Jen Kotila spent months being sexually harassed, bullied, gaslit and eventually mobbed within all three organizations. She founded Open Inclusivity after she realized that her situation was not only not uncommon but downright normal within hacking and tech generally. This was deeply shocking to her as she comes from an arts and humanitarian background. However, instead of walking away as most women do, she became determined to help prevent any such future occurrences.
Herein follows a description of the events told in her own words (this is an older document that was written at the start of summer 2014, it needs a solid overhaul and to be expanded on even further (sadly) but Jen’s still too triggered by it all to do so right now):
[If you prefer a bullet pointed list of offending behaviors, please scroll down to the bottom of the page.]
I am the survivor of a long term campaign of sexual harassment, bullying, racial discrimination, queer bashing, mobbing, whistleblower retaliation, intimidation and character assassination stemming primarily from three leading members of the Copenhagen based hackerspaces and organizations Biologigaragen, Kopenlab and Labitat: Malthe Borch, Emil Polny and Søren Borch.
Malthe, who was chairman of Labitat and Biologigaragen and head of Kopenlab at the time, perpetrated quid pro quo sexual harassment (making inappropriate romantic advances and retaliating against me when I refused them), sexual harassment, narcissistic bullying, workplace/organizational bullying , retaliation and incitement to mobbing against me. Malthe has a pattern of this behavior and several women have reported feeling that his behavior is sexually harassing and/or offensive.
Emil (on the board of Biologigargen) perpetrated sexual harassment, workplace/organizational bullying (with racist and queerphobic overtones), retaliation and incitement to mobbing against me.
Søren Borch perpetrated victim blaming, harassment and vicious whistleblower retaliation and incitement to mobbing against me.
All have perpetrated libel and slander by falsely accusing me of various transgressions and lying about the situation (it is very common for bullies and corrupt business people to lie when held to account and, sadly, often effective especially when the person complaining is marginalized and suffering from PTSD from their ongoing campaign of psychological and social violence).
I was mobbed by the entire Kopenlab steering group when I spoke out, seeking reconciliation. I was mobbed within Biologigaragen for speaking out. I was mobbed within Labitat by several members of that community when I spoke out, initially seeking reconciliation but when it was evident that that was impossible, justice instead.
The Kopenlab festival is over. I succeeded in convincing Labitat to not move to the proposed Kopenlab expansion due to it being a very bad deal for Labitat that could potentially leave it bankrupt and homeless.
Labitat, the parent lab, has expelled all of us after months of rather chaotically trying to figure out the situation. Labitat is a nearly structureless organization that bills itself as “anarchistic” when it in fact proved to be ochlocratic. It is almost exclusively white male dominated and has very little ability or will to provide an inclusive environment to those who are not. It had no written code of conduct, no conflict resolution policy and barely any organizational structure. That lack of structure is part of what allowed the situation to get so bad.
Biologigaragen is currently, to my knowledge, a defunct organization as it is unable to operate in Labitat due to Emil and Malthe being banned. Hubristically, they last attempted to schedule a meeting in the cafe of a Danish human rights organization and when I contact that organization and explained the situation, it said very clearly that they would not be permitted to have their event there.
Due to this experience, after discovering that many other women and marginalized people had experienced similar treatment within hacking and STEM more generally, I founded Open Inclusivity to help prevent any such future events from occurring. OI is totally DIY, collaborative and non-transactional and is dedicated to creating an inclusive hacking/citizen science/open knowledge movement wherein no discrimination or harassment is tolerated. As it stands, if we were to get the techno revolution that some within the hacking movement are seeking, we would not get a utopia, but rather some version of Margret Atwood’s _The Handmaid’s Tale_.
Longer Version (but still truncated and very incomplete, it repeats some of and expands on the above)
Malthe at the time of the worst of the situation, was the chairman of both Labitat and Biologigaragen and de facto head of Kopenlab (a festival at ESOF and a proposed expansion to Labitat and Biologigaragen). To give you an idea of the nature of his character, he used to claim to be the founder of Biologigaragen all the while knowing that Marc Juul was the real founder. Emil and Søren were on the board of Biologigaragen and Kopenlab. Those three comprised ⅗ of the active members of the Kopenlab steering group. Malthe and Emil are such close friends they live together and Søren is Malthe’s uncle. Thus, all were in positions of relative power to me, a newcomer not only to the labs/project but also a relative newcomer to Denmark with few connections here and each was intensely biased towards the other. They obviously had very strong interpersonal connections to each other and they are well connected within the local community as well.
As is often the case, their harassment later became widespread mobbing from many other lab members who have personal loyalty to the men leading the harassment in all three interrelated organizations. At least ten others being hostile to the point of yelling me in public and many more have participated in shunning me or otherwise discriminating against me for speaking out. Many who I have sought help from eventually accused me of being the bully due to my panicked and desperate “tone”, which are two very common silencing tactics when harassment survivors speak out, especially in the very toxic hacking community.
