[wellylug] So called Sexist Language

marchetti marchetti at clear.net.nz
Mon Sep 14 18:37:31 NZST 2009


As usual, Jethro has hit the nail on the head. I work for a
PC correct government agency, and have referred to fellow
staff as guys. Or hello gang, even. 65% of our staff are
women. No-one complained. Let's stick with Linux matters.


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> Today's Topics:
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>    1. Re: off-topic whining (John Barstow)
>    2. Re: off-topic whining (Jethro Carr)
>    3. Re: off-topic whining (Daniel Pittman)
>    4. Re: off-topic whining (Mark Foster)
>    5. Re: off-topic whining (Jethro Carr)
>    6. Re: off-topic whining (Mark Foster)
> 
> 
> ----------------------------------------------------------
> ------------
> 
> Message: 1
> Date: Mon, 14 Sep 2009 13:03:26 +1200
> From: John Barstow <jbowtie at amathaine.com>
> Subject: Re: [wellylug] off-topic whining
> To: Wellington Linux Users Group
> <wellylug at lists.wellylug.org.nz> Message-ID:
>    
> <3aea2c0b0909131803i4a0525a9webfc6c747e5f5810 at mail.gmail.c
> om> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
> 
> Thanks, I just convinced my wife (who has been using Linux
> for over three years) to come to the next meeting, it
> wouldn't matter if she was the only woman there.
> 
> Now she feels really unwelcome. I'm not even sure she's
> going to come to SFD thanks to the hostility. She's not
> offended by the "guys", she's offended by the hostility
> evident in the replies to Daniel. As am I, I'm
> unsubscribing now.
> 
> On Sun, Sep 13, 2009 at 9:13 PM, Spiro Harvey
> > <spiro at starforge.net.nz> wrote: On Sun, 13 Sep 2009
> > 18:39:37 +1000 Daniel Pittman <daniel at rimspace.net>
> wrote: >
> > [song and dance snipped]
> >
> >> Anyway, I don't want to make a big song and dance about
> this; I assume that >> Lucas probably meant to include
> women, and it isn't aimed at anything >> personal.
> >
> > This mailing list is about Linux. Don't get offended at
> a perceived slight against a portion of humanity; just
> stick to the matter at hand would you? >
> > Just answer the question asked or shut up.
> >
> > Or if you really must troll, do it via private email,
> not on the list. >
> > --
> > section .data
> > ? ? sig: ? ? ? db ? ? ?'Spiro Harvey',0x0a
> > ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?db ? ? ?'UNIX Specialist, Writer,
> > Editor',0x0a homepage: ? ? ? db ? ?
> ?'http://twiddle.starforge.net.nz',0x0a >
> >
> > --
> > Wellington Linux Users Group Mailing List:
> > wellylug at lists.wellylug.org.nz To Leave:
> ?http://lists.wellylug.org.nz/mailman/listinfo/wellylug >
> >
> 
> 
> 
> ------------------------------
> 
> Message: 2
> Date: Mon, 14 Sep 2009 13:28:49 +1200
> From: Jethro Carr <jethro.carr at jethrocarr.com>
> Subject: Re: [wellylug] off-topic whining
> To: Wellington Linux Users Group
> <wellylug at lists.wellylug.org.nz> Cc: John Barstow
> <jbowtie at amathaine.com> Message-ID:
> <1252891729.3141.100.camel at lisa.local.amberdms.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
> 
> On Mon, 2009-09-14 at 13:03 +1200, John Barstow wrote:
> > Thanks, I just convinced my wife (who has been using
> > Linux for over three years) to come to the next meeting,
> > it wouldn't matter if she was the only woman there.
> > 
> > Now she feels really unwelcome. I'm not even sure she's
> > going to come to SFD thanks to the hostility. She's not
> > offended by the "guys", she's offended by the hostility
> > evident in the replies to Daniel. As am I, I'm
> unsubscribing now.
> 
> hi John,
> 
> Well, that's a shame, but your loss.
> 
> 
> Most people at Wellylug (and SFD which is a large event
> that Wellylug is only a small part of) are pretty decent
> people.
> 
> However, when people on mailing lists start accusing guys
> who are respectful of women of using sexist language it
> tends to get people pretty angry.
> 
> Every time someone says that, what it really says to me
> is: "you're one of those guys who scares women away from
> IT" and it's actually really offensive to me.
