Re: [guadec-list] anti-harassment policy

On Mon, Jul 7, 2014 at 2:22 PM, Christophe Fergeau <cfergeau gmail com> wrote:
On Mon, Jul 07, 2014 at 10:13:53AM -0400, Marina Zhurakhinskaya wrote:
On Mon, Jul 7, 2014 at 5:33 AM, Christophe Fergeau <cfergeau gmail com> wrote:
In my mind, there is not much point in talking about a anti-harassment
policy if it's not going to be enforced.

"organizers will help ensure the harassment stops if it does occur" is
about enforcing the policy.

Sorry, I was not talking about the policy being discussed, what I meant
is that if we say we have an anti-harassment policy, it should be
implicit that it's going to be enforced in case of problems.

Sexual language and imagery create a sexualized environment, which is
uncomfortable to some people

Should I make a list of things that make me uncomfortable so that we add
them to the policy? It's also quite easy to find non-sexual images that
will make a lot of people very uncomfortable, even sick but which are
not forbidden by this policy (some parts of 4chan are a good source for

Sexual language and imagery are a common concern. If there are other
types of concerns people think are worth listing, they can be added.
E.g. it can be "Sexual or violent language and imagery are not
appropriate for any conference venue, including talks"

This is a common concern in some circles yes. What we seem to be doing
here is assuming people are going to do bad (ie are going to be jerks),
and to avoid this, we have to put ourselves in the position of censors.

People will sometimes act as jerks either because they feel like it or
because they don't realize how their actions affect others. This
happens at technical conferences often. It happens at GUADEC rarely,
but there have been a few incidents (most of them private). Having a
policy doesn't mean we assume everyone will be a jerk, but we want to
deter or know how to deal with a jerk-like behavior because it might

I'm sorry, but I don't think we should be doing that.

I'd rather assume people will do good, tell them we trust them to behave
appropriately, and possibly reminding them to be wary of others'
sensibilities. This seems much more positive to me and more rewarding
for our community.

We assume people will be good and abide by the anti-harassment policy.
We have people of different genders and from different cultures
attending, which is why spelling out what it means to behave
appropriately is helpful.

Also, how do we define 'sexual'? Is 
some sexual imagery which should be banned? (NB: this
is an ad campaign from a big French department store prominently
visible in Paris metro). Content which is OK in the US would probably be
frowned upon/unsettling from some more 'traditionalist' countries or
background. How do we set the bar here?

I think we can set the bar to exclude images that convey a sexual
message, because they are off-topic for GUADEC.

All in all, I'm not a big fan of the whole policy as it is now, which
roughly tells people "we suspect you all of being potential offenders,
we are warning you, we are watching you and will take action!". This is
definitely not friendly, and not how I'd like to be welcomed when coming
to a real-life party. However this is similar to what we had in A
Coruña, and I understand it can be reassuring to some people, especially
if they encounter some issues at the conference.
I'm not ok with adding some arbitrary censorship in there and pretend
it's related to anti-harassment.

GUADEC is a private event, and we can decide what is appropriate for
it. If sexual images or language are not appropriate for it and we ask
people not to use them, then using them is a harassing act. You can
learn more about why people often feel that these types of images and
language are harassing at technical conferences at



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