[IAEP] Code of Conduct Motion to add Anti-harassment policy - Sugar Labs

James Cameron quozl at laptop.org
Thu Oct 5 19:06:59 EDT 2017

Thanks Hilary, that's interesting.

My Australian culture doesn't use "run to mother", but does use "spit
the dummy", which in turn is usually not understood by American
cultural adherents.

Yes, idioms are risky, but they are not easily identified, especially
by those who use them.  They are subconscious, and form very efficient
semantic containers for communication within a culture.

Often we need to be told which are idioms and which are not.  We are
hasty and won't spend the time looking for idioms, in the same way
that our readers are hasty not to look for a charitable alternative

For amusement; in Australian idiomatic english, I'd say we're up a
creek without a paddle after an emu knocked the dunny down.

On Thu, Oct 05, 2017 at 03:34:17PM -0700, Hilary Naylor wrote:
> Hi James and all,
> It appears to me that the phrase "run to Mommie" (or "mommy" as is more common)
> is a perfect example of your first scenario.  It just doesn't mean what the
> translation probably implies "run to your mother." I quick review of the phrase
> in Google (in English) illustrates how it is used (not that it is polite, but
> it has nothing to do with anyone's mother). 
>    I'd suggest that the first rule of multi-cultural, multi-lingual e-lists
> like this one should be "no English idioms"! 
> thanks
> Hilary
> ---Original Message---
> Date: Thu, 28 Sep 2017 09:06:09 +1000
> From: James Cameron <[1]quozl at laptop.org>
> To: [2]iaep at lists.sugarlabs.org, [3]slobs at lists.sugarlabs.org
> Subject: Re: [IAEP] Code of Conduct Motion to add Anti-harassment policy -
> Sugar Labs
> Long reply.
> I'm very familiar with the geek feminism team and the conference
> anti-harassment policy, as I've been a regular speaker at
> [4]linux.conf.au.  I support the work of the geek feminism team.  For my
> part, two of my friends who are female are part of the overall geek
> feminism movement.  The conference policy is essential.  I support the
> policy itself, but I don't think Sugar Labs needs it yet.
> I'm also familiar with abuse and harassment policies in general, as
> I've been studying and implementing them as part of another
> organisation.  Earlier this week 130 or so pages of canon law passed
> my eyes.
> Walter asked Laura why existing code of conduct is insufficient;
> perhaps another way of asking why the policy would be needed.  At time
> of my writing, Laura hasn't answered.  I look forward to an answer.
> For my part, I guess there are two possible scenarios, and which is
> correct I cannot be sure.  Perhaps none, perhaps one, perhaps both.
> 1.  a misunderstanding.
> Since almost everything here in Sugar Labs mailing lists is in
> English, and there is no independent third party doing translation,
> any non-english speaker is obliged to manage their own translation,
> Laura says english is not her first language.  So everything I say has
> to be translated.  When translating there are a choice of
> interpretations.  English has several meanings.
> This risks an uncharitable translation, which may result in silently
> taking offense, which may set a person against me.
> This in turn increases the probability of the next translation being
> uncharitable, caused now by a decision to act against all my
> interests, despite some interests being held in common.
> A positive feedback loop begins, with each communication raising the
> ire of each participant.  This may partly explain my stress and tears
> in the design meeting; I felt I wasn't listened to, as if a prejudice
> had already built to the point of deafness.
> For my part, I hope Sebastian isn't the translator.  If so, I'm
> doomed.  ;-)
> 2.  side attack.
> A less charitable interpretation is that Laura is searching around for
> procedural weapons to use against me, which in itself is a form of
> abuse.  This seems less likely now than a misunderstanding, because it
> would be such an unwise thing to do.  Laura should not be the one to
> propose this motion, because it could look like an attack.  Laura
> might instead have asked another to propose it, or the motion could
> have been private to slobs at .  It can only be an attack on me if it is
> copied to iaep at .
> Summary
> The proposed policy is not needed, because the code of conduct already
> includes a summary form, and says the oversight board will arbitrate.
> The oversight board is the response team, and reports would be private
> to them.
> (As an aside, If I had approached the board alleging harassment under
> the code of conduct, I would have written to the board without
> including anyone involved in the abuse or harassment.  If Laura had
> approach the board alleging harassment under the code of conduct, the
> board would have to acknowledge and then discuss without including
> Laura.  The proposed policy identifies the same difficulty with the
> response team.)
> The proposed policy is unsustainable, because we have so few active
> people in Sugar Labs.  With GCI and GSoC inactive, most posts are from
> myself, Laura, or the oversight board.  It is unlikely there would be
> agreement on making a separate response team, and the confidential
> nature of the response team would make it hard for them to manage
> communication.
> Alternatives
> However, I welcome any independent third party to assist Laura and
> myself to be more charitable in our translations and interpretations,
> and defuse what might be seen as mutual harassment born from
> misunderstanding.  Others have become silent instead.
> As Sugar Labs is so small, I don't expect an independent third party
> will make such an offer, so as an alternative I ask that Laura and
> others clearly identify any harassment, and in return I'll do the
> same.  I've already begun this.  It will increase volume of mailing
> list posts, which is unfortunate, but seems necessary.
> I recognise that the proposed policy would also protect me, and I
> could make a report under the policy; on the issues of employment,
> intimidation, and sustained disruption of discussion.
> Thank you to the six people who responded privately to my concerns of
> harassment, and I hope we can make Sugar Labs a place where you can
> speak freely.
> ---
> Hilary Naylor, Ph.D.
> [5]www.a2zed.us
> Oakland CA
> References:
> [1] mailto:quozl at laptop.org
> [2] mailto:iaep at lists.sugarlabs.org
> [3] mailto:slobs at lists.sugarlabs.org
> [4] http://linux.conf.au/
> [5] http://www.a2zed.us/

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James Cameron

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