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Jul 30 2012

At least our cons are better than that!

I think. I don’t know how much leg-chewing goes on when I’m not looking, anyway. I ran across this account of DefCon, the hacker conference, and was impressed at how close it sounds to some of our atheist/skeptic conferences…only worse.

For anyone who wasn’t able to immediately find a female Defcon attendee, I will let you in on a not very well kept secret. Defcon is hell for women. Defcon is also many wonderful things. It is a fantastic environment to learn, network, and connect with friends old and new. But I’m not here to talk about that. There are plenty of other people who have been going to Defcon for longer than I, and who have gained more from it, who are infinitely more equipped to speak about it’s strengths as a conference. All I can speak to is my somewhat jarring experience last year, the first time I attended.

Let it be known that I went to Defcon with a reasonable amount of armor on already. I was reasonably aware of the frat party environment I was stepping into. I have many friends who are involved with helping make Defcon roll smoothly each year, from speakers to goons. And still, nothing could have prepared me for the onslaught of bad behavior I experienced.

Like the man who drunkenly tried to lick my shoulder tattoo. Like the man who grabbed my hips while I was waiting for a drink at the EFF party. Like the man who tried to get me to show him my tits so he could punch a hole in a card that, when filled, would net him a favor from one of the official security staff (I do not have words for how slimy it is that the official security staff were in charge of what was essentially a competition to get women to show their boobs). Or lastly, the man who, without prompting, interrupted my conversation and asked me if I’d like to come back to his room for a “private pillowfight party.” “You know,” he said. “Just a bunch of girls having a pillowfight…. fun!” When I asked him how many men would be standing around in a circle recording this event, he quickly assured me that “no one would be taking video! I swear!” I’m pretty sure this is the point where my lovely partner Morgan asked him if he thought propositions like his had anything to do with contributing to women not feeling welcome at Defcon. This was a very difficult concept for this poor soul to wrap his head around.

The author has a cool solution. She’s making up red and yellow ‘creeper cards’ — when someone makes an inappropriate advance, you reward them with a little card that explains what a slimeball move they just made.

302 comments

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  1. 1
    Worldtraveller

    If only there was a way to pin those creeper cards on so they couldn’t be removed.

    New Con game: Pin the card on the asshole.

    I see potential.

  2. 2
    Anthony K

    Finally, A datapoint for this oft-repeated claim that the atheist/skeptics’ conferences are “probably better than most” with regards to harassment.

  3. 3
    PZ Myers

    As least TAM didn’t have their secret police asking women to show their tits! Yay!

  4. 4
    Ace of Sevens

    New talking point: Why are you complaining about sexism at skeptic conferences when DefCon is way worse?

  5. 5
    Anthony K

    As least we have no evidence that TAM had their secret police asking women to show their tits! Yay!

    FIFRB.

    (Fixed it for Russell Blackford.)

  6. 6
    hyperdeath

    The author has a cool solution. She’s making up red and yellow ‘creeper cards’ — when someone makes an inappropriate advance, you reward them with a little card that explains what a slimeball move they just made.

    I once suggested a similar thing, albeit with the threat of expulsion behind it. Regardless of details, there should be an incontrovertible way of saying “fuck off”.

  7. 7
    Ophelia Benson

    Yay! Just move the bar (the criterion, not the drinks place) and everything will be fine!

  8. 8
    mythbri

    No no no – the cards can just be discarded, and serve no warning to other conference attendees about problematic behavior. Therefore, the solution is obvious. Give each female attendee two paintball pistols, one loaded with yellow paintballs, one loaded with red paintballs. If the lesson doesn’t stick, then the paint will.

  9. 9
    Bronze Dog

    If only there was a way to pin those creeper cards on so they couldn’t be removed.

    Sorry about the Godwinning, but I was just reminded of Inglorious Basterds.

    Of course, without punishment potential, I’d worry that the creeps would boast about the number of cards they got.

  10. 10
    Zeno

    I’m almost certain the “creeper” cards won’t work. Their recipients might even pin them to their T-shirts as badges of honor (yeah, I know: bad use of the word “honor,” but that might be how they’ll take it). In fact, there might be a prize from the security staff for the guy who collects the most cards.

    The paintball idea seems better. I recommend the first paintball go in the center of the creep’s forehead.

  11. 11
    Grimalkin

    (I do not have words for how slimy it is that the official security staff were in charge of what was essentially a competition to get women to show their boobs)

    What.

    That is actually the most fucked up, slimiest thing I’ve ever heard.

    I think I broke.

    Going to second paintball guns. Or, tattoo guns.

  12. 12
    peterhearn

    I’ve been to several computer science related conferences. I’ve never been to DefCon, but it would be the kind of event I’d go to. In my experience its almost all men, nearly all of them socially inept. Most of them don’t have it in them to even talk to a woman. Out of the few guys that do have social skills, they are very bad at them. Every social interaction is awkward. Especially talking to women. Thats usually what you get when dealing with people who spend most of their time coding and very little time socializing in the real world.

    I don’t see this woman’s account as an accurate portrayal of the normal behavior at these kinds of conferences. Maybe theres something else going on specifically at DefCon.

    I’d suggest going to one of these conferences and seeing for yourself how people behave.

  13. 13
    Anthony K

    And how big are your tits, peterhearn? Maybe that’s why you’re not being invited to the best pillow fights.

  14. 14
    Pteryxx

    shorter peterhearn: 1)I see nothing, 2) woman = unreliable, 3) we’re not all like that!

    Might be the quickest harassment-denial bingo card thread ever.

  15. 15
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    I’ve never been to DefCon, but it would be the kind of event I’d go to. In my experience its almost all men, nearly all of them socially inept. Most of them don’t have it in them to even talk to a woman. Out of the few guys that do have social skills, they are very bad at them. Every social interaction is awkward. Especially talking to women. Thats usually what you get when dealing

    My bingo card is nearly full.

  16. 16
    Pteryxx

    whoops, I forgot a) but they’re just socially awkward! Though that one ought to count a half dozen times, as it’s practically the rape-culture premise.

  17. 17
    markr1957

    The heck with paint guns – I vote for 50KV and 100KV tazers, then you just need to see the asshats who are writhing on the floor to know who to avoid. If said asshat wants to show the tazer hooks off to security let hir!

  18. 18
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    I’ve been to several computer science related conferences. I’ve never been to DefCon, but it would be the kind of event I’d go to. In my experience its almost all men, nearly all of them socially inept. Most of them don’t have it in them to even talk to a woman. Out of the few guys that do have social skills, they are very bad at them. Every social interaction is awkward. Especially talking to women. Thats usually what you get when dealing with people who spend most of their time coding and very little time socializing in the real world.

    I don’t see this woman’s account as an accurate portrayal of the normal behavior at these kinds of conferences. Maybe theres something else going on specifically at DefCon.

    I’d suggest going to one of these conferences and seeing for yourself how people behave.

    Yeah the whole brogrammer thing is just some made up idea.

  19. 19
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    *pats little petey on the head*

    that right, sweetiekins. Things only happen if you personally see it happen and of course women are lying bitches.

    Now run along and play with your soft toys with no sharp edges while the adults talk.

  20. 20
    Anthony K

    but it would be the kind of event I’d go to. In my experience its almost all men, nearly all of them socially inept. Most of them don’t have it in them to even talk to a woman. Out of the few guys that do have social skills, they are very bad at them. Every social interaction is awkward

    Pteryxx, it’s pretty clear that peterhearn is saying they’re all like that, including himself.

  21. 21
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    peterhearn,

    Why should I distrust her experience, but trust yours?

  22. 22
    Anthony K

    Thanks to peterhearn though, we now know the appropriate punishment: make offenders go outside and run some laps.

  23. 23
    Anthony K

    Why should I distrust her experience, but trust yours?

    Because he’s socially inept, I guess? Mad wallflower observational skillz?

  24. 24
    A. R

    Give each female attendee two paintball pistols, one loaded with yellow paintballs, one loaded with red paintballs. If the lesson doesn’t stick, then the paint will.

    Because male attendees can’t be harassed?

  25. 25
    Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts

    I’ve been to several computer science related conferences. I’ve never been to DefCon, but it would be the kind of event I’d go to. In my experience its almost all men, nearly all of them socially inept. Most of them don’t have it in them to even talk to a woman. Out of the few guys that do have social skills, they are very bad at them. Every social interaction is awkward. Especially talking to women.

    Translation: Nothing to see here, just some awkward nerds.

    Thats usually what you get when dealing with people who spend most of their time coding and very little time socializing in the real world.

    Translation: When dealing with nerds, expect to be sexually harassed.

    I don’t see this woman’s account as an accurate portrayal of the normal behavior at these kinds of conferences. Maybe theres something else going on specifically at DefCon.

    Blah, blah, more minimizing bullshit.

    I’d suggest going to one of these conferences and seeing for yourself how people behave.

    Yeah, they sound like such a great time. /sarcastic

    Fuck off, peterhearn. Someone relates her experience of being harassed, and all you can say is that 1) the harassment is all just social ineptness*, 2) it is to be expected, 3) it is not the norm anyways, so its no big deal, and 4) we shouldn’t make any judgements about a con based on peoples’ related-experiences, but rather must attend ourselves. Stop minimizing harassment.

    *no reason given for why socially inept behavior of this sort should be tolerated

  26. 26
    thunk: turmite city

    *ahem*, peterhearn.

    I’ve been to several computer science related conferences. I’ve never been to DefCon, but it would be the kind of event I’d go to. In my experience its almost all men, nearly all of them socially inept. Most of them don’t have it in them to even talk to a woman. Out of the few guys that do have social skills, they are very bad at them. Every social interaction is awkward. Especially talking to women. Thats usually what you get when dealing with people who spend most of their time coding and very little time socializing in the real world.

    Yes, they’re all Socially Awkward! ™ Like that excuses anything.

    I don’t see this woman’s account as an accurate portrayal of the normal behavior at these kinds of conferences. Maybe theres something else going on specifically at DefCon.

    Women are routinely not trusted when it comes to harassment. Also, why should we trust your splanation more? You’ve never been there.

    I’d suggest going to one of these conferences and seeing for yourself how people behave.

    So we’ll see the Sophisticated Misogyny there?

  27. 27
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Oh my… I can’t believe I skipped the “I’ve never been to DefCon” part!
    So we should trust you over her about a conference you have never even been to.

  28. 28
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    So we should trust you over her about a conference you have never even been to.

    Well, yeah, she’s been there, but she doesn’t have a penis. EVERYONE knows that only people with penises tell the truth or can psychically or telepathically just “know” what’s true and what isn’t true.

    And we should listen because . . . . . uh . . . . . . his penis says we have to.

  29. 29
    Tethys

    I am so fed up with the “Ze can’t help being an asshole, it’s not their fault.” defense.

    It is pure bullshit unless you have somehow managed to grow into an adult without ever actually interacting with people.

  30. 30
    chigau (違う)

    Does social ineptitude mean they would misinterpret a knee to the groin?

  31. 31
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    *insert penis whisperer joke*

  32. 32
    Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts

    peterhearn,

    I’ve never been to DefCon…

    I’d suggest going to one of these conferences and seeing for yourself how people behave.

    How about you take your own advice, shithead. The OP relates the experience of someone who did go themselves. You, self-admittedly, have not gone to DefCon. Yet, the bitch must be lying, and we should trust you.

    Fuck you.

  33. 33
    A. R

    Illuminata: Said penis, must, of course, also be white, and belong to a heterosexual, neurotypical, Christian, and preferably wealthy Northwestern European person.

  34. 34
    mythbri

    @A.R.

    Because male attendees can’t be harassed?

    Of course they can. My suggestion was tongue-in-cheek. Also, I think paintballing is fun. But it was based on the OP, which was regarding an environment that was decidedly hostile to women in particular.

    @peterhearn

    I am tired, and so are many other people, of the “socially awkward” excuse that is brought out to explain, and more often excuse, bad behavior like this. This in particular:

    Most of them don’t have it in them to even talk to a woman. Out of the few guys that do have social skills, they are very bad at them. Every social interaction is awkward. Especially talking to women.

    tells me that these men have more trouble seeing women as people and talking to them as equals, than they do about talking to them, at them, or around them in general. Women are not an alien species.

  35. 35
    Pteryxx

    Maybe theres something else going on specifically at DefCon.

    …and specifically at Readercon:

    http://glvalentine.livejournal.com/341417.html

    …and specifically at philosophy cons and departments:

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/butterfliesandwheels/2012/07/known-among-women-at-least-as-someone-to-avoid/

    …and specifically in academia:

    http://people.cas.sc.edu/swansc/CortinaSwanetal1998Sexualharassmentandacademia.pdf

    …and specifically at TAM:

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/ashleymiller/2012/06/06/arent-you-making-it-up-why-women-dont-report-harassment/

    …and so on and so on, but all these totally are just exceptional circumstances that happen in a void! If they actually happened at all because women lie! Totally.

  36. 36
    Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts

    I am so fed up with the “Ze can’t help being an asshole, it’s not their fault.” defense.

    Even if these people can’t help being an asshole*, My right not to be harassed outweighs your right to be a harassing asshole. Simple.

    **fake-sneaze*, “bullshit”!

  37. 37
    Pteryxx

    Oh, and because I’m also socially awkward:

    …and so on and so on, but all these totally are just exceptional circumstances that happen in a void! If they actually happened at all because women lie! Totally.

    THAT WAS ME BEING SARCASTIC.

  38. 38
    Anthony K

    Does social ineptitude mean they would misinterpret a knee to the groin?

    “l33th8xx0r: I think I just got my V-card punched. Thought it would hurt less. #defcon”

    “n00bn1nj8: @l33th8xx0r Pics or it didn’t happen. #defcon”

    “l33th8xx0r: @n00bn1nj8 Security has footage. #defcon”

    “n00bn1nj8: buhleeted. not anymore. pwned #defcon”

  39. 39
    Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts

    …and specifically at Readercon:… act

    But Pteryxx, have you personally been to all those cons? I’d suggest going to one of these conferences and seeing for yourself how people behave.

  40. 40
    Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts

    act = ect.

    FIFM

  41. 41
    PZ Myers

    True confession: I was an inept, socially malodroit nerd as a teenager, and I know exactly what it meant. It meant anguishing for weeks about asking a girl out on a date, and on that date, being tongue-tied and not knowing what to say.

    Grabbing women by the hips and giving them invitations to pillow fights and licking and gnawing on their bodies…not so much.

  42. 42
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    At this point we don’t even have evidence that Pterryx actually Googled for these articles or that they exist. Until then, I believe cautious skepticism should prevail and we assume those things do not exist.

  43. 43
    eric

    I don’t see this woman’s account as an accurate portrayal of the normal behavior at these kinds of conferences.

    Its not an accurate account of what happens to you at these conferences. Because your tattoos aren’t the ones most of the attendees want to lick.

    ***

    Its sort of like the difference in perspective between a motorcycle rider and an orthopedic doctor. The first will tell you that bike riding is safe; he/she hardly ever or never has accidents. The second will tell you that its dangerous, and that most of the road-related injuries he/she sees are motorcycle-related.

