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Thursday, April 24, 2008

No, You Can’t Grab My Tits

posted by on April 24 at 12:15 PM

A lot has been written about the “Open-Source Boob Project”—wherein female participants at a software/sci-fi convention were invited to wear either a green button (signifying “hey, mouth-breathing sci-fi nerd who has never been within 40 feet of a real woman—feel free to grab my tits”) or a red one (signifying “sorry, boys, I have autonomy over my body and am not going to give it up by letting random dudes grope me”)—so instead of responding myself, here’s a brief roundup of blog posts about it.

From Feministing:

So apparently at a software convention called ConFusion, a bunch of guys were standing around and talking about how awesome the world would be if they could just reach out and grab any woman’s boobs. And a woman near them piped up that they could touch her breasts, and they all proceeded to grope her. Then, according to a post by some dude who calls himself the Ferrett, pictured above [and here], they asked other women:
It was exciting, of course. I won’t deny it was sexual. But it was a miraculous sexuality that didn’t feel dirty, but clean.

Emboldened, we started asking other people. And lo, in the rarified atmosphere of the con, few were offended and many agreed. And they also felt that strange charge. We went around the con, asking those who we thought might be amenable - you didn’t just ask anyone, but rather the ones who’d dressed to impress - and generally, people responded. They understood how this worked instinctively, and it worked.

Did you catch that? “The ones who’d dressed to impress”? Almost as if they were “asking for it”? That because they were wearing a tight shirt, their breasts were practically public property, anyway?

By the end of the evening, women were coming up to us. “My breasts,” they asked shyly, having heard about the project. “Are they… are they good enough to be touched?” And lo, we showed them how beautiful their bodies were without turning it into something tawdry.”

Because what could be more intoxicating than the approval of a room full of tech dudes?

We talked about this. It was an Open-Source Project, making breasts available to select folks. (Like any good project, you need access control, because there are loutish men and women who just Don’t Get It.) And we wanted a signal to let people know that they were okay with being asked politely, so we turned it into a project: The Open-Source Boob Project.

For those of you not technologically inclined, “open-source” software means the code is available for anyone to use. All-access. Everyone has a right to it. Just like women’s bodies! (Get it? They’re so clever!)

Oh, but it doesn’t stop there…

Apparently Ferrett and friends were so blown away by their ability to demand access to women’s bodies that they decided to make buttons to distribute at an upcoming software and science fiction convention:

At Penguicon, we had buttons to give away. There were two small buttons, one for each camp: A green button that said, “YES, you may” and a red button that said “NO, you may not.” And anyone who had those buttons on, whether you knew them or not, was someone you could approach and ask: “Excuse me, but may I touch your breasts?”

And if you weren’t a total lout - the women retained their right to say no, of course - they would push their chests out, and you would be allowed into the sanctity of it. That exchange of happiness where one person are told with gropes and touches that they are desirable and the other is someone who’s allowed to desire.

Understandably, this puke-worthy “project” was instantly denounced by many, many others in the open-source software and science fiction community. The Ferrett issued a sputtering “clarification” that was just as bad as the original post. (It included the defense that because women were among the gropers, it couldn’t be that sexist, right? Nevermind the fact that only women were the gropees.)

From Jezebel:

When people first started imploring us to weigh in on the Open Source Boob Project we had this scary image of a website featuring a picture of a pair of fake tits that registered computer programmers could modify and reshape and manipulate with nanotechnology or whatever else until the resultant pair of tits reflected the internet’s consensus of the ideal pair of boobs. (The consensus would, of course, change and grow over time, reflecting an anthropological study in the ever-changing depiction of breasts in the media, anime and videogames; that’s how the project would get academic funding.) Anyway: why did I give the geeks so much credit? The Open Source Boob Project was actually just a consensual gropeathon that went down at PenguiCon, which is, naturally, a science fiction convention, though its genesis happened at ConFusion, another science fiction convention, when one geek, probably inspired by a booth babe, said to another geek:
I wish this was the kind of world where say, ‘Wow, I’d like to touch your breasts,’ and people would understand that it’s not a way of reducing you to a set of nipples and ignoring the rest of you, but rather a way of saying that I may not yet know your mind, but your body is beautiful.

At which point — another “friend” spoke up. (Who is this friend? And will the blogosphere hear from her? One can only hope.

We were standing in the hallway of ConFusion, about nine of us, and we all nodded. Then another friend spoke up.

“You can touch my boobs,” she said to all of us in the hallway. “It’s no big deal.”

Now, you have to understand the way she said that, because it’s the key to the whole project. The spirit of everything was formed within those nine words - and if she’d said them shyly, as though having her breasts touched by people was something to be endured or afraid of, the Open-Source Boob Project would have died aborning. But she didn’t. Her words were loud and clearly audible to anyone who walked by, an offer made to friends and acquaintances alike. […]

We all reached out in the hallway, hands and fingers extended, to get a handful. And lo, we touched her breasts - taking turns to put our hands on the creamy tops exposed through the sheer top she wore, cupping our palms to touch the clothed swell underneath, exploring thoroughly but briefly lest we cross the line from ‘touching” to “unwanted heavy petting.” They were awesome breasts, worthy of being touched.

At which point the whole crew decided that an awesome tradition had been born, and next time, they would just print up buttons saying “Yes, you may!” or alternately “No, you may not.”

From Misia, on LiveJournal

Like other Open Source projects, the Open Source Swift Kick to the Balls Project (OSSKBP) relies on a wide pool of volunteers working together for the common good.

The Project has very simple parameters and it basically works like this:

Men who are open to being given a swift kick in the balls need do nothing. Women will simply assume that any man not clearly indicating his position vis-a-vis being kicked in the balls with an approved OSSKBP badge or pin is open to being kicked in the balls, as any progressive, free-thinking, feminist man ought to be, by any woman who wishes to do so.

However, we also recognize and affirm that not all men will be so willing to serve. Therefore the OSSKBP provides two other options.

1. Men who would like to be asked for permission before a woman administers one or more swift kicks to their balls shall wear the offical OSSKBP “Ask First Pin” at all times. This is a black lapel pin with a lavender question mark on it.

Because of the serious and comprehensive respect with which women’s desires vis-a-vis having their bodies touched by others are uniformly greeted in our culture, women will sometimes abide by any given Ask First Pin wearer’s stated preference about getting a kick in the balls at the time that he is asked. At other times, however, women may make their own decisions as to whether or not to give him a quick kick in the nuts regardless of the male’s expressed preference. Fair’s fair.

