jump to navigation

Paris Coders Night and Liam Boogar’s complete dismissal of women’s Issues November 25, 2014

Posted by tumaix in planetkde-tomazcanabrava.

Hi! I’m Etiene, 26, female, Brazilian, computer engineering student in France.

It all began when I found out about this Paris Coders Night event. I was very excited. I’m an exchange student in Britanny and I’m not often tuned on what’s going on near me and I don’t often have money to attend to conferences and events in another country. So finding this event so close to me (few hours in a train) this weekend seemed really cool. It’s supposed to be a programmer’s party. You drink, you code, you meet people. Cool.

But then I got a bit hesitant. I’ve been to tech / geek events before. You all know it’s a male dominant environment. Sometimes I am called by “the girl” instead of my real name. I was already asked what the hell was I doing there or if I was someone else’s girlfriend. Both these situations happened at Campus Party Brasil. It’s often awkward for women to participate in such events and, unfortunately, things seem to be getting worse and not better for us in there.

Source: http://geekfeminism.wikia.com/wiki/Timeline_of_incidents


women in computer science


A female computer engineer, according to Mattel


I have all of this in mind, plus the fact that I’m currently trying to deal with a case in my university where two douches sent an email to all university students making a “””joke””” about collective raping a cheerleader and so far nothing happened to them. Sometimes I don’t even have words to describe this situation.

So, I started taking a look at Paris Coders Night website to see what was their position on this kind of incident. Unfortunately I found no information. There was no Code of Conduct, nor an anti-harassment policy.  And I don’t want to spend my money to buy train tickets and the entrance fee only to arrive there and find lap dancers and condoms being distributed. As I’m not interested in being rubbed or fucked in some event but actually coding and meeting people, I got concerned about the total lack of information on which behaviors are welcome or not according to the organizers. As besides Deezer, mobiskill, PayPal, mailjet and HumanCoders they have Girls in Tech Paris as a partner,  I thought it was a possibility that they did care but they overlooked the importance of this issue, which is very clearly explained by Ada Initiative. They provided twitter as a contact method, so I decided to tweet them.

So far so good, I thought they would go for “thanks for the suggestions, we’ll take a look into it.” but no. Not in my wildest dreams. Instead, what I got as response was:

"I even know women who were not harassed!!1"

At this moment I was speechless. What did they want? A golden medal for not having reports of women harassed in one of their events? I’m really glad that as I far as I know everyone is fine. But this is called reassuring and prevention. Then the organizer of .concat(), a conference yet to take place in Austria, intervened:

Captura de Tela 2014-11-25 às 09.42.53

Which was then followed by a series of incredibly misplaced tweets from @LiamBoogar, editor of RudeBaguette, the event’s organizer, including:

Captura de Tela 2014-11-25 às 09.48.59

Let’s just sit on this: “I’ve only just heard of this CoC today”. I mean, does he really call himself an event organizer? What the hell? Ok, let’s suppose he’s “learning” (even though he later claimed to participating in the organization of events that gathered 5000+ attendees in 2014), he could just read the text by Ada Initiative and put a little thought on it before dismissing my suggestion entirely. This worries me a lot, because if the organization of an event doesn’t want to take the time to copy paste one paragraph into their website, I do wonder, what could possibly happen if a real issue was to be solved by their hands? Probably with the same dismissal! I mean, this is the simplest thing they could do! Why won’t they? And as if this was not enough, he goes on:

Yes, because we often have issues with lhama gropers in tech events.

Captura de Tela 2014-11-25 às 10.09.14

Captura de Tela 2014-11-25 às 10.09.45

So after I tell him that now I’m afraid to attend to his event and I’ve settled for not going anymore, he decides the best to do is to keep on denial acting like a douche and send me a bot-like reply. I mean, who the fuck cares if a woman is afraid to attend to your event, right? Classy.


I tried to organize all tweets involved in this convo in chronological order: FULL CONVERSATION HERE. For this compilation I used Lua, Sailor and Ignacio’s LuaOAuth module to communicate with Twitter API.

For an inspiring insight about diversity in technology, I recommend watching this video by Lena Reinhard on diversity in open source.

This is a Guest Post from Etiene, a very good friend of mine, amazing hacker. And this needs to be on PlanetKDE even if it’s not directly related on KDE. Original Post Here: http://etiene.net/paris-coders-night-incident/


1. Mef Tsini - November 25, 2014

I actually thought he handled your question very politely.

I understand that you might sometimes feel offended at these events, but what triggers one person or compliments another is generally a grey area.

For example, should the CoC impose a ban on eating meat at the event because a vegetarian finds it offensive? Should the CoC (or Twitter for that matter) impose a ban on terms like “f#&$ing christ” because a Christian might find it offensive? A CoC that catered to every group (the fair thing to do?) would be impractical – it would probably make for a very boring – or, at worst, completely silent – event.

Also consider that I have a friend who likes being “the girl” at these events. She finds the attention flattering. A CoC that prohibited anything that might constitute flirtation (again, a grey area) might impede on her, and others like her’s, fun.

Let’s not create rules unless they’re absolutely necessary.

tumaix - November 25, 2014

Their response was “It never happened, why bother, then?” and this is by no means acceptable when we have in a daily basis harassement of woman on geek events.

Also, it’s a very different thing to touch somebody’s butt or boobs ( happened already ) than to eat meat in front of vegans. It’s not flirting that should be prohibited but the harassament.

Red - November 25, 2014

I don’t know about France, but where I live touching butt or boobs is considered a sexual assault and punishable by law. No real need for any CoC to forbid something that’s already illegal.

tumaix - November 25, 2014

take a quick look here to see what’s happening all around the world on girls, independent of the country: http://geekfeminism.wikia.com/wiki/Timeline_of_incidents

Mef Tsini - November 25, 2014

I took a look at some of the incidents on that timeline and it seems many were to do with the sexualisation of women. Not wanting to encourage the shaming of human sexuality (or guilt in pleasure, the cocktail for repression), I don’t consider most of these to be a big deal. I’m sure there’s a few exceptions in there (violent and/or physical invasions), but I don’t have time or patience to peruse them all. I would protect the others under the banner of Freedom of Speech, regardless of whether I personally like (or am offended by) them or not.

In any case, I hardly think we need a CoC to reiterate what legal code has already put down. A clause about “harassment” would just be a big blanket that could potentially cover almost anything said.

If I HAD to have a CoC, it would probably just be a one liner:
Please “TRY” to be considerate of the feelings of others.

Etiene - November 25, 2014

YOU don’t consider those to be a big deal? Well, good for you. A lot of people do. Myself included. Which is why I contacted the event in the first place. You are also invited to read the text explaining why this is important by Ada Initiative, linked on the post.

I’m not sure how many incidents we have related to faith or diet, so I’m not sure how much of a problem it is to be worth mentioning on a CoC. Incidents relation to sexism, however, are very often, despite what the law says. Plus, many CoCs have a general line which covers those cases too. An example: https://conc.at/#coc

And you’re also telling me that inappropriate comments are ok (a lot of them are not covered by the law), like insidious bullying e.g. asking me who did I have sex with to get my job (yes, this happened). These comments are toxic and hurt the community as a whole.

Etiene - November 25, 2014

Honestly I’m here sitting looking at the fact that since _you_ think it’s not a big a deal, it should be tossed out as an argument. I mean… what.

Mef Tsini - November 26, 2014

Just quickly: if these people are so unruly and inconsiderate so as to need these rules in place, then are you really that interested in associating with them anyway?

BartO - November 25, 2014

+1 for Mef Tsini. The “$% christ” really did not help your case (I was already slipping to the ‘other side’)

Seriously, a anti-harassment policy? What is that?! I am the kind of guy which makes ‘inappropriate jokes’ from time to time and girls like them. My friend on the other hand, will be killed if he even tries. It kinda proves that not all things said can be judged only by what is spoken. This makes it a very grey area as other emotions (or looks?) are in the mix.

So Mef is right, Please “TRY” to be considerate of the feelings of others. And that includes Christians too.

*and those stats…well, hard to measure stuff which went on in Korea in 1982. It only shows that communication went from local to global.

