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Scheherazade in Blue Jeans
freelance alchemist
15th-Aug-2012 11:29 am
I am super-busy because apparently I only get one workday this week, and I have been sleeping pooorly, but!

Captain Awkward has written a follow-up to her post about having a Creepy Dude in one's social network. Equally must-read-y, as it addresses the pushback you will get when you start the "so about that Creepy Dude" conversation.

Also, Red cards/yellow cards at Defcon. I like this, on the surface of it. Have not had time to dig deep yet.
15th-Aug-2012 03:49 pm (UTC)
There is follow up on the card project.

My first thought is the idea is good, although I'm not convinced of the text on the cards. I think offering specific examples that might not be exactly what happened is just asking for more of the whining and evasiveness these are going to produce anywhere.

That's more a thought on tactics and implementation, though. I love the general idea, and I think it will run better with more people.

I do love that there's a yellow - basically you've committed a foul, but it is recoverable. Unfortunately, I don't know if enough USians know football/soccer to get the metaphor.
15th-Aug-2012 03:49 pm (UTC)
Oh, and the CA follow-up is excellent.
15th-Aug-2012 04:15 pm (UTC)
Like the man who tried to get me to show him my tits so he could punch a hole in a card that, when filled, would net him a favor from one of the official security staff (I do not have words for how slimy it is that the official security staff were in charge of what was essentially a competition to get women to show their boobs).

What. The. Fuck.
15th-Aug-2012 05:26 pm (UTC)
Yeah, that is a serious WTF.
15th-Aug-2012 04:17 pm (UTC)
As a female who attended DEFCON and wore low-cut tops because ZOMG HOT WEATHER + HOT FLASHES = I would be naked if it was legal, I can honestly say that all the interactions I had with guys (whether I started them or they did) were totally non-pervy. No one propositioned me. No one was sketchy. No one talked down to me when I made it clear that I am not a techie. Honestly I wish the guys at Arisia behaved this well! But I'd love to hear your thoughts. :)
15th-Aug-2012 08:38 pm (UTC)
I have a lot to say about the red card/yellow card thing; I'll probably end up making my own post about it. I wasn't at DefCon this year, but I know the culture very well and I went for many years. I don't think that could possibly have ended well, given the entrenchment of the DefCon culture and their profound resistance to anything that looks like an authority. It's how feminists want the problem to be solved, but it's not something that most of those hackers are going to respond well to. Depressingly, what I heard of it was that it became a game among the attendees to see how many cards one could collect, leading to more and more unacceptable behaviour. The DC attendees saw someone trying to tell them what to do and basically said "fuck you, I won't do what you told me to". This has been intensely frustrating to many of the women in tech, and has provoked long discussions in several of my relevant venues.

It's a really hard nut to crack. Tone matters hugely. As I said elsejournal, what I think would work best is not what I think would make me feel best or what is most morally right. What will work best is social disapproval from people that the attendees respect. Horrifyingly, this is basically not most women. I could get away with some of it due to my technical track record, but the more you are seen as complaining about injustice rather than just shutting up and overcoming, the lower your status becomes. So, basically, I can criticize some but then I have to deliver some more talks in order to continue to be taken seriously. Women who have not got an established track record are basically not going to be listened to at all. It's pretty awful.

Making this harder: experiences differ! Some of the people commenting have no problem with the culture there and think it's fun. Others have been treated with respect. But many haven't, and so it becomes "well if you hadn't gone to THAT party it wouldn't have been a problem for you" which is its own flavor of victim-blamingly problematic.
16th-Aug-2012 02:48 pm (UTC)
Not sure if you were referencing my comment also, but I wanted to pipe up just in case: I don't presume to talk to everyone's experience and I'm certain there were people who were treated poorly and experienced all kinds of BS thrown their way be it in the hallways, at the parties, or getting coffee in the morning (cause there is no designed "douche zone" at any event and with a crowd that large there will always be issues), I just wanted to show the other side of the coin since I had been warned to expect vast sexism and drama, and was pleasantly surprised.

Did I get lucky? Quite possibly. But it was still nice to go somewhere new and get treated like a person when I have grown leery of geek events since I usually have to steel myself for all sorts of inappropriate crap and going to events involves a pre-travel checklist of "Am I up to dealing with random assholes this weekend or should I stay home?". Sadly this part of why I have avoided Arisia the last few years - my cope for random touching is on the low end and since my friends all touch me (yay!) strangers think they can also (boo), leading me to be on edge all weekend.

That being said, I found the red/yellow cards rather confusing at first (soccer? At DEFCON?) and I did hear it became a game to collect cards, although I never saw it being played. I was mostly baffled by the large men wearing shirts saying "I was never sexually harassed at DEFCON".

But I am sorry that not everyone had the experience I did. I plan to go back next year and can only hope to meet the same caliber of people again.
20th-Aug-2012 04:34 am (UTC)
Oh, no worries -- I wasn't referring to anyone in particular, and I'm glad you had such a good time there! I want that for everyone. [grin] We agree that experiences differ, totally. Sorry to hear that Arisia sucked on that axis -- I'm not a Boston local, so I've never been to that one.
21st-Aug-2012 03:21 am (UTC)
Thank you thank you thank you for your thoughts on this; I was hoping you'd see my hasty post!
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