Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Your Rights Online

Controversy Over Violet Blue's Harm Reduction Talk 562

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the thinking-not-allowed dept.
Weezul writes "The Ada Initiative's Valerie Aurora got Violet Blue's Hackers As A High-Risk Population (29c3 abstract) talk on harm reduction methodology pulled from the Security BSides meeting in San Francisco by claiming it contained rape triggers [ed note: you might not want to visit the main page of the weblog as it contains a few pictures that might be considered NSFW in more conservative places]. It's frankly asinine to object to work around hacker ethics as 'off topic' at such broad hacker conference. Is Appelbaum's 29c3 keynote 'off topic' for asking hackers to work for the 'good guys' rather than military, police, their contractors, Facebook, etc.? Yes, obviously harm reduction is a psychological hack that need not involve a computer, but this holds for 'social engineering' as well. It's simply that hacking isn't nearly as specialized or inaccessible as say theoretical physics. Worse, there is no shortage of terrible technology laws like the CFAA, DMCA, etc. that exist partially because early hackers failed to communicate an ethics that seemed coherent and reasoned to outsiders." The Ada Initiative responds that such talks do more harm than good. It could also be argued that "not working for the bad guys" type talks aren't off-topic, since the hacker community has traditionally cared about things like information freedom.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Controversy Over Violet Blue's Harm Reduction Talk

Comments Filter:
  • What? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    What is a rape trigger?

    • Re:What? (Score:5, Informative)

      by jjohnson (62583) on Wednesday February 27, 2013 @12:14PM (#43025089) Homepage

      People who survive rape sometimes have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), which includes an extreme sensitivity to anything reminding them of their experience (like a rape victim who later sees a rape scene in a movie). There's a growing consensus that, in some circumstances, warning people of potential triggers is considered polite, at least, to give them a chance to avoid it.

      • Re:What? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by h4rr4r (612664) on Wednesday February 27, 2013 @12:17PM (#43025109)

        There is no consensus that we should ban anything in public that might trigger this though. I don't see how this leads to banning a talk, if you think it might trigger your PTSD just don't attend.

        • by Trepidity (597)

          If you mean banned by the government, sure, it shouldn't be. The argument, though, is that technical conferences should, in the sense of "the Ada Initiative thinks this is a best practice to follow", minimize triggering PTSD in unnecessary ways, especially those which might also fall disproportionately on some demographic groups. The Ada Initiative is a private organization that publishes some opinions on the subject, and publishes arguments in support of their opinions.

          • Re:What? (Score:5, Insightful)

            by wisnoskij (1206448) on Wednesday February 27, 2013 @12:47PM (#43025555) Homepage

            But they should NOT. That is ridiculous. If someone is so emotionally scared than a person of the gender that raped them, bumping into them in the conference is probably just as likely if not more likely to make them uncomfortable.

            If you are a psychological wreck and need others to work around your weaknesses then go live in a padded white room in an asylum.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by CanHasDIY (1672858)

              But they should NOT. That is ridiculous. If someone is so emotionally scared than a person of the gender that raped them, bumping into them in the conference is probably just as likely if not more likely to make them uncomfortable.

              If you are a psychological wreck and need others to work around your weaknesses then go live in a padded white room in an asylum.

              I'm sure that's easy to say if neither you nor anyone you love has ever been the victim of a violent sexual assault.

              Go volunteer at your local women's shelter, then try and come back here with that attitude.

              • Re:What? (Score:5, Insightful)

                by K. S. Kyosuke (729550) on Wednesday February 27, 2013 @01:04PM (#43025813)

                'm sure that's easy to say if neither you nor anyone you love has ever been the victim of a violent sexual assault.

                Go volunteer at your local women's shelter, then try and come back here with that attitude.

                And that is supposed to mean that because there are people who got hurt, we stop discussing the problem in the public? How has that ever actually helped anybody?

              • Re:What? (Score:5, Insightful)

                by cayenne8 (626475) on Wednesday February 27, 2013 @02:15PM (#43026595) Homepage Journal

                I'm sure that's easy to say if neither you nor anyone you love has ever been the victim of a violent sexual assault.

                Go volunteer at your local women's shelter, then try and come back here with that attitude.

                Look, I understand that rape or any other assault is traumatic. That' a given, it is a horrible crime and should be punished.

                That being said, it is a big world, and nasty shit happens. Is it up to everyone else in the world to be careful and tip toe around someone that is sensitive to some content for most any reason?? I think not. If that person can't handle something, then they themselves can self censor what they see or hear. Anyone that can't handle rape talk, should not attend a talk that involves that, they shouldn't prevent other people from having said discourse on said subject.

                I'm getting very tired in our current society of basing everyone on the LOWEST common denominator. Someone might be offended, be traumatized or be allergic to something, so the MAJORITY of people that these things have no effect on, must be deprived of these sights, sounds, smells, consumables to protect the very small minority that should just take their bodies and minds elsewhere so as not to be exposed.