2. Men who do not wish to be kicked in the balls at all must wear a large visible official “No Kicks, Thanks” badge at all times, including when swimming, showering, and sleeping. They may also wish to avoid areas where large numbers of women are present, particularly at night. Some men may also wish to invest in assertiveness training, sympathetic female bodyguards, body armor, or sessions with a personal self-defense trainer to increase their ability to resist undesired kicks. As these methods have long been considered completely adequate for women who wish to avoid sexual predation we feel that they are all that is necessary here.

From Machineplay (via Hoyden About Town):

I’m tired of the assertion that this is opt-in, because it’s NOT. Not fundamentally. Everyone is participating because everyone there has a body. I can’t opt out of my boobs. I can’t opt out of people making a value judgment about me when they see I’m not wearing a button, even if I never knew about it when I got there. Having your breasts touched is optional — WHAT A NOVEL IDEA. Being ranked as ‘unwilling to play along’ is not optional. I wear a red button every day, basically, and not only am I not PROUD of it, I’m really fucking tired of having to put it on and living in a world full of the colour-blind. […]

Why would you even need to make a button for “Don’t ask me if you can grab my breasts.”? It shows a silent acknowledgment that the default is not the woman having the right not to be addressed as simply a bearer of a pair of tits. If you want to go around wearing a button that says, “Ask me if you can grab my breasts!” that’s one thing. But to even dream up a RED LETTER for ‘non-participating’ women is completely ludicrous.

From coffeeandink:

Women spend THEIR ENTIRE LIVES IN SEXUALIZED SPACES. All of us. Ugly, pretty, fat, thin. Women are by default assumed to be sexual objects for the enjoyment of the men we encounter, and our pleasure has nothing to do with it. All spaces. Streets, houses, bedrooms. Either we are pretty/dressed provocatively/flirt, in which case we’re asking for it, or we are plain/dressed in concealing clothes/don’t flirt, in which case we’re repressed prudes unable to enjoy sex because of damaged psyches.

What you’re suggesting, repeatedly, is taking a public space whose boundaries are often and already transgressed to sexualize us when we want to be whole persons including but not limited to bodies and saying that these already-permeable boundaries are too solid. What you’re suggesting is that instead of the default being “No, you may not touch my body”, you want to turn cons — large public spaces — into spaces where women have to repeatedly and loudly say no in order to be heard. And you keep insisting on equating “No, you may not touch me” and “No, you may not act like my body exists for the sole purpose of your enjoyment or edification” with “You are bad and wrong for having sexual desires.” You’re not bad and wrong for having sexual desires. You’re bad and wrong for arguing that your sexual desires are the most important criteria under consideration.

And from Punkassblog:

Obviously, the solution to our sexually repressed, sexually confused culture where women are objectified and reduced to a collection of body parts is to instigate a con-wide gropefest. Being geeks, the guys in charge of this project decided that the gropefest needed to be perfected and streamlined, so by Penguicon, they had two sets of buttons that could be issued to women, advertising the availability status of their ta-tas.

I can only assume from reading the post that an empowered, post-patriarchal utopia ensued.

Oh, it didn’t? I wonder why. Springheel_jack has an excellent smackdown:

The ferrett wonders why a man’s asking, out of the blue, if he can feel up a woman’s boobs shouldn’t be understood as “a way of saying that I may not yet know your mind, but your body is beautiful.” But this is simply to ask why he shouldn’t be able to continue to treat women as they have always been treated. Body first, sexual delectation to men first, as object first, “mind” - i.e. as a human subject - very firmly second. It’s simply to intensify the condition of patriarchal gender relations that already existed - or, to put it more simply, it’s a frustrated man’s fantasy of putting women back in their place.

And here we have the usual libertarian solution to everything - in the name of a false individuality, itself the product of an illegitimate reification and universalization of the social conditions of propertied white men - we have a retreat into the worst of the dark days of gender relations before feminism, offered as a so-called “advance” into a “more honest” and “freer” world. This is pernicious masculine ideology at its most pure and most insufferable. In the name of “empowering” women, we have…more of the same poison that women have been trying to free themselves of for all this time.

Look, I have a nice set of boobs. Really nice, according to some. Ever since I got them, I’ve been fending off assholes who think they have the right to grab them, whether I want it or not. I don’t need a button to advertise whether my boobs are touchable or not—if they are, gentlemen, you’ll know about it.

RSS icon Comments


So what are you trying to say?

Posted by Jason Josephes | April 24, 2008 12:22 PM

yeah, i mean, can we grab your tits or not?

Posted by handy | April 24, 2008 12:27 PM

Edit edit edit....

Did anyone actually read this amount of past and copy?

Posted by Andrew | April 24, 2008 12:28 PM

Why stop at breasts?

Of course, if these mouth-breathers had to wear similar pins for their junk, the whole thing wouldn't last for very long. They'd change their mind pretty fucking quickly the first time they were felt up a little too intently by a creepy old man.

Posted by bma | April 24, 2008 12:29 PM

I'm actually okay with the length here because that whole thing was interesting to read. But why the fuck did you have to start it off with a definition of these hypothetical people as mouthbreathing sci-fi nerds who've never been within 40 feet of real women? I'll never understand (except for, I guess, the assumption that it's the allure of 'ooh, someone tried to marginalize people like me, I must therefore try to marginalize someone else') the idiocy of simultaneously pointing out how lame it is to make assumptions about and denigrate others with a stellar example of same.

Posted by leek | April 24, 2008 12:30 PM

is erica a stupid enough cunt to post some femiprop crap and expect us to read it when all she did was copy paste and take up 9 page downs of slog?

somebody should put a muzzle on her.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | April 24, 2008 12:32 PM

@5: The awful thing about some stereotypes is that they're true.

Posted by bma | April 24, 2008 12:33 PM

But Erica, why would anyone want to touch your tits?

Posted by Boytoy | April 24, 2008 12:33 PM

I'd like to volunteer for the OSSKBP.

Posted by DanFan | April 24, 2008 12:34 PM

Where is ecce homo's pro forma post? Has anyone seen him? Could he be trapped in a well?

Posted by The local authorities | April 24, 2008 12:36 PM

OK, my own post bored me. Let me rephrase: 1) These particular sci-fi geeks are losers. 2) Shut up, Erica. Your context for the rest of the material was the weakest part of the whole thing.

Posted by leek | April 24, 2008 12:39 PM

@10 Bellevue Ave took over for him

Posted by vooodooo84 | April 24, 2008 12:40 PM
And here we have the usual libertarian solution to everything - in the name of a false individuality, itself the product of an illegitimate reification and universalization of the social conditions of propertied white men

What the fuck?

Whoever wrote that is a fucking idiot.

