Re: [guadec-list] anti-harassment policy

On Mon, Jul 07, 2014 at 10:51:21PM -0400, Marina Zhurakhinskaya wrote:
On Mon, Jul 7, 2014 at 2:22 PM, Christophe Fergeau <cfergeau gmail com> wrote:

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).

Uh? I was talking about explicitly banning public display of sexual
imagery in the anti-harassment policy, I don't think these private
incindents had something to do with this, did they?

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 happen.

Well, public display of sexual imagery is not the only way of being a
jerk, I'm not talking about the anti-harassement policy as a whole here.
I can find plenty of offensive pictures which are not banned by the
policy (for example, Muhammad pictures, especially caricatures would be
a *very* bad thing to do). Why is the policy not banning that because
some people could be jerks? Also, I remember caused some issues in a past
GUADEC, but still we do nothing about this in the policy, and we try to
prevent potential abuse of sexual imagery?

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.

This was again in the context of the ban of sexual imagery, I was
not talking about the anti-harassment policy as a whole.

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.

What is "a sexual message"? Who will decide that? For some muslim,
women's hair must be covered, or even most of the face ( ) « The principal aim of the
Muslim veil is to hide that which men find sexually attractive. ».

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

This is what I was saying at the beginning, I understand that sexualized
images are a concern for 'geek feminists'. I expect that different kind
of images will be a problem if there were vocal 'black geeks' or 'jewish
geeks' communities. I'm also not saying sexualized imagery is ok, just
that I don't see why this should be explicitly listed in that policy.


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