> Which confirm brilliantly that this whole discussion is about anglo-saxons
> (and particularly the US-WASP kind) generalizing their cultural and
> religious taboo to the rest of the world.... and rather than seek
> professional help to resolve their issues demand that the whole world
> become as neurotic as they are.
Not really. In a European, North or South American, or Australian context, monotheist christianity has influenced local culture enormously. In North Africa or south-west Asia, Islam would be a dominant cultural influence. In China, Korea, Japan and other parts of South East Asia, taoist/buddhist influences affect people's views of things like violence, sex, alcohol, etc.
So, as a conference organiser, you try to find a sane common denominator. Not the lowest common denominator of "offend no-one" (which some people seem to imply) but a more reasonable "don't do anything which could reasonably be expected to offend". And in different places this will be different things. At a salon for erotica, there will be different rules for decorum (both for participants and attendees) than at an AA meeting.
> that is another example of an US-centric oxymoron.
> there is always someone that is, on the other hand if it is 'positive'
> to someone, by definition if is 'negative' to someone else.
Ahem. First, I'm an Irishman living in France. Second, I'm a WIC (white Irish Catholic) not a WASP. Third, and most importantly, positive discrimination can be all positive. I get your point, if you're talking about a limited resource like jobs, or places in a college course, where one person getting in implies someone else being kept out. But by bringing more women into free software communities, we're not excluding any men - we're just growing the community. Maybe some behaviour which was OK at 99% male becomes unacceptable at 80% male - honestly, I'm OK with that.