            • by emil (695) on Wednesday February 27, 2013 @01:39PM (#43026253) Homepage

              ...with a man that you don't trust. Some facts:

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rape [wikipedia.org]

              Drug use, especially alcohol, is frequently involved in rape. A study (only of rape victims that were female and reachable by phone) reported detailed findings related to tactics. In 47% of such rapes, both the victim and the perpetrator had been drinking. In 17%, only the perpetrator had been. 7% of the time, only the victim had been drinking. Rapes where neither the victim nor the perpetrator had been drinking were 29% of all rapes. Contrary to widespread belief, rape outdoors is rare. Over two thirds of all rapes occur in someone's home. 31% occur in the perpetrators' homes, 27% in the victims' homes and 10% in homes shared by the victim and perpetrator. 7% occur at parties, 7% in vehicles, 4% outdoors and 2% in bars.

              One of six U.S. women has experienced an attempted or completed rape. More than a quarter of college age women report having experienced a rape or rape attempt since age 14.

              For one-third to one-half of the victims, ... symptoms continue beyond the first few months and meet the conditions for the diagnosis of posttraumatic stress disorder. In general, rape and sexual assault are among the most common causes of PTSD in women.

              [motherjones.com]http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/01/rape-and-violence-against-women-crisis [motherjones.com]

              • nearly two thirds of all women killed by guns are killed by their partner or ex-partner
              • Spouses are also the leading cause of death for pregnant women in the US
              • Women worldwide ages 15 through 44 are more likely to die or be maimed because of male violence than because of cancer, malaria, war and traffic accidents combined
              • by yndrd1984 (730475)

                Rape is very serious violation of a person's rights. That's why I hate it when people lie about it for their own advantage:

                One of six U.S. women has experienced an attempted or completed rape. More than a quarter of college age women report having experienced a rape or rape attempt since age 14.

                You get this by asking "Have you ever had sex when you really didn't want to?" and "Have you ever felt pressured to have sex?". Then you report the women who had sex because "well, it was our anniversary" or felt p

          • Re:What? (Score:4, Insightful)

            by Runaway1956 (1322357) on Wednesday February 27, 2013 @01:08PM (#43025863) Homepage Journal

            Well, it most certainly is not a "best practice", and damn the demographic group concerned. If this bullshit is acceptable, then we'll have to accept that a member of Race A might be "triggered" if exposed to a member of Race B. Or, a member or Religion Z, if exposed to a member of Religion Y. Or, Gender F, if exposed toa member of Gender M. And, actually, that is all it boils down to. Some bitch feminist didn't like this guy's talk, so she shut him down, with a threat to act hysterical if he were allowed to speak.

        • Re:What? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by jjohnson (62583) on Wednesday February 27, 2013 @12:36PM (#43025381) Homepage

          Well, we didn't ban anything. The Ada Initiative takes the position that any sex content at a technical conference is out of bounds and hostile to women--and there's a good argument for that. Women at tech conferences are very much in the minority, sex is generally not a topic within the normal scope of technology, and the geek community has real problems with sexism, creeping on women at conferences, and just generally losing its shit when the topic of women comes up. So the rep from the Ada Initiative talks to the organizers, mentions this and their specific concerns that content of the talk (like use of GHB for sex) could trigger rape victims, and the organizers pull the plug because they're appropriately risk averse on this topic.

          So who blew it? The Ada Initiative did by not approaching Violet Blue beforehand. Violet Blue is trained as a crisis counselor and has worked with rape victims. She knows the issues. They could have worked out a way to present the talk without triggering content and with sensitivity to the concern that discussing sex with a room full of geeks could have a negative impact on the women at the conference.

          • Re:What? (Score:4, Insightful)

            by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Wednesday February 27, 2013 @12:47PM (#43025549) Homepage Journal

            So who blew it? The Ada Initiative did by not approaching Violet Blue beforehand.

            If the talk should not have been cancelled then the fault lies with the person who made the decision to cancel the talk, period the end. You can't permit people to foist responsibility off onto groups because of your personal biases, that only leads to cognitive dissonance. The Ada Initiative did not make the decision to cancel the talk, they only advised doing such. You can scowl at them all you want, but it's still not their fault.

            There's things I don't like about the Ada Initiative, like their high and mighty tone. But that still doesn't mean that they cancelled this talk, or that they are responsible for the cancellation of this talk. Blame the decision-maker, not the advisor. Our failure to do that as a species is one of the things that keeps us in a condition of suffering.

