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Re^6: 20 most important Perl Best Practices

by pemungkah (Priest)
on Aug 26, 2012 at 21:03 UTC ( #989879=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Re^5: 20 most important Perl Best Practices
in thread 20 most important Perl Best Practices

Looking at that strip and trying to imagine I was a female programmer, I feel uncomfortable. Cf. Schwern's keynote.

We can do better.


Comment on Re^6: 20 most important Perl Best Practices
Re^7: 20 most important Perl Best Practices
by BrowserUk (Pope) on Aug 26, 2012 at 22:04 UTC
    trying to imagine I was a female programmer, I feel uncomfortable.

    Uncomfortable about what?

    1. The mention of "boob job"?

      Breast enhancements exist.

    2. The term "boob job"?

      A little casual research amongst my wife. my 3 sisters, and 5 nieces ranging in age from 17 to 64 elicits that they all refer to breast enhancements as "boob jobs".

    3. The idea that for some (men and women) breast enhancement can enhance the attractiveness of the recipient?

      Self explanatory.

    4. The idea that it doesn't work the same for everybody or every body.

      Viva la Difference.

    I find your construed objection to the cartoon, unrealistic.


    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.

    RIP Neil Armstrong

    boob jobs

      Do you think that women are lying when they say that they are driven away from geek communities because of lame frat-boy humour like this? Or do you not care that this might be the case?

      --

      See the Copyright notice on my home node.

      Perl School

        I *know* -- because I've been told so many times by people I trust -- that I am more sensitive to matters of gender, race and religion than most.

        I *know* that none of the women in my circle of family and friends found anything in *that particular cartoon* in any way offensive or derogatory. Because I asked.

        And I conclude that most any offense taken from *that particular cartoon* is artificial and derivative.

        Not all; some are offended by the sight of a women's hair or arms; some by kissing in public; some by pencil lines on paper; some by certain combinations of letters, regardless of context. But in general, there is nothing in that cartoon; neither the images, nor the words, nor the underlying ideas, nor the intent, that is offensive to most women.

        Indeed, with just a little thought and suspension of knee-jerkism, it is easy to see that it is the very male stereotyping of what constitutes the "ideal women", that you are trying to allude to, that is the butt of the joke.


        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.

        RIP Neil Armstrong

        /codeScience is about questioning the status quo. Questioning authority

      Straw man much? Did he mention the term “boob job” at all?

      It’s the strip’s implied “aw yeah Demi Moore, I get a boner when I think of her” (and more along those lines) that’s creepy – and I say this without even putting myself in the shoes of a woman reading the strip: even just as a man – dude, I don’t wanna know and I don’t want to be made a party to your fantasies without my consent. Keep it in your pants.

      To a woman I can only imagine it would feel 10× worse.

      None of that has anything to do with prudish objections to such as naughty language like tits or fucking.

      Makeshifts last the longest.

        I don’t want to be made a party to your fantasies

        If that's how you read that cartoon, you are outing your own thought processes, not mine.

        Which makes you the butt of the joke.


        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.

        RIP Neil Armstrong

      I still remember the time I had a presentation with some content that I thought was funny, but just to make sure, I asked several female friends, all of whom thought it was OK. I still received some rather negative feedback from women I had never heard of. Surprise! It turns out that the people I know are, well, people that I know and we're more likely to understand where one is coming from.

      What I, and all of my female friends, missed, was the issue of context. Just because there's a joke I can tell in front of my friends doesn't mean that it's appropriate for for a large, anonymous audience. They don't know who I am, they don't know what I think, and it's quite reasonable that someone may be offended by a "let's judge Demi Moore by the size of her breasts" cartoon.

      I honestly don't understand why more people don't get this idea: public and private behavior are not the same and should not be the same. I have a friend in the UK who greets me by saying "hiya c*nt". There's a private joke behind that, but he would never dream of greeting me like that in front of a bunch of people he doesn't know because it's not appropriate.

        I believe that oversensitivity to gender issues is as, if not more, offensive -- patronising -- to women, than the lack of sensitivity. I also think that men are the butt of the joke in that cartoon.

        But, in an attempt to settle the matter, I have sent the following email to 3 different Professors of Women's Studies to elicit an authoritative opinion. One has auto-reponded saying she is out until the September, 16th. Nothing yet from the others.

        I'm suspending my further interactions on this subject until I get something to report.

