[Noisebridge-discuss] Cynthia and "Asian" Reference

Peter Werner germpore at sonic.net
Fri Feb 3 07:49:31 UTC 2012

Probably opening up a can of worms here, but –

Modifications? Well, for starters, the "geek feminists" have some of  
the most over-the-top policies against display of "sexual imagery"  
this side of Catherine MacKinnon. I happen to be one of those people  
who find this and other aspects of the "geek feminist" anti-harassment  
policy to amount to censorship, and if taken at it's word, it would  
pretty much preclude NB from hosting Arse Electronica among other  
events, and in my estimation, that would not be a good thing.

In other words, I don't think it's a policy that should be adopted  
wholesale and uncritically. I'm not even sure if it's a particularly  
good model policy. That said, I do think some sort of policy on  
harassment and violence should be in place, but it should be kept  
simple and not excessively ideological. The descriptions I'm hearing  
of the behavior that started this discussion sound like somebody is  
clearly violating other people's boundaries, and it's the kind of  
thing that any community that wishes to remain functional needs to put  
its foot down about in whatever way achieves the best balance of being  
effective without being heavy-handed.

Which, yes, means some agreed-upon set of "rules", which is a concept  
I gather a lot of people in spaces like this don't like. But it  
certainly beats the hell out of having strong personalities impose  
their own rules by sheer force of will. (Social Contract 101 here.) Or  
veering off into the opposite extreme of heavy-handed rules (eg,  
aspects of the "geek feminist" policy) because "no rules" was tried  
and didn't work.

For what it's worth,
Peter Werner

On Feb 1, 2012, at 4:49 PM, Tao Neuendorffer Flaherty wrote:

> Here is an example of conference anti-harassment policy:
> http://geekfeminism.wikia.com/wiki/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.
> Peace,
> Tao Flaherty

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