            • Re:What? (Score:5, Insightful)

              by ElectricTurtle (1171201) on Wednesday February 27, 2013 @01:34PM (#43026215)
              From what is known about the exchange it seems likely that the Ada Foundation was threatening the con organizers in some way with some kind of negative action if they didn't get what they wanted. The organizers were acting under a duress that the Ada Foundation's representatives/agents initiated. Faulting the Ada Foundation is not a blameshift if, as is apparently the case, the organizers would not have been faced with a negative future condition that would be created by the Ada Foundation if the organizers didn't act.
            • Re:What? (Score:5, Interesting)

              by 0xdeadbeef (28836) on Wednesday February 27, 2013 @01:53PM (#43026403) Homepage Journal

              the fault lies with the person who made the decision to cancel the talk, period the end

              Yeah, too bad that's bullshit. By that line of logic, we can't blame fundamentalist groups for pressuring stores into not selling what they don't like with boycotts, or for getting people fined by harassing the FCC. Don't be such a quisling, Mr. Poo.

              We blame Valerie Aurora for being a censoring anti-feminist hypocrite.
              We blame The Ada Initiative for not immediately firing Valerie Aurora and repudiating her actions.
              And we blame the Security BSides people for being spineless.

          • Re:What? (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Hatta (162192) on Wednesday February 27, 2013 @12:59PM (#43025745) Journal

            The Ada Initiative takes the position that any sex content at a technical conference is out of bounds and hostile to women--and there's a good argument for that.

            OK, what is the good argument for that? It's certainly not the following.

            Women at tech conferences are very much in the minority, sex is generally not a topic within the normal scope of technology, and the geek community has real problems with sexism, creeping on women at conferences, and just generally losing its shit when the topic of women comes up.

            That's a great reason to get it out in the open, talk about what's acceptable and what's not. Making sex an uncomfortable subject will only make men more uncomfortable which will make more "creepers". You don't fix problems by not talking about it.

            What's the actual argument that talking about sex openly is harmful in any circumstances? Are there any such arguments that are not as easily deflected as the one above?

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by beckett (27524)

            and the geek community has real problems with sexism, creeping on women at conferences, and just generally losing its shit when the topic of women comes up.

            so the solution is not to talk about sexuality at all at conferences? If you feel the best way to deal with these "real problems" is to internalize the very issues you take a strong position against, that's fine. but to request someone "pull the plug" to a lecture at a technical symposium just because it disagrees with your political worldview is tantamount to burying your head in the sand becuase you don't like all the men at the beach. the sooner we can talk about sex like grownups, the sooner raise th

          • Re:What? (Score:5, Insightful)

            by h4rr4r (612664) on Wednesday February 27, 2013 @01:38PM (#43026237)

            Any sex content is hostile to women?
            That is the most misogynistic thing I have heard all week.

            You do know that women are as interested in sex as men, right?

            You do realize that the treating them with kids gloves you are endorsing is exactly what people expect of geek groups right? It is the other side of the creepy fratboy coin. Same not treating them like real people BS.

          • by PhamNguyen (2695929) on Wednesday February 27, 2013 @02:57PM (#43026961)

            Each time you use the word G**k, you validate the society prejudices that lead to violence against certain groups, especially minors, including violent sexual assault such as wedgies.

            People who have experienced this violent sexual assault often re-experience their trauma when they are exposed to this kind of language, and the stereotypes you have used that promote anti G**k prejudice.

            Your prejudice is so extreme that instead of objecting to the content of the talk itself, you are just as concerned with "discussing sex with a room full of geeks".

            Attributing sexism in a community to the presence of G**k's is no more acceptable that attributing sexism in rap music to the presence of Black people.

        • There is a consensus that people attending computer security conferences should expect the focus to be on computer security, not some very weakly tangentially related subject, especially when the title of the talk isn't announced until a few hours before the talk.

          It isn't just a matter of not attending the talk if you don't like the subject. The talk itself turns the attendees' focus away from technical matters and onto sexual matters in an environment where women already have a difficult time being treated

          • by beckett (27524) on Wednesday February 27, 2013 @01:10PM (#43025901) Homepage Journal

            The talk was completely off-topic and couldn't possibly improve the environment of the conference.

            It's too bad that the talk was censored by Ada Initiative; otherwise the rest of the grownups could have made up their own minds on the subject instead of believing your opinion of a talk that never occurred.

            extremely insightful that your idea of tangential, may be another person's epiphany. This is the exact purpose of a conference: to listen to new ideas, even if they are not in your narrow field of research.

          • by B'Trey (111263) on Wednesday February 27, 2013 @01:17PM (#43025983)

            The talk was completely off-topic and couldn't possibly improve the environment of the conference.

            And, of course, that opinion is the only one that matters, so it's OK to lie and use whatever other cheap, underhanded methods you can use to impose your perspective on everyone else, right? "Rape trigger" is a convenient tool because it shuts down all further conversation.

            A: "Rape trigger!"
            B: "But I ..."
            A: "What, do you support rape? What kind of sleazy, disgusting asshole are you?"
            B: (slinks away)

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by gandhi_2 (1108023)

      Man, go read the post.

      http://violetblue.tumblr.com/post/44107008572/what-happened-with-my-security-bsides-talk [tumblr.com]

      Basically, if someone wants to shut you down, they can use anything sex-related as a weapon. And if anyone disagrees, you become the enemy.

      Violet Blue got shut down because the presentation *mentioned* the sex.

