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Re: Geek Feminism Wiki Re RMS

From: Ezekiel
Subject: Re: Geek Feminism Wiki Re RMS
Date: Fri, 17 Jul 2009 11:25:18 -0400
User-agent: KNode/0.10.9

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?

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