Esmé Cowles <>
> Also, I've seen a number of reports over the last few years of women
> who were harassed at predominately-male tech conferences.  Taken
> together, they paint a picture of men (particularly drunken men)
> creating an atmosphere that makes a lot of people feel excluded and
> worry about being harassed or worse.  So I think a positive
> statement of values, and the general raising of consciousness of
> these issues, is a good thing.

I'm a member of, which helps write library software,
including Koha - we co-hosted KohaCon12 this summer.  Like all co-ops,
our core values include equality.  I would like to see an
anti-harassment policy for code4lib.

However, I'm saddened that I seem to be the first to object to the
hand-waving ("number of reports") and prejudice in the above
paragraph.  The above problems seem more likely to arise from being
drunk or being idiots than from being men.  Please, let's treat all
groups with equal respect and reserve our ire for particular members
when they give us reason to do otherwise.

The anti-harassment policy should not be developed from a "we need to
kick men into line" standpoint.  As such, I suggest
should say "Discriminatory language and imagery (including sexual)"
rather than leading with a special case of "Sexual".

I also suggest generalising "religion" to "religious beliefs" to avoid
predictable attempts to insult some minorities and claim it's allowed
because they're not formal, organised or state-approved religions.

MJ Ray (slef), member of, a for-more-than-profit co-op. supporter, web and library systems developer.
In My Opinion Only: see
Available for hire (including development) at

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