      And if you ever disagree with someone who claims to be sensitive to the topic (abuse survivor), then you are worse than hitler.

      Outrage is called for.

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        Violet Blue got shut down because the presentation *mentioned* the sex.

        Well no, it was entirely about sex and drugs, and not really about vulnerabilities at all, except maybe as a footnote to pretend to relevance.

        Outrage is called for.

        Maybe, I even think so, but not on the basis you suggest.

  • Rape trigger? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Hatta (162192) on Wednesday February 27, 2013 @11:59AM (#43024927) Journal

    WTF is a rape trigger?

    • Re:Rape trigger? (Score:4, Informative)

      by crazyjj (2598719) * on Wednesday February 27, 2013 @12:05PM (#43024993)

      Apparently a bunch of feminists in San Fransisco (but of course) are concerned that any *mention* of rape ("rape trigger") in a speech or presentation will send any former rape victims in the audience into flashbacks and convulsions, thus re-victimizing them.

      Of course, the term "rape trigger" is *itself* a rape trigger. Which leads to an interesting loop.

      • by Ardyvee (2447206)

        Because nobody can leave until the talk is over... This seems like a case of somebody not wanting the talk but not being honest about it. There were many more solutions that just "Don't give the talk".

    • Re:Rape trigger? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by GT66 (2574287) on Wednesday February 27, 2013 @12:12PM (#43025059)
      Any comment in the public sphere that can have the effect of making a rape victim "relive" the event. So basically, anything that can have the effect of reminding a rape victim they were raped is now a censorable "offense." Basically, as feminists like to USE situations to leverage their agenda, they are using this as an excuse to violate freedom of speech. Expect to see this strategy expanded and used more often as people begin to resist feminist hegemony. From Violet Blue's blog: "I found out a few hours later that I had been targeted by a feminist organization, The Ada Initiative. I learned that the woman who smiled at me while talking to the BSides SF organizer was Valerie Aurora, from the Ada Initiative. I also learned that what happened with my talk wasn’t a case where someone who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time as a survivor of sexual trauma or abuse, which is how it was presented to me. Instead, it was an organization that had planned to get my talk removed. I wonder, if I had offered to omit the section about GHB from my talk, which they did not know about, would the talk have been permitted by these people and the threat of problems for the organization lifted? "
    • Re:Rape trigger? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 27, 2013 @12:28PM (#43025277)

      I suffer from combat related PTSD. It sucks, I get triggered all the time. I especially don't like the filled to the max hallways at defcon, I have had more then one panic attack from that. I don't like the hackers that wear leather and combat gear around thinking its funny or cool, it scares the shit out of me at cons. I know they are kids, they mean well, and no one is trying to hurt me. Unlike the drunk guy who gets in my face for no reason, their actions are not malicious.

      Most of the time I am able to keep my shit together and no one knows how I feel on the inside. This is my trauma, my probleme, to think that others should change to satisfy me is pure stupidity. I am the one that needs to recover and be able to move on in my life, so I do it. Victims of crime are in the same position, if you have triggers, you need to be in weekly counselling until its resolved. Pretending that its OK and if others would just not trigger you will ruin your life. No amount of activism will ever heal the wounds you have.

      • Re:Rape trigger? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by ElectricTurtle (1171201) on Wednesday February 27, 2013 @12:46PM (#43025537)
        For the love of humanity, mod parent up. People need to be responsible for addressing their own difficulties, not force all of society to acquiesce and adopt arbitrary strictures to make sure they don't possibly ever cause somebody to remember something nasty.

        So, all you whiny feminists, unless you are willing to be sensitive to people like this AC and ban all pseudo-military accouterments from all fashion forever etc. then you can STFU. That is of course if feminism wasn't already based on double standards run amok.
        • If you have triggers, then you have mental issues that need to be dealt with. Pushing it aside is NOT healthy. If something traumatic happens to you, there will be mental consequences. You need to work through those. That means counselling, confronting, understanding, etc. If you don't, you'll never fully heal. The mind isn't like the body, you can't just leave an injury be and hope it heals on its own. You have to work on it.

          So never mind telling others they have to change, if you ever want to truly recove

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Ardaen (1099611)

          For the love of humanity, mod parent up. People need to be responsible for addressing their own difficulties, not force all of society to acquiesce and adopt arbitrary strictures to make sure they don't possibly ever cause somebody to remember something nasty.

          Not the best way to put it, but there is some truth there.

          So, all you whiny feminists, unless you are willing to be sensitive to people like this AC and ban all pseudo-military accouterments from all fashion forever etc. then you can STFU. That is of course if feminism wasn't already based on double standards run amok.

          I was with you up until you started the name calling and the bigotry against feminists.

          Yeah, sure, some may have double standards and some may be ridiculous. This is true of any group of people. This does not mean that all feminism is a double standard or that everything under the umbrella term feminism should be summarily dismissed. By that logic any group or cause can be ignored.