    You, Peter, are like a rider. You only experience the road accidents that happen to you, which isn’t many. The women who attend these conventions are like the doctors. They observe and experience a much larger sample of road accidents, so they are able to see a risk correlation/trend where you don’t.

  44. 44
    chigau (違う)

    I’m going to assume that neither Pterryx nor Josh exist.
    I’m the only one I can be sure of.
    I think.

  45. 45
    Pteryxx

    Woo_Monster: But I went to a conference once, and *I* didn’t get sexually harassed at all. Therefore there’s no such thing as sexual harassment and all conferences are totally safe.

    Also, I’ve never been pickpocketed or murdered.

    …Actually, I’m not dead, so death doesn’t exist!

  46. 46
    mythbri

    @chigau

    That’s exactly what you would think if you didn’t really exist but only thought that you did! Ergo, you don’t exist.

  47. 47
    Worldtraveller

    Given the clear, irresistible virility of the MRAs who inevitably show up in these threads, I would suggest hiring a professional hollywood type makeup artist, get them done up as various women (let’s cover the spectrum from as attractive as they can be made to plain homely) and let them interact at a con.

    Rules: They have to stay ‘in character’ the whole time. They can’t pretend to be lesbians and hit on other women.

    That cover it?

    I remember seeing an expose (I wouldn’t go so far as to call it a documentary, I think they only did it in one area with one person.) where a rather attractive woman pretended to be locked out of her car, or needed a tire changed, or some similar predicament, and lots of people (mostly men) offered to help. But when they put that same woman in a ‘fat suit’ and lots of ‘ugly makeup’, the numbers drastically went down. IIRC, the weird part (to me) was the number of women who stopped and offered help also went down.

  48. 48
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    This is the same reasoning that’s been thoroughly debunked regarding men “misunderstanding” negative cues and lack of consent. They don’t misunderstand them at all. They know fucking well what they’re doing and they’re playing some of you for fucking chumps because you don’t want to see what’s smack in your face.

    Stop it. And so-called rape-victim advocates? Stop wasting your time trying to “educate” women on how to give clear rape-proof refusal of consent.

    “If a Girl Doesn’t Say ‘no’:Young Men, Rape, and Claims of ‘Insufficient Knowledge’”

    http://www.brown.uk.com/brownlibrary/obyrne.pdf

  49. 49
    AlanMac

    I’m kinda worried about the next crop of teens. The males see women as bitches and ‘hoes’. Whereas the females see themselves as a tasty snack for a moody, whiny vampire. (definitely future enablers)

  50. 50
    pentatomid

    True confession: I was an inept, socially malodroit nerd as a teenager, and I know exactly what it meant. It meant anguishing for weeks about asking a girl out on a date, and on that date, being tongue-tied and not knowing what to say.

    Grabbing women by the hips and giving them invitations to pillow fights and licking and gnawing on their bodies…not so much.

    THIS. Exactly this.
    Someone who, as peterhearn says, doesn’t have it in them to talk to women, doesn’t go about groping them or asking to see their boobs.

  51. 51
    Kristjan Wager

    peterhearn:

    I’ve been to several computer science related conferences.

    Congratulations. They can be awesome places to hear about new ideas, concepts and techniques. Also, they are great places for networking. These days, it could almost be said that that’s their primary function.

    I’ve never been to DefCon, but it would be the kind of event I’d go to.

    DefCon is not the type of conferences I go to – I tend to go to conferences that are more professional, and cover a broader spectrum. But each, his own, I guess.

    In my experience its almost all men, nearly all of them socially inept.

    Within the last year, I’ve been to 3 conferences – one in Denmark, one in London, and one in New York. While it would be wrong to say that there is an equal number of both genders, there were a large percentage of women – especially in the Danish one, where they have worked hard to get more women to come, both as participants and as speakers.

    The participants in all three conferences, were on the whole, not people I would call socially inept. Rather, they are usually people who get along with others. In this economy, the companies are not going to send people unable to network to what is a great networking opportunity – rather spend the money on some people who can use that to the company’s advantage.

    Most of them don’t have it in them to even talk to a woman.

    Really? Being able to talk with everyone is a necessary skill for people in this day and age. Very few programmers are good enough to get away with bad intra-personnel skills on the level you describe.

    Out of the few guys that do have social skills, they are very bad at them. Every social interaction is awkward. Especially talking to women.

    Yes, this was pretty much the point of the OP. Not that these people don’t have social skills, but that their interaction with women is less than great.

    This is, unfortunately, rather widespread, as the whole brogrammer tendency has shown. Thankfully our field is pushing back against that now. Unfortunately, the participants at DefCon doesn’t seem to have gotten the memo.

    Thats usually what you get when dealing with people who spend most of their time coding and very little time socializing in the real world.

    Since most programming involves more than one person, this is of course, absolute nonsense. Most programmers are able to interact with other people on a day-to-day basis. Why shouldn’t they be able to do so at conferences?

    The problem is rather that some conferences creates an admosphere where it is acceptable to harras women, by e.g. letting their security people get participants to try to get women to show their tits.

    Well-run conferences, or just conferences who care about either their image or basic decency, would stamp down hard on that sort of thing, of course. unfortunately, it seems that DefCon either doesn’t care about this enough, or are too inept, to deal with it.

    I don’t see this woman’s account as an accurate portrayal of the normal behavior at these kinds of conferences. Maybe theres something else going on specifically at DefCon.

    I have not been at a conference where this sort of behavior would be tolerated, but I have certainly seen tendencies towards this behavior at conferences. Here it just sounds like that the behavior has had tacit approval, which has taken it to a much greater extreme.

    Your description of the behavior, on the other hand, I don’t see as an accurate portrayal.

    I’d suggest going to one of these conferences and seeing for yourself how people behave.

    Thank you, I have. And there are some real sexist pigs at these conferences. The description of the behavior at DefCon shows how badly it can be, when they are allowed to run amok.

  52. 52
    Kristjan Wager

    Someone who, as peterhearn says, doesn’t have it in them to talk to women, doesn’t go about groping them or asking to see their boobs.

    To be fair, that’s his point – he is claiming that the OP is false, because the participants are socially inept.

  53. 53
    ChasCPeterson

    FIFRB

    that was funny

  54. 54
    microraptor

    If only there was a way to pin those creeper cards on so they couldn’t be removed.

    Use a staple gun to attach it to their foreheads.

  55. 55
    David Marjanović

    Someone who, as peterhearn says, doesn’t have it in them to talk to women, doesn’t go about groping them or asking to see their boobs.

    And that’s exactly what peterhearn said. It’s why he implied that the woman’s experience must be a statistical outlier or a lie.

    People! Why is it that so many of you seem to have read only “socially inept” of the entire comment 12 and immediately jumped to the conclusion that “this must be yet another of those assholes that try to excuse harrassment with ‘that’s how socially inept people behave, deal with it‘”! peterhearn said the opposite! I paraphrase: “there can’t be much if any harrassment going on, because all those guys are socially inept – socially inept guys won’t even talk to women, let alone harrass them“.

    That said, his argumentation is still wrong. As several people have pointed out, he tried to derive a logical conclusion from painfully unexamined male privilege and a severe lack of information. He should still be ashamed.

    If the lesson doesn’t stick, then the paint will.

    + 1

  56. 56
    Tinjoe

    I don’t think that calling the people in a group socially inept is either an excuse for bad behaviour or a reason why bad behaviour isn’t possible. Even if we grant the premise that this is a group of socially inept people, it could be that these people find the “courage” to behave terribly that they couldn’t get away with individually.

  57. 57
    Kristjan Wager

    It doesn’t really matter if it is an excuse one way or another – peterhearn claimed, without any evidence whatsoever, that the original author lied. That is what we should focus on, and which he should appologize for.

  58. 58
    Travis

    I too was a socially awkward teenager and undergraduate. I have a degree in computer science and I am working on my masters now. I have been around computer science people for a long time. peterhearn might not have found these types of people, so either the culture surrounding them is completely different or they are blind to these issues. I am betting on option #2.

    Being socially awkward is not an excuse. Having a hard time with conversational queues (For instance, I have a tendency to ramble on and on about a subject and it often takes me a while to realize that the other person just does not care, or is completely lost) is a sign of being socially inept. People do not lick random people, or ask to see someone’s breasts because they are awkward. They do it because they are assholes.

    The social inept excuse drives me up the wall. Back in the early 2000s it seemed that everyone (obviously a generalization, but I found the topic came up on a regular basis) I knew in CS wanted to proclaim they had Asperger syndrome. It was a fad. There seemed to be a rush to show just how socially inept you were and to find a justification for continuing with it. Combine that with a healthy dose of nice guy-ism. I am sure it was a treat for the women in the program. I sadly cannot absolve myself of these problem though. For a while I was a bit of a bitter nice guy, but in the end I grew up, became far more social, and have had a much better time.

  59. 59
    hyperdeath

    AlanMac:

    Whereas the females see themselves as a tasty snack for a moody, whiny vampire.

    Twilight would be so much better if it had Buffy in it. Edward would be dust before the end of the first chapter.

  60. 60
    gworroll

    You know, I’ll give Peterhearn some unearned benefit of the doubt just to see where it leads.

    Ok, the problem is socially inept nerds that just don’t know how to interact with women. Fundamentally decent guys that just don’t know any better. That seems to be his point.

    Well… that’s easy. I had some issues in this area(as the offender), though not as severe as some of what’s reported in this experience(I was mostly the hesitant side of social ineptitude, which did me few favors the times I got over it). What got through to me? The issue being discussed where I could see it. Message boards for various communities I was part of, friends blogs, that sort of thing.

    What could have gotten through to me had that failed? Consequences for times I stepped over the line. Which basically never happened.

    So, I’m not sure what Peterhearn’s problem is. He seems to accept that this stuff does happen, though he doesn’t seem to accept the commonality, and seems to put a larger share of the blame on ineptitude than I think he should. But… Even if he’s right? The best ways to resolve this would be to keep the topic visibly discussed, and ensure consequences for stepping over the line.

    The cases where social ineptitude really is the reason for this sort of misbehavior- those men would *benefit* from this. Whether they just want to get laid or want women as part of the community, they’d do better. It might hurt their pride to get called out on misbheavior when they really did mean well(it has for me), but all the solutions the skeptics community has been proposing… are just as valid and useful even if the problem is just social ineptitude.

    So, the same stuff that will get rid of the total assholes, will help out the nice guys that just don’t know better. The only people to lose will be the assholes.

  61. 61
    skeptifem

    maybe women should cover themselves in that bitter spray designed to prevent dogs from chewing on things. These socially awkward dudes apparently need to be trained like fucking animals not to slobber on other people?

    But don’t forget, its feminists who hate men.

  62. 62
    Ace of Sevens

    @skeptifem? Don’t you normally use hot sauce for that? That would have the opposite effect at a hacker con.

  63. 63
    Anthony K

    People! Why is it that so many of you seem to have read only “socially inept” of the entire comment 12 and immediately jumped to the conclusion that “this must be yet another of those assholes that try to excuse harrassment with ‘that’s how socially inept people behave, deal with it‘”! peterhearn said the opposite! I paraphrase: “there can’t be much if any harrassment going on, because all those guys are socially inept – socially inept guys won’t even talk to women, let alone harrass them”.

    Same reason that whenever I drop something and it falls towards the ground I assume gravity is still at play.

  64. 64
    peterhearn

    lol you guys are hilarious.

    Just to clarify I’m not saying they think its ok to sexually harass someone because you’re socially inept. I ment they’re not likely to behave that way because the thought of licking a girl’s shoulder or grabbing her hips unprovoked terrifies them. Seriously, the kind of person she is talking about is the opposite of what you’ll find there.

    You don’t have to listen to me, though. You can go to any hacker/network security conference and see for yourself. Or you can keep reinforcing this inaccurate account that doesn’t match reality, if that makes you more comfortable.

    And you’re all invited to the pillow fight.

  65. 65
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    peterhearn,

    I will repeat my question.

    Why should I believe your assumption about a con you have never been to over the experience of this woman?

  66. 66
    sc_5b5039dd39eec895ccc71934d4e6783f

    Ace of Sevens @ #4:

    New talking point: Why are you complaining about sexism at skeptic conferences when DefCon is way worse?

    Dear Sceptica, anyone?

  67. 67
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Seriously, the kind of person she is talking about is the opposite of what you’ll find there.

    Except she did find them there. Seriously, you understand that, right?

  68. 68
    Anthony K

    Or you can keep reinforcing this inaccurate account that doesn’t match reality, if that makes you more comfortable.

    Just to be clear, you’re asking us to deny kdotcdot’s account of what happened to her in favour of the stereotype of the geeky, socially inept hacker.

    That’s the ‘uncomfortable’, think-outside-the-box perspective, is it?

  69. 69
    skeptifem

    peter hearn- answer beatrice at post 65.

  70. 70
    Kristjan Wager

    peterhearn, I will be less polite than Beatric:

    How the fuck dare you make claims about the accuracy of the account without having ever been to the particular conference? And why the fuck do you think that none of us have been to this sort of conferences, and have seen indications of this sort of behavior?

    People like you, represents everything that is wrong with the field, and I cannot wait until the day where the field has moved on, leaving you and your irk behind – alone, and unwanted.

  71. 71
    Flewellyn

    Well, yeah, she’s been there, but she doesn’t have a penis. EVERYONE knows that only people with penises tell the truth or can psychically or telepathically just “know” what’s true and what isn’t true.

    And we should listen because . . . . . uh . . . . . . his penis says we have to.

    But of course! The penis is a mighty and powerful thing.

    Er, inasmuch as a floppy length of highly-innervated tissue which contains no bones or muscles and has to engorge itself with blood merely to stand up could be said to be “mighty and powerful”. And its neighbor is no better, a wrinkled sac of flesh, just as sensitive and easily damaged. The two of them make an unsightly pair, rather resembling a dejected elephant, sad because he lost his tusks.

    I’ve had one for all of my life, and I have yet to see anything about it which endows its bearers with more intelligence, wisdom, judgement, or character of any sort.

  72. 72
    Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts

    Seriously, the kind of person she is talking about is the opposite of what you’ll find there.

    Except, she did find multiple examples of “the kind of person she is talking about” there.

    You don’t have to listen to me, though. You can go to any hacker/network security conference and see for yourself. Or you can keep reinforcing this inaccurate account that doesn’t match reality, if that makes you more comfortable.

    What is inaccurate about her account? She related her experience being harassed at DefCon. She did not say every woman who attends any Con will also be harassed. She didn’t assert that what she experienced was exactly the typical/normal level of harassment. What, specifically, was inaccurate about her account? I see no reason to assume she lied.

    And you’re all invited to the pillow fight.

    Lol, joking about sexual harassment is so hilarious. Fuck off.

  73. 73
    Flewellyn

    Geesh, start replying when there’s 29 comments, and then there’s 71.

  74. 74
    pentatomid

    Seriously, the kind of person she is talking about is the opposite of what you’ll find there.

    Admittedly I (and some others here, misinterpreted what you were saying. However,seeing as you’ve never been to Defcon and this woman has, why the hell should I believe you when you say she’s lying? Also, why would she be lying? What sort of bizarre motive are you giving her in your strange little fantasy? I see no reason whatsoever to doubt this person’s word.