        Hi [...], This is a kind of off-the-wall request. I've picked you out from an internet search for: "professor of women's studies university" I wonder if you would consider looking at a cartoon: http://stripgenerator.com/strip/597425/moose-moore-or-mouse/ And briefly offering your opinion on whether it is offensive to women? This comes about from an on-line discussion amongst (mostly) male prog +rammers, some of whom think it might be. My personal conclusion -- white anglo-saxon male atheist 30 years marr +ied to a muslim women -- is that it is not offensive to women, but ra +ther makes men's innate, stereotypical reactions, the butt of the jok +e. But I would like a second opinion. Many thanks for your time, regardless of your decision, [...] Ps. for reference: Perl is a computer programming language; Moose is a new, hyped, but very heavyweight add-on library for tha +t language. Mouse is another add-on library providing similar functionality, b +ut in a much lighter form.

        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.

        RIP Neil Armstrong

        I have a friend in the UK who greets me by saying "hiya cunt". There's a private joke behind that, but he would never dream of greeting me like that in front of a bunch of people he doesn't know because it's not appropriate.

        Magic, what a wonderful greeting must be great fun to be with and probably very dangerous.

        Must be a Geordie!

        I got a reply, and (with permission) offer it here for posterity:

        Hi XXXXXX, I looked at the cartoon, and did not find it particularly offensive. I + did not find it particularly funny either. I looked at it with my husband +who works in IT, and he did not really find it funny either. I agree with you that the cartoon is more about men's innate sexist jo +kes, rather than being sexist itself. But I am sure that there would be som +e women who would feel otherwise, and would feel that the cartoon is jus +t one of many examples of the objectification of women. best wishes, Nadje On 29 August 2012 11:33, <XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX@XXXXXXXXXXXX.net> wrote: > Hi XXXXXXXXX, > > This is a kind of off the wall request. > > I wonder if you would consider looking at a cartoon: > > http://stripgenerator.com/**strip/597425/moose-moore-or-**mouse/ > > And briefly offering your opinion on whether it is offensive to wome +n? > > This come about from an on-line discussion amongst (mostly) male > programmers, some of whom think it might be. > > My personal conclusion -- white anglo-saxon male atheist 30 years ma +rried > to a muslim women -- is that it is not offensive to women, but rathe +r makes > men's innate, stereotypical reactions the butt of the joke. > > But I would like a second opinion. > > Many thanks for your time, regardless of your decision, > > XXXXXXXXXXXXX > > Ps. for reference, > Perl is a computer programming language; > Moose is a new, popular, but very heavyweight add-on library for +that language. > Mouse is another add-on library providing similar functionality, +but in a much lighter form. > -- Nadje XXXXXX Professor of Gender Studies http://www.XXXXX.ac.uk/genderstudies/ XXXX UCU Equality & Diversity Officer XXXX, University of XXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXX Street, XXXXXX XXXXXX XXXXXX XXXH 0XG, UK Tel. (44) (0) XXXXXXXX 4547 Room XXXA

        Why ask? Because I find her opinion more authoritative than that of the ghosts out of the woodwork.

        What do I draw from her reply?

        That even when men are trying to do the right thing and be sensitive to women, they often still do the wrong thing for the right reasons. Like shouting at a deaf man, or trying guide a blind man by grabbing his arm, their attempts to 'fix things' are often worse than what they are trying to fix.

        Like the Heath&Safety-gone-mad of an archaeologist being forced to wear a fluorescent jacket, hardhat and goggles whilst using a trowel in a 6 inch deep scrape in the middle of an open field on a sunny day; overzealousness in trying to "be sensitive" to women is just as counter productive.

        It engenders groans and apathy and worse, due to the overload of "do nots" and "must nots" and "Shhh! There's a girl coming in", which completely detract from the less frequent but far more serious issues & matters that *need* to be dealt with.

        They are often at the same time, patronising, futile and unnecessary.

        Think about the issues, talk about the issues, make it possible and desirable for women to point the issues out and suggest how to correct them, but don't overreact and don't do the "male thing" and try to 'fix' everything. Listen first, and tackle the big things in consultation with women. With luck, the rest will sort itself.


        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.

        RIP Neil Armstrong

        Social
        I make regularly make jokes at home and get things thrown at me. In public and especially on the internet, people can't throw things at you, so you should really have more consideration about what you say because it's just not fair to others.

        For the record:

        • A very high proportion of women would find, regardless of context, your posting of the fully alliterated c-word far, far more offensive than the indirectly linked cartoon you popped up to decry.
        • Advocating that "its okay to be sexist in private, just don't do it in front of the gals" is absolutely the worst possible response to the problem.

        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.

        RIP Neil Armstrong

      let me tell you something. in my experience, if women start a discussion about something they feel uncomfortable or are offended, they are called feminist fanatists or something like that. yes, that happens. women get harrassed by phone and email after such discussions. yes, that happens (fortunately not to me yet, but to a friend).
      it is not easy for the minority of women to speak up here, also because of such reasons. believe it or not. people are harrassed because they are women, gay, handicapped or whatever.
      now a guy speaks up, and he doesn't even take the right to speak for all women, he just says what he thinks he would feel. and suddenly all hell breaks loose. WTF?

