Response to A Woman Walks Into A Tech Conference:
There are two aspects to your article which I feel are disappointing: The first was the paragraph regarding the decision to start by reporting the problem publicly: “It’s also worth noting that trying to address the situation privately might not have worked very well, given the barriers to direct reporting that clearly still exist at events like this.” This is unfortunately very true but conflates all conferences, including those like PyCon which have gone to extensive effort to change the very problem you’re talking about. There’s minor concern – discouraging organizers who assume that their efforts will be irrelevant anyway – but there’s a bigger problem in that this runs the risk of actually discouraging someone from filing a report because it makes the choice seem more extreme by discouraging seeing how well the conference follows its code of conduct by leaving only the options of doing nothing or going public at significant potential risk. For that reason alone, it seems worth noting that the problem was resolved on-site following the policy – something which anyone else who might be trying to decide whether to report an incident would want to know. The other problem was mischaracterizing the actual conference’s response: the language you objected was intended to avoid the toxic blowback to a public complaint, much of which originated from outside of the conference and even the Python community, and has already been improved: the full history & discussion. Your characterization of it as a dog-whistle is too quick to imply malice.