Posted by Andrew | April 24, 2008 12:40 PM

I think the point is don't touch her breasts and it's not OK for women to be OK with sci-fi nerds touching their breasts. The post was waaaay too long though, a summary and the rest after the link would've been better.

p.s. I would've needed a different button "You can touch my breasts if I can grab your penis."

Posted by PopTart | April 24, 2008 12:41 PM

What a great idea, and one that'll solve so many pressing problems!

1)the most obvious, the chance for male nerds to experience the female breast.
2)Also gives the many homely female nerds a little human interaction as well.
3)and finally, an ideal solution for lazy women who don't want to do their monthly breast exam.

Posted by michael strangeways | April 24, 2008 12:41 PM

erica's own words: ~317
quoted words: ~1,981

Posted by some dude | April 24, 2008 12:43 PM

my reaction is pretty negative. but @4 and @14, i think they'd be okay with that. seriously. the problems with this being flawed cannot be address by such comparisons.

Posted by infrequent | April 24, 2008 12:45 PM

Yes, I made the wold the way it is. It includes gender stuff.

Good news! The time span that you will have to endure all this is remarkably short, in the overall scheme of things.

Posted by God | April 24, 2008 12:48 PM

PopTart, I don't know a whole lot of straight guys who are gonna have a problem with a woman grabbing their penis. I know I don't.

Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty | April 24, 2008 12:48 PM

Any woman that goes to a scifi convention deserves it. I keed.

Really though, what is wrong with consenting adults groping each other? They made a game with clear rules, and an easy way for people to opt out of the game. I just don't see the harm. The female body was design for sexual pleasure. As were mens.

Posted by opus | April 24, 2008 12:48 PM

i read alot of the feminist blogs cited, and this is a perfect example of what kinda bugs me about them.

it's called piling on. of course these geeks who wanted to touch boobies are pathetic losers: that goes without saying, people. but the femblogs have to use every single instance like this as a springboard into manifesto-length critiques of patriarchal culture. it gets kind of old and, excuse me for saying it, shrill.

we get it: you majored in women's studies. does that then make it impossible for you to also, y'know, just laugh at how absolutely pathetic these poor geeks are?

Posted by brett | April 24, 2008 12:49 PM

could these fellows be like dan's peeps who broadcast their fantasy fiction like it was reality? cos that's what they sound like.

Posted by Jiberish | April 24, 2008 12:50 PM

This sounds like a Penthouse Forum letter. Women at a sci fi convention? I'm already asked to suspend disbelief before they open source their boobs...

I'm from New England originally, so I sympathize with the revulsion in that I hate being touched by anyone outside my family.

Posted by Peter F | April 24, 2008 12:52 PM

As a gay guy who once initiated a game of "Who Can Touch More Breasts Before 3 a.m." at a very drunken party (and beat two straight guys), I think the idea of an open source boob project is a great way to demystify breasts.

Next year I hope they introduce the open source balls project.

Posted by Doom Doom Doom | April 24, 2008 12:53 PM

The problem with the privileged is they never feel privileged. They've always got their eyes on someone who has what they want.

Err.. or maybe everyone feels that way.

If these geeks are like the geeks I've known, they probably have no idea how offensive their idea is. Fortunately, once they get over their "you can't tell me what to do" reaction, they're probably the kind of guys who learn these things quickly.

Posted by six shooter | April 24, 2008 12:55 PM

Wasn't there something on Party Crasher a few weeks ago about "...women being afraid of their breasts?"

Posted by KeeKee | April 24, 2008 12:57 PM

@24: Kelly O has been all over the Open Source Balls Project for years.

Posted by Aislinn | April 24, 2008 12:58 PM

The internet is a race and you lost. People's heads have been exploding about this for days already - nearly a week, I would say.

My favorite quote about this whole deal was from a very intelligent young woman on the LiveJournal: "There are assholes on the internet? AM TEH SURPRISED."

Posted by Greg | April 24, 2008 12:59 PM

Need another button: "It's okay to touch my boobs if you're gay." Any takers would have to prove it by letting me watch first.

For some reason, most of the gay guys I know are fascinated by boobies. Not in the same leering, drooling way that some knuckle-dragging straight guys are, but certainly they appreciate the aesthetics of a nice pair. And I've never had a problem with letting cute gay guys handle the goods. They've always been respectful.

On another subject, those of you who follow Erica around only to viciously snipe at her posts - and no one else's - creep me the fuck out. Why is it always the females who attract the nastiest online stalkers? If you guys dislike her writing so much, why do you bother to read it or respond to it? I don't respond to the posts that bore me, because I don't read them.

It would be an interesting experiment for Erica to post the same articles she was planning on posting anyway, but under a male name. I'd be very interested to see if they attracted the same level of vitriol.

Posted by Why, Yes, I Do Have Boobs | April 24, 2008 1:01 PM

And to the arrogant pricks - the same people who thought being popular in high school mattered - making fun of nerds: fuck off.

Posted by Doom Doom Doom | April 24, 2008 1:01 PM

And you guys want to put up a rail on the Aurora bridge.

Posted by Dougsf | April 24, 2008 1:05 PM

Great idea for the next Stranger Happy Hour. Don't forget your red or green buttons, people!

Posted by ecce hetero | April 24, 2008 1:05 PM

@30: As a nerd, I have to say I've made fun of other nerds. Most nerds I know are smart and funny people, because they can handle themselves in an adjusted, human way. Still nerds.

Some nerds, *because* of their nerdery, are compelled to act like rude, arrogant, and aggressive pricks. Still nerds. But if that isn't behaviour worth ridiculing, I don't know what is.


Posted by Gloria | April 24, 2008 1:06 PM

For once, I strongly agree with ECB, even with the length of this post. I'm not usually a fem-Nazi, but this is deeply creepy.

I have a foot strongly planted in geek culture, and the problem with consenting adults groping each other is 1) not everyone at cons ARE consenting adults. In fact, a lot of em are underage Catgirl jailbait and 2) the women who don't participate are seen as prudes, or WORSE in the geek culture, posers. Because if you're a geek woman, you are expected to be overly sexual, touchy feely, and totally into lesbian action.
(Seriously. I wrote a very long term paper on how Geek Culture has become the underground Frat Boy Culture.)

Posted by Marty | April 24, 2008 1:08 PM

God forbid people engage in consensual sexual acts.

Posted by Mr Fuzzy | April 24, 2008 1:09 PM

Seriously, I love feminists. I am a feminist. But this does not make the cut. Is it ever ok for a chick to enjoy male attention?

On the other hand, I'm 23...This has to be a hoax. Women? Plural? at a Sci-Fi con? Please.

