Responsibility

“UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better, it’s not.” – The Lorax

I believe that it is my responsibility to have an understanding of my impact on the world around me, and who and what I support, either implicitly or explicitly, by the products I use. Not everything easy is right, and not everything cool is good. I try to do the right thing whenever I can, balancing the needs of my family and the culture we live in. Sometimes, there’s no good answer, but sometimes, as in the latest case of sexism in the tech industry, the answer is clear.

I’ve removed my site and all code from Github, and deleted my account. Based on the report by Julie Ann Horvath, the vague response by Github, and the storm of coverage that has followed the issue, as well as resurfacing of past stories, I’ve decided not to do business with the company. I’ve had an account on Github for years, and used Jekyll and Github Pages to host this site for at least the past three years. As of yesterday, I’ve moved the site to Nearly Free Speech.net. I’ll be considering switching from Jekyll to another static blogging engine. In fact, I built one that I might resurrect.

My actions are small, and completely inconsequential to Github, but they mean something to me. I cannot, in good conscience, continue to support an organization run by an immature boy’s club. There is a sickness in the industry, something that has been pervasive in geek culture for years. The objectifying of women in the industry and our culture is damaging to everyone involved. One might not think that one woman getting harassed at a silicon valley darling is that big of a deal, not worth starting a tempest in a teapot, but is it? Is it really?

It is wrong to have business meetings at strip clubs. It is wrong to yell out sexual jokes across the office. It is wrong to treat women as being anything other than equals. Treat them as you would wish to be treated.

Culture is made up of who we are together. One person making a change might not matter, but it’s a start. Perhaps soon it’s one, then another, then another, and another, and eventually those who care become the majority, and the culture has changed.