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Is Sexual Harassment Part of Hacker Culture? 1127

Posted by timothy
from the that-button-sure-is-hot dept.
owenferguson writes "Valerie Aurora, Linux kernel file systems expert, takes DEFCON to task for poor sexual harassment policing. A nice followup piece to the recent Readercon fiasco."
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Is Sexual Harassment Part of Hacker Culture?

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  • No (Score:5, Insightful)

    by OzPeter (195038) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @05:52PM (#40967437)

    (Aside from needing to look up that link about all articles that end with question mark)
     
    Sexual harassment is just plain old immature behavior. It isn't a part of Hack Culture .. its a part of immature people who associate with hacker culture .. hmm .. so maybe that should be a yes?

  • by intellitech (1912116) * on Sunday August 12, 2012 @05:53PM (#40967443)
    This commentary on this article will undoubtedly be similar to that of a troll festival.

    Ooops, *looks above post*, too late.
  • by euxneks (516538) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @05:53PM (#40967449)
    FTFA:

    Or the experience of one of my friends, who prefers to remain anonymous. At a recent DEFCON, while leaning over to get her drink at the bar, someone slid his hand up all the way between her legs and grabbed her crotch.

    I cannot believe someone could even remotely think that doing something like this would be a good idea. Someone else's body is not just an object. Jesus Christ people, get a fucking clue - this sort of attitude makes for a very poor environment all around.

  • Re:Yes. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MrEricSir (398214) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @05:54PM (#40967457) Homepage

    Maybe a better question is WHY is this harassment occurring? Is this specific to certain types of conferences?

    Adopting a clear policy on the matter is completely sensible. But how does one come to believe that such creepy behavior would be tolerable in the first place?

  • One incident.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 1s44c (552956) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @05:59PM (#40967495)

    One man was apparently out of order, it wasn't a group effort by an entire community. The creep didn't do anything bad enough to get himself arrested and was banned for life for his actions, can't that be an end to it?

    Or are we still running with the assumption that all white males are fundamentally evil and everything they do is sexist and/or racist.

  • by elucido (870205) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @06:00PM (#40967501)

    FTFA:

    Or the experience of one of my friends, who prefers to remain anonymous. At a recent DEFCON, while leaning over to get her drink at the bar, someone slid his hand up all the way between her legs and grabbed her crotch.

    I cannot believe someone could even remotely think that doing something like this would be a good idea. Someone else's body is not just an object. Jesus Christ people, get a fucking clue - this sort of attitude makes for a very poor environment all around.

    There are many stupid blokes in the world. I'm sure this actually happened. We also have to consider that any time you put a large amount of politically radical individuals in one place, a portion of them will be falsely accused because it's just politically convenient. The next Julian Assange very well could be at Defcon, so it wouldn't surprise me at all if this situation gets exploited by both sides.

    We need to educate both men and women about safety. We need technology in place which is gender neutral, which protects both the accused and the accuser. The last thing we want is for something horrible like a sexual assault to happen but being falsely accused of a sexual assault is as horrible as being sexually assaulted. So we have to consider all potential risks and scenarios in security policy.

  • Re:Yes. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ThatsMyNick (2004126) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @06:03PM (#40967523)

    Seriously, someone who cannot differentiate between sexual harassment and sexual assault should not be writing articles.

  • Re:Yes. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rsmith-mac (639075) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @06:04PM (#40967535)

    Coming from a woman's perspective: agreed, to an extent.

    It's not that most of these guys are necessarily bad people, but hackers (in the DEFCON sense) do tend to follow alpha male mentality. Now mix that up with copious amounts of alcohol, the poor social adjustment that many geeks have, and the "anything goes" attitude of Sin City, and yeah you'll have problems.

    On that note, the single biggest improvement in that respect would actually be to move DEFCON from Las Vegas. People just behave badly there - for better or worse this isn't just a geek thing or a DEFCON thing.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 12, 2012 @06:05PM (#40967539)

    No idiot. He's implying they go undercover as plain clothes cops to bait gropers in the same way female officers stand on street corners baiting johns.

  • Re:No (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Kjella (173770) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @06:08PM (#40967555) Homepage

    Sexual harassment is just plain old immature behavior. It isn't a part of Hack Culture .. its a part of immature people who associate with hacker culture .. hmm .. so maybe that should be a yes?

    I'd go with correlation, not causation. "Hacker culture" typically comes from young introvert males with weak social antennas. "Sexual harassment" typically come from young introvert males with weak social antennas. That and how like-minded people in a crowd always stretch it further than any one person would individually. So it's a high risk event but I wouldn't say the hacker culture glorifies it in any way.