          • Re:Rape trigger? (Score:4, Insightful)

            by ElectricTurtle (1171201) on Wednesday February 27, 2013 @03:41PM (#43027365)
            Feminists, as a class, are intolerant. Intolerance is like force, it's only wrong if you initiate it. I am intolerant of intolerance, and as such of feminists. I freely acknowledge this makes me a bigot connotatively, but not denotatively (pejoratively). I hasten to add that qualifying feminists as 'whiny' is not 'name calling' if, in fact, they are whining and that whining is the core of the issue at hand, all of which I believe are demonstrably true unless you can produce evidence to the contrary.

            I would recommend you look at this video [youtube.com] ("Is feminism hate?"), which though a bit long, is very methodical in its examination of the intolerance that is at the core of feminism. If it piques your interest, I would recommend other videos by the same woman which precede it in the same vein such as NAFALT [youtube.com] (Not All Feminists Are Like That).
      • Re:Rape trigger? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by GSloop (165220) <networkguru@sloop.nBOYSENet minus berry> on Wednesday February 27, 2013 @01:23PM (#43026075) Homepage

        It may be "your" problem. [Negating the fact that *we* sent you to war and you were doing your job in service for all of us - at least those in the USA. (I'm assuming you're a US combat veteran.)] ...As a start, I hope I've widened your thinking in how it's NOT really just _your_ problem. Lots of us contributed to _your_ problem, and you ought to be reasonable in letting some of the blame flow to others too.

        ---
        But, for discussion sake - lets just *assume* it really *is* all your problem.

        Is it too much to expect the rest of the world to take some care and have some empathy in helping you manage? I mean really - sure it's all a blind person's problem for being blind. Or an elderly person's problem for being elderly. But still, we make allowances for these "problems" and treat such people with dignity and respect. We make changes to how we'd interact with the world to accommodate them, and make them feel as comfortable as possible.

        That's not to say that one can't go overboard on accommodation - because you certainly can. But, in general, in the world, we rarely do TOO MUCH for those who need our help and consideration. If there's an error, IMO, in the world, it is that we have _too little_ empathy and care for the perspectives of those outside our gender/race/ethnicity/social-group/family etc. The number of times we have too much empathy? Pretty damn insignificant IMO.

        ---
        So, while I recognize your desire to stand up on your own two feet and I know that you want to succeed on your own - please realize that you need care and love from those around you too. It's not too much to want others to help, and while you can't *make* them do so, they ought to.

        I wish you the best in your recovery. IMO, care and love from those around you and being realistic in viewing your responsibility in your "problem" is key in finding the best resolution you can.

        -Greg

        • by Hatta (162192)

          Is it too much to expect the rest of the world to take some care and have some empathy in helping you manage

          The unspoken assumption is that avoiding these "triggers" helps the PTSD victim manage. I would suspect that exposing the individual to these triggers in a safe environment would serve to decondition their adverse response.

          After all, isn't desensitization effective for phobias? Wouldn't it be reasonable to hypothesize that it would work for PTSD too? What does the actual data say?

    • Re:Rape trigger? (Score:5, Informative)

      by pavon (30274) on Wednesday February 27, 2013 @12:33PM (#43025347)

      Yeah, this is a horrible summary especially considering all the useful links in the original submission are blocked at my work. However, the Ada Initiative link that the editors added explains the situation well.

      The gist of it is that people attending this conference were expecting it be about computer security. One of the invited speakers decided to make their talk about drug use during sex, and didn't let anyone know about this until a few hours before they were scheduled to present. The conference organizers *asked* the Ada Initiative what they thought about this, and they told them it would make the women at the conference uncomfortable, so the conference organizers canceled the talk.

      Looking past all the sociology/feminist terms, this is what it boils down to. The woman there just wanted to go to a technical conference and talk about technical things, and be treated like professionals. Putting sex on people's mind takes the focus off technical things, and onto sexual things. It does so regardless of whether the talk is pro-women or not. It will make interactions between the men and women at the conference more awkward at best. It will take what should be a comfortable professional environment, and make it less enjoyable and welcoming.

      There was nothing wrong with Violet Blue's talk in general, if it was given in an appropriate setting, and people attending knew the subject of the conference. But springing it on people when they are trying to avoid people thinking of them sexually isn't cool.

      • One of the invited speakers decided to make their talk about drug use during sex, and didn't let anyone know about this until a few hours before they were scheduled to present.

        This is disingenuous. Nobody can claim that they thought Violet Frickin' Blue was going to present about Wi-Fi security.

        If they didn't want a talk that included sex, they shouldn't have invited her to present. None of the subject matter should have surprised anybody because she planned to give the exact same talk that she gave last year.

    • by ultranova (717540)

      WTF is a rape trigger?

      Something (a picture, words, etc.) that can cause a rape victim a flashback. The problem is that this could be potentially anything (including, as another poster noted, mentioning rape triggers), so while it might make sense to worry about this is in places like rape victim support groups, it's an odd thing to worry about in a hacker conference.

