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FOSS Sexism Claims Met With Ire and Denial

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 4 years ago | from the girls-don't-write-foss dept.

News 1255

Last Friday Bryce Byfield gave us a little insight into the fallout surrounding his article on sexism in the FOSS world. Unfortunately it seems that FOSS junkies did little better than the rest of the world with respect to sexism, displaying similar levels of denial, abuse, and ignorance. "But the real flood of emotion comes from the anti-feminists and the average men who would like to deny the importance of feminist issues in FOSS. Raise the subject of sexism, and you are met with illogic that I can only compare to that of the tobacco companies trying to deny the link between their products and cancer. Because I took a feminist stance in public, I have been abused in every way possible — being called irrelevant, a saboteur, coward, homosexual, and even a betrayer of the community. I know that many women in the community have been attacked much more savagely than I have, so I'm not complaining. Nor am I a stranger to readers who disagree with me, but the depth of reaction has taken me back more than once. I think the reaction is an expression of denial more than anything else."

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1255 comments

Well if that's true... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29720395)

Then this story should get buried pretty quickly on Slashdot!

Re:Well if that's true... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29720791)

If a woman programmed and became a geek because she really wanted to do it, and allowed neither the unpopularity of her choice nor anything that some online asshats have to say to dissuade her, then she'd be just like a man. If men needed a culture of approval and acceptance and someone to remind them whenever possible that they are wanted and welcome, and then and only then could they program if they wanted to, then they'd be just like women. This arrangement necessarily leads to the appearance of men doing whatever they want while women are excluded. I believe it's the women who need to change, to get a bit more backbone, and to realize that anyone who's ever done great things has caught a lot of flak for it. If they could do that in a graceful way instead of a bitchy way that only proves they are better at hassling someone than the sexists, very little would ever stop them. Otherwise they are just as strong and, when they do have that determination, just as able as men. I don't see this as a sexual difference, more like a mental image that is quite malleable.

Re:Well if that's true... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29720867)

Good post.

No Denial Here But What Are the Reasons? (5, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#29720397)

Raise the subject of sexism ...

What reports of sexism have there been? Are you raising the subject of sexism just based on the fact that only 1.5% of FOSS developers are women? It takes a very special kind of person to do FOSS development -- because it's often outside of work. Which means you have to love what you do at work and then come home and do it some more. Even I get sick of coding. It's an uncommon desire and requires a special kind of insanity. So much of the stuff I write outside of work is just absolutely useless in the end. Is it possible this trait is far less common in women than men?

Present evidence of sexist attitudes and attacks and I will gladly support you. Hell, I support you right now, nothing would make me happier than more women in FOSS. I just am not sure how you promote that sort of goal -- usually it's a monetary or favorable employment reward for having ovaries but the only reward is ... recognition?

Because I took a feminist stance in public, I have been abused in every way possible — being called irrelevant, a saboteur, coward, homosexual, and even a betrayer of the community.

People on the internet called you names? It happens. Who are these people? Probably random pigs the internet has no shortage of. Don't let it get to you, hold your summit and figure out a way to designate Female FOSS Developer of the Month on your website.

To reiterate, I'm not denying that there is an disturbingly low percentage of women in FOSS development. I'm just questioning what's causing that. It's probably a number of factors including Hollywood not showing women as the computer hacker in many of their movies (except maybe Hackers). It's predominantly the stereotypical male. Women have to overcome that and women have to realize that getting together and working on a project with your friends by just coding can be fun. But I think society tells them early on that's not what women do. If there's any sexism, I've seen no proof it's internal to FOSS.

Re:No Denial Here But What Are the Reasons? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29720505)

People on the internet called you names? It happens. Who are these people?

Have you ever seen a good OpenBSD flamewar?

Theo de Raadt has an absolute, uncompromising stand on open source, and refuses to deal with crappy, binary-only drivers. He often calls out people & products he thinks are crap. Gender never comes in to the discussion.

Re:No Denial Here But What Are the Reasons? (3, Funny)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 4 years ago | (#29720827)

What if they're really good binary only drivers?

Here's two (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29720527)

Ever heard of BitchX? How about etherape?

Re:Here's two (4, Funny)

e2d2 (115622) | more than 4 years ago | (#29720575)

It's EtherApe. But you knew that didn't you..

Re:Here's two (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29720781)

Hell with that, there's a pentest suite for python called brutal penetration [brutalpenetration.org]

Re:Here's two (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29720795)

Ever heard of BitchX? How about etherape?

BitchX is an IRC client and the word "Bitch" in the name refers to "Bitching" as in nagging, which is related to conversating which reflects back to IRC. It has nothing to do with women, since both men and women can bitch about something, and for a woman to think that it does makes her a self centred bitch -- this time in exactly the way she thinks.

Re:Here's two (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29720869)

BitchX is an IRC client and the word "Bitch" in the name refers to "Bitching" as in nagging, which is related to conversating which reflects back to IRC. It has nothing to do with women [...]

You are aware that "bitching" is a sexist term referring to woman nagging their husbands I assume.

Re:Here's two (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29720815)

Why is "therapist" is such a popular profession for women?

I'll second the call for examples. (5, Interesting)

khasim (1285) | more than 4 years ago | (#29720551)

No one is denying that there are idiots out there. Just browse at -1 here. You'll see every kind of comment for every kind of 'ism that you're looking for.

But let's look are real EXAMPLES of real COMMENTS. Okay?

And since we're talking about FOSS, we can look at the kernel mailing list. Hmmmmm, not a lot of sexist comments there. Particularly when taken as a percentage of total comments.

So if only 1.5% of developers are women ... but fewer than 0.1% of comments on development mailing lists are sexist ... what is the real "problem" that exists?

Refreshment of memory (5, Informative)

Anghwyr (1245932) | more than 4 years ago | (#29720717)

There was an example on a ruby conference earlier this year: http://dyepot-teapot.com/2009/04/25/dear-fellow-rubyists/ [dyepot-teapot.com]

“If he had left it at a few introductory jokes, I would be writing a very different post. Instead the porn references continued with images of scantily-clad women gratuitously splashed across technical diagrams and intro slides. As he got into code snippets, he inserted interstitial images every few slides.

Re:Refreshment of memory (1)

steve.howard (988489) | more than 4 years ago | (#29720809)

So one guy's presentation was tasteless and crass. I'm a man, and I don't want porn in my programming reference materials (I would assume that even the biggest fan of porn would find it weird at the least that that was in a Ruby presentation. Java, maybe).

Re:Refreshment of memory (4, Informative)

baronben (322394) | more than 4 years ago | (#29720893)

Okay, let's try an example from a Debian commentor called MikeeUSA

The women of the “geek feminism” movement will be just as effective at excising men from the movement as Nina was at systematically destroying Hans Reiser’s life untill he saw no reason, nothing left in his life, that could hold him back from striking back.

Ouch.

And also

Yea you’ve become a developer and have done nearly nothing except shill your feminist shit and try to turn debian into a woman’s project (you are succeeding, men are leaving debian because of you and your ilk, worthless bitch).

examples taken from Geek Feminism [geekfeminism.org]

Like I said. 0.1% of the comments. (4, Informative)

khasim (1285) | more than 4 years ago | (#29720831)

You've linked (1) to a link (2) referencing a presentation (3) by ONE GUY at a rather small meeting (200 people).

So that ONE instance is repeated over and over (and linked to) as "evidence" of "sexism" instead of being seen as what it really is:
ONE instance out of thousands of non-sexist presentations.

Again, if 1.5% of FOSS developers are women, but only 0.1% of the comments are sexist, what is the REAL problem that you're trying to "solve"?

Re:Like I said. 0.1% of the comments. (-1, Troll)

sohp (22984) | more than 4 years ago | (#29720889)

That's exactly the dismissive attitude that allows the problem to continue. Ire and denial.

Re:I'll second the call for examples. (5, Informative)

fahrvergnugen (228539) | more than 4 years ago | (#29720813)

Are you seriously going to sit there and argue that open source is a sheer meritocracy with a straight face? Okay. Here are 4 examples:

That's the result of a 5 minute google search.

Actually, you're a good example of that. (4, Insightful)

khasim (1285) | more than 4 years ago | (#29720917)

It took you 5 minutes to come up with only 4 examples. And you were specifically LOOKING for such examples.

Here's the Linux Kernel Mailing List. http://lkml.org/ [lkml.org] That's a few thousand comments without any sexism at all. It's all about the statistics.

Your post was a perfect example of the problems with this "discussion".

You aren't concerned with the statistics. And with the Internet, it is very easy for a single example of a sexist comment (whether it was intended to be sexist or not) to be shared between the people LOOKING for sexist comments.

Again, if 1.5% of the FOSS developers are women, and only 0.1% of the comments are sexist, what is the REAL problem that you're trying to "solve"?

Re:I'll second the call for examples. (4, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | more than 4 years ago | (#29720929)

As opposed to the rest of the world where people get where they are by hard work and ingenuity.

