One for the timeline
Posted Dec 1, 2010 23:24 UTC (Wed) by BrucePerens
Parent article: The dark side of open source conferences
I dis-associated myself with the Debian project after a Debconf dinner where someone's date was asked if she was a prostitute. The man whose date she was was himself rather creepy, but both men and women with the project behaved horribly toward them.
Touching is so far over the line, as are some of the other activities noted on the timeline. On the other hand, I remain worried about the chilling effect of the GNOME speaker policy and its ilk. It can be interpreted in ways that have nothing to do with protecting women.
IMO, the kind of men who go in to software engineering suffer a lack of healthy interaction with women who are their peers, and it may be that the high incidence of empathy disorders in our field is involved. The interaction problem might improve if we can simply inspire more young women to be interested in the field starting at an early age, and get them to sustain their interest. But we still have a large inequity there.
Popular culture repeats the "what happens in Las Vegas stays in Las Vegas" mantra and other such things about women at conferences. I was pretty disgusted the last time I had an unsolicited lecture on that topic from a cab driver. I sure wasn't there to engage in any of that.
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