This question is inspired by two answers that in many ways reach the core of what the community is discussing right now. First,
I think that is the fundamental divide that SE does not seem to understand and why their whole "welcoming" move is met by so much resistance and frustration.
On one hand, we have the technical sites. Those are there to answer User1248346's programming problem. Background is not required nor requested. Whether that user is a man or woman, in the Swiss alps or at an Indonesian beach, married or single, we will never know. Because it does not matter. In fact, sharing that information would be weird. Their compiler will always work the same. Put in the correct code, you get the correct result.
So when women tell you that those sorts of comments (and other slightly more subtle ones that last longer) hurt them and contribute to driving them out of the industry,
Broadly speaking, a lot of the recent discourse seems to have two predominant viewpoints:
- Sites on the Stack Exchange network (in particular technical ones like Stack Overflow) should focus on high quality technical questions and answers. Ensuring the continued development of high quality content should be the primary concern.
- Sites on the Stack Exchange network need to acknowledge the content creators and consumers more. As a result, the development of social aspects of the sites is necessary even if it may impact how questions and answers are written.
It seems like everyone supports moderators ensuring users are cordial with each other (ex., reprimand mean comments, ban bad actors, ect.) but it seems like lines are being drawn over the primary content of the questions and answers.
As such, it appears that directly discussing the question is needed: fundamentally, what should a question and answer site look like?