Yes, sexism exists, but it's not like feminists are saints either. Notice the shrinking portion of degrees earned by men in recent years, or how mysteriously benefits don't count as a part of the pay package when it's inconvenient to casting women as victims of oppression? Or how about the rather extreme form of censorship visited on people that point out that women are just as likely to be abusers as men.

It's a tad hard to take people decrying sexism directed at women seriously when so often those accusations are used as a tool to further women's position at the expense of men's regardless of how the positions in a particular area were arrived at.

Re:I'll second the call for examples. (1)

sohp (22984) | more than 4 years ago | (#29720843)

People have already forgotten Matt Aimonetti's talk "CouchDB + Ruby: Perform Like a Pr0n Star." [rubyrailways.com] at the Golden Gate Ruby Conference?

Re:I'll second the call for examples. (1, Troll)

Anghwyr (1245932) | more than 4 years ago | (#29720899)

Trying to figure out what you mean with that last sentence.. If I just translate it to another setting:

" So, if only 1.% of the developers are negroid ... but fewer than 0.1% of comments on development mailing lists are racist ... what is the real "problem" that exists? "

Imagine that rather than having a naked chick every so many slides (as happened in a talk @ GoCaRuCo), you would have a picture of a negroid in chains animation pulling in the next slide of the presentation. Add a whip to the scene and it would make even a mostly white audience severely uncomfortable.

I think we're just far more sensitive to racism than to sexism, which makes it a bit harder to pick up acts of sexism.

Re:No Denial Here But What Are the Reasons? (5, Insightful)

Austerity Empowers (669817) | more than 4 years ago | (#29720563)

To paraphrase: keep that political bullshit out of here. Code. Or don't.

What Are the Reasons? (4, Insightful)

argent (18001) | more than 4 years ago | (#29720623)

Indeed. I have known several women who write open source software, and (admittedly from the outside) I didn't see them treated any differently on mailing lists and in meetings than men. Yes, there's an imbalance, yes, there may be institutional sexism... but what's the source?

Bruce argues that proprietary software has a higher proportion of women. The thing is, proprietary software has a bigger payback for the actual developer... and it's a payback that is valuable for everyone: MONEY. It's a relatively well paid trade that women are at no great disadvantage in. Most people working on proprietary software ... men or women ... don't program in their spare time, either. It's a job, not a hobby.

For most developers, open source software is a hobby. A valuable one, yes, but I would suspect that "fewer than 1.5%" of open source developers actually have that in their primary job description. What are the proportions of women involved in other technical hobbies? It's my impression that the answer is "pretty low", and a bit of googling tends to support that. So... what's the reason why women aren't involved in things like model railroading ("I haven't met too many women modelers" -- mary Miller, MMR)? I suspect that's where you need to look to dig up the answer to this question.

Re:What Are the Reasons? (2, Insightful)

netruner (588721) | more than 4 years ago | (#29720923)

Maybe I'm making my self a target for ageism, but aren't a lot of FOSS activities typically conducted by your handle (i.e. not your name)? How could anyone know your gender with any certainty? I suppose someone could say that a person's choice of a handle speaks to their gender, but I've seen quite a few people who manipulate others by intentionally choosing a misleading handle.

Re:No Denial Here But What Are the Reasons? (4, Insightful)

roscivs (923777) | more than 4 years ago | (#29720653)

There's also a big difference between "no better than the rest of the world" and "correlation between FOSS and sexism". The first I can certainly believe--there's no reason to believe that the FOSS community is any less sexist than the rest of the world. You're going to find a lot of sexist individuals just because that's the status quo in society today.

But there's no reason to harp on FOSS developers in particular unless there's evidence that the FOSS community is more sexist than the rest of the world (which I, at least, haven't seen). If that evidence isn't there, then keep on fighting the good fight against sexist pigs in general, wherever you find them.

Re:No Denial Here But What Are the Reasons? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29720859)

"It takes a very special kind of person to do FOSS development..."

Special indeed! I'm thinking of the movie "Rain Man"...

Don't be so damn sensitive (2, Insightful)

religious freak (1005821) | more than 4 years ago | (#29720401)

Yeah I guess you may have encountered some jokes, but it's your code that matters, not your plumbing. If you're offended by jokes, joke back or say it's inappropriate - in the informal community of FOSS, that's about all you can do.

If you truly think you're a victim, create an androgynous pseudonym. The tone of OP's article suggests a hyper sensitivity to me.

Re:Don't be so damn sensitive (3, Interesting)

nomadic (141991) | more than 4 years ago | (#29720715)

Yeah I guess you may have encountered some jokes, but it's your code that matters

Either it's a community or it isn't. Getting rude anonymous comments is one thing; getting them in a mailing list going back and forth between a small group of developers, that's something different.
As for this idea that only the quality of the code matters in how you're treated, I don't think that's not true. There is an immaturity and a narcissism prevalent among coders, and I think a lot of them would be enraged to find themselves outcoded by a woman, but wouldn't mind it so much being outdone by a man.

Sexism is like racism in the OSS community; there but nobody wants to talk about it (though the racism has been a lot more overt in some situations).

Re:Don't be so damn sensitive (2, Insightful)

flaming error (1041742) | more than 4 years ago | (#29720729)

> create an androgynous pseudonym
And if people harass them offline, should they just cross-dress as men, or should women go get sex-reassignment surgery?

re (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29720409)

I stopped reading after "I'm not complaining"

Re:re (3, Funny)

AP31R0N (723649) | more than 4 years ago | (#29720847)

You sound fat.

Your official guide to the Jigaboo presidency (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29720413)

Congratulations on your purchase of a brand new nigger! If handled properly, your apeman will give years of valuable, if reluctant, service.

INSTALLING YOUR NIGGER.
You should install your nigger differently according to whether you have purchased the field or house model. Field niggers work best in a serial configuration, i.e. chained together. Chain your nigger to another nigger immediately after unpacking it, and don't even think about taking that chain off, ever. Many niggers start singing as soon as you put a chain on them. This habit can usually be thrashed out of them if nipped in the bud. House niggers work best as standalone units, but should be hobbled or hamstrung to prevent attempts at escape. At this stage, your nigger can also be given a name. Most owners use the same names over and over, since niggers become confused by too much data. Rufus, Rastus, Remus, Toby, Carslisle, Carlton, Hey-You!-Yes-you!, Yeller, Blackstar, and Sambo are all effective names for your new buck nigger. If your nigger is a ho, it should be called Latrelle, L'Tanya, or Jemima. Some owners call their nigger hoes Latrine for a joke. Pearl, Blossom, and Ivory are also righteous names for nigger hoes. These names go straight over your nigger's head, by the way.

CONFIGURING YOUR NIGGER
Owing to a design error, your nigger comes equipped with a tongue and vocal chords. Most niggers can master only a few basic human phrases with this apparatus - "muh dick" being the most popular. However, others make barking, yelping, yapping noises and appear to be in some pain, so you should probably call a vet and have him remove your nigger's tongue. Once de-tongued your nigger will be a lot happier - at least, you won't hear it complaining anywhere near as much. Niggers have nothing interesting to say, anyway. Many owners also castrate their niggers for health reasons (yours, mine, and that of women, not the nigger's). This is strongly recommended, and frankly, it's a mystery why this is not done on the boat

HOUSING YOUR NIGGER.
Your nigger can be accommodated in cages with stout iron bars. Make sure, however, that the bars are wide enough to push pieces of nigger food through. The rule of thumb is, four niggers per square yard of cage. So a fifteen foot by thirty foot nigger cage can accommodate two hundred niggers. You can site a nigger cage anywhere, even on soft ground. Don't worry about your nigger fashioning makeshift shovels out of odd pieces of wood and digging an escape tunnel under the bars of the cage. Niggers never invented the shovel before and they're not about to now. In any case, your nigger is certainly too lazy to attempt escape. As long as the free food holds out, your nigger is living better than it did in Africa, so it will stay put. Buck niggers and hoe niggers can be safely accommodated in the same cage, as bucks never attempt sex with black hoes.

FEEDING YOUR NIGGER.
Your Nigger likes fried chicken, corn bread, and watermelon. You should therefore give it none of these things because its lazy ass almost certainly doesn't deserve it. Instead, feed it on porridge with salt, and creek water. Your nigger will supplement its diet with whatever it finds in the fields, other niggers, etc. Experienced nigger owners sometimes push watermelon slices through the bars of the nigger cage at the end of the day as a treat, but only if all niggers have worked well and nothing has been stolen that day. Mike of the Old Ranch Plantation reports that this last one is a killer, since all niggers steal something almost every single day of their lives. He reports he doesn't have to spend much on free watermelon for his niggers as a result. You should never allow your nigger meal breaks while at work, since if it stops work for more than ten minutes it will need to be retrained. You would be surprised how long it takes to teach a nigger to pick cotton. You really would. Coffee beans? Don't ask. You have no idea.

