[Noisebridge-discuss] Cynthia and "Asian" Reference

Tao Neuendorffer Flaherty neuendorffer at googlemail.com
Thu Feb 2 00:49:44 UTC 2012

Here is an example of conference anti-harassment policy:
How could it be modified to work with Noisebridge?

It's important for people in Noisebridge to feel safe from each other. My first day there, watching Hackers, I was attacked from behind by a large robot rushing in from the other room. That hurt a lot, and was not excellent.

We need to be excellent to each other, which involves responding to destructive attitudes and behavior.

Tao Flaherty

Sent from my iPad

On Feb 1, 2012, at 15:19, Jake <jake at spaz.org> wrote:

> the message below was sent to myself, and to the list.
> I don't know why it didn't appear on the list, perhaps there is a moderator who can explain that.  If a moderator made a decision to reject this message based on the content, I would like to know about that.
> Anyway, it's a serious issue. Cynthia is a wingnut, and most of us deal with her by not dealing with her.  She has good days and bad days.
> Pearl is not a wingnut, she is a person who is trying to be part of the noisebridge community to the best of her ability.  When people tell Pearl that there are no rules in the space, a little more practical explanation would be excellent.  Telling someone to RTFM at noisebridge is lame.
> The main lesson here is that Cynthia may treat you with respect if she thinks you are someone who can make trouble for her (speak up at a meeting, send an email to the discuss list) but may mistreat people she does not recognize as powerful at noisebridge.
> If we want noisebridge to be ruled by people like Cynthia, we can achieve that by doing nothing.  She will gladly tell people what the "rules" are.
> I know we all wish conflicts like this would just go away, but the reality is it takes multiple people to deal with problems.  I believe that in this case (and some others) Cynthia is the problem in the situation, and that more people need to talk with her to insist that she doesn't harass anyone.  The alternative is that we will be fostering an environment where only the loudest and most obnoxious people will get their way.
> Please read the message below and think about what you can do to make noisebridge a better place.  It won't happen without you.
> -jake
> P.S. there are also ways in which Roberts behavior could be excellenter.
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> Date: Mon, 30 Jan 2012 23:54:34 -0800
> From: Hi There <solving.a.problem at gmail.com>
> To: noisebridge-discuss at lists.noisebridge.net, jake at spaz.org
> Subject: Cynthia and "Asian" Reference
> Hi Jake,
> Firstly, I'd like to introduce myself.  My name is Pearl, a newbie to
> Noisebridge (NB).
> Secondly, I'd like to seek your assistance in resolving the following issue:
> I put "a few tiny pieces" roast pepper skin in the kitchen trash.
>  Cynthia began to talk non-stop about I had to put them in the compost box.
>  She said that was "the rule" in NB (I did tell her do NOT impose her rules
> on me immediately and that I did NOT want her to talk to me) and kept on
> following me around speaking out loud about the compost rule (including
> posted two big compost notes, talked to 3 other people about I didn't put
> the food in the compost.)  She even ignored my line about "do not talk
> and/or follow me around in the kitchen area).  These issue went on for about
> half an hour!
> Another scenario...
> Cynthia was sleeping on the couch overnight with ALL the lights off two
> weekend ago.  I had to find my way around in the complete darkness.  Freedom
> comes with responsibility, no?!  
> Last Tue, 3 members told me that there is NO rule in NB.  We basically need
> to be "excellent" to each other (which John and Corey had told me on the
> first week I visited NB).  I don't find it hard to deal with diverse crowd,
> but it is hard to deal with people kept on playing individual power trip, to
> build individual territory than a community!!!   Freedom comes with
> responsibility, no?!
> How is that okay to blast the music out loud  (by the same group of people
> choose to hang out at NB every night) when other people would like to have
> peaceful quiet to work on their computer projects?  (BTW, I tested the water
> by asking Robert to turn on the speaker in one morning and was told "no loud
> music" played at NB immediately.)  It's mutual respect in a shared space I
> am talking here, k!
> Last but not least, I saw a note paraphrase "do not touch.  I have ASIAN
> H1N1" on top of a can of tea (which was donated by Tom).  That night I was
> the ONLY Asian worked over night.  I am willing to discuss with whomever got
> any personal issues with me as an adult, but I do not tolerate any racial
> reference. (I do not appreciate being called "that Chinese girl" by Paul
> when he wanted the whole kitchen all by himself.)
> This email is aimed to bring awareness of some of the issues I encounter in
> one month at NB.  Please do not reply to me individually unless you want to
> have a mediation meeting.
> Thank you for your attention in this matter.
> Best,
> Pearl
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