Adria trusted Ronson to tell her story, to do it justice, only to have Ronson draw a false equivalence between her, a woman challenging inappropriate sexual jokes at a tech conference (at which everyone had signed a photo disclosure form), and the man who was making those inappropriate sexual jokes. And to draw a false equivalency between her, a woman challenging sexism in a professional space for technology workers, and Justine Sacco, a woman casually making racist jokes under her real name while employed as a senior director of corporate communications for tech company IAC.
All without mentioning that Adria Richards is a Black woman.
There is zero discussion of the power imbalance between being a white man who is exposed for making sexual jokes in a professional space, and being a Black woman who is exposed for refusing to tolerate sexual jokes in a professional space.
There is zero discussion of the differential between making a racist joke (punching down), and challenging sexist comments (punching up).
In fact, the man who first called attention to Justine Sacco's tweet is quoted in Ronson's article saying he imagines she's fine now. But, years later, her life is still upended. (In fact, the story ends with Sacco's request for no further exposure, which Ronson merely reports and ignores.)
And so is Adria Richards' life. But this, too, goes unmentioned. A man was fired for violating the conduct rules in a professional space. That might feel unfair to him—because, after all, what dude ever gets fired for telling sexist jokes?—but it is actually an eminently fair consequence.
The man was re-hired by another company in a matter of weeks. The woman who reported him, though? Adria was not so lucky. After her employer Sendgrid publicly fired her, the volume of threats sharply increased. She fled her home, was forced to sell many of her belongings, and couch-surfed with friends for nearly a year—all the time, looking over her shoulder.
And she is still being attacked. Daily. And add to that: Exploited by reporters who purport to want to tell her story, but instead tell a story where she is cast as the cause of a hapless man's downfall, and thus deserving of continued harm.
Everyone lost their goddamn minds when I said that I literally don't give a shit about Justine Sacco, but I still don't. And this kind of preferential protection, this insistence that Justine was "making a joke about privilege!" and she didn't deserve what to lose her job or what happened to her while black women, native women, trans women and others suffer sustained levels of disproportionate abuse online for years for doing the unquestionably right thing?
Yeah, sorrynotsorry. I don't give a fuck about Justine Sacco. She has the entire white girl brigade caping for her. She'll be perfectly fine. And frankly, all the responses to me proved that.
Come talk to me when you've found equal sympathy for Adria Richards and her story.