[Noisebridge-discuss] Who do we want to exclude? [Drama]

Jeffrey Carl Faden jeffreyatw at gmail.com
Tue Apr 9 19:10:41 UTC 2013

We *should* strive to be a welcoming place, but how do we *do* it?


On Tue, Apr 9, 2013 at 11:44 AM, Tom Lowenthal <me at tomlowenthal.com> wrote:

> It is a myth that leaving our doors open to any makes us welcome for all.
> When we admit those who think of women as anything less than
> autonomous people, we make Noisebridge unwelcome for women. When there
> are those among us who take what is not theirs, those who would
> construct projects with valuable components cannot do so here. When
> our library is used as a bedroom, it us unavailable and unpleasant for
> those who seek knowledge. When our tools are broken or lost, it is not
> possible to build. When people won't come to classes because they do
> not feel safe at Noisebridge, we need to address this.
> When some people walk though our gate, Noisebridge becomes unpleasant
> and unusable for others. When we are open to all, we exclude many of
> those we love most.
> Too many times have I heard "Let's meet at the Sycamore instead,
> people always hit on me when I'm at Noisebridge."  or "I know it costs
> more, but let's build it at Tech shop, 'cause it'd suck if this went
> missing.". If you are a cisgendered man who works mostly at your
> computer, you may not notice these things. These issues may not affect
> you directly, but they affect those around you: your community. This
> weakens our social fabric, and excludes many of the most valued,
> thoughtful folks who should be the mainstay of our hackerspace.
> Without these people, we are so much less.
> We need to take a look in the mirror and decide what we want to be,
> because we cannot be everything to everyone. If we want to be the
> place that people go to build their next giant robot, livestreaming
> quadcoptor, community project, or enlightening class, we must be a
> place which invites, nurtures, and encourages this. We should strive
> to be the place that provides for that which we value most, and that
> means removing those things which are barriers to these goals.
> We have excluded so many who have come before and tried to make great
> things. Let us not exclude any more.
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