Or at least something close to it. By the way, sweetheart, truth is an affirmative defense to libel. Enjoy.
The real problem, however, is with the tech industry for allowing Richards to entrench herself and terrorize better people in her midst. Psychopaths, like the poor, we will have with us always, but a healthy society marginalizes them in order to minimize the damage they can cause. The tech industry has done the opposite for Adria Richards. It has catered to her fickle, prissy whims. It has bent its rules of appropriate professional conduct to placate her precisely because she revels in being triggered by mildly off-color but truly inconsequential comments made in her vicinity with no ill intent whatsoever and using them as grounds for professional vendettas against strangers in the name of public morality. She’s a noxious offense troll who gets off on bullying tech companies into firing employees for inadvertently hurting her feelings because she eavesdropped on their private conversations. The capitulation of tech companies and conference organizers to her Twitter tantrums is one of the most active cultivations of moral hazard imaginable in the workplace. It bodes extremely ill for American business culture.
The Anonymous Conservative argues that Richards’s hair trigger sense of offense is the result of an overly sensitive amygdala, conditioned by a lifetime of sheltered ease and causing her to reflexively overreact to minor upsets. This is an awfully charitable assessment. People who are genuinely, sincerely traumatized don’t act like her. Honest-to-God trauma turns its sufferers into inarticulate, tremorous wrecks. Richards was not scared of the dongle dudes. She may have been pissed off at various male colleagues for being sexually inappropriate in professional settings and looking to scapegoat someone, but that would just make her a vindictive, capricious bitch. She was far too calm and collected to have been in any fear for her safety. Had she truly feared for her safety in the conference room, she would either have hunkered down in her seat, become hypervigilant and probably noticeably agitated, or gotten up and left the room.
The history of Richards’s statements about the dongle incident make it clear that she’s either mentally disturbed or lying. My guess is the latter:
She told me about the moment she overheard the comment about the big dongle. “Have you ever had an altercation at school and you could feel the hairs rise up on your back?” she asked me.
“You felt fear?” I asked.
“Danger,” she said. “Clearly my body was telling me, ‘You are unsafe.’”
Which was why, she said, even though she’d never before complained about sexual harassment, she “slowly stood up, rotated from my hips, and took three photos”. She tweeted one, “with a very brief summary of what they said. Then I sent another tweet describing my location. Right? And then the third tweet was the [conference’s] code of conduct.”
“You talked about danger,” I said. “What were you imagining might…?”
“Have you ever heard that thing, men are afraid that women will laugh at them and women are afraid that men will kill them?” she replied. “So. Yeah.”
‘He’s a white male,’ Adria said. ‘I’m a black Jewish female. He said things that could be inferred as offensive to me’
I told Adria that people might consider that an overblown thing to say. She had, after all, been at a tech conference with 2,000 bystanders.
“Sure,” she replied. “And those people would probably be white and they would probably be male.”
Richards used crude, sexually and racially inflammatory rules of thumb and hypothetical scenarios to argue that she was in in danger because a stranger had said things within her earshot “that could be construed as offensive to me.” Without a doubt this woman has a personality disorder. The comments that she made on the record would embarrass the living hell out of any normal person. They’re totally fucking ridiculous. They’re facially either depraved or insane. Hey, I just said “facial.” Giggity. Her tweet in the heat of the moment, however, didn’t indicate any fear or distress: “Not cool. Jokes about forking repo’s in a sexual way and ‘big’ dongles. Right behind me #pycon”.
This pattern of behavior and public comments makes Richards manifestly unfit for employment in any position requiring significant social interaction with other people. She’s either off-the-wall Looney Toons, in which case she should be immediately put on medical leave and offered psychiatric care, or a lying, malingering asshat, in which case she should be fired on moral grounds. Or maybe she’s a hearty dose of both. Only a stone cold, unflappable liar could say shit like that with a straight face without believing any of it. In any event, colleagues and customers absolutely should not be exposed to her in the workplace. She’s serious trouble.
