Today in Anti-Harassment: moving forward with #CoCPledge

#CoCPledge took off on Twitter after Ashe Dryden posted A year+ in: codes of conduct at tech confs on her blog and then initiated the discussion with this tweet:

There’s the usual pushback from people who think that having a code of conduct and/or anti-harassment policy is some sort of admission that one’s community is particularly prone to harassment, rather than an acknowledgement that humans in general are too likely to not take harassment seriously enough (a condition that harassers rely upon), and thus it is sheer naivety to not have CoCs/AHPs.

There’s a fairly standard obvious answer to that:

Then there’s this sort of passive-aggressive obstruction:

As others note:

Skeptech has a post up at Skepchick that gives more background and asks a few questions.

It never ceases to provoke my raised eyebrow when people who all went to schools and universities with codes of conduct aka school rules laying out grounds for suspension/expulsion, and who have worked for employers which also have codes of conduct laying out grounds for termination of employment, and who belong to various clubs/societies which have codes of conduct that allow for suspension/expulsion of members who aggravate other members in various ways – why it is that suddenly when it’s a conference full of attendees whom they don’t know as well as they know the members of their more regular associations that they are so resistant to having a Code of Conduct in place?

Categories: ethics & philosophy, social justice, Sociology

Tags: ,

4 replies

  1. This sounds like a good initiative. Hopefully now it will also make people think about attending conferences that have no women, or POC, or PWD (especially if the conference is about them) on the panels and get active about that too.
    But yeah, good point about people kicking up a fuss about CoC at places where they don’t know people TT. I hope it is mainly because it’s something they haven’t thought through before and ‘OMG change and feminists and stuff’ and most of them will realise that it is really no big deal. As for the ones who don’t want it because of reasons, too bad hope they get what is coming to them.

    • There’s already several parallel campaigns with similar pledges regarding diversity – in fact the Code of Conduct campaigns pretty much grew out of them, because the lack of robust reporting systems that could be trusted to deal transparently and consistently with instances of harassment was identified as a major reason why there was a lack of diversity amongst attendees, let alone panelists, at many conferences.
      Just saw a model Code of Conduct I hadn’t seen before tweeted to the hashtag timeline – I like how this one is comprehensive without getting too complicated.

  2. Right, must read before commenting :/

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