Codes of Conduct Are for Men! (even young, cisgender, straight, white, "able-bodied", upper class ones!)

This is Part II of my series “Codes of Conduct are For Everyone!” (read Part I here)

What “MySpace Tom” Thinks of HBO’s Silicon Valley

Changing the Ratio – Changing the Culture
A quick scan of most GitHub repos, project steering committees, company parties, and conferences reveals that men make up the great majority of most tech companies and communities. A strong code of conduct signals that while the organization/forum/community/event may look very “monochrome” or exclusive on the outset, it is (at least) attempting to make strides towards greater participation and inclusion. The CoC also gives clear guidelines for appropriate behavior with other community members. If organizations are truly serious about “changing the ratio” and bringing under-represented groups in, then the culture will necessarily change and guidelines and protections MUST be in place.


Take It Like A (Hu)man
Though when talking about men in western contexts we often think of the stereotypical young, white, straight, upper-middle class, “able bodied” cismales, men come in many shapes, sizes, sexualities, gender expressions, abilities, and socioeconomic classes. Men can be violated, offended, excluded and hurt. Men can have complaints. Men can (and should!) file complaints if they feel they have been the victim of in the presence of a code of conduct breach.

Compile the Code, Elevate the Community
As the dominant group in many of our spaces, men can be crucial allies and agents for substantial organizational changes. The process of drafting, discussing, and ultimately adopting a code of conduct can be an exceedingly educational time for all involved, and agreeing to adhere to those terms either by staying on board or ticking a box during a registration process can be a moment that is transformative not only for the organization but also for the individual. A strong code of conduct can be a true eye opener, making men (even the young, cisgender, straight, white, “able-bodied”, upper class ones!) more aware of the bias in their immediate communities and possibly spurn them on to be allies and advocates both within and outside of the tech space.

Until the next post, I highly recommend you check out the following posts: 

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