Women are not crazy
… or at least, not any more crazy than any other gender.
I’ve been trying to avoid getting involved in these discussions, but the RMS Female Emacs Virgin “joke” has brought some issues to my attention that I haven’t realised are quite as big as they are. There’s a number of people who actually believe that women are stupid and annoying and that they should stay out of the way in the free software world, and that’s quite disturbing. You would think that people who care about free software are mature to the level where they won’t discrimitate against someone based on gender, race or sexuality.
Some say that Richard Stallman’s joke was innocent and that it wasn’t meant as being discriminating. In my opinion, even if that’s the case, it was wrong to do so. It’s a known fact that there’s a very low ratio between female and male contributors to free software, and doing something that could alienate even a small percentage of female contributors is a big deal. Those who feel that it’s innocent, how would you feel if he specifically said “male emacs virgins”? I think I’ll keep my distance from him anyway.
The Blog From Hell
What brings me to this post is AJ Venter’s Blog From Hell. AJ himself isn’t that important, and I usually manage to ignore him quite efficiently, but when he spews out things like his last entry titled “Women are crazy” I find it highly annoying. He sells himself as being a big proponent and contributor of free software.
Making yourself a representative of a community comes with a great amount of responsibility, when you say something in any context, people will link that to the communities and organisations that you represent, even if you don’t see it that way. When you spew out things like this, it affects something much bigger than yourself. I also ask that you stop aggregating your posts to CLUG Park and other aggregators until you grow up. Saying “ew, girls!” is supposed to get old when you turn 7 already. Women aren’t there just to bring sexual pleasure for men and they’re not all stupid, crazy or useless. Why can’t you at least try to be a grown up? If anything, just for your own sake.