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Oh, Joy! Another policy!

Oh, Joy! Another policy!

Posted Dec 2, 2010 3:41 UTC (Thu) by marduk (subscriber, #3831)
In reply to: Oh, Joy! Another policy! by freebird
Parent article: The dark side of open source conferences

> Print some red and yellow cards with the code of conduct. Carry a whistle.

Wear a grimace. Carry a pistol.

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Oh, Joy! Another policy!

Posted Dec 2, 2010 10:11 UTC (Thu) by nix (subscriber, #2304) [Link]

Carry a knee. Ask conference attendees to hold perp by arms to preclude protective measures. Employ knee in delicate zone carried only by men. (Yes, it hurts. Yes, it is technically assault back. But the bugger deserved it, it isn't actually damaging, and immediate retribution is satisfying.)

(this is not entirely a serious suggestion, perhaps)

Oh, Joy! Another policy!

Posted Dec 6, 2010 4:17 UTC (Mon) by Duncan (guest, #6647) [Link]

Your suggestion was perhaps not entirely serious, but this one is.

First, I'm glad this sort of suggested formal policy appears to be on the way to becoming the norm. It's about time!

What I kept thinking while reading the original article, especially about the physical assaults, is that it was too bad the victims in question weren't carrying Mace, pepper-spray, etc, and wasn't afraid to use it. A couple incidents of that and one would think the problem would disappear, with the reputation preceding for anyone unfortunate enough to be contemplating such attacks, just as it does for some of the bad actors in question.

OK, I can hear the reactions now. "Typical male reaction." "Why should they have to carry that sort of stuff in the first place?" "That's not legal in some places." ...

I know it's illegal to carry pepper-spray or the like in some places, and agree, it /shouldn't/ be necessary. And if it's "typical male reaction", then help me understand what sort of other real options exist for such situations.

But I've often thought that were I female, regardless of whether I should /have/ to (I shouldn't), I'd likely carry pepper-spray, much as I already make it a personal practice to learn where the exits are in the hotels, I stay/meet at, to the point that I sometimes wonder if I should fail to do so, that'd be the time the fire happened and I'd need it.

And believe me, if someone tried (involuntarily) groping in my underwear and I had spray available, they'd be getting a blast (and if I didn't have it available when it happened, I expect that I'd see to it that I did, soon thereafter)! Same with that involuntary kiss episode. Maybe I'd be the one thrown out as a result. Maybe not. But regardless they'd be thinking twice about trying that again on their next intended victim! And there'd be a lot of attendees that would get the message as well. (One would hope they'd come to my defense when it came time to decide who to throw out, but my action can't rest on what I'd hope other people will do.)

The "how much for <act>?" bit would then get a response like, "Well, that depends on how much the emergency treatment you choose after getting hit with this <show the can> would cost. Now are you going to continue or do we drop it?" Of course accompanied by the scathing look the person deserves. Again, the message would be as effectively delivered to other witnesses as well. At that point, one might expect an apology unless the person's /entirely/ clueless. How/if it came might determine whether I'd consider future interaction with that person or not, or simply don't have anything ever to do with them again regardless. Either would be justified.

To my way of thinking, at least, a couple incidents of this nature and the message would get out. Perhaps that guy with the bikini second-slide might get the message and be doing a bit of quick editing, were it at the same conference, and hopefully wouldn't even be considered for the next one. OTOH, it takes some people a bit more reinforcement to get the message, witness the recent emacs virgins remarks incident.

OTOH, I'm **NOT** blaming the victim here. There's no excuse, regardless. I'm simply wondering if pepper-spray or the like /has/ been considered as a personal defense option. Maybe there's been an event where someone deployed it. How was that treated? If not, how /would/ it be treated? Would it have the effects described above, or would the simple fact that the spray was deployed make the victim the aggressor, potentially turning the tables to the point that the victimizer appears to be the victim, however justified the deployment was?

Anyway, a written and enforced public policy encourages all actors to best behavior, Ideally the environment being encouraged with this policy will mean there'll be less events like the above to discuss, in a few years. =:^)

Oh, Joy! Another policy!

Posted Dec 6, 2010 22:47 UTC (Mon) by maco (guest, #53641) [Link]

In the kissing episode, my arms worked pretty well for putting a stop to it. He stopped moving when a wall got in the way. And when I (and the lady next to me, who heard the kiss sound and saw the push) yelled at him, a handful of people took notice and tried to get him to leave. They didn't notice that he finally chose to leave when I did...and followed me, but I saw and headed toward where other people were.

Oh, and no, I wasn't the first person he'd gone after that day. The other had an experience much closer to Noirin's (except in this case, he tried to put her hands on his crotch).

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