Follow

Hey , I've been thinking.

on why we need queer feminist hackerspaces. ⤵️

On I was on the panel for @le_Reset@twitter.com. When someone asked how we could merge "men hackerspaces" and "women hackerspaces", I answered something about how we don't have the same issues and we're not interested in "men hackerspaces" topics.

Afterwards, that got me thinking. Of course I'm interested in those topics. I've been coming to the for the past 5 years. I used to go to "regular" hackerspaces before we created @le_Reset@twitter.com. I'm a member of "regular" geek groups like @LaQuadrature

And frankly, as we have discussed with other women and queers at the , nerds at the CCC might just be the least harassing kind of straight males. So, why do we need queer feminist hackerspaces ?

I remembered why on , when I attended a talk on hacking sextoys. That talk was great. It was interesting, it was funny, I had a great time. Until the rape joke.

Sure, having a so-called "secure" systems with all main ports active and detectable is funny. I'm not sure illustrating it with a rape analogy gif was essential, though.

I don't know wether the trigger was the imagery, the analogy, or the fact that 3 000 nerds were laughing about it. What I know is I've been crying continuously for the next 24h, and having nightmares for the past three nights.

Statistics show that 1 women out of 5 has or will experience sexual assault in her life. How many of them do you think end up with a PTSD ?

The difference between a feminist hackerspace and "your" hackerspaces is that we believe no hacking performance is worth triggering a panic attack, even for only 1 person in the audience.

The relation between rape and the hacking performance of penetrating a so-called secure system seems obvious to "you" : in both cases you identify with the person in a position of power.

That's what we call rape culture. A culture where men find rape funny and empowering, while women learn to fear it as the most humiliating thing they could ever go through.

That's why we need feminist hackerspaces. So that we can have access to knowledge, and IT, and funny pwn stories, without needing 2 days to recover.

@ptilou42 Do you think a raised level of awareness regarding triggers might also be a good solution?

I see, how you can argue this to be about power fantasys and dominance. But it can also be explained with carelessnes and a bad taste in humor.

And with segregation, you accieve a community, that is never made aware of the consequences these kind of jokes can have to others and a second community, that constantly lives in fear of the others.
With feedback, you can actually help reduce triggers.

@betalars

A "bad taste of humor" when it comes to rape jokes if often a "priviledged taste of humor". Since I have published this thread, I have talked with other people who've told me they also felt bad at this moment. It's not just about having a good or bad sense of humor, it's about having a respectful one.

Also, it's a good thing you bring up carelessness : our feminist hackerspace is based on the "ethics of care" from J. Tronto, which is (should be ?) the basics of any feminist ethics.

@betalars

There has been countless feedback already. (and btw, the CCC has been continuously improving on those topics)

I don't believe women-only or queer-only spaces are a segregation. I think of them as a resourcing place where we can let go of our armor and concentrate on learning and doing stuff. Where we can also maybe get the energy to go back to other places, and do (again) more education.

@betalars

It's a shame women and queer have to dedicate time and energy to educating straight men in those spaces, when they have the priviledge of dedicating all their time and energy to learning/doing stuff. Because, let's face it, they never take it upon themselves to check what has already been explained before.

Also, le Reset is a queer feminist hackerspace... but we're still open to everyone as long as they comply with our CoC.

@ptilou42 Okay some context: altough i personally wouldn't call myself a "neurotypical" "straight" "male" anymore right now, most people will think of me this way and treat me as one so I'd say I'm still 80-90% qualified to speak from this perspective.
And i have not experienced a single project without any kind of conflict, that "wasted" time and energy or any kind of accidental harm done by one party to another.
So I'm really not shure about the existence of this privilege.

@ptilou42 i've started a halftime job as junior pentester a month ago, and i'm still not sure how to square the (prevailing) infosec culture with my own person and character, or, if i'll even be able to.

@hirojin @ptilou42 I've seen this talk a while back at blackhat or defcon where they talked about some kind of union for infosec, and how hard it will be because of the quote "diversity of sometimes odd characters" and "their inherent distrust in everyone including themselves". Any change is slow but observable - there are people on slowly dismantling old structures there, just way more careful (or so I was told).

@ptilou42

I was there, I laughed about the portscan joke and it didn't come to my mind it was about rape. I am sorry this happend to you and I hope future talks will be more thoughtful regarding those kind of trigger-sensitive topics so fewer people have to go trough, what you've experienced.

But I am not shure about your solution to the problem...

@ptilou42 Thank you for your contributions in the panel discussion, and also this thread 💜💜💜

@ptilou42
Idea: When we create spaces like queer feminist hacker spaces, and we should create lots of them, we make those spaces *owned by* rather than *exclusive to* those it is for. Eliminate the assumptions that marginalized people can't maintain power or that privileged people can't learn to accept the leadership of others. Have safe spaces, but don't make them ghettos or let the fact that they are necessary reduce the visibility of those they serve

@ptilou42
My daughter went a robot design camp in junior high and the boy in her group insisted on doing all the coding. She said she wanted to focus on the visual design anyways, but what about the other girl?

@AceNovo

Our hackerspace is open to everyone, as long as they comply with our Code of Conduct.

However, I do believe that women-only and queer-only spaces are necessary as well, although they serve a different purpose. I do not think the word "ghetto" applies to those, nor that they reduce visibility.

Sign in to participate in the conversation
Mastodon

Server run by the main developers of the project 🐘 It is not focused on any particular niche interest - everyone is welcome as long as you follow our code of conduct!