Posted by Mike in MO | April 24, 2008 1:10 PM

Consensual boob-grabbing! To arms!

Posted by Eric Arrr | April 24, 2008 1:11 PM

All the vendors who give two shits about human decency should distance themselves from conventions that condone this. Especially since the SciFi community on large is trying desperatly to change public perception.

It's common for women to attend cons now, so it's unfortunate that Ferret and Ferret-types are causing this kind of set-back.

Also, maybe it's just me, but isn't the reasoning behind wearing a red button eerily similar to the reasoning behind making women wear burkas?

Posted by tabletop_joe | April 24, 2008 1:12 PM

a lot of em are underage Catgirl jailbait

If that is true, I gotta re-think my opinion of Sci-Fi cons.

Posted by Mike in MO | April 24, 2008 1:13 PM

Erica: You rock! Don't listen to the whiners.

And, why would people want to go around touching boobs randomly? Are they laughing when they are doing it? or drooling? or both?

While reading this article I touched my own breasts to see if I could figure out the big deal about touching boobies. Not so much.

Is it about the boobs? Or do these people just really need human contact? I do get the feminist perspective, but the whole thing just seems weird to me.

Posted by Kristin Bell | April 24, 2008 1:13 PM

Social ineptitude amongst sci-fi fans. Well, I never.

Posted by wow! | April 24, 2008 1:14 PM

My guess is that this "Ferrett" dude has never gotten laid before...unless he paid for it.

Posted by Hernandez | April 24, 2008 1:15 PM

Write me down for: yes, you can ask to touch my tits. Why the hell not. But I get to touch your balls.

Balls are fun.

Posted by Lauren | April 24, 2008 1:15 PM

Social ineptitude amongst sci-fi fans. Well, I never.

Posted by wow! | April 24, 2008 1:16 PM

Write me down for: yes, you can ask to touch my tits. Why the hell not? But I get to touch your balls.

Balls are fun.

Posted by Lauren | April 24, 2008 1:17 PM

@29 I think most of the regular people on Slog are equal opportunity snipers and stalkers.

That being said ECB has a tendency to be over the top strident and shrill in her posts. She has good points to make and then she always goes one step too far. Most of her posts also make me feel like she is saying "I am so much better than the rest of you" and I find that attitude annoying.

ECB has a forum here and she could be choosing her words carefully and really making a difference with her ideas. Instead, she is giving in to histronics to make her points and thereby giving the "feminists are hysterics" group ample fodder. And also automatically negating most of her points in the minds of a lot of Slog readers.

Not knowing ECB personally, I can only assume she is relatively young and so I am attributing her attitude to the ego of youth. I hope that as she gets older she will learn that metaphorically sometimes speaking softly carries more weight than speaking loudly.

Posted by PopTart | April 24, 2008 1:24 PM

@14: I think that's the yellow button: If you wield to me, I'll yield to you?

Posted by Dawgson | April 24, 2008 1:25 PM

Ok, so I get why the "have to wear one pin or the other thing" would offend some people, although given the geeks I know (the vast majority of my friends including myself) not wearing a pin would be an implied no and no big deal. I mean, maybe I'm hanging out with different geeks an nerds than ya'll, but I've experienced no compulsion as a geeky female to be overly sexual (though I am, so there you go.) I mean there are totally the assholes who like stepping over societal bounds in arogance, ignorance etc. but they would probably be prone to asking girls for inappropriate things anyways. And given that these green buttons were only indicators of "its cool to ask me" I really don't see how its at all a bad thing. (Quite frankly I'm very comfortable with people grabbing my boobs, but I wouldn't hesitate to punch a guy or girl who did it without asking.) Why are people up in arms about this? How is acknowledging the fact that you cannot verify someones intelligence before you see their body (and enjoying what you see) subjugating women? I thought I was a feminist...

Posted by Andrea | April 24, 2008 1:25 PM

Listen, I get the outrage and everything, but what I find even more outrageous is that not one of these sites calls out the freaking women participating in this. Yes, it is a lame idea that is fundamentally misogynist and yes these guys are pathetic--but the project wouldn't get far if women weren't allowing it. I have a really difficult time getting upset about the treatment of women who attach a button to them that says touch my tits. Like, seriously, they are the bigger issue here.

Posted by Jaime-Leigh | April 24, 2008 1:25 PM

Those of you who are surprised at women at a sci-fi con are clueless and buying into nerd/geek stereotypes that haven't been true in a long time. There are a lot of women, and frankly, lots of sex (of all varieties) at your average sci-fi con. Don't believe me, jump on Flickr and search on Norwescon or Penguicon for photos.

Posted by getaclue | April 24, 2008 1:29 PM


Posted by Burgin99 | April 24, 2008 1:29 PM

That post was as long as an old boob.

Boobs seem invariably to be as nifty as the person they're attached to.

Posted by Lloyd Clydesdale | April 24, 2008 1:31 PM

Um, folks -- it wasn't a Sci-fi convention, it was a Linux and Open Source convention. Yes, nerds, but nerds of a rather different caliber. And a few women.

And men were, in fact, wearing buttons and offering their boobs for feeling. Yes, that's stupid as hell, but it's not nearly as offensive as you're making it out to be.

I think what you're seeing is not sexist insensitivity, but the classic nerd approach to computer software being extended to nascent sexuality. I mean, come on -- if this exercise had been undertaken in a women's study class, amongst a bunch of people pretending that boobs aren't sexy, you wouldn't be horrified -- you'd be participating. They're pretending that they're "more evolved" about sex than they actually are (or anybody is).

Strong geek, not sexist assholism.

Posted by Fnarf | April 24, 2008 1:32 PM

@46: Poptart, thanks for saying everything I want to say, saying it first and saying it better!

I think ECB is in her late 20s/early 30s. So make of that what you will.

Posted by Dawgson | April 24, 2008 1:32 PM

@40 - I don't understand lots of things: Sushi, Hooters, and Spa Treatments, for example. I do, however, recognize the joy these things bring to other people.

Posted by six shooter | April 24, 2008 1:33 PM

@Mike in MO: Not only have I attended sci-fi cons, but I'm volunteering at the comicon in two weeks, and this will be my fourth year in a row attending. There are TONS of girls at these kinds of things. They may not all be top-shelf material, but some of them are actually hot, too. You should definitely re-think.

Posted by Aislinn | April 24, 2008 1:36 PM

What @29 said. Every word.

Posted by als | April 24, 2008 1:36 PM

I think we should accept that women CHOSE to participate in this which changes the power dynamics.

Also, no one, not even a gay man, wants to touch another guy's flaccid junk. There's not a clear parallelism between the genders here.

