Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 9th Jul 2009 12:09 UTC
Talk, Rumors, X Versus Y During the Gran Canaria Desktop Summit, Richard M. Stallman of the Free Software Foundation (and the Superfluous Introduction Award goes to...) gave a keynote speech. Said keynote speech raised a few eyebrows in the Free software community because of a number of questionable remarks regarding women in technology. David "Lefty" Schlesinger, member of the GNOME Advisory Board and active in the mobile open source community, took issue with RMS' remarks and decided to call him out on it. The response he got was... Less than satisfying.
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RE: It certainly is an issue...
by kaiwai on Thu 9th Jul 2009 14:41 UTC in reply to "It certainly is an issue..."
kaiwai
Member since:
2005-07-06

I don't want to turn this into a political rant but:

1) Maybe the majority of engineers are male because the majority of males have an interest in how things work - and only a very small number of females have that same attribute? it seems to be rather silly to equate less females in a given occupation as some sort of built in discrimination. One might as well conclude that females in teaching, nursing and other female dominated professions are discriminating males because of the click, catty, back stabbing mentality that exists.

2) Wanting to be treated as an equal means being equals without special excuses - and that means hanging out with the boys, taking the piss out of each other, then so be it. There are things that I loath but you know what? I suck it up and take it as part of my job. I've been in jobs when I've had to hear guys go on and on and on and on about their car as if it were something they had sex with each night - but guess what? I suck up my bottom lip, listen, nod my head in agreement and do my work; because I'm sure there are things I talk about that irritate the crap out of people.

3) You think females have it bad in the IT world; put yourself in my shoes being a gay male - I might as well be a oddity in a freak show or some sort of creature with Sir Richard Attenborough giving a running commentary. Atleast straight guys and girls have something in common to talk about - I'm sitting out on the fringes having to hear about guys conquests on the weekend in detail.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Ventajou Member since:
2006-10-31

You're such a sexist...

Reply Parent Score: 1

kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

You're such a sexist...


In all due respects, do us all a favour and lose your vi virginity.

Reply Parent Score: 2

SReilly Member since:
2006-12-28

I don't think that you can equate being offended by, but silent of, sexist remarks with biting your lip because you don't like what the person next to you is talking about and frankly, I can't see how you could possibly equate the two. One is deeply hurtful and alienating while the other is showing maturity.

As for there being a social stereotype when it comes to engineering, that is a fact. Nothing you say here is going to change that.

I can see how being homosexual in the IT industry could be hard, I've no doubt of that but at least being gay is not written all over you like, say, being female.

I have several gay colleagues, both male and female, though the female colleagues don't work in either of the IT departments.

Anyway, if you choose not to speak of your sexual orientation and what conquest you made at the weekend then that, my friend, is your problem . I for one have no problem discussing the "fitness" of certain colleagues with my gay work mates.

Reply Parent Score: 2

kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

I don't think that you can equate being offended by, but silent of, sexist remarks with biting your lip because you don't like what the person next to you is talking about and frankly, I can't see how you could possibly equate the two. One is deeply hurtful and alienating while the other is showing maturity.


Excuse me but the onus is on YOU to prove that the primary motivation of the person making the remark is of an offensive nature. When I hear gay jokes at work I certainly don't recoil into my shell and start complaining - because guess what? I know that the joke isn't done in spite or hurt but just simply something that is funny.

It is up to you to prove whether the source of the joke was meant to be hurtful - unless you can some how prove that it was his motivation, quite frankly, what it appears is a very bitter person trying to destroy what little fun there is left in the work place.

Yes, there are some things that are said of an explicit nature which leaves no ambiguity as to the nature of how their views are of females but at the same time one has to remember that before you cry wolf that you find out what was the motivator behind it.

As for there being a social stereotype when it comes to engineering, that is a fact. Nothing you say here is going to change that.


What proof do you have? all you have is that there are less females than males and thus you jump to the conclusion that it means there is discrimination. You've provided no evidence to prove your conclusion - I assume you're another one of those people who believe that you can be anything you want with enough study.

Some people have a natural inclination towards a certain field, others don't - and shock horror, males and females are different, just as individuals, we are all different. If it makes me sexist because god forbid I recognise the difference between the sexes than grade me 'sexist pig number one' of which you seem to be more than happy to do.

I can see how being homosexual in the IT industry could be hard, I've no doubt of that but at least being gay is not written all over you like, say, being female.


I don't know about you - but I tend not to lock myself in my office all day; I have to work with colleagues, small talk arises, people talking about their weekends, what they did with their partner or family; so yes, it does come out eventually. Some of us are more obvious than others, so it is as 'obvious' as being a female.

I have several gay colleagues, both male and female, though the female colleagues don't work in either of the IT departments.

Anyway, if you choose not to speak of your sexual orientation and what conquest you made at the weekend then that, my friend, is your problem . I for one have no problem discussing the "fitness" of certain colleagues with my gay work mates.


I never complained about colleagues talking about it - just demonstrating that there are things one doesn't like being talked about but we're adults, we can tune our brains out if one isn't interested.

Edited 2009-07-09 15:17 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1