Workplace rules are the wrong set of rules, for the general case. Because many things are to various degree taboo in the workplace, though central to many talks that are totally on-target for an open source conference.
It's not popular in most workplaces, to talk about Freedom. Opression. Choice. To make clear and strong political statements. ("People should be allowed picking apart machines that they legally bought" is a political statement)
Nevertheless, I agree with the workplace-test for *sexual* imagery and phrasing. Few or none of our topics are really *about* sex as such, and so when they are not, it should not be nessecary to use strong sexual imagery for the shock-value.
But I *totally* want to hear strong defences of Freedom, that I'd expect, perversely enough, that most workplaces would consider to controversial.
It's a weakness with the Geek Feminism anti-harassment policy that it confuse offence with harassment. It's totally possible to be offensive, without *harassing* anyone. And not everything that -somebody- doesn't like (or even that make them uncomfortable) is harassment.
We *definitely* want to ban all sorts of harassment.
We equally definitely do NOT want to ban all sorts of offensive (to some!) statements - allthough I guess we probably *do* want to encourage less statements that are both offensive and offtopic.
Making statements that offend the RIAA or that mocks the creators of the DMCA for their handiwork and lacking comittment to freedom, is totally on.