Posted by Dawgson | April 24, 2008 1:37 PM

We'd rather not moderate your comments, but off-topic, gratuitously inflammatory, threatening, or otherwise inappropriate remarks may be removed, and repeat offenders may be banned from commenting. We never censor comments based on ideology. Thanks to all who add to the conversation on Slog.

Posted by ecce homo | April 24, 2008 1:37 PM

The main objection I have to this is the main asshole's assumption that viewing women's bodies as open source is somehow revolutionary. When has society not viewed women's bodies as communal property?

Fucking moron.

Posted by keshmeshi | April 24, 2008 1:38 PM

me on a popsicle stick, ECB! enough w/ the loooooooooooooooong-ass posts! i know you've heard of the term "jump"! many, many people have suggested jumps to you in the past, but still you ignore them. it seems obvious to me that you ignore them b/c you feel they're douchebags (& possibly misogynistic douchebags at that) so you decide to do whatever the F you want. in fact, you decide to NOT do any jumps--just to piss them off. but in doing so, you are the douchebag--& this has nothing to do with you being a woman. (women can be douchbags jjust as much as men can be)

Posted by jesus christ | April 24, 2008 1:46 PM


Anyone who's spent a lot of time around RPG geeks can easily imagine this scenario. There's a type of woman I mentally refer to as a "geek diva". Usually overweight or socially awkward, aggressively sexual, wears a lot of tight black vinyl, hangs out with geeks because they're all effectively bottoms and she can have her pick of them one at a time or in groups.

In a certain context, geek culture is basically just a sex club for certain very specific types of people. It's not my thing and I've always been a little grossed out by it, but there are rules and conventions around how it's all done. Non-geek-divas who get caught in the crossfire are basically like straight men who complain about getting groped when they go to a gay dance club: in theory, straight men should be able to go to a techno dance club without being treated as sexual objects, but in practice techno dance clubs serve a specific purpose for a cross-section of the population that doesn't have anyplace else to do these things. Their claim to the subculture is more legitimate than that of the straight interloper: if you're not into it, or at least willing to negotiate with it in a respectful way, don't go there.

But Erica, screaming bigot that she is, can't get her head around that idea, and, using the rusty old tools of second-wave feminism, attempts to justify her bigotry with the moral parochialism of Victorian England.

It'd be funny, if it wasn't so obnoxious.

Posted by Judah | April 24, 2008 1:46 PM

@53: no, Fnarf, it is sexist. For one, it's a definitely pressurized situation- "you don't have to let people touch your boobs all the time, but if you were really cool and comfortable with yourself, you would." That's a no-win setup right there. No matter how socialized or non-socialized these people are, it's still fucking insulting. And men wearing the pin to try and act like it's not simply guys being privileged jerks does not work. It's not a parallel situation.

And I am completely and totally with #29. If it was anyone but Erica posting this, you all would actually read it and respond to it more than just taking the opposite viewpoint to whatever she states.

Posted by Abby | April 24, 2008 1:47 PM

Technology conventions are hostile spaces for women. First, we've got the "booth bunnies" -- attractive women hired to try to sell tech products they know nothing about. Now, we have open grope sessions. It's tough to be a woman who's there for the science and/or technology. The entire message of the scene is that it's by men, for men, and only male desires matter.

Posted by miss_m | April 24, 2008 1:48 PM

@31 wins.

But I remember having Cold Water Patrol headties in early con days, so @39 is only partially correct.

Your mileage may vary, depends on which sub-fandom you belong to and a bunch of other aspects.

Posted by Will in Seattle | April 24, 2008 1:52 PM

@63: Do women have agency? I feel like this cult of victimization is a little distressing and bordering on the paranoid.

These women had a choice to wear these pins or not participate at all.

And I hate ECB, Josh Feit, and Jonah Spangenthal-Lee equally. It's not about Erica and it's not about gender, it's about hating substandard journalists who masquerade their biased opinion as reasonably-sourced truth.

Posted by Dawgson | April 24, 2008 1:53 PM

@5 It's how she writes. She justifies marginalizing others because she feels she's been marginalized (though quite often she is not the offended party, just the one taking offense in their stead).

ECB, 'nerd, geek, etc.' is a badge of pride. For you to drag it through the mud by attaching it to these morons is despicable. Real nerds don't go to these cons. The ones in attendance are the otaku, the introverts, the ones going back home to their parents' basements. They feel they can relate to nerd culture, but even there they are rejected. These people are one rung above furries.

The real nerds are the ones building the successful startups, blogging systems, and infrastructure you use every day. Get on your knees.

Posted by Jason Petersen | April 24, 2008 1:54 PM

Again, @64, this was a nerd gathering, so "males" and "men" needs to be set in quotation marks.

Posted by Peter F | April 24, 2008 1:55 PM

@64 well, men or lesbians/bi-girls. "Booth bunnies" I buy as being sexist. Say "hey if you ask me if you can grab my tits I might say yes" does not seem like it so much. There is definately sexism in geek culture, but this seems like a weird thing to pick on. (Rather than things that are actually sexist, like the assumption that women are not at these assumption too many of these commentors seem to be making. The whole "women can't be geeks" attitude is way more offensive to me.)

Posted by Andrea | April 24, 2008 1:56 PM


I'll step right in here and try to see if I can't take over as the troll of this thread:

However, her not knowing how to create the markup for the jump does.

Posted by Jason Petersen | April 24, 2008 1:59 PM

@6 Note to self: Punch Bellevue Ave in the face at the next Slog Happy.

Listen you shitbags, the women who don't want their boobs groped aren't consenting to being publicly ostracized for it. And that's what the red buttons would do.

Posted by NaFun | April 24, 2008 2:00 PM

40: why would people want to go around touching boobs randomly?

If you have to ask, welcome to the planet Earth.

43: Balls are fun

Truer words have never been written.

And finally: @ 56...If you're there, I'm convinced. (I still swoon when I think of your Freaky Friday post about adopting doggies).

Posted by Mike in MO | April 24, 2008 2:01 PM

@66: Clearly, you're a bit thick/a deliberately contradictory troll, judging from what else I've read of you, but I'll bite anyway. It's not that these women don't have agency, it's an issue of peer pressure which is something that affects everyone of any gender. Particularly among people you want to be accepted by. Men do things they may be uneasy with because of it as well. The opt-out here isn't a real opt-out in the way it's phrased. The way it's written about- "beauty of the female form," "women who Just Don't Get It", the options are participate and be accepting and cool, or don't participate and be a prude and outsider. There isn't another option in the original idea no matter how much they try to protest that there is.

Hopefully the Internet smackdown/backlash against this whole "idea" will make sure it's never accepted. But I'm an often-disappointed optimist.