The mobbing in Kopenlab quickly pushed me out of that organization as that was almost solely controlled by Malthe Borch, Søren Borch and Emil Polny. Within Labitat I made some headway with some reasonable people to fix the situation, but eventually the aggressive voices won out and I have been effectively mobbed out. I was scared to go down there as I always got yelled at for speaking out and for my “angry tone” and I have reason also to fear for my physical safety. Now I can’t actually go down there, and neither can Emil, Malthe or Søren as we have ALL been thrown out of Labitat as it was very dysfunctional itself and totally unable to process this case However, only I have been kicked out of Biologigaragen, because the board of Biologigaragen is Malthe, Emil, Malthe’s close friend Noah Weiss, and another close friend Henriette Kirkegaard. After months of coordinated mobbing, I was finally kicked out in August.
With Emil Polny the harassment started very shortly after I met him and never let up. He repeatedly made degrading jokes about my sexuality, gender, ethnicity and ideology (I am very left wing and he’s neoliberal) to me and often in front of others in lab which rendered lab a very unsafe space for me and made it so that I was so uncomfortable I was hardly ever there. He mostly did this in private, with no witnesses, but he also occasionally would make attacks while in the company of others in lab (he once outed me regarding my non-traditional sexuality in front of Labitat members I didn’t know). He also pushed me off the board, which Malthe and the others were fine with me being on due to, in retrospect, his animosity towards me. Instead a new working group with a derogatory title (the “Central Nervous System” (I had said that certain situations make me nervous and he was making fun of me about that)) was created for me and one other person. I believe Emil also felt threatened by me as, in retrospect, it was clear that Emil was failing in his role as coordinator at København University’s Center for Synthetic biology and he was hoping to get a paying job as coordinator of the proposed expansion to Labitat, the Kopenlab space. That role would definitely involve facility and events management, communication, etc.. I managed operations, facilities and events at the Walker Art Center for many years and my English communication skills are far superior to Emil’s. Add in the fact that Malthe, who was in reality the “big boss” of everything, wanted me as a romantic partner and there was no hope for Emil to compete with me as I was more qualified than he was and during the period that Malthe and I had a flirtation, Malthe was prepared to give me the moon.
Malthe Borch began our interaction by pursuing me romantically. In retrospect, this is part of why he put me on the board. Admittedly, I was interested in him as well at first but the dynamic always made me extremely uncomfortable during the flirtation period because even though Biologigaragen is supposed to be non-hierarchical he was pretty much my boss and I worried about how he would react if I didn’t give him what he wanted. I repeatedly lamented to my friends about this “why does this have to be happening? I wish I could just biohack, why is he constantly all over me?”. After I got to know him a bit better and observed many distasteful behaviors in him, I expressed my wishes that any romantic interaction cease. Directly after I did that, he became an incredibly mean bully to me– worse than Emil in action but perhaps not intent. This type of harassment has a name, and it is one of the most common types of harassment there is– it’s called quid pro quo.
It is important to note that the one other woman in Biologigaragen had a similar (but different) experience with Malthe. A younger woman who had been involved with Biologigaragen from summer of 2013 was also romantically pursued by Malthe Borch soon after joining the project. Unlike me, she engaged in sexual and romantic activity with him shortly after meeting him. That interaction left her upset not because it was unwanted, she was very attracted to him, but because his attention eventually dried up and he started treating her badly and with incredible disrespect. He ignored her, insulted her, demeaned her, interfered with her work after he lost interest in her sexually. This was very upsetting to her and she was furious with him for his treatment of BOTH of us when she and I spoke regarding his behavior on March 25, sending me this text message after it became clear that his hitting on women in lab and then treating them badly after romance had concluded (either by his whim or a refusal) was a pattern.
However, upon me confronting him with this information as a pattern of behavior on April 1, 2014 his reaction wasn’t “oh no, you’re right, this is bad, I should stop” his reaction was, verbatim, “…I’ll have to talk to her”. Talk to her he most certainly did and he also tried to reincite romantic contact with her in April, according to her during a meeting she and I had in May of 2014. She stated then that she was still interested in him romantically due to her perceiving him as a “powerful” man. She told me that they had repaired relations, that he had been profusely apologetic to her and he was flirting with her again in April and May of 2014 and that she was interested in resuming romantic relations with him. I tried to explain to her that it was not onl my perception but that of several other Labitat members that Malthe was an abusive narcissist (one member in particular referred to him as a “sexual psychopath” after hearing of his depraved sexual behavior (it extends far beyond his interactions with her and me), but most thought narcissist was most applicable) who was out to manipulate her as her supporting him would be a political blow to me within Labitat and he knew that she had been sexually and romantically attracted to him and pined after him when he abandoned her in summer/fall of 2013, that she was young and naive and that he was using her attraction to him at as a weapon. She said she would think about it. However, as time went on he became closer and closer to her again, manipulating her to his side and turning her against me. Wheras on March 25th SHE had bee so angry that she had suggested splitting from Biologigaragen and -I- had (stupidly and naively, I now realized) calmed her down and entreated her to try to work things out.
