TRUCEConf was an event proposed by Elizabeth Naramore in 2013.
The event was announced November 8th, 2013 and was originally intended to be run over the weekend of March 18-19, 2014, in Cincinnatti
The website described it as:
- TRUCEConf is a two-day conference with the purpose of setting aside differences and creating an inclusive and open place where we can put an end to the gender war in tech. TRUCE stands for trust, respect, unity, compassion, and equality, which are elements to a healthy community.
There was a crowdfunding campaign to raise money to run the conference. Only about $6k of a required $27k were raised.
In the end, TRUCEConf was cancelled.
"Sides" and "War" language
The event was criticised for characterising the gender issues in tech as having two equal, and equally responsible, "sides" who were involved in a "war".
Meagan Waller wrote:
- When we set this up like it’s a war, we are missing the entire point. That’s a false equivalence, a space with abusive victims and abusers and abuse apologists, and a space with rapist apologist, and rape victims, and maybe even rapists, does not make for a safe space. To say that those who speak out against oppression, and rapists, and abusive have equal platforms, and should have an equal voice in the discussion as those who work to perpetuate and do the harassing, and abusing, and raping is wrong. Plain and simple. How can you say that speaking out against abuse is the same as abusing? How can you say they should have an equal voice in that discussion.
- This isn’t a war between two equal, consenting sides, this is about the systematic oppression of women, PoC, LGBTQIA folks, disabled, and all the intersections that exist in those realms. Why would the people with privilege sit down and talk it out, and just agree to give up their privilege?
Jacob Kaplan-Moss dissects the "two sides" approach in his blog post
- Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what these supposed “two sides” are. The very discussion of these “two sides” sets up a damaging an untrue false equivalence between bullies, abusers and rapists on one “side” and people speaking out against harassment on the other.
- This implies that speaking out about abuse is somehow equivalent to abuse itself.
- It’s hard even to articulate how insulting and damaging this sort of false equivalence is.
Meagan Waller wrote:
- They continue talk about anger and how we’re striving to have conversations without anger, and even how dangerous anger is. Justified anger isn’t dangerous, and yes, it makes people uncomfortable, it makes people aware of their privilege and it’s hard, but ignoring that and even saying it’s bad is just the straw man angry feminist argument that gets thrown in our faces, and it’s so frustrating. Criticizing people who are working for equality, who get angry sometimes, how can you look around and not be angry? I’m pissed off constantly, I am tired and fed up of being kicked when I’m already down and being told I’m lucky for the experience. This is tone argument derailing 101, and it distracts from the real issue, it really does.
Jacob Kaplan-Moss wrote:
- It’s hard to read the verbiage on TRUCEConf’s home page as anything other than an extended tone argument. The page continually talks “anger”: citing the need for “discussions without… anger”, or the danger of continuing “on the path of anger”.
- It’s hard to read this as anything other than buying into the myth of the “angry feminist”, criticizing people working for equality who have the temerity to occasionally get angry. This is a classic tone argument at its best: distracting from the actual issue at hand by focusing on the tone.