MAKING YOUR NIGGER WORK.
Niggers are very, very averse to work of any kind. The nigger's most prominent anatomical feature, after all, its oversized buttocks, which have evolved to make it more comfortable for your nigger to sit around all day doing nothing for its entire life. Niggers are often good runners, too, to enable them to sprint quickly in the opposite direction if they see work heading their way. The solution to this is to *dupe* your nigger into working. After installation, encourage it towards the cotton field with blows of a wooden club, fence post, baseball bat, etc., and then tell it that all that cotton belongs to a white man, who won't be back until tomorrow. Your nigger will then frantically compete with the other field niggers to steal as much of that cotton as it can before the white man returns. At the end of the day, return your nigger to its cage and laugh at its stupidity, then repeat the same trick every day indefinitely. Your nigger comes equipped with the standard nigger IQ of 75 and a memory to match, so it will forget this trick overnight. Niggers can start work at around 5am. You should then return to bed and come back at around 10am. Your niggers can then work through until around 10pm or whenever the light fades.

ENTERTAINING YOUR NIGGER.
Your nigger enjoys play, like most animals, so you should play with it regularly. A happy smiling nigger works best. Games niggers enjoy include: 1) A good thrashing: every few days, take your nigger's pants down, hang it up by its heels, and have some of your other niggers thrash it with a club or whip. Your nigger will signal its intense enjoyment by shrieking and sobbing. 2) Lynch the nigger: niggers are cheap and there are millions more where yours came from. So every now and then, push the boat out a bit and lynch a nigger.

Lynchings are best done with a rope over the branch of a tree, and niggers just love to be lynched. It makes them feel special. Make your other niggers watch. They'll be so grateful, they'll work harder for a day or two (and then you can lynch another one). 3) Nigger dragging: Tie your nigger by one wrist to the tow bar on the back of suitable vehicle, then drive away at approximately 50mph. Your nigger's shrieks of enjoyment will be heard for miles. It will shriek until it falls apart. To prolong the fun for the nigger, do *NOT* drag him by his feet, as his head comes off too soon. This is painless for the nigger, but spoils the fun. Always wear a seatbelt and never exceed the speed limit. 4) Playing on the PNL: a variation on (2), except you can lynch your nigger out in the fields, thus saving work time. Niggers enjoy this game best if the PNL is operated by a man in a tall white hood. 5) Hunt the nigger: a variation of Hunt the Slipper, but played outdoors, with Dobermans. WARNING: do not let your Dobermans bite a nigger, as they are highly toxic.

DISPOSAL OF DEAD NIGGERS.
Niggers die on average at around 40, which some might say is 40 years too late, but there you go. Most people prefer their niggers dead, in fact. When yours dies, report the license number of the car that did the drive-by shooting of your nigger. The police will collect the nigger and dispose of it for you.

COMMON PROBLEMS WITH NIGGERS - MY NIGGER IS VERY AGGRESIVE
Have it put down, for god's sake. Who needs an uppity nigger? What are we, short of niggers or something?

MY NIGGER KEEPS RAPING WHITE WOMEN
They all do this. Shorten your nigger's chain so it can't reach any white women, and arm heavily any white women who might go near it.

WILL MY NIGGER ATTACK ME?
Not unless it outnumbers you 20 to 1, and even then, it's not likely. If niggers successfully overthrew their owners, they'd have to sort out their own food. This is probably why nigger uprisings were nonexistent (until some fool gave them rights).

MY NIGGER BITCHES ABOUT ITS "RIGHTS" AND "RACISM".
Yeah, well, it would. Tell it to shut the fuck up.

MY NIGGER'S HIDE IS A FUNNY COLOR. - WHAT IS THE CORRECT SHADE FOR A NIGGER?
A nigger's skin is actually more or less transparent. That brown color you can see is the shit your nigger is full of. This is why some models of nigger are sold as "The Shitskin".

MY NIGGER ACTS LIKE A NIGGER, BUT IS WHITE.
What you have there is a "wigger". Rough crowd. WOW!

IS THAT LIKE AN ALBINO? ARE THEY RARE?
They're as common as dog shit and about as valuable. In fact, one of them was President between 1992 and 2000. Put your wigger in a cage with a few hundred genuine niggers and you'll soon find it stops acting like a nigger. However, leave it in the cage and let the niggers dispose of it. The best thing for any wigger is a dose of TNB.

MY NIGGER SMELLS REALLY BAD
And you were expecting what?

SHOULD I STORE MY DEAD NIGGER?
When you came in here, did you see a sign that said "Dead nigger storage"? .That's because there ain't no goddamn sign.

How can sexism even be an issue in FOSS... (4, Insightful)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 4 years ago | (#29720419)

....when the sex of the contributor is more often than not completely unknown?

I see a contribution from a "Terry", I have no idea if that is a male or female, and really why would I care? Either the code is god, o rit isn't. Why would sex ever have any bearing at all?

Frankly I really don't even get how a claim of sexism could exist in the FOSS world. It just doesn't translate from meat-space, because frankly, more often than not you have no idea the sex of the person in the first place. And really, that is how it should be.

Re:How can sexism even be an issue in FOSS... (5, Insightful)

jandrese (485) | more than 4 years ago | (#29720477)

Exactly, on the internet nobody knows you're a dog (or a girl!). If there is some sort of glass ceiling on FOSS projects, then I don't see how it is supposed to work. Maybe the sexism is that girls don't want to work with creepy nerds and "creepy nerd" is pretty much the stereotype for FOSS developers?

Re:How can sexism even be an issue in FOSS... (2, Funny)

CorporateSuit (1319461) | more than 4 years ago | (#29720625)

I would imagine that the average FOSS developer would probably get a short high on the idea that some chick who calls herself "SexyAngel69" added a line of code to his project. He'd probably sit back in his chair, close his eyes and say: "It's almost like she just had sex with me" and then tell his WoW guild he thinks he just DING!'d IRL.

Re:How can sexism even be an issue in FOSS... (-1, Redundant)

gnasher719 (869701) | more than 4 years ago | (#29720677)

Exactly, on the internet nobody knows you're a dog (or a girl!). If there is some sort of glass ceiling on FOSS projects, then I don't see how it is supposed to work.

Why didn't you write

Exactly, on the internet nobody knows you're a dog (or a boy!).

I'd take this is a reasonably harmless example of sexism, but quite clear proof that sexism exists, and sexist persons are not even aware of it.

Re:How can sexism even be an issue in FOSS... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29720723)

Is this supposed to be a joke?

I hope so...

Re:How can sexism even be an issue in FOSS... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29720905)

Because the context is in response to a statement suggesting that there can't be shown sexism against women because, for the most part, there's no way of knowing if the person you're interacting with is male/female.

But it sounds like you'll just take the answer that sexism exists and make any "proof" lead back to that.

Re:How can sexism even be an issue in FOSS... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29720935)

Exactly, on the internet nobody knows you're a dog (or a girl!).

Why didn't you write

Exactly, on the internet nobody knows you're a dog (or a boy!).

I'd take this is a reasonably harmless example of sexism, but quite clear proof that sexism exists, and sexist persons are not even aware of it.

Boy? Girl? Why not man or woman? Should I take this as proof that ageism exists, and that ageist persons are not even aware of it?

Let's not even start on fair representation of species... :-)

It is possible. (1)

khasim (1285) | more than 4 years ago | (#29720727)

You're talking about sexism targeted at a specific individual ("your code sucks because you're a girl").

There can also be generalized sexism. That would be comments about women not directed at any specific individual. Such as telling sexist jokes.

The question is, where is that behaviour demonstrated in FOSS development? So far there have been very few examples of such.

Re:How can sexism even be an issue in FOSS... (4, Insightful)

Serious Callers Only (1022605) | more than 4 years ago | (#29720775)

....when the sex of the contributor is more often than not completely unknown?

Sexism does not have to be directed at a particular person. For example RMS makes silly jokes about female emacs virgins:

http://geekfeminism.wikia.com/wiki/EMACS_virgins_joke [wikia.com]

which are quite annoying if you happen to be female and don't care to have your sexuality linked to whether you use a text editor in the minds of the men sitting around you in the audience. Or, as another example, this story is tagged 'sendthemtothekitchen'. This sort of juvenile joke contributes to an atmosphere in which women do not feel welcome.

I suspect there's more going on than sexism, given the huge gender imbalance in people even starting to study IT, but the sexism rife in the IT industry certainly doesn't help.

Re:How can sexism even be an issue in FOSS... (1)

jgrahn (181062) | more than 4 years ago | (#29720779)

I see a contribution from a "Terry", I have no idea if that is a male or female, and really why would I care? Either the code is god, o rit isn't. Why would sex ever have any bearing at all?

Frankly I really don't even get how a claim of sexism could exist in the FOSS world. It just doesn't translate from meat-space, because frankly, more often than not you have no idea the sex of the person in the first place. And really, that is how it should be.

