Some Comments on Sexism in #debian: Meta-Reply
As I was writing this meta-reply, Mr. Samuelson, Mr.
Beattie and Mr. Nusinow made some mention of the
proper use of the term censorship. In this context in
my posts, please read "censorship" to mean "some sort
of large-scale (i.e. channel- or server-wide)
filtration of the IRC traffic generated by some target
The other more totalitarian senses of the word are not
what I had in mind.
<<Matt, I hate to burst your bubble, but IRC is not
real life, and in the grand scheme of things it really
doesn't matter - we do not control what people say or
do. We cannot, and we will not.
Your mail fairly much appears to say nothing.>>
Were it true my e-mail said nothing to you, I
seriously doubt you would have made any effort to
reply. I suspect what really is true, is that you
don't have a better way to express your disagreement
with it, and so therefore have resorted to
discounting the meaning of the content of my post.
I think you will find your opinion on the collective
responsibility to maintain a hospitable channel
environment to be in the minority. I truly think most
channel users and operators want to create a healthy,
useful channel that helps users with their problems.
<<That's absurd. People get kicked and banned for
obvious trolling, crapflooding, and racist remarks. We
can and we do control what people say or do, and we
can do better.>>
<<Have a brain please? I was not talking about the
technicalities of whatever one does on IRC... Last I
looked, Debian's world domination plan did not include
I agree, when taking censorship to have the
totalitarian meaning. Totalitarian control of
self-expression is a Bad Thing (TM).
Where censorship becomes a problem is when it is
imposed from outside by a rogue governmental authority
on specious or insufficient grounds. If we
self-regulate our channel to enhance its usability, it
is within our rights, and arguably, the only sensible
thing to do. Why should trolls, flamers, and script
kiddies be able to take free reign on #debian?
<<...Others should do the same - and some do.>>
<<Note: the behavior I'm talking about is actually
almost never the sexist crap - there's a lot more
non-sexist abuse and trolling in that channel.
Complaining only about abuse toward women, and not
abuse toward men, is itself a form of sexism - an
implication that the women are less capable of taking
care of themselves. I've actually found the opposite
to be true. But my point is, it all needs to be dealt
I am afraid I have to throw a wobbly over the logic of
this passage. The title of my message that started
this thread was, "Some Comments on Sexism in #debian."
I specifically said I was reserving my comments to
sexism and to our official channel, #debian on
To say that my deliberate attempt to limit the scope
of my remarks to a digestible level implies I have
some ulterior belief about other subjects that I have
specifically eliminated from consideration in my
commentary is not fair.
My posts should not be read in a manner which would
imply I think women are incapable of taking care of
their own problems. I was just expressing MY opinion
on a subcomponent of a larger contextual issue that
was interesting to ME. I really do not think I can
make that any more cut-and-dried.
<<Censorship is entirely appropriate when it comes to
maintaining some decorum in a forum such as IRC. Just
as it is appropriate to forcibly remove people in a
(physical) public forum who are being disruptive and
refuse to stop.>>
Agreed, when used the way I have been using it, as
could be expected, since I brought up the idea in my