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Open source is not a war zone (no-ip.org)
244 points by oneandoneis2 1712 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 92 comments

Between the really obviously bad stuff (people being physically assaulted in general, whether at an event or not, and having a decent way to handle reporting for that kind of thing), and stupid things (people telling jokes privately in an audience and being overheard), there are some situations where I actually appreciate learning how some behavior might be unintentionally offensive and could be easily corrected.

Essentially in the same category as wanting to learn about some people being colorblind and how using certain color combinations alone for UI distinctions is thus a bad idea, or that scheduling a developer event for which you'd like to attract students around traditional finals time is probably a bad idea.

Whether or not some behavior is "wrong", it's still good to know if certain things have consequences you don't want. I think every developer community wants to be as inclusive to competent/interested people as possible, so when there are no or low cost ways to make an event more appealing, that's great.

> unintentionally offensive

The problem is that there is a current emphasis againt those faux-pas when the offended part are women, while it is not the only case, and maybe not even the most critical for the better of human beings.

I'd say the cultural faux-pas that are really dangerous and should be avoided are those between remote cultures. If I offend a girl of my own culture or country by some behavior, at least she will not misunderstand it too wildly. But if I go to a remote place, I may unintentionally behave in a way that might hinder for a long time the way foreigners are perceived in this place. Then the consequences can be nefarious.

Let's give an example: I am French, criticizing is a kind of national sport. If I come to some Chinese guy's house, and see a contemporay painting hung in the living room, I might say "Oh! So you like this kind of painting? I really don't understand it. Is it expensive? What! That much for a bunch of strokes?"

But in places like China, where negativity is not expressed up front for no reason, this supposedly frank and personal impression can only be understood as the most brutal way to spit in your host's face, and it is speedily deduced that all foreigners are a bunch of brutes.

In short, if you are a dick at home, only you are a dick, and it is rarely unintentional; while if you are unintentionally a dick oversee, all your countrymen becomes brutes.

> Let's give an example: I am French, criticizing is a kind of national sport. If I come to some Chinese guy's house, and see a contemporay painting hung in the living room, I might say "Oh! So you like this kind of painting? I really don't understand it. Is it expensive? What! That much for a bunch of strokes?"

Going into someone's home and insulting their taste is generally frowned upon in most places.

Actually, not in France!

You can go into someone's home and disagree with their taste in anything. It provides interesting, open discussions.

"Criticising is a kind of national sport" is dead on. The French do whine a lot. </irony>

(As context, I'm a french Canadian with lots of French people as friends.)

To add on this line: I was once having a Dimsum dinner with a friend's friend. The guy was French. He held the discussion for 15 mn about his trip to this island in Indonesia, and the sole purpose of the vacation report was to say how bad it was, from the shitty weather to the horrible hotel to the masochistic food.

I have spent 10 years in China, and sometime my own cultural atavisms do surprise me. Another example is the kiss-on-cheeks things, which I'm quite not used to anymore.

That is not irony. I think Alanis Morrisette should be brought to the Hague and stand trial for crimes against lexicography.

I think a lot of Canadian's are the same way, but maybe a bit more polite and in a light way. I watch This Hour has 22 Minutes, and I have never witness such great satire based purely on criticism and exaggerations of reality.

What offends the French, then, by the way?

The continued existence of us British :D

Pascal: "vérité en deçà des Pyrénées, erreur au-delà"

Something required here is avoided there, and the reverse. In France it is ok and even polite to tell a girl (say, a coworker) "you are beautiful today", but I think this would not be considered very tasteful in other places.

In China, it is ok to give to others the gifts you have been given, and it is even expected (therefore the best gift to give and those gifts that can be given back, like closed bottles). There is a small business in buying back gifts. In Europe I don't think you can do this.

> In France it is ok and even polite to tell a girl (say, a coworker) "you are beautiful today", but I think this would not be considered very tasteful in other places.

It's worse in some places, in that it can vary by the individual, and people sometimes feel fully justified in getting offended on behalf of someone who took no offense at all. Most Americans, for example, would think taking offense on behalf of someone else is pretty stupid, but it happens and you occasionally have to deal with it.

There is no magic way to avoid causing offense. Get on with it and defend yourself if you have to. You could get fired for no reason. You could get cancer for no reason. It's random cultural nonsense that you can't fix.

I think you're missing his point. In a lot of parts of the world, including mine, this would be rather offensive behavior. The problem comes when you automatically generalize what happens to be offensive in your part of the world to the world at large. It seems conceivable that in a foreign culture, such as the parent poster's France, this type of criticism might be considered a path to a sincere and personal relationship because it shows that you're willing to interact with your host on a personal level. And it might not even be offensive if the criticism is normal and expected. The host might even join in mocking his own "foolish" purchase.

The larger issue is that there's no conceivable way to know all of the ways you could offend someone else without spending a significant portion of your life immersed in their culture. I lived in a major city in Spain for a couple of years, and there's a seriously pluralistic culture there with large immigrant populations from a number of continents. My observation was that they tended to sidestep the unintentional-offense problem by limiting inter-cultural contacts. Their interactions tended to focus around well-defined interfaces like buying something from a store. It's a sad state of affairs but I'm not aware of an effective solution.

"Unintentionally offensive" might not be the best way to put it. "Predictably" or "foreseeably" offensive may be better. In general, if we know that certain behavior will be offensive, it's polite to try to avoid it.

If you're saying that we should be especially sensitive when we're traveling, I agree with that too.

I meant predictably to someone with knowledge, but not to someone who was ignorant.

For instance in some cultures if you say "wow, that is a nice object in your house", the host is almost obligated to give it to you as a gift. In others, as a guest, you're expected to say something nice about someone's taste even if you don't actually like it. In ignorance, you can end up either jacking a bunch of crap you don't want (thus leaving someone deprived of his property as well as needing to find a way to dispose of some useless things), or viewed as haughty and rude, depending.

With women and conferences, one thing I learned was that completely qualified women do often tend to underestimate and undercommunicate their credentials, vs. men, similar to some foreign cultures. Knowing this is useful.

Experiences vary. Responses to certain things depend on what's happened to you in the past. Some people's sexual harassment is someone else's harmless flirting, an entirely innocent joke may be an unintended racial slur. The same incident viewed by different people may be interpreted entirely differently.

So yeah, it's great that there are women who feel safe in open source communities. It's wonderful that they've felt welcomed and unharassed. It would be entirely inappropriate to say that their experience is false or to suggest that they should object to behaviour that they feel is perfectly acceptable. But it's also entirely inappropriate to suggest that the experience of women who don't feel safe is somehow false or unwarranted. Changing the culture of our communities isn't a zero sum game. Making them more accessible shouldn't come at the cost of alienating women who are happy with how things are, but nor should those who are happy with how things are resist efforts to improve the happiness of others.

Yeah, I had a bit of a struggle with:

> Yes, we encountered dicks in our lives. Yes, we have been assaulted in our lives, maybe in broad daylight, in public. Yes, we've been hit on tastelessly and repeatedly and we have been disgusted and annoyed and sometimes we have been near panic. Some of us have encountered violence. We've gotten grabbed our asses, gotten felt up our boobs, have been stared at, wolf whistles at us and had some drunken moron hang in front of us. Yes, some of us have hit the proverbial glass ceiling in our careers.

> This is (a bad) part of our lives and yes, we judge social gathering and human encounters by how comfortable we are and how safe we feel and by their level of open or veiled dickishness.

> But this is only ONE aspect of being a woman and we do not like to let this aspect dominate how we live and behave within the tech communities of our choice.

The first paragraph acknowledges sexual and physical assaults/harassment, the second acknowledges that these shape our worldview, but the third implies that the victim is able to overcome the problem and let it slide off of their back. I think this is a bit if a dangerous message to send because it negates the unfortunate reality that it is always in the back of your mind and it insinuates that these encounters are one-offs, as opposed to childhood trauma or ongoing domestic issues (ignoring that a lot of the harassment faced these days is online and done by people who wouldn't at all think to do it in real-life).

Also I'm not sure if "assault" is coming from someone's CoC, but:

> We also like to keep the vocabulary appropriate: An "assault" is an act of violence, an agressive act to overpower a person. We do not feel being hit on tastelessly being an assault. A blunt stare into our cleavage is not an assault. Someone accidently touching us is not an assault. The typical french pseudo-kiss-hug is a cultural thing and not an assault. A hug might be a completely friendly act and not an assault - even if it might not be welcome.

