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Adria Richards: The Woman Who Set Women Back 20 Years

Halfway across the river, the frog suddenly felt a sharp sting in his back and, out of the corner of his eye, saw the scorpion remove his stinger from the frog’s back.

A deadening numbness began to creep into his limbs.

“You fool!” croaked the frog, “Now we shall both die! Why on earth did you do that?”

The scorpion shrugged, and did a little jig on the drownings frog’s back.

“I could not help myself. It is my nature.”

Then they both sank into the muddy waters of the swiftly flowing river.
The Scorpion and the Frog

There are two interesting phenomenon at play today not only in the technology sector but in corporate America as a whole. On the one hand, you have a major push on to increase the number of women in programming. On the other hand, there is a growing and justified concern amongst men that a few bad apples will turn workplaces into Orwellian nightmares where one has to be constantly vigilant not to do anything that could be construed as Speech Crime, Thought Crime, or even Face Crime, and cost them their livelihood.

The particularly ugly Adria Richards incident at the Python convention earlier this year perfectly illustrates how one shrill militant can not only have a perfectly innocent stranger fired for a fabricated reason, but set all women back at the same time.

If by chance you don’t know the story because you were on a ayahuasca vacation in the Amazon or something similar, here it is in a nutshell:

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