Harassment In TechTags: tech
There’s a lot of talk about harassment in tech these days, and for good reason. However, today I want to talk about something that happened to me the other night.
On February 22nd, I pointed out some circular reasoning by twitter user @rbin in this tweet. Thinking nothing of it, I went to bed. I woke up a few hours later and found out that Robin sub-tweeted me, quoting my bio and calling me a tranny and several other insults. Unfortunately he deleted this tweet, so all that remains is this screenshot from @justkelly_ok. Kelly saw Robin’s subtweet, and tweeted at his employer, @auth0. Auth0 fired Robin, and very quickly apologized for his behavior.
TL;DR: I disagreed with a techbro, someone called him out and tagged his employer, and the techbro was fired.
Why I’m actually making this post
So far it might seem like a simple case of a bully getting his comeuppance, but to me it’s quite a bit more important. I used to believe that nobody should be fired for what they say or do outside of work; I also used to think that the harassment and misogyny in STEM fields weren’t as bad as a lot of people said. I was wrong. really fucking wrong.
I disagreed with a guy on twitter, and he attempted to publicly insult and humiliate me. Now that I’ve experienced that, I understand a lot more about how bad STEM is for minorities such as myself right now. I’ve also come to the realization that a person’s actions outside of their workplace can and should have effects on them within their workplace. If someone with their company at the top of their twitter profile goes and starts attacking people on twitter, their employer has every reason to fire them.
In a weird way, I’m glad this happened. It’s opened my eyes to how problematic some of my thought processes were, and I realize now how much work is left for STEM to become a safe and inclusive place for everyone. I want to devote as much of my time as possible to helping make this a safe space for people who want to be a part of it, and I couldn’t have done that without recognizing just how bad things are in STEM.