io9 has a fantastic article from Annalee Newitz on The Great Geek Sexism Debate.
Over the past few months, three of the most influential conventions in geekdom — Readercon (for science fiction writers), The Amazing Meeting (for skeptics), and DefCon (for hackers) — have been at the center of very public discussions about sexism and sexual harassment in their communities. After all three conventions in 2012, women spoke out publicly about episodes of sexual harassment and humiliation they experienced at the cons. The fallout was ugly — but also awesome. Here’s what happened, and what’s still happening, as formerly male-dominated geek spaces make way for women.
Here I’ve brought together the stories of these three cons, and the incidents of sexism or sexual harassment that affected them this year. I’ve talked to key players in these events to find out what they believe to be true, and I’ve done some analysis. This article is an effort to summarize a few concrete examples of sexism in the geek community — as well as ways people are trying to deal with it.
It’s great to see what some organisations are doing to deal with it effectively, and it gives me hope for future events. There was a bit of a debate on the EMF Camp mailing list about an anti-harrassment policy, and something like this is totally a great reference when people say “Why do need a policy?”
(Photo used - the Red/Yellow Card Project by KC, used at Defcon 2012)