News: An Apology

17/08/18 09:46 by Mark Keating (‎mdk‎)

'Failure is a key to success, each mistake teaches us something'

There are two things I wish to talk about. Let me begin by talking about myself. There have been some clear errors of judgement made during the organisation of this event that I know have caused issue. I am not going to make a complete list at this time but I will hopefully be passing on what I have learned to other organisers. This may end up as a list of things that I should have changed, or should never have done. I know I could have done better. My actions do not fit what I wanted to achieve which is a space for us all to feel comfortable and greatly welcome. I can learn from that.

I would like to make a specific apology for the printing of clothing sizes on the stickers of the conference badges. I did this unmindful of the clear issue it created and I know it has caused distress. I would like to offer my deepest apologies for such an irresponsible error of judgement.

When we have a code of conduct it is not a set of rules, it is the codification of behaviour. If done well we can all learn not only from its existence but from its enforcement. It is why I apologise for my errors and the harm that they have caused.

The second item is that on Wednesday a Lightning talk was given that use a series of tropes and stereotypes. Despite the fact that these were being used to as a mockery of how those stereotypes do not actually exist or apply. The talk was inappropriate and not the manner of talk that should have been given. We have taken the decision to remove the video and it will not be shown on the internet and the speaker has removed the talk and its slides from any public access.

I should be clear and it is something we should all think about. Using imagery, personality type, or any other distinguishing features is how we set people apart, it is how we set caricatures or roles. It does not matter that the intention is to show how these roles are invalid. This is especially true when we have a shared space, with people of different values, cultures, societies and beliefs.

When we use language in this manner, when we use stereotypes and imagery with humour it cheapens any message. Most often mockery of anyone is how language can enforce elements such as privilidge or dominance and victimise people. We see it all the time. These things are not humour for so many people in our community. We should have the discourse without the drama, and give it the respect it deserves.

I would like to formally apologise on behalf of the organisers and let us all learn from the mistakes we have made.

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