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Re: A GNU “social contract”?

From: Alexandre François Garreau
Subject: Re: A GNU “social contract”?
Date: Wed, 06 Nov 2019 19:02:53 +0100

Le mercredi 6 novembre 2019, 09:56:20 CET Andreas Enge a écrit :
> On Wed, Nov 06, 2019 at 01:56:15AM +0300, Dmitry Alexandrov wrote:
> > Instead of making GNU more welcoming place by lessening the burden of
> > formalities, you in fact propose GNU to withdraw deeper into itself by
> > inventing ideology-driven ‘contracts’.  And in order to add an insult to
> > injury — to cover it with Western buzzwords like ‘inclusiveness’. :-\
> Ideology? Hm.

I think for the right-away following he might consider the way you held 
harassment, anti-harassment and its relationship to welcomness a whole 
ideology per se, but more about this later.

> I do not see how the aim of creating a harassment-free
> environment could be construed as making GNU a less welcoming place...

Doing so through censorship and exclusion could.  It depends from exclusion of 
(how many) who, how is this advertised, how is this temporary/definitive, etc. 
as well as how much harassment there is already and how many does that 

If in the end there are more potential harassers than actually harassed 
people, that is strictly the case.

But you also could ban too much potential harassers in regard to harassed 
people and not be productive enough in this concern.

Or cause self-censorship or people fearing to be banned though they would not, 
and you would have to compare this (hard to judge) number to the number of 
people who leaves because of harassment (less hard to judge… but that ought to 
be measured too… though it’s hard too…).

You see, if you care only about being welcoming, anti-harassment is only a 
cold calculation… and it is actually expensive calculation (and measuring)!

Look: we could even speculate that there are already so much more men than 
women coming, that it is not worth defending the later!  How horrible, 
saddening and pessimistic toward humankind…

But maybe what you want is not a place more generally welcoming but more 
“inclusive” in the very culturally specific meaning of “inclusive 
proportionally to actual demographics in the outside world”, so you’d consider 
worth defending a few women even if that means excluding more men.

But then that’s linked to something that’s hardly not an ideology: anti-

Personally I support it, but I don’t think exclusion or censorship is the way.  
We should just actively show our despise and counter-support for sexist 
behavior, possibly ignore it, protecting women when in legitimacy, etc. (if 
any people are pissed and/or leave because something is done by a woman, I 
think everybody is comfortable with that and keep supporting that woman in her 
role and legitimacy, rather than pretending she’s responsible, should hide, or 

> Neither how the word "inclusiveness" could be interpreted as an insult.
> Nor whether we need to distinguish "Western" from "Eastern", "Northern"
> or "Southern"; maybe we should add "regardless of origins" :-)

Different places have different cultures.  Now look out and note, there are 
places where feminism is held in really negative views (think to India, China, 
Medium Orient, etc.): people supporting it may be put in *prison*.  And yet 
women might defend their right or have support legally or popularly, but 
without using that term, or using different strategies than in our countries (I 
heard in Turkey, anarchists preferred describing themselves as “anarchist 
women” and “anti-autoritharian” because of that).

“GNU Project is feminist and act as such” (“westernly”) might lower the whole 
number of contributors or supporters from some countries where feminism is 
seen as a “western” thing due to both local nationalist propaganda and 
generally imperialist propaganda that support the view that “West” or North/
rich countries are more feminist, equalitarian or simply just invented 
feminism (by putting much accent on women’s struggle in liberal countries such 
as France and US (where the very word “feminism” comes from, as well as 
liberalism) and hiding it when it comes from poorer countries (like Irak who 
was first country to make women vote, or Russia who made so much for women 
(much more than US) initially after revolution)).

It’s not to mean GNU Project is to declare itself “feminism-agnostic” just as 
if it would officially declaim itself “climatosceptic” on the ground that it 
nothing to do with free software and we should welcome climate-change 
denialists and anti-feminists, because that would worsen the case as we would 
set ourselves on lower ideological standards than mainstream though in highly-
contributing western/north/rich countries.  But we can support women and not 
exclude anybody at the same time.

It was noted that sometimes antifeminist countries have better levels of women 
employment in CS and IT than liberal countries.  Think of Saudi Arabia and 

I came to believe than positive support and material help have commonly bigger 
impact than wording and exclusive environment (Russia is a good example of it 
imho: I heard about governmental programs, economical conjecture and crisis 
that explain pretty well that situation).  Ideological or strategical 
homogeneity is not something to develop in an international environment, or we 
might lessen it.

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