What I know of Nat Torkington is that he’s generally funny, from
Australia New Zealand and actively recruited women for talks for OSCON. A comment on a blog entry he made about “seducing a woman” highlights a long-running struggle in the tech community — how do women point out sexism or offense at humor in the tech community? This person chose to be anonymous, which is unfortunate. I think the way to change the tone of humor like this is to be direct and put your name on your objections.
I rolled my eyes when I read Nat’s blog entry, but I didn’t think of it as sexist — just a tortured analogy that wasn’t very funny (sorry, Nat). As with many gender-related issues, perception varies.
I’m glad that anonymous made their feelings known. And, Brenda probably gave the most effective (although not direct) critique – at least one that Nat responded to. It’s time that more of us ladies spoke up when we see something that’s subtly or overtly sexist being passed off as humor.
As Larry Gelbart, M*A*S*H producer, said “Most jokes state a bitter truth.” Let the people who are publishing know that we’re reading, and that we have senses of humor too.