• We did a staycation this week, while E still went to nursery. We were meant to get some big DIY jobs done, but of the three Things To Do, all of them were delayed by something further across the Gantt chart.
  • I don’t normally listen to This American Life, but a friend pointed me to this episode about Dan Harmon’s apology to Mengan Ganz, a writer he sexually harassed over two or three years and it is mind blowing. Dan Harmon was the creator and show runner for Community. Over the course of two years he harassed a woman on his staff that he was attracted to and then, when she rejected him, he belittled and humiliated her repeatedly. In the analysis of the apology, we hear about his previous attempts to apologise, which were rubbish, and we hear from the Megan about the impact being harassed had had on her. Listening to this made me feel slightly sick. I know a lot of men who do or have done varying shades of Dan Harmon. They should all listen to this or at the very least read the transcript.

    “The trick is if you lie to yourself you can lie to everybody. It’s really easy. And so that’s what I continued to do, telling myself and anybody that threatened to confront me with it that if you thought what I was doing was creepy or flirty or unprofessional then it’s because you were the sexist. You were jealous. I was supporting this person. I’m a mentor, I’m a feminist.” “[After she rejected him] And that was probably the darkest of it all because I drank, I took pills, I crushed on her and resented her for not reciprocating it. And the entire time I was the one writing her pay checks and in control of whether she stayed or went, and whether she felt good about herself or not, and said horrible things. Just treated her cruelly, pointedly. Things that I would never, ever, ever have done if she had been male and if I had never had those feelings for her.” “And I never did it before and I will never do it again. But I certainly wouldn’t have been able to do it if I had any respect for women. On a fundamental level, I was thinking about them as different creatures.”

  • This apology is really good because I think Dan Harmon is actually sorry about what he did and he took a big risk to improve the situation. In his apology he describes in a very clear and straightforward way what he did and why it was bad, he doesn’t make any excuses but he also doesn’t wallow in how sorry he is.
  • It should go without saying, but clearly doesn’t because I keep having to say this to people, the point of doing an apology well is to repair the harm you caused another person. It is to help them feel better and move on. If you don’t think you really caused any harm, and you are not actually sorry, then don’t apologise.
  • The other thing this made me think of is how annoying being a woman between the ages of 15 and 25 is. When I was younger it was basically impossible to tell which of my male peers were being nice to me because I was a chill yoghurt babe, and who was harbouring a nerd crush on me, which they would reveal to me at some point, in an awkward email, or a weird phone call, tainting every fun memory I had with them in the process. This is kind of the deal for a lot of young women, but it’s approximately 100 times more pronounced if you do a degree in Computer Science where the ratio of men to women is 80:3 (not a typo).
  • A talk I gave about Git has been circulated widely on twitter again which is giving me some warm feelings.
  • I am waiting for some babies to be born, it is an exciting time.

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