** I never went to a con and I probably never will. I don’t know what it is like, but I can tell that the example above did not generate any form of positive feelings for girl coders…..

Etiene - November 25, 2014

Have you read the text by Ada Initiative linked on the post?

Etiene - November 25, 2014

Also, about “the girl” that you know. Have you checked on the meaning of the word “token”?

Just to add up, having a girl friend that finds this kind of stuff flattering is no argument to all the other women that do not. And it’s sad that you don’t see that this is pretty much like saying “but I even have a black friend who doesn’t mind when I’m racist”. I’m sorry but this is gross. 😦

Mef Tsini - November 26, 2014

I don’t have time to reply to your post further above right now, sorry. But regarding:

“… having a girl friend that finds this kind of stuff flattering is no argument to all the other women that do not.”

No, you’re right. But at the same time, a lot of girls might find it flattering. As you mentioned:

“It’s supposed to be a programmer’s party. You drink, you code, you meet people.”

It’s a social event. And a lot of people enjoy social events in part due to the courting aspects. I know I do and I know that many of my female friends do too.

“but I even have a black friend who doesn’t mind when I’m racist”.

I can’t comment so much on the “black friend” thing, but I’m a homosexual and don’t take offense when my friends make “gay jokes”. I understand that some people might and I encourage people to exercise discretion based on the situation and the person. But I don’t mind – I actually find them entertaining and would prefer that they’re allowed to jest in front of me.

But my point, in essence, is that it’s difficult to draw the line between harassment and complimentary social gestures. Different people have different interpretations. Your throwing a blanket over ALL females and assuming that they all interpret these gestures in the same manner as you do.

etienedalcol - November 26, 2014

Except that it is already known that majority of females do not like unwanted “compliments” from complete strangers and stuff like a random “nice tits” can’t even be called as compliments anyway. So yea, I can talk for me and all these women, and I will.

You are also slightly implying that all sexual harassment fall into some gray area where it could be viewed as non-harassment by another point of view. This is wrong. You should consider rethinking about this before discussing it again. Nobody finds uncalled groping / cool. Sometimes it might be difficult to draw these lines, sometimes it’s not.

And using “friendly insults” or making gay jokes between friends is one thing. I know a lot of people do that, but being harassed by a stranger is another thing. The majority of my close friends are homossexual as well, and yes, some of them are fine with calling each other “fag”. The same word would not be perceived the same way coming from a neonazi across the street. You cannot compare both situations.

Mef Tsini - November 26, 2014

Please refrain from bringing this back to “groping” which, again, does not need to be reiterated in a CoC – the law already stipulates that this is not allowed.

“… implying that all sexual harassment fall into some gray area where it could be viewed as non-harassment by another point of view. This is wrong.”… “Sometimes it might be difficult to draw these lines, sometimes it’s not.”

I may have misinterpreted the above, but this seems contradictory to me?

Where the line is clearly defined, I would’ve assumed that in most places it is aleady covered by law thus, again, negating the need for a CoC?

As someone below said:
“be civil, be inclusive. Participants being disruptive will be escorted out of the premises. Illegal behaviour will be reported.”
… pretty much covers it. And it’s inclusive and considerate of all groups and peoples, not just the things that pertain to “me”.

tumaix - November 26, 2014

Well, actually a lot of stuff is not covered by law, Iv already seen it happen in a few meetings that iv been In quite a bit of confusion between the “law”, the “polite” and the “harassement”. I had to call security to get a few booth girls out of the event in a segure way because the mens there were being too incisive, agressive and they were getting a bit afraid ( and yet, the company that hired them asked them to wear látex clothing), so the guys werent doing anything out of the law, but them felt very insecure and asked me to get them out of there. The “be civil, be inclusive” etc part I agreed. But the issue is that a lot of Men think that they are being civilized and inclusive when they are actually harassing without knowing it.

Etiene - November 27, 2014

(in reply to Dave)

Just because you don’t see it, it does not mean it is not happening. Yes, maybe ‘usually’ is a strong word, but nobody said you _all_ treat women like shit. Please don’t put words in my mouth or tumaix’s. Almost all my friends are within tech / geek culture and I wouldn’t be friends with them if they treated me like that.

I just honestly think these are not isolated incidents at all. They are not rare or random enough to be classified that way and they are increasing in amount.

Plus, all this is from the perspective of the someone in the affected group.

Have you tried asking other female from the tech area to share their experiences? Maybe you should try with your friends. It might give you interesting new insights.

etienedalcol - November 26, 2014

It does not represent the community as a whole but it does affect the community as a whole.

Yes, women that feel affected could simply give up attending on a big number of tech events and forget about the job opportunities and technical information acquired by networking that could be useful later. And tech industry could just continue to loose female participation on their events.

Thanks for your “brilliant” idea. 😦
But I prefer doing something to improve the environment than simply leaving it aside.

2. uniq - November 25, 2014

Really sad that men don’t realize how much damage sexism and inappropriate behavior cause. And that precautionary actions are needed to prevent such behavior, not after it happened.

Mef Tsini - November 25, 2014

Sorry, I’m unclear as to what you mean by “inappropriate behaviour” as the terms can be quite vague (inappropriate according to whom?)

Illegal behaviour is another thing (albeit sometimes vague also) and I don’t think you need a CoC to reiterate legal code.

tumaix - November 25, 2014
Mef Tsini - November 25, 2014

I’ve replied above regarding that list.


tumaix - November 25, 2014

The big issue is that ‘freedom of speech’ shouldn’t be treated as ‘I can say whatever I want to anyone’, some things offend, somethings hurt. and as Mens ( you and me ) we really don’t know what is to be considered a doll or a joke anywhere on the IT industry. Women usually are treated as nothing but a joke or eyecandy. I see you mean no harm. but there’s a very good video on youtube that I link here that explains better than I do what’s like for a man to talk about gender harassaments.: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-HI4DC18wCg

Dave - November 27, 2014

(In reply tu tumaix)

>Women usually are treated as nothing but a joke or eyecandy.

_usually_?? That’s a complete misrepresentation.

There are a some isolated incidents, more than there should be and I don’t want to defend them in any way.

However, when you look into how many women there are in F/OSS or in general engineering it is a monumentally ridiculous stretch of the imagination to say this is the norm.

Frankly I think this over hyping of making it sound like we do all treat women like shit all the time does more to put women off than it does to solve the problem.

Etiene - November 27, 2014

(in reply to Dave)

Just because you don’t see it, it does not mean it is not happening. Yes, maybe ‘usually’ is a strong word, but nobody said you _all_ treat women like shit. Please don’t put words in my mouth or tumaix’s. Almost all my friends are within tech / geek culture and I wouldn’t be friends with them if they treated me like that.

I just honestly think these are not isolated incidents at all. They are not rare or random enough to be classified that way and they are increasing in amount.

Plus, all this is from the perspective of the someone in the affected group.

Have you tried asking other female from the tech area to share their experiences? Maybe you should try with your friends. It might give you interesting new insights.

3. BartO - November 25, 2014

Watched the video. See a lot of compliments and nice “hello’s” counted as harassment too. And there is the problem. Hardcore feminists do not present facts anymore, they hype.

I like to work with woman (my manager is a woman by the way) but it does not mean I have to like feminists and if I don’t I am still no woman-hater.

Man haters 😉

tumaix - November 25, 2014

At the video that I posted, I was actually ( and sorry for not being direct at it, I tought it was uneeded ) pointing at the guy being interviewed. No matter how the other interviewed girl said “guy, you don’t know how this upset us”, the guy always said that it didn’t and he know it. 🙂

Matt for Social Justice - November 26, 2014

The anti-women sexist misogynist scum at the TheRedPill were probably behind this incident.

Etiene - November 28, 2014

I’m sorry but did you just say that feminists are man haters? Wow.

4. bluelightningnz - November 26, 2014

I can’t believe we’re still debating about whether a code of conduct is necessary. In 2014.

Nobody wants to think that *their* event needs such a thing. After all, people know how to behave, right? I’m sure organisers of conferences held in the past where incidents did happen thought the same. Unfortunately every conference needs one, just as every workplace should have one (and most workplaces do, or at the very least spell things out in employment contracts.)

