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Re: Claims of racism and sexism in Supertuxkart 0.9 on Debian mailing lists



Dear Zlatan,

Have you realized how aggresive and inappropriate your reply to
your colleague ist? Let me recall, please, this time read carefully:

> iammyr escreveu:
> 
> *I am* a woman and as a woman I can tell you that when I was 
> growing up I was mad for characters I could recognise myself 
> into. even just to choose an avatar in a forum etc. and that 
> was a struggle. the only decent female in tekken tag was the
> one who transformed herself in different characters (and 
> wasn't even that strong). same with movies. and that *does* 
> affect the way you imagine yourself and then the path you 
> choose in your life. it is *not just a game, nothing more* 
> as
>
> > Gianfranco wrote:
> >
> > We are talking about games, please don't forget, it is 
> > just a (nice to play) game. Nothing more.
>
> No it is more. It affects our minds. Just as ads are not 
> only images. Human minds become biased by all these inputs. 
> and the demonstrations are things like gamer gate as Miriam
> and Vincent mentioned: 

So here we have a fellow who had the courage to contribute with her
personal, intimate experience to illustrate in a very precise and
concise way the effects of sexism in videogames. If you had taken 
your time to calm down and try to identify the added value of her
contribution, you could have found that, indeed, what that person 
has reported is an empirical evidence of what Science has found on 
how virtual characters affect behavior and self-perception of the gamer:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proteus_effect

So it is true that how we shape characters in games have impact in real
life. That was just a few clicks away from you. Instead of that, you
reacted with a prepotent and aggresive attitude to attack that person
stating that, and I quote: 

> your problem with society isn't problem of supertuxkart nor Debian

By framing the experience of that person as 'your problem with society'
you are degrading and publicly humiliating that person using your
knowledge about her intimate experience.

First: may I ask how that contributes to engaging that person in future
work? How could we possibly expect that such valuable contributions
arrive to us in the future if we attack and humiliate people in such an
inaceptable way?

But, second, the harm for Debian of such aggressivity has broader severe
implications that you should seem not to be conscious of. Are we aware
of how similar is that prepotent attitude with those of the gamer gate
that criminal prosecutors are investigating right now? Are we aware
that such public expression in this mailing list can be used as evidence
in a criminal court? What happens if tomorrow that person commits
suicide, or suffers sexist harassment? Is nothing what we have learnt
from the gamer gate events? Sadly, it is only when they are imprissoned
that most male heterosexuals do discover that sexism do not affect only
women:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8zYBmsP6fes 

(video not to scare, just to inform you. no video game: real life)

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2449454/More-men-raped-US-women-including-prison-sexual-abuse.html

It is those who display sexist behavior who have problems with society,
more specifically, with criminal prosecution. Not her. She was brave,
and she provided very valuable input to understand the problem. Sexism
is the problem, not the victims of sexism. Sexism is rejected in
society, I cannot see any benefit in having Debian characterized as a
sexist distribution. It is debugging sexism from Debian, not expelling
potential contributors, what can help us to overcome the problem.

Gianfranco apologized after Ansgar noted the problems of his 'joke' on
developers and women as totems (thanks Ansgar for that). I hope that you
have the courage to recognize your error as well and share a public
apology to that person. That was definitely *not* the way to engage in a
constructive exchange to find solutions. That only serves to infect
Debian with the gamer gate disease.

Best regards,


Zlatan Todoric escrebeu:
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> 
> 
> 
> On 05/02/2015 03:34 PM, iammyr wrote:
> > Thanks a lot for the clarification.
> > 
> > I'm happy to hear there are other female characters and Sara's role
> > is not only about showing off her body. In this case I personally
> > have nothing more against the game.
> > 
> > I was personally basing my opinion on the discussion and not the
> > game itself and that was my bad but i felt a time pressure to reply
> > before the thread was closed for lack of support/interest. This led
> > to such clarifications so I like to think this discussion was not a
> > waste. Indeed, in the future, I hope that games supported by Debian
> > could go through an evaluation that considers things like "does it
> > have female characters? are they as powerful as the others?" etc.
> 
> Oh well, thank you then for jumping into thread without any prior
> knowledge and investigation, and trying to bring up censorship - that
> was very productive and helpful! And NO, I don't think games should go
> through censorship "does it have female> characters? are they as
> powerful as the others?". People should be free to create content as
> they like - and in Free software world, beside the choice that noone
> is forcing you too install the game, there is also a choice of FORKING.
> 
> > @Zlatan: I did point the finger against neither anybody nor any
> > group of people. I'm not saying "this or that is male's fault".
> > indeed, it's the society as a whole, including both males and
> > females who receives biased inputs and produces biased outputs.
> > there are bad people (both males and females) though, like those
> > who pushed female game developers to move house, loose jobs etc.
> > only because of their opinions and job roles (again, it's a
> > reference to gamergate).
> 
> We aren't gamer gate, supertuxkart isn't gamers gate and your problem
> with society isn't problem of supertuxkart nor Debian. And I don't
> really care, but if you put some sentences - back them up with
> research or links! And stop jumping into threads doing just blank
> accusations and spreading misinformations around.
> 
> > Thanks, Myriam
> 
> Cheers,
> 
> zlatan
> - -- 
> Its not the COST, its the VALUE
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> 
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