Village:Queer Feminist Geeks:Code of Conduct
Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare. Audre Lorde
Welcome! This village is a safer space for people who identify as feminist, queer or trans* and their genuine allies and people who have read and understand this code of conduct. We will try our best to provide a safe, respectful and supportive environment. You are welcome no matter if you know anyone here, are shy, don’t quite know what we’re all about but like this CoC.
The Code of Conduct of the Feminist, Queer and Trans* Village
The Feminist, Queer and Trans* Village is a safer space that aims at inclusivity and is based on the principles of antisexism, antiracism, antifascism and intersectionality. Participants are expected to treat all people with respect and help create a welcoming environment.
If you notice behaviour that fails to meet this standard, please speak up and help keep our village as respectful as we wish it to be.
In order to facilitate this, please do not make assumptions. If you aren’t aware of what someone’s gender identity is, and you can’t figure out what pronoun to use, just ask or look at our name tags, where you may find their name and favourite pronoun!
However, please also be aware that many of us have to explain ourselves a lot, and it’s tiring! We are glad that you are curious and not making assumptions, and we want to have fun at Camp too. That’s why we have a team of "queersplainers" who are "on-call" to answer questions like "what is genderqueer", "is it ok to ask someone if they’re taking hormones", "why is feminism needed", etc. Please do not push someone to keep talking if they have said they don’t want to.
Please ask before touching anyone at our village. It’s easy, and the worst thing that happens is someone says no! That includes hugging -- you might not know that it makes some people uncomfortable, but it does, so please ask first.
Any kind of general hatefulness and disrespect will be deeply disapproved at the Feminist, Queer and Trans* Village. Once we’ve talked to you, if you don’t change your attitude we will not invite you to leave, we will directly kick you out. If you can’t exhibit empathy, respect and thoughtfulness, this is just not the right village for you.
The Feminist, Queer and Trans* Village is a self-managed village. This means that all participants contribute to its contents, dynamics and logistics. We are not service providers! We all cook, recycle, clean, document, inform, take care of the temporary community we have created and try to have fun together! :)
Let’s be clear
A more detailed definition of the behaviour we won’t accept at our village
We consider a violation of our Code of Conduct:
1. Any offensive verbal comment related to gender, sexual orientation,disability, physical appearance, body size, race, religion, or other personal conditions and choices;
2. Intimidation, stalking, following, harassing, nonconsensual photography or recording, sustained disruption of conversations, talks or other events, nonconsensual physical contact, and unwelcome sexual attention.
3. Microaggressions, i.e. small, subtle, often subconcious actions that marginalize people from oppressed groups.
5. Minimizing other people’s experiences.
We will have no discussion about how your behaviour was meant. What we care about is how it makes our participants feel. Please just respect that if one of the participants is hurt by your behaviour, it is on you to change it or leave.
What happens in case of violations of our Code of Conduct?
Participants asked to stop any hateful or disrespectful behavior are expected to comply immediately. If a participant insists in such behavior, the organizers and participants of the village may take any action they deem appropriate, including warning or kicking them out.
If you are being treated disrespectfully or harassed, notice that someone else is being treated disrespectfully or harassed, or have any other concerns, please point out the problem to one or our fairies.
We will be happy to provide escorts, or otherwise assist those who are being treated disrespectfully or are experiencing harassment to feel safe in the village. We value your attendance.
Finally: Why a CoC?
While we acknowledge the Code of Conduct of SHA, we nonetheless believe that a precise and detailed Code of Conduct is essential to name what is meant by understanding one’s own privileges, disrespect and microaggressions, while also trying to reduce the underrepresentation of trans*, queer, people of color and women.
By creating this CoC, we help foster a safer space which “might be less about an absolute security in which there is no risk, no pain and no difficult conversations, but rather more about a redistribution of the risks and discomforts of speaking and organizing” (Dreher 2009,p.17).
Don’t be scared off by these rules! They are in place to protect us, not to intimidate people from interacting with each other in a positive manner. Because we recognise that some concepts and terms may be unfamiliar, our camp will (at times) be staffed with designated people happy to explain their meaning and the reasoning behind them. If you have questions, but are genuinely willing to engage with an open mind on why we believe the Camp needs a designated safer space for feminist, queer and trans* people, what that means and how it can be provided, do drop by and look for our "queersplainers".
We would prefer to live in a society where we do not need Codes of Conduct. However, Codes of Conduct are essential to establish spaces that are different from – and more inclusive than – generalsociety. If you don’t set up your own rules, you implicitly endorse those prevalent in society – including the unwritten ones – many of which we recognize as unfair to many people. When privileges are not explicitly addressed by the ethos of a space, the burden of education will often be placed upon the people who are living the oppressions. Moreover, since we still perform – consciously or unconsciously – behaviours that have oppressive potential (i.e.patriarchal, racist, sexist, capitalist, (neo)colonialist, etc.), it is essential to reflect on our privileges and on the ways in which they have an impact on our lives and the lives of others.
A code of conduct can help do just that: to bring awareness, consciousness, reflexivity and ultimately change.
(**) For a partial list, see http://geekfeminism.wikia.com/wiki/Chaos_Communications_Congress_28_incidents from the 28th and http://geekfeminism.wikia.com/wiki/Chaos_Communications_Congress_29_incidents from the 29th CCC Congress.
- Dreher, T. (2009). “Eavesdropping with permission: the politics of listening for safer speaking spaces.” Borderlands ejournal, 8(1), 1-29.
- Obaz (2015). “Code of Conduct of the 32c3 Queer Feminist Geek Assembly”