Here are some of our Facebook conversations regarding Malthe’s predatory use of Biologigargen as a hunting ground for seuxal partners and his direspectful treatment of women and the way it all added up to a hostile enviornment in lab.
Although I do not know the current state of their romantic and sexual relationship, she has turned from being very supportive of me to being hostile towards me. This change happened sometime in the summer of 2014. It’s worth noting that Emil Polny also cozied up to her after April 1, 2014 despite NEVER having shown any interest in her prior to that date (according to her). She even, at the Biologiaragen General Assembly on Nov. 13, 2014, said to me when I said “This unfair exclusion and expulsion is a violation of my human rights” “We know, get out.”. It’s sad as she’s 23 and very uneducated in such matters, she is also under the impression that ‘nothing sexist went on’ and that feminism isn’t important generally.
After confronting both Emil and Malthe several times about their behavior, I was passively aggressively pushed off of all of my projects, including ones I brought into the group via my initiative and connections, by Malthe and Emil in what I strongly feel was a coordinated, underhanded and deliberate collaboration between the two of them (they are very close friends and even live together). You can see evidence of that process in this photograph of the organization structure map here and here. In the first photograph, you can see that I have a lot of responsibilities (I AM already being bullied off of Labitat coordination, things are tense, but my role has not yet been eliminated). In the second photograph, you can see that my role has been almost totally eliminated. I feel VERY strongly that what precipitated the elimination was my confronting Emil for a thirdtime regarding his bullying behavior. I am certain he was engaging Malthe (who, again, is very close friends with Emil, they live together), who was now hostile to me and colluding to push me out of the organization. It is worth remembering that Malthe was basically my defacto boss, he was chairman and founder. Emil was also a “superior” of mine within the hierarchy being a board member.
Malthe’s hostility was mostly passive aggressive, but it was very hostile. He frequently ignored me after I cut off romance with him– I would ask him questions and he would not grant me a response or make eye contact with me. He was constantly snappish and condescending to me in tone. Work that I was contributing to the group was interfered with by him quite often– once he even forced me to rebuild an entire project that he had previously given me many compliments on and the only change was that I decided to not engage in romantic relations with him. Nothing I did was right, my work was picked apart and ridiculed despite it being of a very high caliber (and occasionally during this period was actually misappropriated and misued by Malthe and Emil due to them being too lazy or incompetent to do their own work). Malthe withheld information and contacts from me. I was not invited to social events OR organizational events. He was very condescending toward me for not knowing everything that he did– sneering about me not knowing things he considered “basic” but that anyone new to the field would most likely be ignorant of. I was asked to run an unreasonable amount of my correspondence and other output by him– he generally micromanaged me to an extremely inappropriate degree. After I confronted him on the 26th of Jan. about his inappropriate romantic advances, he did not allow me to take on new tasks and I was pushed out of ones I had already held. He specifically would flaunt my role by attempting to do it in my place or delegate it to others and often that meant that work was not completed or was completed incorrectly. From the start of our interaction, he always had a tendency to touch me in unwantedly familiar ways and he kept doing this long after I asked him to stop. He often ordered me to perform menial tasks (for example, the first time I was ever invited to his home, he asked ME to make tea for everyone). He took me out to sexually themed events without warning me that they were sexually themed and talked about sexual things with me, including underground tantric sex clubs, burlesque, etc. I tried to play along to seem “cool” because I was new and wanted to impress him to maintain his good favor, but felt very uncomfortable with it.
I told both Emil and Malte repeatedly that I wanted to work it out internally and that it was my goal to try to resolve it in as small a group as possible and I tried in good faith for months to do that. I started with Emil on Dec. 19 and with Emil and Malthe on Jan. 26. I then talked to Emil alone on March 7. After trying unsuccessfully for months to get a meeting with Malthe (I first requested follow up on Jan. 27 and it took my saying I would take it to the group to get him to respond), I spoke with Malthe on Apr. 1 and 4. After each of my good faith attempts to figure out how to solve the problem, Malthe and Emil only retaliated and became worse in their behavior. They lied and said they were sorry and would do better, but instead they got worse.
When they were not responsive to my attempts to sort it out with them, I started taking it to others in the Kopenlab steering group including Søren Borch, Malthe’s uncle and chief architect of the Ryparken AMBA (the structure behind the Kopenlab space). I did so after asking Malthe if he was ok with me doing so. I first talked to Søren on Apr. 4th about the matter.
Søren Borch was at first sympathetic to my story and even admitted in solidarity that Malthe had bullied him as well (citing the instance when Søren published a budget he had no faith in because Malthe had bullied him into it) but he also blamed me for the treatment saying “look at that picture you put on Facebook, it just screams sex. Look at how you dress, how you move– men will respond to that”. To which I responded “even if I were to give off such signals, which I don’t think I do, that in no way shape or form gives them license to abuse me”.