Etiene - November 28, 2014

I’ll just quote this “Nobody wants to think that *their* event needs such a thing. After all, people know how to behave, right? I’m sure organisers of conferences held in the past where incidents did happen thought the same.” forever and ever. This is really precise. Thanks!

5. Gustavo - November 26, 2014

I don’t thing anyone here is a bad person. I really believe no one here would like to offend anybody else. But to not harass anyone, you must first know what kind of behaviour the other person doesn’t like, what kind of behaviour the other person feels oppressive, otherwise it’s very like you can offend someone without even notice that. So, the only person that can say if a behaviour is inappropriate is the one that was injured. In other words, if you want to be a nice person, please, listen to the others, know them. It’s the only way. It has nothing to do with feminism, it’s about understanding, about caring. That said, why not listen to Etiene and think about what she says? We are having here the opportunity to better understand a portion of the humanity we usually don’t know very well, because sadly we often live in different social circles.

Etiene - November 26, 2014

I don’t think he is a bad person either. Just that he is really bad in PR and communicating with others while being considerate to others’ needs. It’s something that can be worked on. 🙂

dev - November 26, 2014

Sorry, but your comments from this very blog post:

“does he really call himself an event organizer?”
“let’s suppose he’s “learning””
“Probably with the same dismissal!”
“acting like a douche”

are offending at best, harrasment at worst.

“be civil”, there is no valid reason to handle somebody like that on planet KDE. Let us interact with each other in a respectful way. Thank you.

dev - November 26, 2014


Be respectful

Treating one another with respect is absolutely necessary for this. In a disagreement, in the first instance assume that people mean well.

Thank you.

Etiene - November 27, 2014

(to “dev”)

You’re ignoring the fact that this post came after the whole discussion had already happened. During the discussion I have tried to be polite with him a thousand times. My first tweets included “I’d really appreciate if you took this into consideration” with a happy smiley and I was instantly dismissed as having non-important concerns.

Yes, CoC is Event Management 101. I’ll not take back what I said in this post.

Wow, you seriously think his last reply was not douche-like? And are you seriously implying that observing that someone acted like a douche at a particular situation is WORSE than acting like a douche?

I’m sorry but I fail to see what’s offensive about the sentence “Probably with the same dismissal!”. I’m really afraid that if something happens during the event the organization would be dismissive in the very same way they just were. What’s insulting about that?

So yea, I had him call me extremist, opportunist, agressor, telling other people that I never planned to go to the event anyway, like I’m just trying to get 5 minutes of fame or like a CoC would give me some kind of female advantage. And you come here to comment that I’m the one harassing him? What the hell.

Richard Hemmersmith - November 28, 2014

Where does he all you opportunistic or extermeist?
Not saying it didn’t happen, but it’s not linked to in: http://etiene.net/TweetListing/

Etiene - November 28, 2014

There is another convo with a 4th person that saw my post and made a tweet about it:

I’ll highlight some tweets:

This discussion is even bigger than it seems and its spreading all over. I didn’t edit the original post to include this because I am not seeking direct confrontation. I just want this all to be over and solved. Which will not happen. Nobody else in the organization contacted me. Liam is no longer responding to my tweets. I tried to reinitiate a polite conversation with him.

He never replied. And the event is happening right now. Without a CoC.

6. hmmm - November 26, 2014

I feel that asking for no harassment is fully normal and understandable. In fact, you should not have to ask for it. Asking for the publication of a policy is a) an act of American cultural imperialism (these things make sense-ish in a Common Law culture, not a Civil Law one) b) asking the organiser to put the policy on his website if there has been no problems is very much akin to people asking for “asbestos free” stickers on cereals.

TL;DR it’s not about the issue, it’s about the way of going at it using alien legal traditions.

TheBlackCat - November 26, 2014

American cultural imperialism…perpetrated by a Brazilian living in France?

As for your comparison, if it were not uncommon for cereal to have asbestos in it, even if your cereal has never had asbestos it would make sense to clarify your policy on allowing asbestos rather than leaving people to guess.

hmmm - November 26, 2014

These “codes of conduct” and “charters” are very much an American thing. They couch in pseudo-legal language things which are _already_ true. They give the illusion of having (legal) teeth, which they don’t. They are pure marketing.

Which goes back to the asbestos thing: of course asbestos is not an authorised ingredient, neither is plutonium, nor an infinity of noxious substances. You list _no_ noxious substance, because you are not allowed to have them, and that is the end of it [1].

Same thing for sleazy behaviour at conferences. If you worry about it, ask the organisers to _do_ something. Putting up some feel-good charter is just asking the organiser to suggest _his_ conference is nice, whereas his competitors are slimeballs. Not cool.

Ask yourself: what behaviour occurs which should be forbidden? What is not covered by “be civil, be inclusive. Participants being disruptive will be escorted out of the premises. Illegal behaviour will be reported.”

[1] This is really important. If you are used to contracts/legalese from Civil Law systems, which list obligations, reading Common Law legalese (like the typical EULA) feels like an aggression, because _of_course_ those things are forbidden, and you feel the writer is attempting to insult and bamboozle you on top of it all. Long lists of forbidden things as a way to formulate rules are very much a cultural thing. Because of American cultural dominance, you may not realise such way of formulating rules is alien in most of the world, but it is.

It is also a terrible system which scales poorly.

Bob - November 27, 2014

Couldn’t agree more. I’d love any event I attend to be inclusive and friendly, but I don’t need to see that the organisers have written CoC that covers every corner case of every subject matter about things that should be common sense.

There is a point where we have to learn to trust. Fear, Cynicism and Distrust aren’t good ways to ensure you have a thriving community.

TheBlackCat - November 27, 2014

First, this has nothing to do with charters. No one besides you has mentioned charters. The word “charter” does not even appear anywhere on the Ada Initiative website.

Second, codes of conduct are far from an “American” thing. There are tons of conferences in Europe that have them. Akademy, for one. So does LinuxCon Europe. Many others do as well. You can find a list of conferences here, you will see plenty from Europe:

And it is, frankly, absurd to claim somehow that promising a safe environment for your attendees is “sleazy”.

Whatever you think should and should not happen at conferences, it is a fact that problems do occur. Pretending that this is some sort of hypothetical scenario that has no real impact is empirically false. There is real harm happening to real people, and just ignoring it is not making it go away.

7. djszapi - November 26, 2014

I agree that the CoC should help you in here, but I also think the “fscking …” part was also a bit inconsiderate.

Hopefully, that was just done in disappointment. 😉

8. real difference? - November 26, 2014

Dear Etiene, tell me what is the true (I mean: real) difference between two conferences with CoC and without CoC on their webpages? Does CoC stop (in majesty of the organisers!) anyone from harassing You there? Or is it just Your “I-feel-beter-now-since-someone-(pretends-to)-care” thing?

The guy said plainly “I did not think about it”. It was not: “We had a discussion with other organisers about it, but I strongly opposed it it” as You reacted. I can list no conferences (I attended to) in Europe that actually HAD CoC that I am aware of. Maybe CoC this is standard in the US-derived corpo-culture. It is virtually absent in Europe.

Please consider Yourself as a part of the world which is not aware of Your problems, and even if aware — not bound to change its course because of it.

ps. And what is “adoption of anti-harassment policy”? Another buzz-legal wording sentence meaning “I put some document on the webpage to make others feel better”?

Thomas Pfeiffer - November 27, 2014

“I can list no conferences (I attended to) in Europe that actually HAD CoC that I am aware of. Maybe CoC this is standard in the US-derived corpo-culture. It is virtually absent in Europe.”

Well, seems like you’ve never been to Akademy yet: https://akademy.kde.org/2014/akademy-attendee-policy

TheBlackCat - November 27, 2014

The difference is that it makes it clear to everyone what is and is not acceptable behavior, and that unacceptable behavior will have consequences. I don’t see what is so strange or

And as I said above, not it is not “virtually absence in Europe.” I posted a link to a list of conferences, many of which are in Europe. Just because you have not happened to attend any does not mean they are uncommon, not to mention “virtually absent.”