  • by Ryanrule (1657199) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @06:09PM (#40967569)

    Sounds like investment bankers. And frat-bros (same thing I guess)

  • by borcharc (56372) * on Sunday August 12, 2012 @06:10PM (#40967585)

    I have been going to defcon for many years. In recent years my non tech wife has been coming along. My wife is extremely hot and attracts unwanted attention everywhere we go. Its quite the task to keep creepers at bay most of the time. She has repeatedly made it clear that the attendees at defcon and the parties there have been completely respectful and gentlemanly to her. On the other hand, she has been propositioned for "shopping sprees and condo parties" from creepy Vegas men and attempted to be recruited to be a stripper and prostitute on different occasions at the Rio and Riviera pool by Vegas scum. At one point several random hackers came to her defense as she was trying to get away from Vegas scum at the pool. By the time I got out of my track and to the pool random defconers had "solved" the issue in a ways an angry older brother would. These type of problems are what makes my wife wary of defcon and Vegas in general, Vegas scum, not the defcon attendees.

    If this is all about some drunk kid asking someone to show your tits, well those kids are everywhere there is alcohol. If someone assaults you, sexually or otherwise, charges should be pressed.

  • Re:No (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Shavano (2541114) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @06:18PM (#40967647)
    Sexual harrassment doesn't come from youth. It comes from being an asswipe. Asswipeness knows no age.
  • Re:Yes. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by TWX (665546) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @06:21PM (#40967677)
    It's a multi-part problem.

    First, a subculture that has very few women, and many of those few that seem to be there* are total attention whores.

    Second, with that general lack of women, combined with the disproportionate amount of attention whores, objectification and grandstanding becomes much more common, and fairly violent and derogatory terminology gets bandied about as normal.

    Third, many who participate perceive themselves as flaunting the law/rules, and that can lead to a mindset for flaunting the rules outside of the technical realm.

    Combine those, and you get a bunch of undersexed, maladjusted men, expecting the few women present to behave in a sexual way, who are used breaking the rules. It's really not much of a surprise to me that this happens.

    * I imagine that a lot of the "women" are just men who get their jollies off of role-playing loose women, essentially manipulating the women-characters in to doing what they'd want a woman to do.
  • It's brogrammers (Score:5, Insightful)

    by thetoadwarrior (1268702) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @06:24PM (#40967699) Homepage
    Your stereotypical geek may be awkward with women and he may even be a misogynist but he's also probably not terribly social and keeps to himself and his group. I don't see anyone who I'd class a proper geek being the sort to grab someone's ass.

    However some ruby on rails rockstar douche bag is almost required to be grabbing ass and treating women like shit in between going to the gym and downing red bull. But brogrammers aren't just a pita to women, real programmers hate them too. They're a cancer on our culture.
  • by Shavano (2541114) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @06:24PM (#40967703)
    Oh bullshit! Assange was accused of sexual misbehavior because he treated women like dirt, apparently. OWS got accused of rape because rapes occur when you have a large number of people gathered for a long time in defiance of police and therefore without police protection. Such sitiuations draw rapists along with their intended participants.
  • Re:Yes. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 12, 2012 @06:25PM (#40967707)

    Coming from a woman's perspective: agreed, to an extent.

    It's not that most of these guys are necessarily bad people, but hackers (in the DEFCON sense) do tend to follow alpha male mentality. Now mix that up with copious amounts of alcohol, the poor social adjustment that many geeks have, and the "anything goes" attitude of Sin City, and yeah you'll have problems.

    On that note, the single biggest improvement in that respect would actually be to move DEFCON from Las Vegas. People just behave badly there - for better or worse this isn't just a geek thing or a DEFCON thing.

    No, they don't.

    They follow what a wimpy, pasty-white basement dweller THINKS is an "alpha male mentality".

    Real alpha males stop acting that way about 11 or 12.

  • Re:One incident.. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Shavano (2541114) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @06:28PM (#40967727)
    Grabbing somebody's crotch is sexual assault. You damn well can get arrested and do prison time for it.
  • Re:No (Score:5, Insightful)

    by eldepeche (854916) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @06:31PM (#40967747)

    Women at Defcon are just "attractive young fangirl/cheerleader type women who seem to think hackers are cool for some reason but who don't even care about hacking." You heard it here first, everyone. There's no way for a woman to be a hacker. If you think you are, you just think it's cool for some reason.

    We need new rules so that immature men who innocently provoke attractive young fangirls into believing they have been harassed can feel safe. That's really what gets lost in these conversations: men need to feel safe from false accusations of harassment.

    (If you're being sarcastic, I apologize, because you're clearly several levels better at it than I am. If not, fuck right off.)

  • by bky1701 (979071) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @06:34PM (#40967777) Homepage
    Reading that list... I'm seeing a lot of "twitter"/"tweet," a lot of things that are much more along the lines of people taking offense at something... and not really a whole lot of actual harassment.

    Really, if this list is the worst that feminists can come up with, taking the whole of the vaguely defined "geek culture" into account, we're fucking saints.
  • by SuperBanana (662181) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @06:41PM (#40967847)

    The major problem with Valerie's article is that she creates a strawman argument ("all you men say that if women don't feel comfortable, they shouldn't go") which she then leaps off of to claim that women are not made welcome and thus are being denied employment opportunities available at said conference. In prior discussions here on Slashdot, I have not seen a single commenter say anything similar to that. It is at best an extremist viewpoint. Most of the voices in this and prior discussions have been one of collective disapproval and support for women feeling comfortable at conferences.

