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Is Sexual Harassment Part of Hacker Culture?

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the that-button-sure-is-hot dept.

Your Rights Online 1127

owenferguson writes "Valerie Aurora, Linux kernel file systems expert, takes DEFCON to task for poor sexual harassment policing. A nice followup piece to the recent Readercon fiasco."

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Way to be a girl about it (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40967379)

Too soon?

Yes. (-1, Troll)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 2 years ago | (#40967387)

Easily. Yes.

Next question?

Re:Yes. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40967419)

Is this real sexual harassment or just one of the insanely vocal parish that categorise "rape" as "some guy glancing askance at my bubs", who in the process harm actual rape victims by trivialising it?

Re:Yes. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40967453)

Is this real sexual harassment or just one of the insanely vocal parish that categorise "rape" as "some guy glancing askance at my bubs", who in the process harm actual rape victims by trivialising it?

Grabbing a woman by the crotch in a crowded room and running away definitely counts as "sexual harassment". Except, oh wait. It's ASSAULT. Much better.

Re:Yes. (4, Interesting)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#40967517)

Yes it is assault. It would only be harassment if said female was told "let me grab your crotch, otherwise I won't promote you/keep you hired/give you a raise like all your co-workers", etc. Of course I've mentioned this before, and immediately was modded to oblivion because in kindergar^H^H^H USA sexual harassment means staring too long/at all at a female coworker or speaking to her.

Re:Yes. (3, Informative)

Shavano (2541114) | more than 2 years ago | (#40967567)

It's true they harassment is IN PART defined by the attention being unwelcome. But if you take a case to court it is defined by a "reasonable person" standard. The jury must find that a reasonable person would have understood the behavior to be harrassing or contributed to a hostile working environment.

Battery or Sexual Battery (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40967657)

Crotch grab, tit grab, unwanted sexual contact both are considered. At best its a battery charge in most of the US, and most likely its a sexual battery charge in most of the US. Assault (for some weird legal reason) is all the yelling and screaming, threatening gestures etc that go on before or after unwanted physical contact.

This was a felony. The guy who did it, even if he was drunk, in a place he expected such behavior was accepted, etc (and it IS Las Vegas, they adopted a don't ask, don't tell policy as their tourist motto) should be facing prison time for this under US law as well as permanent (oh yeah its forever and ever here in the US) listing on the sexual offenders list.

Re:Battery or Sexual Battery (-1, Flamebait)

fippo (2695319) | more than 2 years ago | (#40967697)

If God is just then you will end up on the sexual offenders list, forever a pariah, for some trivial thing like people peeping into your window while you are naked

Re:Yes. (1)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#40967795)

Sexual assault (or battery, as I believe it is legally termed) is a sub-species of sexual harassment in general, the latter including both verbal and physical harassment while the latter only includes the physical part. Being one thing does not preclude it from also being another.

Re:Yes. (4, Insightful)

ThatsMyNick (2004126) | more than 2 years ago | (#40967523)

Seriously, someone who cannot differentiate between sexual harassment and sexual assault should not be writing articles.

Re:Yes. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40967633)

The problem is that while harassing someone might be unethical in certain circumstances it's not something that should ultimately result in a ban. And the "sex" part doesn't make it any more justified. The problem here is this isn't just sexual harassment. It's assault. It would seem that the person assaulted should have called the police or requested someone to do so and requested any eyewitnesses to stick around or at least provide contact info. At a minimum they should have called security I think as we don't want to let this sort of touching get out of hand. Then escorted the assaulter to the door. Doing a lifetime ban isn't justified. At most a two year ban might be. You don't have the right not to have your feelings hurt and being touched in the crotch is not necessarily painful- and it shouldn't be that big of a deal. The people making it into one have bigger psychological issues than those doing the assaulting.

Re:Yes. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40967653)

RTFA

Re:Yes. (4, Insightful)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 2 years ago | (#40967457)

Maybe a better question is WHY is this harassment occurring? Is this specific to certain types of conferences?

Adopting a clear policy on the matter is completely sensible. But how does one come to believe that such creepy behavior would be tolerable in the first place?

Re:Yes. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40967493)

Easy to fix. Just ban all women from the conference and schedule after-hour parties at a bordello.

Re:Yes. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40967497)

The fact that we never hear about anyone getting charged, fined or sent to jail for said behavior, perhaps.

Re:Yes. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40967805)

Yeah right. I haven't heard aaaanything about people getting in trouble for sexual harassment in the last twenty years. Is that a thing now?

Re:Yes. (1)

Shavano (2541114) | more than 2 years ago | (#40967589)

By playing World of Warcraft.

Re:Yes. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40967665)

One of the reported assaults happened at an EFF party - maybe their idea of "freedom" is a little too broad.

Re:Yes. (3, Insightful)

TWX (665546) | more than 2 years ago | (#40967677)

It's a multi-part problem.

First, a subculture that has very few women, and many of those few that seem to be there* are total attention whores.

Second, with that general lack of women, combined with the disproportionate amount of attention whores, objectification and grandstanding becomes much more common, and fairly violent and derogatory terminology gets bandied about as normal.

Third, many who participate perceive themselves as flaunting the law/rules, and that can lead to a mindset for flaunting the rules outside of the technical realm.

Combine those, and you get a bunch of undersexed, maladjusted men, expecting the few women present to behave in a sexual way, who are used breaking the rules. It's really not much of a surprise to me that this happens.

* I imagine that a lot of the "women" are just men who get their jollies off of role-playing loose women, essentially manipulating the women-characters in to doing what they'd want a woman to do.

Re:Yes. (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 2 years ago | (#40967717)

Maybe a better question is WHY is this harassment occurring? Is this specific to certain types of conferences?

Adopting a clear policy on the matter is completely sensible. But how does one come to believe that such creepy behavior would be tolerable in the first place?

Drug use, immaturity, and people who try to apply internet culture to the real flesh world.

Re:Yes. (5, Insightful)

rsmith-mac (639075) | more than 2 years ago | (#40967535)

Coming from a woman's perspective: agreed, to an extent.

It's not that most of these guys are necessarily bad people, but hackers (in the DEFCON sense) do tend to follow alpha male mentality. Now mix that up with copious amounts of alcohol, the poor social adjustment that many geeks have, and the "anything goes" attitude of Sin City, and yeah you'll have problems.

On that note, the single biggest improvement in that respect would actually be to move DEFCON from Las Vegas. People just behave badly there - for better or worse this isn't just a geek thing or a DEFCON thing.

Re:Yes. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40967707)

Coming from a woman's perspective: agreed, to an extent.

It's not that most of these guys are necessarily bad people, but hackers (in the DEFCON sense) do tend to follow alpha male mentality. Now mix that up with copious amounts of alcohol, the poor social adjustment that many geeks have, and the "anything goes" attitude of Sin City, and yeah you'll have problems.

On that note, the single biggest improvement in that respect would actually be to move DEFCON from Las Vegas. People just behave badly there - for better or worse this isn't just a geek thing or a DEFCON thing.

No, they don't.

They follow what a wimpy, pasty-white basement dweller THINKS is an "alpha male mentality".

Real alpha males stop acting that way about 11 or 12.

Re:Yes. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40967737)

hackers are the biggest bunch of betas and nergins you'll ever find. That's why they do the sexual harassment thing -- they don't know how to interact with anybody (especially women). I mean, honestly, if they knew how to get laid, they'd spend their time getting some pussy instead of eating cheetos and playing WoW in their mom's basement.

Re:Yes. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40967581)

Easily. Yes.

Next question?

Considering the misogynistic tone of many of the posts appearing in this discussion, sadly I must agree with you.

Re:Yes. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40967741)

Given a community who advocates the hacker mentality, one would expect a small number of individuals within that community may take it to the extreme and thus it is going to be applied to everything in their lives including hacking social mores. Of course the motivations for this will differ and one can imagine various characteristics of said individuals' lifestyle, personality, and base instincts to influence it one way or the other.

Got any pics? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40967393)

I need to see if these women were actually worthy of sexually harassing.

owenferguson? (1)

o_ferguson (836655) | more than 2 years ago | (#40967403)

Fuck that guy.

cant... (1)

johnsnails (1715452) | more than 2 years ago | (#40967409)

Is there anything wrong with a sub culture having a different policy/ view? Obviously there are degrees and workplace policies need not apply in every environment.

B-b-but men are harassed TOOOO! (-1, Troll)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 2 years ago | (#40967413)

And I treat everyone the same regardless of sex! And women just say this stuff because they're weak delicate feminine flowers who can't take the way men talk to each other! They're just illogical! And society is biased in favor of women these days anyway!

There, that should cover most of the comments on this story.

Hardcore geeks don't make me feel comfortable (5, Informative)

digsbo (1292334) | more than 2 years ago | (#40967435)

I'm an average geek. I have to say that when I find myself surrounded by really hardcore geeks, I feel put off. It's like they are in a feeding frenzy, looking for a chance to be king of the hill. I am not surprised at all that they'd act in totally horrible ways towards women. Clearly, part of the game there was to do so (to get the hole punched).
I think in the general area of business software, the stereotype of the hardcore geek is mostly gone. People who write business applications are generally pretty mainstream by geek standards. Perhaps such a concentration of extremely tech-focused geeks like at the conference in question is the last place we see this kind of stereotype, and possibly, for that reason they are all the more poorly behaved.

Re:Hardcore geeks don't make me feel comfortable (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40967467)

There is a strong association between hardcore anything (geek, programmer, whatever) towards being maladjusted to societal norms. So you naturally expect that these folks will be less politically correct than others. If they were closer to the norm socially, they probably wouldn't be so hardcore on the things they like. Its too bad that so many people can't have both normal socialization skills and supra-normal tech, geek, whatever skills. This isn't to say that there aren't outliers. There are. On both sides of the equation.

Re:Hardcore geeks don't make me feel comfortable (4, Interesting)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 2 years ago | (#40967597)

There is a strong association between hardcore anything (geek, programmer, whatever) towards being maladjusted to societal norms

I'd put in in other words: There's a distinct tendency for geeks to form a society with different and distinct social norms. You make it almost sound that there is only one set of social norms shared by all societies over the globe. There isn't one. It's almost as nonsensical as all those people complaining that other people's writing is "ungrammatical". Obviously, they don't even know what the word means.

Re:Hardcore geeks don't make me feel comfortable (0)

elucido (870205) | more than 2 years ago | (#40967621)

There is a strong association between hardcore anything (geek, programmer, whatever) towards being maladjusted to societal norms. So you naturally expect that these folks will be less politically correct than others. If they were closer to the norm socially, they probably wouldn't be so hardcore on the things they like. Its too bad that so many people can't have both normal socialization skills and supra-normal tech, geek, whatever skills. This isn't to say that there aren't outliers. There are. On both sides of the equation.

Social norm adaptation has nothing to do with sexual assault. Immature geeks who don't know how to act? They are actually the normal ones. The geeks who don't drink, who don't act immature and stupid, who don't use drugs, these are the unusual ones.

Ultimately none of that should matter. What matters is that everyone feels safe no matter how awkward, aloof, intelligent, dumb, normal or abnormal.

Re:Hardcore geeks don't make me feel comfortable (5, Insightful)

Ryanrule (1657199) | more than 2 years ago | (#40967569)

Sounds like investment bankers. And frat-bros (same thing I guess)

Re:Hardcore geeks don't make me feel comfortable (0)

Shavano (2541114) | more than 2 years ago | (#40967627)

On other words, hackers are technically oriented sociopaths and/or with Asperger's severe enough to render them unemployable in a normal business setting?

Re:Hardcore geeks don't make me feel comfortable (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#40967667)

It's like they are in a feeding frenzy, looking for a chance to be king of the hill.

This is that whole "alpha personality" deal. The rest of us really do hate those attitudes.

"Web 2.0ers" and "Rubyists" can be the worst. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40967761)

I've been to many, many conferences over the years, and the worst experiences I've ever had have been at those gatherings with many Web 2.0 and Ruby advocates.

Anyone who has been to a conference where Web 2.0 programming and/or Ruby are among the main topics will know what I mean. There's a certain prominent subculture within these communities that is truly obnoxious and irritating. They bring together vanity, ego and ignorance in a way that I really haven't seen happen in other technically-oriented communities.

They can often be identified by the fedora hats that many of them wear, along with the various Apple devices they all seem to possess. Many of them also like to wear t-shirts with smart-ass remarks on them, even at more formal events where some small amount of tact and business-casual attire is the norm. Everything about their manner of dress is unprofessional.

The ego and ignorance build upon one another, as far as I can tell. Many of these people claim to be experts, and in some cases even "rockstars" and "coding ninjas". On further inspection, however, we find that they usually have no formal software development or computer science education of any sort. Even their professional experience is often limited to pretty minor web development. Yet given their lack of education and experience, they still feel the need to very loudly express their opinions in public, perhaps because they don't know how much they truly don't know. Rather than being at a conference to learn or to share knowledge, they're usually there just to stroke their own egos by vocally expressing their "expertise" anywhere and everywhere.

I've also found their attitude towards women to be unusual, at best. At worst, it's outright offensive. Basically all of the other people I've ever worked with in various technical fields over the years have put ability and experience far, far above gender in terms of importance. In many cases, gender is treated as completely irrelevant, and is often ignored. Yet time and time again I've heard comments, even by the speakers during public presentations with hundreds of people in the audience, from these Rubyists and Web 2.0ers that are crude and insulting to women. While everyone else in the industry is focused on working together to achieve great things, these people have some strange fixation with insulting females whenever possible.

To be honest, I really don't understand them at all. They're so unlike the rest of the technical community in so many ways, I often wonder why they're tolerated by the greater community. I've had to deal with individuals here and there who are socially awkward, but in most other fields they're few and far between. But within the web development community, however, the Rubyist subculture has embraced almost every negative trait possible, and in some strange way sees these awful traits as acceptable, if not something to celebrate. They really are a strange crowd.

No (5, Insightful)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 2 years ago | (#40967437)

(Aside from needing to look up that link about all articles that end with question mark)
 
Sexual harassment is just plain old immature behavior. It isn't a part of Hack Culture .. its a part of immature people who associate with hacker culture .. hmm .. so maybe that should be a yes?

Re:No (2)

bhcompy (1877290) | more than 2 years ago | (#40967459)

I would say that sexual harassment is a side effect of really awful social skills that most "hackers" have. That is to say they don't really understand what they're doing is sexual harassment, since they're pretty much social retards.

Re:No (-1, Flamebait)

elucido (870205) | more than 2 years ago | (#40967591)

I would say that sexual harassment is a side effect of really awful social skills that most "hackers" have. That is to say they don't really understand what they're doing is sexual harassment, since they're pretty much social retards.

Why are you spreading this false meme? Hackers don't lack social skills. If hacker can socially engineer people via the internet or in person how is that lacking social skills? Hackers have some of the most advanced social skills in society.

The problem isn't lack of social skills, it's the addition of alcohol, drugs, and lots of attractive young fangirl/cheerleader type women who seem to think hackers are cool for some reason but who don't even care about hacking. A lot of these women are out of their element, but a lot of these hackers are immature. It's a combination of both, but this can only be fixed by educating the hacker community in security policy.

A better policy is needed so that everyone at these events can feel safe. The immature hacker has a right to feel just as safe as the attractive young fangirl/cheerleader. If we tip the scales too much it can bring bias which could shift the risk from one side to another which is what the hacker community does not want as that would result in the most skilled or talented hackers not attending Defcon at all but it would also result in the most attractive females not attending at all.

I would say that we need to promote Defcon and the community absolutely and never blame the community for the behavior of members of the community. We should change or modify the behavior of the membership through new policies.

Re:No (5, Insightful)

eldepeche (854916) | more than 2 years ago | (#40967747)

Women at Defcon are just "attractive young fangirl/cheerleader type women who seem to think hackers are cool for some reason but who don't even care about hacking." You heard it here first, everyone. There's no way for a woman to be a hacker. If you think you are, you just think it's cool for some reason.

We need new rules so that immature men who innocently provoke attractive young fangirls into believing they have been harassed can feel safe. That's really what gets lost in these conversations: men need to feel safe from false accusations of harassment.

(If you're being sarcastic, I apologize, because you're clearly several levels better at it than I am. If not, fuck right off.)

Re:No (1)

o_ferguson (836655) | more than 2 years ago | (#40967509)

I meant to file it as an Ask Slashdot, but was high and forgot to tag it as such when the time came. My bad.

Re:No (3, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | more than 2 years ago | (#40967555)

Sexual harassment is just plain old immature behavior. It isn't a part of Hack Culture .. its a part of immature people who associate with hacker culture .. hmm .. so maybe that should be a yes?

I'd go with correlation, not causation. "Hacker culture" typically comes from young introvert males with weak social antennas. "Sexual harassment" typically come from young introvert males with weak social antennas. That and how like-minded people in a crowd always stretch it further than any one person would individually. So it's a high risk event but I wouldn't say the hacker culture glorifies it in any way.

Re:No (5, Insightful)

Shavano (2541114) | more than 2 years ago | (#40967647)

Sexual harrassment doesn't come from youth. It comes from being an asswipe. Asswipeness knows no age.

Lamers Galore (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40967441)

Defcon is for lame scenewhores /end of thread

This commentary on this article will undoubtedly.. (3, Insightful)

intellitech (1912116) | more than 2 years ago | (#40967443)

This commentary on this article will undoubtedly be similar to that of a troll festival.

Ooops, *looks above post*, too late.

Oh I can see what this is.. Andrew Breitbart (0)

elucido (870205) | more than 2 years ago | (#40967445)

Not trying to be conspiratorial, but why is it Occupy Wallstreet, Julian Assange, and now "hacker culture" all get accused of sexual assaults? What is the connection? Or are certain people in certain social networks more likely to commit or be accused of sexual assault?

There are politics involved with hacking, hackers upset a lot of people with a lot of power. Hacktivists in particular. Human rights defenders in particular. What could be worse for a hacker or anybody than to be labeled a sex offender? While it is possible that sexual assaults are going on, we also have a correlation with the majority of hackers being young males (there are females but we don't hear much about them), and what we see happening is the landscape for hackers becoming much more militarized, much more political, and much more dangerous.

My advice is that anyone in the hacker community both men and women should take some time to discuss how to protect both women from being sexually assaulted and protect men from being falsely accused as there will a probability of both occurring with increasingly greater frequency.

Sources:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R4od4QQVK1o [youtube.com]
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-18519380 [bbc.co.uk]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ngF4V-TOUI [youtube.com]

Re:Oh I can see what this is.. Andrew Breitbart (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40967481)

Not trying to be conspiratorial, but why is it Occupy Wallstreet, Julian Assange, and now "hacker culture" all get accused of sexual assaults? What is the connection?

The connection is that people were sexually assaulted.

Re:Oh I can see what this is.. Andrew Breitbart (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 2 years ago | (#40967545)

Not trying to be conspiratorial, but why is it Occupy Wallstreet, Julian Assange, and now "hacker culture" all get accused of sexual assaults? What is the connection?

The connection is that people were sexually assaulted.

You're saying were as if it's a proven fact when it's more an accusation. An accusation is meaningless and could very well be a smear unless you have sufficient evidence. In my opinion we shouldn't blame hacker culture. Hacker culture has to be protected at all costs. We shouldn't blame dumb blokes for being dumb blokes, and we shouldn't blame the accusers for being victims.

We have to make it difficult for blokes to be dumb and we have to bring enough transparency to these sorts of events so that all behavior can be traced back if necessary. It's like a Casino, if you're at a Casino you can't easily cheat because your every move is being watched. This doesn't stop everyone but it stops most.

If women are being assaulted it could be because there are drugs, alcohol etc at these events with inadequate security. These are hackers, they have enough brains to figure out a solution to this problem which could empower the hacker community.

Re:Oh I can see what this is.. Andrew Breitbart (4, Insightful)

Shavano (2541114) | more than 2 years ago | (#40967703)

Oh bullshit! Assange was accused of sexual misbehavior because he treated women like dirt, apparently. OWS got accused of rape because rapes occur when you have a large number of people gathered for a long time in defiance of police and therefore without police protection. Such sitiuations draw rapists along with their intended participants.

Re:Oh I can see what this is.. Andrew Breitbart (0)

elucido (870205) | more than 2 years ago | (#40967739)

Oh bullshit! Assange was accused of sexual misbehavior because he treated women like dirt, apparently. OWS got accused of rape because rapes occur when you have a large number of people gathered for a long time in defiance of police and therefore without police protection. Such sitiuations draw rapists along with their intended participants.

You say it with zeal as if you were there and witnessed it all with your own eyes.

Pretty sure that (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40967447)

Pretty sure that if this was an all women thing, a few men would be harassed at some point too.

Absolutely shouldn't be (5, Insightful)

euxneks (516538) | more than 2 years ago | (#40967449)

FTFA:

Or the experience of one of my friends, who prefers to remain anonymous. At a recent DEFCON, while leaning over to get her drink at the bar, someone slid his hand up all the way between her legs and grabbed her crotch.

I cannot believe someone could even remotely think that doing something like this would be a good idea. Someone else's body is not just an object. Jesus Christ people, get a fucking clue - this sort of attitude makes for a very poor environment all around.

Re:Absolutely shouldn't be (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 2 years ago | (#40967473)

you've got to think - don't female police officers go to these events, and if not... wouldn't it be a good idea to send a couple, just to arrest a few idiots who think it'd be a good idea to sexually assault one.

Re:Absolutely shouldn't be (0)

elucido (870205) | more than 2 years ago | (#40967515)

you've got to think - don't female police officers go to these events, and if not... wouldn't it be a good idea to send a couple, just to arrest a few idiots who think it'd be a good idea to sexually assault one.

Are you implying that male police officers wouldn't do their job? It's the role of the hacker community to provide for internal security, not simply to add more police or add female police, but the hacker community itself has to provide some specific training to the police as the community knows best how to deal with itself.

Arrest isn't the most efficient way to minimize risk because by then the events have happened. The solution is to make the risk of getting caught so high that no one can attempt to assault anyone or attempt to falsely accuse anyone.

Re:Absolutely shouldn't be (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40967539)

No idiot. He's implying they go undercover as plain clothes cops to bait gropers in the same way female officers stand on street corners baiting johns.

Re:Absolutely shouldn't be (0)

elucido (870205) | more than 2 years ago | (#40967645)

No idiot. He's implying they go undercover as plain clothes cops to bait gropers in the same way female officers stand on street corners baiting johns.

If you bait them that's even worse. How is that not entrapment? Honestly it all depends on who the female officers are and whether or not they are a legitimate part of the hacker community. Do you really want some cops who hate the community to be in that role? Also I don't see how entrapment really does anything but get people arrested which is exactly what we shouldn't want.

Re:Absolutely shouldn't be (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40967731)

No, it's not entrapment. Go look up what entrapment is and isn't.

Re:Absolutely shouldn't be (0)

elucido (870205) | more than 2 years ago | (#40967791)

No, it's not entrapment. Go look up what entrapment is and isn't.

So if we put male undercover cops in there to bait women into falsely accusing them, what would that solve?

The point is you're creating an environment which would be so toxic that male hackers wont want to show up at all. You actually want to turn Defcon into some sorta honeypot and you expect hackers to show up?

Re:Absolutely shouldn't be (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40967775)

Unless she had the words "please grab my crotch" printed on the back of her shirt, that would not be entrapment.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Entrapment [wikipedia.org]

In criminal law, entrapment is conduct by a law enforcement agent inducing a person to commit an offense that the person would otherwise have been unlikely to commit.[1] In many jurisdictions, entrapment is a possible defense against criminal liability. However, there is no entrapment where a person is ready and willing to break the law and the government agents merely provide what appears to be a favorable opportunity for the person to commit the crime.

You have to be a special kind of asshole to think that a woman is causing you to sexually assault her just by being present.

Re:Absolutely shouldn't be (1)

eldepeche (854916) | more than 2 years ago | (#40967779)

Uh, it's not entrapment because a woman isn't forcing/asking men to grope her. You should probably want someone who's going to assault a member of your community arrested.

Re:Absolutely shouldn't be (1)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 2 years ago | (#40967651)

I think you parent poster's idea was the female cops would sorta serve as bait. I don't think he was imply that male officers would sit by and do nothing about a sexual assault whitenessed by the officer or reported to him.

Female officers would like attract the same inappropriate actions the female attendees and presenters do, the difference is they would be very likely ready and able to do something about then and there.

Re:Absolutely shouldn't be (2)

ZPO (465615) | more than 2 years ago | (#40967785)

I've hung out with female feds at two different events. Alas, nobody tried to grab them. That would have been fun to watch.

It's all about gender neutral security policy (3, Insightful)

elucido (870205) | more than 2 years ago | (#40967501)

FTFA:

Or the experience of one of my friends, who prefers to remain anonymous. At a recent DEFCON, while leaning over to get her drink at the bar, someone slid his hand up all the way between her legs and grabbed her crotch.

I cannot believe someone could even remotely think that doing something like this would be a good idea. Someone else's body is not just an object. Jesus Christ people, get a fucking clue - this sort of attitude makes for a very poor environment all around.

There are many stupid blokes in the world. I'm sure this actually happened. We also have to consider that any time you put a large amount of politically radical individuals in one place, a portion of them will be falsely accused because it's just politically convenient. The next Julian Assange very well could be at Defcon, so it wouldn't surprise me at all if this situation gets exploited by both sides.

We need to educate both men and women about safety. We need technology in place which is gender neutral, which protects both the accused and the accuser. The last thing we want is for something horrible like a sexual assault to happen but being falsely accused of a sexual assault is as horrible as being sexually assaulted. So we have to consider all potential risks and scenarios in security policy.

Re:Absolutely shouldn't be (1)

a.koepke (688359) | more than 2 years ago | (#40967565)

Problem is that they don't think. That self-moderation of behaviour doesn't exist for them.

I call bullshit. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40967485)

Real hackers might objectify the female geeks and even lust upon them from afar putting them on a pedestal, but actual human contact just doesn't fit.

One incident.. (5, Insightful)

1s44c (552956) | more than 2 years ago | (#40967495)

One man was apparently out of order, it wasn't a group effort by an entire community. The creep didn't do anything bad enough to get himself arrested and was banned for life for his actions, can't that be an end to it?

Or are we still running with the assumption that all white males are fundamentally evil and everything they do is sexist and/or racist.

Re:One incident.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40967519)

I'm just going to put this out here: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/EvenEvilHasStandards

Only evil has standards. (1)

owenferguson (521762) | more than 2 years ago | (#40967723)

As Burroughs put it: Any soul is worth saving, at least to a priest, but not every soul is worth buying.

Re:One incident.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40967605)

Law of large numbers. Defcon has 14,000 attendees. Probably 1/10 are female. If an woman has a .1% chance of getting molested while walking in a crowd for an entire day, that's 1.4 total gropings per day at a 4 day conference.

If one woman can't go two years riding the NY subway daily without getting groped once then there's a bigger problem with public transit than there is at Defcon.

Re:One incident.. (3, Insightful)

Shavano (2541114) | more than 2 years ago | (#40967727)

Grabbing somebody's crotch is sexual assault. You damn well can get arrested and do prison time for it.

Re:One incident.. (3, Interesting)

fm6 (162816) | more than 2 years ago | (#40967763)

Did we read the same article? It wasn't just one incident. Aurora tells how she left one DEFCON after a "barrage" of harassing incidents. The crotch grabbing episode was something she cited as an extreme case.

It is not. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40967503)

Sexual harassment is not a part of hacker culture. What is a part of hacker culture, unfortunately, is an unwillingness to set and enforce minimal standards of decent/considerate/polite behavior. This failure to censure this kind of behavior is what gives rise to these incidents.

Makes me puke (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40967511)

...And then Cultural Marxism got into the last realm of freedom left in the whole f****ng eurosphere. Please, femicommies, egalitarian bigots, beta neutered males and the rest of the bastards: don't hesitate in exercise your righteous faniticism. Oppress your own stock. Demonstrate your superior morality. Indulge in the guilt-tripping tactics of your enemies. Be a proud moron.

Re:Makes me puke (2)

fm6 (162816) | more than 2 years ago | (#40967787)

I don't think you have to be a "femicommie" to object to being grabbed by the crotch.

Culture, Age, or Mental State is no excuse... (1)

wermske (1781984) | more than 2 years ago | (#40967525)

Some think this harassing behavior is simply inappropriate; however, some of what has been described in the connected articles implies potential illegal, tortious behavior. In some cases, unwanted touching was involved.

Knowledge and appreciation of a risk, short of substantial certainty, is not necessary for requisite intent to cause harm. Further, intent to cause harm or offense is not vitiated by good faith mistake. Insane individuals and children as young as infants are capable of forming intent and are thus liable for damages. Intent also is transferable... one can act towards one individual and another can suffer the consequences.

While there are exceptions to circumstance (mingling crowds, emergency egress, etc), unreasonable and offensive behavior can be and often is put to a "reasonable person" test concerning rudeness, insolence, or anger. One does not need to act directly against the person of another, one's behavior can connect through objects closely associate with the person of another. IANAL.

Am I correct? (1)

avandesande (143899) | more than 2 years ago | (#40967533)

Readercon is to hackers as donut is to washtub?

Re:Am I correct? (1)

1s44c (552956) | more than 2 years ago | (#40967619)

Readercon is to hackers as donut is to washtub?

Exactly. If I really was a l33t computer cracker who secretly broke laws all over the place the very last thing I'd do is go to a conference for computer hackers where I would be conveniently identified by NSA, FBI, or whoever the hell else takes an interest in computer crimes and added to who knows what lists for future 'processing'.

It's not just DEFCON (5, Interesting)

subreality (157447) | more than 2 years ago | (#40967557)

... and it's not "sexual harassment". It's "sexual assault". I've been seeing considerably more of people being inappropriately aggressive, and not just in hacker cons. It's happening in sci fi cons too, and tech business cons, and plenty of other places. Sales conferences have always been bad, but it's new to see so much of this in geek culture.

