I Resent You

An Open Letter to Shanley Kane

Dear Shanley,

I resent you for ridiculing me, shouting at me, putting words in my mouth, reveling in inflammatory behavior, and cutting me off after inviting me to respond. I resent you for abusing me and others building Gittip under the guise of “criticism,” especially while using a platform that we give you for free.

I resent you for ridiculing me by saying, “guess it didn’t occur to you i maybe have plans this evening besides fixing structural problems in your company for free? lol.” First, I had just said “if it’s amenable to you,” so it clearly did occur to me that you might have had plans that evening. Second, I never asked you to fix structural problems in my company for free. That was a cheap shot on your part, for the benefit of your followers. You had been shouting at me about my policy of only doing open interviews, and I was trying to work with you to find a way to have a constructive conversation together—a conversation that you asked for six months prior. Furthermore, “my company” is, as you know, an open company. That means that Gittip is a commons. That means that everyone who uses Gittip is responsible for “fixing structural problems” with Gittip. As a user of Gittip, Gittip is your company. A better interpretation is that you are asking me to fix structural problems in your company for free.

I resent you for shouting at me on Twitter (archive) and on GitHub.

I resent you for putting words in my mouth when you said, “Most of what I’ve seen from ‘open company’ is hubris from privileged white men who think ‘Radical transparency’ matters more than judgement,” and “Maybe your insistence on ‘radical transparency’ is alienating one of your top user bases and making them not engage with you.” As I said at the time, “radical transparency” is not a term I use. It turns out that you are the one who started talking about “radical transparency,” over a year ago, in your Open Letter to Women in Technology (cached). In a paragraph brainstorming the many tactics that could be useful in your “fucking class war,” you said: “Let’s create radical transparency and access to salary information.” So radical transparency is a good idea, until I do something that you mistake for it? No thank you.

I resent you for reveling in your inflammatory behavior by saying, after shouting at me, “Welp, I had that thing about Gittip waiting inside me for some time now. lol,” and then beginning your post on the GitHub thread in which we were processing your feedback with, “it is i, the evil shanley,” and then afterwards subtweeting something along the lines of, “it’s cute when boys think we had an argument when what really happened is i made some comments and it was intense for them.”

I resent you for cutting me off after inviting me to respond. You said something to the effect that “it’s your turn to talk.” Then you interrupted me with, “okay look i’m not interested in being the arbiter or judge of every act you’ve taken. i shared my thoughts, and that’s it[.] i don’t want to have a dialogue about it with you.” You followed up with, “please note: just because i share my thoughts on your company doesn’t mean i’m interested in a play-by-play or discussing it with you.”

I resent you for abusing me under the guise of “criticism,” while using Gittip for free. You don’t pay for using Gittip; Gittip is funded on Gittip. We, who are building Gittip, freely share it with you out of a belief in Gittip’s mission, “to enable an economy of gratitude, generosity, and love.” One of our core values is a love of critique, and our main issue tracker currently has over 2,500 examples of people from diverse backgrounds respectfully engaging in thorough critiques of Gittip from every angle for over two years. There’s very little you can say about Gittip that hasn’t already been said, and while you raise some valid and important concerns, you certainly don’t add any value by ridiculing, shouting at, misrepresenting, flaming, and toying with us.

Shanley, I’m communicating my resentment of you to you because my resentment is my problem, and I need to express it to you in order to let go of it and get on with life.

Needless to say, we in the community of people building Gittip welcome your continued use of the platform. Also needless to say, we welcome your genuinely constructive participation in our ongoing efforts to build Gittip into a world-class product with a diverse community.

Note: In the three days after posting this, I edited it to remove two sentences and change two phrases that distracted from the main point. Jonas Wisser explains.