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Geek feminist harassment at OSCON

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In July 2012, blogger Nice Girl described harassment at OSCON of women based on their clothing choices and their willingness to say that they were "here with my boyfriend".

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.

ResponsesEdit

Sympathetic responses and similar reports included:

Calls for geek feminists to not do this included:

Skud pledged to change the Geek Feminism community's documentation and procedures. More critical discussion included:

General discussion:

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.

Followup:

  • 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."

See alsoEdit

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