Re: Censorship in Debian
Miles Fidelman <email@example.com> writes:
> At the risk of repeating myself: I'm a firm believer in applying
> Postel's law to email discussions - "be conservative in what you do,
> be liberal in what you accept from others." Personally, I try to
> observe both parts of it, but I see more and more people doing just
> the opposite, and, if anything, leaning toward taking so much offense,
> at so much, as to be offensive for that.
The effect of this maxim is that if you're someone who isn't on the
receiving end of a lot of bad language or behaviour (because, for
example, you are a white male), then it's easy to say "Oh, I don't mind
what people say about me, so no-one else should mind either". You're
speaking from a position of relatively high social position. When you
say that to someone who is often on the receiving end of abuse (because
they're queer, or black, or trans, or a woman), you're saying in effect
"if you want to stick around here, you'll have to accept the
racist/sexist/homophobic things people say to you - otherwise you're not
being liberal in what you accept".
...which is why, of course, the Debian project has said that we won't
accept racist/sexist/homophobic/etc language in our spaces, because we
want a broad range of people to feel welcome in our community. I don't
get to decide what is offensive to women, I get to listen to women
and believe them. And I should then help ensure that language that is
offensive to women isn't used in Debian - it's not fair on women to have
to justify Every. Single. Time. why particular language is offensive or
offputting to women.
 WLOG to other minorities
"At least you know where you are with Microsoft."
"True. I just wish I'd brought a paddle."