Our interaction deteriorated sharply after I sent an email around to the Kopenlab steering group (which was also basically the Biologigaragen board plus one extra member) about the harassment. Søren later threatened me on Apr. 27th, by saying that “someone could report you to the police for making false allegations” despite the fact that earlier he had conceded that I had been bullied and harassed. That was one of the final straws in all of this. In fact, that is when I realized on some level that I was up against some very unethical people and I started making recordings of them. Søren later went on to accuse me publicly of slander and libel, despite him reassuring me after making that first threat that he was ‘just trying to help me’. You can listen to an excerpt from that conversation here.
After speaking about it with the steering group members just brought accusations that my intent was to cause them harm and intense mobbing behavior from all involved, I said that I would take it further to the broader community (meaning at that time only Labitat and Biologigaragen). The steering group reacted with anger, blame and hostility instead of concern, care and compassion to what I had experienced. I was accused of trying to destroy them which I thought was absurd since up until May 2 or perhaps even May 5 (I bargained very hard to get Malthe to grant me a half an hour before the meeting wherein he steadfastly refused to talk to me about the issue at hand) I genuinely wanted and thought it might be possible to reconcile. I was mobbed and attacked instead of listened to constructively. This later became the same pattern within Labitat and Biologigaragen.
It became clear that I couldn’t reconcile after my trust was shattered after numerous lies, the derision and anger I faced when I asked for help from the group, the threats that were made against me, and the complete inability of Malthe, Emil or Søren to own their actions, apologize and try to rectify them. I now see that they are unethical liars and manipulators and tried to assassinate my character within the community and to gaslight me.
In the meeting on Apr. 28th, I was mobbed by the steering group (including Henriette Schultz Kikergaard and Majken Overgaard). On May 5th, it was the same (again including Henriette Schultz Kikergaard and Majken Overgaard and now Emil Renner Berthing as well). They all became extremely hostile and blamed me for “ruining their project”.
That is another important component of this complicated mess: along with the interpersonal attacks and abuse I suffered I also observed them trying to take over Labitat with the Kopenlab project in order to use Labitat’s large amount of funding (~50,000USD at that time) in order to fund Kopenlab so that they could create a privatized bio lab, which they were calling “ProLab”. They even appropriated one of the flyers I had made for Biologigargen to advertise this. They also wanted to make a private, for-profit wood and metal working shop within Kopenlab. They were also inviting in a lot of tech start ups.This goes against Labitat’s core ethos, which is that it is inherently “anarchistic” and thus has a non-profit ethos. It should not be used as a marketing tool and seed capital to fund careers for neoliberals. If they wanted to create such an entity, they should have done it independently instead of trying to take over Labitat. This, I feel, contributed strongly to why Emil Polny was always hostile to me. Along with the self-interest he had in protecting his paid role from me, I think he also recognized me as someone more idealogically in line with the hacker ethos, which is DIY non-profit, than the group running the Kopenlab project was– that group was comprised of business consultants (Majken Overgaard and Søren Borch), a small business and Copenhagen Business School graduate (Henrietted Kirkegaard) and Emil and Malthe who did a good job of talking the Labitat talk, but who were, I came to realize, only really interested in aggrandizing themselves and creating careers for themselves at the expense of whatever or whomever got in their way. Many others in Labitat were able to see this aspect of their agenda and had many anecdotes to tell regarding it, although some (e.g. those personally connected to Malthe and Emil via friendships, which often involved Malthe giving the person in question favors such as hooking them up with women or with access to goods and services) were not.
Also, aside from it being wrong to take over an organization with a DIY, non-profit ethos and try to privatize it, they were also doing it totally ineptly. At one point, when Søren Borch was still being sympathetic to me in April he commiserated with me about Malthe’s bullying saying that he had also been bullied by Malthe and giving the example that Malthe had pushed him into publishing a budget for the Kopenlab space that Søren (a business consultant) had no faith in because in order for the space to be solvent, it would need to run at 97% tenant occupancy and that was not possible. They were also lying to Labitat about how many other organizations had signed on to be in the space, which at the time I went public was basically none of any importance, especially since RepRap.me had withdrawn its interest.
So when I came forward, I was not only blowing the whistle on their mistreatment of me (which, I maintain, was instigated for a complex series of factors but also at least in part due to me threatening to expose their organizational corruption). It is dead normal for whistleblowers of all kinds to face enormous retaliation, mobbing, character assassination, etc. and that is what they did to me after I went public with not just the organizational corruption but also the sexual harassment, bullying and mobbing.
