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Shockand Denial:
Moving past
Feminism 101
AboutMe
» Web developer since 2008
» Plays video games, tech-minded since childhood
» Robotics fanatic
» White, straight-p...
I'malso kind offrustrated
I know that, to a large degree, y'all are like-minded
here. But this subject really gets to me. ...
Anoteaboutperspective
This talk is about being a bystander. I've been
harassed, and I wouldn't dream about telling folks
h...
Whyarewe stuckat
101?
Lookingatpatterns
Looking at the pattern of reporting harassment in
tech, and the reactions, is kind of depressing.
It's prettymuchthe
samething every
time.
The Cycle
1.Marginalized person reports harassment in tech
2.Denial group tries to silence that person's lived
experiences...
Howithappens
Amarginalized person reports
harassment
A person takes on serious risk to themselves-- their
career, their reputation, the...
The reactions ofour
industry, in some
cases,are nearlyas
badasthe
harassmentitself.
Thetwo groups of
the flank maneuver:
The ShockedandThe
Deniers
The Shocked
The shocked believe, or perpetuate the tale that this
can't happen in tech.
The reasonsthis can'thappen
» "We've progressed beyond that."
» "I know X and Y who work there and they're pretty
cool"
» ...
Whythis isaproblem
We as an industry never seem to get beyond this
conversation. We just talk about how shocked we are,
an...
We've progressed beyondthat
There are a litany of facts that prove this statement
wrong. And propagating this story is par...
"I knowXandYwhoworkthere.
They're cool."
What's funny about this argument is most of us in
marginalized groups have to wor...
"I'mjustso shocked!This mustbe
an isolated incident"
I like to think of these folks as ostriches, burying
their heads to a...
Rule #1to believing
victims oftech or
gaming industry
harassment
STOP
BEING
SHOCKED
beappalled, be
disgusted, beangry
ifyou needto
Butplease, forthe
sake ofprogress,we
needto getover
shock.
Howto move beyond shock
» Talk to those who appear shocked: "Yes, this is
shocking, but we can't let shock paralyze us out...
The Deniers
This group is more troublesome: they actively deny
that harassment happens in tech and gaming, or
worse-- they instead cla...
The demanders ofproof
These brave souls demand proof that the harassment
happened, and insist it didn't happen until they
...
Howdo I dealwiththem?
I tend to less-than-politely remind them:
You are not entitled to
the experience of anyone
else. It ...
The fact that these folks actively doubt victims
means they're not going to believe them under any
circumstances. I find sp...
The characterassassins
These folks will do anything, anything, to re-frame
the argument around the victim and their lives,...
The sealions
We've all seen the wonderful Wondermark cartoon
explaining sea lioning:
Howdowe handlethem?
Honestly? These folks (sea lions and character
assassins) are usually beyond reason. I find the best
si...
Anoteaboutcalloutculture
I know callout culture is an issue, so I tend to be
careful about callouts. But my opinion remain...
Thereare other groups
These groups are small, but vocal, and super gross:
» MRAs/TERFs/other blatant supporters of horribl...
Howto move on fromtheanger
We can't be angry all the time, and we have to
practice some self-care while maintaining our sh...
Blocking/Muting
If you are dealing with an especially toxic person,
you have every right to block, mute, or otherwise
disr...
Supportvictims
A simple tweet to show that you support someone who
is being harassed can be great. Pointing them to
resour...
Be carefultalkingtovictims
Be sure not to:
» Trivialize their lived experiences
» Say you know how it feels, if you don't....
Golden Rule: Dowhatworks for
you
My tactics do not work for everyone by a long shot.
I'm going off what I've done based on...
Showsome <3tothealterconforganizers
Thanks for Listening!
@nodebotanist on twitters
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Responding to Harassment: Moving Past Feminism 101

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A talk about dealing with seeing public revalations of harassment.

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Responding to Harassment: Moving Past Feminism 101

