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BugCon friends, are you trying to scare away 50%+ of the target audience?

You are scaring away much more than that.

I just came across an invitation for BugCon 2012.

BugCon is a Mexican conference devoted to computer security — I cannot comment on its level or value because, although it’s a topic that has long interested me, I must recognize each day I feel less of an expert, nowadays finding myself at the level of a “sysadmin who tries not to be too dumb for his own job security”. Oh, and also because it would be completely off-topic for this post.

If you look at Vendetta’s (the main organizer) blog post, it will probably give you the impression that the conference is just an excuse for the afterparty: Lets go see some b00bs! Do you think your fellow female hackers will have any interest in joining a bunch of sex-starved, hormone-infested teenagers who only want to pwn a website and grab more pr0n? Do you think females will feel welcome (or even mildly safe) between you? I would not think so. And I also think you are alienating any professional who might have any interest in joining your community, be it as a member, as a mentor, or whatnot.

I cannot right now do a coherent post on this topic, but I can reference you to what I have seen (and read) over the last almost 10 years, when the issue was first brought up to our attention. I am very glad to see that, at least in the Free Software area, there has been a real change of mindset. I hope you are in time to think about it and rectify.

Oh, and not the description of an incident, but a very interesting and thoughtful take on this: [pdf] Interesting analysis by Hannah Wallach on the numbers and motivations of women in Free Software groups. I don’t know if Hannah has published this in article form, but many interesting points can be understood by looking at the presentation.

My good friend Vendetta: I don’t mean this post (longer than what I originally intended) as a way to say you and the conference you are organizing for the third year (IIRC) already is unprofessional or targetted to pimply teenagers. I know the work you have put in it. I hope you see the points I’m trying to drive — You are of course free to have whatever afterparty you have. But, if as the main organizer, you are giving the images of nice chicks at Hooters more weight and relevance than to the conference itself… you are doing yourself a disservice. I hope you can rectify it, and make BugCon attractive to hacker women as well.


gwolf 2012-01-25 06:31:40

Still boggles me…

Hey, don't you understand‽ We don't need no stinkin' hackerette wannabies! We wanna see b00bs! And girls are welcome to see b00bs with us! And even to show us theirs!


kevix 2012-01-25 03:27:16

oh well

thanks for this comment, Gunnar. I read the reply of some of the folks associated with that blog post and they dont ‘get it’ yet. His post contains sexist message that would discourage women and men who support a sexism-free environment. But if they respect you, maybe they will have a ‘second look’ at what you say.

MadameZou 2012-01-25 03:35:48

Thank you for this one,

Thank you for this one, Gunnar. People sometimes needs to remind that women are good hacker (and audience) as anyone else. :)

Nate Dunham 2012-04-21 06:57:00

People sometimes needs to

People sometimes needs to remind that women are good hacker (and audience) as anyone else. :) LOL so true!