  75. 75
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    You don’t have to listen to me, though. You can go to any hacker/network security conference and see for yourself. Or you can keep reinforcing this inaccurate account that doesn’t match reality, if that makes you more comfortable.

    And you’re all invited to the pillow fight.

    “Gangbang Interviews” and “Bikini Shots”: Silicon Valley’s Brogrammer Problem

  76. 76
    nohellbelowus

    She’s making up red and yellow ‘creeper cards’ — when someone makes an inappropriate advance, you reward them with a little card that explains what a slimeball move they just made.

    Now this constitutes real training! I heartily approve.

    An accurate estimate of how many cards are needed is a complex matter (requiring basic algebra skills), but it can be summarized in the following formula:

    Number of cards required = n
    Total Number of Men in attendance = M
    Creep Factor = c

    n = cM

    The Creep Factor c is an interesting parameter, whose value can range from zero to numbers higher than ten, depending upon the circumstances. The numerical value depends upon many things, among them being the actual number of real male creeps in attendance, as opposed to the merely normal, igno-misogynistic men; gay men must be subtracted out, although even gay men are susceptible to being assigned creeper cards if they aren’t careful; the number of successive creepy attempts a given creep will make; and, perhaps most importantly, the intoxication level of the feminist assigning the creeper cards (where the term intoxication may have nothing to do with alcohol or drugs, mind you, because it may be related to the amount of time spent on certain blogs, for instance), etc.

    In conventions where uneducated bikers, women in sky-lit bras, and entitled Silicon Valley nerds my intermingle, research indicates that c might approach values as high as 7.2, but I would surmise that a very good starting estimate for c would be M.

    /parody, kind of

  77. 77
    nohellbelowus

    Sorry, I mean c should start with a value of 1.

  78. 78
    Makoto

    @peterhearn – I’ve been to several computer conferences, and seen plenty of creepy behavior towards women, and yes, even some men, but it’s far more tilted towards women. You’ve seen “booth babes”, right, or at least heard of them? Have you seen how many of the socially inept attendees act around said “booth babes”? And how often they do the same around many other females at the cons?

  79. 79
    Ace of Sevens

    @77.. That doesn’t make sense. The minimum number of creep cards would be equal to the total number of men in attendance at minimum and possibly an order of magnitude more?

  80. 80
    nohellbelowus

    Ace:

    Perhaps I need more math.

  81. 81
    TonyJ

    The solution: Instant permanent forehead tattoos. Now we just need to invent the device that will apply them.

  82. 82
    Subtract Hominem, a product of Nauseam

    TonyJ @ 81:

    The solution: Instant permanent forehead tattoos. Now we just need to invent the device that will apply them.

    I think such devices have been around for a little while.

  83. 83
    Jadehawk

    Seriously, the kind of person she is talking about is the opposite of what you’ll find there.

    oh bullshit. I’ve had to listen to triades by all the computer science guys about how the goddamn brogrammers are ruining their fun, too.

  84. 84
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    Rev BDC for the win!

  85. 85
    Jadehawk

    Or you can keep reinforcing this inaccurate account that doesn’t match reality, if that makes you more comfortable.

    why should I believe you more than this woman, especially given that I hear complaints about brogrammers from other comp sci folk, too?

    especially given that you’re not a woman and therefore can’t know what harassment against women goes on?

    to spell it out to you: your unstated premise that women lie will not be accepted here. you really have to give evidence for why you’re a more reliable source than her.

  86. 86
    Amphiox

    peterhearn, answer the question. Why do you think yourself qualified to comment on the accuracy of an account by an EYEWITNESS pertaining to the reality of an event that you self-admittedly DID NOT ATTEND?

  87. 87
    peterhearn

    I’ve never heard of this term brogrammer and I have to assume its garbage feminist propaganda. I know lots and lots of programmers but unfortunately many of them live lonely and anti-social lives.

  88. 88
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    peterhearn,

    I will repeat my question.

    Why should I believe your assumption about a con you have never been to over the experience of this woman?

    —-

    (I can do this all night.

    Well… I won’t because I’m tired, but I will expect to find an answer here tomorrow. Be a good boy and answer my question.)

  89. 89
    skeptifem

    I’ve never heard of this term brogrammer and I have to assume its garbage feminist propaganda. I know lots and lots of programmers but unfortunately many of them live lonely and anti-social lives.

    You failed to answer the question from beatrice at post 65, which many other posters repeated. Why does your opinion of a con youve never been to count more than what a woman who actually attended has to say?

  90. 90
    Flewellyn

    I’ve never heard of this term brogrammer and I have to assume its garbage feminist propaganda.

    You know, there’s a link upthread. You could read it, instead of assuming. Remember, when you assume, you make an ass out of you and…well, actually, just you.

  91. 91
    jenny6833a

    A thought or two from one of the female persuasion who has done rather well in the software business:

    1) In the original post, and in all replies to date, only Travis used the word ‘breast’; all others chose to use one of the crude terms. However, when male anatomy was mentioned, ‘penis’ was the only term used. Does that tell us something about the participants on both sides of the question?

    2) I’m sympathetic to complaints about hip grabbing and tatoo licking done without prior permission, although I don’t see either as so incredibly terribly awful. However, I have no sympathy at all for complaints about being asked to show a breast. After all, the guy did ask. My response would be, “Thank you for asking, as a gentleman always should.” Then, depending on my mood and my knowledge of local law, I’d either say, “No” or I’d comply. I mean, what’s this insane Victorian upset over the sight of a milk bottle or a polite request to see one?

    Hey, freethinker guys and gals, you weren’t born with the irrational belief that breasts mustn’t be seen in public. Were you brainwashed by parents, grandparents, teachers, preachers, and TV before you could think for yourselves?

    Were you, as Dawkins so aptly puts it, the victim of child abuse?

  92. 92
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    I’ve never heard of this term brogrammer and I have to assume its garbage feminist propaganda. I know lots and lots of programmers but unfortunately many of them live lonely and anti-social lives.

    Jesus you’re a moron.

    Read the fucking link and you’ll see that companies are using the term brogrammer to draw in certain types of employees as well as other programmers using the term to describe themselves.

  93. 93
    StarStuff, a soulless cunt

    [...] and I have to assume its garbage feminist propaganda.

    LOL! No, please tell us how you really feel about feminist women! Also, you don’t “have to assume” anything, asshat. You clearly have some form of internet connection. Google that shit.

  94. 94
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    I’ve never heard of this term brogrammer and I have to assume its garbage feminist propaganda.

    Then we have to presume your inane OPINION is lies and bullshit, based on your lack of citations, and good evidence to the contrary. Either back up your claims with third party evidence or shut the fuck up. You have toasted your OPINION here, and it is worthless. Welcome to science, which you fail at.

  95. 95
    peterhearn

    @Makoto

    @peterhearn – I’ve been to several computer conferences, and seen plenty of creepy behavior towards women, and yes, even some men, but it’s far more tilted towards women. You’ve seen “booth babes”, right, or at least heard of them? Have you seen how many of the socially inept attendees act around said “booth babes”? And how often they do the same around many other females at the cons?

    I agree about the creepy behavior. Like the guy asking the pillow fighting question I could see happening. Physical harassment, however, is all but unheard of.

    I’ve seen booth babes at other conventions like comic con or gaming conventions. Not at a “hacker” convention were nobody is marketing stuff.

    Not that I have a problem with a girl being a booth babe if they really want to be objectified that way. These women have taken a job where their bodies will be used to manipulate the minds of lonely men by displaying their sexual atttributes, and then some of them have the gall to be upset that they’re being regarded as sex objects? They oughta be happy that someone will pay them for something if standing around in heels is one of their finest talents.

  96. 96
    Kristjan Wager

    I’ve never heard of this term brogrammer and I have to assume its garbage feminist propaganda. I know lots and lots of programmers but unfortunately many of them live lonely and anti-social lives.

    Brogrammers have been a major subject in trade magazines, developer websites, and the programming community in general. But you’ve never heard about it?

    So, in other words, you have no clue of what is going on among the people in the field, yet you claim to be able to tell whether other people give an accurate description of a conference, based on your understanding of the people in the field.

    Oh, and have you considered that people who are not anti-social, might not want to have anything to do with scum like you? I certainly wouldn’t. Nor would any of the programmers I work with.

  97. 97
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    You are welcome to imagine me as Catherine Tate. (link)

    Can I ask you a question? Can I just ask you a question? I just want to ask you a question. I’m just asking a question.

  98. 98
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    jenny6833a,

    You’ve got to be kidding me. You are kidding, right?

  99. 99
    Kristjan Wager

    Hey, freethinker guys and gals, you weren’t born with the irrational belief that breasts mustn’t be seen in public. Were you brainwashed by parents, grandparents, teachers, preachers, and TV before you could think for yourselves?

    Unlike you, it would seem, the rest of us have learned about personal spaces, and appropriate behavior. There is, in my opinion, nothing wrong in showing breasts in public, but there is everything wrong in asking people to do so.

    If you can’t see the difference, you really shouldn’t venture out in public.

  100. 100
    peterhearn

    Also as some have pointed out I haven’t been to DefCon and I could be completely wrong about everything. I’m not trying to convince anyone who has already made up their minds and doesn’t care to verify with reality.

  101. 101
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    1) In the original post, and in all replies to date, only Travis used the word ‘breast’; all others chose to use one of the crude terms. However, when male anatomy was mentioned, ‘penis’ was the only term used. Does that tell us something about the participants on both sides of the question?

    2) I’m sympathetic to complaints about hip grabbing and tatoo licking done without prior permission, although I don’t see either as so incredibly terribly awful. However, I have no sympathy at all for complaints about being asked to show a breast. After all, the guy did ask. My response would be, “Thank you for asking, as a gentleman always should.” Then, depending on my mood and my knowledge of local law, I’d either say, “No” or I’d comply. I mean, what’s this insane Victorian upset over the sight of a milk bottle or a polite request to see one?

    Hey, freethinker guys and gals, you weren’t born with the irrational belief that breasts mustn’t be seen in public. Were you brainwashed by parents, grandparents, teachers, preachers, and TV before you could think for yourselves?

    Were you, as Dawkins so aptly puts it, the victim of child abuse?

    The point, should you choose to view it, is currently sailing a few hundred miles over your head.

  102. 102
    Kristjan Wager

    Physical harassment, however, is all but unheard of.

    Except of course, that we just heard about it. And I can, off the top of my head, think of at least 3 other cases I’ve heard about the last year or so.

    Also, is it a wonder why women won’t talk about it, when people like you, come and claim that they are lying with no evidence whatsoever!

  103. 103
    peterhearn

    Brogrammers have been a major subject in trade magazines, developer websites, and the programming community in general. But you’ve never heard about it?

    Why do I have the feeling that if I ask you for examples you’re gonna link to feminist blogs?

  104. 104
    Kristjan Wager

    I’m not trying to convince anyone who has already made up their minds and doesn’t care to verify with reality.

    You mean, like yourself? We already figured that out.

  105. 105
    Amphiox

    peterhearn, you poor, arrogant, pretentious fool, if you have never heard of the term “brogrammer” (which I first encountered in a Computer Science magazine used in the context of MALE-MALE work related interactions between programmers, and how it was negatively impacting their private lives outside of work – with ZERO “feminist” implications of any kind) then what makes you think you are even qualified to render a sensible opinion at all of any kind on this subject?

    If you are SO IGNORANT in this sphere that even the COMMON, everyday terms that are used are alien to you, then why aren’t you keeping quiet and listening instead, in order to learn at least something about the subject before yapping off and making a fool of yourself?

    Is this how you usually behave? Do you stomp into conversations among brain surgeons and pontificate about the accuracy of one surgeon’s account of craniotomy techniques presented at a professional meeting you never attended? Or question the veracity of a shipwright’s assessment of the seaworthiness of WWII aircraft carriers without ever having previously encountered or understand the meaning of the word “displacement”?

    Truly you are pathetic.

  106. 106
    StarStuff, a soulless cunt

    Physical harassment, however, is all but unheard of.

    Except, you know, in the original post. And in some of the links Pteryxx provided. And, you know, all the shit you could find by just Googling “sexual harassment in tech” or something like that.

    No, but you’re totally right, no one physically harasses anyone at these kinds of conferences/conventions. Derp.

  107. 107
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    peterhearn,

    Verify with reality? Mhm.

    Oh, so now you might be wrong. Since there is some smallish possibility that you are wrong, then it is, according to you, quite probable that this woman is a liar.

    Why should I believe your assumption about a con you have never been to over the experience of this woman?

  108. 108
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    I’m not trying to convince anyone who has already made up their minds and doesn’t care to verify with reality.

    Asshole, there is someone who unlike you has been to DEFCON and says that it does in fact happen. That somone’s description of this is the very subject of this blogpost we happen to be conversing in the comments section at this very moment. That is reality. You, sir or madam, are living in a space that wholesale ignores that reality.

    And you have some nerve to suggest that we are the ones who need to verify with reality when you have not even been to the very conference in question.

    You are one dumb cookie.

  109. 109
    ChasCPeterson

    Ah yes, it’s a true gentleman who asks to see your tits. Not like those rude juggalos ‘n’ shit.

    I am of course in full agreement that the only reason you don’t see more topless women in today’s modern contemporary society of today is because of child abuse; just so.

    And peterhearn, you’re digging a dumbshit hole here and you’re well advised to stfu at this point.

  110. 110
    lizdamnit

    @Travis on 58, and PZ at 41, and anyone else echoing the same sentiment: *Thank You*. If I hear the excuse of “oh, awkward! tee hee!” one more time, I think I’ll retch. Grabbing people, licking them, propositioning them – grown-ass adults know these are just plain wrong. And most kids would, too.

    The “socially inept” defense is a big middle finger to not just the people harassed, but also to people who are on the spectrum/are non-neurotypical. Or people who just haven’t worked out the kinks of interaction yet. Talking to people can be hard for any number of reasons. But that just doesn’t translate into harassment. Privilege does.

    And on the “socially inept” thing, which in my experience people tend to use when trying desperately not to say “Aspergers” or something similar…that cheeses me even more. I have yet to meet one non-neurotypical person that thinks it’s perfectly OK behavior to lick someone’s tattoo or ask to see someone’s tits. It just doesn’t fucking happen. Except when you have entitled, over privileged assholes preening to impress each other.

  111. 111
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    The Rise of the Brogrammer

    In that bastion of feminist propaganda, Bloomberg’s Businessweek.

  112. 112
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Why do I have the feeling that if I ask you for examples you’re gonna link to feminist blogs?

    Because you are what’s called “incurious”.

    http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-03-01/the-rise-of-the-brogrammer

  113. 113
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Rrrr. Chiiiiimp!

  114. 114
    pentatomid

    I’ve never heard of this term brogrammer and I have to assume its garbage feminist propaganda.

    Well, I’ve never heard of this and it like totally contradicts my preconceptions, so it must be a lie. Just like the woman from the OP is lying, because… Well, because bitches be lying, I guess.
    Look, peterhearn, if you’re going to dismiss everything that contradicts your views as lies, then you are just as bad as a 9/11 truther, a creationist or a climate change denialist.
    I don’t know if you believe you’re a skeptic but let me let you in on a little secret: skeptic =/= denialist, okay.

    Also, somebody tell me jenny6833a is kidding.

  115. 115
    StarStuff, a soulless cunt

    @ Rev. BDC

    I was just about to post that :p

  116. 116
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    ITTO: The Rise of the Brogrammer — Part Bro, Part Sexist Programmer

    At Mobiledia, also a well known feminist blog.

  117. 117
    skeptifem

    @peter hearn

    Why do I have the feeling that if I ask you for examples you’re gonna link to feminist blogs?

    Yes you will, just like if you ask for examples of homophobia you are likely to get linked to pro-gay websites. Duh. its only a problem if you have an irrational bias against feminism.

    Turns out the assholes-in-tech problem is so big that there are a number of sites specifically about that. Here is one I was browsing yesterday:

    http://programmersbeingdicks.tumblr.com/

    Its also amusing to hear you talk down to everyone here, as if no one here works in the same fucking industry as you do.

  118. 118
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    Rrrr. Chiiiiimp!

    hehehe

  119. 119
    skeptifem

    Well I stand corrected. I guess the mainstream media has written about this already. cool.

  120. 120
    Sili

    Except she did find them there. Seriously, you understand that, right?

    Don’t be stupid. The hysterical bitch is making it all up. Duurrrrrr.

  121. 121
    CJO

    a polite request to see one

    In such an instance, “politeness” is just so incredibly misplaced that I don’t even…

    Regardless of how it is phrased, such a suggestion equates to “demonstrate for me that you will happily reduce your presence here to that of an object of my (and onlookers’) puerile titillation.” That is not, can never be, polite.

    And can you really not see how someone other than yourself might object to such an advance except as a symptom of “Victorian” sexual repression? It has nothing whatever to do with “the sight of a milk bottle” in another context or the acceptability or not of that, though it is telling that you are comfortable equating a female secondary sexual characteristic, a part of your own body, if you are a woman, with a household object.

    I really need to just stay out of these threads.

  122. 122
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    Looking for a Coding Job? Better a Ninja Than a Brogrammer

    And the coup de gras, the ultra feminist man hating blog

    Wired.

  123. 123
    Kristjan Wager

    Why do I have the feeling that if I ask you for examples you’re gonna link to feminist blogs?

    Did you notice the link when the term was first used? No? Perhaps you should go back, and take a look.

    After that, you could use the tool called a search engine – I hear that a lot of computer scientists have worked hard on these things for a long time, and that they might even give you relevant search results – perhaps even search results which aren’t on a feminist site.

    And I restate – the fact that you don’t know such a widespread term in the field, shows that you have no clue about what goes on in the field. So, to quote Beatrice:

    Why should I believe your assumption about a con you have never been to over the experience of this woman?

    And to that I’ll add:
    Why should we believe you, when you have shown that your knowledge of the field leaves is apparently so limited, as to make your opinion entirely irrelevant?

  124. 124
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    How hard was that peter?

    Had you had even a tiny bit of intellectual curiosity mixed with a shred of intellectual honesty you could have found those links your very self using a tool I like to call google.

    Instead you keep wallowing in your own pigsty of personal incredulity.

    Have fun Wilber. You deserve the mud.

  125. 125
    Jessie

    peterhearn
    Don’t you feel in the least bit embarrassed about stating that someone else’s actual experiences are lies, based on your knowledge of the subject, then demonstrating that you don’t know the first thing about the subject?
    You were wrong. Just admit it and stop digging yourself in further.

  126. 126
    Amphiox

    It is apparent that, for this pathetic example of a dissembler that is peterhearn, a “feminist” blog is ANY blog that posts an article that challenges his own blinkered sense of male privilege.

  127. 127
    ChasCPeterson

    In that bastion of feminist propaganda, Bloomberg’s Businessweek.

    Just reading that gave me the best laff all day.

  128. 128
    David Marjanović

    peterhearn, instead of trying to change the topic, answer the fucking question.

    Twilight would be so much better if it had Buffy in it. Edward would be dust before the end of the first chapter.

    So seconded.

    The cases where social ineptitude really is the reason for this sort of misbehavior- those men would *benefit* from this. Whether they just want to get laid or want women as part of the community, they’d do better. It might hurt their pride to get called out on misbheavior when they really did mean well(it has for me), but all the solutions the skeptics community has been proposing… are just as valid and useful even if the problem is just social ineptitude.

    So, the same stuff that will get rid of the total assholes, will help out the nice guys that just don’t know better. The only people to lose will be the assholes.

    On this I agree!

    Same reason that whenever I drop something and it falls towards the ground I assume gravity is still at play.

    Sometimes it’s actually fucking magnets, however they work.

    I mean, what’s this insane Victorian upset over the sight of a milk bottle or a polite request to see one?

    What, if anything, makes you think it was a polite request?

  129. 129
    skeptifem

    Not that I have a problem with a girl being a booth babe if they really want to be objectified that way. These women have taken a job where their bodies will be used to manipulate the minds of lonely men by displaying their sexual atttributes, and then some of them have the gall to be upset that they’re being regarded as sex objects? They oughta be happy that someone will pay them for something if standing around in heels is one of their finest talents.

    You are saying that a womans clothing and job make it acceptable for men to sexually mistreat her (or that she shouldn’t complain about it at least, because she was partially asking for it by taking the job).
    How is this different than saying “its impossible to rape a prostitute”?

  130. 130
    Pteryxx

    today in abuse of the passive voice:

    Physical harassment, however, is all but unheard of.

    Who hasn’t heard of it, now?

    These women have taken a job where their bodies will be used

    who’s using their bodies?

    to manipulate the minds of lonely men by displaying their sexual atttributes, and then some of them have the gall to be upset that they’re being regarded as sex objects?

    who’s regarding them as sex objects?

    To make this plainer: it’s not those nasty nasty women forcing the poor helpless men running the gaming companies to give them jobs brainwashing other helpless men. Nor does objectification of women just fall like manna from the sky. In reality, men who think of conventionally attractive women as walking nerd bait will pay money to hire women to attract other men who think similarly. And women, being people, frequently need jobs. Sheesh.

  131. 131
    Kristjan Wager

    Its also amusing to hear you talk down to everyone here, as if no one here works in the same fucking industry as you do.

    Yeah skeptifem, but he is right – there are definitely no computer scientists or programmers at Pharyngula. We all think computers work by magic. Or feminist propaganda. Or something.

    Sarcasm aside, I always find it baffling when people try to use their “inside knowledge” of a field so common, that the likehood of no one else being in it, is close to nil.

    [For people who want to verify my credentials - my name is at every comment I make, and there is, as far as I know, only one person with my name in the world.]

  132. 132
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    jennynumbers,

    Calling women’s breasts “milk bottle”?
    I mean, we have different kinks, some have none. And who am I to judge. But you get all hot and bothered when your partner fondles or kisses your… milk bottles?

    As I said, I’m not judging. But you must have some trouble finding men (here I go with heteronormativity, sorry) or women who want to talk dirty about milk bottles.

    Not to mention all those women whose bottles don’t have or want any milk… Ok this milk bottle thing is getting too weird.

  133. 133
    ChasCPeterson

    Come on, let’s try to read for comprehension around here.

    How is this different than saying “its impossible to rape a prostitute”?

    these ways, that I can figure 1. the quote was “being regarded as sex objects”, not “sexually mistreat[ing] her” 2. sexual objectification is not rape 3.’booth babes’ are not prostitutes. I think that about covers it. “It’s impossible to sexually objectify a ‘booth babe’” is false on the face of it. That is, in point of fact, what they are being paid for, no?

  134. 134
    Chaos Engineer

    However, I have no sympathy at all for complaints about being asked to show a breast. After all, the guy did ask

    Well, yes, but that’s the one of the questions that are unspeakably rude to ask a stranger. Some other rude questions are, “Would you like to hear about an exciting new pyramid-shaped business opportunity?”, “Have you accepted Jesus/Buddha/Darwin as your personal savior?”, and “How much money is in your wallet and which pocket do you keep it in?”

    If you ask questions like that at a private function, and it’s not the sort of function where those questions are specifically encouraged, then people will complain to the host, and you will get kicked out.

    In fact, did you spot the bit about the punch card? He was trying to stop people from reporting him to security, by pretending that security approved of his vulgar nonsense. So he was perfectly aware that he was out-of-bounds. (By the way, if security catches you pulling that kind of scam, then the rules of etiquette allow them eject you by physically lifting you up and hurling you into a cluster of garbage cans. So don’t try to pull that kind of scam.)

    *Sigh* I can’t believe I’m having to explain something this basic. How old are you, anyway?

  135. 135
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    As I said, I’m not judging. But you must have some trouble finding men (here I go with heteronormativity, sorry) or women who want to talk dirty about milk bottles.

    rule #34

  136. 136
    David Marjanović

    If I hear the excuse of “oh, awkward! tee hee!” one more time

    You didn’t. Your comment was 110; scroll halfway up and read comment 55.

    *sigh*

    peterhearn is an asshole, but in a completely different way than your automated reaction to keywords has led you to think.

    it is telling that you are comfortable equating a female secondary sexual characteristic, a part of your own body, if you are a woman, with a household object

    It is.

    coup de gras

    That would be “fat”, as in Mardi Gras, and the s would be silent. :-)

  137. 137
    skeptifem

    I mean, what’s this insane Victorian upset over the sight of a milk bottle or a polite request to see one?

    no one would request to inspect an actual bottle of milk, and that is why your question is stupid to anyone who thinks for half a second. If boobs were actually considered as mundane as toes or bottles there wouldn’t be phrases like TITS OR GTFO, nor would there be attitudes like “women who show off their boobs obviously want me to grope them” in the world. Once boobs become so mundane there is an argument to be made, until then you can fuck off with this shit. Women should consent to exactly what they are comfortable with, period.

    This thread has it all misogyny wise- some women are worthless sluts that should expect harassment for having a job, and others are stupid prudes for not complying with male demand for sexual satisfaction in public.

  138. 138
    cyberCMDR

    My experience at a Defcon was limited by several factors:
    1. I didn’t attend “Capture the Flag”, or the lockpicking training/competitions or any of the parties. Just the presentations.
    2. I’m a middle aged white male, and so was probably oblivious to any harassment going on.

    That being said, it was a fun conference. Really unusual types there, and the emphasis seemed to be a technogeek information exchange. You can meet anyone from Air Force generals to hackers on probation for major exploits. Definitely a different cultural experience.

    If I do go again I will probably be more aware of misogynist behaviors after participating in Pharyngula. Perhaps that is where all the resistance is coming from. It is so much easier to enjoy things if you are oblivious to the discomfort of others. Some don’t want to give that up.

    It’s very self-centered to cling to ignorance in order to have fun, especially when it is at the expense of others. Unfortunately, being self centered is the norm today. In some cases it is celebrated, as we take cues from many celebrities. We raise kids while protecting them from the consequences of their actions, and then they act surprised as adults when consequences happen.

  139. 139
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    That would be “fat”, as in Mardi Gras, and the s would be silent. :-)

    damn it.

    I knew damn well when I was typing that and didn’t check it that Dr. DM would be by to correct me.

    Thanks.

  140. 140
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    In my experience its almost all men, nearly all of them socially inept.

    Social ineptitude does not cause predatory behavior.

    Fuck you, ablist shitsack.

  141. 141
    skeptifem

    133

    these ways, that I can figure 1. the quote was “being regarded as sex objects”, not “sexually mistreat[ing] her” 2. sexual objectification is not rape 3.’booth babes’ are not prostitutes. I think that about covers it. “It’s impossible to sexually objectify a ‘booth babe’” is false on the face of it. That is, in point of fact, what they are being paid for, no?

    reread your last sentence. thanks for proving my point.

    I never said they were the same extent or degree, and thats all you’ve said to oppose my argument. I’m asking if the reasoning is any different and you’ve failed to come up with anything demonstrating that it is, and actually reinforced the reasoning by trotting out the ‘its what they get paid for’ line.

  142. 142
    Kristjan Wager

    Azkyroth, in this case, it isn’t his claim – his claim is rather the opposite; that predatory behavior couldn’t happen because they were socially inept (which is wrong on two counts – socially inept people could display predatory behavior, like everybody else, and many programmers are not socially inept).

  143. 143
    skeptifem

    Azkyroth, in this case, it isn’t his claim – his claim is rather the opposite; that predatory behavior couldn’t happen because they were socially inept (which is wrong on two counts – socially inept people could display predatory behavior, like everybody else, and many programmers are not socially inept).

    Yeah, instead of excusing the behavior he just says that women must be lying when they talk about experiencing it. hes still an asshole.

  144. 144
    hyperdeath

    Do you think peterhearn is going to slink away and be thought an idiot, or will he return to remove all doubt?

    TAKING ALL BETS!

  145. 145
    Kristjan Wager

    hyperdeath, are we talking about this thread alone, or in Pharyngula in general? Or perhaps even FTB (he has spewed his vile type of nonsense on other blogs at FRB).

    My guess: he will post comments that totes disproves all we have said, and this remove all doubt.

  146. 146
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    There was no doubt.

  147. 147
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Rather, there is no doubt.

    Stupid English *mutters*

  148. 148
    alkaloid

    Does social ineptitude mean they would misinterpret a knee to the groin?

    No, I think that’s linguistically universal.

    That said, I wonder what would happen if this was videotaped a couple of times and then emailed to the offender’s employers. I’d be willing to bet that at least some of them have policies against this kind of behavior and would prefer not to be embarassed.

  149. 149
    jenny6833a

    Kristjan Wager says:

    Unlike you, it would seem, the rest of us have learned about personal spaces, and appropriate behavior.

    “Appropriate” is in the eye of the beholder. It’s a weasel word that usually means doing whatever the herd does just because the herd does it.

    As the incidente was related, no violation of personal space was involved.

    There is, in my opinion, nothing wrong in showing breasts in public, but there is everything wrong in asking people to do so. If you can’t see the difference, you really shouldn’t venture out in public.

    Stop asserting, start explaining. Make your case! Just what is the difference? When you’ve crafted your answer, does it apply to being asked to show your face or the back of your hand? And if you think faces and hands are different than breasts, please explain why?

  150. 150
    Antiochus Epiphanes

    …peterhearn is an asshole, but in a completely different way than your automated reaction to keywords has led you to think.

    I’m not sure why people are having so much trouble with this concept.

    peterhearn is not blaming predatory behavior on the socially inept. He is denying that predatory behavior could have taken place because the socially inept don’t do such things.

    FFS.

  151. 151
    jenny6833a

    ChasCPeterson says:

    Ah yes, it’s a true gentleman who asks to see your tits. Not like those rude juggalos ‘n’ shit.

    Chas, does a true gentleman refer to ‘tits’?

  152. 152
    Antiochus Epiphanes

    When you’ve crafted your answer, does it apply to being asked to show your face or the back of your hand?

    That wouldn’t be too discomfitting, now would it?

    Hey, I just met you,
    And this is crazy,
    But may I see the back of your hand?
    (the fourth line escapes me).

