[llvm-dev] Resuming the discussion of establishing an LLVM code of conduct

Karen Shaeffer via llvm-dev llvm-dev at lists.llvm.org
Fri May 6 14:11:58 PDT 2016

On Fri, May 06, 2016 at 10:14:43AM +0100, David Chisnall via llvm-dev wrote:
> On 6 May 2016, at 00:44, Joachim Durchholz via llvm-dev <llvm-dev at lists.llvm.org> wrote:
> > 
> > Still, I don't see how one can write a CoC that does not single out a group. Prohibit harrassment against women, and you single out non-women as potential offenders. The same goes for any other rule.
> This doesn’t follow.  There was a study last year (actually reproducing an earlier result, but with a better sample size) that showed that women were offered lower salaries when their gender was on the application form, but the most interesting result was that the difference was more pronounced when women were the ones doing the hiring.  It’s a mistake to believe that the only people who hold subconscious biases against a minority group are people outside of that group.

In particular, when you’re someone who has been successful at something that is traditionally not an activity for people with whom you share some characteristic there is a tendency towards beliefs in personal exceptionalism, ...

Hi David,
Agreed. But in such a case, this successful individual is going to face
bias and even bigotry against them at every step of the way. And one of the
most interesting aspects of bias and bigotry is those who are afflicted by it
are least likely to recognize it as such. And, of course, there are degrees of
this notion of being successful in a field of endeavor where such a minority
individual rarely or never succeeds. And the more rare such an individual's
trajectory is, the more intense the collective bias and bigotry that individual
is going to have to deal with will be.

A good case study is when Jackie Robinson broke into major league baseball. He
not only needed to have exceptional skills and talent as a baseball player, he
needed exceptional skills at absorbing the collective bias and bigotry he faced
on a daily basis for years and years.

I claim exceptionally talented minority individuals who are in the technology
sector face this reality on a daily basis. It's a different natured bias and
bigotry, but the motivations and consequences are very similar. And those who
are engaging in that bias and bigotry are least likely to recognize it as such.

Thanks to everyone for expressing their point of view. I've enjoyed reading
all of your thoughts!

Karen Shaeffer                 Be aware: If you see an obstacle in your path,
Neuralscape Services           that obstacle is your path.        Zen proverb

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