Posted by Abby | April 24, 2008 2:03 PM

@71: So don't wear a pin at all and remove yourself from the symbolic economy. Look perturbed and insulted if anyone mentions it. Problem solved.

Posted by Dawgson | April 24, 2008 2:05 PM

NaFun said it much better than me. (Including the part about punching.) Congrats, NaFun!

Posted by Abby | April 24, 2008 2:06 PM

"it's an issue of peer pressure"

Are you fucking kidding me?

Ask most of the people on this comment thread how they feel about the argument that "peer pressure" should be used as an argument for banning behavior they like, you'll be laughed off the internet. But when it comes to "show us your tits" suddenly peer pressure amounts meaningful coercion?


And let's try this one: maybe guys who act like assholes are all victims of the same peer pressure: "act like a drooling moron around women, or we won't think you're cool." If women can't be expected to resist it, why should men?

Posted by Judah | April 24, 2008 2:10 PM

@73: I have a minor in women's studies. I feel like your opinion is just coming from a place I don't find particularly nuanced or useful.

Simplistic "women as victim" analyses of sex/gender just reinforce stereotypes and steal agency from the very people they're supposed to empower.

I wonder how many people commenting on this are actually just anti-sex and not pro-woman.

Posted by Dawgson | April 24, 2008 2:10 PM

@66 - Um, did you miss the whole point of alternative weeklies and BLOGs?

The Stranger's unspoken mission statement reads: "Giving substandard journalists a forum to masquerade their biased opinion as reasonably-sourced truth."

Check out this publication if you prefer pompous journalists masquerading their biased opinions as the final word in historical accuracy

Or this publication if head-up-their-asses journalists masquerading their convoluted bigotry as the paragon of higher-order thinking.

Posted by six shooter | April 24, 2008 2:16 PM

@73: P.S. Disagreeing with the popular consensus doesn't make you a "a bit thick/a deliberately contradictory troll." It can also mean you feel strongly enough about your opinion to make your dissenting voice heard.

I do try to avoid personal attacks, for what it's worth. I wish you would do the same. Attack my statements but don't attack me.

Posted by Dawgson | April 24, 2008 2:17 PM

now we know why ericca lvoes hillry, bc she hates men and evereything about them, a girl president must be like the best thing since bread

Posted by frede | April 24, 2008 2:18 PM

Thanks, Erica, for showing us just how many morons read Slog.

Posted by NaFun | April 24, 2008 2:23 PM

hey six, check this out. :p

Posted by some dude | April 24, 2008 2:23 PM

@77: I don't think it's simplistic "women as a victim" thinking- at least it isn't in my head. I think it's objecting loudly to an idea that's completely fucking stupid and should not be tolerated, because it's completely fucking stupid. I'm hoping that seeing enough women saying "this is completely fucking stupid" means that this sort of crap won't get pulled anymore for a little while, because it'll make people think about what they're actually asking. It's not being anti-sex, it's about being able to do things and go to places that are outside of traditional female spheres without expecting to be treated like only boobs. Yes, women should be saying no to even the idea of participating in a stunt like this, but stunts like this shouldn't even have adherents. I'm not sure how you're able to have a minor in women's studies and not see how objectionable this concept is, and that it's a good thing there's a backlash towards it.

And yes, Judah, that's what I'm saying- men do stupid shit under peer pressure, women do stupid shit under peer pressure, and yes, things should change.

Posted by Abby | April 24, 2008 2:24 PM

Damn it, I'm doing that "incoherent with rage" thing again. I'm going to go watch some Eurovision videos until I calm down enough to get my thoughts in line.

Posted by Abby | April 24, 2008 2:28 PM

OMG! Consensual groping! Patriarchy! Male gaze! *froth froth froth*

This guy and his (male AND female) friends stumbled into and/or created a social space where people felt safe to choose to alter the normal interpersonal boundaries and connect with each other in an unusual way. Good clean fun all around.

However, he made two mistakes:

1. Stupid name. From a codemonkey's point of view, "Open Source" means freely sharing what one has. From everyone else's point of view, it means the freedom to use other people's stuff at will, in any way one sees fit. The former, in this context, sounds a lot less offensive than the latter.

2. He thought the idea of what happened in the altered social space would translate to those who weren't there. Some things only work in certain contexts. Others, especially those with issues and triggers around breasts, groping, and male sexuality in general, inevitably imagine what happened it through their own lenses, re-contextualize it to fit their assumptions, and swarm like flying monkeys.

Posted by pox | April 24, 2008 2:32 PM
Yes, women should be saying no to even the idea of participating in a stunt like this, but stunts like this shouldn't even have adherents.
It's like you're calling it a thought crime. Isn't there space for this idea in a (hypothetical) room full of consenting adults?

Women's studies taught me how to appreciate difference and trouble knee-jerk reactions and definitions. It taught me there's room to discuss this concept and see what this idea brings to the table, why we react so strongly to it and if there's anything we can learn from accepting or rejecting it.

Posted by Dawgson | April 24, 2008 2:33 PM

Our bodies have evolved to be effective advertisements of our sexual ripeness. When will we Americans stop cursing that fact and start embracing it? I'm with the women who find this icky, but I think too many of them don't even want us to look. Not even look! And if we happen to catch a glimpse, they don't think we should enjoy the shape, the form, the beauty. Unless of course, the woman finds the man attractive--then he's allowed to enjoy it--for example, #29 lets cute gay guys handle the goods.

In the end, women seem to really only want to be sexually attractive to the men they are sexually attracted to. But the "system" is still 1) women attract 2) men come 3) women select. They seem angry that the system requires steps 1 and 2 (and all the attendant bullshit that goes with those steps) and that they can't just skip to step 3, I guess.

Posted by Mark at YVR | April 24, 2008 2:34 PM

What @86 said.

Posted by Dawgson | April 24, 2008 2:35 PM

This is so unfortunately named. It's more like a project to attach a license to boobs. Only the green button would be the "Open Source" license.

Posted by w7ngman | April 24, 2008 2:35 PM

NaFun@71 FTW.

As a side note: I've never gotten the boobies thing. At least, any more than any other part of the female form. Though I'm happy for my wife that she likes the look of her breasts so much, and she seems to like me complementing them.

Is it sexist to affirm that ECB does in fact have a nice looking chest? Just asking.

Posted by Big Sven | April 24, 2008 2:35 PM

This is a professional situation. It’s not the after party. Some things are appropriate in professional conventions, some are not. Asking women if you can touch their boobs at a professional convention is not appropriate. How fucking hard is that to understand?

