[hackerspaces] Hackers, feminism, and bullying

Yves Quemener quemener.yves at free.fr
Fri Jan 18 14:00:17 CET 2013

I can understand the dating sites thing, but the social network? I do not
find it awkward to add someone to my contacts if I had a 2 hours technical
discussion or working session with. It could be courting, sure, but it
could also be simple convergence of interests.

The one you propose seem even more unjustified and hard to enforce. When I
meet someone with interesting projects, it seems natural to google what he
or she did achieve in the past.

However, here is a proposal for women who fear they could be stalked online
: do as do many gray-to-black hats, political bloggers, and several
demomakers : use a pseudonym. If Mary Sue does not want to see a dozen geek
try to friend her on facebook, she can give another name (I however
consider it polite to mention it is a pseudonym but this may be just me).
Several persons (all males with a concern for privacy) did this. Our public
list of members only give their pseudonym.

I would argue that this rule, however, is more an anti-harassment rule than
a way to promote a more balanced gender ratio.

On 18/01/13 12:45, Bill French wrote:
> 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.
> Thoughts?
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