    The other problem is that Valerie and her cohorts think female-on-male violence is funny:

    "The cards are a hilarious way to raise awareness of the problem of brutal sexual harassment at DEFCON and similar conferences."

    http://singlevoice.net/redyellow-card-project/ [singlevoice.net]
    Text from the red card: "You should be happy you got this card and not a punch in the face."

    This is a perfect example of how culturally it has become completely acceptable for women to beat men in public or media; people stare, freak out, and intervene when a guy gets aggressive with a woman....but she can use his hair to thrash his head around, punch him repeatedly, etc - and nobody says a word or gives it a second glance. In movies, a woman getting hit is the ultimate bad-guy act...but a man getting hit? That's comedy! Funny! Let's not forget that the man is always portrayed in media as being a lecherous slimebag, and thus "deserves" this treatment.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LlFAd4YdQks [youtube.com]

  • by gweihir (88907) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @06:46PM (#40967887)

    While I do not know her personally, her writing points to fuzzy thinking (For example her take on compare by hash is a complete fail and indicates some fundamental lack of understanding the subject matter, while she asserts that she does understand it. I can only speculate that there is some fundamental insecurity at work here and some mental blocks.) and a rather large chip on her shoulder.

    I might be wrong on the second count (but I doubt it), but not the first one.

    That said, while I only know the more academic side of hacker culture, I have yet to find any instance sexual harassment. Of course some amount of banter is normal in a relaxed environment. It only becomes harassment if somebody told to back of does not. Anybody can reasonably be expected to have that much self-defense capabilities.

    I know that there is a school of though that says nothing sexual may even be said in the presence of a woman for risking to harass her. That is a fail as well, as it depicts women as frail creatures unable to fend for themselves or even make their views heard. If I were a woman, this view would insult me greatly.

  • by subreality (157447) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @06:47PM (#40967899)

    If this is all about some drunk kid asking someone to show your tits, well those kids are everywhere there is alcohol.

    Sure, but this was reportedly an item on a scavenger hunt run by a member of the security staff. That crosses the line from stupid drunks to actual systematic harassment.

  • Best answer (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fredprado (2569351) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @06:50PM (#40967929)
    One of the best possible answers to this article was in a commentary by a female reader (schachin) in the same page:

    First, I must preface I am not saying these things do not happen and I will not take away from anyone's experience as these situations are inexcusable and horrific, but I do want to chime in and say they do not happen to ALL women.

    I have been attending tech conferences for going on 6 years now. This year was my 2nd BlackHat, 3rd Defcon, I also speak at average 4-5 conferences in an associated industry each year. While I won't say I have never experienced an idiot or two (but wouldn't you in any situation) OVERALL the men have been supportive, giving, generous and career boosting. They are also very protective over me and if anyone treated me this way I know the person would find himself in a very bad way very quickly. That being said.

    I worry when I see posts like this because though I am 1000% positive there are a few bad apples in a conference the size of Defcon (18k) I don't believe wholesale that there are a plethora of bad aggressive idiot men attending.

    Most of the men I meet are respectful and helpful and by othering the men you separate women further and create and atmosphere where men are afraid to speak or befriend as they might offend.

    So again, I do not wish to in any way detract or minimize the horrendous behavior that was mentioned here. I just caution that generalization can cause issues that do not exist, create a negative atmosphere where women are further separated from the goals they seek to achieve. We work in a predominantly male industry.

    Men are not the enemy and I would not be where I am without the ones I know help and guidance. So just remember in a barrel of apples there are always some worm infested ones among the many bright and shiny.

  • by TheRealMindChild (743925) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @06:58PM (#40967983) Homepage Journal
    Sounds suspiciously like a sociopath [reference.com]

    a person with a psychopathic personality whose behavior is antisocial, often criminal, and who lacks a sense of moral responsibility or social conscience.

    Those are bad. They tend to end up in jail or a mental institution... for good reason.
  • Answer. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by p0p0 (1841106) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @07:03PM (#40968019)
    Short Answer: No.
    Long Answer: Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.
  • by fisted (2295862) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @07:04PM (#40968041)
    Calling yourself a hacker takes away all your credibility. Just saying.
    No, your low ID doesn't help either.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 12, 2012 @07:10PM (#40968081)

    The point is you're creating an environment which would be so toxic that male hackers wont want to show up at all.

    Look it's pretty simple if you don't want to be arrested for sexually assaulting women then don't sexually assault women. If the hacker community cannot handle that, then they need to be exterminated because there is no place in society for scum like that.

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @07:12PM (#40968093) Journal

    Or positions of power and authority, if they aren't idiots about it...

  • Re:Yes. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by EdIII (1114411) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @07:13PM (#40968099)

    On that note, the single biggest improvement in that respect would actually be to move DEFCON from Las Vegas. People just behave badly there - for better or worse this isn't just a geek thing or a DEFCON thing.

    That's a terrible idea. What about all the women that have to live in Las Vegas?

    Sexual harassment, assault, and battery must not be tolerated anywhere in society. Las Vegas does not deserve a special exemption as being a spot where men can go, and stop comporting themselves like gentlemen. That does not mean you can't get a little crazy either. I've been completely fucking plastered and flirting with women and I can tell you I still behaved like a gentleman. In Las Vegas too. I didn't grope them and make lewd comments about how I wanted them to service me sexually.

