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Re: Geek Feminism Wiki Re RMS

From: Moshe Goldfarb
Subject: Re: Geek Feminism Wiki Re RMS
Date: Fri, 17 Jul 2009 12:17:57 -0400
User-agent: 40tude_Dialog/

On Fri, 17 Jul 2009 11:25:18 -0400, Ezekiel wrote:

> Goblin wrote:
>> Moshe Goldfarb wrote:
>>> On Thu, 16 Jul 2009 21:11:14 +0200, Alexander Terekhov wrote:
>>>> LMAO!
>>>> (The page above is full of links so follow the URL.)
>>>> -----
>>>> Richard Stallman gave a keynote at the Gran Canaria Desktop Summit in
>>>> July 2009. A sexualized part of this talk was described by attendee
>>>> Lefty in a blog entry A Good GCDS Beginning (with a significant
>>>> disappointment):
>>>> [Stallman defined] "EMACS virgins" as "women who had not been introduced
>>>> to EMACS" along with the advice that "relieving them of their virginity"
>>>> was some sort of sacred duty for members of "The Church of EMACS".
>>>> One commenter noted that the routine is a regular part of Stallman's
>>>> talks but that the singling out of women as 'EMACS virgins' was new.
>>>> Matthew Garrett has provided a transcript of a previous similar
>>>> presentation by Richard at RMS and virgins:
>>>> "Then if you become a hacker you can celebrate that by having a foobar
>>>> mitzvah, a ceremony in which the new hacker stands in front of the
>>>> assembled congregation of hackers and chants through the lines of the
>>>> system source code. And we also have the cult of the virgin of emacs.
>>>> The virgin of emacs is any female who has not yet learned how to use
>>>> emacs. And in the church of emacs we believe that taking her emacs
>>>> virginity away is a blessed act."
>>>> A few days later Lefty emailed Richard expressing his concerns, and
>>>> blogged the ensuing conversation. His original email included:
>>>> "Your remarks gave the distinct impression that you view women as being
>>>> in particular need of technical assistance (presumably by men, since
>>>> there's apparently no such thing as a _male_ "EMACS virgin");
>>>> additionally, women are quite capable of making their own decisions
>>>> about who might relieve them of whatever sort of “virginity”. I (and
>>>> many others) viewed these remarks as denigrating and demeaning to women,
>>>> as well as completely out of place at what is, in essence, a technical
>>>> conference."
>>>> The response claimed that the comments about women were intended as
>>>> humour, and that the complainant was misunderstanding the joke. Richard
>>>> refused to offer an apology.
>>>> "I do not believe I owe anyone an apology. I did not insult or attack
>>>> them, but it is clear some people are attacking me. I think I am being
>>>> criticized unjustly criticized, and I feel I have been wronged."
>>>> However, most of the response was about the Church of St IGNUtius and
>>>> its potential offensiveness to religious people, rather than the issue
>>>> Lefty was trying to raise. Lefty emailed again, reiterating the core
>>>> points. Richard's response was that he had already dealt with them --
>>>> which he had not.
>>>> Responses to this blog post have focused on Richard's right to email
>>>> privacy -- an example of Derailment -- rather than the original issue:
>>>> "Does RMS think all source code should be free, or his private e-mails
>>>> as well??"
>>>> "Have exactly the same question. Any further discussion of political
>>>> correctness is pointless before this question is answered, as you cannot
>>>> seriously request polical correctness without respecting it yourself.
>>>> Sounds fishy."
>>>> Excuses
>>>> Excuses given for RMS's behaviour include:
>>>> That it was not his Intent to be sexist, here
>>>> That it was humor -- Richard's own excuse, here
>>>> That it was making fun of religion, not women, here and here
>>>> He's just like that, here and here
>>>> That Richard has earned respect through his Free Software work, and his
>>>> bad behaviour should therefore be ignored, here and here
>>>> That his judgement was impaired because he was worn out by arguing about
>>>> Mono, here
>>>> Silencing tactics
>>>> Some silencing tactics have also been tried against his critics that
>>>> don't so much excuse RMS as suggest that his critics should shut up:
>>>> That the joke was sexist but the fuss about it is out of all proportion
>>>> here
>>>> Nobody who has not made significant contributions to Free Software
>>>> should be allowed to comment, here
>>>> Only those directly affected by sexism may comment, allies may not here
>>>> Lefty's ally work is in itself condescending towards women, here
>>>> The complaint is "whiny bullshit" and "attention-seeking", here. For
>>>> bonus points, "women should be left out in the cold, not just in the
>>>> open source movement but in every job..."
>>>> The complaint about sexism is just a disingenuous attempt to achieve
>>>> another goal: silencing RMS's criticisms of the Mono programming
>>>> framework here and here
>>>> The complaint about sexism was just someone (presumably Lefty)
>>>> disguising his offence at the jokes about Christianity as a more
>>>> acceptable complaint about sexism here
>>>> Versions of this very list (Matt Zimmerman also made one in his blog)
>>>> are "cherry-picking" and mischaracterising a real debate here
>>>> Versions of this very list are merely encouraging trolls, who should be
>>>> ignored here
>>>> Writing about this kind of thing is a waste of time and anyone serious
>>>> about Open Source should be writing code here
>>>> That the attempt to include women in open source is "nonsense" and
>>>> "creepy", and should be ignored, here
>>>> Reverse sexism, here
>>>> Responses
>>>> Gran Canaria Desktop Summit 2009 by Matt Zimmerman: "This keynote was
>>>> the least interesting of the talks I attended at GCDS... He did his
>>>> Saint IGNUcius routine, throwing in a sexist joke for good measure."
>>>> Simple conference organisation suggestion by Matthew Garrett: "don't
>>>> invite RMS to keynote at your conference without an explicit apology and
>>>> expression of understanding beforehand. I'm seriously at the end of my
>>>> patience with people being unwilling to call others on behaviour they
>>>> perceive as unacceptable."
>>>> Richard Stallman and his fans by Livejournal user "certifiedwaif": "Do
>>>> blog posts like this just bring out the worst commenters, or is this
>>>> representative? They seem much more concerned about Richard Stallman's
>>>> right to email privacy than appropriate conduct at a technical
>>>> conference that both men and women are attending."
>>>> All hail the windmill tilters by Christian Schaller: "And before someone
>>>> starts shouting at me for not realizing that sexism do exist in the open
>>>> source world, please save yourself the energy. I am sure it exist, along
>>>> with racism, anti-semitism, bigotry, general intolerance, gay and
>>>> lesbian hating, supremacism, communism or whatever evil you want to come
>>>> up with. I just don’t buy into using them as the default fallback
>>>> whenever the reason for something needs to be explained." (In fairness,
>>>> Christian has added a comment indicating that "a longer conversation
>>>> with a female coworker about the issue and her relating her experiences
>>>> is causing me to re-evaluate my stance on how much sexism there actually
>>>> is in the community in general.")
>>>> Permission to suck by Abi Sutherland: "So one thing women in Open
>>>> Source—or anyone who is a minority in a skills-based group—need is
>>>> Permission to Suck. They need the understanding, from themselves and
>>>> others, that any and all suckitude is to their account alone, just like
>>>> it is for the majority."
>>>> Backlash: feminism considered harmful by Matt Zimmerman: "We have a
>>>> problem in the way that women in free software are regarded and
>>>> treated... What I want to discuss here, though, is how people are
>>>> received when they speak up about this, for example by criticizing
>>>> sexist behavior they have observed. Often, the problem is denied, the
>>>> critic themselves is personally attacked, and the victims are blamed. In
>>>> short, there is a backlash."
>>>> RMS and virgins by Matthew Garrett: "My point here isn't to claim that
>>>> [RMS]'s a bad person as a result. I've got personality flaws large
>>>> enough that you could probably drive a bus through them, but I'd be
>>>> slightly upset if people thought I was evil because of them. My point is
>>>> that nobody is above criticism, and if someone behaves in a way that
>>>> offends a large subset of the community then they should to be
>>>> criticised. Failing to do so sends the signal that we don't care about
>>>> those who were offended, and at the same time provides no incentive for
>>>> people to change their behaviour as a result. And yes, I think those who
>>>> have high profile positions in the community should be held to higher
>>>> standards than others..."
>>>> RMS’ emacs “virgins” by Chani: "so… I didn’t comment on this little
>>>> incident, even though I knew I should. I mean, it’s RMS, I don’t really
>>>> expect him to change. and it’s easier to just ignore it and pretend it
>>>> didn’t happen. thankfully, lefty tackled the issue for us. ok,
>>>> publishing private mail is rude, but I’m glad he did. the comments
>>>> section makes me sad… btw, I have never heard of this “cult of the
>>>> virgin of mary”. I interpreted RMS’ speech the same way lefty did, I was
>>>> just too shy to speak up about it."
>>>> Retrieved from "";
>>>> Category: Incidents
>>>> -----
>>>> regards,
>>>> alexander.
>>> God!
>>> It's no surprise that RMS picks his feet and eats the toe jam in
>>> public.
>> For crying out loud.... so RMS is the God of FOSS?  He represents
>> everyone and everything does he?
> So why is it that Linux "advocates" will often use Bill Gates as somehow
> representing Windows and the people who use Windows?  It's the same thing
> is it not?

Goblin is a throwback loon from Roy's BN chat channel.
He's yet another one of the unwashed Roy Schestowitz worshipers.

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