The root of the problem that they both say is that my talk might have driven new programmers from the community, but I don't understand how, as they never say exactly why.
Now before I go any further, I want to say that I will go over the talk very carefully if I ever decide to give the talk again. This is not about me not wanting to fix my stuff.
After my initial shock, I realized that they both went into how there were a lot of women in the audience and that makes it way worse, because I was going to drive them away from the community. I actually take offense to this on the womens' behalf. What difference does it make that there were women in the room? I don't want to treat women any differently than men. To do so would be patronizing, and make them even more aware that there are only 10 women in a conference hall with 300 other guys.
I feel that if you want more women in the community you need to talk to them and invite them to join. Don't treat them differently after they arrive. That is possibly the worst thing you can do.
I was really offended by the implication that I should have changed my talk, because the few women in our community were there, I mean really, either it is appropriate to give at YAPC, or it is not. The gender of the audience shouldn't change the content of a talk for YAPC. We are trying to be inviting to women and inclusive? Then invite them! The worst possible thing you can do is to treat them differently. Just thinking about it gets me pissed off on behalf of the women who were adventurous enough to attend a conference in a Male dominated field/subculture, just to be patronized by the same types people who review my talk.
The problem is that they might not even realize thier transgression, and that is the real problem. When talking with several of the YAPC organizers, and women programmers around my office, Everyone echoed the same things: That women don't want to stand out because they are different. Which means that changing a talk because there might be a woman in the room, is offensive. Either your talk was offensive to begin with (like the Ruby talk back in April), or because you are now patronizing the women who are attending your talk, treating them like beginners.
Anyone who says I should have fixed my talk because women were there. Shut up.
On the other hand, if you think I should fix my talk because I could have driven newcomers away from the community, I would like to listen to your constructive comments, because I don't have a recording of my talk, and therefore cannot review it myself.
I have gone on long enough about this, and I hope that I don't offend anyone, but this is how I feel on the topic.