Some communities make misogynists and harassers unwelcome

Meanwhile, that “Dear Hacker Community – We Need To Talk” article that I saw yesterday and meant to read and maybe comment on – that article disappeared on account of how Asher Wolf’s site got hacked. Guess what she and the hacker community needed to talk about.

I know a lot the community doesn’t want to talk about this stuff. I know I didn’t personally try to build a bridge between wannabe-crypto-users and hackers so I could deal with shitful sexism, misogyny and down-right crappy behavior.

I know most people would rather just delete a sexist webpage or image, apologize for the offensive comment, or shitty behavior and move on. Again.

But things aren’t changing for the better. And pasting anti-harassment rules on conference wikis doesn’t seem to be making a dent in obviously unacceptable behavior of some arseholes.

Yes, of course, there are arseholes in all communities. But some communities make sexists, misogynists, harassers and general arseholes truly unwelcome.

Unfortunately, the hacker community seems to flounder at making progress in the area of human relations.

Oh how familiar that sounds. The article is back, on a mirror site. Read it.


  1. Tony the Queer Shoop (owner of the pink cotton ball of death) says

    I hope more and more online communities come to recognize this problem and work towards making these doucheheads social pariahs. If they aren’t going to change, they can get ostracized.

  2. bobo says

    I remember when a hacker in the UK hacked into gov’t health computers and RELEASED THE NAMES AND ADDRESSES OF WOMEN WHO HAD RECEIVED ABORTIONS.

    fucking terrorist scumbag

  3. hjhornbeck says

    That one blew my mind, bobo, so I had to look it up. The good news: I can’t find any evidence he released the names:

    When Jeffery was arrested, police found his computer “in the process of being wiped clean”.

    The court was told that he intended to publish the data, which included names, email addresses and telephone numbers on an online sharing site but later changed his mind.

    The bad news: his actions probably scared away some women seeking an abortion. As the prosecutor in his case put it:

    Mr Higgins said: “Clare Murphy states women who contact the charity are often in a vulnerable situation.

    “They speak to teenagers who have not disclosed their pregnancy to their parents, women who have been victims of domestic violence and victims of sexual violence – many women for whom an unplanned pregnancy is a very private affair and would not wish to share this with others.

    “The publication of the information would cause great anguish for women who contact the charity in confidence and would put some of these women at serious risk mentally and physically.”

    That person is still a terrorist, even though the names he gathered never hit the ‘net.

  4. Maureen Brian says


    hjhornbeck is right – he did hack into the records of all contacts with bpas, which offers a variety of services – but he did not release the records.

    Look, though, at why the arsehole did it in the first place. A couple of his friends each made a decision not to his taste – as was their right – and he thought his manly manliness gave him to power to take revenge. So, still an arsehole then!

  5. says

    Some communities make misogynists and harassers unwelcome

    Where? Let’s see…Hackers? nope. Gaming? nope. Comic book fandom? nope. Sceptics? nope. Atheists? nope. Institutions of higher learning? nope. You Tube? nope. Mormons? nope. Any other mainstream or fundamentalist religion or church? Nope. Public transportation? nope. Politics? nope. Advertising? nope. Television? nope. Cinema? nope.

    They may exist, but they’re few and far between. This isn’t the problem of this or that community, but the culture as a whole. It’s toxic and misogynist to the core.

  6. bobo says

    #3 and #4 Yep, still a terrorist, even if he did not release the names. He is still a self-righteous piece of shit.

  7. No Light says

    Ibis – there was a rather delightful, happy, productive community in the pub/bar scene of my old home city. No drama, no fear of harassment no matter how drunk you were, or what you were wearing.

    Then it all went to shit, because the licensing brewery changed hands, and the new company deemed it ‘discriminatory’ to only allow women in the venues, so men had to be allowed in.

    Trigger warning for descriptions of sexual harassment/homophobia/transphobia.

    The femme dykes were constantly groped and told they just “Need[ed] the right cock”, the butch dykes were physically assaulted and told “If you want to be a man so much, then fight like one”, and the trans women suffered all of the above, and more. More than one woman was badly beaten, and we had to form escort pairs to escort people to their cars, or the bus/train station.

    The straight and bi women who pretended they were gay (to get rid of persistent men) were given the same treatment as their dyke sisters. The men seemed to get particular glee out of targeting women who were deliberately seeking to avoid men.

    Then, when most of us had decamped to the local gay scene, and settled in nicely, the city decided that bars and clubs should only be gay-friendly bars with access for all. I must add though, that lone women and groups of women were never turned away, even if they weren’t members of the LGBT community. It was a safety thing, and they rarely caused trouble.

    So again, we went from having a safe place to socialise, to being scared to kiss or even hold hands because of the jeering, harassment, and disgusted looks.

    We went back to the city last summer for a museum exhibition, and popped back to the Pink part of the city. We’d intended to go for a meal and a drink before our drive home. What we found was a string of deserted pubs, neglected looking public areas and street furniture, and a general air of abandonment.

    Sometimes it feels like things are getting worse, not better. Anyone seeking ‘Safe space’ is mocked and insulted, told to “toughen up”. Nobody ever seems to wonder why some of us want/need a place where we don’t have to be constantly on guard.

    The fact that it’s everywhere, on and offline, makes it feel incessant and inescapable.

  8. Nepenthe says

    Leftist groups? Nope. Rightist groups? Nope. Anarchist groups? Nope. LGBT groups? Psychiatric hospitals? Nope. Colleges and universities? Nope. Elementary schools? Nope. Feminist groups? Occasionally.

    My apartment under the blankets with my cat? Always.

  9. Happiestsadist, opener of the Crack of Doom says

    Ibis3 and Nepenthe: Pretty much, yeah. I don’t know of anywhere that isn’t like my apartment that does that either.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *