Google Blogger Accuses Twitter Engineer of Sex Attack

'I'm tired of the fear' at conferences, complains tech writer Noirin Shirley

By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 8, 2010 3:35 AM CST

(Newser) – A Google tech writer has accused a Twitter engineer of sex assault, which she detailed in her personal blog. Noirin Shirley claims the engineer accosted her in a pub near Atlanta's ApacheCon tech conference last week, kissed her against her will, then "jammed" his hand down her underwear. Shirley, who's on the conference board, contacted organizers and local police about the assault, she noted. She complains in her blog that it isn't the first time she's been mauled at a tech conference. "I’m tired of the sense that some idiot can ruin my day and never have to answer for it. I'm tired of the fear," Shirley writes.

"I don’t want to be assaulted, and the vast majority of guys read that just fine. It is not my job to avoid getting assaulted. It is everyone else’s job to avoid assaulting me." And Shirley isn't the only woman complaining. Sexual harassment has become so prevalent at tech conferences and other conventions that a special anti-harassment project has been launched to combat it. "The tech community in general is probably 20 years behind most when it comes to gender issues," notes Gawker. There was no immediate word from police or the accused engineer, who was a conference no-show the next morning.

Noirin Shirley
Noirin Shirley   (YouTube screenshot)
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