no2id

Wrong planet error - dead brains don't dance — LiveJournal

beyond the last visible dog

Oct. 17th, 2006

[perlmonger user icon]

01:27 pm - Wrong planet error

[ anybody who’s come to this post late might want to read my next entry as well ]

Looks like it’s the time for it: having recently participated in a discussion on racism, privilege and entitlement chez perigee, and one on sexism in the programming community flocked elsewhere, a friend pointed me at the website of an upcoming ColdFusion Dev Conference.

I was sufficiently angered by the implications (on all sorts of levels) of a “FREE CFDeveloper party with entertainment in the form of a private bar, music provided by a Live DJ and Tequila slammer girls” (who I might want to “chat up” up after they gave me “free tequila shots”) that I mailed the organisers:

Quoting the front page of www.cfdevcon.com:

| In the evening will a FREE CFDeveloper party with entertainment in
| the form of a private bar, music provided by a Live DJ and Tequila
| slammer girls.
|
| [...]
|
| We look forward to seeing you there.

Well, I’m one ColdFusion developer you won’t be seeing.

The perpetuation of patriarchal attitudes and concomitant implicit
marginalisation, if not actual exclusion, of developers who don’t
present themselves as male and heterosexual is something our industry
has a bad reputation for.

I had hoped, after recent discussion in the Perl and Linux communities,
that this was starting to be recognised as something important; clearly
there’s a Neanderthal component to the CF dev community that’s in need
of application of a cluebat.

Pete,

If it was a tequila slammer guy I’m sure you wouldn’t mind, but that would
be of no interest to other 99.9% of delegates.
There is no place at this conference for discrimination, so it would
certainly be best that you did not come if that is your attitude.

Russ Michaels wrote:

| If it was a tequila slammer guy I’m sure you wouldn’t mind, but that would
| be of no interest to other 99.9% of delegates.

:)

»whoosh!« there goes my point, thataway... Your conference will of course be self-selecting in its attendance.

I’m left wondering if you think that any man who objects to gross sexism is necessarily gay, or whether you actually thought that to make that implication was insulting.

| There is no place at this conference for discrimination, so it would
| certainly be best that you did not come if that is your attitude.

It’s extraordinary how beneficiaries of privilege, safe in their sense of entitlement, can reframe any contrary voice as discrimination. But you’re right, I can’t imagine many environments I’d less like to be in than your conference: I’ll get back to coding.

I do not think anything of sort, but that is what you implied.
Why you have chosen me as the target for your hetrosexual bashing I have no
idea, but I’m afraid I am the wrong person to be speaking to as I have no
problems with gay men/women at all, although you should consider how your
attitude toward straight people is no different than how people used to
react towards homosexuals before it became socially acceptible.
If you cannot understand the common sense of catering for the majority, then
I cannot help you with that, it is simply common buisness sense. If I had
organised a gay developer conference there would probably have been like 2
registrations, although if I thought there was a market for such a thing I
would certainly do it.


And there I’ve chosen to leave it, at least for now; I don’t think there’s any point in fighting further against such a spectacular misinterpretation of what I tried to say, whether willful or no.

ETA1: remove the flockedness - on consideration, there’s nowt there I don’t want public.
ETA2: here’s ramtops‘ post on the same subject (and yes, she did mail him first :)
ETA3: pdcawley adds his comments on his blog.
Tags: , , ,

Current Mood despairing
( Link | 19 comments | Leave a comment )

Comments:

(no subject) - easterbunny
[latexiron user icon]

From:latexiron

Date:October 17th, 2006 - 01:23 pm

If it's being held in Europe, can you insist on a tequila slammer guy on the grounds of sexual equality?
(no subject) - easterbunny
[latexiron user icon]

From:latexiron

Date:October 17th, 2006 - 06:53 pm

Perhaps you could persuade all of your male friends to turn up, wearing nothing but posing pouches, and all of them insist on being the Tequila Slammer Guy?

"I'm the Tequila Slammer Guy!"
"No you're not, I'm the Tequila Slammer Guy!"
"I'm the Tequila Slammer Guy and so is my wife!"
[kairotique user icon]

From:kairotique

Date:October 17th, 2006 - 01:40 pm

Wow... Well, cheers to you for those responses. Seriously.
[gmul user icon]

From:gmul

Date:October 17th, 2006 - 03:11 pm

As a (last anyone checked) het male who might in other circumstances have ended up doing CF dev, I'd certainly not be wanting to go anywhere near the place if that's the attitude...