I'm pretty sexually liberated (OK, I'm a fucking slut), but that doesn't mean free for all. No matter how much you think they want it, never assume they're interested unless they respond positively to some gentle verbal flirting... And if they don't, they're not interested, so please fuck off.

I know this sounds obvious to many, but I keep seeing rather horrifying examples of geeks completely failing to follow that basic protocol.

Doh, forgot to add... (0)

subreality (157447) | more than 2 years ago | (#40967663)

It's pretty clear that something has changed in geek culture over the last decade. But WHAT? Why is sexual assault a growing problem, to the point where the perpetrators are tolerated instead of ostracized the way they used to be?

Re:It's not just DEFCON (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 2 years ago | (#40967669)

... and it's not "sexual harassment". It's "sexual assault". I've been seeing considerably more of people being inappropriately aggressive, and not just in hacker cons. It's happening in sci fi cons too, and tech business cons, and plenty of other places. Sales conferences have always been bad, but it's new to see so much of this in geek culture.

I'm pretty sexually liberated (OK, I'm a fucking slut), but that doesn't mean free for all. No matter how much you think they want it, never assume they're interested unless they respond positively to some gentle verbal flirting... And if they don't, they're not interested, so please fuck off.

I know this sounds obvious to many, but I keep seeing rather horrifying examples of geeks completely failing to follow that basic protocol.

So why don't we make a community effort to teach basic protocol? Where is the basic protocol Wiki? I know it's common sense for most of us but there are probably some young kids who are brilliant but also autistic.

Re:It's not just DEFCON (1)

subreality (157447) | more than 2 years ago | (#40967781)

Where is the basic protocol Wiki?

Unfortunately that's a hard thing to do: the protocol isn't universal. Some people feel that even light verbal flirting is inappropriate among strangers in a large social setting like a con, let alone actual contact. On the other side, there ARE people who want to be a public playing. Clearly no protocol is going to satisfy both of them.

So it's kind of dependent on the culture of a particular crowd. I attend some geeky events where greeting complete strangers with a hug is customary, though there's a very subtle pause with open arms to make sure they accept the invitation (the other person move INTO the hug). That's not mainstream social custom, but almost everyone in that crowd understands that nonverbal protocol.

Could we create a rather large wiki to try to document the standards of various subcultures? Would consensus be possible?

Re:It's not just DEFCON (1)

owenferguson (521762) | more than 2 years ago | (#40967771)

You are my new hero.

It's not. (2)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 2 years ago | (#40967579)

Being an asshole is not part of any culture, and endemic sexism (which clearly exists) is not the same as inherent sexism.

Working to end sexual harassment is not an attack on hacker culture. (And nor is it necessary or helpful to attack hacker culture in order to end sexual harassment.)

Defcon isn't the problem Vegas is (5, Insightful)

borcharc (56372) | more than 2 years ago | (#40967585)

I have been going to defcon for many years. In recent years my non tech wife has been coming along. My wife is extremely hot and attracts unwanted attention everywhere we go. Its quite the task to keep creepers at bay most of the time. She has repeatedly made it clear that the attendees at defcon and the parties there have been completely respectful and gentlemanly to her. On the other hand, she has been propositioned for "shopping sprees and condo parties" from creepy Vegas men and attempted to be recruited to be a stripper and prostitute on different occasions at the Rio and Riviera pool by Vegas scum. At one point several random hackers came to her defense as she was trying to get away from Vegas scum at the pool. By the time I got out of my track and to the pool random defconers had "solved" the issue in a ways an angry older brother would. These type of problems are what makes my wife wary of defcon and Vegas in general, Vegas scum, not the defcon attendees.

If this is all about some drunk kid asking someone to show your tits, well those kids are everywhere there is alcohol. If someone assaults you, sexually or otherwise, charges should be pressed.

Re:Defcon isn't the problem Vegas is (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40967701)

Pics or never happened.

defcon is gay (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40967603)

they don't want chicks stealing attention at the after hours man on man bukkake sessions.

Is Sexual Harassment Part of Hacker Culture? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40967637)

Just because you are expert at something, or even think you are the best, does not excuse you form being part of the Human race and it's norms
Treat ALL people with respect, and it will come back 10-fold, and visa-vera (Karma is a Bitch!)
Being part of an elite group does not give you the right to think you are better than anyone else, you ain't!
And if you think you above all this because of what you think you know, look to the History of the gun-slinger in this Country, he was only as good as his next gun-fight, not many real friends and the life-expectancy of a moth
So, while you are out there hacking and puffing out your chest because you are a legend in your own mind
watch out for the flame...yeah, the light''s pretty...but you will get burned

Not an isolated indecent (1)

kaldari (199727) | more than 2 years ago | (#40967639)

As you can see on the following page, this is not an isolated indecent:
http://geekfeminism.wikia.com/wiki/Timeline_of_incidents [wikia.com]

Sadly, this type of behavior is often considered "normal" in geek communities. Other than just talking about the problem, what can people do about it? For starters, make sure that your event has an anti-harassment policy (http://geekfeminism.wikia.com/wiki/Conference_anti-harassment/Policy) and make sure you actually enforce it. I've seen several female friends and colleagues harassed at conferences and events only to be told, "Oh that's normal, just ignore him" or otherwise dismissed. And then we wonder why there are few women attending these events!