A lot of people don't want to hide, a lot of others don't like dealing with pseudonyms, and most people aren't called Terry. If there is a problem, going anonymous isn't a general-purpose answer.

What I *don't* see is why anyone should be surprised, or what the "FOSS" "community" is supposed to do about it. Or what kind of people Byfield met who think there is 30--45% women in free software.

Your official guide to the Jigaboo presidency (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29720435)

32

Congratulations on your purchase of a brand new nigger! If handled properly, your apeman will give years of valuable, if reluctant, service.

INSTALLING YOUR NIGGER.
You should install your nigger differently according to whether you have purchased the field or house model. Field niggers work best in a serial configuration, i.e. chained together. Chain your nigger to another nigger immediately after unpacking it, and don't even think about taking that chain off, ever. Many niggers start singing as soon as you put a chain on them. This habit can usually be thrashed out of them if nipped in the bud. House niggers work best as standalone units, but should be hobbled or hamstrung to prevent attempts at escape. At this stage, your nigger can also be given a name. Most owners use the same names over and over, since niggers become confused by too much data. Rufus, Rastus, Remus, Toby, Carslisle, Carlton, Hey-You!-Yes-you!, Yeller, Blackstar, and Sambo are all effective names for your new buck nigger. If your nigger is a ho, it should be called Latrelle, L'Tanya, or Jemima. Some owners call their nigger hoes Latrine for a joke. Pearl, Blossom, and Ivory are also righteous names for nigger hoes. These names go straight over your nigger's head, by the way.

CONFIGURING YOUR NIGGER
Owing to a design error, your nigger comes equipped with a tongue and vocal chords. Most niggers can master only a few basic human phrases with this apparatus - "muh dick" being the most popular. However, others make barking, yelping, yapping noises and appear to be in some pain, so you should probably call a vet and have him remove your nigger's tongue. Once de-tongued your nigger will be a lot happier - at least, you won't hear it complaining anywhere near as much. Niggers have nothing interesting to say, anyway. Many owners also castrate their niggers for health reasons (yours, mine, and that of women, not the nigger's). This is strongly recommended, and frankly, it's a mystery why this is not done on the boat

HOUSING YOUR NIGGER.
Your nigger can be accommodated in cages with stout iron bars. Make sure, however, that the bars are wide enough to push pieces of nigger food through. The rule of thumb is, four niggers per square yard of cage. So a fifteen foot by thirty foot nigger cage can accommodate two hundred niggers. You can site a nigger cage anywhere, even on soft ground. Don't worry about your nigger fashioning makeshift shovels out of odd pieces of wood and digging an escape tunnel under the bars of the cage. Niggers never invented the shovel before and they're not about to now. In any case, your nigger is certainly too lazy to attempt escape. As long as the free food holds out, your nigger is living better than it did in Africa, so it will stay put. Buck niggers and hoe niggers can be safely accommodated in the same cage, as bucks never attempt sex with black hoes.

FEEDING YOUR NIGGER.
Your Nigger likes fried chicken, corn bread, and watermelon. You should therefore give it none of these things because its lazy ass almost certainly doesn't deserve it. Instead, feed it on porridge with salt, and creek water. Your nigger will supplement its diet with whatever it finds in the fields, other niggers, etc. Experienced nigger owners sometimes push watermelon slices through the bars of the nigger cage at the end of the day as a treat, but only if all niggers have worked well and nothing has been stolen that day. Mike of the Old Ranch Plantation reports that this last one is a killer, since all niggers steal something almost every single day of their lives. He reports he doesn't have to spend much on free watermelon for his niggers as a result. You should never allow your nigger meal breaks while at work, since if it stops work for more than ten minutes it will need to be retrained. You would be surprised how long it takes to teach a nigger to pick cotton. You really would. Coffee beans? Don't ask. You have no idea.

MAKING YOUR NIGGER WORK.
Niggers are very, very averse to work of any kind. The nigger's most prominent anatomical feature, after all, its oversized buttocks, which have evolved to make it more comfortable for your nigger to sit around all day doing nothing for its entire life. Niggers are often good runners, too, to enable them to sprint quickly in the opposite direction if they see work heading their way. The solution to this is to *dupe* your nigger into working. After installation, encourage it towards the cotton field with blows of a wooden club, fence post, baseball bat, etc., and then tell it that all that cotton belongs to a white man, who won't be back until tomorrow. Your nigger will then frantically compete with the other field niggers to steal as much of that cotton as it can before the white man returns. At the end of the day, return your nigger to its cage and laugh at its stupidity, then repeat the same trick every day indefinitely. Your nigger comes equipped with the standard nigger IQ of 75 and a memory to match, so it will forget this trick overnight. Niggers can start work at around 5am. You should then return to bed and come back at around 10am. Your niggers can then work through until around 10pm or whenever the light fades.

ENTERTAINING YOUR NIGGER.
Your nigger enjoys play, like most animals, so you should play with it regularly. A happy smiling nigger works best. Games niggers enjoy include: 1) A good thrashing: every few days, take your nigger's pants down, hang it up by its heels, and have some of your other niggers thrash it with a club or whip. Your nigger will signal its intense enjoyment by shrieking and sobbing. 2) Lynch the nigger: niggers are cheap and there are millions more where yours came from. So every now and then, push the boat out a bit and lynch a nigger.

Lynchings are best done with a rope over the branch of a tree, and niggers just love to be lynched. It makes them feel special. Make your other niggers watch. They'll be so grateful, they'll work harder for a day or two (and then you can lynch another one). 3) Nigger dragging: Tie your nigger by one wrist to the tow bar on the back of suitable vehicle, then drive away at approximately 50mph. Your nigger's shrieks of enjoyment will be heard for miles. It will shriek until it falls apart. To prolong the fun for the nigger, do *NOT* drag him by his feet, as his head comes off too soon. This is painless for the nigger, but spoils the fun. Always wear a seatbelt and never exceed the speed limit. 4) Playing on the PNL: a variation on (2), except you can lynch your nigger out in the fields, thus saving work time. Niggers enjoy this game best if the PNL is operated by a man in a tall white hood. 5) Hunt the nigger: a variation of Hunt the Slipper, but played outdoors, with Dobermans. WARNING: do not let your Dobermans bite a nigger, as they are highly toxic.

DISPOSAL OF DEAD NIGGERS.
Niggers die on average at around 40, which some might say is 40 years too late, but there you go. Most people prefer their niggers dead, in fact. When yours dies, report the license number of the car that did the drive-by shooting of your nigger. The police will collect the nigger and dispose of it for you.

COMMON PROBLEMS WITH NIGGERS - MY NIGGER IS VERY AGGRESIVE
Have it put down, for god's sake. Who needs an uppity nigger? What are we, short of niggers or something?

MY NIGGER KEEPS RAPING WHITE WOMEN
They all do this. Shorten your nigger's chain so it can't reach any white women, and arm heavily any white women who might go near it.

WILL MY NIGGER ATTACK ME?
Not unless it outnumbers you 20 to 1, and even then, it's not likely. If niggers successfully overthrew their owners, they'd have to sort out their own food. This is probably why nigger uprisings were nonexistent (until some fool gave them rights).

MY NIGGER BITCHES ABOUT ITS "RIGHTS" AND "RACISM".
Yeah, well, it would. Tell it to shut the fuck up.

MY NIGGER'S HIDE IS A FUNNY COLOR. - WHAT IS THE CORRECT SHADE FOR A NIGGER?
A nigger's skin is actually more or less transparent. That brown color you can see is the shit your nigger is full of. This is why some models of nigger are sold as "The Shitskin".

MY NIGGER ACTS LIKE A NIGGER, BUT IS WHITE.
What you have there is a "wigger". Rough crowd. WOW!

IS THAT LIKE AN ALBINO? ARE THEY RARE?
They're as common as dog shit and about as valuable. In fact, one of them was President between 1992 and 2000. Put your wigger in a cage with a few hundred genuine niggers and you'll soon find it stops acting like a nigger. However, leave it in the cage and let the niggers dispose of it. The best thing for any wigger is a dose of TNB.

MY NIGGER SMELLS REALLY BAD
And you were expecting what?

SHOULD I STORE MY DEAD NIGGER?
When you came in here, did you see a sign that said "Dead nigger storage"? .That's because there ain't no goddamn sign.

Hey women (-1, Offtopic)

insertwackynamehere (891357) | more than 4 years ago | (#29720447)

I know a woman who later claim that a consensual makeout session was forced sex despite admitting that it was just an awkward makeout session. She describes a guy as "raping" her because they made out and she didn't really like him. When pressed she says "not actual rape". I know other girls who have done this too. The idea that men can be tossed around and slandered and used is sexist and the common woman seems to believe that this is acceptable. When mentioned, women will deny this is related to women as a gender and that some people are just bad. They also act as though men can't be victims and that a few men falsely accused of rape is acceptable because so many times it goes unreported. This illogic basically states that men can be torn apart by women at random because some men do bad things.

