After some consideration, I decided to remove the original text of this post, which is something I’ve never felt compelled to do on my own site before. We all have those “well, it seemed like a good idea at the time” moments, and this was mine.
The following ramble has a point, I promise. But first, everyone: chill out.
To give some background, this all started with a conversation on an IRC channel a few days ago where a bunch of us sysadmins (for various hosting companies) were talking about some of the annoyances we deal with in the industry. Someone then brought up the bright idea of “one of us should just make a memo” – so I did, we laughed about it for a while, and we moved onto the next topic. Which was about this eclair recipe.
For those that didn’t see the original post, it was basically a tactless rant of things that go on behind that scenes working in the web hosting industry. Nothing juicy or exciting. My reason for removing the post is because I had a moment of clarity after it was featured on a somewhat popular forum, which resulted in commentary from some readers that misunderstood the perspective and, despite me clearly saying my view had nothing to do with the views of the companies I do business with, decided to take it upon themselves to state otherwise and make assumptions about my agenda. Same as how some people are interpreting this recent edit as an apology, which it isn’t. The post was not about any specific company – the ideas came from a number of people involved in the conversation and was more or less intended to be funny. Many of the comments that were negative were seemingly made just to get on a bandwagon. Being a troll myself, I know trolling when I see it. The opinions I state here are in fact mine and I have every right to post them on my own website. This is my personal site – I can talk about anything I want, and I do not have to be professional nor should my comments automatically be attributed as reflective to the mindset of any of the businesses I deal with. I only reconsidered my position on this specific post after weighing how it may negatively impact my relationship with certain companies, which is not something I considered at the time. I did at one point also include a link to a website that one of the companies hosts that seemed to get a few people rattled, and that too was done in poor taste though I feel the response was exaggerated – some were implying that I released personal data (I didn’t) or that it’s something I do on the norm (I don’t). There were also a few emails sent to one of the companies pointing out my post and accusing them of not caring about their customers, which is something that was actually not said at all, but was rather a dramatic interpretation formed from the culture of drama and trolling that the forum in question has a reputation for.
There is one important thing to discuss here, and it’s about how all of this turned into an unintentional social experiment. I only scanned through the comments briefly. The only part of this whole ordeal that actually bothered me was when the topic transitioned more into one about gender, which in my experience, tends to come up one way or another when there’s a heated discussion among mixed company. The fact of the matter is, as a woman in IT, I’m encouraged to ‘brag’ about it and be proud of my minority status. I get unsolicited pep talks all the time about how refreshing it is to know that women exist in a man’s field blah blah blah. But then when I say something controversial, suddenly my gender is in the spotlight and I get crap for flaunting it or saying things that some may construe as inappropriate for a “lady”, often served up with a dose of misogyny. For example, when I posted this thing on security, it ended up on Reddit and one user chose to comment on the slightly risqué header of my site instead of addressing the content of the article. That’s the Internet we’ve created, where people can’t address a specific issue without bringing things like appearance, race, gender, orientation, and religion into the matter because they have nothing else to say. Once things take that turn it becomes a lose-lose no matter what you try to do to fix it. Behind every company is their employees, none of which are perfect members of society. The members that were making sexist comments – does this mean we should assume their employers are sexist too, or that they should be fired for the inappropriate things they said on a public forum or on their personal websites? At one point do we realize that people have lives outside of their work?
To be clear, no one asked me to remove this post and I’ve already gotten several emails from people who said I should have left it up. I removed it on own, at my discretion after recognizing my lack of good judgment. Lesson learned, move on.