      Now I add a comment that I in fact feel uncomfortable. and what happens? nothing. you don't care. and for Jenda I'm the one closed minded women.

      So women can't speak up easily, because they are afraid of being called fanatists. and men can't speak up for women either. great!

      I now do speak up. I just don't want to see or hear such pubertal jokes here, and it's now up to you to call me fanatist, closed minded or whatever.

        Breaking my "no further interactions until ..." missive for a special case.

        1. I had not seen your earlier post. It was not a reply to me so I didn't see it. Indeed, it just took me a while to find it.
        2. I did not put the words in Jenda's post. He did not aim those words at a) you; b) nor any women.
        3. I did not write the cartoon. I did not post the originally link to the cartoon.
        4. The cartoon was not posted here. You had to follow a link to find it. There are far worse links to follow.
        5. I am not responsible for; nor defending; nor condoning; any of that (mostly unrelated) male behaviour you cite above.
        6. I have not, and would not make any attempt to suppress or belittle the discussion of the (mostly unrelated) issues you raise above.

          Indeed, if you would care to scan back through my 10 years & nearly 18,000 posts of interactions here, you will find that I have been very vocal on defending those (thankfully few) people whom I have seen targeted on the basis of the gender, race, or religion.

        7. Finally, I wonder if you have actually read the cartoon in question, because -- I've said this several times now, but it bares repeating -- the butt of the joke in the cartoon, is exactly the stereotypical male behaviour you are decrying.

          What makes the cartoon so funny, is that it turns that stereotypical male behavior back at its source -- men.

          In the calm light of reasoned, thoughtful understanding, you might see that such reverse-targeted humour does far more to modify stereotypical male behavior, than any amount of "the jokes fine in private but don't mention it when there are ladies present" ever can.


        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.

        RIP Neil Armstrong

Re^7: 20 most important Perl Best Practices
by Anonymous Monk on Aug 27, 2012 at 00:12 UTC

    Looking at that strip and trying to imagine I was a female programmer, I feel uncomfortable.

    Quick, disconnect before it gets worse!

Re^7: 20 most important Perl Best Practices
by aaron_baugher (Deacon) on Aug 27, 2012 at 02:16 UTC

    Imagining being a female makes me uncomfortable too. Or is it imagining being a programmer?

    Aaron B.
    Available for small or large Perl jobs; see my home node.

      Actually, imagining being female doesn't make me uncomfortable at all. As a software developer, it's part of my job to think imaginatively about what someone else might want or not want. How can you manage to develop usable and enjoyable software for someone else if you can't imagine what they'd want - or if you dismiss their desires and preferences? Is it impossible for a male developer to try to imagine the effect of wording or graphics and think, "Hmm, if I were a woman, that might make me feel uncomfortable or talked-down-to; I'd better change that"? I don't think it is.

      Have you ever caught yourself saying "nobody would want that" or "nobody would do that"? Quoting Michael Bolton's Rapid Software Testing class, "nobody would do that" means "nobody that I know, and that I like, would do that".

      Posting jokes equivalencing software features to large breasts and saying "nobody would really find that offensive" means you're thinking about the entire audience of people as consisting of a group in which someone who would be hurt, upset, or angry doesn't even exist.

      I'm no angel. I screw up with this stuff too. But when I see there's a screwup, I try to kindly say, "I think you should seriously consider that what you said is be a screwup." If it was me, then I should say "I screwed up, I have no excuse, and I'm sorry."

        If it was me, then I should say "I screwed up, I have no excuse, and I'm sorry."

        But you are being self-righteous. That is, completely ignoring the possibility that it was you that was wrong in this instance.

        With the best will in the world, how con you place your guess as to a women's sensibilities above the expressed opinion of a women who makes her living studying and teaching on that that very subject?

        (And BTW, whom has spent the last year of her life in Iraq, unpaid, applying her knowledge, skills and time, at not inconsiderable risk, to helping women directly; and trying to change the culture in that country to prevent the on going and systematic mistreatment of women. Ie. Dealing with *real issues*!)

        A little game.

        • Someone pops up a PerlMonk's complaining that the first three letters in the word "title" -- used in various places around the site -- might be offensive to women.

          Do we dragnet the site and expunge them all? Of course not.

        • Another someone pops up and claims that T.I.T.S. Or, Try It To See. is offensive to women.

          Do we expunge it? After 6 years We haven't, despite some expressed reservations about it at the time.

        • ... various increasing levels of possible offense ...

        • If someone else had popped up and complained about the use of what is widely regarded as the "the most heavily tabooed word of all English words", "The Most Offensive Word in the English Language", that creates a huge furore, even when only used by implication by one of the nicest, most PC women in broadcasting...

