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Re^2: How many man-hours would you estimate you have invested in learning Perl?

by BrowserUk (Pope)
on Apr 10, 2013 at 16:56 UTC ( #1028012=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


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

I don't care if you say (or imply) that some Englishmen are thick, greedy, ugly or unreasonable; because it is true.

I do care if you state or imply that *all* Englishmen are any of those -- or their inverses -- because: a) you could not know that; b) it is statistically unlikely; c) those types of characterisations are subjective. So even if you knew *all* Englishmen; and concluded that for you they *all* fit your chosen characterisation; it will not be so for all of them for everyone else. It is therefore untrue. A falsehood that should be challenged. And against the laws of most civilised states to do so.

So even if you could infer from the OP joke that speaker was in fact a women, rather than (say) some litigation-shy male trying to over-compensate -- which you cannot -- it is either naive, or fantastical or fanatical to believe that the intent was to cause readers to believe that all feminists are so obsessed with gender-neutral terminology. Indeed, it is sexist to believe, imply or state that.

And as soon as you move away from the "all feminists" to 'some feminists' or 'a feminist somewhere', the possibility of sexism goes away.

Unless that is you are prepared to claim -- and demonstrate -- that no feminist does, or ever has, seen the use of gender-specific terms as an affront to womankind.

Because at that point the joke becomes a (misguided) woman -- perhaps under the delusion that she is furthering the feminist cause -- making a stupid remark regarding the use of gender-specific terms being applied to gender-neutral concepts.

Just as there are some stupid Englishmen; so have there been some feminists -- of both genders -- that have cited the use of gender-specific terminology when used to describe gender-neutral activities and concepts, as examples of sexism.

So, unless you are of the view that sexism is a one-way street that can only be perpetrated by men against women -- in which case further discussion is pointless -- concluding that the OP joke was deliberately intended to both target *all* female feminists and by doing so cause male readers to view womenkind in a lesser light, then your calling-out of the joke as sexism, and all the follow-on posts in support of that charge, along with the demands for its removal and demands for apologies are both a) wrong; b) themselves sexist (against menkind).

That is to say, the attempted cure is worse than the original sin.

My hope is that this contribution will be seen as an attempt to settle the issue rather than anything contentious worthy of further ire and debate. That it will both close the issue in this thread and provoke (quiet) contemplation that might prevent people going off half-cocked in similar ways in the future.

That is probably a forlorn hope, but I am apt to dream.


Comment on Re^2: How many man-hours would you estimate you have invested in learning Perl?
Re^3: How many man-hours would you estimate you have invested in learning Perl?
by pemungkah (Priest) on Apr 11, 2013 at 02:04 UTC
    I think I understood you. Please correct me where I have not.

    I think this is the core of what you are trying to say:

    So, unless you are of the view that sexism is a one-way street that can only be perpetrated by men against women -- in which case further discussion is pointless -- concluding that the OP joke was deliberately intended to both target *all* female feminists and by doing so cause male readers to view womenkind in a lesser light, then your calling-out of the joke as sexism, and all the follow-on posts in support of that charge, along with the demands for its removal and demands for apologies are both a) wrong; b) themselves sexist (against menkind).
    I don't believe that I made any statements saying that it was a one-way street, and in any case, it's not relevant to talk about hypothetical things that might sometime happen somewhere to somebody. I was talking about a specific event, the poll entry, in a particular place, here. Bringing in all these hypotheticals feels to me like we're wandering away from the actual situation in a fog of assumption and hypothesis, but I'm willing to be wrong. Can you explain it more simply, perhaps using the example of the poll to illustrate?

    I said it felt to me that here, in this particular case, where the "I refuse" item was written for the poll, that the statement as it was written referred to a caricature of feminism called a "straw feminist": "A character whose "feminism" is drawn only for the purposes of either proving them wrong or ridiculing them. More likely to fight an imaginary male conspiracy rather than actually helping disadvantaged women, often being an out-and-out man hater with exaggerated beliefs." (See? I was kind and didn't link to TV Tropes!) I read that poll entry that way. Do you read it differently? If you do, I'd like you to explain what it is meant to say and imply. (I may disagree, but I'll keep talking with you.)

    I did not say that it was intended to "cause male readers to view womenkind in a lesser light". I said it was a clumsy joke that seemed to me to imply that feminists are all "out-and-out man haters with exaggerated beliefs". I have seen a lot of tap-dancing around this, a lot of what it is not, but very little about what it is. If anyone really has a very specific explanation of the joke that is different - what it specifically is meant to mean - that would be useful information to better inform the discussion. In my personal experience a reluctance to get to grips with an issue like this means it really needs to be worked out and looked at. Often there are assumptions that, once laid out, turn out to be unwarranted.

    For the same of trying to find a consensus, let's see if I understand your logic by making a parallel. I'll try to remap this to the bus and feet again.