.. comes off more as "Hey guys, don't worry! We're not tight-asses about this stuff!" vs. "Assault is the wrong word to use, but these are still forms of harassment depending on the person and the action, so please know when and what is appropriate for whom."

>third implies that the victim is able to overcome the problem and let it slide off of their back.

I don't think she's saying that. These events are serious, but they're just one event among a lifetime of events. If you needed to use a wheelchair to move around, you would want people to respect your mobility limits, but you would emphatically want to be more than just your wheelchair. This does not imply an expectation to let that you should let the injury "slide off your back," but it does mean that it's your life and we should all let you decide how to deal with it. Don't push your understanding of how I should feel on me.

The author is saying, yes, these things happen and they're bad. But let's not lose sight of what we are here for. We are all more than our injuries, and even (especially!) when those injuries continue to haunt us we should strive to do more than focus on them.

Absolutely. I like to think of it terms of a guiding principle of non-universality. A lot of errors seem to spring from incorrectly assuming that everyone's definition of acceptable conduct is (or even should be) the same, or assuming that one person's (or group's) experience can be applied uniformly to a much larger group.

I recently had a great conversation with a friend who asked me if I could imagine being uncomfortable because of a woman's advances. I said yes, absolutely. She asked, if that woman were to ignore your rebuffs, could you imagine being in a situation where there'd be nothing you could do to stop it. And I couldn't. I mean, I could just leave the room. Or ask a figure with authority in the situation to step in. Or, if nobody else was around, just walk away. But that's because I wouldn't - couldn't - feel physically threatened by it. And so my understanding of the situation is necessarily non-universal. I have to take it on faith that women (hell, people in general) can feel threatened by things I don't understand as threatening because, definitionally, I can't experience things outside of my experience.

Sometimes conversations on gender and technology can get quite heated, and I feel unfairly caught up in a lot of quite powerful emotional crossfire when, like many others, I'm just trying to make sense of it and do what seems right as best I can. So far I've gotten decent mileage out of non-universality, proportionality, merit and consent as my axioms for this, but it's an evolving process.

I read this manifesto as largely being against a perceived universality of female opinion, and in that sense I agree with it. I know women who find wearing a hijab empowering, and others who consider it the worst kind of oppression. I know of women who don't care about, or even like, booth babes. I'm glad to hear dissenting voices to remind us that nobody, not Ada Lovelace herself, can give us the One Right Answer To Women In Computing that we've all been hoping for.

But I think that part of embracing non-universality is knowing its limitations. "We prefer taste, professionalism and behavior being created by living a culture of taste, fun, substance and standards" - I absolutely agree. But what standards? What taste? My experience of professional behaviour will determine my answers. If I've worked in a machine shop all my life, maybe "show us yer tits" seems perfectly professional. I agree that demonising men (even the men who do the wrong thing) isn't the right answer, but there does need to be some answer if there's any hope of improving the situation.

What we need is a way of collectively agreeing on what is okay. Like any protocol, it might have variations and exceptions, but some kind of standard that attendees can consent to: "we can't tell you what good taste is, but we can all agree to at least this much".

As a newspaper for beleaguered women to whap over the nose of all those naughty men, I would be vehemently against any anti-harassment policy. In those terms it would seem like just entrenched victimhood. But as a system for establishing an acceptable, consensual standard of behaviour I consider these policies a great step forward for the technology industry.

It might seem like being very open and high-minded to say "we don't need rules", but for the men and women who are most at risk that's just saying "there are rules but we won't tell you what they are or how they work". An undocumented protocol is still a protocol, one whose understanding often requires tragic mistakes.

The authors mischaracterize the "code of conduct" statement first as a redundant legal system, then as a decree that "spreads guilt onto an entire gender," then as an "overarching act of protection condemning basically every social behavior between men and women."

A code of conduct is none of those things. It is an invitation: "this is how we expect people attending our event to behave; where you find it not so, be assured that your concerns will not be ignored. Here are ways to help the event organizers address conflicts: A, B, C."

There is a legitimate need for this statement to be made.

It's also really handy to be able to refer to a code of conduct directly to curb inappropriate behaviour. Referring to one gives more power to a direct and immediate request for someone to curb his inappropriate behaviour.

This worked has well for me (I'm male, if it matters) at the one conference I've seen inappropriate (if unintended) behaviour. A shout of "that's inappropriate; we have a code of conduct here; move on to the next slide or get off the stage" worked very well for me.