      Also note that this is hardly a concept limited to rape victims, but could potentially extend to anyone who has suffered trauma (traffick acci

  • So, AFAICT from the summary and blogs, this was some hippie slap-fight between a bunch of feminists over "rape triggers" (a term so silly that it could only have meaning in San Fran, Austin, and Portland) in some presentation?

    And isn't the term "rape trigger" ITSELF a rape trigger?

  • by pavon (30274) on Wednesday February 27, 2013 @12:02PM (#43024957)

    Considering that the link to TFA is NSFW, and the other links are blacklisted at many sites for security reasons, it'd be nice if the summary actually explained what the presentation was about and what the objections to it were rather than jumping into their opinion of the situation and assuming we all know WTF they were talking about.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 27, 2013 @12:18PM (#43025131)

      You should read the link under "The Ada Initiative responds that such talks do more harm than good." It's SFW and it contains the counterpoint to this biased/revisionist submission.

      Here's the text of TFA:

      "
      What happened with my Security BSides talk

      It had been decided months ago that I would give a talk at Security BSides San Francisco. The subject of my talk was up in the air until just before the conference started, and the organizers were okay with that, but to not inconvenience or surprise the organizers, I decided to present the same talk I had given at Security BSides Las Vegas in 2012. I submitted the talk description just before the conference began, and it went on the website immediately.

      This is the talk name and description:

      sex +/- drugs: known vulns and exploits

      What drugs do to sexual performance, physiological reaction and pleasure is rarely discussed in - or out of - clinical or academic settings. Yet most people have sex under the influence of something (or many somethings) at some point in their lives.

      In this underground talk, Violet Blue shares what sex-positive doctors, nurses, MFT’s, clinic workers and crisis counselors have learned and compiled about the interactions of drugs and sex from over three decades of unofficial curriculum for use in peer-to-peer (and emergency) counseling. Whether you’re curious about the effects of caffeine or street drugs on sex, or are the kind of person that keeps your fuzzy handcuffs next to a copy of The Pocket Pharmacopeia, this overview will help you engineer your sex life in our chemical soaked world. Or, it’ll at least give you great party conversation fodder.

      I put this talk together for BSides LV knowing it would be seen at the same time as Defcon, which is reputed to be a con with lots of parties and wild behavior. The talk is structured with harm reduction methodology, the act of giving the talk is an act of harm reduction for the community, and also gives me another opportunity to tell the hacking/security communities about what harm reduction is.

      I have presented talks about sexuality at tech conferences all over the world, and I make it clear each time that my talks are not technical and that they are about issues that affect the culture to which I am presenting.

      This is the third slide in my sex +/- drugs talk:

      I arrived at the Security BSides venue half an hour before my talk was set to begin, and I tracked down the main organizer to get connected with the speaker wrangler. I found him next door at DNA Pizza, where he was talking with this person. I apologized for the interruption, the organizer told me where to wait, and the woman he was talking to smiled at me. I smiled back.

      The organizer came into the LockSport Lounge around 10 minutes later and asked if he could speak with me. I asked Eric Michaud to join me.

      The organizer said, “So, I need to ask you: is there any rape in your talk?”

      I said, “Is there any WHAT in my talk?” I was shocked.

      “Well, there’s been a complaint about your talk.” He continued, “It’s from someone who is a rape survivor and they said they will be triggered by your talk if there’s any rape in it.”

      “No, no, there’s no rape in my talk. I talk about human sexual systems and the effects drugs, including caffeine and alcohol, affect the performance of these systems and the dangers of mixing different things. What’s going on here?”

      He replied, “Someone has said they will be triggered by your talk, and they’re a rape survivor.”

      “Okay. In the talk I do cover ‘date rape’ drugs, and I explain their actions and how they’re dangerous.”

      Then he said, “Do you describe how to use date rape drugs? They said that if you are going to tell people how to use date rape drugs then it

  • I ran this through Google translate and still couldn't figure it out..

    Are you people doing this on purpose.. to make me doubt my sanity?

  • What's a "rape trigger"? ( Remember, sfw link or explanation. That's why I'm asking, I can't go read the one MAIN link that the entire story is about. )

    Without a definition of this word, the entire article/post is ... hard to follow and not worth my time pondering over. Heck, most people won't even be able to guess at what "harm reduction" is, nor have any idea what the Ada Initiative is.

    If you're going to use "technical terms", you need to define them. This being the internet, maybe, oh, I don't know,

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by quietwalker (969769)

      Disclaimer: I think it's silly, but I'll try to keep my personal opinions restricted to parens.

      A rape trigger is apparently anything that could cause negative feelings in a person based on their experiences with rape, or sympathy with those who have been raped. (as opposed to the norm, I guess, which is everyone is pro-rape?)

      So, talking about rape is an obvious rape trigger. Talking about being powerless is a rape trigger. Talking about sex is a rape trigger. (even loving, consensual, romantic sex.). Ta

  • From Wikipedia:

    The Ada Initiative is a non-profit organization that seeks to increase women's participation in the free culture movement, open source technology and open culture.

