So the dust has settled for now, and Justine Arreche has written a sort of post mortem on the Great Ruby Sexism Flamewar of 2013 (there doesn't seem to be a name yet, so this one works, right? no? ok then). Arreche has taken down her original post because she is ready to move on. In her own words
After hundreds of thousands of views and almost eight hundred comments on just the blog post (not including Reddit, Hacker News and 4chan) all the people that needed to see it have seen it and it served it's purpose. My intention was to raise awareness and help bring up a discussion that too many people had felt was no longer relevant. It's entirely relevant and through digging up this horrible story I've at least opened the eyes of people in not only the Ruby community but others as well.
We all owe a huge debt of gratitude to Justine! Her bravery in coming forward with her story and standing strong in the face of all the assholes, bullies, and trolls that threatened her with rape and death threats. Justine has done so much for the community and I feel like, try as I might, I can never do anything to that will come close to what Justine has done for all of us.
This is all the more reason that we MUST act. We must keep the conversation going. Most importantly, we must take action. It's one thing for us to write tweets and blog posts about the sexism and misogyny that is rampant in the dev community, but it takes a lot more to actually take action to change it. Taking action is absolutely critical. But how?
Everyone has different strengths and weaknesses, different resources available to them, and different opinions on what we should be doing. This is a good thing. We should all help in whatever way we will be most effective. Some people work best by communicating ideas to others, some work best by organizing in the community, some work best by contributing financially.
Find what works best for you. It may not be obvious, and you may need to experiment a bit. Maybe you can't contribute much because you just don't have the time and money. That's OK. We all want to save the world, I certainly do, but being realistic is important. We have to accept that we can't change people's opinions overnight. The road to equality is a long road indeed. It requires a sustained effort. We should strive to do as much as we can without getting burned out, and dropping out, ourselves. Find where you can be effective and do it.
So I've been talking about taking action, and of course it's completely fair to ask what action I plan to take myself. I'm still working on that one, but I have been very inspired by the actions of James Golick and Paul Betts and hope to do something along the same lines. Expect a blog post in the next few days from me detailing what I intend to do.