I mention it now because it is directly relevant to the IT Industry and further has growing relevancy in many facets of modern culture.
I have plotted the arc of hashtag-activism and the impact of Modern Feminism for a few years now: from #elevatorgate to #gamergate to #metalgate there has been a repeated pattern of behavior that results in conflict.
How I characterize that behavior dictates what side of the battle I am on so I am going to try to avoid the logical fallacy that there are only two sides for as long as I can.
What makes this relevant to the IT industry is the Ellen Pao case.
Though it was filed in 2012 the day to day reports are seen through the lens of current controversy.
It by no means mediates the situation that the plaintiff in the case is the current CEO of Reddit. I am truly interested in the profile of the selected jurors and what the composition of the rocks that they were living under so that they are unaffected by that fact.
What is clear to me throughout is that ideologues are speaking past each other & there is not much in the way of resolution. Court cases however eventually end & thus force closure.
While I by no means expect activism to end - legal precedents have a way of setting a tone for future discussion.
A safe prediction is that no matter which way the lawsuit goes there will be a #backlash campaign of some sort and a #backlashResponse counter-campaign that will seek to discredit the first - and people will retreat to their corners to reload their trebuchets with fresh dogma to launch on Twitter.
I find it all too unfortunate that part of this case revolves around a broken monogamous relationship and a love-polygon. That raises a Fog Of War that makes it more difficult to focus on the core legal issue : "Was there systemic sexism?"
From the perspective of a lawyer - it would be better to have more clear-cut examples when trying to establish legal precedent.
Without casting judgement on the involved parties - part of the beginning of #gamergate involved a story about a love-polygon - which only poured accelerant onto a heat-source. It is my opinion that this was not helpful at all when trying to focus on Issues.
What people choose to do in their love-lives should be their own business. Full stop.
That being said - there are still limits - for example when you trade sex as a commodity for favor - a recurring theme in the news.
So how do we deal with that reasonably? If people's sex lives are their own then how do we make sure that no "funny business" is going on trading favors of one kind for another?
It would appear that in the modern age, not everything that is old-fashioned is obsolete.
The traditional answer was not to have anything to do with each other thereby removing the potential appearance of an improper relationship. Therein lies the heart of Victorian Values - the relishing of appearances.
Unfortunately there was a lot of "turning away" from human beings in an effort to keep up appearances at that time and so we don't look back so fondly on that sort of pretentious behavior anymore. However, in small doses a little prudence can go a long way.
You will notice that I am still walking the tightrope of not calling people out nor taking sides.
For now I will cleave to the loneliest path - right down the middle - swatting away opportunities to form an opinion in the way that a Buddhist monk swats away stray thoughts while meditating.
They are only distractions that keep us away from The Truth:
We all live in the same world & must continue find the optimal ways to get along with each other.
These are Trigger Issues and even mentioning them raises the risk of conflict. I have had this happen already with friends of mine who immediately went into ears-closed-mouth-yelling mode. So do be careful.