I almost don’t even know where to get started here, other than with the following apology. I would like to apologize to everyone reading this post, as I am no where near as objective as I should be on this issue, and I should probably cool down a bit more before I jump on this career suicide train that is the following.

Valerie Aurora of The Ada Initiative wrote a blog post titled DEFCON: Why Conference Harassment Matters. Before you go any further in my post I ask that you go read hers. I am going to reference parts of it and I don’t like having things used out of context. Also do understand that I am not pro-harassment of any kind

Alright now that you have read that post, I have to ask, are you as angry as I was? Did you have to take a break in what you are doing just so you were not cursing up a storm. This is exactly what I think that the author wanted. And here is why, the article starts off with

"This weekend was DEFCON 20, the largest and most famous hacker conference in the world. I didn’t go to DEFCON because I’m a woman, and I don’t like it when strangers grab my crotch."

I don’t know how you feel when you read something like that, but I am offended. Which, contrary to popular belief in the U.S. does NOT grant me any special privilege. Why am I offended? Because I don’t walk around grabbing people’s crotches, and believe it or not, I don’t like being lumped in with people who do. I will admit that the next thing that Valerie does cover is the history of her DEFCON experience, and what that story was about. But to use that level of inflammatory emotion grabbing headline, it is in poor form, and a poor way to do anything but incite emotion.

Later on in her article she describes the story that she starts the article off with.

Or the experience of one of my friends, who prefers to remain anonymous. At a recent DEFCON, while leaning over to get her drink at the bar, someone slid his hand up all the way between her legs and grabbed her crotch. When she turned around, the perpetrator had already disappeared into the crowd.

How recent of a DEFCON was this? Was it this year’s? Which bar was this person at? Is that bar even part of the convention? How is that any different than something that could happen at any other bar? WHY THE HELL ISN’T THIS PERSON SCREAMING FROM THE ROOF TOPS ABOUT IT?

I don’t mean to hate on victims of harassment or in any way suggest it is their fault (Pro-Tip: It isn’t), but when you are harassed, you are the victim to what happened. That doesn’t mean that you can just decide to remain anonymous if you want anything to change. You have a responsibility to report it to the convention organizers, security, and hotel security, If you don’t I hate to break it to you but you just positively reinforced that behavior. Which actually segues nicely into my next topic from this post.

KC and her Red/Yellow Card Project, I love it, and I hate it. I suggest that you read the few posts that KC has about her experience at DEFCON in the past and how she has been harassed. The reason that I love these cards is that they provide an apparently much needed service to people at conferences, a quick rehearsed way to say, “I do not approve of your behavior, and I think you need to act differently in the future”, that is something that you need because when you are the victim of, anything really, it is tough to put together a cogent argument as to why the person conducting the anything is a douchenozzle before they can get away. I hate them because lets face it, at DEFCON there are a bunch of hackers, hackers like to do two things, break rules, and collect things, I think these cards became a game which pretty much nullifies their entire purpose.

This post does something else that is guaranteed to put me off, and make me stop caring about your opinion, and that is linking to the geek feminism wiki. I am going to straight out go and say this, and it is probably going to trigger an emotional response the same kind that I complained about earlier and for that I apologize, I hate feminism. I don’t hate feminism because I hate women, or because I want to be free to do whatever I want to women, or even because I am some misogynistic pig. I hate feminism because it isn’t equal, the purpose of feminism is not equality, it is a gender role reversal, especially in name. If you want equality call it equality. I want equalitism.

{edit because someone pointed out an issue with my BS here} I would like to point out that not every Feminist is who I am talking about here, much like not every geek is a crotch grabber, there are a few who associate feminism with role-reversal, and a majority who do not. And I apologize for lumping that majority in with the few who cause the issue that I don’t like.

DEFCON 20 was amazing. Even with the cards backfiring in at least one instance where someone got punched for handing one out to another guy, and even with my “new BFF” getting kissed as she was leaving a party, this was a record year for equality at DEFCON.

My real point is here that if you go to a chinese restaurant, you get some bad chicken, and end up on a toilet for two days, you can complain about the place all you want. I would even suggest that you stay away from it for a while. But when you have not eaten there in three to four years, and they have changed chefs at least that many times, you don’t really get to have a relevant opinion on that chinese place anymore, and you might want to think about going back.

Valerie, you should have been at DEFCON 20, you would have been amazed at how things panned out, and the direction things are headed.