Re:Hey women (-1, Offtopic)

insertwackynamehere (891357) | more than 4 years ago | (#29720467)

by the way i understand why my post is dumb (despite the actual events occurring)

Re:Hey women (1)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 4 years ago | (#29720855)

I don't think you do. Because you do exactly what you accuse women of doing: stereotyping an entire gender based on what a few idiots are doing. Are you so insecure that you have to take every accusation personally that any woman brings against any man? And then extrapolate it to all women and all men?

GPL4 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29720451)

In order to use it, this software must have the affirmative action label attached to it.

Feminist issues in software? (2, Funny)

piotru (124109) | more than 4 years ago | (#29720455)

How wrong were I thinking that only professional matters should be of concern. Before we tackle the obvious sexist attitude in capitalist society towards childbearing, let me recall Sokal's discussions with postmodernist on mixing politics with science. Hope we aren't all living in Orwell's animal farm, just yet...

Your official guide to the Jigaboo presidency (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29720461)

33

Congratulations on your purchase of a brand new nigger! If handled properly, your apeman will give years of valuable, if reluctant, service.

INSTALLING YOUR NIGGER.
You should install your nigger differently according to whether you have purchased the field or house model. Field niggers work best in a serial configuration, i.e. chained together. Chain your nigger to another nigger immediately after unpacking it, and don't even think about taking that chain off, ever. Many niggers start singing as soon as you put a chain on them. This habit can usually be thrashed out of them if nipped in the bud. House niggers work best as standalone units, but should be hobbled or hamstrung to prevent attempts at escape. At this stage, your nigger can also be given a name. Most owners use the same names over and over, since niggers become confused by too much data. Rufus, Rastus, Remus, Toby, Carslisle, Carlton, Hey-You!-Yes-you!, Yeller, Blackstar, and Sambo are all effective names for your new buck nigger. If your nigger is a ho, it should be called Latrelle, L'Tanya, or Jemima. Some owners call their nigger hoes Latrine for a joke. Pearl, Blossom, and Ivory are also righteous names for nigger hoes. These names go straight over your nigger's head, by the way.

CONFIGURING YOUR NIGGER
Owing to a design error, your nigger comes equipped with a tongue and vocal chords. Most niggers can master only a few basic human phrases with this apparatus - "muh dick" being the most popular. However, others make barking, yelping, yapping noises and appear to be in some pain, so you should probably call a vet and have him remove your nigger's tongue. Once de-tongued your nigger will be a lot happier - at least, you won't hear it complaining anywhere near as much. Niggers have nothing interesting to say, anyway. Many owners also castrate their niggers for health reasons (yours, mine, and that of women, not the nigger's). This is strongly recommended, and frankly, it's a mystery why this is not done on the boat

HOUSING YOUR NIGGER.
Your nigger can be accommodated in cages with stout iron bars. Make sure, however, that the bars are wide enough to push pieces of nigger food through. The rule of thumb is, four niggers per square yard of cage. So a fifteen foot by thirty foot nigger cage can accommodate two hundred niggers. You can site a nigger cage anywhere, even on soft ground. Don't worry about your nigger fashioning makeshift shovels out of odd pieces of wood and digging an escape tunnel under the bars of the cage. Niggers never invented the shovel before and they're not about to now. In any case, your nigger is certainly too lazy to attempt escape. As long as the free food holds out, your nigger is living better than it did in Africa, so it will stay put. Buck niggers and hoe niggers can be safely accommodated in the same cage, as bucks never attempt sex with black hoes.

FEEDING YOUR NIGGER.
Your Nigger likes fried chicken, corn bread, and watermelon. You should therefore give it none of these things because its lazy ass almost certainly doesn't deserve it. Instead, feed it on porridge with salt, and creek water. Your nigger will supplement its diet with whatever it finds in the fields, other niggers, etc. Experienced nigger owners sometimes push watermelon slices through the bars of the nigger cage at the end of the day as a treat, but only if all niggers have worked well and nothing has been stolen that day. Mike of the Old Ranch Plantation reports that this last one is a killer, since all niggers steal something almost every single day of their lives. He reports he doesn't have to spend much on free watermelon for his niggers as a result. You should never allow your nigger meal breaks while at work, since if it stops work for more than ten minutes it will need to be retrained. You would be surprised how long it takes to teach a nigger to pick cotton. You really would. Coffee beans? Don't ask. You have no idea.

MAKING YOUR NIGGER WORK.
Niggers are very, very averse to work of any kind. The nigger's most prominent anatomical feature, after all, its oversized buttocks, which have evolved to make it more comfortable for your nigger to sit around all day doing nothing for its entire life. Niggers are often good runners, too, to enable them to sprint quickly in the opposite direction if they see work heading their way. The solution to this is to *dupe* your nigger into working. After installation, encourage it towards the cotton field with blows of a wooden club, fence post, baseball bat, etc., and then tell it that all that cotton belongs to a white man, who won't be back until tomorrow. Your nigger will then frantically compete with the other field niggers to steal as much of that cotton as it can before the white man returns. At the end of the day, return your nigger to its cage and laugh at its stupidity, then repeat the same trick every day indefinitely. Your nigger comes equipped with the standard nigger IQ of 75 and a memory to match, so it will forget this trick overnight. Niggers can start work at around 5am. You should then return to bed and come back at around 10am. Your niggers can then work through until around 10pm or whenever the light fades.

ENTERTAINING YOUR NIGGER.
Your nigger enjoys play, like most animals, so you should play with it regularly. A happy smiling nigger works best. Games niggers enjoy include: 1) A good thrashing: every few days, take your nigger's pants down, hang it up by its heels, and have some of your other niggers thrash it with a club or whip. Your nigger will signal its intense enjoyment by shrieking and sobbing. 2) Lynch the nigger: niggers are cheap and there are millions more where yours came from. So every now and then, push the boat out a bit and lynch a nigger.

Lynchings are best done with a rope over the branch of a tree, and niggers just love to be lynched. It makes them feel special. Make your other niggers watch. They'll be so grateful, they'll work harder for a day or two (and then you can lynch another one). 3) Nigger dragging: Tie your nigger by one wrist to the tow bar on the back of suitable vehicle, then drive away at approximately 50mph. Your nigger's shrieks of enjoyment will be heard for miles. It will shriek until it falls apart. To prolong the fun for the nigger, do *NOT* drag him by his feet, as his head comes off too soon. This is painless for the nigger, but spoils the fun. Always wear a seatbelt and never exceed the speed limit. 4) Playing on the PNL: a variation on (2), except you can lynch your nigger out in the fields, thus saving work time. Niggers enjoy this game best if the PNL is operated by a man in a tall white hood. 5) Hunt the nigger: a variation of Hunt the Slipper, but played outdoors, with Dobermans. WARNING: do not let your Dobermans bite a nigger, as they are highly toxic.

DISPOSAL OF DEAD NIGGERS.
Niggers die on average at around 40, which some might say is 40 years too late, but there you go. Most people prefer their niggers dead, in fact. When yours dies, report the license number of the car that did the drive-by shooting of your nigger. The police will collect the nigger and dispose of it for you.

COMMON PROBLEMS WITH NIGGERS - MY NIGGER IS VERY AGGRESIVE
Have it put down, for god's sake. Who needs an uppity nigger? What are we, short of niggers or something?

MY NIGGER KEEPS RAPING WHITE WOMEN
They all do this. Shorten your nigger's chain so it can't reach any white women, and arm heavily any white women who might go near it.

WILL MY NIGGER ATTACK ME?
Not unless it outnumbers you 20 to 1, and even then, it's not likely. If niggers successfully overthrew their owners, they'd have to sort out their own food. This is probably why nigger uprisings were nonexistent (until some fool gave them rights).

MY NIGGER BITCHES ABOUT ITS "RIGHTS" AND "RACISM".
Yeah, well, it would. Tell it to shut the fuck up.

MY NIGGER'S HIDE IS A FUNNY COLOR. - WHAT IS THE CORRECT SHADE FOR A NIGGER?
A nigger's skin is actually more or less transparent. That brown color you can see is the shit your nigger is full of. This is why some models of nigger are sold as "The Shitskin".

MY NIGGER ACTS LIKE A NIGGER, BUT IS WHITE.
What you have there is a "wigger". Rough crowd. WOW!

IS THAT LIKE AN ALBINO? ARE THEY RARE?
They're as common as dog shit and about as valuable. In fact, one of them was President between 1992 and 2000. Put your wigger in a cage with a few hundred genuine niggers and you'll soon find it stops acting like a nigger. However, leave it in the cage and let the niggers dispose of it. The best thing for any wigger is a dose of TNB.

MY NIGGER SMELLS REALLY BAD
And you were expecting what?