Using this turns an implied "that's inappropriate [in my opinion]" into a specific and much more powerful "that's inappropriate [according to our rules]".

Yup. This is exactly how rule of law works. A codified, criticized, and iterated set of demands is more useful than simply having a lone opinion in a mostly egalitarian setting precisely because your opinion isn't alone and you can prove it without asking anyone else to spend social capital.

Now I'm curious what conference.

>encountering 2 dicks at a 500 people conference are AMAZING odds - nowhere else in our every day lives the odds are THAT good.

This made me smile with delightful recognition - it's been, more often than not, that I've been treated with the utmost respect by my male peers in the tech world. The same is not true in other industries I participate in where women are even less represented, or old-school boy networks still reign.

> And let's face it: No real dick will be put off by a code of conduct helplessly condemning all kinds of unwelcome behavior - that's why they're dicks - but a huge portion of men will keep to themselves ridden by guilt because they're the ones actually thinking sensibly and will ask themselves about their own dickishness.

The point of a code of conduct is not to stop dicks from being dicks. It is to remove any plausible defense. You can more easily ban dicks when you reduce ambiguities.

beep boop must have non ambiguous social protocols beeep

Usually zero-tolerance and codes of conduct are not enforced evenly, and serve only to lend bureaucratic weight to arbitrary (for better or worse) decisions.

It's great to see that some people are remaining level-headed after the amount of butthurt that was caused at the recent convention.

The lady who whined about two guys having a private conversation was a jerk. She's the type who ruins things for everyone.

And so great to see that you're continuing the spirit of reasonableness and tolerance!


Because committing a gender and race based hate crime is the highlight of reasonableness and tolerance. But no, no the people pointing out hate crimes are bad - they're the real problems here.

You completely lost me here, but nothing in the SendGrid scandal even comes close to deserving the label hate crime.

A hate crime is when some of my gay friends get their face beaten in once again because they were holding hands.

I didn't know that massive amounts of death and/or rape threats didn't count as hate crime. Thanks for the enlightenment.

Are they personal attacks? Absolutely.

Are they a bad idea? No doubt.

Are they illegal in some jurisdictions? Possibly.

But they definitely aren't a hate crime - they are simply an internet mob action on their victim du jour. None of the attacks on Adria Richards were done because she was a woman. They were done because of the choice she made in needlessly tweeting and publicly shaming the jokers sitting near her, and triggering a social media firestorm. A man in the same situation would have been attacked just as vehemently - indeed, many men have been the victims of internet mob action.

None of the attacks on Adria Richards were done because she was a woman

Your naivety it adorable.

No need to be insulting about it, with misspelled words.

Do you have an actual argument, or just mud slinging?

>hate crimes (also known as bias-motivated crimes)

Correct, certain groups on the internet saying the most vile things they can think of because of a perceived slight is not bias-motivated so it's not a hate crime. Congratulations on your enlightenment.

(And just to preempt an argument you might have, the fact that someone trying to be as offensive as possible uses discriminatory language against their target does not imply that discrimination is the reason they are verbally attacking. It only implies that such language is in fact offensive.)

You mean the same people who've crusaded for the cause of female rape victims?(Anonymous)

Thanks for your exceptionally unbiased narrative.

I didn't consider that he could have meant the retaliation by the internet trolls.

Yes those technically would be, although I still think using it in this context sullies the term hate crime.

nobody at the actual python conference committed ANY kind of crime, let alone a hate crime. watch your damn language and provide context. don't equate the actions of anonymous internet trolls with those of real people.

Who wrote those threats then? Extremely complex lisp programs?

It's not a private conversation when one is in an audience. (See: talking during a movie.)

Excellent. Puts the focus right where it belongs -- on principles, not on specific rules of behavior.

The closest thing we really need to codes of conduct is consciousness-raising reminders of the sorts of things that can go wrong EVEN WITHOUT OVERT physically-aggressive behavior. The big three of those seem to be:

1. Tiresome references to objectification of women. E.g., booth babes, scantily clad women in marketing materials, etc.

2. Tiresome repetition of individually unobjectionable signs of attraction. What's fun at gender-balanced party and tolerable OCCASIONALLY in the workplace can be oppressive if it happens too often in a professional context. So if you're attracted to a professional colleague, you should do your best to refrain from showing it.

