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Not to give that dude an excuse for his behaviour, but consider this:

This happened at a private after-party in a private hotel room where a small crowd got all cozy with apparently too many drinks involved.

This did not happen at the conference.

The difference is important. Context is everything in these cases.

Maybe it's too much to hope for, but I would hope that tech events filled with smart people would hold themselves to a higher standard. Even if it's not a tech-event-specific problem (women get assaulted in bars in every city every weekend), we should try to get rid of it here.

I do agree that this is where most of the problems happen, though. I've only heard of something along these lines happening at one academic conference I've been to, and it was the most party-ish one, where the academic and non-academic/drinking parts were pretty loosely separated. The kind where 100 people get in a drab room on a university campus and listen to talks for 8 hours, then go sleep so they can get up again at 7am for the next morning's keynote, seems to result in no trouble of any kind (admittedly, there could be problems at those too and I'm just out of the loop).

Oddly, I've never heard of any problems at the most party-ish hacker event I've been to, SuperHappyDevHouse. I don't know if it's the culture, the frowning on drunkenness, the mixture of people it attracts, the physical layouts, or what.

> I've never heard of any problems at the most party-ish hacker event I've been to, SuperHappyDevHouse. I don't know if it's the culture, the frowning on drunkenness, the mixture of people it attracts, the physical layouts, or what.

We purposely encourage the culture at SuperHappyDevHouse that frowns on drunkenness.

Additionally, we have put a lot of effort into making SHDH an event that is welcoming to everyone, including women.

I try to greet everyone who comes to SHDH for two reasons: So that newcomers know they are welcome and so that everyone knows (at some level) that they will be held accountable for their behavior.

I'm confused by your first sentence; it isn't a higher standard to not assault others. Or do you mean that because techies are so .. something that they in particular should eliminate every possibility of someone being assaulted around them?

I guess not a higher official standard (nobody is supposed to commit sexual assaults anywhere), but it'd be nice if our events were safe/etc. even if bars on average aren't. I'm sort of objecting to a view that, as long as tech-conference afterparties are no worse than a typical bar, then there's no problem.

Context doesn't change that a woman was sexually assaulted. It didn't happen IN the conference but it certainly happened adjunct to the conference. And she says it happened at a bar nearby, not in the private room. And I certainly hope when you say "too many drinks involved" you are not implying that she should have drunk less (or not at all) to protect herself.

ETA: Or that she should have not put herself in the vicinity of drunken people.

How is the difference important at all.

Regardless, I consider the after-conference 'events' often more substantial than some of the conference, it is my favorite part and I often learn more out of the (usually drunken) disucssions.

The thought of having the anxiety or fear like this ruin that for me is terrible.

It makes a difference in terms of being able to tell women: You're going to be safer at the actual event than at the after-event drinking parties.

In terms of excusing the man's behavior, it makes no fucking difference.

Unfortunately, the after-event drinking parties are where most of the fun and the networking happen.

I don't think telling women "oh sure the conference is perfectly safe but watch yourself at the after-parties, geeks can get pretty handsy when they're drunk" is going to encourage more women to come to conferences.

(Sorry for the sour sarcasm, it's the only way I can handle such a uncomfortable subject)

Perhaps you should send the author a note asking to add your sentiments to her post.

Honestly the only thing that could possibly make any difference would be if the whole thing was fabricated. Which would be a huge difference.

Your statement is inaccurate.

I was in Atlanta.

I was at the original private party.

The party moved out to a nearbye bar.

The assault took place in a public bar. An expensive downtown Atlanta one.

Maybe 30+ people from the conference in the bar.

Regardless, it does not matter the physical location of the assault. It was wrong. It is unacceptable anywhere.

It sounds like it happened a public pub where many of the conference goers were congregating (planned or not).

Just to clarify, it wasn't in a private hotel room, it was in the pub adjacent to the conference hotel. It was in a public setting.

I know Noirin and I've helped with ApacheCon for years (first time in years I wasn't there).

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