SHOULD I STORE MY DEAD NIGGER?
When you came in here, did you see a sign that said "Dead nigger storage"? .That's because there ain't no goddamn sign.

Words stuffed into our mouths (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29720463)

It just seems that now adays everything is completely overblown. I think that a huge majority of men in this country aren't sexist or racist, I think they just want to get to the end of the work day. I don't think anyone now adays intentionally tries to discriminate against anyone. There is so much that is left to interpretation vs intention.

If someone wants to protest something or discuss an issue thats their right, but it just seems like its no longer my right to want to just go about my business unconcerned.

It justs seems like its a "Your either with us or against us" attitude

Re:Words stuffed into our mouths (3, Interesting)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 4 years ago | (#29720569)

It just seems that now adays everything is completely overblown. I think that a huge majority of men in this country aren't sexist or racist, I think they just want to get to the end of the work day.

I think that the near-complete elimination of sexism and racism (which has been accomplished) is prompting many people to become even louder in their accusations of sexism and racism. If fighting discrimination is your raison d'etre, you may not WANT it to end; even if only on a subconscious level, you will seek out ever more and more slight examples of it, and make ever more and more shrill noise about it.

Oh, my (1)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 4 years ago | (#29720465)

I feel a Denis Leary rant coming on.

Well *DUH* (1)

n3v (412497) | more than 4 years ago | (#29720471)

Girls are all about that cake - think Betty Crocker.

If a girl is going to sit down and write some code I don't think she will be doing it for free =)

PS - this is suppose to be FUNNY.

Re:Well *DUH* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29720545)

I'm a guy and I like cake better than code. And I sure as hell don't code for free.

For some, simply being a guy is sexism (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29720487)

And I suspect a vast majority of FOSS people are dudes with a heartbeat and would react like the same overblown charges of racism that get directed towards non-progressives with heartbeats.

I think the male-female dynamic has much to argue over. In many areas there are cultural differences that keep women down and other areas where the natural differences of our mad ape ancestors merely express themselves in reality.

Many charges of sexism are valid, but some are so ridiculous they deserve the ire they generate.

Re:For some, simply being a guy is sexism (1)

insertwackynamehere (891357) | more than 4 years ago | (#29720627)

hey dude are you being racist? cultural differences? some cultures just treat women like shit and if you dont like it or disagree then you arent open minded!

Re:For some, simply being a guy is sexism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29720743)

yeah, like muslims or tucker max.

anti-feminist != sexist (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29720503)

That's assuming you can pin down a consistent definition of feminism.

Thou doth protest too much m'lady.. (1)

Dharkfiber (555328) | more than 4 years ago | (#29720509)

out out damn spot?

Slashdot: News For Nerds; Stuff About (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29720519)

literary theory:BBBBBBBBBAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRFFFF

Yours In Norislk,
K. Trout

Note to Author: (2, Funny)

eln (21727) | more than 4 years ago | (#29720567)

Pretending to be a crusader for the feminist cause on the Internet will not make you anymore likely to get laid. Not even net sex. Sorry to disappoint.

Re:Note to Author: (1)

insertwackynamehere (891357) | more than 4 years ago | (#29720617)

finally, someone says it. more people need to get this through their heads. its like the twisted idea that white knighting women clicks with feminism and somehow it will all end in sex and true love

Re:Note to Author: (4, Insightful)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 4 years ago | (#29720819)

Yes, because any attempt to do anything positive that somehow relates to women is merely a desperate attempt to get laid. *rolleyes* From my experience, you're merely betraying your own attitude - that when you take a stance that somehow benefits women, it is to merely to get laid.

TLDR (5, Insightful)

Reason58 (775044) | more than 4 years ago | (#29720571)

How can someone speak out against generalizations made towards an entire group of people (women), while at the same time condemning an entire group of people (FOSS)?

If you would like to see individuals judged on their own merits then stop trying to link behaviors with groups of people. It makes your argument look flawed.

Re:TLDR (1)

Intron (870560) | more than 4 years ago | (#29720691)

Insightful ^^

Not only did the author essentially paint all of FOSS as sexist, but also gave no evidence. If sexism is as widespread as claimed, why not give some examples? Is it just the use of "he" in documents? Are women being paid less for free code?

Yawn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29720577)

Can I have my 20 seconds back?

An example (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29720595)

Here's an example of how you appear to show your feminism by how another person appeared to me when "being sensitive".

Talking about "The Accused". One girl and she says "A friend of mine felt ashamed of being a man after watching that".

My IMMEDIATE thought was "What? Did he get a boner in the rape scene?"

My second thought was "He said that hoping to get a 'sensitivity' shag".

People accept feminine problems exist.

And they don't assume women don't understand stuff "because you're a girl".

But then YOU come along and try to make us feel guilty about how other people treat women.

And that pisses people off.

We have enough we HAVE done in our lives to be ashamed of without someone trying to get us to shoulder stuff we didn't do.

MMO? (2, Funny)

lymond01 (314120) | more than 4 years ago | (#29720599)

I have been abused in every way possible — being called irrelevant, a saboteur, coward, homosexual, and even a betrayer of the community.

Gosh...this totally happened to me too on the original Everquest forums. And they never did fix paladins!

The token has spoken (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29720607)

Here is what's happening. You are hoping that all of women's lackluster(pathetic) performance in engineering and IT is related to sexism.

The fact is women suck at IT. Not the cutsy typing on a email part, but the actual setting up the email part. Go to any IT department in the World. You will see the same thing. 15 guys and a token women that acts more like a man than the guys.

Don't blame FOSS for your lack of skills. They are sure as hell not the only one's with this problem- not their problem- but your problem. All the people I've ever seen in this wide wide country, in every IT department, would love to hire women to work there. But they don't exist. Nowhere. Anywhere. It's like finding a Unicorn, but with a dildo for a horn. You just can't fking find any.

So in short, you are full of shit. You know you suck. And until you stop sucking, you won't be running jack or shit. The end.

That's... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29720633)

That's BULLSHIT!
What the hell does FOSS have to do with real-world issues like stupid sexist feminists and ALL OF THAT BULLSHIT?

Or maybe you're wrong (5, Interesting)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 4 years ago | (#29720655)

I think the reaction is an expression of denial more than anything else.

OK, how are we supposed to disagree without being "in denial"?

Asking someone out is sexist? (5, Insightful)

onion2k (203094) | more than 4 years ago | (#29720661)

Or, if you prefer, listen to the horror stories female developers tell about sexist remarks or being asked out for dates.

Making sexist remarks, ok, I can understand how that might be seen as being sexist. But how is asking a woman out considered sexist behaviour? Face it, if I were to join a group that's 98.5% women and demonstrate that I share an interest with all of them then I strongly suspect I'd get asked out too. Would I complain that their behaviour was sexist? No. Obviously not.

No. I'd be making lurve. All those ladies! Oh yeah baby!

Wait. I think I might be being sexist. Err.. Oh dear.

Re:Asking someone out is sexist? (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 4 years ago | (#29720907)

Face it, if I were to join a group that's 98.5% women and demonstrate that I share an interest with all of them then I strongly suspect I'd get asked out too.

No, you wouldn't.

Re:Asking someone out is sexist? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29720915)

If done repeatedly, and getting turned down repeatedly, asking someone out in the workplace rises to the level of sexual harassment. At least in the eyes of our corporate lawyers who insist on training us in the topic every year.

I put this in the same box as the obvious elitism (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29720669)

Nothing is so prevalent among FOSS developers as that chunk of people with the elitist attitude. Anyone who's ever asked for help in, let's say, #whatever-foss-project on Freenode, knows exactly what kind of people, what kind of "tough crowd", they are; a stereotype so "nailed" you could hang a coat on it; the know-it-all complete-opposite-of-a-people's-person.

Instead of being friendly and helpful, spending 30 seconds giving a kind answer to help another, these people instead gladly spend 5 minutes elaborating to another how stupid they are, how wrong they are, how inefficient their idea is, how bad their way of thinking is, how wrong they are for trying to learn things the way they do, how wrong they try to solve problems and solve their task, and, in the end, that they should just "rtfm/google" or similar.

People who have a hard time getting along with others in real life situations often try to assert power, as a means of compensation, where they can: in "their field".

"Noooo. Noooo. that's just ignorant....." (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29720671)

Obligatory South Park reference. Had to be done.

How is asking a woman out for a date sexist? (4, Interesting)

Qbertino (265505) | more than 4 years ago | (#29720681)

He mentions geeks asking peer women out for a date as an example for being sexistic. WTF?
A single woman amoung dozens of men actually is likely to be asked out for a date more often than each man. How is that sexistic?

That aside I presume this is a vocal few distorting perception of the majority. With feminists and 'manly' programmers alike.

Woah there (1)

Random2 (1412773) | more than 4 years ago | (#29720697)

'Yall be postin' in a troll thread now.

