It's once again the first Friday of the month which means it's time for 2600 meetings to occur all throughout the world. To find out if there's a meeting near you, check out our meeting list.
As many of you are already aware, we have been involved in a struggle to improve the image of hackers worldwide. For years, the mass media has portrayed us in a negative light and this perception has been passed on throughout our society. Hackers are seen as troublemakers and outsiders who exist to cause problems and create mayhem.
We feel the implementation of a dress code at our monthly meetings will be a necessary first step in the rehabilitation of our image. There is a reason why such dress codes are a part of so many civilized events, as well as a required part of many jobs and even schools. It has to do with respect, something we could use a good dose of in the hacker community.
We hold our meetings in public areas and we do this for a reason. We want people to be able to see us for who we are and to realize that we're not the threat that the mainstream media makes us out to be. But this attempt at conveying a positive image is very quickly defeated when people show up at meetings wearing scruffy attire, torn clothing, baggy pants, offensive t-shirts, or even shorts. While this kind of dress may suit some of us in the privacy of our own homes, we need to realize that when we are at meetings we are, in a sense, on public display. Therefore we owe it to each other to put our best foot forward and look presentable so that any new people coming by don't back away in horror.
The plan that has gone into effect as of this meeting requires all attendees to wear standard formal attire. We're not asking people to go out and rent tuxedos or anything unreasonable. Rather, a simple suit and tie for male attendees will suffice. Female attendees should attend in a standard business suit. However, full length evening gowns are also appropriate. Dressing in this manner will convey the image that is necessary for us to be seen as rational, decent, and acceptable members of society. There simply is no reason to convey another image.
While some will see this as an unreasonable restriction on their freedom of expression and individuality, we think that that is an irresponsible attitude for these times. Can we really put a price on the importance of maintaining a good image? Is the comfort of walking around in blue jeans and tank-tops really worth sabotaging our futures? The answer should be obvious.
These are difficult times and we all must make sacrifices. We ask that all meeting attendees, in addition to adhering to the dress code, keep an eye on fellow attendees and let us know of any attempts to disrupt the meetings through noncompliance or otherwise mocking or ridiculing these guidelines. We thank you in advance for your vigilance.