    So women's "participation" in the "free culture movement" and "open culture" is having expressions censored? How many women feel represented by this "Ada Initiative" now?

  • by FooAtWFU (699187) on Wednesday February 27, 2013 @12:11PM (#43025051) Homepage
    That's a little tendentious. The police and military are ostensibly designed to protect the general population. I mean, I'll respect your concerns about police oppressing people instead of protecting them, but if you go so far as to call them "bad guys" per se I'm not convinced that you're not just bringing a pre-existing political prejudice to the table...
    • by Hatta (162192) on Wednesday February 27, 2013 @12:50PM (#43025581) Journal

      Yes, the police and military are the bad guys and have been for decades. They are designed to protect the general population in the same way an electric fence protects cattle. Every war since at least Vietnam has had nothing to do with protecting people, only securing global hegemony. And the main purpose of the police is to keep the peasants from revolting. Notice how robust the response to OWS was, when the real criminals on Wall Street went untouched? Look at how willing the police are to ruin lives over a little Cannabis or how much respect the military has for basic principles of justice like innocent before proven guilty.

      These are not honorable institutions with honorable goals, and none can be associated with them honorably. We live in an upsidedown world where the authorities who are supposed to protect us are in fact the greatest threat. Wake the fuck up already.

  • by dcollins (135727) on Wednesday February 27, 2013 @12:15PM (#43025093) Homepage

    This is the single most incoherent story summary that I've ever read at Slashdot. Congratulations!

  • by borcharc (56372) * on Wednesday February 27, 2013 @12:17PM (#43025115)

    In short the Ada folks believe "Simply put, even the world’s most pro-woman, sex-positive, pro-consent talk about sex is likely to have negative effects on women at a technical conference."

    They have a complete lack of understanding of hacker culture, take one or two relatively minor, usually unreported, incidents out of a group of 10k+ people in a weekend and us it to drum up hate and a paycheck for their founder as they push their specific agenda. There concerns are not hacker specific issues that affect women, they are the same women's issues that have been out there for years. Their "initiative" is widely rejected by women who are long term attendees at cons. And that is what defcon and others are, cons, not technical conferences.

    Their choice in venue (cons) has a very low rate of incidents compared to the general population. They have caused far more incidents of things that may be considered sexual harassment as backlash for their bizarre behavior. At Chaos Communications Congress 29 this group handed out "Creeper cards" to men who in their sole judgement did something offensive. The folks at the con responded with their own form of "anti-feminist" cards. Their surprise at this response reiterates that they don't understand our culture.

    If there are incidents where someone is assaulted then call the police. Someone keeps proposition you at a bar? Tell them to go away, then call the bar's security, have you ever been to a bar? With defcon, the move to the more traditional strip hotels from the AP has brought in loads of Vegas trash. Pimps, bro's, etc roam the hotel and proposition every girl there for "shopping for sex" or other pimply schemes. No girl is safe in any Vegas venue from these guys, welcome to Vegas. If Vegas trash keeps hassling you, ask the passing group of hackers for help, they will solve it for you without any expectation in return, that's our culture.

  • Wrong Talk (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hhnerkopfabbeisser (645832) on Wednesday February 27, 2013 @12:17PM (#43025127)

    Violet was scheduled to speak about "sex +/- drugs: known vulns and exploits", not about "Hackers As A High-Risk Population".

    While I don't agree with the cancellation, this talk was more sexually charged (hence problematic) and much less on topic at a hacker conference than her talk at 29c3 was.

  • by invid (163714) on Wednesday February 27, 2013 @12:18PM (#43025137) Homepage
    Did anyone else think this was a group for advancing the use of the Ada programming language?
    • by Dan East (318230)

      Well, that's the nearest thing to a reason I can think of for this garbage to be on Slashdot.

  • Triggers are not an invention of SF Hippies or Feminists.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trauma_trigger

    Feel free to google "trauma trigger" or "PTSD trigger" for more.

    That you've never heard of something and can't wrap your head around it immediately doesn't mean that is must be bullshit.

  • by Rogerborg (306625) on Wednesday February 27, 2013 @12:29PM (#43025291) Homepage

    That way no wombyn can be raped, rape-triggered, demeaned, offended, creeped out or indeed involved.

    Now, hush up and knit me a pie.

  • by l0ungeb0y (442022) on Wednesday February 27, 2013 @12:37PM (#43025411) Homepage Journal

    From the Ada Initiative's own statement [adainitiative.org] on this:

    Simply put, even the world’s most pro-woman, sex-positive, pro-consent talk about sex is likely to have negative effects on women at a technical conference.

    More simply put: "Any talk of sex at a technical conference is bad m'kay, because a rape survivor might get offended."

    Sorry, but covering the ears and mouths of others to suppress information YOU DON'T LIKE is against feminism since it presumes that women are too fragile to handle sexuality in a positive and adult manner, is sexist to men since it presumes that the mere talk of sex, no matter the content of message of purpose will push some men to rape or "give women bad sexual experiences".

