So mst has launched the Iron Man competition and really I think it's an absolutely great idea. Us Perl folk should be blogging more about Perl, and these blogs should be more easily found. The idea of a simple reward (trophy image) for blogging consistently is a great one.
However, I'm not going to get involved. I think having an incentive like the above would be great for getting me to write more regularly; but I can't get past my issue with the title. I realise that mst has every intention of including women but I don't view that as enough.
As a woman in IT, I am regularly reminded that I'm an odd-one out because of my gender. I turn up to Perl Monger meetings throughout Australia and I'm usually the only woman there. Just as with many other smallish (less than 30 attendee) user group meetings. I get reminded that I'm different because well-meaning guys say to me "It's good to have some gender diversity here". Although I don't get hassled in online forums, on mailing lists and at conferences as some of the women I know have been; it's tiring to always be made to feel different, abnormal.
The issue here is pervasive in our society. It's the perception that male is general and that female is a specific case. I suspect this is partially because in the past we used male gendered words, in some contexts, to express gender neutral concepts. "Mankind". "The patient should advise the doctor whether he may have any contra-indicating factors such as pregnancy". "God is not male, he is spirit". However, despite your intention, I (and many other people - male and female) understand these male gendered words to refer to the male gender most of the time, and not to both genders. At least in sport they're honest about it. It's "300 metre sprint" for men, and "Women's 300 metre sprint" for women. Look through your event listing next time and you'll see that the general case assumes male and the women's events are special.
So even though there are "paper women" trophies and will probably eventually be "iron women" trophies (although you'll note that there are many levels of the male versions already created); I'm not participating. I don't want yet another endeavour to constantly remind me that I'm an aberration. Maybe I'll change my mind later.
A more inclusive name might be "Iron Perl" or "Iron Bloggers" or "Iron Perl Bloggers" with the planet renamed to something equivalent. I agree with mst that "Iron Person" sounds lame. I am particularly fond of "Iron Perl Bloggers" as I feel that it's important for someone first visiting the site to have at least a hint about the site's focus.
Matt's apologised for comparing me to Paul; for swearing at me and for the fact that his response was disproportionate. It took a while, but we finally are having the productive discussion he wanted.