Etiene - November 28, 2014

I’d even say it’s possible that you just never looked for a CoC in the website of all the conferences you went but it some of them it was there. I mean, clearly a CoC is not a very important thing to you, so you might just not have seen it?

9. Etiene - November 26, 2014
10. hue - November 26, 2014

Stupid SJW detected.
If someone does anything illegal, you should report him to the police or just walk out. Simples.
There shouldn’t be CoCs because it acts as a medium for feminists to exploit it to their advantage. Remember the Adria Richards? Sadly feminism is used by incompetent women to try to sneak into a job position or gain undue advantage. Aren’t other industries like nursing dominated by women? Why doesn’t anyone try to solve that. Maybe it is just biology. Maybe less women are capable to succeed in this field.

Should have at least visited the techfest instead of throwing temper tantrums on the internet. I have been to several events and have never seen a woman being mistreated. Have an issue with someones behaviour? Walk out. Thankfully women in my area are less naive.

Etiene - November 27, 2014

Interestingly enough:

“Feminism is used by incompetent women to try to sneak into a job”

This is exactly the kind of shit people say that a CoC would cover and it’s not covered by the law.

11. John Smith - November 26, 2014

Etiene, I think you’re doing as bad as the bad men you refer to. You’re rude, unpolite, and very closed minded.

Chill out. It’s a geek party. Sometimes sh*t can happen but most people will react correctly and make sure the trouble makers will take the exit. Just like it happens in a family party. I assume you never go to nightclubs eh…

Feminism is by defition bad. It’s exclusive rather than inclusive. We can feel it when you speak. Most men, me included, consider women as humans just like I consider other men as humans. I’m strongly against people/cultures/religions that go against this principle. Yet, I don’t want it to become a big deal. You know that, ironically, men are often more kind to women than the opposite? Go anywhere with one of your best boy friend and let’s see who between you and him can have a conversation with 5 people from the opposite sex first. And please, don’t tell me “chance to get laid” is the only explanation.

Most men are good and will help you if you need them. That being said, CoC are useless because people don’t read them and don’t give a fu*k about them. We have laws… and we sill have the police.

12. John Smith - November 26, 2014


13. Lars G - November 26, 2014

I must say I find no form of harrassing behavior acceptable, and it
embarrases me, on behalf of males, when girls get celebrity status
in CS because of being females with a chance of understanding
our geeky jokes.
I must not have been to enough tech events, or else Danish events, Fosdem, Chaos CC are just nicer, but I haven’t experienced organized
sexualizing at the conferences about the tech we all love.

I felt that your tweets were very rude and not goal oriented at all and

I personally don’t understand why one would request someone to make extra work in such a rude manner.

On another note, where I quite fully understands where I think he is comming from.

What would the point of CoC be ?

Does anyone read them ?

The only thing I can see is that it is a pledge from organizers not to
hire strippers, of either the male or female variety, not distributing condoms… not sexualizing a tech event.

Things I would find very much a given.

A CoC has no meaning unless you are a organizer, who else would
read it, and even if they did then against what must be their their habit abide by them in casual moments.

I think its clear from his communication that he wouldn’t organize the
things above, and if that bunch of agressive messages is your only
attempt at communicating with him then I feel its completly unfair to shame him in public.

I hope this gave you another perspective, I sure haven’t been in your
shoes, so I have limitted understanding of the problem. But it took me slightly more than half an hour to write this…

Etiene - November 27, 2014

Please point to me where was I rude before being dismissed. Yes, I said “fucking christ” after a VERY LONG exchange of tweets where I had my concerns repeatedly ignored.

About the point of CoC, sorry but you guys are repeating yourselves, links were already provided for this doubt. You can find them in the blog post or in some comments here. As for anyone reading them, well, as you can see, I do. So do a lot of people.

Plus, why are you insisting with “I have never experienced”? What kind of argument is that? There are people saying they have experienced harassment. Listen to these people. I’m honestly tired with arguments like “if I don’t see it, it doesn’t exist”. Such incidents are REAL. I appreciate you took the the time to read the discussion and comment. But this is a very weird attitude lacking empathy towards this matter. 😦

Laszlo Papp - November 27, 2014

Etiene, even though I understand and appreciate your frustration, I think diplomatic speed and writing are better. It is not to say that I can always manage it myself, but that is what I aim for.

It is a shame that some people turn away from you due to the packaging, but perhaps if you can change that, people will understand and agree with you a bit more.

This is just an advice based on my experience. I am not saying that I do not agree with the core concern, but I think the packaging could be made a bit more diplomatic. You might say that I am writing nonsense, but I am just trying to help you as I do feel sympathy towards your initial concern.

Etiene - November 28, 2014

Laszlo, I understand that, but everything that I said that could be interpreted as coming across as rude was already after I was so disappointed and frustrated with repeated dismissal. Plus, I had him call me extremist opportunist aggressor, which is actual harassment. It’s not on the convo because it was made after this post. I could screenshot that and begin a REAL confrontation, but I’m tired of this situation already.

dev - November 30, 2014

Fully agree with Laszlo. You could have driven this home, reached the goal, by just pointing to an existing CoC like the one for the KDE akademy conference and asking to adopt it. Even offering to help the organizer on that. Be respectful, pragmatic and constructive: https://www.kde.org/code-of-conduct/

Etiene - November 30, 2014

That’s exactly what I did, except that I pointed to concat’s CoC. And then I was dismissed anyway and was told that my concern was not important and to chill out.

14. Richard Hemmersmith - November 26, 2014

Asking for a code of conduct can really come across as saying “I have assumed that all you people are sexist pigs before I’ve even met you!”.

Maybe not your intention, but that’s how it can be perceived from the other side of the fence and that’s really not a nice thing to receive.

Etiene - November 27, 2014

Wow, you got to be kidding me…

Royal Night Guard - November 27, 2014

Sounds about right to me. If I walked into my local post office and there was a sign asking patrons not to pickpocket, I’d hold onto my wallet a bit tighter as I got in line.

Generally we make laws and signs and policies to try and stop behaviours that we expect people would frequently do if not for the law/sign/policy. If post office management puts up a sign specifically prohibiting pickpocketing – which is already illegal everywhere – it can be assumed they are doing it because there has been a streak of pickpocketing at the post office.

This is common sense and it is a special case of how human communication in general works: in social science and linguistics, Grice’s maxim of relation/relevance says that a cooperative speaker does not make irrelevant contributions to the conversation – such as telling the attendees at a conference that they are not allowed to sexually assault or harass others when there isn’t reason to believe that the attendees would otherwise likely engage in those behaviours.

Richard Hemmersmith - November 28, 2014

No I’m not.

From the full conversation you linked to:
> I’d rather bend over backwards to make the event coder-friendly than isolate women to make them feel like a victim of a crime that has yet to be committed under our watch. Your CoC implies that other paris coder events aren’t safe. – Liam

That’s the voice of someone who is trying to care; they have a partnership with a girls in Paris meetup, they have a 35% female ratio which is well above norm, that’s a proven track record of /good/ intentions.

Yet you can see in that last sentence, that Liam feels like you’re accusing them of something. Is that really what you want to be?

Etiene - November 28, 2014

“Asking for a code of conduct can really come across as saying “I have assumed that all you people are sexist pigs before I’ve even met you!”.”

That is SO twisted.

All I did was asking him to consider adding a code of conduct to his site. I didn’t even told him to just go and do it. This is NOT calling him sexist pig. What the fuck. I’m sorry he felt that way, that was NEVER my intention. And I don’t even think he was feeling this way. I guess only him can confirm that.

Anyway, what I implied he was overlooking a women’s issue. That happens, and it’s even kinda normal. When you don’t belong to a group sometimes you don’t remember about things that are specific to that group. Which is why engineering teams need to be diverse or they design products with failures like the HP camera software that did not recognize black people.

When you are an event organizer, you need to think about that as well. So I informed him and asked him to consider. I NEVER implied he was sexist because his event did not have a CoC. That is absurd. Anyone thinking like that is completely insane. Really.

