Monthly Archives: February 2018

“Wir haben mit Frauen über sexuelle Belästigung in der Hacker-Szene gesprochen” [English version]

When asked for comment about the recent Chaos Computer Congress (34c3) by Motherboard writer Theresa Locker, I responded in English. For some background, I am a big fan of Motherboard: I used to write for Motherboard on a freelance basis, and my former company, LadyBits, was once partnered with Motherboard US. Anyway, I have no idea what the article on the whole says because I don’t speak German and haven’t gotten around to translating the whole thing yet, but I put my chunk into Google translate and what came out wasn’t a perfect match, so I am posting the original below for accuracy’s sake. I was told me the comment I provided would be quoted verbatim and in full, so I think it’s a bit weird that a translation is considered “verbatim,” but kein problem. I live in Germany now. Gotta adapt. I can’t wait until the day I can actually give an interview in perfect German, but until that day, here is my actual response to Theresa’s inquiry:

The underlying problem is this whole rockstar mentality in which some men believe that if they achieve a certain amount of notoriety or amass enough bitcoin or whatever, then they are entitled to a bounty of pussy. Women are now stepping up, loudly, to tell them, sorry but that’s not the case. We don’t come to CCC to be the objects of some narcissist’s wet dream—we’re people, we have just as much to contribute as the guys do, and we’re part of this community too.
It appears that community organizers thought they could solve the problem by saying “there is no problem” and hoping that would make it true. Well, there is a problem, and it’s not going to go away until dudes can figure out how to step back and listen to the ones saying they don’t want to be there if nobody values their safety. If they can manage that, it would be great if they would invite the women who still care enough about the community to try to salvage what’s left of it to participate in the leadership process. It shouldn’t ever be up to only men to decide what’s best for everyone. (I still care.)
The bottom line is that nobody should have to leave any community because they’re worried about being abused. That’s what a code of conduct would be a starting point for, in theory. So by pushing back against it, it sounds like the organizers are saying, “nah, we’ll just keep doing what we’ve been doing because we don’t care that women are suffering,” which is bullshit.