          Then I would have backed any call for its removal.

          But no one did!

          Ever wonder why?

        The point is, there is a sliding scale of what might offend someone somewhere, and it is literally impossible to try and avoid all the possible sources of offense, and certainly counter-productive to try. So we -- individually and collectively -- have to draw a line somewhere.

        You popped up to complain -- to me, despite it having earlier linked by someone else -- about a cartoon.

        In my opinion -- and, according to my best endeavors to get an authoritative opinion of the matter -- your suggestion that the cartoon in question is abovebelow on the wrong side of that line, is incorrect. So I rejected your suggestion -- not rudely or aggressively -- but by explaining why I thought you were wrong.

        And what do you do? Instead of conducting an open discussion on the subject -- as advocated by Swearn in the keynote you linked -- you take your wounded pride elsewhere to assemble the hoards to come here in -- clumsy, ad-hominem, and in most cases, far more offensive, both to me personally and in two cases, women in general -- defense of that pride.

        There is an interesting phenomena that has gained increasing recognition in media and media study circles over the last few years that has sometimes been termed "offense by proxy". There are several well documented cases of this. I will describe one I was personally witness to.

        An little known, unfunny, "shock jock" so-called comedian, was taking part in an equally obscure comedy panel show, late at night on a little watched to-air channel. He cracked a joke made a crass, sexist, bigoted remark about a female athlete's looks. It drew groans and boos of shock and offense from both the audience and the other panel members -- despite several of them being known for their near-the-mark humour. I turned over.

        Over the next few days the story made headlines in the press and on TV and the communications watchdog (OFCOM) received huge numbers of complaints. The comedian in question was roundly barrated; he has since disappeared from TV -- both the panel show in question and others he sometimes appeared on.

        A few weeks later, OFCOM held a hearing and passed their judgement, and called for both the comedian and the TV channel to apologise.

        One interesting fact came out of the whole thing. The total number of complaints OFCOM received exceeded the audience figures for the program by a factor of 2 or 3 depending on who's audience figures one used. Since statistics show that at most 2% or 3% of a programs audience will every put pen to paper even for the most grievous of offenses, it is estimated that of the thousands of complaints received, 90%+ must have been written by people who could not have seen the original program. (The segment was cut from the on-line catch-up service version.)

        Offense by proxy.

        Looking at the time-lines, all those "offenderati" that came along to attack me as a result of your blogging, would almost certainly never have seen the cartoon had you not called attention to it by blogging.

        And of those, the only women who, -- by her own admission -- was more concerned with how you were treated, by another responder to your original post, than the cartoon. I did not construct the cartoon. Or post it. Or even provide the original link to it. And I do not control the opinions of that other poster.

        So, the ultimate result of your misguide attempt to "be sensitive", targeted at the wrong person, and your actions to call wider attention to it, had exactly the opposite affect than (I hope) you intended.

        And as a result, I've had to suffer 10 days of offensive, ad hominem attacks. Thanks!

        I'm not apologising, because I did nothing wrong.


        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.

        RIP Neil Armstrong

Re^7: 20 most important Perl Best Practices
by Jenda (Abbot) on Aug 28, 2012 at 23:17 UTC

    Ah, yes, trying to imagine, ... what if instead of trying to imagine and getting offended in place of someone else you took the effort and ASKED? But yeah if you asked enough females you might find one closed minded enough to feel offended. Explaining them first that they should feel offended because, you know, boobs, sexualization, sexistic pigs, blah blah, would probably help.

    Next time you are busy trying to imagine try to imagine what does it feel to be patronized all the time by the likes of you.

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

      I feel uncomfortable with such jokes here. now does that count? (and I guess none of my friends would call me closed minded)
      I think Jenda's pic on his home node is offensive to those of us who may be bald, toothless, jobless, carless and/or lack muscles. It demeans us by implying that we are unattractive to the opposite sex (or the same sex as the case may be). This makes us feel unwelcome here.
Re^7: 20 most important Perl Best Practices
by topher (Scribe) on Aug 30, 2012 at 16:16 UTC

    Agreed.

    What bothers me the most is that in situations where someone is in the minority, they are already in a disadvantaged position to express a similar opinion. Most people don't like rocking the boat, they don't want to go against their peers, and they're slow to vocalize when they're uncomfortable, unhappy, or offended at something. Unless they get really angry, they're not likely to say anything.

    We've already had a woman note that she was bothered by the comic. If that's the case, I expect that there are many more who felt the same and didn't speak up.

    Respect. Common courtesy. Appropriate behavior. These aren't complicated concepts. We need to remember that what is acceptable in some situations may not be in others. Sexualized programming jokes are a good example of something not acceptable in this environment, IMO.

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