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Re: Some Comments on Sexism in #debian

On Sat, Mar 20, 2004 at 01:12:26AM +0100, Benj. Mako Hill wrote:
> IIRC, the point Susan brought up at Debconf2 after the numerous "so
> easy your grandmother can use it" references was, "why always the
> "grand*mother*?" Fact is, these little references paint the person as
> stupid, or unskilled, or somehow "weaker" (pick the term that's right
> if you don't like these but it's clearly not a good thing). In our
> society, we tend to have an easier time making that kind of comparison
> to women than men. Grandfathers are hardly more likely to be ubergeeks
> but they're not the ones that end [up] as the poster child for
> cluelessness.
> If we instead try to imagine the power-developer as a grandmother we
> stand a better a chance of creating an environment that will make this
> possible and, more importantly, we have a better chance of keeping the
> power-developers grandmother(s) in our midst active and interested. :)

Well, I can think of more useful ways to spend time than to be imagining the
power-developers as grandmothers or grandfathers :D

The female secretary references won't really go away if we try to pretend
otherwise, nor will they become any less condescending if they aren't
explicitly stated. Omitting qualifiers that can be interpreted as
racist/sexist/whatever may help put our collective conscience at ease,
but the only solution to excessive categorization of people into 'lame' and
'elite' is to actually go out and help those 'lame' improve (or help those
'elite' ones worsen :).

(And by the time we fix that problem, the humanity will find another
criterion by which to discriminate. Hmm.)

     2. That which causes joy or happiness.

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