    I don't know if a lifetime ban is appropriate in this specific case because there is no article on what actually happened. It seems that the women writing the article talks about having her crotch groped. That is sexual battery and a felony.

    We have laws for this stuff. While I don't support multi-year sentences for just groping a woman, I would absolutely throw the bastard in jail for 6-12 months. People don't have a real grasp on just how long that is in a prison environment. Think about something like your two week vacation, that just seems a lot longer, and then multiply it.

    Where the laws don't cover it, that's where organizations can step in and remove the person for whatever time period they deem appropriate. If it was for something as serious as sexual battery then, yes, it may well be appropriate to remove that person for life.

    Simply removing a conference from an environment that may enable bad behavior is a half-assed response (respectfully), and does not really address the problem in the way it deserves.

    It does not matter where it is. Nobody should be able to get away with behavior like this regardless of gender, sexual orientation, etc.

    Reminds me of special capitalism zones in China where it is okay to temporarily not act Communist.

  • Re:Yes. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Rei (128717) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @07:15PM (#40968111) Homepage

    The biggest problem I have - not solely isolated to geek culture - is the refusal to believe that a problem even exists. When faced with some situation, such as "do I keep going when this girl who was making out with me before says, 'this is going too fast for me, I want to stop'?", a large percent of men will say "of course I stop" while a large minority will say "of course I keep going", but both groups by and large refuse to admit that there are so many people who take the opposite view.

    Think of all the women you know. One in four will be raped at least once in her lifetime. We're not even talking about sexual harrassment, things like unwanted grabbing of breasts and crotches, etc. One in four is just, simply, "rape". There is not some tiny, miniscule percentage of guys doing this; there's actually a rather large minority who seems to think that it's okay to do to women things that they don't want done to them. But just as much of a problem as these guys are, it's nearly as big of a problem that a large portion of the majority of guys who aren't like that seem to have trouble believing that so many men *are* like that. That they probably have several friends who wouldn't stop if the girl they're with said "no".

    I think the Daniel Tosh / rape joke thing is a great example. Some comedians get all "freedom of speech" offended if anyone gets mad at them for telling rape jokes. "They're just harmless jokes!" The difference between a "harmless joke" and "offensive" when you say something over the top is whether you and/or your audience actually believe it. And whether you want to accept the fact or not, a sizeable percentage of your audience actually *does* believe what you're joking about. And a sizeable percentage of your audience are victims of what you're making fun of. So you can talk all you want about how you can stand up and tell genocide jokes without people getting offended, but unless you're prepared to go to the Kigali Chuckle Hut and do the same sketch to a bunch of Tutsis who had their families hacked down, you have no ground to stand on.

  • by artor3 (1344997) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @07:20PM (#40968145)

    You are a part of this society. You damn well better care what we think, because if we judge you to be a threat to the rights of others, we can and will lock you away in some dark little concrete room where you can never hurt anyone again.

    You are not a god. You are not an island. You are a sack of mostly water. No one cares about your little Slashdot manifesto. Learn to function in this society, or be removed from it.

  • Re:Yes. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by khallow (566160) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @07:28PM (#40968207)
    So DEFCON needs to fix society at its next meeting? Well, get on it then!
  • by fm6 (162816) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @07:30PM (#40968233) Homepage Journal

    Yeah, the idea that you should treat people with respect and dignity is just "political correctness". I love that term, it let's you be an asshole, and if anybody tries to call you on it, they're just being PC.

    Guys like you should be dressed in a pair of speedos and forced to parade for an hour in a gay bar.Then we'd hear no more nonsense about "political correctness".

  • Re:No (Score:5, Insightful)

    by joocemann (1273720) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @07:32PM (#40968247)

      Hackers don't lack social skills.

    Compared to non-hackers, statistically, YES THEY DO.

    Hackers have some of the most advanced social skills in society.

    Lol. Sure. I would say that they have advance skills of affecting society, but the term 'social skills' has a widely accepted connotation for which your use of the word does not apply.

    The problem isn't lack of social skills, it's the addition of alcohol, drugs, and lots of attractive young fangirl/cheerleader type women who seem to think hackers are cool for some reason but who don't even care about hacking. A lot of these women are out of their element...

    No. These are human beings in a physical place in a society that has laws and expectations that will not be ignored by subculture (ignore it all day and you will end up in jail or fired or both). The reality of that subculture's dysfunctional facets does *not* provide 'reason', nor does it justify the complete bullshit you're spewing here. You're using the 'she asked for it' argument, and you might find some other assholes to agree with you, but the majority of Americans (this was in Vegas, in the US) don't pay credence to that 'argument' at all and bluntly reject them. There is a big difference between an explanation and the implication of responsibility. You are implying that the victims of harassment had partial responsibility --- no. A naked woman rubbing herself all over the guy next to you is *NOT* required to accept harassment from you of any kind -- to assume you are welcome to the same without her permission is absurd. If you can't control yourself when you see attractive women, you need a psychiatrist.