From:codepope

Date:October 17th, 2006 - 04:18 pm

"I was sufficiently angered by the implications (on all sorts of levels) of a “FREE CFDeveloper party with entertainment in the form of a private bar, music provided by a Live DJ and Tequila slammer girls” (who I might want to “chat up” up after they gave me “free tequila shots”)"

I find it interesting that you add the "(who I might want to “chat up” up after they gave me “free tequila shots”)"... as that isn't on the website, and which strikes me as a gross assumption by yourself that party entertainment (Slammer girl teams, which usually include guys) are professional entertainers, yet you make an assumption that they are provided to be chatted up once people are drunk. While you are railing against sexist assumptions, maybe you should check your own?

[perlmonger user icon]

From:perlmonger

Date:October 17th, 2006 - 04:26 pm

Ummm... try looking at the what you get page:
After conference party in the evening with music, tequila slammer girls (providing free tequila shots), private bar. Gives you a chance to socialise with the speakers and sponsors, talk about the conference, make new contacts, and chat up the tequila girls.

(my emphasis)

From:codepope

Date:October 17th, 2006 - 04:33 pm

And the Tequila guys... [googles]

Here we are http://www.peterjohnson.co.uk/info.asp?ID=229

That's the team. Quelle surprise, also comes with chaps. It's just called "Tequila Slammer Girls"...

Again, maybe it's your assumptions that are at fault.
[alicephilippa user icon]

From:alicephilippa

Date:October 17th, 2006 - 10:13 pm

You make an assumption based on little information that the "Tequila Slammer Girls" as booked include guys. The site implies that guys are available, not that they are an integral part of any team that is booked.

I would suggest that from the responses from the organiser that in fact there are no "Tequila Slammer Guys" booked.

Alice.

From:codepope

Date:October 17th, 2006 - 10:21 pm

Or that the organiser is in for a shock on the night.
[alicephilippa user icon]

From:alicephilippa

Date:October 17th, 2006 - 10:43 pm

A very big, and probably very unwelcome surprise.

Whilst it's not the sort of "party" that I'd choose to attend, I'd like to be a fly on the wall to see his reaction if a bunch of "Tequila Slammer Guys" were part of the team.

Alice.

From:(Anonymous)

Date:October 18th, 2006 - 02:10 am

I don't see anywhere that it says the girls will chucking tequila down your neck during the actual conference, so hows does tequila girls at the party affect the conference at all?

From:budleysalterton

Date:October 18th, 2006 - 08:27 am

Now what I want to know is if there are only 100 people booked, who is the 0.1%, the 10% of a person that would be interested in the tequila slammer guy ?

From:(Anonymous)

Date:October 18th, 2006 - 12:20 pm

Well to resolve this argument, i'm going and will even offer to be the voluntary tequila guy

fair enough?

But for future reference surely there are more significant things you could be active against?

Mark Smyth
markcfmx@gmail.com
[perlmonger user icon]

From:perlmonger

Date:October 18th, 2006 - 01:56 pm

This would never have spiraled out into the greater blogosphere if Russ' response to my first email hadn't been so... extraordinary but, FWIW, I think this is significant. OK, it's not the war in Iraq or global warming, but creating an exclusionary, laddish expectation for a technical conference is of some greater importance too: this particular expression of Patriarchy isn't likely to kill anyone, but it's part of the same set of attitudes that stones rape victims for "adultery" elsewhere in the world.

From:(Anonymous)

Date:October 18th, 2006 - 05:32 pm

It would never have spiraled if you had not posted what is quite clearly defamitory comments on here. I believe you will find that posting private email communication online is in fact illegal and you may find yourself on the receiving end of some legal action for defamation of character.
[perlmonger user icon]

From:perlmonger

Date:October 18th, 2006 - 06:48 pm

Well, I'd be interested to know just what in my OP was defamatory toward you...

From:(Anonymous)

Date:October 29th, 2006 - 04:46 pm

Not to burst the bubble here but....

Unless this posting has been amended since this post, I don´t see the defamation basis. All that has been reported is an email exchange which is presumably not doctored and therefore true. There is no defamation action possible for fair true comment made.

Nor is posting email on the web illegal. You would not class such an exchange as being confidential, there could be no realistic expectation of confidence on the organisers or recipients part that such mail would be kept private.

This was not a private communication it has a clear business context.

There is also no data protection issue.

I can recommend some very good IT law conferences if this would help expand knowledge in this area. I am in fact blogging from one. The entertainment was a scavenger hunt around barcelona. The teams mixed really well. I would recommend on grounds of cost, usefulness, and broad appeal etc.