> 
> 
> That's one of the major complaints I have with linuxchix -
> I support the idea of getting women involved in IT and to
> prevent sexism, but they always discuss the problem as in
> all males are deterring women from IT and open source
> which actually puts me off their cause since it's implying
> that as a male, I'm responsible for it.
> 
> 
> Anyway, I apologise if I came across too aggressive but
> Daniel touched a raw nerve with myself and others on this
> list.
> 
> 
> John, you and your wife are always welcome at Wellylug
> meetings, and I do suggest you attend SFD as it's an
> exciting event with many members of both sexes involved,
> to miss it would be a shame.
> 
> regards,
> jethro
> 
> -- 
> Jethro Carr
> www.jethrocarr.com/index.php?cms=blog
> www.amberdms.com
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> ------------------------------
> 
> Message: 3
> Date: Mon, 14 Sep 2009 15:19:54 +1000
> From: Daniel Pittman <daniel at rimspace.net>
> Subject: Re: [wellylug] off-topic whining
> To: Wellington Linux Users Group
> <wellylug at lists.wellylug.org.nz> Message-ID:
> <87ab0ygl1h.fsf at rimspace.net> Content-Type: text/plain;
> charset=utf-8
> 
> Jethro Carr <jethro.carr at jethrocarr.com> writes:
> > On Mon, 2009-09-14 at 13:03 +1200, John Barstow wrote:
> >
> >> Thanks, I just convinced my wife (who has been using
> Linux for over three >> years) to come to the next meeting
> , it wouldn't matter if she was the only >> woman there.
> >>
> >> Now she feels really unwelcome. I'm not even sure she's
> going to come to >> SFD thanks to the hostility. She's not
> offended by the "guys", she's >> offended by the hostility
> evident in the replies to Daniel. As am I, I'm >>
> unsubscribing now. >
> > hi John, Well, that's a shame, but your loss.
> 
> I think it is a loss to us all: while I can't specifically
> point to the future contributions that John, or his sadly
> unnamed wife, would have made, it seems to me that it
> shames us all to have lost their involvement because we
> cannot be polite to each other.
> 
> 
> > Most people at Wellylug (and SFD which is a large event
> > that Wellylug is only a small part of) are pretty decent
> people. >
> > However, when people on mailing lists start accusing
> > guys who are respectful of women of using sexist
> language it tends to get people pretty angry.
> 
> Respectfully, I don't think that is either a fair
> characterization of my statements, or that anger is an
> excuse for the extremely aggressive, and inaccurate,
> responses that came back.
> 
> > Every time someone says that, what it really says to me
> > is: "you're one of those guys who scares women away from
> > IT" and it's actually really offensive to me.
> 
> I am sorry you feel that way: I am not trying to say
> anything personal about you, and it is certainly not
> something I intended (or expected) to offend.
> 
> I like to think that, as adults, we can have disparate
> views on difficult topics without resorting to violent
> name-calling or other abusive behaviour.
> 
> 
> > That's one of the major complaints I have with linuxchix
> > - I support the idea of getting women involved in IT and
> > to prevent sexism, but they always discuss the problem
> > as in all males are deterring women from IT and open
> source which actually puts me off their cause since it's
> > implying that as a male, I'm responsible for it.
> 
> I would like to discuss this further, since this is
> clearly a failure of communication: that is unequivocally
> *not* the message that I, or the people I know involved in
> the LinuxChix programs, are trying to send.
> 
> If it is the message you are hearing, though, then perhaps
> talking about it reasonably would let me understand how I
> was failing in that communication, and to be able to
> effectively talk to you about the actual message I wanted
> to send.
> 
> What I don't want to do is try to discuss this and end up
> with the same sort of violent shouting-down that /is/
> disruptive and distressing to everyone, on which basis I
> am not presently trying to engage further with you here.
> 
> 
> > Anyway, I apologise if I came across too aggressive but
> > Daniel touched a raw nerve with myself and others on
> this list.
> 
> I have to say that I am, in fact, quite insulted by the
> response from Spiro Harvey, which both Callum Grant and
> you have supported.
> 
> I have no problem with disagreement, and as I have
> previously said I didn't want to make a big issue of this;
> I would have been quite happy to say my little bit, listen
> to other people disagree, and leave it there.
> 
> 
> Instead the responses were predominantly ? Mark Foster
> being *the* exception ? aggressively, ad hominem attacks
> that ignored my immediate actions, by claiming that I did
> not answer the question, and by claiming that I was here
> to troll the list and stir up trouble, disregarding my
> significant contributions[1] over the last three and a
> half years.
> 
> 
> I don't demand that people support my views, or agree with
> them, or stay silent when they disagree.  I do try to
> avoid insulting people, though I acknowledge that may be
> an unintentional consequence, and I regret that.
> 
> 
> In closing, however, I would like to add that I do feel
> the discussion is relevant to the LUG at hand; the charter
> is:
> 
>  * To exchange Linux and Open Source software knowledge
> and experience.
> 
>  * To encourage the usage of Linux and Open Source, by
> introducing it,
>    explaining it, and helping people to install it.
> 
>  * To have a good time, meet other people and to make
> friends.
> 
> To me, it is an important part of meeting that second goal
> that I address issues that I consider important in
> encouraging the use of Linux and FOSS solutions, and I do
> consider redressing issues like exclusionary language to
> be part of achieving that goal.
> 
> I also consider it quite important to the third goal, to
> enable people of *all* backgrounds, however diverse or
> different, to have a good time here.
> 
> 
> Again, I don't demand that other people agree with me, or
> that they change their views and approach just to suit my
> tastes.  Disagreement is fine.
> 
> All I ask is that we, as a group of adults, are willing to
> engage in civilized discussion and debate, even if the
> topics involved are complex and, yes, potentially filled
> with emotion and hurt on *all* sides.
> 
> Regards,
>         Daniel
> 
> 
> Footnotes: 
> [1]  I hope they have been valuable contributions;
> certainly, at this stage
>      I have no reason to suppose otherwise, although y'all
> are welcome to tell
>      me if I am just a pompous windbag. ;)
> 
> -- 
> ? Daniel Pittman            ? daniel at rimspace.net         
>   ? +61 401 155 707
>                ? made with 100 percent post-consumer
> electrons
>    Looking for work?  Love Perl?  In Melbourne, Australia?
>  We are hiring.
> 
> 
> 
> ------------------------------
> 
> Message: 4
> Date: Mon, 14 Sep 2009 17:36:16 +1200 (NZST)
> From: Mark Foster <blakjak at blakjak.net>
> Subject: Re: [wellylug] off-topic whining
> To: Wellington Linux Users Group
> <wellylug at lists.wellylug.org.nz> Cc: John Barstow
> <jbowtie at amathaine.com> Message-ID:
> <Pine.LNX.4.64.0909141732480.31745 at skyhawk.blakjak.net>
> Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII; format=flowed
> 
> 
> On Mon, 14 Sep 2009, Jethro Carr wrote:
> 
> > On Mon, 2009-09-14 at 13:03 +1200, John Barstow wrote:
> >> Thanks, I just convinced my wife (who has been using
> Linux for over >> three years) to come to the next meeting
> , it wouldn't matter if she >> was the only woman there.
> >>
> >> Now she feels really unwelcome. I'm not even sure she's
> going to come >> to SFD thanks to the hostility. She's not
> offended by the "guys", >> she's offended by the hostility
> evident in the replies to Daniel. As >> am I, I'm
> unsubscribing now. >
> > hi John,
> >
> > Well, that's a shame, but your loss.
> >
> >
> > Most people at Wellylug (and SFD which is a large event
> > that Wellylug is only a small part of) are pretty decent
> people. >
> > However, when people on mailing lists start accusing
> > guys who are respectful of women of using sexist
> > language it tends to get people pretty angry.
> 
> I need to support Jethro here; the online world is full of
> all types of  people, some are obviously more polite than
> others; some are more PC.  Judging an entire community by
> the contributions of a few is a bit like  judging a book
> by its cover, isn't it?
> 
> I remain grateful to the various LUG's for their help and
> have developed  many friendships (I should add, of the IRL
> type) as a byproduct of my  participation in them.  Those
> who're excessively rude or OTT tend to get  dealt with one
> way or the other - often off-list, in private, between the
> list moderators and the offenders themselves (and thus
> invisibly to the  rest of us).
> 
> I too hope you'll join us at SFD and hope you'll remain
> involved in  WellyLUG, whatever that involvement may be.
