every submitter? And, let's see your most recent kernel submission, eh?

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