3. Bad conversational patterns. E.g., a woman who's interrupted in conversation may not power her way back the way many men would, so you should be more careful if you have an urge to interrupt.

If you want, you can add in some kind of affirmative action concept to that as well.

I have to disagree with "you should do your best to refrain from showing it". I believe that the attempted refraining is causing those tiresome sexual advances. I mean I know guys on both ends of the spectrum of flirting proficiency, and it's the guys at the "refrain" end of the spectrum that make situations akward when they try. Courtship is just as much a skill as programming is. And refraining from programming because you aren't good at it is never going to get you anywhere near good. When you then try to skript something together desperately, you will fail. On the other hand, the "experienced" rarely made conversations akward for them or the girl, in fact most girls they talked with enjoyed it.

Things like attraction, they're low level things, and they'll leak out. And the more you strain to hold them in, the more akward it gets. I have yet to see a person that can convincingly mask off attraction towards another person.

So don't simply try to force attraction out of the workplace, rather keep anything you do there as professional as you would with other things.

Also for 3. : Go get it girl!

As in most non-trivial choices, context matters. I just emailed a woman that I know professionally that she is beautiful. More precisely, I replied to a photo of her lying in a hospital bed with her newborn daughter "Mother and daughter are both beautiful". I had little fear she would think I was hitting on her. :)

But it took a situation that extreme for me to say that. Her job requires her to be nice to me, so I surely don't want her to regret that necessity.

Back in the 1980s, when ever the most impressive of women -- e.g. Ann Winblad, Sandy Kurtzig or Esther Dyson -- felt they needed a flirtatious demeanor as part of their toolkit, I usually didn't respond ... unless, of course, we were dancing at a party. ;) But I recently saw Sandy again, made it clear she's looking awesome, and hugged her a couple of times; she's over 60 now, and at this point of her life I figured she probably wouldn't mind the attention. ;)

We are women of Perl and we're actually quite happy with our community.

I was unaware that there even were Perl conferences anymore - can anybody involved here give some overview of the different Perl conferences and any history of gender issues?

YAPC::NA (the North American "Yet Another Perl Conference") is my favorite tech conference to attend, probably because it seems to be rather "by perl developers, for perl developers".

The YAPC conferences seem to have come about after the original perl conferences became OSCON. The perl community developed something specific to perl again, and something that was more intimate, casual, and affordable. There are YAPC conferences all over the world, like YAPC::EU and YAPC::Asia and others.

My experience is only with the North American one, and it's typically 3 days of technical sessions with one or more optional days of more formal classes before or after it.

A conference ticket is cheap, say $100, and you can get a dorm room for cheaper than a hotel room if you like. That's part of the effort to make the conference affordable and open to anyone.

Another, more recent part of that effort seems to be adopting a more formal code of conduct. I think that's popular with a lot of technical conferences these days. Recently, Schwern, one of the prominent members of the perl community withdrew from the conference and described why here: http://blog.schwern.net/2013/05/15/yapcna-2013-withdrawal/ The article linked from this HN post seems to be a reaction to that.

Anyway, YAPC::NA is in Austin this year, and should be a great conference. Check out http://www.yapcna.org/yn2013/ if you want to read more about it.

* We are women of Perl and we're actually quite happy with our community.*

I've heard that the Perl community is the most accepting of all the OSS communities out there, so this doesn't surprise me, and also delights me to hear :)

It might be that they just have the most mature developers.

Google "YAPC" (Yet Another Perl Conference) for the current Perl conferences - there's YAPCs in North America, Europe, and Japan that I'm aware of, and probably others.

Nice to see someone else pointing out the statistics probability for women in tech conferences.

Just doing some basic calculations, the risk in going to a tech conference with 95% male vs 5% female has about 20 times higher risk than participating in a 50/50 conference if one assume that sexual assaults are male->female.

Like the term going postal, I would really like to see a study that could prove or disprove if technology conferences are in a higher risk group of sexual assault or if that reputation is just perceived risk vs actually risk.

I'm curious about your calculations - my calculations suggest the probability of an assault goes up with the number of women.

Assume the probability of an individual man being an assaulter is beta, with alpha the fraction of women. Assume further any person interacts with K people at a conference, and if one of them is a woman he will assault her. Under the assumptions, the probability of an individual at the conference being assaulted is 1-pow(1-alpha, kbeta(1-alpha)).

That number increases, at least until approximately alpha ~= 60%.


tl;dr Basic rule of interaction models. More interactions == more interaction effects.

Well, we are talking about basic calculations with just a few assumptions put in. As such, I would like to see a research worthy report on the subject.

In my number, I considered that in a group, a subset of the people will have a tendency to do sexual assault. If we only view the assaults as male -> female, than a 95%/5% conference will have 1.9 more such individuals with such tendencies compared to a equal sized 50%/50% conference. I also assume that the number of assaults will have a direct correlation with the number of people that a tendency towards sexual assaults.

The risk of any individual female participant will then be the number of assaults divided with the number of females at the conference. In the 95%/5% case, there will be a only a 1/10th of female participants and as such, you get 10*1.9 = 19 increased risk vs a 50%/50%. I rounded it to 20.

Your data point about the time each male spend with someone of the opposite sex is an interesting data point, but I do not know if there is a correlated to the number of sexual assaults and the time an assailant spends with the opposite sex. It need to be above zero, but beyond that I do not know. It would be effected by behavior theory of predators, and if they actively go out of their way to seek victims or not.

I see where our calculations differ. I'm assuming an assaulter can only assault one of the K < conference size people he meets, while you are assuming he can assault anyone anywhere.

You are also measuring assaults/female as opposed to assaults/human. That seems a little odd to me - if the number of assaults doubles, but the number of females triples, is that a good thing?

The individual risk for each female participant do go down if the number of female participants goes up. I would not categorize it as either bad or good, just an aspect of the nature of risk.

In the end through, I only trust my own numbers as a vague hint about what could be. There is just too many assumptions I make and factors to consider (such as group behavior, predator behavior, and so on). I hope a researcher, research student, or foundation will get interested in this topic so the answer to the question can be made once and for all.

I don't think you are calculating the same thing. Your calculations are that an assult will happen, whereas belorn was calculating for a specific woman, whether she would be the victim.

I calculated the probability of an individual human being assaulted.

Let's use your equation with k = 20, alpha = 0.5 and beta = 0.1. This gives the probability of a person being assaulted as => 1 - pow(1 - alpha, kbeta(1 - alpha)) => 1 - pow(0.5, 20 * 0.1 * 0.5) => 1 - pow(0.5, 1) => 0.5

There's a 50% chance that a person will be assaulted. Divide by the number of women (10) gives a probability of 0.05 that a particular woman will be assaulted.

Now let's do the same thing, but changing alpha to 0.05 1 - pow(0.95, 20 * 0.1 * 0.95) => 1 - pow(0.95, 1.9) => 0.09

However as there is only one woman , that 0.09 probability is all her. In other words her odds of being assaulted have just about doubled.

You've calculated the probability that _some_ individual will be assaulted. The probability that a given female will be assaulted though would be (I think):

P = 1 - \sum_{m=0}^K \choose{m}{K} (1-beta)^m (1-alpha)^m alpha^{K-m}

> prove or disprove if technology conferences are in a higher risk group of sexual assault

Sexual awkwardness and unintentional offence at a tech conference I can entirely believe; but is there really an (even perceived, if not proven) higher rate of /assault/ among nerds than average people? :S

Not sure. It goes both ways. On the one side, nerds at tech conferences generally fall into the 'higher educated' category, who iirc are statistically less inclined to go into crime (and if they do, it's the type that pays off in millions instead of, say, burglar the local gas station).

However. I'm inclined to believe there's a bastard in everyone. I'm also inclined to believe the amount of single, frustrated men in IT is generally higher than other areas, where frustration can turn into anger, lashing out, and misogyny. There's also 'dude culture', where people in different demographics (gender, in this case) are made fun of / stereotyped / objectified.

tl;dr, it's complicated and I'm just thinking out loud here. Define "average"

There is some really crazy stuff that happens, but since very close to 100% of it happens to women, it's hard to get men to even believe it's happening. https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3165434 and https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2572245 for example.

Edit: this article seems to have been moved http://web.archive.org/web/20110703201447/http://www.tammyca... but there is discussion here https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2571874

"higher rate of /assault/ among nerds than average people"

Pretty much the only "nerd rage" incident I can think of was a recent fight between Star Wars and Dr Who fans:


I knew England had soccer hooligans, but I wasn't expecting Doctor Who-ligans!