> 
> I have found that above all else, a thick skin is often a
> necessity for  participating in online fora. :-) Nevermind
> playing the role of moderator.
> 
> Mark.
> 
> 
> 
> ------------------------------
> 
> Message: 5
> Date: Mon, 14 Sep 2009 17:43:41 +1200
> From: Jethro Carr <jethro.carr at jethrocarr.com>
> Subject: Re: [wellylug] off-topic whining
> To: Wellington Linux Users Group
> <wellylug at lists.wellylug.org.nz> Message-ID:
> <1252907021.3141.141.camel at lisa.local.amberdms.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
> 
> On Mon, 2009-09-14 at 15:19 +1000, Daniel Pittman wrote:
> > I like to think that, as adults, we can have disparate
> > views on difficult topics without resorting to violent
> name-calling or other abusive behaviour.
> 
> I would like to take a moment to point out that nobody on
> this list has been resorting to name calling, which is
> always unacceptable in any discussion, no matter how
> strong feelings maybe.
> 
> If this was done off-list, there's not much I can do, but
> any such action on the list would get a reminder from me.
> 
> 
> 
> > > That's one of the major complaints I have with
> > > linuxchix - I support the idea of getting women
> > > involved in IT and to prevent sexism, but they always
> discuss the problem as in all males are deterring women
> > > from IT and open source which actually puts me off
> > > their cause since it's implying that as a male, I'm
> > responsible for it. 
> > I would like to discuss this further, since this is
> > clearly a failure of communication: that is
> > unequivocally *not* the message that I, or the people I
> know involved in the LinuxChix programs, are trying to
> > send. 
> > If it is the message you are hearing, though, then
> > perhaps talking about it reasonably would let me
> > understand how I was failing in that communication, and
> to be able to effectively talk to you about the actual
> > message I wanted to send.
> 
> I haven't got a lot of free time to go into detail about
> the problems with linuxchix. However, in short:
> 
> 
> Many people involved with linuxchix are great and actively
> want to help promote women in IT which is great. However,
> their approach is to create a separate group for all the
> women and then to never get involved with the rest of the
> community.
> 
> They form their own group just for women then complain
> about men not letting them get involved when in fact they
> don't try to.
> 
> For example, linuxchix don't get involved with Wellylug,
> I've invited them to do some talks at the meetings but
> never had any response or even any attendees.
> 
> Linuxchix seems to segregate itself from the community
> then complain about lack of acceptable by the same
> community they are ignoring.
> 
> 
> Anyway, that's my perspective of linuxchix, I'm sure some
> may disagree, but this is how the organisation comes
> across to me.
> 
> regards,
> jethro
> 
> -- 
> Jethro Carr
> www.jethrocarr.com/index.php?cms=blog
> www.amberdms.com
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> ------------------------------
> 
> Message: 6
> Date: Mon, 14 Sep 2009 18:06:17 +1200 (NZST)
> From: Mark Foster <blakjak at blakjak.net>
> Subject: Re: [wellylug] off-topic whining
> To: Wellington Linux Users Group
> <wellylug at lists.wellylug.org.nz> Message-ID:
> <Pine.LNX.4.64.0909141802460.31745 at skyhawk.blakjak.net>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
> 
> 
> 
> --8<--
> I have to say that I am, in fact, quite insulted by the
> response from Spiro Harvey, which both Callum Grant and
> you have supported. --8<--
> 
> Just to put on record that you were not the only one who
> found Spiro's  post unacceptable.  Whilst I agree with his
> sentiment, I think he  expressed it the wrong way.
> 
> 
> 
> --8<--
> Instead the responses were predominantly ?? Mark Foster
> being *the* exception ?? aggressively, ad hominem attacks
> that ignored my immediate actions, by claiming that I did
> not answer the question, and by claiming that I was here
> to troll the list and stir up trouble, disregarding my
> significant contributions[1] over the last three and a
> half years. --8<--
> 
> Daniel, i've always found your contributions to be useful
> and intelligent,  and whilst I have not always agreed with
> you, we are in a community where  universal agreement is
> the exception, not the rule. :-)  I also have  generally
> found your contributions to be polite and above board.
> 
> Mark.
> 
> ------------------------------
> 
> 
> -- 
> Wellington Linux Users Group Mailing List Digest:
> wellylug at lists.wellylug.org.nz To Leave: 
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