  1. 1. Shockand Denial: Moving past Feminism 101
  2. 2. AboutMe » Web developer since 2008 » Plays video games, tech-minded since childhood » Robotics fanatic » White, straight-passing, CIS woman
  3. 3. I'malso kind offrustrated I know that, to a large degree, y'all are like-minded here. But this subject really gets to me. If I appear angry, know I'm not angry at y'all. Y'all are amazing for being here and supporting this conference <3.
  4. 4. Anoteaboutperspective This talk is about being a bystander. I've been harassed, and I wouldn't dream about telling folks how to deal with their own harassment. This talk and these strategies are aimed at those who see reports of harassment, and want to move the conversation forward constructively.
  5. 5. Whyarewe stuckat 101?
  6. 6. Lookingatpatterns Looking at the pattern of reporting harassment in tech, and the reactions, is kind of depressing.
  7. 7. It's prettymuchthe samething every time.
  8. 8. The Cycle 1.Marginalized person reports harassment in tech 2.Denial group tries to silence that person's lived experiences with anecdotal "data" and/or smear tactics 3.Shocked group either pretends to be, or is deluded into, being shocked that this happened 4.Silenced marginalized person tries to put their life back together with very little real aid.
  9. 9. Howithappens
  10. 10. Amarginalized person reports harassment A person takes on serious risk to themselves-- their career, their reputation, their relationships, their safety-- in order to publicly report their lived experiences
  11. 11. The reactions ofour industry, in some cases,are nearlyas badasthe harassmentitself.
  12. 12. Thetwo groups of the flank maneuver: The ShockedandThe Deniers
  13. 13. The Shocked The shocked believe, or perpetuate the tale that this can't happen in tech.
  14. 14. The reasonsthis can'thappen » "We've progressed beyond that." » "I know X and Y who work there and they're pretty cool" » "I'm just so shocked! This must be an isolated incident"
  15. 15. Whythis isaproblem We as an industry never seem to get beyond this conversation. We just talk about how shocked we are, and then the facts fade to time and we plod on.
  16. 16. We've progressed beyondthat There are a litany of facts that prove this statement wrong. And propagating this story is part of the problem-- we can't move forward to solving the problem without admitting there is a problem.
  17. 17. "I knowXandYwhoworkthere. They're cool." What's funny about this argument is most of us in marginalized groups have to work in places where troubling incidents occur, because they are so pervasive. Just knowing a few cool people who work there doesn't give everyone a clear pass that works there.
  18. 18. "I'mjustso shocked!This mustbe an isolated incident" I like to think of these folks as ostriches, burying their heads to avoid having to have a real discussion about this real problem. This one, to me, is the most aggravating.
  19. 19. Rule #1to believing victims oftech or gaming industry harassment
  20. 20. STOP
  21. 21. BEING
  22. 22. SHOCKED
  23. 23. beappalled, be disgusted, beangry ifyou needto
  24. 24. Butplease, forthe sake ofprogress,we needto getover shock.
  25. 25. Howto move beyond shock » Talk to those who appear shocked: "Yes, this is shocking, but we can't let shock paralyze us out of learning from this." » To those who claim we're beyond it: then why are new reports of harassment appearing on a regular basis? What happens to these harassers? » Remind those with friends at the company in question: calling out harassment may not be calling out your friends that work there.
  26. 26. The Deniers
  27. 27. This group is more troublesome: they actively deny that harassment happens in tech and gaming, or worse-- they instead claim groups in power are being harassed by 'power-hungry SJWs'.
  28. 28. The demanders ofproof These brave souls demand proof that the harassment happened, and insist it didn't happen until they specifically see that proof.
  29. 29. Howdo I dealwiththem? I tend to less-than-politely remind them: You are not entitled to the experience of anyone else. It isn't about you. Back off.
  30. 30. The fact that these folks actively doubt victims means they're not going to believe them under any circumstances. I find spending time trying to prove things to them won't matter, because they'll claim the proof was made up. Plus, again, we're not entitled to the details of that experience other than what the victim chooses to share with us.
  31. 31. The characterassassins These folks will do anything, anything, to re-frame the argument around the victim and their lives, choices, and actions, instead of the harassers. They bring up irrelevant things, like how the victim dresses, if any time has passed between the harassment and the report, anything they can find (or make up!) about the victim.
  32. 32. The sealions We've all seen the wonderful Wondermark cartoon explaining sea lioning:
  33. 33. Howdowe handlethem? Honestly? These folks (sea lions and character assassins) are usually beyond reason. I find the best situation for these folks is a call-out and a block.
  34. 34. Anoteaboutcalloutculture I know callout culture is an issue, so I tend to be careful about callouts. But my opinion remains that callouts can be used as a tool. My view is I only call out folks who either start a public dialogue with me while saying offensive things, or those who exhibit repeated, unrepentant offensive behavior.
  35. 35. Thereare other groups These groups are small, but vocal, and super gross: » MRAs/TERFs/other blatant supporters of horrible things » The silencers- the ones who threaten and dox victims into silence I wish I knew how better to deal with these groups. For the silencers, I recommend contacting Crash Override, or OAPI for assistance
  36. 36. Howto move on fromtheanger We can't be angry all the time, and we have to practice some self-care while maintaining our shining a light on this huge issue in tech.
  37. 37. Blocking/Muting If you are dealing with an especially toxic person, you have every right to block, mute, or otherwise disregard them. Their right to free speech does not equal a right to your time :).
  38. 38. Supportvictims A simple tweet to show that you support someone who is being harassed can be great. Pointing them to resources for dealing with ahrassment can be even better! Respect their space, though. If they ask to be left alone, or be un-tagged from a conversation, do so.
  39. 39. Be carefultalkingtovictims Be sure not to: » Trivialize their lived experiences » Say you know how it feels, if you don't. (avoid it even if you do). » Ask for details that don't belong to you » Push them to do something they don't want to do (tell management, etc)
  40. 40. Golden Rule: Dowhatworks for you My tactics do not work for everyone by a long shot. I'm going off what I've done based on what I've gone through and seen.
  41. 41. Showsome <3tothealterconforganizers
  42. 42. Thanks for Listening! @nodebotanist on twitters

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