  • by russotto (537200) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @07:38PM (#40968287) Journal

    As you can see on the following page, this is not an isolated indecent:
    http://geekfeminism.wikia.com/wiki/Timeline_of_incidents [wikia.com]

    If you want to show a pattern, you have to make the so-called "incidents" have something in common. The Ecole Polytechnique massacre, really? Taking a computer science course (and dropping out) does not make one a geek.

    A lot of the rest aren't much more convincing. A sexually suggestive ad ("support") which would not raise an eyebrow in the mainstream? The "OMG ponies" Slashdot April Fools joke?

    The only pattern I'm really seeing is repeated attempts to smear geeks and geek culture with the label of misogynistic. I might think there was something to it except
    1) I know a lot of geeks -- of them, only one might have an issue, and he's moved over to the sales side since. Also not a software guy.
    2) I've seen "brogramming" used as an example. Not the existence of the joke, but the existence of the actual thing.

  • Re:No (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jrumney (197329) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @07:39PM (#40968307) Homepage

    Why are you spreading this false meme? Hackers don't lack social skills. If hacker can socially engineer people via the internet or in person how is that lacking social skills?

    Those are not social skills. They are sociopath skills. Which probably explains the misogyny in the rest of your post.

  • by artor3 (1344997) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @07:40PM (#40968313)

    This isn't about hurt feelings. Read the article. This is about women -- human beings with all the same thoughts and feelings as men -- getting groped and molested by men who are so broken in the head that they think such behavior is merely "politically incorrect". Such people are a danger, because they either do not or cannot recognize the humanity of other people.

    Some of them retreat from society, never hurt anyone, and live in their caves as hermits until they die. It's sad, and it would be good if we could help them, but in those cases we have no justification in forcing help on them.

    But for those that actually assault women, yes, we have not only the right but the responsibility to remove them from society.

  • by mdf356 (774923) <mdf356@g[ ]l.com ['mai' in gap]> on Sunday August 12, 2012 @07:47PM (#40968363) Homepage

    The very concept that women need to be treated a particular way is a large part of our society's gender issues..

    Women need to be treated with respect for their boundaries. The same as men. There's not gender discrimination here; men can and have been sexually harassed, but in a place that is 90% male it's less likely. You seem to be confusing what's prevalent with what's possible.

  • by jcr (53032) <jcr.mac@com> on Sunday August 12, 2012 @07:49PM (#40968377) Journal

    Many of these people claim to be experts, and in some cases even "rockstars" and "coding ninjas".

    I have yet to meet anyone who actually writes code for a living who refers to themselves in these terms. Usually, I hear it from body shop recruiters or dotcom promoters (e.g "we're looking for a rockstar"). The strange thing is that they generally want a "rockstar" to do trivial work on a half-assed development platform to implement something that nobody needs.

    -jcr

  • Re:It's Obvious (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Rei (128717) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @07:53PM (#40968407) Homepage

    If part of this comes down to them not knowing how to actually interact with women properly, perhaps some tips will help:

    1) Believe it or not, a girl can *actually* be interested in you. No, I'm not kidding! You *don't* have to be a creeper!

    2) Yes, you have to go up and talk to women even though you may be uncomfortable doing so. No, not everyone will be interested. But you understand statistics, right? Just increase the number of trials until you hit a positive result.

    3) One at a time, guys! If you all mob the same girl, she's not going home with any of you.

    4) A little alcohol is fine. Blind-drunk, however, is not cute.

    5) Be a human being. Talk about things that human beings talk about for several minutes without any sexual pressure. You don't have to be all over her right away. No, seriously! Your goal off the bat is to show her that you are, in fact, a human being and not a creeper.

    6) Do not, in any circumstance, talk about your penis. Not usually too much of a problem with American guys, but to guys from more sexually-liberated countries... we know you've got one, and yes, we've seen big ones before; now can you get on with the "being human" thing before we leave?

    7) Avoid any topics that might offend her unless you're sure you know her stance - that is, religion, politics, which text editor to use, etc. Also avoid any topic that makes you look bad, if you can.

    8) Be prepared to fill in the silence if she's too shy to talk at any point in time. If she has no problem talking, though, be sure to let her.

    9) She's still talking with you and you're getting along? Good! You've passed the "human being" test. Now you need to find out whether she is interested or whether you can interest her. This means progressively more flirting, moving into physical contact. Since we need to define some terms here:

    10) Flirting: compliments, eye contact, touching your face or hair, whispering or any other excuse to get close to them, light non-threatening touches (arm, shoulders, hand, etc), and similar activity. You can gauge her reaction to them as you do them to judge her interest. If she's not interested, remember, there's plenty of other girls out there.

    11) If you can get her to dance, now is a good time. It's a good excuse to increase the touching (just so long as you remember that it's *also* about actual, you know, *dancing*). Good targets for touching include the hair, small of the back, and eventually the face.

    12) If she is still with you after all of this, try kissing her.

    13) If she lets you kiss her then totally make out with her, just being sure to never exceed the bounds of what she's comfortable with (if you freak her out it's over). If you make out, odds are, assuming she's the type who goes home with someone on the first night, you're probably going home with her. If she doesn't do that, then at the very least she's probably willing to see you again and, assuming you don't screw up, you'll probably eventually sleep with her when she's ready.

