Skip to content
New issue

Have a question about this project? Sign up for a free GitHub account to open an issue and contact its maintainers and the community.

By clicking “Sign up for GitHub”, you agree to our terms of service and privacy statement. We’ll occasionally send you account related emails.

Already on GitHub? Sign in to your account

Motivation #9

Closed
parkr opened this Issue Oct 11, 2013 · 14 comments

Comments

Projects
None yet
8 participants
@parkr
Copy link

parkr commented Oct 11, 2013

Hey, what's the motivation for this? It seems somehow counter-productive to the issue of gender discrimination in tech.

@bmuller

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link
Owner

bmuller commented Oct 11, 2013

How would you tell how many people at a conference are women and how many are men if all you had were people's names? Oh shit, I guess you'd have to try to guess gender from name....and maybe you could use sexmachine!

Now you tell me how that's counter-productive to the issue of gender discrimination in tech.

@bmuller bmuller closed this Oct 11, 2013

@parkr

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link
Author

parkr commented Oct 11, 2013

Making gender visible is largely counter-productive. I didn't mean to hurt your feelings, it was an honest question about the motivation behind the project and what it arose from.

@konklone

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

konklone commented Jul 17, 2014

You'd be far better off with a name that stuck strictly to gender connotations, and not to sexual activity. Simply being surrounded with sexual innuendo creates an uncomfortable environment for many (including me), and a hostile one for many women.

@bmuller

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link
Owner

bmuller commented Jul 17, 2014

I completely agree. The problem is that gendermachine just doesn't have the same ring to it as sexmachine.

@konklone

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

konklone commented Jul 17, 2014

It's okay to have gem names with less ring.

@davidcelis

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

davidcelis commented Nov 13, 2014

"GenderDetector" has an internal rhyme and is less problematic. Still fairly problematic, though.

@mrinterweb

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

mrinterweb commented Nov 13, 2014

I don't see what is wrong with the name. Writing gems should be fun and if you want to give your gem a fun name, then go for it. Sex machines are not gender specific. If the gem was called "men-exclusive-sex-machine", I would definitely say this is gem is discriminating, but it's not. There is nothing wrong with the name of this gem. There are plenty of ruby gems that are not exactly politically correct http://fuelyourcoding.com/sex-drugs-rock-roll-the-secret-world-of-ruby-gems/.

I also don't see how this is related to gender discrimination in tech. Is the argument because of the name, what the gem does, or both? I could see this gem being useful for aggregated metric data that tries to infer the gender of users. Relying on this gem to accurately assume an individuals gender may get some understandable backlash though.

@isaac4

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

isaac4 commented Nov 13, 2014

When you talk about "political correctness" you're already missing the point. The problem with language like this is not that is that offends somebody's political sensibilities. The problem is how this language affect various members of the community. I won't try to tell you how "SexMachine" makes women feel, because I'm not a woman. I do know that this sort of thing is doing a lot to drive women out of tech. Giving up a few lame locker room jokes is a small price to pay for treating all the members of our community with respect and dignity.

@mrinterweb

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

mrinterweb commented Nov 13, 2014

Not sure how the name of this gem is not treating people with respect or dignity. The name of the gem is a noun. The name "sexmachine" is not directed at a specific gender. I'll give you that the name of the gem is immature, but sexist, lacking respect, and degrading dignity it is not. Overreacting to the issue of gender discrimination (which the name of this gem is unrelated to) is not a way to fix the issue.

@isaac4

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

isaac4 commented Nov 13, 2014

I'm not the person you need to convince. Talk to some woman who feels marginalized by raunchy behavior in her virtual workplace.

On November 12, 2014 11:55:28 PM PST, Sean McCleary notifications@github.com wrote:

Not sure how the name of this gem is not treating people with respect
or dignity. The name of the gem is a noun. The name "sexmachine" is not
directed at a specific gender. I'll give you that the name of the gem
is immature, but sexist, lacking respect, and degrading dignity it is
not. Overreacting to the issue of gender discrimination (which the name
of this gem is unrelated to) is not a way to fix the issue.


Reply to this email directly or view it on GitHub:
#9 (comment)

Sent from my Android device with K-9 Mail. Please excuse my brevity.

@konklone

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

konklone commented Nov 13, 2014

The name of the library is a term typically used to refer to a man of sexual prowess. It's been made very clear by a great number of people that dotting the open source landscape with sexualized terms has an alienating effect. It doesn't have to alienate you personally -- it alienates people, especially a part of the population that we need more of in the open source world.

You can call it political correctness if you want, but the argument the pro-name-change people are making on this thread is that it would make more people comfortable with the library, and with open source generally.

@hayd

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

hayd commented Nov 15, 2014

The name of the library is a term typically used to refer to a man of sexual prowess.

No it's not, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sex-machine. That said, I agree you et al.

To answer the original issue/question: "what's the motivation". It seems to me like there are two reasons one might use this gem:

  1. infer gender of a user so you can show them "gender-specific" content, for example, a pink background for inferred females and a blue background for inferred males.
  2. do analysis of many users grouped by inferred gender, for example, is engagement higher for (inferred) females vs males...

The latter seems reasonable, the former not so much.

@davy

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link
Contributor

davy commented Nov 16, 2014

@hayd: Sex Machine, like many words in the English language, has many meanings.

As you mentioned, it is a machine typically (but not exclusively) created to simulate penetrative sexual intercourse.

A common slang meaning is that of a person (usually a man) that can continue having sex for an indeterminate amount of time. http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=sex+machine.

This use of the word is what James Brown was using in his famous song "Get Up (I Feel Like Being a) Sex Machine" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Get_Up_(I_Feel_Like_Being_a)_Sex_Machine

When referring to a man as a Sex Machine, this is usually a good thing. When referring to a woman as a Sex Machine, I'd claim that in the vast majority of cases this would not be a positive reference. This plays out in the Urban Dictionary definitions of the phrase.

In any case, most of these meanings of the word continue to highlight the current dichotomy between the highly esteemed sexual prowess of a man and the dismissal and objectification of women who express their sexuality.

This two-sided expression of sexuality between the genders is only one of the reasons that I've opened a pull request to rename this gem in #14

@hayd

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

hayd commented Nov 16, 2014

@davy Personally I've never heard this phrase used as a complement or an insult, outside of that song... pretty grotesque. Like I said above, I agree with you a name change is a good idea.

This specific issue however regards the "motivation", which independent of the name, troubles me.

Repository owner locked and limited conversation to collaborators Nov 26, 2014

Sign up for free to subscribe to this conversation on GitHub. Already have an account? Sign in.
You can’t perform that action at this time.