    And how many of these men would attend this fabled "Conference on Sexuality" where Violet Blue's talk would be "on topic"? I predict none.
    So a chance to raise awareness, engage, inform and encourage healthy debate has been lost because one group with a very clear agenda decide that no one t a "Tech Conference" should be able to be so educated and informed on subjects they feel are harmful based solely on their own ideals.

    The Ada Initiative should be wholeheartedly shunned by the tech circles who value freedom of information and freedom of choice for being counter to the very principles upon which their culture is formed. This is a culture based on curiosity, exploration, boundary pushing and self-education -- we don't need Ada Initiative telling us where or how to educate ourselves or dictating what topics are "safe".

    • by c (8461) <beauregardcp@gmail.com> on Wednesday February 27, 2013 @01:18PM (#43025991)

      Sorry, but covering the ears and mouths of others to suppress information YOU DON'T LIKE is against feminism...

      It's also against history and plain common sense.

      First, they're trying to censor something in the hacker community. Mere words can't explain how much "fail" is involved in that concept.

      Second, history is pretty clear that if you want to solve social behavioural problems (which, I'm assuming, is the fundamental reason behind the Ada Initiative), anything less than honest and open communications, even about things which are uncomfortable to some, is going to backfire. Suppression gives you stupid shit like abstinence-only sex education, and appealing to reason and/or authority without using reason or having authority is just denying reality. Particularly if your subject population is resistant to overt propaganda and manipulation, which this one certainly is.

      So, I guess the Ada Initiative can probably manage to get tech conferences to completely shun sex topics... as long as they don't mind that it's not going to do anything to actually reduce these "negative effects on women at a technical conference".

  • Original Article (Score:4, Informative)

    by wisnoskij (1206448) on Wednesday February 27, 2013 @12:54PM (#43025663) Homepage

    So basically the presenter said she would hold the talk in a separate room in the after party, so that only the people who knew what the content would be and consented to see it would see it.

    This was the response: “No, they’re here and they’re not leaving. They told me they’ll make it into a bigger problem if you do your talk.”

  • by karlandtanya (601084) on Wednesday February 27, 2013 @01:49PM (#43026371)

    It is a terrible thing that somebody has a traumatic experience.
    If you're walking on eggshells around that person, you're part of the problem.

    PTSD represents a bona fide injury and needs to be treated.
    If you have an injury, the injury is almost always not your fault, but your recovery is absolutely your responsibility. In those cases where it is your fault (deliberate self-destructive behaviour), you have another problem, which is also not your fault. But dealing with it IS your responsibility!
    This is a practical, not a moral judgement--nobody can make you deal with your issues. There's truth to the old punchline "the light bulb has to want to change".

    Because there is a behavioural component--sometimes including denial--in psychological injury, the injured person may need some external help to get them started. But, even in this case, the injured person is responsible for their own recovery.

    Demanding that the world re-arrange itself so that you can continue in your injured condition is NOT dealing with your problem.
    Complying with such demands is--on a personal level--classic codependent enabling behaviour, and does not help anybody.
    "Codependency" is not meaningful on an institutional level. The harm to the injured person, whether enabled by an individual or an institution, is exactly the same.

    Somebody fresh from their injury is likely to emotionally raw to "get out there".
    Stay in a safe place and work on your issues: Home. Halfway house. Hospital. Talk to your counsellor. Call your sponsor. Go to a meeting. Have a session with your psychologist. Pray. Meditate. Whatever your program for recovery is, work your program and get your life back. Get yourself ready to go out and live in the world, and then go out there and live.

    Somebody who goes out into society and tells everyone "please don't talk about these things because it sets me off" is NOT dealing with their problem.
    Rather than doing the painful, humiliating and frightening work on themselves, they're assuming the role of director and staging the world to suit themselves.

    Even if it would work for one person (it doesn't), there is more than one psychologically traumatized person in any given place. It's simply not practical to ban everything.
    "I was locked in a tiny room. If only there weren't all these closed windows, I wouldn't have panic attacks."
    "I was abandoned in a big train station. If only there weren't all these open doors and windows, I wouldn't have panic attacks."
    "I'm an alcoholic. If only there wasn't booze everywhere, I wouldn't get drunk."
    "I'm a compulsive gambler. If only there weren't internet cafes on every streetcorner, I wouldn't gamble."
    "I fought in a war. If only people wouldn't slam doors, I wouldn't have these flashbacks."

    If only the world would re-arrange itself to suit my particular trauma, I could be comfortable in the world NOW, instead of after I've worked for my recovery.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 27, 2013 @02:03PM (#43026475)
    So how do I go about getting some of these creeper cards? Is there just one design or is there a full set? Are they collectible?

    Does anyone have t-shirts with Creeper Cards printed on them? I'll take a size large in black please.

1 Mole = 25 Cagey Bees

Working...