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Re: debian-women obscurity, was: Clarification about krooger's platform

[Note: I originally posted this to another list -- thinking this whole 
debian-women thread was off topic for debian-vote.  M.J. Ray 
indicated only that he thinks debian-vote is the appropriate list, so 
I'm reposting it here, with minor edits.]

Raul Miller <moth@debian.org> wrote:
> > And, personally, I really don't see the relevance in the context of
> > this web page.  If you're tired, and want to just get stuff done, don't
> > you have your own web pages? [...]

On 10 Mar 2005 02:36:49 GMT, MJ Ray <mjr@dsl.pipex.com> wrote:
> A variation on the "you can discriminate in your own space" suggestion.
> Not a good approach to stopping discrimination, though.

The question is: what problem are you trying to solve?

Are you trying to eradicate people making fine distinctions, or are
you trying to address some sort of unfairness that hurts people?

My impression is that you've confused the label for the issue, and
that you're focussing on distinctions rather than unfairness.

> > I think you're confusing that project with a web page. [...]
> Not really.

No, really: I have been thinking that.  I've been trying to come up
with some reasonable explanation behind the words you've been saying,
and confusion [on your part] still seems to me to be the best

> The project maintains the web page.

This is true, in a general sense.  More specifically, volunteers
maintain that web page on behalf of the project.  So, ok, this is a
good start at indicating you're aware of the difference between that
project, as a whole, and that page, specifically..

> The project  has a mailing list.


> On both of these and some others, when a  choice is
> made on how to include or exclude from something,
> sex is used as a primary decision-maker.

Since the focus of that group is a disporportionate lack of
representation from one gender, it kinda makes sense that that issue
is significant when determining what's relevant to the discussions of
that group.

(Note that I'm deliberately ignoring some of the false implications
that one could take from your sentence.  For example, I'm ignoring the
verb form of the word "sex".  For example, I'm ignoring your
implication that there's something wrong with focussing discussion on
this disproportionate lack of membership.)

> This is despite what some of the reasonable members say or do
> about addressing wider issues not limited to one sex and that the
> project should avoid being sexist.

"Despite"?  I don't think "despite" is accurate -- not unless you're
focussing on false implications of other people's statements.

For that matter, you've yet to indicate you understand what is meant
by "sexist".

My understanding of your arguments is that you think "sexist" means
"making distinctions on the basis of gender", and that you're
objecting to this one page which profiles women because it does not
focus equally on both genders.

My understanding is that they're using "sexist"  to refer to unfair
distinctions based on gender, and "discrimination" to refer to unfair
distinctions in general.

> [The "this discrimination doesn't hurt men" argument and then...]

Ok, so maybe you are really aware of the issues and are just
pretending otherwise?

> > I think you should be fair about this -- either bring up a specific
> > concrete problem where someone is being injured, or admit that you
> > don't have any such issue in mind.
> > "You didn't put the people I want on your page" sounds more like the
> If it's fair to call one-sided example genders on www.debian as
> a bug, let's call it a bug where it happens across all debian.

Are you proposing that debian have a rule that when a person of one
gender is mentioned on a page that a person of the other gender must
also be mentioned?

Because if that's what you're suggesting, then debian-vote is the
right place for this discussion.

However, from the actions you're advocating I don't feel you
are interested in fairness in the context of debian as a whole.

> Is it fair? The www example genders weren't shown to be
> concretely injuring anyone before being changed, either.

I don't understand this last sentence.

Are you saying that the project membership does not disproportionately
disfavor one gender?

Are you saying that it's unreasonable for people to be concerned about
this issue?

Or are you merely saying that this issue is not likely to have
immediately fatal consequences?


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