[Linux-aus] [LCA2011-Chat] Some Anti-Harassment Policies considered harmful

David Woodhouse dwmw2 at infradead.org
Tue Feb 1 09:54:01 EST 2011

On Tue, 2011-02-01 at 07:56 +1000, Sven Dowideit wrote:
> I _thought_ that we, the opensource community had decided that we were
> dismayed that the presence and safeness of women in this community was
> not as normal and unremarkable as their presence on buses.
> I presumed that the existence of the anti-harassment policy was an
> attempt to highlight one aspect of issues that are considered to impact
> on that situation, with an implicit hope that it would also improve our
> community for other disproportionately represented groups (and
> redundancy of communication _is_ good).
> Women in open source should be as common, empowered and safe, and as
> unremarkable as women on a bus - and right now, they're not.

All this is true. But has absolutely nothing to do with the language or
imagery used in Mark's keynote, and the resulting discussion.

That the policy was interpreted as relevant to Mark's keynote is, in the
opinion of many, a bug in the policy. One which makes it clear that we
need *guidelines* accompanied by common sense, such as LCA always used
to have, and not a policy which attempts to be so comprehensive that it
can be followed 'by the letter'.

Your message, with its emphasised "I _thought_...", could be interpreted
as implying that those who are objecting to the 'bug' in the policy are
inherently *against* the goals that you state. You could not be further
from the truth, and I find it to be a highly disingenuous implication.

It's almost as if we're being accused of witchcraft, and any words we
say in our own defence are being twisted and taken as further proof of
our guilt.

Welcome to New Salem.


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