[Noisebridge-discuss] I got groped at noisebridge at hackmeet

daravinne daravinne at gmail.com
Mon Oct 22 22:02:45 UTC 2012

I've ignored noisebridge and the mailing list for months, because the
bar got so low that i couldn't afford the drilling equipment needed to
locate it. I don't give two shits about your oogle problem or your
sleeping drama or whatever other whiny bullshit is the wankfest du
jour, but this is really, really fucking important.

I've been on panels at two internationally recognized hackercons about
depression in the geek community, and in the longer panel at HOPE I
brought up the pervasive habit of the "radically inclusive" hacker
community to protect abusive people and behavior in the name of not
ostracizing people or being "too PC" or otherwise fucking up the
us-against-them status quo.  This is a stellar example of that
behavior.  Seriously, I don't know how one gets such a mirror shine
onto a turd. Satellites can see that shit from space.

Jesus H. Christ in a flying rat vagina, what the actual fuck is wrong
with you people?  I honestly don't even have words for how completely
fucked this is.  It makes me want to get a pliers from the dirty shop
and start breaking fingers until everyone's learned their lesson.

There is a culture specific to noisebridge of nonaccountability.
There is no real penalty for unacceptable behavior.  There is no
repercussion to an individual or individuals who cross a line or harm
another person.  The process of consensus must be applied to
EVERYTHING, such that no cohesive group action can be performed
efficiently or quickly, if at all.  "Do-ocracy" subs for group action
but has no lasting effect on the psychology of the group or how it
functions.  I have often described it as a black hole into which one
can throw unlimited amounts of resources with no return.

There is also a culture specific to the hacker community of pervasive
emotional abuse, executed in such a way that promotes mistrust,
paranoia, fear and aggression among peers and friends.  Nonvigilance
guarantees victimhood, and victims are reminded that it's their fault
for not being vigilant enough or not striking first.  Infosec is the
biggest offender by far, but this mindset has spilled over into
anything connected to the hacker scene and culture.  Bonus prizes
include sexist behavior and ideology among both genders, a generous
sprinkling of rape culture, and all the slut-shaming your heart could

Mash these two things together, and you get "a woman goes to a hacker
party and is alienated by the local hacker community to the point
where she is publicly crying, and is then sexually assaulted while
crying, in front of community members who do nothing. This same
community proceeds to then lash out at her ON THE INTERNET for
complaining about being sexually assaulted."

Holy everloving shit, I'm in r/creepshots.

Oh, and don't try and hand me that "noisebridge-discuss isn't the same
as the people in the actual space, isn't the same at the irc channel".
 You people pass the buck so fast I'm surprised DARPA hasn't claimed
it for renewable energy.   Everyone who does something in conjunction
with the noisebridge name publicly represents the space and
philosophy, whether you like it or not.  I have been uncomfortable for
a long time with declaring any association with noisebridge, because
of shit like this.  The noisebridge community is an embarrassment, and
has been for a while.  Fuck your bedbugs, fuck your robot, fuck your
kitchen, fuck yo couch.

I appreciate those who have taken this seriously, vonguard and danny
and ron and liz and whoever else i'm forgetting.   I have been through
many incidences of emotional and physical abuse from hackers, and
those incidences have been witnessed by hackers, who have sat by and
done nothing, or blamed me if I tried to stand up for myself.  As
someone who has experienced abusive behavior in the hacker community
for years, the statement "we should probably be more proactive about
this" feels inadequate.