It's an unspoken assumption that goes unchallenged because it's easier for people targeted by these stereotypes to distance themselves from "nerds" than to challenge these assumptions.

> if one assume that sexual assaults are male->female.

Which is not valid.

The attitude of that letter is refreshingly positive and sensible. A nice change from the usual super-charged sexist attitudes one way or the other that usually only spark more polarized debate that loses sight of the bigger picture.

The thing that frustrated me the most about the PyCon thing was how the keynote was just completely eclipsed by the incident. Barely anyone reporting even had the consideration to mention what the keynote was about-- only that it was interrupted by a tweetsplosion.

This actually sounds rational and not hysterical - well done!

Though I'm not a Perl user, I think these women would be a delight to hang out with, drink beer, and talk about open source.

> This actually sounds rational and not hysterical - well done!

Nice choice of words: http://etymonline.com/?term=hysterical

This needed to be said and I think they said it beautifully. Nothing else.

I would love to sit down with the group of women who wrote this and get to know them. While I disagree with them that having a code of conduct is "helpless", and on many other points they make, there are plenty of ideas we share as well. I'm happy to see them taking a step towards feminist activism -- as they are in coming up with a collective statement with other women.

I would like to read this, but the site is being blocked by websense. Could someone put it on pastebin, or something like that?

Thank you, both.

Thank you! I'm a guy and it makes me uncomfortable even watching some guy make a tasteless pass at a random woman. And regardless of what people believe, friendship is possible (and a far better prelude to other things if both parties desire).

As an aside, I'd hate to be named Richard after reading that posting.

I like the overall spirit of this article, but find this a bit puzzling:

We also like to keep the vocabulary appropriate

So we start off by using a slang term for a piece of male anatomy as a pejorative?

In this context it seems appropriate. During a conference or in a professional settings or in a church it wouldn't.

Appropriate is a relative term.

Perhaps "accurate" would have been a more appropriate choice of word than "appropriate".

That was a good read, I would say that some tech conferences are that worried about the bad press they are becoming a little misandristic.

Yes, it's become so hard to be a man at tech conferences. They're so filled with hate for men that one could describe it as misandry. Did the feminazis also steal your ice cream?

its not hard to be a man at a tech conference. it is, however, hard to a PERSON at a tech conference. its important to acknowledge the socially destructive chilling effect that all the recent controversies/scandals have caused.

I remember a time were comments like this would be voted down or ignored.

This is the kind of idiocy that just brings everyone down. It would be a better world if we could all agree that this kind of nonsense was no longer acceptable.

Minimizing the pain of others is never right. It is, in fact, one of the underlying problems here.

It's a tough edge to walk - the kerfuffle with brit ruby shows that people will look for reasons to target a con to push an agenda. Not to excuse any gender based discrimination, but I think it does put it in context.

Misandry isn't real

It's impossible for an organization or event to ever act in a way that disadvantages men?

I suppose that it's possible, but it never happens.

I've been at several YAPC::EUs and I am quite surprised to hear that there are dickheads there. People with strong, vocal opinions? Definitely, but I personally love them the most - they bring colour to the events

> Open Source Is Not A Warzone

Like anyone has the right to make this claim ;))

Sadly, whereas tech conferences should be about the tech and the cool, interesting and rewarding things we can do with it, it instead becomes dragged down into a drama, where one woman can do more damage to other women then all the men present (thinking about the pycon incident). As my colleague a female developer, often says "These gynosaurs ruin it for the rest of us".

Oh c'mon, like men haven't been insulted or attacked. Like men haven't met women who are complete dicks. Just because you're the weaker gender does not give you the right to assume that we are all shit and you are some cherry on top of a cake. No.

This women-in-tech-is-hard stuff is so overplayed to the point of it being just plain stupid. What if every man who get's insulted by a woman who's a complete dick starts writing about the stuff you, women, do? But we don't. Why? Because we aren't that much of dicks as you, women, are.

And go on, think that what I say is pure hatrid or sexism or whatever. It's not. You're statements may validate, but you're no innocent in this "war".

Your comment gives me the impression that you have misread the article (or not read at all) or that you were replying to another comment.

IOW, it seems you're reacting to something that's not there.

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