  153. 153
    keresthanatos...I am my Evil Twin

    so many points…..I never knew that these publications were part of the FemiNazi movement. The ReThuglican masters will be so pleased when I tell them, I bet my daily beating will be at least two strokes lighter for this wonderful news.

    as for peterhearn, lay off of him, afterall, it’s not his fault for being a geneticlly predisposed moron….maybe his mother did not beat him enough
    I’m just sayin…..

    as for comment 10 Zeno, I suggest the standard “double tap and one up” method, but instead of 2 in the chest 1 in the head, lets start lower shall we…..(think groin, lets see them brogrammers wear their badges with honor).

    and for Travis, comment 58, one of the signs I use to discern that my conversational partner is losing intrest is rapid onset coma.

    I could go on and on aand on…(if there is a God, please oh please kill me….why do people I talk to say that???) but enough pot stiring today.

    Respectfully,
    H.M.Gray
    Wingnut WooMaster Wack-Job,Bcs,Dph, ASCII, BigEndian, Biscuit

  154. 154
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Doesn’t a true gentleman blush at the mere outline of a lady’s ankle?

  155. 155
    StarStuff, a soulless cunt

    @ jenny6833a

    As much as a hate defending Chas, “tits” were used in the original post:

    Like the man who tried to get me to show him my tits so he could punch a hole in a card that, when filled, would net him a favor from one of the official security staff (I do not have words for how slimy it is that the official security staff were in charge of what was essentially a competition to get women to show their boobs).

  156. 156
    hieropants

    I don’t understand the conclusion that because many programmers are shy and socially awkward therefore all of them are, in all circumstances. In my experience, there is a large subset of male nerds who are frankly terrified of women and will avoid eye contact and mumble when they are forced by circumstance to interact with them, but there are a hell of a lot of other men who interact with women just fine. There is a range of personality types in computer science – even if it’s weighted toward introversion in comparison with the personality types of all people, there are still plenty of people there who are extroverted, aggressive, obnoxious, etc.

    When you have a large gathering, you expect a certain number of those more extroverted types to be present because that is how statistics work. And when nerds are in a setting where they feel comfortable because they are surrounded by other nerds, especially if alcohol is present, they’re going to be more outgoing than they normally would be anyway. Rejecting the experiences of people who were harassed because “nerds are shy” doesn’t make any sense at all.

  157. 157
    StarStuff, a soulless cunt

    @ me at #155

    *were -> was

    Because tits themselves weren’t used, but the word was.

  158. 158
    consciousness razor

    “Appropriate” is in the eye of the beholder.

    Then no one should care what you do or don’t consider “so incredibly terribly awful,” or be scolded or accused of being brainwashed for not applying your personal boundaries to themselves. So stop contradicting yourself or at least shut the fuck up.

  159. 159
    jenny6833a

    CJO says:

    Regardless of how it is phrased, such a suggestion equates to “demonstrate for me that you will happily reduce your presence here to that of an object of my (and onlookers’) puerile titillation.” That is not, can never be, polite.

    Please get over your puerile titillation. Don’t blame the body part you go ape over. Grow up.

    And can you really not see how someone other than yourself might object to such an advance except as a symptom of “Victorian” sexual repression? It has nothing whatever to do with “the sight of a milk bottle” in another context or the acceptability or not of that, though it is telling that you are comfortable equating a female secondary sexual characteristic, a part of your own body, if you are a woman, with a household object.

    You fail to accept that breasts store milk until the milk can be fed via the breast to an infant. To you, everything is about sex-sex-sex. Grow up.

  160. 160
    Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

    Hi. I’m Kitty. I was at DefCon (and its sister con, Black Hat.)

    They’re total sausage fests and as soon as I get the e-mail I’m going to write the convention organizer a strongly worded letter describing the severe, almost anti-woman feeling I got from the convention.

    Black Hat is the more professional of the two conventions, and it had a vendor area with a bunch of vendors showing off their latest things. They had booth babes at two of the vendor areas – RSA (yes, R-freaking-SA) had women dressed up in lingerie and corsets and SecureNinja had scantily clad ninja girls. The other vendors were quite professional, albeit mostly men. The women who were there were – for the most part – professional and knowledgeable, but there were those pretty women who knew next to nothing about the vendors they were hawking at.

    DefCon was worse. Not booth babes alone, but their official program had a photo almost straight out of a lingerie catalog for the official ‘Hacker Jeopardy.’ Their official video for the event had a somewhat Neo-ish hacker (from the Matrix) and a trampy hacker – guess the gender of the tramp, and you’ll win no points.

    I’m not surprised by the described events. She’s totally right – while I wasn’t there to see those behaviors she mentioned, it’s not surprising, since I saw similar behaviors elsewhere. The ‘show me your tits’ for points thing was probably part of a yearly scavenger hunt (it also has stuff like take a picture of a naked, skinny geek with duct tape as the only clothing, for example.) I don’t know if it was an official scavenger hunt, but still it was disturbing to see some of the things on that list.

    They also had (semi?)official after parties at strip clubs and titty bars and places like that. A man I was talking with told me he felt that behavior like that and sanctioning after-parties in strip joints was driving women away from the con.

    I’m going to do a count of all the speakers, but I’m pretty sure it’s overwhelmingly men.

  161. 161
    mythbri

    @jennynumbers

    “Appropriate” is in the eye of the beholder? Then why is it that when gentlemen are generous enough to show their manhood in public, the police tend to take exception to that?

    If I were the beholder, and someone I didn’t know asked me to show him my breasts in a public place, you’d better damn well believe I’d find it inappropriate. And if I felt like I would be taken seriously, I’d find security and make a report. Unfortunately, in the case of the OP, the security were in on it, and thus she could not file such a report.

    Seriously. What the hell is wrong with you?

  162. 162
    CJO

    “Appropriate” is in the eye of the beholder. It’s a weasel word that usually means doing whatever the herd does just because the herd does it.

    Yeah, ’cause violating social norms in the interest of male sexual gratification is so edgy.

    How about “creepy” for “inappropriate”? Do you understand that, or is it just sheeple who are uncomfortable being asked to bare their bodies for some stranger’s titillation?

    Just what is the difference? When you’ve crafted your answer, does it apply to being asked to show your face or the back of your hand? And if you think faces and hands are different than breasts, please explain why?

    First, without conceding this absurd implication of equivalence, I, for one, would find it equally creepy were the man to have said “would you take off your gloves” or “would you brush the hair out of your face”. It is invasive, depersonalizing, disrespectful behavior toward a stranger to ask him or her to display their body parts for one’s gratification.

    As to the implication of equivalence itself, breasts, as I said before, are secondary sex characteristics. Women have them. Men don’t. That is a clear difference. Also, as you might be aware, if you are able despite your rugged superiority to observe the foibles of the small, frightened beings who surround you, the social norm in Western societies is that most women do not expose their breasts at public gatherings not being held on the French Riviera, while this is not true of hands or faces. Whether this is a repressed “Victorian” convention that is the result of society’s inability to recognize and adopt your courageous individualistic ethic is irrelevant to the fact that the convention exists. Finally, and clearly related, breasts differ from faces and hands in that they are frequently the object of male sexual desire.

  163. 163
    eriktrips

    So, jenny, say I were a survivor of child abuse. I mean, just say that I was.

    How would that affect your opinion of my opinion that asking a woman I did not know to show me her breasts would be, at the very least, rude? I also think it would be assholish and peurile and utterly inappropriate in most circumstances, including your average conference.

    Oh and for the sake of the hypothetical abuse: none of it involved breasts.

  164. 164
    hieropants
    I mean, what’s this insane Victorian upset over the sight of a milk bottle or a polite request to see one?

    What, if anything, makes you think it was a polite request?

    He was wearing a monocle and sipping tea with his pinky finger stuck out to the side, of course. He’s a gentleman.

    You fail to accept that breasts store milk until the milk can be fed via the breast to an infant. To you, everything is about sex-sex-sex. Grow up.

    See, that’s why he asked to see the breast, he needed some milk for his tea! Nothing sexual or untoward about it.

  165. 165
    Anthony K

    that usually means doing whatever the herd does just because the herd does it

    Like going to cons; speaking English; belching, farting, or blowing one’s nose in public; writing in Python; (not) eating insects, shellfish, cattle; (not) wearing suits, pants, trousers, slacks, muu-muus, dashikis, robes, penis sheaths…

    Ever been to a country (or part of a country) other than yours? Notice any differences? Any at all?

    That’s the ‘herd’ in action, and you wouldn’t exist at all if it weren’t for it.

  166. 166
    skeptifem

    Just what is the difference? When you’ve crafted your answer, does it apply to being asked to show your face or the back of your hand? And if you think faces and hands are different than breasts, please explain why?

    Because my face and hands aren’t sexualized in society. No one sees my face or hands as an excuse to sexually harass or assault me. Breasts are part of a social construction of female sexuality in which consent is given by my body instead of by my actual meaningful permission.

    No one here is saying that it is good or right or sensical, but it is undeniably the world that women live in.

  167. 167
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.
    Regardless of how it is phrased, such a suggestion equates to “demonstrate for me that you will happily reduce your presence here to that of an object of my (and onlookers’) puerile titillation.” That is not, can never be, polite.

    Please get over your puerile titillation. Don’t blame the body part you go ape over. Grow up.

    Read what you quoted. It was the man requesting that she show her breasts who was showing his ‘puerile titillation.’ Asking a stranger to show any part of his or her body for your pleasure and/or to score points shows 1) that the person making the request thinks that their desires override the desires of the one being asked to show something and, 2) that the person making the request views the one being asked to show something is not a full human but is an object, a thing, with no rights, no desires, no brain, nothing — just a body.

  168. 168
    PZ Myers

    A man I was talking with told me he felt that behavior like that and sanctioning after-parties in strip joints was driving women away from the con.

    I wonder if DJ ever thought of questioning the prominent role of Penn Jillette’s party as something that might be having a similar effect?

  169. 169
    CJO

    You fail to accept that breasts store milk until the milk can be fed via the breast to an infant. To you, everything is about sex-sex-sex. Grow up.

    I… what? Are you a fucking moron?

    Pray tell, what was the man’s interest? I suppose he’s a volunteer lactation coach at the local hospital, offering free check ups? This isn’t about what “everything” is to me, or any failure on my part to understand or accept the physiology of lactation. You’re flailing.

  170. 170
    Anthony K

    I wonder if DJ ever thought of questioning the prominent role of Penn Jillette’s party as something that might be having a similar effect?

    Do you really wonder?

  171. 171
    Anthony K

    I… what? Are you a fucking moron?

    What’s with all the rhetorical questions?

  172. 172
    StarStuff, a soulless cunt

    You fail to accept that breasts store milk until the milk can be fed via the breast to an infant. To you, everything is about sex-sex-sex. Grow up

    Um, I think you’re forgetting something: most of the time, breasts don’t have milk in them. I mean, really, you do realize that right? And, get this, many people with breasts will go their whole lives without milk being in their breasts at all! Crazy, right?

    And speak for yourself, because my breasts are way more about my sexuality for me than baby makin’ and feedin’. Since, you know, not all people with breasts have babies, or even want babies.

  173. 173
    skeptifem

    You fail to accept that breasts store milk until the milk can be fed via the breast to an infant. To you, everything is about sex-sex-sex. Grow up

    This is an appropriate response to someone trying to sexualize a breastfeeding mother who is just trying to feed her kid(s). This is not an appropriate response to someone refusing consent to an obviously sexual activity in a public space.

  174. 174
    PZ Myers

    Yeah, I just did an estimate on my wife’s breasts:

    Nursing children: ~3 years

    Object of my puerile titillation and fascination: 35+ years

    Normal, healthy part of her body: all of her life

    The nursing part was important, but it’s strange to place that in the number one functional role.

  175. 175
    jenny6833a

    I said, in part: “However, I have no sympathy at all for complaints about being asked to show a breast. After all, the guy did ask.”

    Chaos Engineer replies:

    Well, yes, but that’s the one of the questions that are unspeakably rude to ask a stranger.

    Says you. Why should I give a hoot about your personal opinion?

    If you ask questions like that at a private function, and it’s not the sort of function where those questions are specifically encouraged, then people will complain to the host, and you will get kicked out.

    I told y’all what I’d do if I were asked. I certainly wouldn’t complain about such a question. And I sincerely doubt that anyone would get kicked out when I did NOT complain, but when I also shrugged mightily when asked about the (non)event.

    Stop telling me how to live my life. Above all, stop telling me how I am, according to Almighty you, supposed to react in social situations.

    Sheeeeeeeeeesh!

  176. 176
    ChasCPeterson

    Isn’t there something in the Song of Solomon or someplace about thy two breasts as soft and warm as twin milk bottles; something like that? As Biblical evidence Imena?

  177. 177
    Bjarni

    I don’t know, but the idea of the red and yellow cards reminds me of these road signs in South Australia, last time I drove to Adelaide:

    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-yUo_Y74Jl2I/TykhbhQ8a7I/AAAAAAAAA9E/Xcm75xB2yjU/s1600/IMG_1393.jpg

    Really, some guys need it spelled out?

  178. 178
    ChasCPeterson

    and when I say Imena I mean I mean.

  179. 179
    ChasCPeterson

    Stop shoving your tit-showing down my throat!!!

    wait

  180. 180
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    blockquote>Stop telling me how to live my life. Above all, stop telling me how I am, according to Almighty you, supposed to react in social situations.

    Why not? You’re telling every woman here how they are supposed to react in a specific social situation.

  181. 181
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    You fail to accept that breasts store milk until the milk can be fed via the breast to an infant. To you, everything is about sex-sex-sex. Grow up.

    Perhaps by the end of the night, we’ll have witnessed an idiot discovering this thing called “culture.”

  182. 182
    Anthony K

    Stop telling me how to live my life. Above all, stop telling me how I am, according to Almighty you, supposed to react in social situations.

    Who the fuck is telling you how to live your life, you raging fucking dipshit?

    Quote it fucker. Quote it exactly.

  183. 183
    StarStuff, a soulless cunt

    Says you. Why should I give a hoot about your personal opinion?

    lol, you don’t understand how society works, do you?

    I told y’all what I’d do if I were asked. I certainly wouldn’t complain about such a question.

    Yeah, and if you wouldn’t no one can! Because “I’m female and I don’t think it’s sexist so it’s not sexist!” (I really should break out those bingo cards I found on the Pharyngula wiki).

    Stop telling me how to live my life.

    Do you see the hypocrisy here? No, probably not. Whatevs.

  184. 184
    CJO

    Stop telling me how to live my life. Above all, stop telling me how I am, according to Almighty you, supposed to react in social situations.

    Brownian, is this called projection?

    /rhetoric

  185. 185
    Nightjar

    jenny6833a, are you always this wilfully clueless or is it just something you try for when trolling on the internet?

  186. 186
    skeptifem

    Says you. Why should I give a hoot about your personal opinion?

    Because its a safe bet that almost anyone would get offended by that question in the context of a tech convention. It is something most people are able to figure out without having someone explain it to them. I am sorry this is so confusing for you jenny.

    anyway, does chas seem drunk to anyone else?

  187. 187
    StarStuff, a soulless cunt

    @ Bjarni

    I <3 that picture and shall save it for later use.

