Apathy is easy. Especially on the Internet. There’s so much “shit going down” that looking the other way and not getting involved is often necessary to avoid being overwhelmed. Not this time.
Last week, my partner was annoyed with how her hair was behaving and felt it was overdue for a trim. She posted a headshot of herself for a before and after sequence. Soon afterwards, some random jerk posted:
“Wow. I had no idea how breathakingly beautiful you are. Just…wow….”
A compliment, but a creepy one. Not surprisingly this made her uncomfortable. In my opinion a big part of it was the comment was made in a tone that was inappropriate for their level of familiarity (pretty much zero). It was something I, as her partner for 22 years, might say. I’ve earned the right & trust to say it. This person clearly had not. It was an electronic invasion of personal space. Further, this person felt they had the right to publicly voice how physically attractive (or not) they felt she was. I want to educate my fellow men. No, we don’t have that right. It is highly inappropriate and creepy to overstep like this.
This person then went on to further reinforce my opinion that they have broken attitudes towards women with this comment:
“Theres a stunning redhead next to me as I wait for the car to be serviced. Boyfriend or not, I can’t help myself from staring at her…”
Whether a woman has a boyfriend or not does not change inappropriateness. It is pretty crap that this guy feels otherwise.
The attitude that this guy can just help himself and stare if he finds some woman attractive and her comfort be damned is not OK. That he felt comfortable publicly gloating about it is even worse.
Men, we need to hold ourselves and especially each other to a higher standard. And just because it happens all the time doesn’t make it OK.
Next March 9th to 12th, the FOSS4G & EclipseCon North America 2015 conferences are co-hosted at the Hyatt Regency in Burlingame California. Attendees can go to any talk or workshop of their choice for no added cost.
Submitting a proposal is painless and involves filling out a simple web form.
We’re keen to see what kind of mad cross pollination of ideas comes from bringing so many smart & creative people together!
p.s. As a thank you, speakers receive a free pass to the conference.
Dear FOSS4G goers,
I would like to share a brief public service announcement.
I know the conference is very stimulating and exciting. I know Portland is a very cool city. I know the evening parties often involve alcohol consumption. People are often exhausted from the conference, travel, and jet lag. It can be hard to keep a grip on appropriate inhibitions. But please don’t over do it and lose your grip.
Please try and remember your manners and basic human decency so that everyone can have a good time and feel welcome & comfortable.
Thank you & enjoy the conference.
p.s. Kudos to the Portland organizing team and thank you for huge amount of work you’ve done so that we can enjoy a great conference!
On July 17th, we announced that Rob Emanuele would be program chair for FOSS4G North America 2015.
I am very pleased to announce that he has picked the program team that will select the program for the conference. And it is a wonderful team. The team brings a diverse set of expertise and perspectives.
Thank you Rob, and thanks in advance to Kate, Andy, Regina, Beth, and Jody for putting together a great program for next March 9th to 12th!
Our logo contest has concluded and our conference committee have selected a winning logo.
The logo continues the compass point theme from the past two FOSS4G North America conferences in Washington D.C. & Minneapolis. It also pulls in the ribbon theme from the global FOSS4G. The bridge is a nice reminder that the event will be held in Burlingame, a short distance from San Francisco. The conference runs March 9th to 12th, 2015.
An interesting cluster of articles from last fall drew my attention. One from November entitled “FOSS and the Sublimation of Commodity Fetishism” is an interesting look some factors that others have cited contribute to diversity issues. In short, not everyone can afford to work for free on open source software.
The author writes:
“The participants in F/OSS communities are, in fact, compensated for their labour. Not with money, but with social capital.”
The not compensated with money part is misleading. I’d like to revisit the social capital part in another post later.
A more recent article by Matt Asay, rebutting Quentin Hardy’s “Open Source and the Challenge of Making Money“, notes that a great deal of open source is developed by employees of companies such as Google, Amazon, Linkedin, Netflix, and others. They do so because their products and services they sell are based on open source rather than selling the open source software directly.
Simply put, the core team in large open source projects tend to be professionals rather than volunteers.
Next March (9th to 12th) in San Francisco, FOSS4G North America will bring together the open source geospatial community for an epic few days of learning, networking, and camaraderie.
We need a suitable logo for an event of this magnitude and importance so we have started a logo contest with an attractive cash prize. All are welcome to contribute designs, and we encourage people to provide ideas & feedback.
The contest is hosted by 99designs here.
Also, in case you missed the news from last week, Rob Emanuele was named program chair for the 2015 conference.