On Mon, Oct 22, 2012 at 11:52 AM, Danny O'Brien <danny at spesh.com> wrote:
> On Mon, Oct 22, 2012 at 9:30 AM, VonGuard <vonguard at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Wow. Really Noisebridge? I am so utterly disappointed in everything
>> about this email and the reaction to it that I am appalled and ashamed
>> that I was every associated with the space to begin with.
>> I sat down in front of the assembled membership 2 years ago and was
>> almost in tears explaining why this sort of shit had to be taken
>> seriously, and why Noisebridge could NOT tollerate this typoe of
>> sexist behavior in the space. It was a fight to get ya'll to recognize
>> it then. I see now my efforts were pointless.
> Hi VonGuard,
> I remember your seriousness, and it was appreciated. I think you need
> to separate in reading what's happening here from people who are
> actually using the space, and working on this stuff, and people who
> are just on nb-discuss, throwing in their points.
> Not everything is visible on this mailing list. Without going into too
> many details because I think that's Susan's right to talk about these
> things, several people offlist and on and connected with Noisebridge
> stepped up to make sure she had a safe space yesterday and today, got
> to talk  through what had happened and how we could make things better
> for Susan in the future.
> Hackmeet was an external event that had over 150 people I'll let them
> chip in with how they're going to do things differently, but I'll note
> that they had a whole session devoted to their anti-harassment policy
> and so forth at the beginning of the day -- a system that clearly
> failed in this case, but a sign that they were not unaware of the
> problem.
> I don't mind having arguments with people who don't take this stuff
> seriously, or trivilize it. I see having that battle as being a part
> of what makes Noisebridge what it is. You can throw your hands up in
> the air and say it's all shit and walk away to build a place that you
> think is safer and better, and I understand and applaud that. But
> please don't dismiss what we try to do and call us shit for working to
> make things better where we stand.
> d.
>> I apologize to you Susan for the awful behavior of people in the space
>> and on this list. You're very right in not ever wanting to come back.
>> Noisebridge has changed. Noisebridge is pure shit now.
>> This reminds me of Reddit, where rapists are protected and normal
>> people or accusers are ostracized. Good job people, you fucked up
>> Noisebridge with your privileged male-ness.
>> On Sat, Oct 20, 2012 at 7:19 PM, Susan Werner <heinousbutch at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> I went to hackmeet today, tried to join in a few conversations, and got told
>>> to fuck off because I don't already know people. As I was crying and talking
>>> to someone on the Internet about how these kinds of events are intentionally
>>> hostile to people who don't already have significant social connections, some
>>> guy walks by me, and rubs his hand on my right breast, and calmly walks on as
>>> if nothing happened.
>>> I got groped while I was crying at noisebridge, during an event with lots of
>>> people at it, and nobody did anything. Nobody spoke a word to me. Nobody
>>> offered any kind of help whatsoever, and lots of people walked by me, as I was
>>> there for about half an hour after that happened.
>>> I'm done with noisebridge, done with its community which enables sexual
>>> assault, done with events which are intentionally hostile to newcomers, done
>>> with all the bullshit about it being an "anarchist space" where nothing can be
>>> said about entitled jerks who make the space hostile for others.
>>> Until someone works on the whole "hostility to newcomers" bit of hacker
>>> culture, harassment will be endemic. As long as newcomers are seen as people to
>>> be excluded and hazed, no amount of non-harassment policies or codes of conduct
>>> will do anything substantial.
>>> Kicking out the people who grope isn't enough and won't cause systemic change.
>>> Change the culture which encourages treating newcomers and outsiders like shit,
>>> and ignores anything anyone does to newcomers, don't just kick out people who
>>> further this sort of culture.
>>> Have fun with your hackerspaces and your shitty-ass subculture based on
>>> exclusion and abuse. I don't even need to talk to people like y'all and I'm not
>>> going to spend a moment of extra time with a bunch of people who can't even
>>> look at me after I get groped in front of fifteen people.
>>> I have a key to noisebridge. If anyone wants it, let me know.
>>> --
>>> Susan
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> Noisebridge-discuss mailing list
>>> Noisebridge-discuss at lists.noisebridge.net
>>> https://www.noisebridge.net/mailman/listinfo/noisebridge-discuss
>> _______________________________________________
>> Noisebridge-discuss mailing list
>> Noisebridge-discuss at lists.noisebridge.net
>> https://www.noisebridge.net/mailman/listinfo/noisebridge-discuss
> _______________________________________________
> Noisebridge-discuss mailing list
> Noisebridge-discuss at lists.noisebridge.net
> https://www.noisebridge.net/mailman/listinfo/noisebridge-discuss

More information about the Noisebridge-discuss mailing list