On Codes on Conduct
Allan MacGregor
67

As a minority – I am a gay Latin woman – I disagree strongly with two points:

We should require that any person who is accused of violating the Code of Conduct clearly have intent to do so.

And

The Code of Conduct should be modified so that abiding or not abiding by it is demonstrable with evidence, taking “feelings” out of it entirely.

I’m going to preface this by saying that I haven’t been involved in this community in a while and I’ve always held a lot of respect for you Allan. The majority of your suggestions I can agree with, but.

But the Internet and the development community is full of men who often dismiss the complaint made by women specially when their complaints are vague and lack proof and are full of emotions.

“Clearly having intent” means blaming the victim for being victimized. You force the victim to prove their side, and usually victims only have their feelings to defend themselves with.

And in my experience, women often are not believed when they provide evidence of harassment.

Evidence and intent imply that the victimizer is aware of their words and actions and oftentimes harassment is systematic and completely supported by the systems people use.

An individual doesn’t have to be an asshole for a comment to come out racist or sexist and be complete unaware of it. They may have not had intent but the insult is still there: a person could still have felt victimized and shamed as a result.

There is no “fair” or “simple” solution to this problem, but I personally believe the only way to make everyone adhere to he policies and make the community safe would be to have a zero tolerance policy.

Edit: I published this and within five minutes I was regretting it. You know why? Because I am a woman speaking her opinion in a public forum. I am the first woman to comment on a post about opinions in an industry dominated by men on a topic about conduct. I may as well post a sign that says “come harass me”.

But, I have met you face-to-face, which in my books means you can be trusted.

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