Then, as someone that was affirming that he did care, instead of simply saying “we will look into it” (which was a better scenario even if he intended to wait until my request disappeared into oblivion) he starting telling me that everything was fine because my request was useless. Like what the hell. That’s the whole issue. He shouldn’t have done that because it was not. Majority of women’s communities in tech and geek stuff agree CoC is essential and should be standard. Plus it’s just plain rude and comes across really bad.

Etiene - November 28, 2014

Also, people with good intentions still overlook important stuff. What’s so mysterious about it? That’s exactly the reason why I tried to contact them in the first place. Like “look, they have a partnership with GITParis, perhaps they are open to listening, cool, gonna message them”. Unfortunately they were not. And that’s what makes it all worse and led me to create this blog plost. All their affirmation about partnership and % of attendance and being the good guys should mean that they are open for listening. But no. If for some weird reason I found them to be sexist right away, I would not even contact them, I would just think “I don’t want to go to this event”.

15. bubba - November 27, 2014

The issue exists and while I tend to think that CoCs have no effect on the “actual” safety of an event they may improve the “perceived” safety and should thus be considered by organizers, also because they require little effort.

This said, I felt extremely unsympathetic to this blog post. You don’t ask someone who’s likely investing his free time to organize something to change the way he does things before you’ve even talked to him. You don’t even know how other women attending the event feel about CoCs. To make things worse, besides the Christ thing, replies like “geeze where do I begin” or “you got to be kidding” certainly don’t score you any points, if you think that a statement is not worth replying don’t reply anything at all.

Summary: this post = greatest diplomatic fail for the support of CoCs 🙂

tumaix - November 28, 2014

But she talked tô him before this blog post came to exist… The blog post came to exist because the organizar told her thst there was no need for a coc when and when she showed him that woman do in fact get harassed at events he said “I never got any complains” and just ignored the real issue

Etiene - November 28, 2014

I’m curious, how do I ask something to a person before talking to a person? I was talking to him! I was polite to him a thousand times. I just asked him to consider taking a look at the CoC stuff and I was replied telling me to relax and that everything was fine cause my request was useless. It’s not necessary cause he never heard of it before. So yea, no wonder I said “geezz”! 😮
Have you read the whole convo? It was a really long exchange of tweets.

bubba - November 28, 2014

Personally I’d simply have attended a meeting or two (with some pepper spray and a bazooka on my shoulders if needed), met some people, shown that I am a potential asset to that community, and then I’d have tried to initiate change… in this case for more openness and respect towards women in tech. A bit of humbleness can go a long way in winning support for your cause. Since I have the impression that you’re rather seeking confrontation than solutions, good luck with that.

DISCLAIMER: I have not read the whole conversation as I have neither the time nor the interest to do that, I’m just commenting on this public post on planet.kde

Etiene - November 28, 2014

I understand this could be an approach, but why should I attend an event I’m hesitant to go and don’t feel particularly safe yet? You’re telling me to go anyway no matter what. That’s not very empathetic of you :/

About your disclaimer, well, you are missing information but okay. I was just trying to explain to you that I didn’t reach to him with a bad temper already, on the contrary, I was really excited about the event. But then I was repeatedly ignored for a long exchange of tweets. And things I said that you quoted were after I gave up and reading the full convo makes it clearer to see that. That’s what I was trying to explain.

I’m not seeking confrontations. Nobody is. Neither him, I imagine, although imho his attitude caused it. I made a suggestion and instead of taking a look at it, he immediately dismissed me before he even knew what I was talking about and acted like what I thought wasn’t worth paying attention. That’s just plain rude and obviously would cause a confrontation.

bubba - November 28, 2014

If a CoC were a prerequisite for me joining an event I’d write a private e-mail to the organizer introducing myself and providing supporting evidence for my claims (maybe you did at some point, but by then it was likely a lost battle). I’d explain what a CoC is (the vast majority of people don’t know) and provide a link to an example, offering to add it to their website. Perhaps I’d also join an organization (that ada initiative?) to increase my credibility.
But then again, we all do things differently.

Etiene - November 28, 2014

That’s EXACTLY what I did. Except that I did it on twitter. The whole convo shows that. I sent him a link explaining why it was important and an example from concat conference. I’m just not a member of Ada Initiative (yet).

16. Kelly - November 27, 2014

Etiene, saying ” Oh Geeeezzzzeeee” is probably one of the most unprofessional things I’ve ever read from a programmer looking for someone to change their opinion. You were setting the environment up for conflict, and you ended up making this an insulting situation for everyone. Please know that there are serious issues of harrasment in the programming world, and it seems like you’re looking for confrontation.

tumaix - November 28, 2014

Kelly, this was after she was kind and Police and completely ignored by the event organizar that just told her “IV never heard of a coc before só there’s no need”

Etiene - November 28, 2014

Exactly 😦

Kelly - November 28, 2014

Don’t absolve yourself because Stephan was also rude. You might have separated yourself from his confrontational tweets instead of saying “Exactly!” to him, expressing agreement. Just because you were not rude initially (though you were later) does not mean you were supporting or allied with the rude person.

Honeslty, don’t care – listen – in the future, if you want a CoC, or anything else in life for that matter from someone on Twitter, or in any general context. I’ve made a script for you.

From this:

A: Hi, I’d like you to implement a policy on perfume in the workplace.
Oganizer: Huh? Noone is ever complained about this before.

A: Yeah? Thanks for backing me up C!
Organizer: Look, it’s not been a problem, and if there was a concern brought up, we’d deal with it directly
A: Geeeezzzzeeeee. I’m going to write a blog post to try to make you look bad.
C: You’re a jerk Organizer

To this:

A: Hi, I’d like you to implement a policy on perfume in the workplace.
Organizer: Huh? Noone is ever complained about this before.
C: Why does that matter?
A: I understand you might not be aware, but it actually is an issue for many of us. Could you please consider this? Here are some links (send sample perfume policy, some research on how people might not know they’re affecting people with their perfume)
Organizer (maybe:): OK, considering you politely asked me to consider something, I will look at this when I have time to.

You might have gotten what you wanted!

Etiene - November 28, 2014

Did I understand correctly that you are actually comparing harassment to perfumes?

And that’s exactly what I did. Have you even read the whole convo? I sent links and a post explaining why this was important right after my 2 first tweets.

17. Philippe B - November 28, 2014

I am definitely hallucinating with the lack of understanding in most of the comments. You people are not trying to open up your perspective on the issue. Etiene started really nicely asking for a CoC. Why is it so hard to think “Oh if that _could_ make her and others, feel safer. Let’s write one. Since _anyways_ everybody is so polite and nice in our events.” . But no, the guy had to react like a douche. “Does that concern you? Well not us 😀 !” cheeese…
Seriously, after so many discussions on the issue. That is pathetic.
I also can’t believe some of you are actually asking Etiene to chill out and relax. The attitude of a daddy patting the head of a child “now you relax, let big people do the talk”.
It’s obvious that she got bitterly disapointed by the answers she was given. Although she DID ask nicely. When I am angry I swear much more and “I know a lot of guys who are like me”. So, firstly, why the fax does she have to uphold a perfect diplomatic attitude? Secondly, oh please people, GeeeeZzZZzz hurt your feelings ? F%$k christ too? When those are ways of showing the frustration of oneself?
Please, put your diplomacy down your pockets if you are not willing to read the _valid_ points she’s making.

Neutral - November 28, 2014

Oh GeeeeZZzZZzeee Phillipe, you really don’t know what you’re talking about. I can’t believe you’re not aware of what it means to be professional in North America.

– But seriously, “Seriously, after so many discussions on the issue. That is pathetic.” – Did the person Etiene acted in an unprofessional manner have these conversations? Have you any knowledge beforehand if this person was aware or had those conversations? Do you drop everything for a random person on twitter, and take a long time to consider every request from a tweet before you reply? Would you speak to a business partner with the same words Etiene did?

If you can honestly say yes to all of those things, then maybe my perspective is wrong.

18. rafirafi - November 28, 2014

For a french (man or woman) the point of view is very different, it’s just a cultural difference, defining a coc may be view as low priority and not effective, maybe more like doing a statement. And making a statement if you’re doing nothing to change things in reality… doesn’t seem very important. 😉

Ou alors il est un peu con, mais bon c’est vraiment pas naturel de comprendre le point de vue pas français sur ce genre de problème, dommage que tu n’es pas réussi à faire passer ton point de vue sans leur mettre une honte internationale, ce qui soit dit en passant n’apparaît pas comme particulièrement constructif.

