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Re: Amendment to RMS/FSF GR: Option 5

On Fri, Apr 02, 2021 at 06:18:51PM +0200, Zlatan Todoric wrote:
> [...] still not good enough to throw tantrums
> around with "witch-hunt". Women in past were burnt alive on stakes, so stop
> with extreme rhetoric when some expresses that they had it enough with
> sexist behavior.

Witch-hunt is a reference to McCarthyism. and, of course, Arthur Miller's
play, The Crucible.

I'll assume you're both very young and not a native speaker of English,
but "witch-hunt" has been a common idiomatic term for what is happening to
Stallman and the FSF board since at least the 1950s, and probably a lot longer
for reasons that should be obvious.

According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, it was 1919:


    1853 in the literal sense (witch-hunting is from 1630s), from witch (n.)
    + hunt (n.). The extended sense is attested from 1919, American English,
    later re-popularized in reaction to Cold War anti-Communism.

        Senator [Lee S.] Overman. What do you mean by witch hunt?

        Mr. [Raymond] Robins. I mean this, Senator. You are familiar with the
        old witch-hunt attitude, that when people get frightened at things
        and see bogies, then they get out witch proclamations, and mob action
        and all kinds of hysteria takes place. ["Bolshevik Propaganda,"
        U.S. Senate subcommittee hearings, 1919]

In short, it's a purge of political or other "undesirables". usually with a
rampaging mob hyped-up and eager for a taste of blood(*).

(*) just to be clear, not necessarily literal blood. that's also an idiomatic
phrase. most of the time.


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