[hackerspaces] Tips and Tricks (Was Women in Makerspaces)

Rhys Rhaven rhys at rhavenindustrys.com
Fri Jan 18 15:28:19 CET 2013

This isn't off topic at all. /Thank you. /Forwarding email to our PR
dude. To #4, I'd like to mention this to help other spaces. We have a
safe space agreement that could be copied.

As long as your board gets the ideas of openness, we put them out (could
be more prominent) that if you have a problem with the space feeling
uncomfortable, or anything say something to someone. It gets back to
someone on the board and they will try to fix it, talk to people who
need talking to. These act as behind the scenes course corrections. Big
suggestion, ours had to be passed by a membership vote and there was a
big bullshit debate over it. *Don't be afraid to give your safe space
agreement teeth.* Removing people who are assholes most likely will not
pass a full membership vote, and is draining on everyone to have to deal
with. Trust in your board, make sure they reflect your ideas, and give
them the power to bar people. As inclusive as we are, the ability to be
selective fixes the 1% who inevitably will show up.

On 01/18/2013 07:27 AM, Melissa Hall wrote:
> I don't think we can really have this conversation without talking
> about feelings because being welcome, belonging, comfort, these are
> all feelings.  Still I respect that that discussion seems to make some
> members feel uncomfortable and powerless.
> Several people have asked for suggestions for actions.  The truth is I
> don't know your communities, so I can't offer intelligent suggestions
> for your situation.  But I can suggest some things to think about-
> 1) Is Ravelry part of your social media strategy?  If not why not?
> 2) Is your space part of the art community and is the art community
> part of your space?  Artists made things before technologists and do
> enjoy good tools.  (The art community being a part of the space from
> the beginning is one of the things I think my space got right)
> 3) When you do outreach to promote your space, where do you go?  Are
> there other community organizations you might be overlooking?  For
> example in my community I would love to see the maker space do some
> cross-promotion with the local roller derby team (they do
> a monthly craft night we could host) and  the local edge theater
> group.  And promoting in say, the local LGBT center as well as the
> local game store might make more of a difference than you expect.
> 4) If someone is being made uncomfortable or unwelcome in your space,
> what can they do about it?  Are the choices to suck it up, confront
> them directly or leave?  Are those really the options you want to offer? 
> If someone has trouble using tools, we train them.  If someone has
> trouble using the community (and abuses it as a result) we shrug and
> act like nothing can be done.  Maybe you should consider the community
> of your space another one of your spaces resources and treat it like
> you would a CNC router.  You get trained on how it works, and if you
> mess up the tool there are consequences.  Maybe we should treat the
> people in our community as well as we treat our tools.
> And let me stress "nice" is a terrible standard of behavior.  Nice is
> just not upsetting anyone.  I prefer people be polite and that means
> sometimes people might get upset, but what matters is that everyone
> behave in a way that allows for comfortable social discourse, even
> when tempers are high or things are distressing.
> If this is declared off topic I will drop it.  If it is sent to a
> ghetto I will not follow.  However if we are not ready to talk about
> making a community that is designed to include women, I wonder if we
> will ever be ready to talk about making a community that is designed
> to include other, less powerful, groups. 
> _______________________________________________
> Discuss mailing list
> Discuss at lists.hackerspaces.org
> http://lists.hackerspaces.org/mailman/listinfo/discuss

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.hackerspaces.org/pipermail/discuss/attachments/20130118/3a03d1df/attachment-0001.html>

More information about the Discuss mailing list