After following this from a distance for a while, I came across a fascinating comment:
Interestingly, the entire genesis of this (at least publicly) was discussed at 32:00m on the #causeascene podcast from July 3, 2019. (The relevant part starts at 32 minutes in): http://hashtagcauseascene.com/podcast/sara-chipps (Was listening to that episode to get some insight into how all this came together and was surprised to hear that at 32 minutes in). – George Stocker 1 hour ago
This was an interview that a Stack Overflow manager did in July 2019 on a podcast called "#causeascene: The Strategic Disruption of the Status Quo in Technical Organizations, Communities, and Events". The discussion seems very relevant to the disruption that has been ongoing in our technical community. Is the current situation actually what Stack wanted all along?
I recommend that everybody who can spare the time give it a listen. Here's a relevant excerpt:
Stack Overflow Manager: I have learned that I can no longer be the decision-maker when it comes to groups that have experiences unlike my own. I really appreciate what you said about white feminism causing us to identify what we have in common and erase what we don't. If I could use an example from something over the past few weeks, one thing that happened recently in the community at Stack Overflow is one of our moderators was misgendering another moderator. We do have a Code of Conduct, but in our Code of Conduct we don't have a clear message about not misgendering other people in the community. You know, "if you know someone's preferred pronoun, you should be using it".
I think that one thing, in the past, maybe a few years ago, what I would have done would be to say "okay, this is the change we're going to make for that, and this is how we're going to help reach that community because they're very important". But I think that the most important thing is to make sure that members of that community are being spoken to and are being talked to about the decision-making process from the beginning, and are part of the conversation. So that's when I know it's above my pay-grade, and we need to incorporate people from that community. So we reached out to people in the LGBTQ community, that are part of affinity groups, and the conversation that we're having around how do we approach this in our community in a way that is making sure your needs are served, and not in a way that we think is the nice way to do it. This is, I think, one of the things I've taken away from this.
You're right: white feminism doesn't speak for other groups, and the patriarchy is something that is part of a discussion, but it's not the only thing. The thing that I keep coming back to is to not speak for, or make decisions for, or pretend I represent, anyone who has a different experience or different affinity than I do.
Host: I don't say much positive about Stack Overflow, but I'll say that that's an improvement, a much-needed and appreciated improvement, and that's what happens when you prioritize the needs of the most vulnerable, because they'll tell you what they need to feel safe, and feel welcome, and this is where a lot of individuals in our community make mistakes. Just because you have a friend or are married to someone, that doesn't make you a part of that group.