Is this anti-sex? No. Why? Because it’s entirely appropriate to, say, invite them to a bar, have a drink or three, then move on to a situation where you won’t have to worry about whether your “touching” will be misinterpreted as “heavy-petting.”

Posted by women can be picked up, believe it or not | April 24, 2008 2:36 PM

I don't think people quite get how intimidating an atmosphere this has the potential to create. Yes, some women choose to be Party Girls and wear the buttons. More power to 'em. But the whole business of overtly injecting sexuality into this kind of environment is liable to cause those of us who were considering attending to, fuck, I don't know, maybe LEARN SOMETHING to sheer off.

I'm just hoping this type of horseshit doesn't spread to Tech-Ed. I'm going in June, and the first imbecile that suggests it is going to get a new asshole carved verbally, courtesy of me.

Oh, and I wrote @29. Sorry for the sock-puppetry chickenshitness of it, but some of y'all that follow ECB around and shrilly bitch at her are really kind of unnerving.

Posted by Geni | April 24, 2008 2:36 PM

Wow, ECB, you're frigging brave to post this here. I did read it all (or about 90%) and I thank you for it, because I was offline when the shitstorm started and I've been in the dark all week. You have earned more of my respect by this than by anything else I've seen you post.

Posted by Emily | April 24, 2008 2:37 PM

Fnarf - Actually it's explicitly a combined Linux/Sci-Fi convention, the only one that I'm aware of. Look it up if you don't believe me.

Posted by actually | April 24, 2008 2:38 PM

It might also be interesting to note that, at least in the second instance, this was not a convention-wide phenomenon; it was only a small group of mostly friends and acquaintances, from what the guy says. A very small percentage of the conference attendees.

Posted by pox | April 24, 2008 2:41 PM


I can't speak for all women, but what pisses me off is that many men can't take no for an answer. And, many of them seem to truly believe that they're God's gift and are truly flummoxed when they're rejected. I've been involved in some really ugly situations thanks to that.

Posted by keshmeshi | April 24, 2008 2:41 PM

The EULA for boobies clearly state that they are proprietary software, though, owners are able to opt into a shareware mode should the communications protocal warrant. It's not all that surprising that geeks are attracted to the silicon valley.

Posted by pissy mcslogbot | April 24, 2008 2:43 PM

Pox - Yes, it started among this guy's friends and the point of his post (that created the uproar) was to make it a wider phenomena. In other words, I have this great idea, let's do it at other cons now.

Posted by facts | April 24, 2008 2:49 PM

Because I'd rather be excited about a good thing than upset about a bad thing, here's a much better alternative project:

Women Back Each Other Up Program

Note that the original poster agreed that "creepy guy" was gender neutral in this context, because women can be creepy/pushy too.

Posted by hikitty | April 24, 2008 2:50 PM

facts@99: That may well be a symptom and/or result of his error #2.

Posted by pox | April 24, 2008 2:53 PM

You know, I'm a woman, I've got the breasts you can touch to prove it. I've also worked in the technology industry for a long time so I have miles of "you won't believe what the men did to us today" stories behind me. And, I crushed on geeks waaay before they were rich and popular.

All that being said, I'm not sure if that means my tolerance threshold is higher or something but I'm not that outraged about this. For the sake of the girl team I'm trying to be, because a lot of the women in this thread are making valid points.

But, the guys were wearing the buttons too and I don't think it was a case of "you must wear either a green or red button." And the women were participating.

So, nope apparently I can't actually conjure up enough feminist outrage for this one. I'll go force myself to read Susan Faludi in repentence.

Posted by PopTart | April 24, 2008 3:02 PM

Penguicon is a mashup of a Linux users meeting and a science fiction convention.

It's not that hard to do a little fucking research. Or actually read things before reacting to them.

Posted by stresskitten | April 24, 2008 3:04 PM

i hate the world.

Posted by tiffany | April 24, 2008 3:06 PM

I believe in compulsory, government-mandated boobie-fondling on a regular basis.

Posted by Suck on that. | April 24, 2008 3:13 PM

PopTart - No people weren't forced to wear the buttons, but men (and women) were approaching women who weren't wearing buttons at all and asking if they could touch.

And that's what people find objectionable, the idea that women would have to deal with dozens of fanboys coming up and asking because the expectation had been set that that's now a reasonable thing to ask a stranger.

Posted by bob | April 24, 2008 3:43 PM

Ha. Interesting title to the post. Funny title. Who "grabs tits"? Moreover, who consensually "grabs tits"?

Posted by Liston | April 24, 2008 4:14 PM

i don't know, it's kind of like affirmative action to me. minorities are only getting preferential treatment because of the past problems, and that too many people at present perpetuate the existing problems.

so, i tend to agree with fnarf, or even judah on face value. but there is history and culture here as well. and kesh's view or experience is not unique. there are women who don't want to be involved, and who don't want the extra pressure -- especially when it is associated with a career or feeling vulnerable sexually.

so it's the geek mardi gras. unfortunately, this event is not supposed to be all about debauchery. if women really want men to feel their breasts that bad, they should just ask. i'm sure they will still get takers. or they could make a breast/flaccidick room. the could also make a kickintheballs room, even though i think that comparison was a little silly, as consenting should be able to make choices for themselves.

Posted by infrequent | April 24, 2008 4:26 PM

@73 and @75 have good points by Abby. And Emily's right that this is kind of a brave post, considering ... but why no thread spill on the original post?

(FWIW I also had a minor in Women's Studies, and still think Women's Herstory was the best college course I took, and the most useful)

Posted by Will in Seattle | April 24, 2008 4:42 PM

Isn't this dead yet? Time to bring out the dead.

Posted by JenK | April 24, 2008 4:42 PM

(oblig) I'm not dead yet ... (tossed into pit)

Posted by Will in Monty Python Seattle | April 24, 2008 4:44 PM


Posted by AMB | April 24, 2008 5:22 PM

A naked jogger offered me a blow-job while I was waiting in the rain for the bus one time. I politely declined. No big deal.

Posted by Paulus | April 24, 2008 5:30 PM

#113 -- Well, in that case, sexual harassment is never a big deal! Thanks for clearing that one up.

Posted by Lydia | April 24, 2008 7:09 PM

@69: The booth bunnies are NOT there for the benefit of Lesbians or bi girls. They are there for the guys. The booth bunnies and the people who hire them don't give a rat's ass about Lesbians or bisexual women. They are pandering to the males, and only to the males. You must realize this.

I don't mind looking at pretty women myself, but it's insulting to put them in a role like that at a technology conference.

Posted by miss_m | April 24, 2008 7:28 PM

@29 and @71 FTW.

