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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.


In reply to Re^2: How many man-hours would you estimate you have invested in learning Perl? by BrowserUk
in thread How many man-hours would you estimate you have invested in learning Perl? by punch_card_don

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