    Let's say I get on the Chinatown bus here in San Francisco. I'm wearing my heavy hiking boots, having just gotten back from a trip to Yosemite. I like my hiking boots; they're really comfortable and support my feet, and I feel good and safe and warm in them. Today the bus is really crowded. Gee, there are a lot more people here than usual! I work my way back as usual to the middle of the bus, and in the process I almost step on the foot of an old lady who only speaks Chinese, so I don't understand she's saying, "Hey, watch your feet! You could have stepped on me! Those big shoes could hurt someone on a bus with these extra people on it!" because it's in a language that's just noises to me. So now a young man who speaks both Mandarin and English says, "Hey, you just missed that lady's foot! You need to be more careful! And you shouldn't wear those big shoes on this bus!".

    If I understood what you were saying, I come to the conclusion you're saying that the young man who speaks both languages is being a racist because he's translated the Chinese that couldn't be understood and is telling me, the non-Chinese person, that I'm doing something that could hurt people - I didn't, but I could have - and that there some things I should do to avoid it, even if I didn't directly hurt someone this time. The other thing you seem to be saying is that is was actually inherently wrong to speak to me at all to tell me something he's I'm not understanding.

    This parallel could be off; I'd appreciate your help in trying to fix it if it is. Sometimes metaphors are more powerful ways to work something out than trying to deal with loaded situations.

    The story, as I've written it, is meant to be a very close parallel to the poll situation. When I mention potential gender-related issues. I'm trying to translate a language that, on the evidence in this thread, doesn't make sense to a lot of the more-vocal Perlmonks. When I'm talking about this stuff, I'm trying to introduce the core concepts that make it easier to understand the component parts of situations that discourage people from being part of Perlmonks.

    Here's a for-instance. When I say the term "Using 'Man-cave' like that is an attack", I'm using shorthand to say "in this context someone is taking the perfectly lovely concept of a guy having his own private and personal space where he can indulge himself and his interests, and giving it the spin by way it is being used of "this is my place, owned by me, a man, where I make all the decisions, and things that concern you, who not a man, are unwelcome, and will be ignored and ridiculed because they are not anything I care about and therefore not man stuff and consequently completely unimportant". In short: "Mine. You're worthless. Leave."

    I am, and let me say this in bold, not saying any person here is bad. Even the "cancerous asshole" and "mangina" people. You may have said something thoughtless, or even deliberately cruel - but those are actions, they are not "you".

    When I'm saying that something is "sexist", I'm saying, "I'm trying to let you know: this is said in a way that implies to certain people: we don't like you, we don't want you; if you are like the person we are talking about you are bad and should leave, and we will be as nasty and unkind as we can to you".

    Nobody needs to make jokes that are needlessly cruel to people - even if they are people you don't know. If you do know someone who is angry about an issue and lashing out - try to sympathize. Try to see who they are. Try to understand them. Yes, it is very hard to deal with someone who is angry. It's much easier to be angry right back. But it gets us nowhere.

    Sympathy and tolerance are the lubricants that allow groups of people to grow. Anger, taunting, and belittling can draw an existing community together - but as a policy, it sows the potential for explosions later, when suddenly one of the closely-bound people suddenly is "one of those people".

    I am speaking only because I see signs of the most active and vocal members binding themselves closer through tightening their circle, not through saying and living that "we all love Perl - even though we are different, let us find a way to love it together and support each other, finding a way for our differences to coexist here."

    I think you're saying this, as I am trying to: that you want Perlmonks to be as big as it can possibly be. I'm trying to find a way to remove the intolerant bits that make it harder to grow. I think you have ideas about this too. I'd like to know them. We very likely won't agree at first, but perhaps there is a way we can.

      I think I understood you. Please correct me where I have not.

      Stated more simply, you inferred sexism where it could not exist and without consultation voiced that unfounded charge in a public forum.

      Later in the thread you inferred homophobia and voiced the charge, again without foundation, publicly.

      Those two combined open up a third possibility, defined in European and other legal doctrines as 'hate mongering'.

      I strongly suggest that you stop now and seek both salient education and appropriate legal advice.


      With the rise and rise of 'Social' network sites: 'Computers are making people easier to use everyday'
      Examine what is said, not who speaks -- Silence betokens consent -- Love the truth but pardon error.
      "Science is about questioning the status quo. Questioning authority".
      In the absence of evidence, opinion is indistinguishable from prejudice.
        You are repeatedly falsely accusing me of doing something that did not happen.

        I speak with precision. I said I was "waiting to see". That means I do not know whether something will happen or not. You might stretch and say I thought it was likely. But I said nothing about whatever poster was hiding behind the mask of the Anonymous Monk.

        If you think you know what I was thinking, you have a complete right to say, "I think that you think the poster is a homophobe."

        But you do not get to tell me I said something when I did not say it.

      "Anger, taunting, and belittling can draw an existing community together..."

      Paraphrasing from American Dad...

      I'm not telling you to stop hating.
      I just want you to hate where hate deserves.
      Hating feminists is hate we could be using on Python!
      package Cow { use Moo; has name => (is => 'lazy', default => sub { 'Mooington' }) } say Cow->new->name
        Yep, exactly that. Let's find more consensus and write more great code.

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