Re:Not an isolated indecent (3, Insightful)

bky1701 (979071) | more than 2 years ago | (#40967777)

Reading that list... I'm seeing a lot of "twitter"/"tweet," a lot of things that are much more along the lines of people taking offense at something... and not really a whole lot of actual harassment.

Really, if this list is the worst that feminists can come up with, taking the whole of the vaguely defined "geek culture" into account, we're fucking saints.

It goes without saying (0)

nimbius (983462) | more than 2 years ago | (#40967643)

that some attendees, hardcore geeks, what not, may have one or numerous personality disorders. ADHD and Asbergers being a few ive encountered frequently at defcon and scale. Is it possible many of these individuals simply dont understand the ramifications of what theyre doing? that this has less become eschewed into the culture and more an uncomfortable affect of its nature?

As a male im disgusted at Genevieves treatment, but as a community how do we not only police this type of deviant behavior but work to educate those who may not understand the full range of human interactions what it is they are doing and why it is wrong?

defcon is the workplace or covered under title 9? (0)

silas_moeckel (234313) | more than 2 years ago | (#40967655)

The article described would fall under at most sexual abuse the undesired touching of a sexual nature. Some of the rest might be rude but not illegal a guy asking a woman to show him her tits. A man the grabbed a woman's hips in a crowded party seems very situation dependent. I drunkard attempting to lick a shoulder is in base taste but when have drunkards been in good taste. The only thing listed that fell outside of bounds would be the inappropriate touching. Is it all juvenile behavioral sure, but none of it was sexual harassment that's specifically for workplaces and education that takes federal money. Seems like your putting a lot of socially inept people together people are going to fail miserably at expressing themselves. But requiring a con the standard of the workplace you saying that at neither at work or in social settings may somebody make an unwelcome sexual advance. Do we need special sexual advance zones with trained technical staff and therapists standing by so that one personal can express a desire commit an act that predates our species? Lets face it go to a crowded pickup bar either gender expects some might even hope to have sexual advances made. The unwanted groping is over the line go talk to the cops not the con same as you would do at a bar, mall, or grocery store. Want a horror story's talk to the booth babes at your average trade show, and that is sexual harassment at the workplace.

part of companys that have a good old boys culture (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#40967659)

part of companys that have a good old boys culture.

No (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40967691)

Simply because most geeks and nerd are afraid of women.

It's brogrammers (5, Insightful)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 2 years ago | (#40967699)

Your stereotypical geek may be awkward with women and he may even be a misogynist but he's also probably not terribly social and keeps to himself and his group. I don't see anyone who I'd class a proper geek being the sort to grab someone's ass.

However some ruby on rails rockstar douche bag is almost required to be grabbing ass and treating women like shit in between going to the gym and downing red bull. But brogrammers aren't just a pita to women, real programmers hate them too. They're a cancer on our culture.

Can't do anything unless you talk to us (1)

stox (131684) | more than 2 years ago | (#40967705)

I can say quite clearly, had there been any behavior of this kind at the H.O.P.E. conference, we would have been all over the perpetrator in a flash. Now then, if something happened, and the staff at the conference was not brought into the loop, there is not much that we could do. Contrary to popular belief, the staff does not see everything. Hell, we were more than busy enough with the stuff we could see.

If you are a victim of this type of behavior, talk to the conference staff. They want to make sure this type of behavior does not occur, maybe even more than you do.

Yes (0)

Snaller (147050) | more than 2 years ago | (#40967711)

Now get back to the kitchen, woman!

SexHas part of Hacker Culture? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40967719)

only if it's forbidden :)

No, get rid of the brogrammers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40967745)

It's part of fraternity culture. Dump the brogrammers and that attitude goes away. Maybe there are more of those types at conferences where people talk about their hat color. That's only one type of hacking.

Deal with it firmly but appropriately (4, Interesting)

ZPO (465615) | more than 2 years ago | (#40967773)

Isn't part of the hacker ethos that the code rules? Who cares the age, sex, color, national origin, or creed of the writer? Do any of these factors make for better or worse code? If not, then differentiators based on those factors have no place in the hacker culture.

Any type of harassment needs to be dealt with rapidly, firmly, and appropriately. At the hacker cons I've attended, I've been fortunate to attend sessions with female presenters. I've also had the opportunity to interact with female attendees and found them to be logical, intelligent, and well spoken. I go to such cons to learn, network, and have some fun. Playing grabass just isn't on the menu. Such things are the province of small minds with no social skills. I'm all for harassers getting a swift kick - or several. I have a feeling though that the goons wouldn't be enamored with that idea.

I'm old enough to have been in the military before, during, and after the 1991 Tailhook incident. Hopefully the pendulum won't swing so far in the other direction that personnel are tossed and/or banned based on unsubstantiated allegations. There are very real incidents that need to be dealt with firmly. There are also invented incidents that should result in sanctions against the person making the false allegations.

-ZPO

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