Debugging conference anti-harassment policies
Posted Feb 5, 2011 6:50 UTC (Sat) by BrucePerens
In reply to: Debugging conference anti-harassment policies
Parent article: Debugging conference anti-harassment policies
Is this what we're talking about? Not in the slightest.
Not so sure. Unfortunately ours is a warlike society and thus values coercive behavior.
You could take much of the ambiguity out of the process of determining what is appropriate at a conference by considering whether it is in some way coercive (and thus violent). Obviously touching is directly coercive behavior. It's the "take" in "take their emacs virginity" that makes it language about a coercive act.
Speakers can use imagery and language that makes you uncomfortable or offends you to make a point. It is when the language or imagery depict or encourage coercive behavior that they are unfair to the parties to which such coercion is directed. If a future conference policy were to focus on coercion rather than what makes one uncomfortable or offends, it would be much less ambiguous and much more fair.
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