Someone -- male -- noticed and loudly proclaimed having noticed that a "sexist" word was used on the workshop's IRC channel. Of course, they didn't say what or who said it. I'm concerned it might have been me. I said that a certain talk "sucked donkey dong. and not in a good way". Perhaps I said other things.
Since the Ruby conf fiasco (link below), we've been a bit trigger happy to identify, point out, and fix anything possibly offensive to... well, I guess, anyone who could be offended.
Commenting on that link (which commented on the Ruby presentation): It seems like they're saying that because it's stereotypical of adolescent geek sexuality, it's bad. Yes, there are bad (especially of what's underdeveloped) aspects in geek sexuality, but not everything in geek sexuality is automatically bad.
Grown men can't be juvenile; nether can geeks. The other day, I threw a small beanbag embroidered with the world "douchelord" at a woman (a well humored one -- she's married to a sometimes adolescent college roommate I had and she's the one who bought the beanbag) who was going off the plot intricacies of the _three_ Twilight books, which she read. I was being subjected to female adolescent sexuality and it was painful. Thank heavens (I believe in empty heavens free of deities and free of undead humans) that, as adults, we're able to communicate with the opposite gender. Or not.
I don't claim to offer wisdom here. Perhaps I should claim to offer the point of view of the average sexist idiot.
As it stands, (and I was told this -- I didn't count) two women attended the workshop which (ditto) had about 140 people at it. Should our concern really to be try to make it even more "professional" in hopes that the extremely few extremely tiny omissions are what's keeping the floodgate of women closed? And if it's so important that gender balance be struck in gatherings, why aren't we going to pottery class and book club?
Often I suggest on IRC and in person, through off color jokes, that I like sheep. I am essentially from Minnesota, after all. Sheep are not offended by this, I'm pretty sure -- the jokes, I mean. But humans often are, are often in the same way and to the same degree as any other remark I make, and as far as I know, there's no goal to try to make Frozen Perl more friendly to sheep.
I suppose my goal is, as has always been, is to offend people. It's my non-outgrown geek adolescent sexuality behind the wheel. I realize that it's possible to make inside jokes where the only people who would be offended don't get the joke, but that doesn't serve my goal. I suppose I want to tweak the normals. I hang out with freaks. I adore them. Lack of freaks makes me anxious. Frozen Perl makes me anxious. The phrase "white bread" comes to mind. The one mohawk went a long way to making me feel at home. Minnesota does pretty well on the freak scale -- better than Phoenix. Perhaps -- I can't say -- that this feeling out of place gives me some shared empathy with the primary demographic that we're so eager to make feel comfortable.
I guess when it boils down to it, on one hand, we're a barren wasteland of human sexuality trying to make people of different sexes and sexualities feel comfortable, and on the other hand, even though we've trained ourselves to react with horror and disapproval at anything resembling a gender issue, geeks are generally among the most non-judgmental and open-minded.
If a certain -- and that standard is set to a very low, non-demanding level -- if a certain level of color can't be established at a con, my bored brain might make it it's goal to get thrown out. I might fancy myself the title of the first person to get thrown out of a Perl con.
Hmm. "Uncomfortable and boring"... I've heard that phrase before.