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Re^8: 20 most important Perl Best Practices

by Ovid (Cardinal)
on Aug 29, 2012 at 10:50 UTC ( #990438=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Re^7: 20 most important Perl Best Practices
in thread 20 most important Perl Best Practices

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.


Comment on Re^8: 20 most important Perl Best Practices
Re^9: 20 most important Perl Best Practices
by BrowserUk (Pope) on Aug 29, 2012 at 11:01 UTC

    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 believe that oversensitivity to gender issues is as, if not more, offensive – patronising – to women, than the lack of sensitivity.

      Honestly? Try the same thing with s/gender/racial/ and s/women/blacks/. Maybe that will give you an idea of how you are sounding right about now.

      I also think that men are the butt of the joke in that cartoon.

      On a meta level they are, but how does that make it any less creepy?

      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.

      And if three authorities say X, what does that change? Or seventeen of them for that matter. Does the strip get any less creepy if they said it ain’t so? This is a matter of developing some empathy, which is about as far removed from what appeals to authority can accomplish as I can imagine.

      Makeshifts last the longest.

        On a meta level they are, but how does that make it any less creepy?

        I'm pretty sure his position is that it isn't creepy at all

      I conducted my own survey, and here's what I found (**):

      • Wolowitz thought it was hilarious.
      • Sheldon, as intelligent as he is, didn't get it.
      • Leonard couldn't decide if it was funny or not, but said he would have at least had the good sense to not post it publicly.
      • Raj had absolutely nothing to say about it (but that may have been because Penny was in the room).
      • Penny thought it had something to do with Star Trek.

      I'm still waiting to hear from Amy and Bernadette.

      (**) I didn't really ask them. If you wanted to know what they really thought about it, you would probably have to ask Chuck.

        Wolowitz thought it was hilarious.

        If there were ever a clear sign not to post something....

Re^9: 20 most important Perl Best Practices
by Gavin (Canon) on Aug 30, 2012 at 08:41 UTC

    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!
Re^9: 20 most important Perl Best Practices
by BrowserUk (Pope) on Aug 30, 2012 at 17:16 UTC

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

      If you want to do the right thing and not patronize people, you could start by not immediately dismissing what they have to say.

      A member of this very forum said "Hey, I felt uncomfortable." Three times.

      Something you posted caused that reaction in a member of this forum, sufficient that she posted about it twice in this thread and even wrote a separate blog post about it elsewhere.

      Rather than take her at her word, you asked someone outside of this community—outside of the context of this community and outside of the audience of what you posted—for a reaction, and you're willing to dismiss what a member of this community and the target audience of what you posted because someone else gave you an answer you like better.

      My favorite part is where you write "ghosts out of the woodwork", as if people don't really feel uncomfortable. Are we to believe that they were just waiting in hiding to pounce on you for anything you do that might possibly give then an opening? Do they not have feelings of their own?

        The ghosts out of the woodwork were all men.

        I replied to tinita directly as soon as I was aware of her involvement in the thread.

        If you follow the chronology, you'll see the email to Nadje (and two others) were already sent.

        Posting her reply here was a) a matter of courtesy; b) fulfilling my commitment to do so.


        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

      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.
      I think this thread is not an example for patronizing. There might be women who don't like to be subjects to those discussions, and I would prefer to not be either. Maybe sometime it's not necessary any more?
      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.
      yeah, you could ask before grabbing his arm, and it might be annoying if it happens often, but it's still showing a good will and is better than running in the blind man's way. And I don't read anything comparable to grabbing one man's arm here. Maybe you can ask one of your experts if pemungkah did "the wrong thing" in their eyes?
      which completely detract from the less frequent but far more serious issues & matters that *need* to be dealt with.
      oh yeah, we should do something about the global warming. eat less meat - very easy and it works for me! (SCNR)
        Maybe you can ask one of your experts if pemungkah did "the wrong thing" in their eyes?

        Having spent the last 8 days defending, against the assembled hoards, my right to say that I found something that someone else linked, funny, as a result of his implications leveled at me, but not the original poster, I have my own very clear opinion on that.


        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^9: 20 most important Perl Best Practices
by runrig (Abbot) on Aug 31, 2012 at 15:58 UTC
    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.
      On the internet, I will send you pizzas, COD porn, male masseuses, escorts, vacuum cleaner salesmen, and exterminators if you are not considerate.

      Sincerely,
      Anonymous Monk

Re^9: 20 most important Perl Best Practices
by BrowserUk (Pope) on Aug 31, 2012 at 18:24 UTC

    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

      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

      You're absolutely right. I've changed it to "c*nt".

      its okay to be sexist in private, just don't do it in front of the gals

      Go back and reread what I said. I did not say that. Please do not distort my words.

        its okay to be sexist in private, just don't do it in front of the gals

        Go back and reread what I said. I did not say that. Please do not distort my words.

        Aha, I see your difference, you said 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.

        so basically its ok to be sexist amongst friends

        or did I misunderstand like BrowserUk did?

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