On sexist behavior and being a community

Posted by Gina Rosenthal in community building, women in tech | 4 Comments

By this time, I’m sure you’ve seen it. I also know that some of you are sick of talking about it. But, if we want things to get better, we have to have action.

Yes, I’m talking about the picture from the Nutanix party. The one with the women in the bikinis on the Next-branded ferris wheel. When I saw it, it literally took the wind out of my sails. I had a long, difficult day and seeing such a classic text-book example of objectification was just soul-crushing. The only bright spot was the fact that the men were the ones leading the conversation, they are the ones who called it out. This is the first time I can remember that the conversation was started by our community’s men.

Thank y’all, sincerely.

After tweeting about my planned career change to farming, I went to bed. The next day I texted my good friend Amy Price, who works there now. I have given her hell for going to work for “the mean girls”. I asked her what the heck was up with their party??!! Amy’s a lot like me, she doesn’t suffer fools well. I knew she’d tell it to me like it was. And the real story started to unravel.

The real story is not mine to tell. You can hear it yourself from Julie O’Brien tonight on the A Current Status podcast.  She’s the executive responsible for the party . She wrote a blog post with an apology, but many people didn’t seem to accept it. Was it because this is the third offence from Nutanix? Was it because it was coming from the mean girls? Was it because of competitive reasons?

Let’s get beyond who did it. Let’s get to the why. Let’s get to a place we can have discussions about this. This is a community discussion. The men of our community who were at the conference as customers and analysts started this discussion. The people working at Nutanix, “the mean girls”, are part of our community and should be part of this and other discussions.

Let’s solve this as a community. We just need the right channel to do it. Interested in helping us build it? Leave a note in the comments, or email me.

4 Responses to On sexist behavior and being a community

  1. @DathBrun says:

    This whole debacle is sleazy in my humble opinion. Yeah I said it! . It was, in really, really bad taste! And that’s putting it mildly. I disagree that this is not about who did it. It very much is actually. Who in their right mind running a marketing campaign for an IT product or even a campaign thinks this will garner a good response? Perhaps the intention was to cause this stir and parody political correctness. I sincerely doubt it was though. This is on the individuals who green lighted this, it’s their responsibility. This was an action that men and women were extremely uncomfortable with and for good reason. I don’t see why it’s a community problem. I don’t think the community needs to be silent, it wasn’t. And the community is and ought to be calling foul on these kinds of things. It does matter who did this. And the buck stops with them. As for the wind being knocked out of your sails! Don’t let these classless louts drag you down !

  2. gminks says:

    Hey Mark, would totally agree if it were planned. Remember how the venue for the community party threw a curveball with dancing girls? Same type of thing happened here.

  3. Mark says:

    As I recall one person threw a curve ball, I listened, we addressed it there and then and the curve ball turned into a home run. But there is the rub, it was addressed in our instance.

  4. gminks says:

    I think the communciation in that instance was key. And everyone was very honest and open and respectuful that’s how we got to a resolution

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