[hackerspaces] Hackers, feminism, and bullying

Bill French william.french at gmail.com
Fri Jan 18 12:45:40 CET 2013

Greetings, again, from heavily armed, definition crazed, white, male,
America!  "America: Why are we so dumb?"

    /Rule #1: When a girl comes through the doors, do NOT try to find
    her on social networking or dating sites!

It's weird to me that this is the only piece of practical (right or wrong,
it's practical to understand, if not implement) advice i've picked up in
this conversation.  I really hope I didn't miss anything else.  As a white,
male, 30ish person, president of a mostly male hackerspace (current list
has us at 15% female), i recognize that the attitude of "please, just tell
me what to do, so we can fix this!" is not very helpful, but short of going
for a masters in women's studies, i'm not sure where the middle ground is.
 I don't even know if Women's Studies would be the right thing to study.
 Maybe it is even offensive to say that.  I don't know!  I think basically
being called a clueless idiot who doesn't get it, especially based on
factors of my birth beyond my control, is not the middle ground, either.  I
hate to see such "teaching moments" get wasted.  I want to learn.  Who here
wants to intentionally oppress women?

I do know that I love my mother, my wife, and my sister (all different
people, to be clear) and would not want them to ever feel uncomfortable or
unwelcome *anywhere* by *anyone*.  But I don't know where to start to learn
how to be better, how to help other be better, and make our space the best
it can be, that is reasonably practical among everything else I need to do.
 *I also want to hack.*

ANYWAY, rule #1 bothers me, could rule #1 be changed somewhat:

Rule #1: This space respects personal privacy.  All people entering this
space have a reasonable expectation of privacy.  To that end, do not
Google, Facebook, or otherwise search for anyone, their families, or their
friends without explicitly asking them directly for permission, first.
 Everyone is here for their own reasons.  If you want to know, ask them,
wait for them to tell you, or mind your own fucking business.

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