  188. 188
    Anthony K

    Brownian, is this called projection?

    Who fucking knows? At this point, I’ve stopped caring what the fucking dipshits ostensibly behind the comments on monitor are doing. They’re not real humans, they’re facsimiles of humans the aliens have created while the real ones are carted off to serve as incubators for eggs.

    ‘Bout fucking time, too. This species needs a brick to the base of the skull, and the sooner the better.

  189. 189
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    Stop telling me how to live my life. Above all, stop telling me how I am, according to Almighty you, supposed to react in social situations.

    We’re not, you dumb shit, we’re responding to you insisting that everyone else should live their lives and react the way you (supposedly) would.

  190. 190
    Anthony K

    anyway, does chas seem drunk to anyone else?

    Can people tell when I’m commenting while baked?

  191. 191
    eriktrips

    /me feels neglected

  192. 192
    Anthony K

    I just put drops in my eyes. Lemme know if I look like I shouldn’t be driving.

  193. 193
    skeptifem

    Can people tell when I’m commenting while baked?

    We could all try to guess when you are and turn it into a game. the prize could be jumping ahead a few spots in the secks line.

  194. 194
    Anthony K

    /me feels neglected

    Fuck, sorry. [Takes one last toke.] Here.

  195. 195
    hieropants
    I… what? Are you a fucking moron?

    What’s with all the rhetorical questions?

    Nobody’s that stupid, jenny6833a is trolling. It was funny at first, but the relativistic “This behavior is only creepy and weird because society! What if we were nudists? What if we had the cultural tradition of waving our breasts at each other as a greeting? What if we’re all butterflies dreaming we’re human? Butterflies aren’t sexually attracted to breasts!” gets boring pretty fast.

  196. 196
    Anthony K

    the prize could be jumping ahead a few spots in the secks line.

    Yeah, yeah, that sounds good, but right now you know what we should all do?

    We should get screamers.

  197. 197
    consciousness razor

    Who the fuck is telling you how to live your life, you raging fucking dipshit?

    Quote it fucker. Quote it exactly.

    Oh, I remember when that happened. Some jackass told jenny6833a to quote something. As if they had any right to force her to live her life quoting things. I know some of you are Canadians (and worse), but don’t you people read the constitution? Besides, she’s got better things to do, like being absurd and making shit up.

  198. 198
    Bjarni

    Glad you like it Starstuff :)

    I was somewhat disappointed to realise they referred to people’s speed creeping up over the limit while driving, but I still think they could be applied to many more situations than that. (like some conventions?)

  199. 199
    Anthony K

    It was funny at first

    We’ll have to agree to disagree.

  200. 200
    eriktrips

    Haha. Thanks Brownian. The real stuff gives me panic attacks, but the virtual strain is smooth and relaxing.

    *coff coff coff*

    Damn! It’s been a long time!

  201. 201
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Here goes jenny, passive-aggressively pretending that her remarks aren’t meant to chide other people for how they react to questions. No, you see, she’s just expressing her preferred reaction. If you object and remind her that other people—most other people, in fact—would find that question appalling and therefore it’s not surprising someone else found it rude, she pretends you’re attacking her own right not to be offended.

    She’s also pretending she doesn’t understand why anyone would find that approach rude or threatening. She does understand it though, and she’s willing to be dishonest to be on team Chill Girl.

    Mallorie Nasrallah, is that you?

  202. 202
    Gregory Greenwood

    jenny6833a @ 91;

    2) I’m sympathetic to complaints about hip grabbing and tatoo licking done without prior permission, although I don’t see either as so incredibly terribly awful. However, I have no sympathy at all for complaints about being asked to show a breast. After all, the guy did ask. My response would be, “Thank you for asking, as a gentleman always should.” Then, depending on my mood and my knowledge of local law, I’d either say, “No” or I’d comply. I mean, what’s this insane Victorian upset over the sight of a milk bottle or a polite request to see one?

    If this were a single, isolated incident, it would be invasive enough – I cannot imagine walking up to a woman I had no prior relationship with and asking her to expose her breasts for my titillation, because I would consider such an act to be highly inappropriate and inherently objectifying. I understand that women do not exist for my enjoyment, however attractive I find them to be, and I think that this should be obvious to everyone, no matter how ‘socially awkward’ they may be.

    But this isn’t an isolated incident. In the OP itself a further two instances of unsolicted and clearly sexual touching are outlined along with an uninvited inviatation to a ‘pillow fight’ seemingly to be put on for the gratification of one or more men. Add to this the substantial number of other reports of unacceptable behaviour at conferences – ranging from persistent advances even after the woman has clearly stated her disinterest to other examples of unwanted sexualised touching (not to mention the the massive overraction to even very mild expressions of concern over the issue as was seen with the events of ‘elevatorgate’ in the atheist and skeptical conference circuit) – and there seem to be a clear trend toward a major, systemic phenomenon within the skeptical/atheist and broader ‘geek’ culture of men who view conferences not as opportunities to learn or network, but as hunting grounds were they can practice their pick up artist techniques, treat every passing woman who catches their eye like a sex object rather than a person, and generally behave obnoxiously toward women with little fear of consequence.

    This creates an environment that will inevitably have a chilling effect on the participation of women if nothing is done to tackle it. One of the most troubling aspects of the OP was the fact that it seems that at least some of the security personel at DefCon were actively encouraging such behaviour – with such an attitude among the security staff, how can a woman who experiences inappropriate advances have any confidence that her complaint will be taken serioiusly? How can this be called a safe space for women?

    That you do not personally find this environment to be unsupportive or offensive is a matter for your own personal judgement, but that is not to say that the problem is not a real issue, or that other women do not find the culture at such conferences problematic.

    Hey, freethinker guys and gals, you weren’t born with the irrational belief that breasts mustn’t be seen in public. Were you brainwashed by parents, grandparents, teachers, preachers, and TV before you could think for yourselves?

    Were you, as Dawkins so aptly puts it, the victim of child abuse?

    If you are going to assert that a respect for the personhood of women, and a concern for the proper maintanance of their personal space, is a product of ‘brainwashing’ or ‘child abuse’, then I really think you are going to need to provide a citation.

    @ 149;

    “Appropriate” is in the eye of the beholder. It’s a weasel word that usually means doing whatever the herd does just because the herd does it.

    If ‘appropriate’ is in the eye of the beholder, then why shouldn’t we accept the perspective of the woman in question, who was afterall there, and clearly did feel that the resquest was out of line?

    As the incidente was related, no violation of personal space was involved.

    Approaching someone in a conference setting and asking to see their breasts for one’s own titillation is not a violation of their personal space? Perhaps you and I define such things differently – I certainly would consider approaching a person you do not know and asking to see their breasts to be highly invasive. I know that in the (highly unlikley) event that someone made an equivalent request to me – that I take off my shirt so that they can feast their eyes on my pasty corpulance (the imaginary sky fairy alone knows why anyone would want to do that, but bear with me) – than I would consider it a violation of my personal space. Why should it be different for a woman?

  203. 203
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    I know some of you are Canadians (and worse)

    or worse?

  204. 204
    Anthony K

    Oh, I remember when that happened. Some jackass told jenny6833a to quote something. As if they had any right to force her to live her life quoting things. I know some of you are Canadians (and worse), but don’t you people read the constitution? Besides, she’s got better things to do, like being absurd and making shit up.

    See, that was funny.

    And nothing is worse than Canadians. We eat these things. (More specifically, we don’t eat them, but we wish we were. The locations of convenience stores that sell them are traded like insider stock tips.)

  205. 205
    Paul

    Nobody’s that stupid, jenny6833a is trolling.

    It’s really common for people to do the whole

    stop telling me how I am, according to Almighty you, supposed to react

    thing. Those that aren’t knowingly trolling. Not sure how prevalent it has been lately, but it’s something that even regulars around here have done before on various topics – mention (that male baby thing that I don’t want to derail the thread with) sometime if you want to see it. I am not sure what the exact psychological underpinnings are, but people no matter how introspective can be very quick to take one person’s statements on how they feel as a directive on how they’re supposed to feel, if they’re in some shared category. You’ll find that this is one of the main ways Chill Girls make their way into bed (metaphorically, of course) with misogynists in a debate — they jump in guns blazing about how they don’t feel harassed by whatever stimulus is being complained about and how dare you tell them how they’re supposed to feel by said stimulus. You just want to make them a victim, but they refuse to be victimized. They’re bigger than that. You just want to keep them down.

    Brownian, you make it hard to flounce. Also, reading other FTBs and seeing these pop up in the sidebar.

  206. 206
    Amphiox

    Jenny, IF the men who rudely (or even not so rudely) ask women to show their breasts did so because they were desirous of a nice warm swig of milk, THEN you might, just might, have half a point. If they don’t, then you don’t.

    You don’t.

  207. 207
    Amphiox

    And while it may be in the unwritten expectations of the job of “booth babe” that the woman be watched, admired, even ogled for her sexual attributes, it certainly is NOT in said job expectations that she endure unwanted advances, crude remarks, catcalls, or harassment. It is strictly a look don’t touch or talk thing.

  208. 208
    Anthony K

    You just want to make them a victim, but they refuse to be victimized. They’re bigger than that. You just want to keep them down.

    Only because the milk in their bottles stays cooler nearer the floor. It’s basic physics. I swear!

  209. 209
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    By the way, totally meta, I have lost a <. If anyone has seen it, please send it my way.

  210. 210
    echidna

    Jennynumbers:

    A thought or two from one of the female persuasion who has done rather well in the software business:

    But if you were successful as a techie, I’d be surprised. You display an inconsistency in your comments and an imprecision that doesn’t quite fit, unless you are just spouting off. All of the techie women I know wouldn’t consider “show us your boobs” as a polite request. Saying that other women should would contribute to a hostile work place.

  211. 211
    Anthony K

    By the way, totally meta, I have lost a <. If anyone has seen it, please send it my way.

    A staircase leading up? How could you lose such a thing?

  212. 212
    jenny6833a

    It was the man requesting that she show her breasts who was showing his ‘puerile titillation.’

    That’s your interpretation, which may or may not be correct. I suspect your interpretation is heavily influenced by your own cultural attitudes. That is, I’m guessing that you’d do the same if you thought you could do so unscathed — or at least fanticize about doing it. But, of course, I’m only guessing just as everything you’ve said is just guesswork.

    Asking a stranger to show any part of his or her body for your pleasure and/or to score points …

    Again, you make assumptions of motive based on your own cultural prejudices. A request is just that, a request. “No, thank you” (or just “NO!”) is an acceptable answer that doesn’t even require a second breath.

    I think you, and many others, are opposed to letting the person who receives such a request make her/his own response.

    You’re doing exactly what you all get so irate about preachers doing on other topics. You’re trying to force all others to think/act as YOU think they ought to.

    I say, Buzz Off!

  213. 213
    Naked Bunny with a Whip

    scantily clad ninja girls.

    What the hell. All this phrase brings to my mind is Venus de Milo.

    Quite aside from the demeaning effect on women, I find the concept of “booth babes” personally insulting. What the hell is a company saying to me with that kind of bullshit marketing? “We think you’re so pathetically hard up for human companionship that you’ll respond favorably to the merest hint of sex. You’re like a trout biting a hooked worm, nerd.” Ugh. Why would I want to do business with such a hostile company?

  214. 214
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    By the way, totally meta, I have lost a <. If anyone has seen it, please send it my way.

    The typo cooties have eaten it. The cooties are the spawn of Tpyos, and infest the keyboards of Pharyngulites. I think my keyboard at work is a hidden cache that can’t be eradicated by normal e-pesticides.

  215. 215
    hieropants

    We’ll have to agree to disagree.

    I smiled at the idea of a gentlemanly milk-bottle request, but yeah the rest of it was pretty unimaginative.

    Oh well, that’s what the killfile is for.

  216. 216
    Gregory Greenwood

    Brownian @ 204;

    And nothing is worse than Canadians. We eat these things.

    Nothing worse? – I beg to differ. My mother’s family is Scottish, and Scots eat Haggis, and not the lilly-livered modern version cooked in sausage skin, but the traditional sheep’s-offal-cooked-in-its-own-stomach kind.

    Yeah – we actually eat that (well, I have thus far managed to avoid it myself, but I have relatives who actually profess to enjoy it, believe it or not).

    Care for a bite…?

    ;-P

  217. 217
    Feats of Cats

    I feel like women could wear a secret camera and catch all this stuff happening on tape and still wouldn’t be believed.

    There is no goddamn winning and it’s starting to make me really depressed.

  218. 218
    consciousness razor

    I just can’t wait to hear why people must be brainwashed if they don’t have the same reactions to everything as jenny6833a does.

    ———

    And nothing is worse than Canadians.

    Au contraire, Americans who support Canadians are worse. They are traitors, who should know better. They’re also taking up valuable space, unlike the North pole, which I have no reason to visit. Come on, skeptics! Were you brainwashed or abused as children into believing in Santa Claus? You obviously were, so fuck you!

  219. 219
    Anthony K

    I’ve had the lily-livered version of haggis, Gregory. It seemed well-prepared, and was rather quite tasty.

    But aside from that, you are right. Scots are the absolute worst.

  220. 220
    SallyStrange

    I suspect your interpretation is heavily influenced by your own cultural attitudes.

    Yes, that’s how you can tell he’s not a freethinker. Unlike you, who exists in a social vacuum and has never been influenced by any cultural attitudes in her life, ever.

  221. 221
    echidna

    Jenny:

    Asking a stranger to show any part of his or her body for your pleasure and/or to score points …

    Again, you make assumptions of motive based on your own cultural prejudices.

    I think not.

    From the OP:

    Like the man who tried to get me to show him my tits so he could punch a hole in a card that, when filled, would net him a favor from one of the official security staff

  222. 222
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    You’re doing exactly what you all get so irate about preachers doing on other topics. You’re trying to force all others to think/act as YOU think they ought to.

    Why are you doing this Jenny? It’s not honest. I have to think you know that. No one is trying to get you to think or act any other way. You are as entitled to your own reactions to such acts as anyone else.

    What we’re trying to do is get you to stop scolding other people and pretending you don’t understand (in a very judgmental way) why most women would be put off by this. Why does this threaten you so much you have to turn it into a bizarre, projection-like accusation? Serious question, I’m not trying to snark. I am totally baffled.

  223. 223
    Anthony K

    They are traitors, who should know better.

    Ha-ha! Nobody outside of America expects Americans to know better.

    But that sort of silliness aside, all Americans support Canada. It’s how we don’t fall right down and crash into Mexico.

    Look, see? (How does Mexico balance like that?)

  224. 224
    Feats of Cats

    That’s your interpretation, which may or may not be correct. I suspect your interpretation is heavily influenced by your own cultural attitudes.

    What is your deal with this? We live within a culture. You live within a culture. If you magically brought everyone to your naive 16-year-old-rebel mindset of being anti-culture, it would be an anti-culture culture. We are working to make this culture a better place, one where half the population are treated like people instead of objects. Why are you against that?

  225. 225
    StarStuff, a soulless cunt

    Oh jenny, you try so hard and fail even harder. It would be more lulzy if you weren’t so boring, though.