On Thursday May 22, the mobbing (which had spread to members of Labitat and was perpetrated by Emil Polny, Malthe Borch, Majken Overgaard, Søren Borch and Noah Weiss, Frank Pedersen and Emil Renner Berthing) became incredibly intense in the Labitat Thursday meeting that I was forced into by hostiles allied with Malthe, Emil and Søren (basically I was told “you need to talk about the harassment publicly or we will discuss it without you, you will have no input and that will be that” so it was damned if I did, damned if I didn’t. In that meeting, I had a stress induced breakdown (which is very common in victims of mobbing) after suffering hours of mobbing, after my advocate, Marc Juul overslept, missed the meeting and left me to deal with at least ten very hostile people basically on my own. See here for a report of that: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1UBXIbR9BY9BTmaSe7dDenBkKCIyAuHySsgtwKFMVQck/edit
Internationally, Genspace, which is probably the world’s most prominent hackerspace withdrew support from the Kopenlab festival and will also withdraw support from Biologigaragen since both organizations currently harbor harassers and it is Genspace’s policy to not interact with harassers.
sudoroom, a hackerspace in Oakland, CA run by Labitat’s founder Marc Juul also would not tolerate this and they are working on an open letter about the situation.
La Paillasse, the largest biohacking lab in Europe, based in Paris, has withdrawn support from the Kopenlab festival and from any project Malthe Borch is associated with. Its founder Thomas Landrian supports me fully despite having once been a friend and collaborator of Malthe’s.
Waag Society in Amsterdam did not come to the festival.
Raumfahrtagentur in Berlin did not come..
HUB Heidelberg did not come to Kopenlab, although they made their own event with ESOF instead (which was very cool, I went: https://esof2014.pathable.com/#meetings/174683 ).
Industrians Fond did not withdraw full support from the Kopenlab Festival, but they did cut the level of funding significantly.
Science in the City and ESOF privately expressed their concern and frustration to me but due to how late I contacted them (it was quite close to the kick off of the conference), they were unable to pull the plug on the Kopenlab Festival. However, I was granted press and PR representative access for the organization I formed to help combat the systemic problem of this kind of thing happening over and over again in anarchistic hackerspaces, openinclusivity.org
The worse offender was Novozymes. Gernot J. Able leads the collaboration between the corporation and Biologigaragen/Kopenlab and he refused to talk with me AND took the side of those who were mobbing me out of the organization for speaking out. Novozymes has historically been silent about this, but we are in dialog now.
Also, it should be noted that I wanted to try to work this all out with a progressive mediator and within the community first if at all possible. In fact, I had been pushing for mediation from April onwards and only succeeded in cornering them into it (at Labitat’s urging) in June. However, that desire to work things out proved to be impossible due to Malthe, Emil and Søren withdrawing from mediation on spurious grounds. Everyone involved in the mediation process, including the mediator, the vice chairman of Labitat, a Labitat board memeber, Nanna Heinz from Synthetic biology, etc. was shocked. I now see it as a callously manipulative political move on their part. They’ve reacted with lies, counter accusations and have basically behaved in the way many bullies and harassers do until they are pinned down. This quote fits their behavior quite well:
“Crime, once exposed, has no refuge but in audacity.” ― Tacitus
Please see below for a list of their behaviors and how they have committed sexual harassment and bullying both by international and Danish standards.
After withdrawing from mediation, they and their allies continued to attack me or shun me and they’re the ones with th emost power in Labitat and Biologigaragen. Despite that, as stated above, there are some decent people fighitng to make Labitat into a sustainable organization and that is what allowed the compromise that we should all be expelled. However, generally Labiat is even worse than Noisebridge, the most infamous hackerspace in the States because at least in Noisebridge, when women came forward with harassment claims there was at least the defacto leadership in Noisebridge has been there since the start and maintains the hacker ethos and were sensitive to discrimination and tried very hard to find a good resolution. Labitat was virtually leaderless when it was targeted and taken over by Malthe, Søren, Emil and their cronies and there is a deeply problematic culture that has taken root in both Labitat and Biologigaragen. I now consider them to be unsalvageable and dangerous, not only for individuals but also possibly for the movement at large and for society as a whole.
Do we really want a group of unethical, calculating manipulative liars in charge of a biohacking lab? Biohacking! Although the lab seems defunct, they are trying to keep it going. The tech is not quite there yet, but biohacking could be very dangerous if it does not adhere to ethical community standards.
Here follow bullet points of the harassment and bullying I have suffered, along with SOME examples from each man’s behavior.
Using the UN’s definition http://www.un.org/womenwatch/osagi/pdf/whatissh.pdf , Emil Polny did this to me (this is by no means a complete list, I can go way farther into detail to interested parties):
- Unwanted sexual teasing, jokes, remarks, or questions. (Emil repeatedly joked about Malthe and me being in bed together, about my non-traditional sexuality, my gender, my ethnicity and my ideology.)
- Sexual comments. (Emil often wanted to discuss my sexuality, despite me not feeling comfortable doing so.)
- Turning work discussions to sexual topics. (Often Emil would start talking about my non-tradtitional sexualtiy in lab where others were present and we were trying to work.)
- Sexual innuendos or stories. (He would constantly make allusions to sexual matters.)
- Asking about sexual fantasies, preferences, or history. (Emil questioned me about my sexual preferences in horrible ways (asking me in public “how many lovers do you have” and history.)
