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Another incident for the books: GratisDNS@OSD

Another incident for the books: GratisDNS@OSD

Posted Dec 3, 2010 8:42 UTC (Fri) by paulj (subscriber, #341)
In reply to: Another incident for the books: GratisDNS@OSD by dion
Parent article: The dark side of open source conferences

Perhaps it's not the impression you meant to give, but your comment seems to be suggesting the following:

1. That the blame for girlgeek abuse at conferences lies with the socially awkward.

2. That the socially awkward be shunned, if they don't shape up.

I am quite horrified by both of these possibilities.

Firstly where is the evidence for point 1? I am quite sure the socially-adept are more than capable of such abuse. Social adeptness is a prerequisite for popularity and hence a sense of power/entitlement that can be a factor in physical abuse. Even with a problem that socially-inept *are* prone to, the "unwitting stalker" problem where they fail to notice the other side wishes to detach from social interaction with them, I have seen just as many of the socially-adept male conference-goers being creepy in the level of attention they give to the opposite sex. So, if anything, my anecdotal experience suggests that the problem of inappropriate behaviour to women is quite orthogonal to social-adroitness.

So, again, where's your evidence for this extra-ordinary claim (at least, a claim that at least some readers of your comment will perceive it to make)?

The 2nd perceived suggestion should obviously be horrifying to one and all. Even if there were a kernel of truth to the first claim, it proposes a form of collective punishment through intolerance of a physiological characteristic and shunning those with it. That clearly beyond the pale.

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Another incident for the books: GratisDNS@OSD

Posted Dec 3, 2010 10:37 UTC (Fri) by dion (guest, #2764) [Link]

To clarify #1: No I don't think the geeks who are merely "socially awkward" are to blame for abuse at conferences, you have to be extra broken inside to do something like that.

Like much else, it's a continuum, at one end you have "the run of the mill, socially awkward geeks we all know and love" and at the other you have "egotistical, poorly socialized brutes, who cannot tell the difference between a woman talking about a technical issue and flirting".

The atmosphere that allows the socially broken to think that what they are doing is ok is certainly to blame and conference organizers should make sure that they do their part to improve the atmosphere.

To clarify #2: I certainly don't advocate shunning anyone, the best possible solution is to educate and socialize everyone so we can all get along, without any groping or violence.

However, when someone actually go out and violate geekgirls physically, then I'm all for public shaming, because that will at least teach the perpetrator and the community at large a lesson.

Another incident for the books: GratisDNS@OSD

Posted Dec 3, 2010 12:17 UTC (Fri) by paulj (subscriber, #341) [Link]

Your comment still seems to imply that the abusers are a subset of the socially awkward.

Again, where's the evidence for this? There does not appear to be _any_ reason to think this is true - and other commenters seem to have their own anecdotal evidence suggesting the same thing. The evidence suggests abusers are drawn a much more general subset of _all_ men.

Another incident for the books: GratisDNS@OSD

Posted Dec 3, 2010 14:26 UTC (Fri) by ofeeley (subscriber, #36105) [Link]

And that's important for two reasons:

1. Suggesting that the problem is due relatively fixed neurological structures rather than changeable behavior limits the options on the table both for those causing the problem and those affected by it. If it's demonstrably true then it narrows the scope of the debate dramatically.

2. As you suggest this seems like some goats are being scaped. I'm sure anyone with ASD doesn't need the extra stigma of being automatically written off as a sexual abuser.

Thanks to Val for raising this issue. It's a strength of the F/OSS community that something like this can be discussed and possibly fixed.

Another incident for the books: GratisDNS@OSD

Posted Dec 3, 2010 17:16 UTC (Fri) by njs (guest, #40338) [Link]

There are many, many folk out there who are perfectly skilled socially, and they use those skills to get away with harassment.

Here's a discussion with many examples (though in the context of science fiction conventions rather than software conventions):

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