Etiene - November 28, 2014

Je ne pense pas que culpabiliser la culture française est la bonne solution ici. Pourquoi pour une étrangère de comprendre la culture française est different d’un français pour comprendre la culture étrangère? Ça semble comme une mauvaise excuse pour pas essayer de améliorer un travail. Et aussi Il y a plusieurs de français et françaises qui sont d’accord avec moi, donc, je ne suis pas sure, mais dire que c’est la culture française et c’est comme ça peut être pas seulement une mauvaise excuse mais faux.

Des gens ont des bonnes idées partout. Je pense que c’est naturel d’analyser qu’est-ce que il y a de bon dehors et peut-être utiliser aussi si ça convient. Des codes de conduites sont utiliser dans le conferences partout dans le monde, des liens sont déjà postés ici sur ça. Le Brésil et l’Australie sont très loin et très différents et j’ai vu des conferences dans les deux pays avec des CoCs. Donc ont peut pas dire que c’est une question de culture.

Je suis d’accord qu’un CoC est inutile si il n’y a pas une procedure interne pour gérer les situations qui peuvent arriver. Mais les CoCs sont un reflet de ces procedures, c’est le fait de rendre ces procedures publiques. C’est le faire de dire aux participants “oui, nous avons ces procedures! nous sommes préparés!” et bien sur que c’est rassurant et important. Il n’y a pas de raison pour cacher les politiques internes d’une organization sauf si elles sont mauvaises.

rafirafi - November 28, 2014

Je ne dis pas que tu as tord sur le fond, je dis juste que la réaction est explicable par le fossé culturel même si je ne connais pas la personne donc je ne peux pas être sûr.
Oui, ça peut être une mauvaise excuse mais ça peut aussi expliquer aussi que la communication soit difficile.
Bien sûr il y a des personnes d’accord avec toi (j’en connais) mais ce n’est pas admis comme allant de soi comme par exemple un américain pourrait le penser. Et dans ce cas tu peux trouver que tu n’es pas pris en compte alors que la personne à qui tu parles n’à jamais réfléchi à cela comme à quelque chose de vraiment sérieux, que ce soit un homme ou une femme.

Oui, le brésil et l’australie sont différents, mais la france aussi et bien plus que ce que les francais pensent.

Aprés tu peux avoir une attitude militante et c’est trés bien, ou peut-être que tu as un mysogyne en face de toi, mais ce n’est pas vraiment ce qui ressort des messages qui sont publics.
A croire que tu transformes l’incompétence des organisateurs à assurer une conférence qui répond à ce qu’on attend d’une conférence acceuillant du public du monde entier en ce qui apparaît comme de la mysogynie délibérée.
Et pour moi, ce n’est pas du tout la même chose, dans un cas je comprends que tu t’exprimes publiquement, dans l’autre c’est beaucoup plus dur à comprendre.

Je te remercies de m’avoir répondu, j’ai bien compris ton point de vue, j’espère que le mien était clair.

Etiene - November 28, 2014

C’est clair que tout a une raison, une origine. T’as raison. Mais mon commentaire était plus pour remarquer qu’il faut faire attention pour pas utiliser l’explication comme excuse.

En plus je n’ai pas lui appelé de misogyne. J’ai dit qu’il a eu une attitude très inconsidéré. C’est vachement different!

Etiene - November 28, 2014

Et merci aussi pour le commentaire 🙂

19. Anita Destro - November 28, 2014

This is gonna be long, so here is a tl;dr version: Stop being stupid pigs with nothing in their heads beyond racism, sexism and prejudice or go back to the Middle Ages, where you truly belong.


Are you people even serious? Like, every single comment in here is trying to defend a misogynist environment?

Ok, here it goes:

1. It was not unprofessional of Etiene to give up being nice and polite after Liam completely dismissed her opinion and suggestions. What he did can be considered gaslighting. (For those of you who don’t know about it, it’s when a man tries to twist what a woman says or does in order to make her believe she is wrong or crazy or guilty, etc) THAT is what is unprofessional as hell… No matter what kind of vocabulary he uses. If you are trying to include a public that has certain issues to address, you can’t just go and say “hey, that never happened here according to my white male standards”. If you are truly trying to make a good job in organising an event like that, you sit the fuck down and you fucking listen to what the people have to say. Goddamnit.

2. No, women are not “less capable” than men nor are we trying to take advantage of anyone. To all the privileged males out there, it is your blindness and lack of empathy that makes everything so incredibly difficult for anyone else (not just women, ok?). People are capable of doing amazing things if they are given (not only the chance but) a safe and healthy environment to develop their abilities. The idea that a certain group of the population can’t do this or that because they are “biologically less able”, “mentally fragile” or any other stupidity like that is utter rubbish. This is just an idea fed to you by people more powerful than you that want to keep the status quo because it’s comfortable. Nobody wants their little world to change but guess what: if we want to make this better for everyone, things HAVE TO CHANGE and they will.

3. Given what was said above, a Code of Conduct is the least an event like that could have to make sure that it’s attendees are safe and focused only on what the event is really about.
Sex jokes, ridiculous innuendos about how one got their job, looking down on someone for being female, touching, grabbing, yelling, howling and all those crazy things men do when they think “nobody is looking” or “nobody cares” can be prevented if the event organisers make sure that everybody know that they don’t condone with that behaviour. Is it gonna stop certain men from being complete pigs? Probably not. But when the environment is safe and there is “people watching”, and everybody knows that (because of simple things like a goddamn CoC), the idiots are less likely to “attack”.

4. There is no such thing as “Hey, French people are misogynists anyway, so we should respect their culture and let them undermine women as they will”. This is not culture. Specially not in a country that houses millions of exchange students, expats and immigrants (And was home to some of the greatest feminist ladies of all times). I don’t care if the french love or hate immigrants/women/the flying spaghetti monster or whatever other issue you might want to use as an excuse… the moment you are trying to go from local to global, you have to understand that it takes somes “sacrifices” and adaptations to make sure everyone gets along well and the work is done.

So it’s just that. It is not asking much.
And all of you who think everything is alright and she is just overreacting, you should all go back to the Middle Ages cause you definitely don’t belong in a changing world.

Neutral - November 28, 2014

Hey Anita,

You’re organizing an event.
You’re an ally to women.
You’ve always been respectful and handle situations professionaly.
As a coder, you’re trained to offer the most efficient response, because maybe you’re not a event organizer by training, and you don’t have the *privilege* of knowing how to handle every situation.
Some person asks you on *Twitter*, not email, not by phone, or any normal professional channel, if you have a code of conduct.
You don’t know what that is, but you know this person is concerned about women safety issues, and you’ve had women at your events before and everyone was respectful.
The person acts rudely to you, saying you should know this, this is your place as an event organizer, you should, you should, you should, – does that not sound like what the logic of a man trying to impose values onto a women is?

Just because you’re all conscious of gamergate and other issues surrounding feminism in gaming doesn’t mean that everyone else is, and to assume this person should be aware, just because he is an event organizer, is the the equivalent to a male assuming a woman should be acting a certain way because they are a woman. Not everyone is sensitive towards women issues, because they have the privilege of not having to know about it. It doesn’t mean they are not an ally. And don’t attack people who respect you but are unaware.

It’s so enraging that there are people like you that go on the internet and try to make this issue primarily about feminism. Yes gender inequality exists, but if you could for maybe 30 seconds, just *try* to think of this with another lens, time pressure, professionalism in the industry, tactics to convince others that are not aware— you would see that Etiene was acting rudely and in a confrontational matter.

You don’t have a right to demand cultural compliance to your desired social norms. I know that sucks, but you don’t, nothing stated is illegal, and some people just don’t care. That sucks too! But if you want to change someones opinion, don’t expect that a confrontational attitude, or screaming about subjective women’s rights, immediately makes you correct.

tumaix - November 28, 2014

She was not rude with the organizer, untill he dismissed her initial concern saying that there’s not such a concern.