- Personal questions about social or sexual life. (Emil asked me extremely probing questions about my social and sexual life and did so in very mean ways in lab which made me feel incredibly terrible as he outed me in front of people I barely knew. He frequently used my non-traditional sexuality as a weapon against me.)
- Telling lies or spreading rumors about a person’s personal sex life (I did NOT appreciate him talking loudly and derisively about my “lovers” in front of Christian, ESPECIALLY since I have only been with Magnus since August, despite us having a non-traditional period before we decided it was more energy efficient and comfortable to be monogamous instead of polyamorous.)
Using the definition of workplace bullying found here http://arbejdstilsynet.dk/da/regler/at-vejledninger-mv/arbejdets-udforelse/d-4-2-mobning-og-seksuel-chikane/d42-mobning-og-seksuel-chikane.aspx , Emil Polny did this (this is by no means a complete list, I can go way farther into detail to interested parties):
- Tilbageholdelse af nødvendig information (Emil was very bad at giving me critical information– most notably for the Niels Bohr Open World conference (he withheld his contact’s info so I almost didn’t get in) and also the DTU workshop where he was very passive aggressive in trying to keep me out and was scheduling meetings without telling met, etc. )
- Sårende bemærkninger (Emil would very often make incredibly hurtful comments to me about my ethnicity, gender and sexuality in particular.)
- Usaglig fratagelse eller reduktion af ansvar og arbejdsopgaver (Toward the end, Emil teamed up with Malthe to try to take my tasks from me. For instance, I have a friend who wanted to coordinate food service at the festival. She has done this for other festivals before. I said I would talk to her about it but he said that he should do it. This was around the time I was being pushed off the role of coordinator.)
- Bagtalelse eller udelukkelse fra det sociale og faglige fællesskab (Emil was instrumental in pushing me off of lots of tasks. The DTU workshop was the most dramatic example– I had to fight my way onto that project every step of the way against his roadblocks. Amalie was very happy I was participating in the end and even told me that they couldn’t have done it without me. He did not alert the organizers I was coming and they did not prepare for me, making it very hard on both them and me. I was also excluded from external social events such as parties that I had to hear about from Amalie)
- Angreb mod ofrene eller kritik af deres privatliv (Emil made lots of passive aggressive attacks against me (sarcastically joking about my private life publicly, sneering in nasty tones about “what a good person I am” when I would do nice things for others,etc), he micromanaged and was hypercritical of my work even though he often appropriated it or interfered with it, he often asked me very uncomfortable probing questions)
- Skældud og latterliggørelse (Emil would often make fun of me for the quality of my work, despite it being very high)
- Ubehagelige drillerier (this was the WORST thing– I have never had someone tease me in such cruel ways before, he was constantly denigrating my sexuality, ethnicity, gender, and background )
- Nedvurdering eller umyndiggørelse, fx på grund af alder eller køn (Emil was constantly attacking me in passive aggressive ways about my gender, sexuality and ethnicity.
Typiske mobbehandlinger i forbindelse med seksuel chikane er:
- Sjofle vittigheder (Emil would make wildly inappropriate jokes about sexual matters. For instance joking about Malthe and me being in bed together)
- Uvedkommende forespørgsler om seksuelle emner. (Emil was constantly probing me for private details about my sex life and it made me very uncomfortable.)
Using the definition of workplace bullying found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Workplace_bullying#Abusive_workplace_behaviours Emil Polny did this (this is by no means a complete list , I can go way farther into detail to interested parties):
- Withholding information which affects the target’s performance(Emil was very bad at giving me critical information– most notably for the Niels Bohr Open World conference (he withheld his contact’s info so I almost didn’t get in) and also the DTU workshop where he was very passive aggressive in trying to keep me out and was scheduling meetings without telling met, etc. )
- Being ignored or facing hostility when the target approaches (Emil could be VERY hostile. One instance is the most memorable. On March 25th, directly after the Kopenlab steering group meeting in which I was pushed off of most tasks, including ones I had brought in. Depressed, I left early. I went to the toilet. As I was leaving the toilet, Emil came walking up to me quickly. He leaned over me and flicked his fingers in my face and said “boom”. I was unable to react but the gesture was clearly one of triumph and aggression as it was clear I had been eliminated from any active role.
- Spreading gossip Emil would discuss my non-traditional sexuality (which I prefered to keep private) in public.
- Insulting or offensive remarks made about the target’s person (i.e. habits and background), attitudes or private life Emil was constantly making nasty jokes about my background, ideology, sexuality, gender and ethnicity.
- Having key areas of responsibility removed or replaced with more trivial or unpleasant tasks Toward the end, Emil teamed up with Malthe to try to take my tasks from me. For instance, I have a friend who wanted to coordinate food service at the festival. She has done this for other festivals before. I said I would talk to her about it but he said that he should do it. This was around the time I was being pushed off the role of coordinator. I was left with basically no tasks. My role was eliminated.
