Nice Girl's report of harassment at OSCON 2011:
- I attended OSCON for the first time last year, and had some experiences that almost completely turned me off of the idea of attending this year. I was criticized to my face for wearing low necklines and skirts of a short-yet-modest length, and told that I was “sexualizing” the conference through my attire. I was lambasted for my honest answer (“I’m here with my boyfriend.”) when I was asked about my reasoning for attending, and even told that I should lie about why I was attending OSCON instead of “undermining” the feminist community.
Nice Girl also described harassment of Nixie Pixel at OSCON 2012:
- I am glad that I chose to attend again this year, and glad that I had those experiences under my belt, as I came armed with the tools and language to counteract these same accusations, directed at one of my closest friends. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Nixie Pixel, she works with Revision 3 and does a weekly video about various open source platforms. To put it bluntly, she knows her shit when it comes to open source, and she is relatively famous for being an attractive woman who earns money by sharing that knowledge.
- Yet even her considerable chops were not enough to prevent her from being harassed. In two instances, she was completely marginalized by male members of the geek feminism community, who (essentially) said that due to her sexy and flirty persona, there was no way that she was serious about open source software. She was snubbed by some of the female attendees, and I overheard whispers of annoyance about her flirtatiousness and yes, her low cut shirts and the dresses she was wearing at the conference.
Sympathetic responses and similar reports included:
- Rikki Endersley: Why I’m not a “Geek Feminist”, My Response to A Response to Nice Girl’s “The Dark Side of Geek Feminism” (in reply to Christie Koehler, below)
- Jamelle Bouie: The Dark Side of Geek Feminism?
- Leslie Hawthorn: My Feminism Isn’t Good Enough for You
- Nixie Pixel: Too Sexy for Linux (video)
Calls for geek feminists to not do this included:
More critical discussion included:
- Bruce Byfield: Geek Feminism's Opposition Emerges
TRIGGER WARNING This article or section, or pages it links to, contain information about sexual assault and/or violence which may be triggering to survivors.
- Various Reddit threads, including: r/opensource and [trigger warning: link to hate group] r/MensRights
- Nice Girl added a followup post: "While I understand that these experiences do not represent the geek feminist community as a whole, they should not be discounted."