    Congratulations - you don't have to be a creeper anymore!

  • by Grishnakh (216268) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @07:57PM (#40968453)

    Fuck you. This isn't about hurt feelings, it's about sexual assault; reaching up a woman's skirt and grabbing her crotch is a criminal offense, and deserves prison time.

  • Re:Yes. (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 12, 2012 @08:01PM (#40968477)

    jedidiah confirms the problem.

    Yes, that's right, dipshit. It's either consenting or it's harassment.

    If pasty little geek shits don't receive consent, then the fault doesn't lie with the women.

    (However, I find that the problem of hacker culture women including a high proportion of man-haters who dress themselves up as feminists is much more significant than the amount of sexual harassment which occurs.)

  • Re:No (Score:5, Insightful)

    by russotto (537200) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @08:01PM (#40968485) Journal

    Why are you spreading this false meme? Hackers don't lack social skills. If hacker can socially engineer people via the internet or in person how is that lacking social skills? Hackers have some of the most advanced social skills in society.

    Treating a person as a tool to be used is much easier than actually interacting with them as a human being; what makes it easier is the very fact that in doing so, one ignores all social rules and norms one is supposed to follow and simply concentrates on the goal. And not all hackers can pull off social engineering.

  • by dreamchaser (49529) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @08:13PM (#40968567) Homepage Journal

    The very concept that women need to be treated a particular way is a large part of our society's gender issues..

    Women need to be treated with respect for their boundaries. The same as men. There's not gender discrimination here; men can and have been sexually harassed, but in a place that is 90% male it's less likely. You seem to be confusing what's prevalent with what's possible.

    People need to be treated with respect, in general.

  • by the_B0fh (208483) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @08:15PM (#40968577) Homepage

    what the fuck is this political correctness? All the women are asking for is to be treated the same as you'd treat the men.

    Do you walk up to men and ask for sex?
    Do you touch other men all over and give them massages?

    Or do you just shut up and code? If the latter, why do you give a flying fuck about this?

  • by dreamchaser (49529) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @08:17PM (#40968591) Homepage Journal

    Well if they can't treat women right no wonder those geeks are all virgins.

    LOL!

    Maybe you have never seen much of the world.

    The guys who DON'T treat women right are the guys who have lots of women around them. It's the gentlemen who are lonely.

    These Defcon guys are well on their way to drowning in poon.

    Bullshit, and a common fallacy. A man can be strong, confident, even alpha yet still treat women with respect and get lots of lovin' in return. It's the sad little twats who think that being a 'bad boy' will get them something who wind up all too often alone, or have to settle for broken girls who have no self respect and seek abusive treatment.

    Trust me, quality women don't respond to dickheads with the attitude you seem to think is a winning one. The girls who are truly worth it respond to strong, intelligent, confident gentlemen, not asshat children.

  • by Sique (173459) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @08:17PM (#40968593) Homepage

    It creates a minefield for male hackers if women are present? Do you even believe what you write here? Indeed, if you can't behave if women are present, you shouldn't go where women are. It would be better for everyone.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 12, 2012 @08:18PM (#40968595)

    I happen to be homosexual and find that offensive - I can assure you most gay men have no desire to see some geek parade around in speedos or anything else for that matter. The suggested punishment implies that homosexuals lust after any and all males regardless, reinforces a sexual stereotype, and shows your own prejudice. In short, it's a bit hypocritical.

    Those with insight will recognise that this post is in itself "politically correct" and infer further meaning.

  • by russotto (537200) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @08:21PM (#40968617) Journal

    Read the article. This is about women -- human beings with all the same thoughts and feelings as men -- getting groped and molested by men who are so broken in the head that they think such behavior is merely "politically incorrect".

    Too bad it's a bait-and-switch. That is, bring up incidents of sexual assault, but use them to promote a policy [blogher.com] which IS about politically correctness, or worse. An egregious example:

    Exhibitors in the expo hall, sponsor or vendor booths, or similar activities are also subject to the anti-harassment policy. In particular, exhibitors should not use sexualized images, activities, or other material. Booth staff (including volunteers) should not use sexualized clothing/uniforms/costumes, or otherwise create a sexualized environment.

    Note that by "sexualized images", they're not referring just to Hustler spreads. They're referring to the sort of imagery that you see every day in the Real World (including, notably, on the covers of "women's magazines").

  • Re:Yes. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PopeRatzo (965947) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @08:23PM (#40968629) Homepage Journal

    Like "rape", which now has become almost meaningless, because so many things are called rape, including actions that involves neither sex, violence nor touch.

    That's not the case in the US. "Rape" has not become a meaningless term here.

    It means rape. We're not talking about Swedish Rape.

    No means no and stop means stop. If you confuse the two, it's on you, asshole.

    The opposite of Sweden is Italy, where it's hard to get a rape conviction unless the woman is hurt enough to be hospitalized for a week. I love Italy, but women are treated like shit there. The rape laws in the US appear to be pretty reasonable by comparison to those two extremes.

