Feminist Intimidation Tactics at Tech Conferences

by W.F. Price on February 26, 2013

Despite often expressing revulsion about advances from the beta males who make up the majority of tech workers, scientists, hackers, atheists, etc., feminists seem to want very badly to force themselves into these mainly male, and almost entirely male-created, domains. Whether it’s the money, the sense of power they get from pushing socially awkward men around, or just old fashioned nosiness, feminists like Rebecca Watson simply can’t keep themselves away from them.

If said women actually added to the ambience, were pleasant and helpful, or simply made themselves a neutral presence, it wouldn’t be a problem, but this is not how it goes down.

A couple years ago two feminists, Mary Gardiner and Valerie Aurora, founded the Ada Initiative, a group dedicated to policing tech conferences. One idea the group came up with was the distribution of color-coded cards they call “creeper move cards” to warn people that they have crossed some feminist line. Red cards are for egregious violations of feminist rules, yellow cards serve as warnings, and green ones are for approval. It’s infantile, and you’d think it would be easier to simply tell someone to his face what you think, but feminists do have an authoritarian streak, so perhaps they enjoy playing at being police handing out citations.

The red card contains a blatant physical threat:

redd

Just imagine if some man handed you something like that. It would be infuriating. If he didn’t have a badge and a gun you’d be sorely tempted to let him have it. However, for all their talk about the patriarchy and male privilege, feminists are aware that they can get away with threatening men with violence with impunity.

Although reacting to the threats from feminists may not be a good idea, it’s sad that the organizers of the conference allow women to traipse around handing out threats to attendees. If the guys in charge had any spine at all, they’d have them thrown out immediately and 86ed from any future conferences. But amazingly they choose to indulge them, and give them veto power over topics.

A sex-positive female blogger who goes by “Violet Blue” prepared a seminar on drugs, sex and their interactions for Security BSides, a conference on network security. The Ada Initiative, sensing a cause to rally around, declared it a presentation on date rape.

I arrived at the Security BSides venue half an hour before my talk was set to begin, and I tracked down the main organizer to get connected with the speaker wrangler. I found him next door at DNA Pizza, where he was talking with this person. I apologized for the interruption, the organizer told me where to wait, and the woman he was talking to smiled at me. I smiled back.

The organizer came into the LockSport Lounge around 10 minutes later and asked if he could speak with me. I asked Eric Michaud to join me.

The organizer said, “So, I need to ask you: is there any rape in your talk?”

I said, “Is there any WHAT in my talk?” I was shocked.

“Well, there’s been a complaint about your talk.” He continued, “It’s from someone who is a rape survivor and they said they will be triggered by your talk if there’s any rape in it.”

“No, no, there’s no rape in my talk. I talk about human sexual systems and the effects drugs, including caffeine and alcohol, affect the performance of these systems and the dangers of mixing different things. What’s going on here?”

He replied, “Someone has said they will be triggered by your talk, and they’re a rape survivor.”

“Okay. In the talk I do cover ‘date rape’ drugs, and I explain their actions and how they’re dangerous.”

Then he said, “Do you describe how to use date rape drugs? They said that if you are going to tell people how to use date rape drugs then it’s the same as rape, and there’s going to be a problem.”

I told the organizer, “Wow, this really sucks – I know it’s not your fault. Well, how about if I shift the talk to a different room? We could put it on the smaller stage where the room has doors that close, or I could do it in the LockSport Lounge. Hell, I can even present it at the afterparty, it’s no problem. What is going to be easiest for you? It looks like you’re in a shitty position.”

“No, they’re here and they’re not leaving. They told me they’ll make it into a bigger problem if you do your talk.”

I paused for a minute. I said, “Okay. I guess I won’t give my talk, then. I don’t want this to be a problem for you, you’re in a shit position. It sounds like this person is going to make it into a bigger problem no matter what you do. It’s no big deal, don’t worry about it. Maybe I can do a video of the talk and BSides can have it as an after-con talk.”

The way the organizer looked at me, I knew that wouldn’t happen, either.

I said, “Anyway, I’m just going to hang out here and drink beer with friends.”

And that was that.

It’s absolutely amazing that the organizers caved so easily to pressure from these feminist thugs. We all know feminists are solidly opposed to free speech, and that the censorious impulse runs very strong in that breed, but you’d think at least some men have the balls to stand up to them.

The feminists, for their part, are gloating over their triumph. Rather than contribute anything meaningful to computer security, or anything entertaining or interesting at all (as was Violet Blue’s intent), they do nothing but shut down those that “offend” them.

How do you deal with these kinds of people? Sometimes, it might be tempting to adopt their tactics and try to shut them down, but that would be a violation of our principles. Instead, we should speak against them, defy them, and refuse to comply. I suppose we could call it “cultural disobedience.” Feel free, also, to hold those who cave in to their demands to be every bit as responsible for pointless censorship as the feminists. Every company, every organization and every community that submits to feminist demands should be held accountable for making the world a little less free.

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