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"Open Source Boob Project"

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Someone mentioned this to me the other day, but I couldn't bring myself to go look it up.

Luckily, Liz H has posted an excellent discussion of the whole episode (read the comments on that entry too), along with useful links to various other people's comments. And links to the original post and various followups; the original event as described by the original poster (see below for a couple other people's descriptions) sounds both more innocuous in some ways and much creepier in other ways than I had assumed from the original description I heard.

I also like coffeeandink's response (which includes the line "Women spend THEIR ENTIRE LIVES IN SEXUALIZED SPACES"). And there are some good comments in Tempest's initial entry and her followup. And plasticsturgeon suggests a followup: the Open Source African Hair Project. (Hey, how about an Open Source Pregnant Women's Bellies Project too?) (Also tattoos.)

(Okay, this is a tangent, but I can't resist: someone in the comments on that plasticsturgeon entry pointed to Rent-a-Negro.com, which reminds me of the similarly entertaining Black People Love Us! site.)

The FSFwiki has an excellent and detailed summary and set of links for the whole discussion, including links to people who participated in the "project" either at the original con or at the second one where it happened; part of the problem was certainly the way that the original poster described things. See novapsyche's description of her experience, for example, and netmouse's description of her experience (plus the comments thread there).

Over at Metafilter, Pastabagel weighed in. Although I think at the time of that posting they may not have known all the details of the original situation, I do love this line: "Women aren't a collection of sex parts behind a security system that needs to be bypassed before you can access them."

And here's one of Anna's comments at feministing: "Touching and being touched is great. Why don't we start with all the guys at Cons who want to break down sexual taboos [...] encouraging and participating in non-sexual touching between men?"

Finally, vito-excalibur posted a thought-provoking entry about the Open Source Women Back Each Other Up Program--women rescuing women from unwanted attention. (Yes, there is a male auxiliary.) And shaysdays provides some suggestions on some rescue techniques, along with some signs that may indicate someone could use some rescuing.

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I have to say, I feel really sorry for this guy, and think the reactions (though at times very entertaining) were seriously overreactive. Especially obnoxious was the one ridiculing his apology. Sheesh.

I thought the original post, though apparently ill-thought-out, was just so full of wide-eyed innocent awe, like a little kid just discovering something nifty and fun. And then he of course was smashed to smithereens (can't even got to cons, that's a shame). He sounded like the whale in Hitchhiker's Guide: "Oh, look! I can touch this! And it's okay! And we're having fun! What about this over here? Yay! It's fun, too! Maybe more people would like to do this fun thing! Whee!!! Oh, what's that coming up towards me, let's call it the ground. I wonder what it does? Oh, look -- it's full of feminists! Maybe they'll want to be friends....."

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