    The fact that we're seeing the kind of comments we're seeing to this story saying that "women cry sexual harassment just if you look at them", is pretty much proof that sexual harassment is a problem in "hacker culture". Those stupid comments come from the kind of problematic culture that creates a situation where women are abused. The cases where sexual harassment is found by a court are almost always real sexual harassment. When you hear some guy say, "Yeah, I just looked at her and the next thing you know I'm being charged with sexual harassment", you can pretty much bet that it wasn't about "being looked at" at all.

    And no, "She dresses like a slut" is not a valid defense. Nor is, "We were just playing. We always play like that here." People who are exploiting others almost never think they're doing anything wrong. The desire to rationalize - to excuse ourselves - is very strong. It's strong enough a group of slaveowners to get together and write some formal document about the "inalienable rights of man" and how "all men being created equal" and such bullshit, and then pat themselves on the back, when they own people who were brought here in chains. Like I said, people who exploit never think they're doing anything wrong.. We want to think we're good people so badly that we'll tell ourselves any kind of lie in order to excuse our behavior. It's how terms like "Right to Work" and "Free Market" come about. I mean, how can it be exploitation if it's the work of the "Free Market"? You're not against "freedom", are you?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 12, 2012 @08:32PM (#40968679)

    The article is a slander attempt to co-op the conference. Simple as that.

  • by russotto (537200) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @08:33PM (#40968687) Journal

    Trust me, quality women don't respond to dickheads with the attitude you seem to think is a winning one. The girls who are truly worth it respond to strong, intelligent, confident gentlemen, not asshat children.

    Tell me again how Hillary Clinton isn't a quality woman.

  • Re:Yes. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Rennt (582550) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @08:52PM (#40968811)

    total attention whores

    violent and derogatory terminology

    Um...

  • Re:Yes. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by russotto (537200) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @08:52PM (#40968813) Journal

    I believe there was a Saturday Night Live skit on the subject.

    Yes, a fake GE training video on sexual harassment; the rules for men were "Be handsome, be attractive, don't be unattractive." The last scene was the "unattractive" guy walking down a hallway and saying hello to a woman at her desk, and her calling security. Which, unfortunately, isn't far from the truth; "Hi" with the response "Eww, get away from me you creep" isn't unknown in real life.

  • by publiclurker (952615) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @08:54PM (#40968825)
    Really? Just because you don't know proper office behavior does not mean that the grownups are similarly defective. How does it feel knowing that you are the exact kind of loser that this entire chain of posts is all about?
  • by Gorobei (127755) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @09:03PM (#40968881)

    Aww, that's cute. Too bad it's also bullshit.

    Men don't overhear an off-color joke being told to another man and subject the whole office to PC-training.

    Hmm, last place I was at, some idiot boss told an off-color (i.e. racist) joke that another man took offense to. Lawsuit. Settled for around $2M.

    The only bullshit is people thinking their own views of what is professional conduct should somehow be the standard of their workplace. You think rape jokes or commenting on peoples' tits are acceptable? Feel free to call up HR and ask that that be added to the employee code of conduct. If they tell you to seek professional help, maybe you should.

  • by furiousgeorge (30912) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @09:05PM (#40968895)

    >>Guys like you should be dressed in a pair of speedos and forced to parade for an hour in a gay bar.
    >>Then we'd hear no more nonsense about "political correctness".

    FUck off. What makes you think us gays want to be punished with that asshole too?

  • by fm6 (162816) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @09:16PM (#40968955) Homepage Journal

    Nobody expects you to enjoy it. But it would be very helpful if you could stand around leering and whistling so the subject of our experiment could learn what it's like to treated like a piece of meat. The purpose of the exercise is not punishment, it's education.

  • by russotto (537200) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @09:34PM (#40969073) Journal

    The Geek Feminism blog claims the use of Lena Soderberg's image as the first in a long list [wikia.com] of geek crimes against women. This despite the fact that the crop of the image normally used shows no nudity, and that if it were in a different magazine, the full shot would have been considered an artistic nude.

  • by MightyMartian (840721) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @09:38PM (#40969091) Journal

    As a director of my company, if you were dragged into my office over unbecoming behavior of a coworker of the opposite sex and threw the load of bullshit you just typed as your justification, you would be out on your ass in about ten seconds.

    Do your fucking job and behave like a fucking adult.

  • by MartinSchou (1360093) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @10:01PM (#40969255)

    I'm pretty sexually liberated (OK, I'm a fucking slut)

    A few things:
    1) It'd make no sense if you were a celibate slut.
    2) Good for you
    3) No, seriously - good for you (and hopefully for the ones you fuck as well)

    I, for one, never quite understood why there's this stigma about women enjoying sex.

    On a side note, I can never really avoid laughing, when some idiot shouts something like "whore" after a woman, who've just turned him down. I mean - he's now loudly informing the world, that not even people who are paid to keep other's company are interested in him. "Look at me - I'm repulsive!"

  • by MightyMartian (840721) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @10:03PM (#40969265) Journal

    And here, ladies and gentlemen, is the seed of every organizational sex scandal coverup in history. "Let's deal with this in-house. Don't want to give the organization a bad name."