  226. 226
    hieropants

    It’s really common for people to do the whole “stop telling me how I am, according to Almighty you, supposed to react” thing.

    Oh, I agree with you on that, but anyone who’s claiming that SHOW ME UR TITS has nothing to do with sex is engaging in devil’s-advocate verbal masturbation, not arguing a point they actually believe.

  227. 227
    Gregory Greenwood

    Brownian @ 219;

    I’ve had the lily-livered version of haggis, Gregory. It seemed well-prepared, and was rather quite tasty.

    You do know that this takes you halfway toward being an honorary Scot, right? All you have to do is show your metal at tossing the caber, and you will be able to claim clan membership…

    :-)

    But aside from that, you are right. Scots are the absolute worst.

    You wait until you meet Scots men who have a… traditional attitude toward the ‘proper’ way to wear a kilt.

    On a breezy day.

    Put it this way – if you were so inclined, and of a suitably ‘socially awkward’ nature, it is unlikely that you would have to ask them to lift their kilt so you could catch a peek. Just wait a little while, and the elements will take care of the rest…

  228. 228
    carlie

    Hey jenny! You should go to TAM. Sounds right up your alley.

  229. 229
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    A staircase leading up? How could you lose such a thing?

    No. See my failed attempt at communication at #180.

    That’s your interpretation, which may or may not be correct. I suspect your interpretation is heavily influenced by your own cultural attitudes. That is, I’m guessing that you’d do the same if you thought you could do so unscathed — or at least fanticize about doing it. But, of course, I’m only guessing just as everything you’ve said is just guesswork.

    Wait. A man walks up to a woman at a convention and asks her to expose her breasts and what assumption should I make? Please give one, just one, reason that a man would walk up to a woman, a stranger, and ask to see her breasts.

    Again, you make assumptions of motive based on your own cultural prejudices. A request is just that, a request.

    I make my educated assumption based on my knowledge of human behaviour and the society in which I live. The woman who was propositioned was offended. Read what she wrote:

    Like the man who tried to get me to show him my tits so he could punch a hole in a card that, when filled, would net him a favor from one of the official security staff (I do not have words for how slimy it is that the official security staff were in charge of what was essentially a competition to get women to show their boobs).

    You are the one who is denying everyone else the right to be offended. You think it is just ducky and demand that everyone else accept the objectification of a woman’s body. Why do you insist that she is either lying about her reaction or denying her right to be offended?

  230. 230
    kristinc, now with added ventilation

    Because its a safe bet that almost anyone would get offended by that question in the context of a tech convention. It is something most people are able to figure out without having someone explain it to them. I am sorry this is so confusing for you jenny.

    One time at band camp on another board somewhere I was part of a conversation about a woman who had been told, by a complete stranger, at the supermarket no less, that her husband was very lucky because she was very sexy.

    I shit you not that as soon as people started to discuss how weird inappropriate disturbing fucking creepy that was, some cupcake showed up and did this exact same shit: “I wouldn’t find it creepy! Why would you say it’s creepy like everyone feels the same way about it? Why is it rude to give someone a compliment? How can you think everyone would feel the same way about just being told something and no one would feel differently from you and anyway, how was HE supposed to know she would think it was creepy?”

    Maybe jenny is the same idiot from that conversation. I invite her to take a day trip to the airport, casually mention to a TSA agent that there’s a bomb in her pants, and then spend the rest of the week arguing with them that she couldn’t possibly have known they were going to take it so badly.

  231. 231
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    Hey, douchebags! Jenny#numbermess is OKAY WITH YOU ASKING TO SEE HER BREASTS.

    Please ask HER and not other women who are NOT okay with it.

    Everyone’s happy?

    No?

  232. 232
    Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

    @Naked Bunny:

    They had the shortiest little skirts and belly shirts.

  233. 233
    Anthony K

    Hey, douchebags! Jenny#numbermess is OKAY WITH YOU ASKING TO SEE HER BREASTS

    Fuck that. I’d like to see an example of something dipshit’s supposed to have coded.

  234. 234
    mythbri

    @Ogvorbis

    *Rummages through collection of spare punctuation*

    Hmmmm. It seems that I only have these:

    ^ + ? ~ @ \ ….and that’s it.

    You’re welcome to take any if it will help.

  235. 235
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Hey, douchebags! Jenny#numbermess is OKAY WITH YOU ASKING TO SEE HER BREASTS.

    Please ask HER and not other women who are NOT okay with it.

    Everyone’s happy?

    No?

    Well, perhaps Jennynumbers would be so kind as to tell everyone how the asshole in the bar trying to get his card punched is supposed to know which women are the open minded freethinkers who are fine with objectification and those few emotionally and sexually stunted few are who would object?

    Anyone?<

  236. 236
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Mythbri:

    Thanks, but never mind. It showed up at the end of #235.

  237. 237
    Anthony K

    Well, perhaps Jennynumbers would be so kind as to tell everyone how the asshole in the bar trying to get his card punched is supposed to know which women are the open minded freethinkers who are fine with objectification and those few emotionally and sexually stunted few are who would object?

    Look for the ones who’ve not been enculturated by the herd.

    (They’d be the ones unable to use human language competently.)

  238. 238
    skeptifem

    What I want to know is, what question WOULD offend jenny?

  239. 239
    Anthony K

    Thanks, but never mind. It showed up at the end of #235.

    Finally, I can leave this dungeon.

    [Leaves, Amulet of Yendor in hand.]

  240. 240
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    What I want to know is, what question WOULD offend jenny?

    We’ve already determined that. Any question that would require jenny to examine her own motivations or acculturation.

  241. 241
    carlie

    Jenny: tits or GTFO.

    That doesn’t bother you, does it?

  242. 242
    mythbri

    @Brownian

    Simple. Jennynumbers will be the one without paintball pistols, since her open-mindedness means she won’t need them.

  243. 243
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Finally, I can leave this dungeon.

    Brownian:

    If anything that I wrote seemed like me asking you to leave I apologize. Seriously. Sorry. That is not what I meant. And I don’t see it so perhaps you could gell me what I messed up?

  244. 244
    echidna

    Fuck that. I’d like to see an example of something dipshit’s supposed to have coded.

    QFT. There is a certain world view that good programmers have, that is born of needing to think all the time about the different ways that the code will be used. Good code is robust enough to work in all possible circumstances.

    Thinking like this for long enough influences the way you see the world. Granted, not all programmers are good ones, and there is some pretty crappy code out there. But if she is as successful as she claims, I would expect to see an ability to think about other possibilities to show in her comments. I see nothing like this.

    While this observation is not conclusive proof by any means, (compartmentalisation is a powerful thing), her comments are inconsistent with her claim.

  245. 245
    Anthony K

    Oggie, it’s a reference to an old ASCII based computer game. I’m only riffing. No offense taken. And sorry, I thought the Amulet of Yendor reference would have given it away.

    Sorry.

  246. 246
    Hooloovoo

    Oh yes, it is our duty as skeptics to keep an open mind and not assume the guy’s question should in any way be interpreted in the context of the culture he operated in.

    I think that’s totally reasonable. In fact, my working hypothesis right now is that he was an alien trying to blend in at a brogrammer con. His data must have said “tits or GTFO” is the normal way to say “hi” to women* at these events.** It’s worth investigating, anyway.***

    * Any similarity to fictional characters is purely accidental. FYI, my guy’s name is not Ford Prefect. (It’s Apple McFacebook, duh.)
    ** Of course, this might still say something about the culture at cons, but well…
    ***Unless that Ockham guy had you all brainwashed.

  247. 247
    hypatiasdaughter

    #204 Brownian
    Oh, haven’t seen those, yet. They must have invented them after I moved away.
    But Canucks also eat Poutine, Nanaimo Bars, Butter Tarts, cod cheeks and maggoty butter. It makes us unbeatable! (Mostly ’cause no one wants to rule over a people with such disgusting dietary habits.)

  248. 248
    echidna

    [Leaves, Amulet of Yendor in hand.]

    Ah, you Rogue. Or are you Hacking the net these days? If so, see you on the Astral Plane.

  249. 249
    NateHevens, resident SOOPER-GENIUS... apparently...

    peterhearn, I wrote this blog post just for you.

    The basic idea is very simple: take it from somebody who is so socially awkward that social situations are actually a phobia of mine… what happened to KC (the woman who wrote the post quoted in the OP) is not a symptom of “social awkwardness”. It is a symptom of a misogynistic culture that, for whatever reason, views women as nothing more than sex dolls.

    Also, I kind of want to come to Jenny’s defense in one very specific way, although I must admit that I’ve not read this entire comments section, so I may be making this defense for no reason, in which case I apologize.

    That said…

    If Jenny chooses to show her breasts to a random stranger who asked, she has the right to do so and I don’t think she should ever be vilified for it. I’ve always been of the belief that either a) women should be allowed to go topless in public or b) men should have to cover up their chests in public. Honestly, I think the US is way too restrictive/Victorian in general when it comes to sex and nudity (for example: a children’s cartoon can have all the gratuitous violence it wants, but show one little female nipple for less than a second, and you’ve just won a TV-MA/R rating… it’ stupid).

    That said… Jenny, no one’s trying to force you to do otherwise, and there are women who are made uncomfortable in such situations, and you should respect that. You should also perhaps gain an understanding for what we call “context”. If the “show me your tits” thing had been all that happened to KC, you might have a point (though I’ll admit, not necessarily… there are still a lot of other factors at play, including culture and patriarchy and so on). But this was just one incident in a string of incidents that KC was highlighting.

    It’s really damn obvious that those men saw KC as nothing more than a sex doll, and that, Jenny (and peterhearn), is the whole problem here.

  250. 250
    jenny6833a

    PZ Myers says:

    Yeah, I just did an estimate on my wife’s breasts:

    Nursing children: ~3 years

    Object of my puerile titillation and fascination: 35+ years

    Normal, healthy part of her body: all of her life

    That sounds about right, although I’m sure she’d prefer that you saw her as a superb human being with a sparkling personality, a high IQ, a fine education, a good mother, a fine wife, the love of your life, and one who also happens to have nice breasts.

    And, of course, she IS your wife. I hope (and I’m sure she hopes) that your “puerile titillation and fascination” (your term) doesn’t carry over to the other seven billion or so breasts in the world.

    Hey, I’m betting that you could attend a dinner at a nudist resort without making a total ass of yourself by … uh … drooling in your soup and whatnot. I’m not sure, you understand, but we’re kind of flush these days so I’d bet a nickel on it.

    I wouldn’t bet a nickel on anyone else in this thread.

    The nursing part was important, but it’s strange to place that in the number one functional role.

    Isn’t it? The sexual signal aspect could as well been satisfied by a pulsating red ring around her genitals. That, or something quite like it, has an evolutionary precedent, as I’m sure you know.

    Would human males be so fascinated if breats weren’t almost always covered up? Isn’t it really just the forbidded fruit effect?

    They’re taught that they’re supposed to go ape at the mere sight of a breast, and that they’re not truly a man if they don’t, so they do.

    Do male cows get their jollies from udders?

    ROTFLM6833AO

  251. 251
    PZ Myers

    Unfortunately, those breasts, despite being otherwise perfect, do not have much in the way of IQ.

  252. 252
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Oggie, it’s a reference to an old ASCII based computer game.

    Completely missed it.

    I’m only riffing. No offense taken.

    I feel like I’m walking on eggshells around here. No idea what will blow up with whom so I’m a bit defensive. Over defensive.

    And sorry, I thought the Amulet of Yendor reference would have given it away.

    Turning in my geek card as we speak. I completely missed it.

    Sorry.

    Here, now. You are starting to sound like me.

  253. 253
    StarStuff, a soulless cunt

    Jenny, you must be capable of doing better than this. Your attempt at trolling is incredibly dull. Perhaps you’re just a dull person, is all. Nothing to feel bad about I guess. Certainly not a reason to try to overcompensate by being “not like other girls” because you’re totes ok with guys asking to see your boobs.

    Oh, and your questions aren’t interesting or anything people here haven’t discussed before. (Except, when the regulars here discuss something like this, it’s usually, you know, actually interesting. Unlike those shit piles you call posts.)

  254. 254
    PZ Myers

    Also, I don’t know any human women with a pulsating red ring around their genitals, and I’m afraid such a thing would, at best, elicit scientific curiosity and medical concern from me, not arousal. We do have species-specific sexual cues, you know.

    In cultures where women do go bare-breasted, breasts are apparently not as arousing to men. Not surprisingly. And if we lived in a culture where floor length dresses were required by custom, we’d be getting excited at a glimpse of an ankle.

  255. 255
    Naked Bunny with a Whip

    They had the shortiest little skirts and belly shirts.

    I hope they were comfortable and got paid well for their hard work. I wouldn’t want anyone to get the impression my irritation is directed at the people in costume.

  256. 256
    hypatiasdaughter

    #242 mythbri
    Brilliant! Offer paint ball guns or SuperSoakers filled with semi-permanent dye to conventioneers, male or female, who want them. Signs all over saying “Harass at your own risk!”
    Much better than cards. Very impowering to the harassed. And such fun to imagine how some conventioneer explains pink stains to his wife, mother or boss.

  257. 257
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Amazing to hear someone, anyone, denying that female breasts are sexualized in western culture. As this , from the early 1960s points out, the place of human female breasts (or, more correctly, bosoms), has been a cultural theme since before I was even born!

  258. 258
    Wowbagger, Designated Snarker

    I have changed my ‘nym in honour of this thread.

  259. 259
    SallyStrange

    I suggest Jenny (and any other like-minded women) get a nice button that says “WILL HAPPILY DISPLAY TITS IF POLITELY ASKED” and everyone agrees that if they absolutely need a spot of milk for their tea (or whatever reason totally unrelated to sex), they can go to the ladies who have the buttons and leave the rest of us along.

  260. 260
    Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

    @Naked Bunny:

    Oh me neither. In fact, that man I mentioned who discussed the issue with having official (or semi-official) after-parties at a strip club actually went into the confusion over whether it was okay as far as they went.

    We talked about the whole situation of sex workers, strippers, and pornography actresses who enjoy what they do, and that banning that kind of stuff isn’t fair to the women who are empowered by doing that kind of thing.

    But when it’s related to a professional computer security conference, no. It’s completely showing that the conference is by and for men. No women allowed unless you’re hot.

  261. 261
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    Mallorie Nasrallah, is that you?

    BWAHAHAHA. That is why i have a blog crush on you.

    ++

    I, personally, find jenny’s tapdancer act hilarious. It’s always funny when a dude tries to pretend to be female online by using the “vacuous bimbo” stereotype.

    I mean, seriously dude, “tee hee I like showing my boobies!” is not, in fact, what adult women actually think or say about non-sexuality-related conventions.

  262. 262
    StarStuff, a soulless cunt

    @ Wowbagger

    I like it :)

  263. 263
    Makoto

    @peterhearn – wow, so the conventions you haven’t been to don’t have booth babes or “geeks” who aren’t comfortable enough to make women uncomfortable. Fantastic evidence! I haven’t seen robots on Mars, either.

  264. 264
    Wowbagger, Designated Snarker

    I think we really need to get the word ‘bosoms’ back into the popular vocabulary.

