TL;DR Oh,well. Fuck you, you should read and stop being a lazy asshole.
I am privileged. Whatever I can say about the state of the world, I’mborn in the best side of it. I can express myself without risking getting beaten up and torture. I can go in the street to buy my food without risking being shot by a sniper. I know that I’ll sleep in a safe place every night. I can have three (or more) meals a day (as long as I do not forget to eat).
And I won’t be insulted, assaulted, raped, considered as a minority, feels in danger by simply walking in a street.
All of that because I’m a white male. I was granted some privileges (and I did not asks for them) the day I was born around here at this period of time. And that sucks. I mean, the fact that I have privileges means that I have power over someone. And that sucks because it means some people (the ones I have power over) are not free, and then it hinder my freedom (if people around me can’t be free, then I can’t benefit of my freedom)
So yeah, being a privileged makes your life easier, but it sucks. I do not want it. And to get rid of it will take some time because the society I live in needs to change on a more global scale. And it starts by raising awareness of the situation (and then to change it and to abandon this power).
Facts & Statistics
If there’s no discrimination in education, then the skills are equally split across the whole population, so you should find educated and skilled people everywhere. Imean, if there’s 20% of people blue-skinned then, 20% of the people good at cooking should have their skin blue. Sounds OK to you?
So, if our educationnal system works fine and tend to develop interest and curiosity equally across the population. What it means is that the simple fact that I’ve met 5 women since I started my studies in technological background (one in a company, the four others were classmate) is either a statistical error, or a proof that the system is borked. I’ve met other woman in tech department I’ve worked in, but they were mostly in the "creative" one (design, integration, etc).
Hence, there’s something broken. I’ve quite an issue to spend a lot of time in a company, In the 13 years I’ve been working (yeah, started early), except the company I’ve spent my aprenticeship,I didn’t spend more than a year in a company. So it’s almost 8 of them. Of different size and of different background.
Never met a woman in the IT department. Sometimes I was the IT department, but even then, in the development teams I haven’t met a woman. The only womans in tech I’ve meet is from the hacker scene (and yeah, most of the timeIdidn’t knewbefore meeting in the meat, but that’s another topic).
So, when someone tells me about sexism that if it’s not broken, don’t try to fix it as an argument to not think about anti-harassment policy, I think they’re wrong. There is a problem.
And a wild politician appears
The other day (two or three days ago at time of writing), @_LaMarquise was assaulted in the street by some guy jerking of in public, and she tweeted about it. Some clever guy @romain_pp thinks it would be funny to joke about it. The thing is that this person happens to be one member of the French and Swiss Pirate Party, and, if I get those party right, anyone can speaks in the name of the party. It’s even written on the name of twitter account, and in the twitter background. So yeah, it was the speach of the Pirate Party.
The things gone a bit wild on twitter, most of the argumentation against @_LaMarquise was that she wasn’t rational. I’ll develop that a bit later, but basically I tend to think that you can’t expect for someone inshock to be rational.
She was also told that she is agressive, that she should not go public about private matters like agression (well, then why do people twitt about their personallife then?), that she was disturbing their life.
The Pirate Party did wrote a letter to @_LaMarquise. They did it in private (since I’m not able to find it online). Which I find weird for a Party who claims transparency at alllevel of society. However, computer system are nice, because it does not cost much to copy things and here is a copy of it (provided by the offended, I have no reason to doubt about her). In essence they say they regret what their member says, and they also regret the "buzz" around it. They do not take the opportunity to engage in a more active position, neither they’ve blamed their member.
Basically this letter is an attempt to shut the things down without aking a stance for or against sexism. If they’re against sexism, they should, at least, get rid of Romain, if not they did not need to write it. This letter prove that what’s important for them, is to avoid being drag into the mud not to defend some position.
What’s a shame is also that they tend to be the first to condemn such comportment in other party. There’s also an issue about freedom of speech, But I’ll get to that later.
About the violence
To live in fear of being assaulted or raped does not help to keep you head cold. As I said (and other said), keeping your head cold is a privilege of people in power, don’t forget that. Insurrection, and a need for a change, will lead to violence. That’s inevitable. This piece summarise it quite well, and the foreword is interesting:
Submission of the oppressed relate to established order. May he disturb this order by beaking its chains and by hitting the master, that is the scandal. In the master language which became the common language, the violent is notthe one who do violence, but by the villain who dares to rebell. – Igor Reitzman
When someone yells at you about something, you should listen to them, because this something is important for them (if not for you). You don’t imagine the French Revolutionnaries to ask kindly to Louis XVI if he would surrender the power. A lot of people don’t want to abandon power and you’ll have to forces them to do so.
It took me sometime to understand that, because it’s not pleasant to have people yelling at you. It’s irritating and you tend to answer agression with agression. I’m not sure I’m fully ok with that, but I try to understand why people are yelling now (also, I try to not answers quickly for it generally don’t help the situation, whatever the situation is).
So, yeah, some feminists will use violence, either physical, either verbal. And if it disturbs you it means that it’s working. You should asks and try to understand why they’re upset, not to calm themselves.
About freedom of speech
However, I’m against censorship. It means that I condemn the fact of suppressing speach. I want nazis to speak their mind, because that’s how you’ll find their ideas can be dangerous. And I want mysogyn to speak their mind, because that’s how you’ll know them. And it’s also the only way to discuss with them about those issue.
But freedom of speach goes both way. It’s not because someone is allowed to say something that they should not been contradicted, ashamed, punished or whatever. You have the right od so a sexist jokes. And I have the right to say it’s not funny. Heck, I even have the right to tell the world about it. If you don’t want that and if you want to be able to say whatever you want without consequences, then you’re defending censorship.
So yes, it makes me uncomfortable about what happened at Bsides (here’s the violet blue point of view and here’s the adainitiative one). Basically a prevention talk about sex and drugs, which had been announced late has been removed from schedule due to some fear of witch hunt by the BSides staff (whether or not the adainitiative initiate this isnot clear forme) under the pretext that there could have been rape survivor who could be put in a stress state (it seems that’s how PTST works) if they attend the talk, and that speaking about how drugs works and, especially, the GHB in a talk labbelled “sex +/- drugs: known vulns and exploits” is an incentive to rape.
The arguments is that, in hacking conferences, people giving talk named known vulns and exploits do that to encourage the exploitation of those vulnerabilities. Well, there’s a misconception here. Most of the talks about known vulns are more about how toprotect yourself against them than exploiting them.
In general, the vulns is being patched at the time of the speech, or at least, the people exploiting the software or system are working on it (if they taking their jobs seriously I mean). Of course some people will uses them to their own profits, but that’s not a majority.
And, in fact, people using vulns for their own profits, don’t want the vulns to be known. Going public about them is prevention and education, it’s not for arming people. This is how preventions works.
Now, should we do preventions in the tech community? Of course we should. There’s an history of sexual agression and rape in tech conferences. If you don’t speak about it, you can’t educate people and you won’t changes them. The adainitiative says that they organises their own camp to discuss about it. But it’s like doing a drug prevention talk in a straight edge camp, you won’t help drug addicts to manage their addiction.
So yes, we must educates our fellow hackers, especially in occasion where there’s alot of drugs, alcohol and sleep deprivation, because it changes your perceptions of things. So talking about it is a necessity. And, if the talk happens tobe offensive, then people should says it and condemns it,but you can’t know that until the talk happens.
There’s still the problem with rape survivors and the PTST syndrom. I can understand why people who survived an agression and/or a rape don’t want to be exposed to some talking about it (hey, one should manage their pain as they see fit). And it seems there’s a custom about trigger warning, which I do not fully understand yet (seems to work a bit like the PEGI labels for video games)
Mmm, I might have missed some points somewhere. Or I can be wrong about some stuff.