    Down that path, my friend, lies multimillion dollar payouts, jail time not only for the offenders, but also for those that tried to hide the ill deeds.

    That someone could seriously write this kind of a post weeks after the Penn State report is absolutely extraordinary.

    Some guy grabs a woman's crotch and he's caught, call the cops. He commitez a felony, and if you try to bury it with internal "discipline", you've just commited one too.

  • by cuog (1082549) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @10:47PM (#40969529)
    Lack of empathy is a big problem when you have control over the lives of many people in the way that high ranking politicians do.
  • Re:No (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mellon (7048) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @10:51PM (#40969561) Homepage

    Cuz porn stars are all women, I guess?

  • by Chirs (87576) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @11:10PM (#40969665)

    you have a different definition of violence if giving someone a red piece of paper with writing on it qualifies

  • by Kreigaffe (765218) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @11:10PM (#40969669)

    And that's what this is about?

    No, no, you're just strawmanning. Read about what this is actually about. Guy flirts, gets shot down, doesn't get the point, grabs girl from behind later and is subsequently constantly hovering just out of reach, waiting around for her.

    Calling someone out on that kind of bullshit is not being PC. calling someone out on that is just simply informing some maladjusted shut-in that acting that way is not acceptable, that it's fucking creepy and not tolerated.

    But I bet you don't know anything about members of the opposite sex showing you unwanted attention despite your protestations. Because you're not just dumb, you're ugly too.

  • by mellon (7048) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @11:13PM (#40969677) Homepage

    Spend time figuring out how to be good company. Old people are good to practice on, and they also give good advice, if you can get over your pride and listen to it. Let go of your attraction to immature women, if you have any. Pay attention to the women you are attracted to, and what they do to be attractive to you. Think about how you could do the same. Obviously putting on makeup won't work, but if you are like most people in our society, you have imprinted on images that have been presented to you on TV and in the print media, and online. Women are conforming to those images to appear more attractive to you. The same thing works on them. Figure out how to be as good a person as the woman you want to meet. Then do what it takes to actually be that person, not just present that image. When you can ask a woman out and be completely okay with her saying no, you're a long way down that road. But ultimately there is no answer that will always work. If the only way you can be okay with being alone is to take prozac, you absolutely must figure out how to fix that. If what you are doing with your life yields no joy, then do something else with your life. Don't expect a woman to be a source of joy—it doesn't work that way.

  • Geeks know bitterly first hand what bullying is about. The incidents described were not awkward mistakes, they were intentional bullying. Nobody sets out to "pick up girls" by grabbing their crotches and walking away.

  • treating others with basic respect is communism

    got it

    you're probably the type of douchebag who thinks the definition of freedom means you can do whatever the hell you want without regard to consequences

    good luck growing up kid

  • by Johann Lau (1040920) on Monday August 13, 2012 @04:08AM (#40971007) Homepage Journal

    Right.

    So someone who doesn't want women to be harrassed and physically intimidated, and makes a public stand against it, actually secretly wants it to be less obvious.

    While the people who bring out strawman after strawman, and keep talking about jokes and political correctness, instead of the actual stuff at hand, are the ones who want to deal with it.

    And your reasoning is "that it reminds you of this one guy", someone who checks out the territory first, then uses force to take what he likes. You know, that's exactly how politically correct people roll! Everybody knows that. They also poisoned the wells.

    Holy fuck guys, TFA is not even about you and how you personally suck -- it's about that other guy, who you seem to be confusing yourself with -- yet you turn the whole discussion into a giant flare calling yourselves out? All the energy put into strawmen.. you know where it ends up pointing, right? I mean, there's misunderstandings, and there's repeated missing of the point and talking about a conveniently prepared narrative, over and over again.

    I don't mean just you personally, a bunch of guys in this discussion. Maybe you really have such issues with political correctness that you just use this topic as a vehicle for your.. stuff.. even then, pay some fucking attention to what some women have gone through, and how there isn't even an equivalent for that, no likely way for women to do it to men. Also, don't spam, and don't just mindlessly repeat, ignoring counter-arguments and preaching to the choir.

    OR MAYBE this story actually rubs you genuinely the wrong way, with what it is actually about -- in that case I'd say, keep talking fuckers, let the world know. We're cominagetcha, rawr! You had your fun, you left your scars - but I for one am praying there will a day where the only technically correct (TC) way to talk about this is the past tense. Cuz you're all dead and nobody learned your trade. Amen.

  • by Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) on Monday August 13, 2012 @04:19AM (#40971033)

    A high ranking politician has to be able to weigh those things dispassionately, calculate the loss to society as a whole

    Here's your weak link - a sociopath is only interested in calculating the loss to the sociopath. Nobody's arguing that good leadership doesn't mean hard decisions, instead they are arguing that a group of people who are very able to get into leadership positions make for piss poor leaders.

  • by mjr167 (2477430) on Monday August 13, 2012 @06:56AM (#40971661)
    We don't need policy. We need the women to turn around and slap the shit out of the assholes and the other men standing around to beat the crap out of him.

"If truth is beauty, how come no one has their hair done in the library?" -- Lily Tomlin

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