[Noisebridge-discuss] Trimmed off the board list

rachel lyra hospodar rachelyra at gmail.com
Thu Mar 27 20:13:27 UTC 2014

Thanks for bringing this up, Ari. I haven't explored the concepts behind
this too much on-list, but I will take a little time to now.

When existing in a sexist society, we are all grounded in sexist
brainwashing.  I don't think that Al is necessarily intentionally sexist,

But his behavior furthers my belief that we must not simply seek to brand
creepy creepers with a scarlet C and consider the problem solved. 'Ending'
sexism is far more complex than that. Deconstructing problems that are
embedded in the social matrix from whence we all spring necessitates
examining the ways that they are embedded in each of us.

He has called me confused, and Naomi angry.

This is not a way to have a productive discussion that furthers the cause
of equality among the sexes, from a context of a society which paints women
with legitimate concerns as confused and angry.

Is it possible for women to be legitimately confused and angry? Absolutely.
Is it legitimate for someone with whom they disagree to dismiss their
concerns using this language? Well I don't think it furthers the cause of
equality. If anyone has a goal of reducing sexism they must look within
themselves first and outside second. Confused and angry are to hysterical
as thug is to n*****r. (Ref. Richard Sherman debacle, more information
available upon request)

If you want I can share some anecdotes of times when I have been
unintentionally sexist in running a construction crew. The realizations
that those experiences led me to fifteen years ago are a deeply embedded
part of my world understanding to this day.

And why yes, I do think fifteen years of deep examination of my own
unintended and internalized sexism gives me a solid platform from which to
ignore anyone who tells me I am confused simply because I disagree with

I will actually take a moment to say here that Praveen is an example of a
tech dude who makes lots of efforts to support women n queers in his work.
I suppose he's not a writer, which is a shame, since I think he's less
likely to code sexism into his work because he is actively, regularly, and
publicly engaged in self-examination around these issues, and makes clear
and visible efforts to own his mistakes.

What a concept.

On Mar 27, 2014 6:21 AM, "Ari Lacenski" <alacenski at gmail.com> wrote:

> The most painful thing about this thread is watching Rachel insinuate that
> Al's disagreement and rhetoric are grounded in his supposed sexism.
> Rachel, the dick jokes are totally unnecessary. I know of no male tech
> writer who makes more of an effort to support women-'n-queers in his work.
> Can you possibly move on?
> Ari
> On Wed, Mar 26, 2014 at 4:29 PM, rachel lyra hospodar <rachelyra at gmail.com
> > wrote:
>> Let's be crystal clear - I am not confused.
>> I have not confused 'I disagree with you' with anything else.
>> I am trying to communicate with you that many people hear your stance as
>> 'your disagreements are irrelevant'.
>> If my tone is valid then yours is too, I see no way around it. I am
>> scrupulously polite in a precise correlation to whether I find myself in a
>> space where I feel scrupulously respected.
>> Perhaps instead of telling me how you do respect me, you might listen to
>> some advice on how to behave respectfully. I know, I haven't been behaving
>> perfectly.  It is an attempt to demonstrate to you the precise impact of
>> your historic behavior of same nature.
>> We can continue to have a dick jousting contest around whose opinion is
>> more valid but I have to warn you - i am a cyborg. mine is a strap on that
>> I researched heavily and had to wade through a great deal of bigotry to
>> get, so it will probably outlast yours.
>> Yes, that was a metaphor. No, it was not scrupulously respectful. The
>> fire metaphor was, but you didn't even respond to it so I am trying
>> different tactics to Hack You. I want to install this Empathy Module but I
>> can't find the slot. I'll just leave it on the table here, feel free to ask
>> for documentation if you decide you want to use it.
>> R.
>> On Mar 26, 2014 1:06 PM, "Al Sweigart" <asweigart at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> It was mostly the "Father Al" cracks. Maybe I should just lighten up
>>> though, but that and the other stuff kind of stung.
>>> Just to reassure you Rachel, I am well aware of the bullshit that women
>>> who speak up have to put up with. I'm not trying to tone police you, but
>>> when I say your words hurt me I'm telling you how you've made me feel and
>>> that I take you just as seriously whether or not you are mocking me, so
>>> please don't go the mocking route.
>>> Again, I am sincere when I want to hear out people who disagree with me.
>>> It can be easy to read sarcasm or insincerity into text, so I'm saying that
>>> as plainly as possible. I am not paying "lip service". I have my own views
>>> and will probably disagree with you, but I don't want anyone to confuse "I
>>> disagree with you" with "you can't speak, shut up".
>>> On Wed, Mar 26, 2014 at 3:35 PM, rachel lyra hospodar <
>>> rachelyra at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>> It's mean spirited to say I respect you even though I completely
>>>> disagree with everything you are doing, and you categorically dismiss all
>>>> concerns while paying them lip service?
>>>> It's sarcastic for me to describe things as I see them? How else will
>>>> we reach an understanding if you do not seek to understand my point of
>>>> view? I seek to understand yours as well.
>>>> My research indicates there is no way to discuss difficult topics
>>>> without seeming to be difficult to someone who disagrees with you. Without
>>>> using humor it comes off angry, with humor it comes off sarcastic.  This is
>>>> the abyss at the bottom of Tone Argument Canyon... there is categorically
>>>> no appropriate way to disagree while female (kind of like driving while
>>>> black) without being an Obnoxious Strident Person.
>>>> This is why it is so important to construct decision making systems
>>>> that accommodate the fact that people disagree, rather than to attempt to
>>>> create a space where nobody disagrees - I call that an echo chamber.
>>>> R.
>>>> On Mar 26, 2014 11:59 AM, "Al Sweigart" <asweigart at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>>> Rachel, do you think your mean-spirited sarcasm is inviting to dialog?
>>>>> Are you interested in having a dialog?
>>>>> On Wed, Mar 26, 2014 at 2:40 PM, rachel lyra hospodar <
>>>>> rachelyra at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>>>> I wonder, Al, if you have any thoughts on the ideological tension
>>>>>> between your statements 'community buy in is key' and 'not everyone will be
>>>>>> completely satisfied'
>>>>>> One thing 100 percent consensus neatly solves is taking the
>>>>>> factionalism out of who gets to have their way. Everyone does, not just
>>>>>> whoever is in power.
>>>>>> You are clearly delineating that you are in power here, Al. Is your
>>>>>> goal to use your power to get your way? From my point of view, that is what
>>>>>> you are trying to do here. This could be out of ignorance, blindness,
>>>>>> stubbornness, or a willfull belief that Father Al knows best.
>>>>>> You'll forgive me for finding the most hope in believing you to be,
>>>>>> in this case, ignorant and stubborn.... since I sure don't believe in a
>>>>>> paternalistic approach to life. I don't think Father Al knows best. I do
>>>>>> respect you for trying, but call me crazy optimistic for hoping for you to
>>>>>> grow, change.  Maybe you should try putting up signs for meth like you did
>>>>>> for graffiti... that worked, right?
>>>>>> I gotta take a break now, kids, I just admitted in public to
>>>>>> respecting Al.
>>>>>> R.
>>>>>> On Mar 26, 2014 11:30 AM, "Al Sweigart" <asweigart at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>>>>> Madelynn and Tom articulated this better last night at the meeting,
>>>>>>> but I want to reiterate for people just following the list that these
>>>>>>> changes are not out of nowhere. We have been talking with individuals about
>>>>>>> how to fix Noisebridge's problems well before the election. Community
>>>>>>> buy-in is key. I don't want to dismiss the election results out of hand;
>>>>>>> it's not fair to the members who voted after being told the board would
>>>>>>> take an active hand at space improvements. This also doesn't mean the board
>>>>>>> is accountable to no one, but it does mean that not everyone will be
>>>>>>> completely satisfied with decisions being made (just like any group of
>>>>>>> people).
>>>>>>> On Wed, Mar 26, 2014 at 2:16 PM, rachel lyra hospodar <
>>>>>>> rachelyra at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>>>>>> I would like to apologize, it appears I was mistaken. It seems that
>>>>>>>> the list was not trimmed, but that discussion of these fundamental changes
>>>>>>>> did not take place online any place I am able to find, follow, or see, as a
>>>>>>>> former board member, council member, member member, throbbing gristle
>>>>>>>> member.
>>>>>>>> Community buy in for shifts is really key, people. The bigger the
>>>>>>>> shift the more important this piece of the puzzle is.
>>>>>>>> It's never too late to work towards consensus.
>>>>>>>> R.
>>>>>>>> On Mar 26, 2014 6:08 AM, "rachel lyra hospodar" <
>>>>>>>> rachelyra at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>>>>>>> I think it's interesting that sometime in the last month or so,
>>>>>>>>> someone has for the first time since i was added in 2010, gone through the
>>>>>>>>> board email list and trimmed out former board members.
>>>>>>>> _______________________________________________
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>>>>>>>> Noisebridge-discuss at lists.noisebridge.net
>>>>>>>> https://www.noisebridge.net/mailman/listinfo/noisebridge-discuss
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