Hey, for those of you who don't think this is a big deal, how about all the guys at the next Slog Happy have to pick one of two buttons at the door: the blue one that says "go ahead and feel up my package" or the red one that says "no thanks, my package is mine only". Here's the catch: if you say it's open season on your package, you have to be willing to get felt up(down?) by dudes as well as by the cute girls. Oh, and there will be comments. Good luck with those.

This is so wierd in so many ways. While I have a very select few (female) friends that are allowed to touch my breasts at will, I would not be cool with random person touching them (as has happened in the past). Like, if you walk into QFC, and you see something that isn't individually priced, do you assume that it's pay-what-you-want or free, in which case you get stopped at the door where you indignantly say "well, it didn't say 'must pay', so I assumed it was free." How about just assuming you have to pay for everything in QFC, and assume that all breast are off-limits unless you actually know that person well enough to touch them?

Posted by Jessica | April 24, 2008 8:01 PM

I totally get how this kind of thing could get started amongst a group of friends (the story about the first woman who said sure, no big deal). And all of the aren't we so enlightened because boobs don't have to be sexual (but, uh, by the way, I'm still turned on by your boobs). And, let's spread the revelation and enlightenment to others! You don't have to be so uptight about your boobs!

It's that last bit that's the problem. If this is among friends, it's no big deal, but the attitude of women in general should be comfortable with their boobs being open source is the issue.

But, that being said, I feel like the biggest conclusion that can be drawn from this is that these guys (and girls) were fucking morons. I get how one can make a bigger feminist deal out of this, but from what it sounds like, it's just a bunch of immature idiots.

Posted by Julie | April 24, 2008 8:44 PM

Thanks for another deletion!

I know you love me, and I know that you love what I write! I am flattered!

Posted by ecce homo | April 24, 2008 10:13 PM

@118: I do not delete you! The tech people do! Because you violate our comments policy! Now please eat shit and die!

Posted by ECB | April 25, 2008 12:26 AM

Wow. What a bunch of stupid fucking shit. Say, ECB, how many words past "boob" did you get in the original posts by the original dude before you decided you knew everything about what he had said?

And man, that Kick in the Balls thing, boy, there's a direct analogue, there, huh? No sir, no histrionics there. Because it's not like the default assumption by the "mouth-breathing nerd retard whatevers" was that people weren't participating at all. No, it was just a full-on grope-fest of every boob in sight.

What a bunch of stupid fucking shit.

Posted by Ben | April 25, 2008 12:54 AM

Boob talk really lights people on fire!

Posted by Kristin Bell | April 25, 2008 2:47 AM

First of all, I can't believe I had to weed through all these stupid stupid comments to get to post a reply.

Okay, that's it. I am upset.

I am really upset that theferrett ( whatever the f. his user name is) is getting all this attention with his 13 year old idea of open source boob stupid ass idea.
I don't agree with him and like I said it's the stupidest thing ever, but honestly I don't get the attention he is getting.
Now evenThe Slog has just posted a huge post about it ( no, there will be no linkage to anything in this post) and frankly I am appalled.
I've just spent the evening with one of the most amazing women I have ever met. She is the organizer for the Report It Now campaign in Seattle, has raised 14000 dollars for Home Alive in one year and has had the most painful arduous time with justice in Kansas City, following her rape almost two years ago. Where by the way, women are still public property because a rape is a case against the state, not against the woman in question.
Seriously, just effed up. I had my mouth open the whole time, I so couldn't believe what she had to go through in court and at the hospital.

I couldn't fill up a theater with more than 10 people to see a movie that tells the story of sexual violence in this country and no press is covering the NATION WIDE Report It Now! campaign in Seattle , which will take place Tuesday at 12:oopm at UW, near the HUB.

Why ?

Because it is so much more comforting to feel that we are fighting sexual violence and misogyny by writing endless articles, posts ( you name it) about some harmless introverted jackass who thought it would be funny to try to get 1300 comments on his blog.
I have no sympathy for the guy but seriously, it says scapegoat to me. Let us stop fighting the weasels and pretending we care when, clearly, when it comes to the real issues and the actual wolves out there, very few are willing to get off their ass and face fear , discomfort or break norms.
If you heard C's story tonight, you would understand what I mean. And trust me, I've been hearing stories like that almost every day for the past four months, but see, the truth doesn't get blogged about anymore than it gets written about in the papers or on the news.
Let us stop congratulating ourselves and pretending that we are "reclaiming the media" , when we are just doing the same thing they are.

ps: weasels, ferrets and wolves of the animal kingdom world, I mean no disrespect to you . I know I used your names as poor substitute for stupid humans but I like the metaphor and we already know you are better hearted than human wolves or ferrets.
ps2: disagree all you want, argue, snark, whatever. I am not recoiling from this particular soap box. The End.

Posted by Dorothy | April 25, 2008 2:53 AM

@122 - "theferrett" is

He has posted numerous updates / clarifications. The original is still there, along with the 1300+ replies. Scroll down to the posts for April 21 and 22 if you really want to know.

Posted by JenK | April 25, 2008 11:41 AM

I almost went to Penguicon, and now I'm glad I didn't.

I've been working in Linux and network security for the past 10 years, and it actually is a lot like working with frat boys. Thank you @34 for pointing that out!

I can see the reasoning behind proposing this "project" but the real world implications are way beyond what they anticipated.

I've had guys I worked with repeatedly accuse me of being a lesbian because I wouldn't have sex with them.
Socially retarded? You betcha! But that's the standard for people in the IT industry, and it's also the likely reason why someone like The Ferret would need to come up with this sort of scheme. If you could talk with a woman like a human being, you'd probably be able to touch her boobies without inventing a "project" to do so. It's not that hard, once you get the hang of it.

The best alternative suggestion I've seen for this is having a Con Grope Room. It also wouldn't seem so bad if a woman would be allowed to fondle/grope/inspect a male's erect junk who is wearing a button as well. It's like, "try before you buy" or something. Why bother chatting up a male if he's gonna be a real challenge to "work with" later on? Gawd, listen to me, I sound like a strip club regular. But I think it demonstrates that Objectification Isn't Fun, mmmkay?

Posted by rose kennedy | April 25, 2008 11:42 AM

You do not delete me? What a joke.

You are a complete liar. You admitted to deleting my posts 6 months ago.

If you have "tech people" who are doing it as well, ask them why they flag MY posts and only MY posts as offensive and worthy of deletions. I see Poe, Bellevue Ave, and Dan Savage post more offensive comments that violate your policy than anything I have ever said.

Grow a pair and admit AGAIN that YOU are the one that deletes my posts.

Posted by ecce homo | April 25, 2008 11:51 AM

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