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Debugging conference anti-harassment policies
Posted Feb 6, 2011 0:27 UTC (Sun) by BrucePerens (guest, #2510)
The one that stands out most is:
whether the discriminatory conduct is physically threatening or humiliating or a mere offensive utterance
The point here is that an environment where obscentity is used is not for that reason alone a sexually harassing environment. The presence of a physical threat or humiliation is evaluated. Certainly we must entirely prohibit physical threats and humiliation at our conferences, and we can do so with much more precise language than we are using. But "mere offensive utterance" is so subjective that whether or not you are guilty is not based upon a "reasonable person" standard but upon the specific people who make the decision.
Posted Feb 6, 2011 0:36 UTC (Sun) by mjg59 (subscriber, #23239)
Posted Feb 6, 2011 0:48 UTC (Sun) by BrucePerens (guest, #2510)
With the difference between "humiliating" and "mere offensive utterance" being precisely and objectively defined?
Obviously whether a communication is directed toward a person or class of people would be a determination. Calling a woman "b***h" is intended to humiliate her. Undirected obscentity is merely offensive.
But this is not to say that courts or corporate sexual harassment policies have really grappled with the subject, either. In fact, there is one place where they seriously blow it, which is that they consider harassment to be only unwelcome advances. Making it entirely dependent upon something the recipient decides after the message has already been sent. A fair rule would simply direct employees not to make such advances to their co-workers.
Posted Feb 6, 2011 0:55 UTC (Sun) by mjg59 (subscriber, #23239)
Posted Feb 6, 2011 1:00 UTC (Sun) by BrucePerens (guest, #2510)
So because those deciding a loosely-related topic don't do better, you think you don't have to either. And thus ignoring the fact that you could have drafted a fair policy, and still can is in some way OK, even though people are being oppressed and treated unfairly.
That hardly seems ethical.
Posted Feb 6, 2011 1:10 UTC (Sun) by mjg59 (subscriber, #23239)
Posted Feb 6, 2011 23:20 UTC (Sun) by shmget (subscriber, #58347)
Have you read the article your are commenting on?
I would imagine that Mark Pesce does not share your selective blindness.
Posted Feb 6, 2011 23:30 UTC (Sun) by mjg59 (subscriber, #23239)
Mark's made no indication that he believes that the organisers' decision to apologise was unfair. In fact, without being required to in any way whatsoever, he made a personal apology. So even on the grounds that you're arguing, there's no evidence that anyone was oppressed or treated unfairly.
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