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chromatic (983)

chromatic
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http://wgz.org/chromatic/

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Journal of chromatic (983)

Wednesday July 02, 2003
02:04 PM

GROSSS: Get Rid Of Slimy girlS in Software

[ #13207 ]

I should have stopped reading comments on Slashdot years ago. Expecting insight into software or programming there is like expecting my eight year old cousin to drive an ambulance. Even if he did successfully back it out of the driveway, he'll do more damage than anyone could predict.

While I'm still occasionally surprised at the lack of depth of discussion (for the most part), I've rarely been shocked into responding to the awfulness I saw. That is, until last week.

In a story about the release of Perl 6 Essentials, I know to expect really lame discussions. "Blah blah unreadable", "blah blah not done yet", "blah blah mod me down suckers." I didn't really expect to see this comment. (If you're sensitive, you might not want to read the thread. I was offended.)

It boggles my mind that, in a profession and a community that realizes and laments a lack of women, the burning question when a woman enters the community and does something significant is "Got a full-body shot of her?"

I respect LinuxChix (and occasionally work with a couple of the members) and I've heard hfb talk about the subject of sexism and hostility many, many times. I'm really starting to believe that being silent doesn't help. Maybe the right solution is to say, without sarcasm, malice, or anger, "That was rude and I don't agree."

Maybe I'm oversensitive, but I just want to shake people and say "Be nice!"

The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
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  • by Ovid (2709) on 2003.07.02 14:16 (#21688) Homepage Journal

    ... the fact that someone is going to make the predictable sexist remark or that the first person to take the poster to task gets modded down as a troll [slashdot.org] (as of this writing, that is)? That's pretty sad.

    I'm glad you bring this up. Silence is Evil [easystreet.com].

    • There's an Ani DiFranco song with these lyrics:


      i sing sometimes like my life is at stake
      'cause you're only as loud as the noises you make
      i'm learning to laugh as hard as i can listen
      'cause silence is violence in women and poor people
      if more people were screaming then i could relax
      but a good brain ain't diddley if you don't have the facts


      I love Ani.
  • by Elian (119) on 2003.07.02 14:46 (#21690) Homepage Journal
    Doesn't matter if people are being sexist, racist, slagging on someone's religion, sexual preferences, nationality, politics, or looks. Silence is tacit approval. You don't have to be hugely vocal, but nothing will change if you don't speak up.
  • by hfb (74) on 2003.07.02 14:57 (#21692) Homepage Journal

    What's worse, a bunch of little boys on /. talking about hooters and trolling for flames or grown men who say they're not sexist but never take the time to notice just how they behave in pernicious, insidious ways?

    I've said it many times that I don't believe people in this community, including Larry, who talk a good line about wanting more women in the community but do nothing to curb the more flagrant bad examples. Most women have enough children in their lives and don't necessarily want to increase the number with those who aren't either in their genepool or signing their paycheck. Wanting more women around yet turning a blind eye to the van leaving TPC for whoring in Mexico just doesn't seem like there's very much sincerity in the string of words meaning nothing.

  • While I appreciate a good pair of knockers as the next red-blooded american male, I do have to say that they have no place in a book review about perl. Too many young men and boys are hit with great amounts of insecurity when confronted with succesful women.

    In an online community, let people react as they will. If the community doesn't react they way you want, go find a new community. Slashdot should never be a place to find moderate, thoughtful insights.

    Oh, BTW, if there are books on perl where the di
  • by autarch (914) on 2003.07.02 15:17 (#21694) Homepage Journal
    While Slashdot comments are generally a swamp of evil, I don't think you're being over-sensitive. The fact that this is par for the course on Slashdot (and elsewhere) is pretty pathetic. I'd like to think that the general level of discourse amongst the core Perl community is a bit higher than this, and certainly when I go to events like TPC and YAPC, I don't hear anything like this.

    That doesn't mean there's not lots of work to do. Witness hfb's comment below. If I'd heard about the whoring in Mexico trip, I would've had more than a few words to say, but this is the first I've heard of it. Pretty freaking disgusting, though.
  • Do Not be Silent (Score:3, Interesting)

    by cwest (1514) on 2003.07.02 16:09 (#21697) Homepage Journal
    I am in total agreement. I agree with Dan, too, that silence is just silent (perhaps implied) agreement. Being disparaging is wrong, no matter what the reason.
    --
    Casey West
    • You agree...yet you never say anything either.

      • Re:Do Not be Silent (Score:4, Informative)

        by autarch (914) on 2003.07.02 17:37 (#21700) Homepage Journal
        Elaine, could you point to some _specific_, _public_ examples of what you're talking about? You keep making oblique references but none of them seem to be things of which most of us are aware. Or maybe I'm the _only_ one who's never heard of the "whoring trip to Mexico" at TPC. That seems unlikely, though.

        In my experience, the various Perl forums I'm involved in (here, Perl Monks, p5p, other mailing lists) have generally been reasonably good in terms of treatment of women, people of color, etc. In fact, the only _really_ offensive incident I can think of in the past year or two occurred on the Mason users list, and I responded publically and firmly. I hope that any women on that list understood that the people who write Mason (aka, the ones with a lot of pull in that community) are on their side!