Etiene - November 28, 2014

I would just like to state that it was the event itself that offered its twitter as a contact method. It was also Liam’s option to stop using the event’s professional account and switch to his personal account on dealing with this issue.

I never told him he must do this or that during my conversation with him. I asked him to take something into consideration. Sent him an example. And a link explaining why this was important. Yes, I got very disappointed and frustrated by all the conversation that came after that, so why are you making up things? To make me look bad? I don’t understand. I did NOT reach him with rudeness.

Anita Destro - November 28, 2014

People, please try to understand: gaslighting is NOT a cool thing to do.
It doesn’t matter if the organiser was ignorant

Thomas Pfeiffer - November 28, 2014

Well, Liam could easily have dodged the embarrassment of not knowing what a code of conduct is by just using the search machine of his choice before replying. Twitter is not real-time conversation, you have time before you reply.

Then he could have replied “To be honest, there is no code of conduct yet, but we’ll look into the matter”. Plain and simple.

Anita Destro - November 28, 2014

Exactly, Thomas Pfeiffer.
He could’ve just used Google, ffs.

Etiene - November 28, 2014

Yes. That was the professional thing to do even if he did not give a shit about it. Just say ‘thanks, we’ll take a look’ and let it be forgotten, it’s really simple and not rude. It’s way better than saying ‘your concern is not valid’.

Given the fact that he was stating that he did care, the situation is even weirder.

Etiene - November 28, 2014

I don’t think just saying “google it” is a nice way as well, which is why I even had provided him links about it.

Anita Destro - November 28, 2014

When somebody says “yes, we care about that but no, we’re not gonna look into it” it just sounds like the person is trying to show they know about something that they actually don’t.
THAT is rude, THAT is unprofessional.

20. Etiene - November 28, 2014

Everyone saying that I reached him already with rudeness please just read the whole convo. I sent links explaining why this was important and an example right after the 2 first tweets.

(tumaix, maybe we should edit the original post? It is really stressful for me to have to repeat myself over and over :/ )

tumaix - November 28, 2014

I’ll do that. 🙂

Nuetral1111 - November 28, 2014

Thanks for posting the entire conversation. Cool code that allows you to do that! I see you did give an example. That’s great! Point Gryffyndor! I see the next posts are already speaking with someone with an agenda. I also see someone told you to ‘Relax’ which means people thought you were being aggressive.
Before you label me, just know that i am an ally of women and to women’s issues. I also don’t think you’re an ‘extremist’ feminist. But please know, reading your conversation:

“Everyone thinking about organizing a tech meetup / conference, please take a look at this by @conc_at https://t.co/ciLrbswtk1 beautiful ”

“Please do not support events without a clear code of conduct or anti-harassment policies. This is so simple and makes a huge difference! ”

BEFORE THE PERSON HAS A CHANCE TO RESPOND – Is aggressive, and counterproductive to getting someone on your side. You indirectly suggested people not attend his conference based on your email. Now you say He could have spend time researching code of conduct, despite that you were starting to write a bunch of messages suggesting the conference was bad without having given him a chance to respond. He likely was responding to shut you up. Because, as another female had told you, you were giving the impression that you were agitated, (she told you to relax! Whether it’s right or not it still shows that people had an impression you were not being rational.)

I’m sorry but this is stupid. You’re making an issue out of a non-issue when there are actual issues with sexual harassment in geek culture. I’m moving on, and I suggest you do too. The organizer of the conference has already moved on, and most people who are reading this think you were being overly aggressive. When you start working in a company one day you will realize that the way you handled this situation was A) counter-productive and B) aggressive. I really hope you see that and not think of this as an attack on feminism. Getting swept in by injustice from reading trolls on gamergate and whatever and then attacking someone who was replying (albeit maybe rudely and dismissively), is not going to fix anything.

It was irresponsible of the person to post this on the KDE Planet blog, as this obviously goes against the KDE values.

“@LiamBoogar @boennemann At least that’s how I, as a possible attendee, feel. Thanks for ignoring that, by the way. ”

Seriously, your derision is super rude, and you and Stephan were literally ganging up on this individual. Shame on you. This has nothing to do with feminism.

tumaix - November 28, 2014

It is not against the KDE values, since KDE has a very strong way to deal with harassements in our own meetings, we do have a CoC policy and we, as KDE, incourage participation of woman by making it a safe enviroment. It’s important to note that Etiene asked people to not go to the conference after the organizer said he wasn’t going to fix the abscense of a code of conduct.

Etiene - November 28, 2014

I actually never told people not to go.

I said first I was hesitant in attending. This is why they told me to relax. It had nothing to do with aggressiveness. You can reread the convo if you want and you will find this to be correct.

Later I said publicly for people not to support events without a CoC. This is absolutely NOT telling people not to go PCN. This is telling possible partners and financiers to ask events to put a CoC online before partnering or not supporting them. I was not referring to PCN specifically. PCN was not an event in planning. It already existed, it already had partners. It was a separate issue that I was waiting a positive response (that did not arrive).

So… You are calling me and PlanetKDE irresponsible based on a misinterpretation of my tweet. :/

You also missed the part where Liam called me opportunist and started telling people that I never wanted to go to his event, like I’m only trying to get attention. I didn’t edit the post to include it exactly because I AM NOT seeking confrontation. So please stop calling me rude or insisting that I harassed him. I just want this situation to be resolved because it enables idiots that think that they agree with Liam to come here and post stuff like “women are less capable” and “feminism is for incompetent women” which are stuff I imagine Liam does not partake with. And good women are still being kept out of our environment because of this.

Nuetral - November 28, 2014

“I actually never told people not to go.”

Please do not support events without a clear code of conduct or anti-harassment policies. This is so simple and makes a huge difference!
—Etiene d’CH³CH²OH (etiene_d Mon Nov 24 10:31:04 +0000 2014

You’re response has stated it has nothing to do with your conversation with PCN., despite you writing it in between tweets to PCN, about a completely similar subject matter.

OK, I will give you the benefit of the doubt and say that yes, you were tweeting about different things, even though you decided to include this in your conversation, but you’ve omitted other tweets, to avoid confrontation as you’ve said.

Please give me the benefit of the doubt for a second.
If someone is saying something to you, and being accusatory and not letting you respond without finishing your thoughts, as well as acting pouty – making passive aggressive comments like Thanks Lady, or Jeez, and giving one word responses like “Yes” or “No.” when you know it’s a rhetorical question thats suggesting your stating something illogical – (do you actually agree there needs to be a CoC for animals at a coding event? Are you trying to make a coding event a vacuum?) – and agreeing with someone else’s insults to the person, but then saying that they are not the person who made the insults so “I was being polite” – how would that make you feel?

I’ve reread your conversation twice now, and it reads like two highschool kids trying to bully someone into doing something. It is unprofessional, and regardless of the response, it does not excuse you. You can have your gang of friends supporting you, which is great, because in the real word, you would get in trouble for the way you handled yourself.

Whatever you want to call it, since you won’t accept the words confrontational, aggressive, unrelaxed, accusatory, unforgiving, etc. please know that you were not -> diplomatic, conscientious, earnest, etc. If I had wanted a CoC at this event, I would have
A) been professional and sent an email when he said he hadn’t had one. Just because Twitter is an official form of communication doesn’t mean you send more than quick informational requests by it.
B) not encouraged Stephan to suggest that the person you are asking something from is ignorant. You keep saying you weren’t attacking him, that you were just trying to get this CoC, yet you encouraged others to berate him
C) debated his responses, which were obviously trying to use a fallacy against you, instead of swearing and making fun of him.
D) Share more information than just that you are scared – I don’t care if you are actually scared, he wouldn’t know that. And it’s not his job, or any females job, or anyones job to know how you are feeling, over twitter. He even tried to accomodate your concern the best way he knew how, but instead of providing the benefit of the doubt (much like we should provide the benefit of the doubt when someone says they’ve been sexually assaulted), you assumed that because he’s an event organizer, he should just know what to do properly. And then you made a snide remark.

Now we don’t get a CoC at this event. You’re a consumerist feminist – you read about feminism and what is *right*, and you assume everyone should just do things because some people already do. It’s like going to a store and demanding their privacy policy, and then going to a small business in another country and demanding a privacy policy, and then insulting them and calling them insensitive when they don’t have it.

