I'm currently in Europe, in a very large software company, and on the whiteboard in front of me is:
my @goatse =()= .
There was more, but it's been there for at least 3 months and the rest has been erased.
I'd actually be somewhat uncomfortable with the use of "goatse" as a joking reference in sample code, as in that whiteboard anecdote.
Not personally -- in the pub you should expect far fouler than that from me. ;) But since "goatse" refers unambiguously to something sexually explicit, I'd be hesitant to use it in a professional context except in a sort of antiseptic explanatory way: "Well, you should probably know that that's sometimes called the 'goatse operator', which refers to a brutally explicit image on the net."
I'd expect my colleagues, regardless of background, to be adult enough to handle discussing the topic in the abstract. But other usages are dicey. Here in the US, they're also legally hazardous... but I'd go beyond that and say that I believe in the reasons those laws were passed, and that our industry, with its dreadful gender diversity ratio, has a long way to go making our workplace environments welcoming to all.
Avoiding the word "goatse" on workplace whiteboards is very different from avoiding it on some random website you clicked to.
Not like this could get any more afield but pornography can be in the eyes of the beholder. The Image Which Cannot Be Named might be an acceptable presentation point for a proctology class. Sidenote: I would tend to label any medically graphic images NSFW myself.
"Diversity". "Welcoming to all". Agrrrr. What a ... nonsense. Your "dreadful gender diversity ratio" has got nothing to do whatsoever with the workplace environment dude. Males and females are different! Which doesn't mean there can't be (good) female developers, but it does mean that females IN GENERAL do not TEND TO WANT to be developers. Just like males do not tend to want to go to some other careers. With exceptions of course. You'd have to FORCE females to choose the career if you wanted to have "good" diversity. There's nothing preventing a female from choosing the career and some silly word on some whiteboard will not change that.
All this diversity quota stuff is racism and sexism at its worst.
Jenda Enoch was right!
Enjoy the last years of Rome.
Thank goodness you didn't call it "reverse-racism" or "reverse-sexism" or you would have triggered me to rant. Racism is racism, no matter who is discriminating against who.
While it is pretty clear that men and women are different, it is not clear how much of the difference is cultural vs biological. To the extent that we culturally exclude people from desirable work, we are failing to support individual liberty.
If a career is seen as female only (say nursing), a man may not be actively excluded in training or recruitment programs. However, if all his co-workers are women, then you will naturally be excluded. Many people will move on to a more welcoming work site or career. If you can get a small group of men working in that same position, then the exclusion effect is lessened. It becomes easier to recruit and retain men into that role.
It works the same way with primarily male or racially monolithic work environments.
There may be nothing (except perception) preventing a woman from choosing to work in IT, but there are plenty of things encouraging them to move on to another profession.
Quotas and affirmative action are difficult subjects. Racism and sexism in any form is offensive. Yet, if a career is seen as exclusively male or white, it can be extremely difficult to overturn those notions so that the *ist inequality (the cultural component of the disparity) is addressed. Mechanisms like social proof and in and out group biases help to keep mostly single race/gender occupations segregated. To overcome these forces some sort of blunt instrument is needed.
So, while affirmative action rankles, I don't know a better solution. I'd love to hear one suggested, actually.
But this topic isn't even about AA, its about what is NSFW and why. Some people are over-sensitive. If I had to explain what the `goatse` operator was to someone who I thought would be easily offended, I would say:
It is named after a disgusting shock image that was commonly posted to internet sites in the late 90s. If you want to know more I suggest you google it on your own time, but be warned that it is very shocking and is of a sexual nature.
If you work someplace with a strict filtering policy, and they churn alarms at you for stumbling upon a naughty word in a post at PM, as long as you have a good work related reason to be here, then you will be fine. I'd go so far as to mention the incident to my supervisor. However, if you jump up and down and make unwelcome, sexually explicit comments about the goatse operator and spread-eagle to your coworkers (whatever their gender), then you have a problem.
It's amazing how much of what troubles people can be solved by mere politeness. Name calling and exclusionary tactics (such as standard, PC nonsense) don't solve anything.
Oh my god, you are so right! Women were born to breed children (it's in the name, WOmen comes from womb), and they don't like to do anything else. If they need to work they can be nurses, fashion designers or cooks, jobs no normal man would take. Women who work in IT are subverting the Lord's will, it's not natural! Clearly, the 28% of women who currently work in IT and engineering in the US were forced to do so against their will! Probably their parents were communists! Another proof: in Malaysia there are as many women as men in IT, and it is an overwhelmingly Islamic country, which makes Jesus cry. Don't force women to take an IT job by not being a total jerk!
Funnily goatse seems to be the prime example of NSFW.
I'm not sure anymore if this lazy going applies to the whole of Europe, and how a manager of a London bank would react .... Maybe not amused? ;-)
IMHO it's also a matter of time and not only space... I remember now getting into some trouble in 1999 when freelancing for a bank in Frankfurt, because my boss found internet comics in my temporary internet files, accusing me to surf for fun at payed work time.
As I found out later (too late) these images originated from outlook emails which where displayed via IE4.
(NT3 standard setting???)
Two (intern!) girls at the neighboring office where sending funny cartoons every day to the whole department compromising my internet files...
Thankfully I never got emails with goatses or oralses ... ;-) ╣
Well nowadays people feeling offended just by the mention of the word "goatse" only, should lead to a new classification:
NSFTSI := Not suitable for the Spanish inquisition
(1) I should add that this boss was widely considered a psycho. IMHO examining the private logs of an employee shouldn't be legal in Germany.
Funnily goatse seems to be the prime example of NSFW.
I presume you are referring to the image shown for a long time on the goatse website. But no image was posted in the thread being discussed. It was the word being used as a name. I'm sure the manager of said London bank didn't object to their branches in Essex?
IMHO examining the private logs of an employee shouldn't be legal in Germany.
Yes, but what does that have to you with you? If you were freelancing, you weren't an employee.
> I presume you are referring to the image shown for a long time on the goatse website.
Yes of course! Talking about the goatse phenomenon means primarily the image.
> It was the word being used as a name.
Exactly, and as I said, objecting the _word_ is a case Spanish inquisition. Me too, I didn't know the image before.
> If you were freelancing, you weren't an employee.
I think these laws/etiquette apply generally to subordinates.
The difference is that an average freelancer wouldn't openly oppose his client.
(well I'm not normal... )
> ... object to their branches in Essex?
hihi 8) This reminds me of a friend who was complaining he couldn't get emails from his girlfriend from her university of sussex account (mid 90s) ... as we found out mails containing "sex" where automatically filtered out by our faculties sys-admin. xD
UPDATE: In general people should be very prudent about a quick accusations, just take the cultural differences of the meaning of 88 in chats.