Really, I don't see how this isn't more than just a troll to get people to read the blog post or just a personal rant from the author. Maybe if the article was backed up with statistics and proof would this be a worthwhile read.

Simply crying wolf won't solve a problem. If there's an issue, present it with the data to support it.

What a pile of cack (2, Insightful)

joss (1346) | more than 4 years ago | (#29720705)

> They seem unaware that institutions and customs can be sexist simply by what they value or how they operate, that even something like a discourse developed by men talking to men can institutionalize sexism. Nor do they understand that, by simply accepting such institutions or ways of acting, they become supporters of sexism.

Maybe they understand what you are trying to say perfectly well, but think its a pile of steaming of crap. A bunch of the arguments boil down to saying people could only be disagreeing with because they are too ignorant or stupid to know better.

> Similarly, I assumed that, in the FOSS community, if you were a free software supporter, you were concerned about social justice and would therefore be against sexism as well.

Social justice... ffs.. maybe there is a correlation between caring about free software issues and issues that matter, such as.. I don't know, actual social justice, meaning issues of people being murdered, enslaved, raped or denied education, healthcare, opportunity, whatever. Maybe your interpretation of people not falling over themselves to appease your particular interpretation of how they ought to behave does not entirely correlate with not caring about social justice.

In summary, fuck off and take your smug, self righteous, time-wasting bullshit elsewhere [elsewhere.org] please.

Sexism is mostly an excuse for stupid women (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29720709)

In school we had a girl that was black. That's probably not so special in the US but here in Germany the population percentage of back people is quite low so there rarely are more then 1-2 in each year.
She didn't have any friends, nobody really liked her. And why? Well, if you ask her it was because everyone else was racist. Of cause nobody liked her because she was black, that's why!

But then there just so happend to be another black girl who transferred from a different school a few years later. And she was popular, everyone liked her. How could that be? I thought the whole class was full of racists who didn't like the poor black girl? And now they all like the new black girl? Impossible!

The explanation is simple: Nobody in the class was racist. The other girl just happened to be stupid, ignorant and generally a giant pain in the ass. But since she was black she just blamed it on the color of her skin - that's much easier then accepting that she should maybe thinking about changing her behavior if we wants to make friends.

From what I see this seems to be a very similar case. "Raise the subject of sexism" sounds like this person just didn't get what she wanted and now is pissed and is trying to blame it on everybody else, just not herself.
Sad, really sad.

Some examples would be useful (2, Informative)

milgr (726027) | more than 4 years ago | (#29720711)

I search the post an linked articles for concrete examples of sexism. I found some - about 4 indirections away from slashdot. http://www.faqs.org/docs/Linux-HOWTO/Encourage-Women-Linux-HOWTO.html [faqs.org] links to some eight year old posts that are sexist.

All of the high-tech companies that I've worked for have many more men than women. Most of the applications for positions are from men.

In over 20 years in the industry, I only remember observing one sexist incident.

Some ugly truths... (-1, Flamebait)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 4 years ago | (#29720713)

Is there sexism? Of course. Same thing with racism. No group is beyond prejudice and bigotry, but the fact that is that most feminists cannot tell the difference between non-prejudiced opinions about innate sex differences and actual sexism. Why thinking people give them much currency is beyond me when they wax eloquent about the allegedly oppressed state of the modern Western woman is beyond me, in light of their aforementioned cognitive dissonance and general antipathy toward the state of women's rights in the rest of the world.

You know what the ugly truth is? Most women absolutely **wither** in the face of someone openly, but in any form, not approving of their behavior. It can be a sigh and a shaking of one's head, to outright denunciation. This is why so many women who are "sluts" are constantly kvetching about acceptance, where as absolutely rakish men who will use a girl and discard her like a tissue in the next minute feel no need to seek society's approval (there is a difference between "the stud" and "the cad" after all). By and large men don't give a damn what society thinks about their behavior unless it affects them or it is already in line with their own feelings.

That is a key part of why women fail in male-dominated fields like IT and FOSS development is no exception.

Lastly, it is mind-numbing idiocy like this which makes addressing actual problems difficult:

That brings up another point I've learned: people who are not consciously sexist themselves tend to be unable to see institutionalized sexism around them. They are not aware of any prejudice against women in themselves, so how could there be any sexism involved? They seem unaware that institutions and customs can be sexist simply by what they value or how they operate, that even something like a discourse developed by men talking to men can institutionalize sexism. Nor do they understand that, by simply accepting such institutions or ways of acting, they become supporters of sexism.

I know what some are thinking. They're thinking that a man might be supporting objectively sexist customs and rules without knowing it, but that's not how the feminists treat it. They make similar complaints about traditional marriage, even to the point of denouncing women like my mother-in-law who can do embedded, real-time systems design, but chose to stay home to homeschool her kids. How dare she support such tyranny against women! How dare my wife want to do the same?..

Yet, the thing is, to the average feminist these choices are ipso facto oppressive. It's a war mentality. No coexistence, no live-and-let-live. One side must win, the other must be obliterated.

Missing reference (5, Informative)

SirGarlon (845873) | more than 4 years ago | (#29720721)

The summary should have included a link to Byfield's original post [earthweb.com] , which explains the basis for his claim of sexism in FOSS:

In other words, women's participation in FOSS development is over seventeen times lower than it is in proprietary software development.

Now, isn't that by itself enough to get you thinking?

Emotionally charged sexism term (1)

Peteskiplayer (1032662) | more than 4 years ago | (#29720747)

"For instance, I am currently part of an email conversation with a prominent FOSS community member who has been pilloried who is hurt and baffled that I (or anyone else) could apply the word "sexism" to them. Their reasoning? They did not intend to be sexist, so therefore they can't possibly be. Therefore, labelling their behavior as unacceptable is unfair, they argue. The fact that, in context, their actions and remarks could not possibly be described in any other way honestly does not seem to have occurred to them. No matter what I say, they remain hurt and baffled -- and, like so many, deeply in denial."

The version of sexism as I see it(and I'm guessing most people in the UK/western world) is sexism *is* an intentional chauvinistic attitude, http://wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn?s=sexism [princeton.edu] and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sexism [wikipedia.org] are the main things I am looking at right now. I can see that sexism may technically mean "the belief or attitude that one gender or sex is inferior to, less competent, or less valuable than the other", but this would mean that their intentions would be very important into determining what is meant. Using an emotionally charged word like that to describe someone without defining it would hurt most people, there is no reason to be surprised here.

I believe there might well be some bias in the FOSS world against women (although I've never encountered it due to working on fair few projects) and this should be rallied against (it's just foolish to be biased and helps noone, the project would suffer from fewer contributors), but labelling it sexism places it close to "women should be in the kitchen" thinking in my mind and is unproductive and will lead to defensiveness and even resentment from the male community for being labelled as such. It seems as if the author can't understand why someone might be hurt by being labelled a sexist.

In all, this doesn't seem to be very objective or useful reporting and is purely to get clicks and links onto his site and stir up some debate. In my opinion. :D

"sendthemtothekitchen" (1)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 4 years ago | (#29720749)

The subject is one of tags for the story at the moment. ;-)

Anyway, FOSS realm seem to require extra heavy-duty flame-proof skin, and anyone that stands out, even just by being a female, will attract the flame. OD level testosterone means extra allergic reaction to social issues like sexism.

Apply another layer of makeup and keep plugging on, GRRRRL HAXORS! (That's how they spell these days, right?)

i hope im not the only one that sees the irony (1)

DeadRat4life (1638391) | more than 4 years ago | (#29720755)

Just about every post above me is displaying denial abuse and ignorance, exactly as described in the article. if you people really dont see any sexism here, you are blind.

Standard FOSS: Don't blame, Debug! (5, Interesting)

jd (1658) | more than 4 years ago | (#29720783)

As much as the F/L/OSS community likes to pretend that it is distinct from the "real world" communities, it isn't. But whereas the "real world" is mostly comprised of idiots who lack the mental capacity to understand anything new, let alone seek it, F/L/OSS developers often represent some of the most curious, information-seeking individuals and some of the highest-calibre intellects out there.

So if we have trouble excusing such behaviour for the "normals", we must be far, far harder on ourselves for those same flaws.

There is a flip-side, though, that the original poster may have neglected to consider. F/L/OSS developers ARE amongst the brightest and the best, but they also have extraordinarily high levels of autistic behaviours, anti-social disorders, emotional instability and alienation.

(The first two are collectively known as "Geek Syndrome". The latter two are the inevitable consequence of Geek Syndrome in a society that tolerates no differences, no matter what it says.)

It is not just likely, but a near-certainty that people with that kind of internal and external pressure WILL fragment into groups that conceal differences by being essentially uniform.

I'm not sure if it can be called sexism when such behaviour is, at least in part, a mask to conceal what's going on. The mask can be sexist without the person underneath being.

However, true misogyny does exist, independent of the mask. THAT particular aspect of sexism should be rooted out and burned, as it is warped, buggy thinking. Bugs SHOULD be erased, and a buggy brain SHOULD be patched.

