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Re: How many man-hours would you estimate you have invested in learning Perl?

by schwern (Scribe)
on Apr 09, 2013 at 02:36 UTC ( #1027626=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to How many man-hours would you estimate you have invested in learning Perl?

tl;dr: Please remove the "man-hours" gag from the vote. If you're going to make stupid jokes at someone's expense, make them at your own.

This may be a small thing, but it illustrates some pretty huge issues. What it comes down to is this: which is more important, being able to make stupid jokes at the expense of women? Or making people feel comfortable at Perlmonks? I'm going to be loud about this because there are so many in this community that will either think it's ok or keep quiet, either out of not knowing what to say or not wanting to be involved in the backlash.

We're 95%+ men. We're part of an industry that has a terrible attitude towards women. In that place we're all in there's no such thing as "it's just a joke". Here's all the things I read into this little bit of humor...

"It's just a joke, lighten up" says so much. It says "my stupid joke is more important than offending you". It says "you shouldn't feel the way you feel". It says "I'm not going to take this issue seriously". The stupider and smaller and cruder the joke, the more it says "you're not important".

I see a ham-fisted caricature of feminism. It makes fun of anyone who would try to talk about the things we say and how they might reflect on others who are not like us. It's such a crude and tired caricature that it says more about the person who wrote it than it does about feminists. It says that person has a childish view of gender politics, doesn't want to think about why we're 95% men, and this is how they lash out.

I see answering a simple vote about Perl, on the front page of a major Perl web site, turning into yet another opportunity to take a shot at women. It's another instance of the gauntlet of mild abuse you need to run just to be involved in technology. This is a vote about Perl, why does it have to contain a shot at women?

It says that we're willing to take shots at women for the sake of our amusement. Whomever wrote it found it amusing, I don't doubt, but who pays for it? Who is the victim here? Women and feminists. It says "hey underpowered and under-represented group, you get to pay for our joke! Thanks for taking one for the team you're not really part of!"

By not making the responses simple, it adds baggage to the response. I can't just say I don't put time into Perl, I have to join in on a stupid joke. I can't just say I put in a few hours, I have to take on the identify of some "freaked out" user. I can't just say I put in hundreds of hours, I have to imply that I want to help develop Perl. What should be a simple poll is assigning personalities and traits to the time spent on Perl, reflecting the biases of who wrote the poll and driving people towards dishonest answers. I realize this is Perlmonks and not terribly serious, but it's still there.

I am a feminist. I am offended at having shots taken at my expense, my friend's expense and women's expense. We should be above that. People should be able to come to Perlmonks to talk about Perl, relax and enjoy it. Not get their politics or gender shoved in their face on the front page for the sake of somebody's stupid joke.

If you're going to make a joke at somebody's expense, make it at your own.

Please remove the entry from the vote. Replace it with a simple "none". Reflect on why this was a bad idea. Consider an apology.


Comment on Re: How many man-hours would you estimate you have invested in learning Perl?
Re^2: How many man-hours would you estimate you have invested in learning Perl?
by Jenda (Abbot) on Apr 09, 2013 at 10:24 UTC

    Yes, it illustrates a pretty huge issue. And issue of education induced oversensitivity and belief that just because your big ego doesn't like something everyone else is required to run away screaming and bring jewels and flowers to appease the self appointed goddess.

    There are jokes about everyone all over the place, how come only those that may, if stretched far enough, might be by selected few be in the exact right light considered derogatory to women, cause a long thread of insults? What's so special about them? Are they really that sensitive? Or did they find out that screaming will get them attention and special treatment?

    You can't caricature current feminism. You can't caricature a caricature.

    Jenda
    Enoch was right!
    Enjoy the last years of Rome.

      Asking that we avoid jokes whose target doesn't appreciate them (and is grossly under-represented in Perl for some reason) is hardly equivalent to "bringing jewels and flowers". Unless you have some kind of educationally-induced oversensitivity to criticism of your wit.

      Aren't you the one asking for special treatment? The unique right to make cracks about whoever you want, without regard for whether they'll appreciate the joke?

      Are they really that sensitive? Or did they find out that screaming will get them attention and special treatment?
      Do you really think that kind of attention and that "special treatment" we're seeing here is enjoyable? That's a serious question. I'm trying to understand what you think.
      Yes, I'm getting some nice private messages/emails from people who agree with me, (thanks), but I still would be happier if there was no reason for that at all. Honestly.

      Maybe you'd have an easier time understanding the people here who are saying "This makes me feel uncomfortable" if you listened to them instead of trying to outdo yourself mocking a caricature that doesn't represent anyone.

      How is writing:

      ... everyone else is required to run away screaming and bring jewels and flowers to appease the self appointed goddess.

      ... supposed to help the situation?

      There are jokes about everyone all over the place....

      Why should that matter? We're talking about a very specific comment in this thread to which several people have said "This makes me feel less welcome in the Perl community." Is it even relevant that in other places other people say horrible things?

      Or did they find out that screaming will get them attention and special treatment?

      Who's screaming? Is claiming that anyone is screaming supposed to help the situation?

Re^2: How many man-hours would you estimate you have invested in learning Perl?
by Anonymous Monk on Apr 09, 2013 at 11:30 UTC

    Welcome to the birth of Witchhunt Democracy.

    Leading the Lynch Mob today, for one day only, your Witchfinder General in passing, will be the Mighty Schwern.

    Pick a cause, any lost clause, and stick a plausible sounding, self-righteous label on it and he'll rally the troopers to you aid.

    Cause unappraised, source unseen, reason shall not stand in his way.

      Matt Trout wrote that. Read it: personal attacks, word choice, word *style*. And cowardly hiding behind anonymity.

        Wrong. I know because I wrote it, and I ain't He.

        I am vaguely aware of the name, but I wouldn't recognise him if he sat next to me on the tram.

        And he wouldn't know me either.

        As for cowardice; I notice you have cloaking engaged also.

Re^2: How many man-hours would you estimate you have invested in learning Perl? (jokes are bad)
by Anonymous Monk on Apr 10, 2013 at 10:25 UTC

    If you're going to make a joke at somebody's expense, make it at your own.

    Isn't the same thing?

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