Her racial and sexual gloss is cringe-inducing and downright bizarre. She believes, or claims to believe, that men at a conference who have never met her want to rape her because they’re white men and she’s a “black Jewish female.” Realistically, other attendees must have assumed that she was either black or mixed. Only an especially observant stranger might have guessed that her white blood was specifically Jewish. And that’s the other thing: except for a wacko antisemitic fringe that has absolutely no influence on most Americans, Jews are overwhelmingly considered white. The idea that Jews, Italians, Greeks, and maybe Irishmen aren’t quite white is outdated and eccentric. It’s almost inconceivable that anyone in the room wanted to fuck, let alone rape, Adria Richards because he thought she was Jewish. Besides, Jews are one of the least widely sexualized ethnic minorities in the United States.
Richards was just mixing different “other” labels together and throwing them at the wall because in her past experience they stuck. She pulled a victimhood trifecta. In so doing, she must have offended or embarrassed huge numbers of people from the demographic groups whose membership she so ostentatiously claimed. I know Jews who would be of a mind to strangle her if they heard her talking like that. Speaking just for myself, I consider her a major shanda fur die goyim. Look, I may not be Jewish enough for temple but I’m Jewish enough for Hitler, and in the event of communitarian unrest I absolutely do not want to be ethnically associated with a whiny, manipulative offense troll like Richards. I dated a black girl in college who was pained by the implications of affirmative action, and she’s far from the only one. I’ve known far too many black people who seemed quite at ease around white people to believe for a second that a nutty bitch like Richards speaks for any of them. I’ve known a number of women who were engineers or professional geologists, and for several months I was a direct report to a female PG. Of these women, I’m aware of only one of them ever carrying on about anything to do with discrimination.
This exception was a waddling horror: morbidly obese, badly out of shape, and so foul-tempered and unstable that she seemed to have completely alienated all but one of our mutual colleagues, some of them so badly that they were scared to deliver paperwork to her office. This fat lady had nearly been fired by the then-office manager for driving two and a half hours to a site visit after staying up for 36 hours straight in her office and making promises to a client on the company’s behalf that the company was in no position to fulfill, but she cried a good cry and, for all I know, may have threatened to sue for fat people discrimination, and the office manager relented. The office manager, one of the few calm heads in the office, was subsequently reorganized out of his managerial responsibilities, shunted into low-billability purgatory, and fired within a month of my firing. I was a fuckup around there, but the former office manager seemed to really have his shit together, so there’s no way I was the only thing wrong with our company.
I ended up out of payroll work for years as a result, but I’m supposed to check my privilege and feel sorry for a conniving bitch who got a man fired for getting into a slightly rude private conversation at a conference. Like hell I’ll side with that shrew. I have good reasons for getting my hackles up at the whiff of politically motivated firing and blacklisting. It’s evil and destructive. Full stop.
My #EqualPay last year came to $3,901, but that doesn’t spare me the whining about sexism in the workplace from Facebook contacts who appear never to have suffered from prolonged unemployment. Even so, I’d say I take the preening and whining a lot more graciously than many men. Frankly, quite a few of us are getting screwed in extreme ways that very few women can imagine. Shrill cries of sexism from blatantly immoral women who get men fired over stupid jokes about big dongles and forking repos won’t go over all that fucking well with men who have ended up sleeping in their cars at rest areas. I have, by the way.
Kicking people when they’re down has a way of causing unpredictable backlashes. Endlessly moralizing about sexism at a time of severe male unemployment may feel good, but it won’t end well if it both conditions hold steady for much longer. This is a foolish time to encourage misandry in the workplace.
Adria Richards is apparently now unemployed. This is a good development, since she had an exceptionally toxic effect on the tech industry. This toxicity may take years to attenuate. Maybe she can take in sewing and laundry in the meantime. Maybe she can make Roosh a sammich. It’s probably a good thing for her to have little to do with men. Actually, it’s a good thing for her to have nothing to do with other people in general. I knew a number of people at Dickinson College who would have rivaled her for amoral scheming had they gotten the chance. It was fucking ugly.
One of the greatest benefits of public assistance is that it can be profitably used to segregate antisocial people from the workplace. Adria Richards needs lifetime Section Eight and food stamps, but not for her own sake. It’s the rest of us who need her to go on the dole. We don’t need a bunch of major personality disorder cases trying to make a living in our society. They’ll just drag us into deeper and deeper circles of hell.
You like the white meat, do you, love? Well stroke me dongle, m’lass.