> If someone commits sexual assault or solicits prostitution then the
> correct answer is for the affected individual to call the police on the
> spot and file criminal charges, not write a code of conduct.
Yeah, and instantly become the centre of attention, have to make embarrassing claims which you may not be able to verify, have a whole bunch of your peers ostracise you for a "minor thing", and miss a bunch of cool technical talks. Yeah, that's really going to be a popular option.
A lot of the worst behaviour isn't grabbing people's breasts or anything so obvious. It's implications, insinuations, slights, embarrassing personal comments or 'accidental' contact. It's all stuff that can be later 'denied' as 'totally innocent' or 'not meant that way'. This is worse because everyone around including the victim knows it's rude or offensive, but there's nothing that's actually actionable - and because you can either just shut up and pretend it didn't happen and get on with the conference or say something and suddenly be the centre of unwelcome attention.
Most guys I know can't really get their head around this. They think that it's all clear cut. They think that it'd be easy to just speak out. It isn't.
And the sad thing is that geeks and nerds have traditionally been picked on and bullied at school - we know how these things work. Yet, like abusive parents, some guys just carry out the same warped behaviour that tormented them, because they've implicitly realised that it makes them look better if they put someone else down.
What I learnt from my years of being bullied is that I didn't want to do that to anyone.
I wholeheartedly support any code of conduct like this and will do my best to make all conferences I attend a friendlier and equal place for everyone.