Geek Feminism Wiki

I couldn't find a linking policy, so I went ahead and added the Con Anti-Harassment Project as a possible resource in a new section. Karen Healey.

I suspect the policy is "we'll develop a linking policy when we need one". So thanks, that's good to have. Thayvian 01:05, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

Unacceptable content in speech

Regarding Women-friendly_events#Reacting_to_inappropriate_content, this seems like good advice but I am wondering how chairs should be advised to intervene in the case of speech, e.g. an offcolour joke. The speech of presentations is often much less prepared than the slides (it may not be clear if any comment was a consciously prepared one or an off-the-cuff one).

This page is somewhat oriented towards men speakers and organisers making sure men and women audience members are comfortable. I am going to chair a miniconf at LCA and I don't know that I would feel comfortable intervening in any speaker's talk unless they were grossly offensive. I mean you invite or accept speakers because you respect them and think they have some wisdom to impart... Cutting off someone's talk part way is obviously a very confrontational act.

I do not seriously think my speakers will present any such problems, but it is nice to be mentally prepared just in case. Any suggestions? --Pfctdayelise 03:41, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

Keep in mind the trade-off is between the chair and the speaker feeling happy and comfortable and the (possibly) tens of people who will silently vanish from the community after seeing a sufficiently off-putting talk and the several who will tell their friends or readers that in such-and-such a community such-and-such is SO unshocking that no one even comments! (In your particular hypothetical case "and it was organised by a woman!") But confrontation in borderline cases is hard. This is partly why I emphasise defining (to some degree) inappropriate content up-front. That way, it's not a question of a genuine cultural misunderstanding or a disingenuous "whoopsie" from the speaker: they've actually gone and deliberately defied your event's standards.
OSDC this year had a reasonable idea, which was that programme committee/volunteers were available in advance to review content if people were particularly worried.
In the case of speech, mildly offensive content could probably be dealt with by a cheerful call of "knock that off please!" ("seriously, no more jokes about [women/gays] etc" in a very stern voice the second time) rather than actually ending the talk. In the case of slides, the problem is that they aren't editable in place, and someone who has decided to stick in some inappropriate content is likely to have more to follow, and cannot edit it out on the fly as one can with speech Thayvian 06:42, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

What about talks about porn?

I was at the O'Reilly Velocity conference a few months back and gave an Ignite talk that was surrounded by talks about porn. One was about using porn as a way to encourage people to switch to ipv6, and another was about the challenges of running a big porn data centre. Any suggestions for how to keep this stuff appropriate/non-offensive/??? --Skud 06:28, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

As a first pass I'd still suggest that gratuitous displays of porn should be, well, kept to a reasonable minimum. That is, unless the talk is entitled "My porn collection" or similar the talk should not be thinly veiled excuse to show porn. The advertised content should be where the meat is (as it were...) In addition, it would be nice to try for some diversity in the porn displayed in talks where porn is relevant: some women and some men, some variance in skin tones and some variance in body size would be a good first approximation. Thayvian 06:47, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
And possibly the abstract should warn for visuals, not sure how that would work. Thayvian 06:51, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
Of the two talks at that particular event, one had slide backgrounds (IIRC) that were lingerie shots of women, and the other one had slides that said things like "HUGE MELONS" (picture of canteloupe), "ENORMOUS RACKS" (server room), "IMPRESSIVE COCK" (rooster), and so on -- while the speaker just spoke (very fast, as it was a 5 minute format) while the slides played. I was pretty amused by the latter, but the former just made me think "meh". --Skud 08:33, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
There's definitely a problem with "meh" as well as with "eep" in these things. Thayvian 08:34, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
*nodnod* ... The Hathor Legacy had a good post the other day about just how boring and unoriginal sexism is. I guess that's why I was amused by the HUGE MELONS, at least. Gave me an honest giggle. --Skud 08:41, 2 December 2008 (UTC)