  265. 265
    Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

    @Wowbagger:

    It’s seriously the best word for breasts.

    Bosoms. Bosoms. Bosoms.

  266. 266
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    Isn’t bosoms, plural, considered a weird fetish?

  267. 267
    Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

    Several bosoms?

  268. 268
    tigtog

    #195 hieropants

    Nobody’s that stupid, jenny6833a is trolling. It was funny at first, but the relativistic “This behavior is only creepy and weird because society! What if we were nudists? What if we had the cultural tradition of waving our breasts at each other as a greeting? What if we’re all butterflies dreaming we’re human? Butterflies aren’t sexually attracted to breasts!” gets boring pretty fast.

    #218 consciousness razor

    I just can’t wait to hear why people must be brainwashed if they don’t have the same reactions to everything as jenny6833a does.

    Just reminding you all that it was in a thread not that long ago that jenny6833a proudly proclaimed her long history of a clothing-optional lifestyle and evangelised said lifestyle at length. Indeed, she thought that just because I mentioned how I also grew up in the nudist/naturist movement that I would automatically agree with her opinions on that thread (she was wrong about that).

    She’s been positively coy by comparison in this thread, but I expect this is where her “cultural” stance is coming from regarding showing other people one’s breasts as simply no big deal ever. Again, this woman who grew up as a nudist disagrees: it’s no big deal at a nudist event, but it’s still a big deal outside nudist events.

  269. 269
    Therrin

    I don’t know any human women with a pulsating red ring around their genitals

    Umm… ahhh… Oh, that wasn’t an Xbox reference? Whew!

  270. 270
    Anthony K

    Also, I don’t know any human women with a pulsating red ring around their genitals

    According to the scientific diagrams on the commercials for reflux, I get pulsing red lightning bolts emanating from my esophagus when I eat certain foods. Then I eat a pill, which turns into a soothing blue orb, coating my digestive tract in a relaxed purple glow.

  271. 271
    rorschach

    They must love Jennynumbers at those conferences.

  272. 272
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    Jenny, you’re a fucking idiot.

    …now, come on. Surely you know it’s just your cultural prejudices that make you interpret “you’re a fucking idiot” as an insult.

  273. 273
    carlie

    I think we really need to get the word ‘bosoms’ back into the popular vocabulary.

    Tracts of land?

  274. 274
    ChasCPeterson

    According to the scientific diagrams on the commercials for reflux, I get pulsing red lightning bolts emanating from my esophagus when I eat certain foods. Then I eat a pill, which turns into a soothing blue orb, coating my digestive tract in a relaxed purple glow.

    again I laffed

  275. 275
    CT Chimako.27

    :: adjusts monocle :: Please, ma’am, may I peruse your globes of soft lusciousness?

  276. 276
    ChasCPeterson

    does chas seem drunk to anyone else?

    are you following me?

  277. 277
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    are you following me?

    Who’s that behind you?!

  278. 278
    Jadehawk

    You fail to accept that breasts store milk until the milk can be fed via the breast to an infant.

    biology fail. I assure you my breasts store no milk, and if I can keep ignoring my ovaries’ opinion on this subject for a few more years, they never will.

    male cows

    no. even I know that. male cows only exist in shitty cartoon movies

  279. 279
    CT Chimako.27

    Who’s that behind you?!

    Is it a ghost!!!!?? Quick, let me get my Skeptical Spectacles (TM) on!!

  280. 280
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    Quick, let me get my Skeptical Spectacles (TM) on!!

    Are those the ones that allow you to see only what straight white dudes want to see?

    I think they sell those at TAM!

  281. 281
    Naked Bunny with a Whip

    jenny6833a proudly proclaimed her long history of a clothing-optional lifestyle

    Oh, FFS. I learned from naturists that titillation is all about context. A woman flashing her breasts at a man because he wants to punch a hole in his card doesn’t advance a clothing-optional society, it just encourages both parties to think of exposed breasts as something that leads to arousal.

    My wife and I have a friend who sometimes doffs her clothes at our place after using the pool or when sleeping over. She’d like to do that at other friends’ houses, but we’re the only ones she knows who won’t make a huge fuss over it, so this is the only place she doesn’t feel self-conscious. That’s how you encourage people to feel more comfortable with their nudity, not what the creeps in the OP are doing.

  282. 282
    rorschach

    I assure you my breasts store no milk, and if I can keep ignoring my ovaries’ opinion on this subject for a few more years, they never will.

    Takes about an hour of suckling a day for a couple weeks or so to get things going in the milk department when not pregnant. Or so I hear. Overheard someone saying that on the train. Or could have read it somewhere. Might be wrong. Not sure.

  283. 283
    Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

    @CT:

    ROFL!!!

  284. 284
    kristinc, now with added ventilation

    I assure you my breasts store no milk, and if I can keep ignoring my ovaries’ opinion on this subject for a few more years, they never will.

    Even in lactating women the breasts can’t really be described as “storing” milk. They do produce a trickle in between feeding sessions but IIRC they’re mostly a demand-supply mechanism. That’s what “letdown”, so familiar to women who have breastfed, is about.

  285. 285
    kristinc, now with added ventilation

    Honestly, Jenny reminds me a lot of that yo-ho over at Pandagon one time who was dead sure that trees reproduce asexually. Austin? Is that you under that long blonde wig?

  286. 286
    Jadehawk

    that yo-ho over at Pandagon one time who was dead sure that trees reproduce asexually

    one of my favorite moments on the internet, ever. same guy who thought if you’re using the pill to regulate your period it doesn’t work as a contraceptive. fun times.

  287. 287
    Naked Bunny with a Whip

    who thought if you’re using the pill to regulate your period it doesn’t work as a contraceptive.

    Intent really is magic!

  288. 288
    Anri

    Why do I have the feeling that if I ask you for examples you’re gonna link to feminist blogs?

    Way late, but a quick reminder that the standard definition of “feminist” is “One who considers women full human beings”… so, given that, yes, I would hope they were feminist blogs. As opposed to the other kind.

  289. 289
    microraptor

    I, personally, find jenny’s tapdancer act hilarious. It’s always funny when a dude tries to pretend to be female online by using the “vacuous bimbo” stereotype.

    I mean, seriously dude, “tee hee I like showing my boobies!” is not, in fact, what adult women actually think or say about non-sexuality-related conventions.

    Yes, but it’s difficult to successfully impersonate a real adult female when the closest you’ve ever come is a Robert Heinlein character.

  290. 290
    hypatiasdaughter

    #268 tigtog
    Not to be graphic and rude, but I suspect that, even among naturists, certain behaviors would be considered rude – like deliberately bending over to flash people, playing with your privates, making blatantly rude advances…..
    I have heard, oddly enough, groups that support alternative lifestyles (like BDSM and nudists) have some very rigid rules about flouting the common welfare of the group. They wouldn’t put up with the shit that “normal” people think they should be allowed to inflict on others.

  291. 291
    kristinc, now with added ventilation

    oddly enough, groups that support alternative lifestyles (like BDSM and nudists) have some very rigid rules about flouting the common welfare of the group.

    It’s not really odd at all, people tend to only be willing to go outside their comfort zone in terms of sexual expression and nudity if they have a good idea of what they can expect.

    As for the codes for things like consent, eh, sorta. Although I expect most people in the BDSM scene would, if you asked them, be vocal about protecting consent and the no-touchy rules, those subcultures are still sub to the larger culture, and in my experience they have roughly the average amount of rape-apologism, boundaries violation, excusing of harassy behavior and victim-blaming. It depends on the group of course, just as it does with skeptic and hacker cons, and some groups really are very rigorous about their rules. (People who do not like rigorous rules, of course, tend to gravitate toward groups and functions where they’re more likely to get away with shit.)

  292. 292
    nms

    Brownian

    Thanks to peterhearn though, we now know the appropriate punishment: make offenders go outside and run some laps.

    And if they haven’t brought their PE kit they’ll do it in their pants

  293. 293
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle
    oddly enough, groups that support alternative lifestyles (like BDSM and nudists) have some very rigid rules about flouting the common welfare of the group.

    It’s not really odd at all, people tend to only be willing to go outside their comfort zone in terms of sexual expression and nudity if they have a good idea of what they can expect.

    Exactly. I’m into BDSM. My partner, a wonderfully prolific dom, works his magic only within the boundaries we set together before hand.

    We also belong to a ‘sex club’, of sorts, that involves a whole lot of other people. They have the same conversations with each other, with us, with every member of the ‘club’.

    This only works because there are hard and fast (pun TOTALLY intended) rules in place. You can only completely let your freak flag fly is you are safe to do so.

  294. 294
    Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts

    We also belong to a ‘sex club’, of sorts, that involves a whole lot of other people. They have the same conversations with each other, with us, with every member of the ‘club’.

    This only works because there are hard and fast (pun TOTALLY intended) rules in place. You can only completely let your freak flag fly is you are safe to do so.

    You clearly communicate your boundaries and people are expected to respect them? What a prude!!! Who brain-washed you into having boundaries in the first place? Tru Freethinkers don’t have boundaries!!!111!

    /snark

  295. 295
    kristinc, now with added ventilation

    Also, as far as the group enforcement of the rules, there’s a carrot in sex-based subcultures that I wouldn’t call “group welfare”: everyone wants to be able to continue getting the nookie. My observation is that rules in BDSM groups tend to center around creating an environment in which people will keep getting laid with the maximum regularity, which sometimes but not always overlaps with what makes everyone feel safest or is most ethical from a feminist consent standpoint. Does that make sense?

  296. 296
    kristinc, now with added ventilation

    I suppose that’s roughly analogous to skeptic cons (*cough*TAM*cough) creating rulesets that center around retaining the largest possible set of regular attendees …

  297. 297
    Rutee Katreya

    Brownian, before anything else, I appreciated the Roguelike references at least.

    You fail to accept that breasts store milk until the milk can be fed via the breast to an infant. To you, everything is about sex-sex-sex. Grow up.

    Um, the breasts of *nobody* I know produce milk. I’m pretty sure one person’s will relatively soon, but even that’s not storage.

    “Appropriate” is in the eye of the beholder. It’s a weasel word that usually means doing whatever the herd does just because the herd does it.

    Hmhmhmhm! What’s next, ‘sheeple’? What tired, played out meme will you bring out next to defend dudes being flagrant assholes? XD

    Seriously though, if women aren’t comfortable being asked, *Don’t ask*. And it’s a pretty fair bet we’re not, because WTF!?

    I like how the trolls contradict each other. Peterhearn says these things NEVER HAPPEN, I SEE NOSSINK! NO PROGRAMMER WOULD EVER BE SO LOW. Jenny#s insists that not only do these things happen, but they’re totally justified because…

  298. 298
    Crys T

    I’ve got a question: if breasts are nothing more than milk storage, then why the FUCK would anyone be asking to see them in the first place? Why would it be such a big deal that punch cards are handed out so guys can compete to see as many as they can?

    In order to find that a thrill, it’s the guys who are doing the asking that have the uptight, “Victorian” mindset that makes breasts, and certain other bits of the body, “dirty.”

  299. 299
    Antiochus Epiphanes

    I didn’t foresee that this thread would take such a hard turn for the hilarious. I have had many chuckles this morning.

    Well done.

    *bosoms*

    hee

  300. 300
    Worldtraveller

    Naked Bunny with a whip @213

    Quite aside from the demeaning effect on women, I find the concept of “booth babes” personally insulting. What the hell is a company saying to me with that kind of bullshit marketing? “We think you’re so pathetically hard up for human companionship that you’ll respond favorably to the merest hint of sex. You’re like a trout biting a hooked worm, nerd.” Ugh. Why would I want to do business with such a hostile company?

    Yeah, but sadly, it works. Marketing 101. I’ve been to a few conventions in my line of work, and I would estimate upwards of 95% (of the typically ~250 or more) booths have a hired spokesmodel who knows the barest minimum about the product line, but is there to hand prospective marks a card to fill out.

    The ‘after party’ is always staged, and a significant number of the ‘booth babes’ are part of the performing act (dancing and occasionally singing)….it’s quite a production.

    Gregory Greenwood@ 216:
    Traiditional haggis is good. The modern stuff, not so much.

    And when I say traditional, I mean the cooks were hardcore, like only rennies can be. Cooked outside, in a wood ‘stove’ that’s a mound of dirt around some clay bricks with a bit of metal on top of the wood/coals, all prepared with utensils that would have been available in the 16th century.

    You wait until you meet Scots men who have a… traditional attitude toward the ‘proper’ way to wear a kilt.

    On a breezy day.

    I used to be a ‘street character’ at a renfair. And I’ve been to quite a few Highland Games. ’nuff said. (insert the Scotsman song here)… ;-)

    Carlie@241:

    Jenny: tits or GTFO.

    Better. No charge.

    CT@275

    :: adjusts monocle :: Please, ma’am, may I peruse your globes of soft lusciousness?

    When my wife plays D&D, she refers to them as her ‘Globes of Charming’….. I love my nerdy wife!

  301. 301
    Kristjan Wager

    Yeah, but sadly, it works. Marketing 101. I’ve been to a few conventions in my line of work, and I would estimate upwards of 95% (of the typically ~250 or more) booths have a hired spokesmodel who knows the barest minimum about the product line, but is there to hand prospective marks a card to fill out.

    There is actually some debate whether this is true or not. Not that boothbabes are used, but whether it actually works. Yes, people might visit the booth, but does it work as marketing? There is no evidence for this.

  302. 302
    David Marjanović

    We should get screamers.

    Screamers?

    Isn’t it? The sexual signal aspect could as well been satisfied by a pulsating red ring around her genitals. That, or something quite like it, has an evolutionary precedent, as I’m sure you know.

    Would human males be so fascinated if breats weren’t almost always covered up? Isn’t it really just the forbidded fruit effect?

    No. It appears that the breasts are evolutionarily modeled after the buttocks, kept closer to eye height as we elevated the latter above arse level. In many apes and other monkeys the behind is an important secondary sexual characteristic.

    Clothing and the rest of culture definitely does have an impact, as individual variation and variation between cultures shows, but it’s not the whole thing. Keep in mind that women’s breasts usually of a too inflated shape for nursing; many women have to press on them with their fingers so that the nipple projects far enough for the baby. Evidently, nursing hasn’t been the only evolutionary pressure here.

    That’s why so many cultures put at least some amount of emphasis on covering them up beyond what the climate requires.

    I, personally, find jenny’s tapdancer act hilarious. It’s always funny when a dude tries to pretend to be female online by using the “vacuous bimbo” stereotype.

    Oh, there is a more charitable explanation: jennynumbermess is both 0 on the Kinsey scale and doesn’t pay much attention to the world in general, so she really doesn’t understand what’s supposed to be sexy about breasts. I, for one, only intellectually (if that) understand what’s supposed to be sexy about any male body part; I can’t really empathize.

    That would explain her attempt to declare it purely cultural. Of course, I’m not sure if it’s really more parsimonious than your hypothesis. In particular, I’ve never read any Heinlein, only Wikipedia-and-the-like articles about his works.

    one of my favorite moments on the internet, ever. same guy who thought if you’re using the pill to regulate your period it doesn’t work as a contraceptive. fun times.

    :-D Link, please!!!

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