        You keep saying that nobody says anything about these problems, but honestly, I just haven't seen that many, and I think I'm quite a bit more aware of this than most people. I'm more than happy to be outspoken on this sort of stuff, so just point me to it!
        • Well...I was being intentionally oblique since I don't want a repeat performance [perl.org] from last week, but why not. The van leaving TPC for south of the border was his and most people knew what it was for, he talks about hookers, mentionas Hooters frequently, and his photo archive is so bad in every sense that I've asked to have my photos removed...for years. He's the poster boy next year for Misogyny Man Monthly.

          Randal is at the front door [yahoo.com] of the perl community since he teaches to beginners, hangs out on Per

          • Ugh, I hadn't seen that particular exchange. That was pretty damn vile.
          • Being a non-confrontationalist myself (I really have a hard time being angry at my boss in person, and not because I'm without reason sometimes), I probably would be worried about being thrown out, but it might be fun if a bunch of people showed up at the AlpacaParty wearing pink triangles, at least on their conference badges.

            I'll be bringing a pink marker and will definitely put a triangle on my badge (if there's enough white space). I was already planning on it :}

            Iirc, some people did this at USENIX a
    • No, you're dead wrong. There's *plenty* of things I see written, both online and off, which I disagree with, but which I don't respond to. To expect me to respond to all of them - or even to just the worst of them, the rightwing fuckwits, the sexist morons, the racist retards - is just stupid. There ain't enough time in the world.
      • I don't buy the 'don't have the time' especially since I see many folks wasting time on IRC arguing about some pedantic detail that means nothing. Noone is asking anyone to respond to everything but the silence is palpable. People say they want more women around here yet are complicit in their silence while turning a blind eye to behaviours that are sure to continue. I have no trust in those who say they want something but aren't willing to do anything at all to get it or give excuses that it's someone els

    • silence is just silent (perhaps implied) agreement

      Sorry but this is bogus.

      Allison hasn't replied, does that mean she agrees with the comments? Of course it doesn't. Just because a person does not want to get involved with a massive flamewar is no indication that they agree (or disagree). As it happens, I believe Allison is occupied with more worthwhile efforts than joining a flawewar. Elaine has put her point across on many occasions, and while I applaud her for standing up and being counted, there ar

      • I'm not entirely certain if I'm reading you correctly. drhyde's [perl.org] comment [perl.org] (the one above yours), is one that I certainly agree with. I can't respond to every instance that I see of racism, sexism, or other "isms". It's just too tiring. But while silence does not necessarily imply agreement, it does lend tacit support to those who would make such statements. After all, they reason, if only one person in a room full of people takes them to task then clearly that one person is in the minority, right?

        So th

        • I would say we are in agreement, but just coming from a different angle. Agreed that people do need to be called to task when they are out of line. However, the sweeping remark that just because I don't respond, then I am in agreement is wrong. As I stated in my comment, my choice to not get involved might be because I don't want to get draw into a flamewar or perhaps I have better (or more relevant) causes to fight.

          Unfortunately in this world too many are unwilling to stick there head/hand up and object,

          • barbie [perl.org] wrote:

            One thought that did occur to me. On other forums I use, there is a link titled along the lines of "Inappropriate post, let us know", which then sends a message to the moderator, who can then review it. Perhaps slashdot could do with something like that, so that defamatory remarks get removed as soon as possible.

            Ya know, it would be cool to watch slashdot implode like that. I fear there would be nothing left :)

        • Context and place is everything. Obviously, Slashdot is a swamp. Tossing a note of objection into the swamp is probably pointless.

          However, places like use.perl, Perl Monks, the various perl mailing lists, TPC, YAPC, and so on should not ever be allowed to sink to that level. If someone were to post something like what was posted on Slashdot _here_, then silence would indeed be acceptance.

          A borderline place worth cleaning up might the Perl IRC channels. They're pretty damn swampy, but it's a small enou
  • As the popular folk expression goes in America:

    Never wrestle with a pig. You'll both get dirty, but the pig will enjoy it.

    Sexism is one of those topics I try to avoid talking about in public for the above reason. However, I am trying avoiding work...

    The comment chromatic cited is hardly the first or even the worst example of adolescent postings on Slashdot, a web site that I thought had lost serious credibility as a source for anything but atrocious grammar long ago. While comments like the one ci

    • Right before I received my undergraduate degree, the Academic Dean called me into his office for a little advice. One of the things that stuck with me was, "Fight only the battles that matter. Sometimes you'll have to fight a battle you can't win, but you don't have to fight every battle."

      I'm certainly not interested in scouring Slashdot (or #perl) for things that offend me just to call people on the carpet. If I find myself in a situation where people are behaving badly and I can say something, though

  • chromatic, the person posted that just to spark response. It is called a "troll." It worked. That you got offended means he did his job, as unimpressive and uninteresting as that is.

    I won't defend anything about the post, but I think using this as an example of rampant sexism is really off the mark. Sexism is beside the point of the posts. They want to offend you, as trolls often do, so they use sexism as the vehicle to do so.

    And for some of the followups who tried to defend it, well, Joe's pig-wrest
  • And that comment (and most of the thread) sits at Score:-1 and will probably stay there.

    Not by editor moderation, I might add; I spot-checked some of the comments and that score is what the user base assigned them.

    <Bart Simpson> The system works. </Bart Simpson>