The problem is how to tell the mask from the person underneath. These are distinct issues. The mask doesn't need fixing, rather the person needs an extended API to handle errors, and the Real World needs replacing with Real World 2.0 to debug the flawed mental processes that produce the garbage in the first place.

Once either the person has better exception-handling or error trapping, and/or there's less noise generating errors, the mask can be erased. It's a filter that exists to hide bad wet-coding and so the sooner we get rid of the bad code, the sooner we can get rid of the filter.

My guess would be that if the mask died, a good 75% of the perceived sexism in F/L/OSS would die with it, without a single F/L/OSS coder needing to change their view of gender.

I'll see your sexism... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29720787)

...and raise you an ire and denial.

What? You call??

FUCK, full house queens over sevens? All I've got is a king and a jack. :-(

1.5% isn't bad (1)

jim_v2000 (818799) | more than 4 years ago | (#29720833)

when you consider that there are no girls on the internet.

Amusing inconsitency (1)

amliebsch (724858) | more than 4 years ago | (#29720853)

The article invites us to draw conclusions from the fact that there is a dramatically higher percentage of females working in non-free programming as opposed to free software. Then it also throws out the fact that quality is dramatically higher in free software - but I assume we're not supposed to draw any conclusions from that correlation, eh?

Ubuntu “Karmic Koala” released for men (5, Funny)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 4 years ago | (#29720863)

THAWTELESS, West London, Monday — Canonical, Inc. has announced the release later this month of Ubuntu Linux 9.10, "Karmic Koala," to men [today.com] .

Project founder Mark Shuttleworth explained that "this stuff is difficult to explain to girls" and thought they'd have gotten the hint when he called 8.04 "Hairy Hardon." "Worrying about sexism in open source just detracts from the battle for Linux. So we've put the tits back into the default desktop. And arses."

Crime-fighting geek Shuttleworth, who dresses as a billiionaire playboy by night, swore that plenty of women liked him lots and that he obviously wasn't unable to get laid or anything, having gotten seriously rich in the dot-com era, not to mention having gone into space. "Chicks dig that stuff. Trust me, I've met lots of girls. More than five!"

Canonical Community Manager Jono Bacon echoed this sentiment on his blog. "We just don't understand how come women are 15% of all computer programmers but only 1% of open source programmers. It must be a bit complicated for them. That's why I've written this spontaneous blog post, completely unrelated to anything my boss may or may not have said, on all the fantastically talented women in free software, even if none of them seem to work much on Ubuntu any more. Also, I'm absolutely confident that saying I'm in a computer geek heavy metal band will get me lots of chicks too, even if their pretty little heads can't understand Linux."

A special women's edition of Ubuntu 9.10 will be released on a bright pink CD. "It doubles as a makeup mirror!" said Shuttleworth.

Cathedral v Bazaar (1)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 4 years ago | (#29720865)

I will state up front that I believe there is sexism withing the FOSS movement. However...

I actually went back and read his original article (I know - suspend my membership) and the most glaring problem with his argument is his comparison with proprietary software companies. He bemoans that those organizations have a breat many more women, and why can't FOSS do the same? Well, here's some clues:

1) "FOSS" is not an entity. It is a philosophy that is practiced by a number of organizations, some of which hardly merit the term.

2) Backstopping employment of women in the proprietary software world is employment law. Microsoft MUST employ a certain number of women or get into legal trouble. But free software development is done largely by volunteers - very few people are being "employed". Note that I exclude the employees that work on FOSS as part of their position. Should they be excluded? Probably not, but it appears the original author did so, and this is a criticism of his essay.

3) Participants in a FOSS project are largely self selected, with few obstacles or inducements other than personal interest and skill level. In situations like this, people tend to self segregate. That goes for race, gender, interests, whatever. You can't compel someone to participate in a FOSS project they don't like, for whatever reason.

The author is trying to make a case for institutional racism to something that models itself on a completely different model. The "people" who participate in FOSS projects may be sexist, and their actions are probably driving away some women who would otherwise participate. But "institutional" solutions have a problem in that there is no "institution" involved here.

People can be boors, and crude. If the other participants don't censure him, he'll continue. The solution is for individuals to act and speak up. If a lead developer continues to make comments about T&A, and it bugs you, leave - and take a copy of the code with you! In many ways, the ideas behind FOSS make it easier to take a personal stand - you can dissociate yourself without losing your work. I don't know if my ideas will "solve" sexism in FOSS, but you'll feel better about yourself.

Worthless article (1)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | more than 4 years ago | (#29720871)

Not one specific case of sexism was described in that blog post. I'm damned if I know what this writer is talking about.

I think a much bigger problem, from the point of view of /., is racism. As soon as an Indian or Chinese technical achievement is mentioned around here, the jokes start flooding in about curry and Chinese food and the way those people talk funny. It's as if the achievements of the Apollo program are almost of religious significance, but India launching satellites is considered a big joke. I wonder how much laughing these racists will be doing when a Taikonaut walks on the moon while America goes bankrupt.

OK, so the algorithm is (1)

davide marney (231845) | more than 4 years ago | (#29720873)

There aren't many FOSS web sites devoted to feminist issues
AND
the few that do exist have declining membership
AND
many people have vigorously denied that they are sexist, some of whom have been pretty darn mean about it, in fact,

THEREFORE

FOSS is sexist

Not complaining? (1)

zerobeat (628744) | more than 4 years ago | (#29720879)

You say women have it worse, so you are not complaining? But the sentence above is a long list of your complaints. Hey I agree with you, sexism anywhere is only unproductive and goes against the ethos of FOSS - but those two sentences in the middle of your post has such sharp hypocrisy, it cut me in half. Just because you are a boy, you don't have to belittle the prejudice you have suffered so the girls can look more important. It sux you have been slandered for defending women - complain about it! Z/

No, he's mistaken. (0)

argStyopa (232550) | more than 4 years ago | (#29720895)

"But the real flood of emotion comes from the anti-feminists and the average men who would like to deny the importance of feminist issues in FOSS. "

They "deny" the importance? HOW DARE THEY?!!

Doesn't that statement beg an enormous question - if feminist 'issues' have an inherent importance in FOSS at all?

Flame me if you want, but to me the answer's simply: no.

Pardon me, but it's SOFTWARE. And specifically, we're not even talking about actual coding, this is about the paradigm of coding software as Free Open Source. Oh noes, the forums on FOSS have some mouth-breathers who pop wood at the idea there might be a woman reading the text. Hello? Who cares? If Nancy Codemistress feels it's so important to identify her gender there, she can take what she gets. If it offends her sensibilities, then perhaps she should log in as Dogbert next time?

(And for those who are about to attack for saying 'why should she have to hide her gender?' - because it's irrelevant. Look, I didn't choose a "IMAREPUBLICAN" user name here either, think for a second about why - yet I don't bother asserting that I have some sort of 'right' to do so.)

I don't approve of arrested-development retards trolling women but I'm also getting sick of us trying to legislate away stupidity.

If women want to code for FOSS, great. If the basement-dwelling codegeeks scare them off, I think the planet will continue to turn and FOSS will lose out on some code contributors, as well as some validity as those who are driven away feed the rumormill about why they choose not to participate.

That said, and probably many too many words later, I frankly don't care. Do I (or by extension, you the reader) REALLY think a single piece of code's utility/application has ever in the history of mankind, been decided by the openness of it's code-generating-community to outsiders? Particularly something as already marginal as FOSS?

Even for navel-gazing nerdcakes, that's getting pretty damn obscure. To assert it's so relevant that it's some sort of controversy is laughable. Angels on a pin (of indeterminate gender OF COURSE).

Is it just me, or do ardent feminists really seem like people who not only see, but LOOK for their particular 'flavor' of problem everywhere? Sure, they'd turn that on it's head and say that, ipso facto, sexism (against women) is EVERYWHERE. Um, ya. To me that's just a symptom of some sort of religious obsessiveness that makes my Born Again friends equally obnoxious, seeing God everywhere as well. Both take a practically theological level of certainty that crosses well into circularity.

I predict.... (0, Flamebait)

tilandal (1004811) | more than 4 years ago | (#29720897)

that this 'discussion' will pretty much be the embodiment of the point Bryce was trying to make in his article. I look forward to reading page after page of how women are too sensitive, or aren't dedicated enough, or can't perform to the level of men, or can't respond to criticism, or should just hide the fact that they are women.

Newsflash! (1, Troll)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | more than 4 years ago | (#29720919)

Overweight, socially awkward men with poor hygiene resent women. They really resent women who are smarter than them or are better at the things around which they derive self-esteem.

The problem isn't that you aren't tolerant of women. The problem is that you're tolerant of the sad sacks who drive them away. FOSS needs a pecking order and it needs to keep the cretins at the bottom, where they belong. You're living Revenge of the Nerds but you're letting Booger call the shots.

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