Using the UN’s definition http://www.un.org/womenwatch/osagi/pdf/whatissh.pdf , Malthe Borch did this to me (this is by no means a complete list, I can go way farther into detail to interested parties):
- Unwanted deliberate touching, leaning over, cornering, or pinching. Malthe was constantly touching me in overly familiar ways. He would sit directly next to me on a couch if possible and always try to have our bodies touching. He would hug me way longer than he should. He was often putting his hand on my shoulder or arm and leaving it there for too long.
- ·Unwanted sexual looks or gestures. He would often gaze at me very intensely and he continued to do this for some time after I told him I was uninterested in him romantically.
- Personal questions about social or sexual life. He asked me if I was interested in sex clubs, etc.
- Touching an employee’s clothing, hair, or body. He was constantly touching me. He did this to Amalie, too. I have subsequently heard that he has done this to many other women and is well known for being “a creep”.
- Hanging around a person. Malthe likes to hover very close to women.
- Standing close or brushing up against a person Malthe often stood too close to me. He had no respect for personal boundaries.
- · Looking a person up and down (elevator eyes). He’d often leer at me.
- · Staring at someone. There was lots of staring.
- · Sexually suggestive signals. His body language and demeanor was suggestive and many people saw it and commented on it to the point where others in lab were point blank asking me if I was sleeping with him.
Using the definition of workplace bullying found here http://arbejdstilsynet.dk/da/regler/at-vejledninger-mv/arbejdets-udforelse/d-4-2-mobning-og-seksuel-chikane/d42-mobning-og-seksuel-chikane.aspx , Malthe Borch did this (I did not write details for this as the next list has the points well explained):
- Retention of information needed
- Hurtful comments
- Subjective withdrawal or reduction of responsibilities and tasks
- Slander or exclusion from social and professional community
- Attacks against victims or criticism of their privacy
- Scolding and ridicule
- Hostility or silence in response to questions or attempted conversation
- Denigration of the victim’s jobs, their work or their competence
- Unpleasant teasing
- Denigration or legal incapacity, for example due to age or gender
- The exercise of the job, such as for private errands.
Typical bully actions with respect to sexual harassment are:
- Unwanted touching
- Unauthorised inquiries about sexual matters.
Using the definition of workplace bullying found here http://arbejdstilsynet.dk/da/regler/at-vejledninger-mv/arbejdets-udforelse/d-4-2-mobning-og-seksuel-chikane/d42-mobning-og-seksuel-chikane.aspx , Malthe Borch did this (I sent this complaint to him in a letter to him in April which is why it is so well explained as compared to the other lists.):
- Having opinions and views ignored: During Majken’s first meeting, I was so relieved to have her back my utterly noncontroversial communications strategy because you and I had been arguing about that for weeks. You had taken a position opposite of mine even though that position was the opposite of the one you initially held and very illogical– that the Kopenlab festival should be integrated with the pr/storytelling/concept for the Ryparken space. It is good and constructive to disagree sometimes, but the vehemence of your position and the way in which you expressed it was not reasonable.
- Withholding information which affects the target’s performance: I had requested to be in the planning meeting for the show and tell with you and Noah. I was not invited or looped in. Due to this, I miscommunicated the intent of the meeting and drew in a woman from the Nordic food lab and a new person, both of whom were bored. This was because your original concept, which I did hear about, was to draw in new people I was not advised that that had changed until after the event had been publicized. One other example: you didn’t connect me to Illutron when I expressed interest in showing it to Erno. Instead you said “it was more of a closed space”. This isn’t what the guys in Labitat said to me when I asked them on behalf of a friend about if welding could be done in Labitat (they concluded that I could send him to Illutron and he could do it there– and that friend is a “no one” as far as anyone is concerned). Judging from that, we’d definitely have connections to get a visiting internationally exhibited artist in to look at the place, I think.
- Being exposed to an unmanageable workload: This is all of us, haha! I am not special here.
- Being given tasks with unreasonable or impossible targets or deadlines: When I first sent this to him, this was not the case but when he ordered me to redo the website to his specs and only had one day between 1200 and 0300 to work on it, it started to feel like an extremely unreasonable request and I called him on it later.
- Being ordered to do work below competence: The first time I was ever at a board meeting at HIS HOME he ordered me to make tea for everyone. I didn’t know where the tea or cups were as I had never been there before. It made me feel like his secretary and I am ashamed to admit that I did it because I felt so beholden to him and didn’t feel like I could say no. That set a pattern of him asking me to do crap like that.
- Being ignored or facing hostility when the target approaches: After I ceased romantic interaction, he very often became incredibly hostile in his manner– terse, angry, mean. It made it hard to know when I could approach him without fear and when I needed to prepare to take an emotional lashing.
- Being humiliated or ridiculed in connection with work: When we were working on the website together, he kept telling me that the design concepts what he was asking for was “simple and would take two minutes to implement”. He actually offered to do it himself repeatedly (but never did). He made me feel like the dumbest person ever for not getting how to install a theme, but when it came down to it he flipped his tone to the opposite extreme and said it was very hard and would take half a day to figure out. Thus directly contradicting himself but making me feel dumb in both extremes. Also, he once told me, who he KNEW to be a former documentary photographer, how to be a documentary photographer in the most condescending and snide tone possible when I was preparing to document a Group Experiment Night. Amalie saw that one and marveled at it as did I. I let it go because I chalked it up to stress and didn’t want to pick a fight.
- Excessive monitoring of a person’s work (see micromanagement): After I cut romantic contact, he wanted me to run everything by him. For instance, my group experiment night I got a Finnish artist, Erno Erik-Raitenen to fly in and present. Malthe wanted to manage every part of that GEN, even though he was too busy to do so. Malthe even scheduled meetings for Erno and me that never materialized, leaving awkward holes the the schedule. There was an extreme discrepancy about how hands on Mlathe was with my GEN compared to how he was even with Amalie’s (she also felt you micromanaged/controlled hers– but I don’t think you tried to insert yourself into the dialogue between her and Avery from the Food Lab). When you compare his treatment of us to his treatment of Noah, who had no oversight, it’s pretty clear what the problem is.
- Spreading gossip: After I started speaking out publicly, Malthe started to lie and say that he was never romantically interested in me. As someone who has missed romantic interest from most every partner she has ever had at first (i.e. been surprised when a move was made) I’ve never seen or had more obvious come ons from a man. Not only was it obvious to me, it was obvious to many in lab (I got comments on it). For him to lie and say it was otherwise is just one of the many ways in which he’s gaslit me.
- Insulting or offensive remarks made about the target’s person (i.e. habits and background), attitudes or private life: Actually, you and Emil once made fun of me for talking about my Finnish heritage informing my identity. Would you have made fun of an American whose grandparents came from Liberia for talking about feeling connected and informed by their Liberian heritage? Or, for that matter, make fun of Emil for feeling a connection to his Jewish heritage? Imagine if I sniggered at him and told him that he wasn’t remotely Jewish, only Danish, and that he was absurd and clownish for clinging on to his long distant ancestry when he was clearly just a Dane? That would be incredibly small minded and insulting as he is clearly connected to and shaped by his mixed cultural background, just as I am shaped by my many backgrounds including and especially the Finnish one.
- Having key areas of responsibility removed or replaced with more trivial or unpleasant tasks: This is key and I will detail a few examples.
- I already described what happened to my ESOF role above– I was supposed to coordinate and then was removed from the role.
- You also tried to grab the Genspace communication from me in the Tuesday 25th meeting, even though I brought that in and as my role was being pared down, that was the one crumb you were leaving me until that night.
- You also made comments about “I will talk to Rune” “when I meet with Rune” about the logo design which excluded me, which is ridiculous as that is something I brought in via my connection with him and wanted to be involved in. At one point, I even had to speak up and say I wanted to be on that project with you. It’s stalled now because I have been avoiding him as I do not want to tell him all of the negative things that have been happening lately.
- You even went so far as to have Denis make a new website for the Ryparken space without consulting me after we had agreed that I was coordinating communications. He, not knowing this, reached out to me to ask for help. I said I would happily help him and you physically got between us, drew his attention away from me and started to speak to him in Danish, thus blocking me from communicating with him.
Søren and I only had a handful of bad conversations, but they were quite bad. He also started attacking me quite intensely publicly after I spoke out– falsely accusing me repeatedly of libel and slander.That said he fits fewer criteria.
- Sexual comments about a person’s clothing, anatomy, or looks. He told me that I had to expect the treatment I had received from Emil and Malthe due to how sexy I am– he said that my photograph on Facebook screamed sex, that I dressed and moved in such a manner than men had to respond.
- Hurtful comments– It is not good to be told that harassment is ok or your fault.
- Scolding and ridicule– During our talk on Apr. 26 and during the meeting on Apr. 28, Søren was very harsh with me and on the 28th he was imitating my angry guestures
- Physical assaults or threats– Nothing physical ever transpired or was threatened, but he did threaten me indirectly with legal action and then later directly threatened me over and over again with false threats of legal action. He stopped doing that after I released this clip: soundcloud.com/opendiscrimination/2014-04-27-soren-threatens-jen-indirectly-and-then-says-he-didnt-say-anything-was-false
- Hostility or silence in response to questions or attempted conversation– Søren became incredibly hostile after the 25th of April
- Denigration or legal incapacity, for example due to age or gender– Søren tried to make me feel like the harassment was my fault due to my being a woman who might be considered attractive
- Having opinions and views ignored– Søren tried to downplay and blame me for the harassment.
- Being ignored or facing hostility when the target approaches– After I made my complaint to the group on the 25th of April, he became incredibly hostile to me.
- Insulting or offensive remarks made about the target’s person (i.e. habits and background), attitudes or private life– It is insulting to be told that harassment is due basically to how I “scream sex”.