I would love for a CoC to be in every event, but just because these events don’t have them doesn’t mean you have the right to be indignified when a busy person doesn’t have the time to answer your tweet. You should be thankful they spent the time to provide you with references. If I was him I would have said no, here are references, and then just ignored you.

Etiene - November 30, 2014

I can’t even begin to explain how much gaslighting there is in your last comment. Please refrain from doing it.

You’re trying to twist this like I’m the aggressor which is simply untrue. You say things like “benefit of the doubt” even though I JUST EXPLAINED TO YOU you got it wrong. Plus I never got frustrated with the fact he did not have a CoC on his event. I was just not feeling safe and suggesting him to have one. The problem was NEVER that the event did not have a CoC. Or I’d have complained about it from the beginning. Stop saying that to attack me! This CANNOT be compared to the situation you made up about the small store, which is obviously a bad approach, so you are trying to make us buy a straw-man fallacy.

I repeat, the problem was not not having a CoC. This happens, people that don’t belong to a group may overlook stuff and I totally understand that. The problem was him telling me to chill out because my concern was useless and comparing women’s issues to animal issues, like what the hell. He could have saved the embarrassment by just telling me he would take a look at it and either actually taking a look at it or letting it be forgotten. And you tell me I should be thankful? This is SO wrong.

He said crap. A lot of crap. Of course I would get very frustrated. So don’t try to put this is on me or try to make others buy that. If you don’t want to listen, why are you even commenting here? You’re making stuff up out of your head for exactly what reason? What is your goal here? I don’t understand why you are trying to twist this story using false information even though I have already repeatedly pointed this. So please just stop. This is not going to bring any good to this situation.

21. Anita Destro - November 28, 2014


She was not rude to him until he dismissed her concerns.
As an organiser, worried about the attendees, YES it is his obligation to try and make sure the event is safe for the public.
And no one is demanding cultural compliance to certain desired social norms… we are trying to work and live in a safe environment. That is not asking much and if you strongly believe it is, maybe you are the one who should try to see things from other people’s perspectives.

bubba - November 28, 2014

We all have our own opinions about what makes an event safe. I, for example, feel much more comfortable at events where you are not allowed to smoke within or 4-5 meters from a building entrance. I could kindly ask an organizer to enforce such a rule, from a health-perspective it is clearly a “good idea” that would benefit everybody. However, if I’m in a country where such a rule isn’t enforced by law certainly the organizer has every right to not give a shit about my inquiry. Maybe he doesn’t see the issue, maybe he enjoys smoking with his friends. Sucks for the rest, but it’s his party. If you don’t agree with the law talk to your senator.

Anita Destro - November 28, 2014

Are you really comparing health issues with public safety?
There is a huge difference between a ban on smoking, which is largely publicised and openly accepted, and an anti-harassment policy that is incredibly needed but people still overlook it for god know what reason…
It doesn’t matter that the law exists if society continues to ignore it at every single opportunity.

bubba - November 28, 2014

there is *no* law requiring you to post a CoC for a *private* event. The organizer *may* publish one if he feels sympathetic to your issue but has the every right not to do so.

You don’t like smoking? take excessive alcohol consumption: bigger threat to safety than sexism, widely acknowledged, regularly ignored. And no conference-related social event that I know of has a CoC about avoiding excessive alcohol consumption.

Etiene - November 28, 2014

I have already been to conferences that simply banned alcohol consumption inside. Like CampusParty. SO… erm.

Laszlo Papp - November 29, 2014

This could be an ongoing consideration from he organizers and the concern is not to be forgotten when it is “dismissed”. I would personally rather call it different opinion.

Etiene and the event organiser disagreed and that is fair enough. There is no reason, in my humble opinion, to become non-diplomatic even after that point. If for nothing else, because it might be more difficult for the organizer to have a second thought at the idea whenever he gets there

I think, under all circumstances, two people ought to respectfully disagree and close the conversation when they cannot reach an agreement.

It is possible that it takes one more time to think it though deeply and change the mind about something like this. That is fair enough.

But with the “fscking…” expression (repeated in here above, too 😦 ), will give less chance to Etiene to be taken seriously. Unfortunately, I was told that is how people work.

To be fair, I would possibly even try to apologise for my frustration and not because I would like to accomplish anything with that, but just because such things said in frustration would be regretful in my opinion. But that may just be me.

It is possible that the event organizer will also change his mind after having a bit more thought than just a quick “twitter conversation? I will not go into arguing why twitter. IMHO, such social sites are not the best way to talk about these things and I prefer more formal ways, but that is just my personal taste, so there is not much to argue in there.

Thomas Pfeiffer - November 29, 2014

“I will not go into arguing why twitter. IMHO, such social sites are not the best way to talk about these things and I prefer more formal ways, but that is just my personal taste, so there is not much to argue in there.”

I agree with you here: Twitter is pretty much the worst medium you could use for any conversation more complex than “Here’s this link I found”. It’s simply not made for meaningful conversation. It’s SMS, but public. You wouldn’t have a conversation about potentially sensitive topics via SMS, would you?

Etiene - November 30, 2014

I agree with that as well. But they offered twitter as a formal contact method and I never imagined I’d be dismissed like that. I thought the conversation would be like “hey, can you take a look at this suggestion? Thanks :D” “Sure no problem”. Really short and simple, without going on to long conversations to explain why women need an anti-harassment policy and lhamas don’t. He was dismissive and said a lot of crap I never imagined he would. He could have saved the embarrassment by reading the material I linked him and not comparing women to unintelligent animals.

22. Anita Destro - November 28, 2014

People, please try to understand: gaslighting is NOT a cool thing to do.
It doesn’t matter if the organiser was ignorant about this or that issue, he was twisting everything she said to make it look like he was being attacked, along with his event.
Etiene never attacked him. As for the twitter thing, it is the contact provided by PCN…

Richard Hemmersmith - November 28, 2014

If people feel they’re being attacked you’re doing something wrong. You can’t just give it a different name to excuse it.

tumaix - November 28, 2014

White people felt attacked when a black granny didn’t gave her seat to a white man.

Etiene - November 30, 2014

Please inform yourself about what gaslighting is before posting such a comment O_O Seriously, this is really important.

23. Richard Hemmersmith - November 28, 2014

Would you dismiss the issues on geekfemism.com with that remark?

Etiene - November 30, 2014

Of course not. Because it does not serve as an argument to dismiss things as you were doing before. You have to analyze it deeper. That was what he meant by giving you a counter example.

24. Carlos A. - November 29, 2014

here just to add this case: Playhaven developer fired for sexual jokes after SendGrid marketer outs him on Twitter (http://goo.gl/mjBTXG)
So, I think it’s ok to ask for a set of explicit rules to protect women but as written in past replies, the country law contributes a lot to that. But why just focus it on genre differences. Isn’t it a meeting of professionals to exchange information, learn, and meet other pros? Would be easier to focus on good will, behavior, just a not do/say something that can insult your friends, professionals around would be good. Certainly women are at a disadvantage, but enforcing punishment can have not the desired results, as described in the link I’m leaving.

Finally, I’m not against rules that can center the general behavior in a meeting like this, I’m against special rules, damage to the professional image and other results that I cannot express with my poor level of English.

Etiene - November 30, 2014

About the link you sent me, I completely agree with her and PyCon’s attitude. Although I don’t think that playhaven should have fired him. That was a bit harsh. And neither she or PyCon staff asked anyone to do so. So that was an unfortunate following of events. You do know that she started getting threats after that even though that was not her fault. The same thing happened to Madeleine Leander after her opponent was disqualified from a SCII tournament for his and his only attitude. So that explains a lot about the culture we have in tech environment. And is exactly why we need to educate people and reinforce a safe environment, even if that means ruling the aggressors out of it if they refuse to learn to be respectful. There are A LOT of problems related to it: http://geekfeminism.wikia.com/wiki/Timeline_of_incidents
That’s why we need to fix it. I hope someday such things are not necessary. Unfortunately we need to focus on gender issues because they exist right now.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: