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Rename SexMachine to GenderDetector #14

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davy commented Nov 13, 2014

Hi!

I'd like to propose renaming SexMachine to GenderDetector.

Now, I know many people wouldn't consider this the most important topic in the world, but I think that this change is something simple and easy that we Rubyists can do to become a safer, more welcoming place to women software engineers. And I know I'm not the only one that thinks so (#9)

SexMachine is an overly sexual name, which does not belong in a work environment. This sexualized name can inadvertently cause women to become uncomfortable, and to feel excluded. Naming this gem SexMachine sends a message to sexist men that sexual jokes are allowed, which promotes an unhealthy atmosphere.

I know many people don't realize why some women might feel uncomfortable with the name of this gem. Unfortunately, the society we live in today is polarized around the topic of sexuality, and more importantly, who has the power with respect to sexuality. This power dynamic is heavily skewed toward male favor. Men can joke about their sexuality and this is a source of manliness and pride. A woman cannot feel free to discuss similar topics without a very real threat of being called a sexual pejorative.

Even though this rename removes a fun play on words, I'd like to think that providing a community that shows it is welcoming to women more than outweighs this loss.


For the people who think SexMachine is not sexist language:

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

As a noun it is a machine typically (but not exclusively) created to simulate penetrative sexual intercourse. This machine usually has some sort of dildo attached.

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.

Rename SexMachine to Gender::Detector
SexMachine is an overly sexual name, which does not belong in a work
environment.
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jgravois Nov 13, 2014

well said. +1

jgravois commented Nov 13, 2014

well said. +1

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wboykinm commented Nov 13, 2014

👍

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jhelwig commented Nov 13, 2014

👍

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zph commented Nov 13, 2014

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aceofbassgreg commented Nov 13, 2014

+1

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mbcharbonneau commented Nov 13, 2014

+1!

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zamith commented Nov 13, 2014

👍

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mattr- commented Nov 13, 2014

👍

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davidcelis Nov 13, 2014

👍 I'd suggest GenderDetector though, just because you're less likely to pollute someone's object. Someone could be defining Gender as a class or model I guess

davidcelis commented Nov 13, 2014

👍 I'd suggest GenderDetector though, just because you're less likely to pollute someone's object. Someone could be defining Gender as a class or model I guess

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CowardlyVoice Nov 13, 2014

I've tried to be quiet about these kinds of issues. Out of fear for my professional reputation, out of fear that the social backlash for speaking up would be too great. All too often I've watched as any male who questioned anything about contemporary feminists was metaphorically tarred and feathered.
And also out of fear that my criticism would be misused, that feminism's political opponents might take my criticism as support for their misogyny.

Let me begin by saying that for years I identified as a feminist. In college I had an amazing professor who taught me that feminism was about empowering women, giving women the same rights and privileges that I, as a man, enjoyed. That was something I could get behind completely, and without hesitation. I believe most thoughtful men of my generation would agree. I still have massive respect for her, as she opened my eyes to an issue I had previously been blind to. One of the amazing things about her was that she was incredibly positive about sex. Before taking classes with her, I had a vague notion of feminists as angry women who wanted to demasculate men. I learned that this was not true. She respected masculinity and male sexuality, and helped me understand that working towards a world of equality did not threaten either of those things.

When I chose a new career path a couple years ago, and began the process of integrating myself into the community of software developers, I noticed something odd. There was a very vocal movement, a movement that labeled itself feminism, which was working to bring women into tech. I had noticed the strange lack of women in technology, and thought this was a noble cause. I still do. But for some reason, many of the people involved in this movement, seemed threatened by male sexuality. It was incredibly frustrating for me to find myself in a culture where a very important part of my identity, the part that enjoys a good dirty joke shared with co-workers (male and female alike), flirts shamelessly (but remains respectful of boundaries), and revels in punnery and innuendo, was considered something bad, something to lock away, something I must hide. I had previously worked in fields where genders were more balanced, or even during my brief time as a teacher, in a field where I was the minority. Yet never had I been told, or felt, that this aspect of my personality was problematic, or something bad, or hurtful. In those environments, women were just as likely to tell a tawdry or ribald joke as the men, were often the first to initiate flirting, and as likely to ogle any attractive men around them as the men were to ogle them.

The last time I'd felt like this, actually, was my childhood. I was raised in a very conservative Christian church until I was about ten years old. A church where pre-marital sex was a sin, and married people were only supposed to be having sex in order to procreate, not to enjoy it. The kind of impossible standard no one could possibly live up to. The kind of standard intended to make all people feel shame and guilt.

One of the arguments against making sexual references I read here:

This power dynamic is heavily skewed toward male favor. Men can joke about their sexuality and this is a source of manliness and pride. A woman cannot feel free to discuss similar topics without a very real threat of being called a sexual pejorative.

Yet making sex into something that must be kept hidden and private is exactly the tactic of the lingering cultural puritanism that labels sexual women as sluts.

We do not make these problem better by stripping men of their sexuality or masculinity. I don't want to live in a world without sexual innuendo. Where telling an attractive woman that she is beautiful is considered "harrassment". Where video games can no longer have scantily clad women. Where I have to be careful that I never let my eyes linger even a second too long on a woman. This kind of sterile, sexless culture is exactly what that Church I mentioned previously would have liked. The sexual revolution brought us a long way forward. It did it by being open about, and perhaps even flaunting, human sexuality. Women are far more free to be openly sexual today than they were decades ago, and men as well. This is a good thing. But closeting sex, marking it as something hurtful, or bad, even as non-professional, will ultimately have exactly the opposite effect.

To be clear, I recognize that there are very real problems with sexual harassment of women. I think the "Men's Rights" movement is a joke. I thought those #gamergaters who sent the horrible and disgusting threats to a number of women in the games and tech industry were despicable, and the #gamergaters who stuck with the label after all that happened, while protesting they didn't support the threats, were at best foolish, and at worst, partially to blame. I'm offering some pushback here, but in a thoughtful and respectful way and I will not be labeled with the same brush strokes. This is a complex and multi-faceted topic. However, I can no longer remain silent from fear, while fear of the backlash for disagreeing is exactly what keeps me anonymous now.

It is impossible to say anything interesting without offending someone. My worry is that we are moving towards a world where it is simply impossible to say anything interesting.

CowardlyVoice commented Nov 13, 2014

I've tried to be quiet about these kinds of issues. Out of fear for my professional reputation, out of fear that the social backlash for speaking up would be too great. All too often I've watched as any male who questioned anything about contemporary feminists was metaphorically tarred and feathered.
And also out of fear that my criticism would be misused, that feminism's political opponents might take my criticism as support for their misogyny.

Let me begin by saying that for years I identified as a feminist. In college I had an amazing professor who taught me that feminism was about empowering women, giving women the same rights and privileges that I, as a man, enjoyed. That was something I could get behind completely, and without hesitation. I believe most thoughtful men of my generation would agree. I still have massive respect for her, as she opened my eyes to an issue I had previously been blind to. One of the amazing things about her was that she was incredibly positive about sex. Before taking classes with her, I had a vague notion of feminists as angry women who wanted to demasculate men. I learned that this was not true. She respected masculinity and male sexuality, and helped me understand that working towards a world of equality did not threaten either of those things.

When I chose a new career path a couple years ago, and began the process of integrating myself into the community of software developers, I noticed something odd. There was a very vocal movement, a movement that labeled itself feminism, which was working to bring women into tech. I had noticed the strange lack of women in technology, and thought this was a noble cause. I still do. But for some reason, many of the people involved in this movement, seemed threatened by male sexuality. It was incredibly frustrating for me to find myself in a culture where a very important part of my identity, the part that enjoys a good dirty joke shared with co-workers (male and female alike), flirts shamelessly (but remains respectful of boundaries), and revels in punnery and innuendo, was considered something bad, something to lock away, something I must hide. I had previously worked in fields where genders were more balanced, or even during my brief time as a teacher, in a field where I was the minority. Yet never had I been told, or felt, that this aspect of my personality was problematic, or something bad, or hurtful. In those environments, women were just as likely to tell a tawdry or ribald joke as the men, were often the first to initiate flirting, and as likely to ogle any attractive men around them as the men were to ogle them.

The last time I'd felt like this, actually, was my childhood. I was raised in a very conservative Christian church until I was about ten years old. A church where pre-marital sex was a sin, and married people were only supposed to be having sex in order to procreate, not to enjoy it. The kind of impossible standard no one could possibly live up to. The kind of standard intended to make all people feel shame and guilt.

One of the arguments against making sexual references I read here:

This power dynamic is heavily skewed toward male favor. Men can joke about their sexuality and this is a source of manliness and pride. A woman cannot feel free to discuss similar topics without a very real threat of being called a sexual pejorative.

Yet making sex into something that must be kept hidden and private is exactly the tactic of the lingering cultural puritanism that labels sexual women as sluts.

We do not make these problem better by stripping men of their sexuality or masculinity. I don't want to live in a world without sexual innuendo. Where telling an attractive woman that she is beautiful is considered "harrassment". Where video games can no longer have scantily clad women. Where I have to be careful that I never let my eyes linger even a second too long on a woman. This kind of sterile, sexless culture is exactly what that Church I mentioned previously would have liked. The sexual revolution brought us a long way forward. It did it by being open about, and perhaps even flaunting, human sexuality. Women are far more free to be openly sexual today than they were decades ago, and men as well. This is a good thing. But closeting sex, marking it as something hurtful, or bad, even as non-professional, will ultimately have exactly the opposite effect.

To be clear, I recognize that there are very real problems with sexual harassment of women. I think the "Men's Rights" movement is a joke. I thought those #gamergaters who sent the horrible and disgusting threats to a number of women in the games and tech industry were despicable, and the #gamergaters who stuck with the label after all that happened, while protesting they didn't support the threats, were at best foolish, and at worst, partially to blame. I'm offering some pushback here, but in a thoughtful and respectful way and I will not be labeled with the same brush strokes. This is a complex and multi-faceted topic. However, I can no longer remain silent from fear, while fear of the backlash for disagreeing is exactly what keeps me anonymous now.

It is impossible to say anything interesting without offending someone. My worry is that we are moving towards a world where it is simply impossible to say anything interesting.

Change to GenderDetector
After @davidcelis rightfully pointed out it wouldn't be unusual if
someone had their own Gender class.

@davy davy changed the title from Rename SexMachine to Gender::Detector to Rename SexMachine to GenderDetector Nov 13, 2014

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@davidcelis Good point, I've updated it to GenderDetector

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davy commented Nov 13, 2014

@davidcelis Good point, I've updated it to GenderDetector

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patrickarlt commented Nov 13, 2014

👍

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sentientmonkey Nov 13, 2014

+1
Names are easy to change.
Hurt feelings and alienation are not.

sentientmonkey commented Nov 13, 2014

+1
Names are easy to change.
Hurt feelings and alienation are not.

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namsor Nov 13, 2014

People of both sexes should feel free to participate to the conversation about sex, this is XXIst Century.
The name SexMachine is not offensive but it's misleading. Since it's known already... who cares?

An interesting debate is : what do onomastics (the science of proper names) and programs like SexMachine predict from a personal name, sex or gender? The question is not as easy as it seems. Statistical inference, applied on a birth certificate shows male / female names can be strongly correlated to the sex the baby (with 95%-99% accuracy in most languages / cultures). The same technique applied on a database of artists (ex. IMDB) will recognize gender, not sex: artists are grown ups, choose an artist name which reflects how they would like to be perceived. SexMachine (or GenderDetector) can effectively predict both the sex and the gender intent of Thomas Neuwirth alias Conchita Wurst.

namsor commented Nov 13, 2014

People of both sexes should feel free to participate to the conversation about sex, this is XXIst Century.
The name SexMachine is not offensive but it's misleading. Since it's known already... who cares?

An interesting debate is : what do onomastics (the science of proper names) and programs like SexMachine predict from a personal name, sex or gender? The question is not as easy as it seems. Statistical inference, applied on a birth certificate shows male / female names can be strongly correlated to the sex the baby (with 95%-99% accuracy in most languages / cultures). The same technique applied on a database of artists (ex. IMDB) will recognize gender, not sex: artists are grown ups, choose an artist name which reflects how they would like to be perceived. SexMachine (or GenderDetector) can effectively predict both the sex and the gender intent of Thomas Neuwirth alias Conchita Wurst.

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mrinterweb Nov 14, 2014

I am all for having more women in tech, but I feel that the only way that this will happen is if both men and women can feel comfortable working together. The name of this gem, I feel, is non-sexually predetermined. I agree that men need to be sensitive to women, especially in the tech industry, but if such a slight stigma makes men uncomfortable when interacting with their women peers then is it worth it to chastise? I don't feel that the name of this gem is discriminatory. My issue with the discussion is more about what crosses the line regarding gender in tech. If something that I would consider to be non-provocative, albeit a bit immature, is offensive, then I would feel less comfortable being myself amongst my women peers.

mrinterweb commented Nov 14, 2014

I am all for having more women in tech, but I feel that the only way that this will happen is if both men and women can feel comfortable working together. The name of this gem, I feel, is non-sexually predetermined. I agree that men need to be sensitive to women, especially in the tech industry, but if such a slight stigma makes men uncomfortable when interacting with their women peers then is it worth it to chastise? I don't feel that the name of this gem is discriminatory. My issue with the discussion is more about what crosses the line regarding gender in tech. If something that I would consider to be non-provocative, albeit a bit immature, is offensive, then I would feel less comfortable being myself amongst my women peers.

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aceofbassgreg Nov 14, 2014

@mrinterweb - "if such a slight stigma makes men uncomfortable when interacting with their women peers then is it worth it to chastise?"

I suppose it could depend on what was making men uncomfortable. Later on you say that "If something that I would consider to be non-provocative, albeit a bit immature, is offensive, then I would feel less comfortable being myself amongst my women peers." In that case, you have to consider your personal feelings of discomfort from having to be less immature and making less sexual innuendos, versus other people's discomfort from feeling categorically marginalized as a group. From that standpoint alone, it's worth it to reign in the innuendos.

Furthermore, I would add that your phrase "I would consider to be non-provocative" is a crucial part to understanding why a name change is in order. When Davy made the pull request, she stated that "[the sexual] power dynamic is heavily skewed toward male favor. Men can joke about their sexuality and this is a source of manliness and pride. A woman cannot feel free to discuss similar topics without a very real threat of being called a sexual pejorative." You consider the name to be non-provocative, but it's easy for you (or I) to have that consideration. As Davy points out, many women may not have that same viewpoint, and for very good reason.

aceofbassgreg commented Nov 14, 2014

@mrinterweb - "if such a slight stigma makes men uncomfortable when interacting with their women peers then is it worth it to chastise?"

I suppose it could depend on what was making men uncomfortable. Later on you say that "If something that I would consider to be non-provocative, albeit a bit immature, is offensive, then I would feel less comfortable being myself amongst my women peers." In that case, you have to consider your personal feelings of discomfort from having to be less immature and making less sexual innuendos, versus other people's discomfort from feeling categorically marginalized as a group. From that standpoint alone, it's worth it to reign in the innuendos.

Furthermore, I would add that your phrase "I would consider to be non-provocative" is a crucial part to understanding why a name change is in order. When Davy made the pull request, she stated that "[the sexual] power dynamic is heavily skewed toward male favor. Men can joke about their sexuality and this is a source of manliness and pride. A woman cannot feel free to discuss similar topics without a very real threat of being called a sexual pejorative." You consider the name to be non-provocative, but it's easy for you (or I) to have that consideration. As Davy points out, many women may not have that same viewpoint, and for very good reason.

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mrinterweb Nov 14, 2014

@aceofbassgreg good feedback. I was thinking about it more this morning, and I've changed my tune. Even though I don't see something like this being offensive, it doesn't mean that someone else couldn't. I don't want the software industry to be a boys club. I would prefer it if everyone didn't have to worry about sensitivity as much, but I do understand why sensitivity is essential for a more diverse software industry.

I also prefer the name GenderDetector :)

mrinterweb commented Nov 14, 2014

@aceofbassgreg good feedback. I was thinking about it more this morning, and I've changed my tune. Even though I don't see something like this being offensive, it doesn't mean that someone else couldn't. I don't want the software industry to be a boys club. I would prefer it if everyone didn't have to worry about sensitivity as much, but I do understand why sensitivity is essential for a more diverse software industry.

I also prefer the name GenderDetector :)

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A lot of people believe that the bar for what is acceptable revolves around whether or not people are offended. Instead, the discussion needs to be around whether or not a reasonable person might feel an unacceptable level of discomfort, or feel marginalized or ostracized in the workplace.

I believe the gem name SexMachine can lead to an unacceptable level of sexual discomfort. This could be discomfort on the part of men as well as women. The workplace environment should strive to be free of sexually charged topics.

I am not saying that there can't be joking. If anyone knows me they know that I enjoy and partake in ribald joking amongst my friends regularly. The difference is whether or not this type of language is institutionalized or whether an employee who doesn't want to take part has a way to avoid these topics. As a person, we have an ability to intuit whether or not the current situation is appropriate for such things. Important meetings? No. Camaraderie during breaks or after work amongst a well-known group of people? Sure.

Are gems named Vibrator, Fleshlight, Dildo or ButtPlug acceptable? Why or why not? What is the difference between those names and SexMachine?

Do a Google Image Search on "sex machine" and see whether or not you think that is workplace appropriate.

Let me ask a question: Let's say you built a tool like this during your job in order to complete a needed task. Perhaps the company ran a conference and wanted a gender breakdown, yet didn't ask for this data from attendees! (Such was suggested by @bmuller in #9). Then you realized that this might be a useful tool for others. Would you feel ok asking your boss if you could release this code as a gem named SexMachine under the company's public GitHub profile? Why or why not.

Another question: Back to our task of needing a gender breakdown for a company conference. Instead, let's say you assign this task to your new junior engineer, a woman who is just entering programming. When she asks your advice for how to accomplish this task, you say "Use SexMachine!" She looks startled. How do you feel? How do you imagine she feels?

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davy commented Nov 14, 2014

A lot of people believe that the bar for what is acceptable revolves around whether or not people are offended. Instead, the discussion needs to be around whether or not a reasonable person might feel an unacceptable level of discomfort, or feel marginalized or ostracized in the workplace.

I believe the gem name SexMachine can lead to an unacceptable level of sexual discomfort. This could be discomfort on the part of men as well as women. The workplace environment should strive to be free of sexually charged topics.

I am not saying that there can't be joking. If anyone knows me they know that I enjoy and partake in ribald joking amongst my friends regularly. The difference is whether or not this type of language is institutionalized or whether an employee who doesn't want to take part has a way to avoid these topics. As a person, we have an ability to intuit whether or not the current situation is appropriate for such things. Important meetings? No. Camaraderie during breaks or after work amongst a well-known group of people? Sure.

Are gems named Vibrator, Fleshlight, Dildo or ButtPlug acceptable? Why or why not? What is the difference between those names and SexMachine?

Do a Google Image Search on "sex machine" and see whether or not you think that is workplace appropriate.

Let me ask a question: Let's say you built a tool like this during your job in order to complete a needed task. Perhaps the company ran a conference and wanted a gender breakdown, yet didn't ask for this data from attendees! (Such was suggested by @bmuller in #9). Then you realized that this might be a useful tool for others. Would you feel ok asking your boss if you could release this code as a gem named SexMachine under the company's public GitHub profile? Why or why not.

Another question: Back to our task of needing a gender breakdown for a company conference. Instead, let's say you assign this task to your new junior engineer, a woman who is just entering programming. When she asks your advice for how to accomplish this task, you say "Use SexMachine!" She looks startled. How do you feel? How do you imagine she feels?

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csojinb Nov 14, 2014

As developer who is also woman, I was apprehensive to click on this link, as I thought finding out what the "sexmachine" project is might be fairly likely to start my day off terribly. So +1 to the name change.

@CowardlyVoice, There is a difference between sex-positivity and having an environment that is infused with a hetero-male orientation toward sexuality. I would ask you, a self-proclaimed feminist, to consider whether the actions you interpret as "restricting male sexuality" are actually preventing you from expressing your sexuality, or whether they simply ask you to consider the context, and the effect that that expression has on others. Free and open expression of sexuality is necessarily consent-based. Otherwise it is definitionally not free. So, when you wish to express your sexuality, you must consider whether you have the consent of those present, and, crucially, whether the power dynamics at play would allow them to speak up if you do not. (I say that you "have to" in the sense that you otherwise would not be practicing free and open expression, not to suggest that I have any control over your actions.)

csojinb commented Nov 14, 2014

As developer who is also woman, I was apprehensive to click on this link, as I thought finding out what the "sexmachine" project is might be fairly likely to start my day off terribly. So +1 to the name change.

@CowardlyVoice, There is a difference between sex-positivity and having an environment that is infused with a hetero-male orientation toward sexuality. I would ask you, a self-proclaimed feminist, to consider whether the actions you interpret as "restricting male sexuality" are actually preventing you from expressing your sexuality, or whether they simply ask you to consider the context, and the effect that that expression has on others. Free and open expression of sexuality is necessarily consent-based. Otherwise it is definitionally not free. So, when you wish to express your sexuality, you must consider whether you have the consent of those present, and, crucially, whether the power dynamics at play would allow them to speak up if you do not. (I say that you "have to" in the sense that you otherwise would not be practicing free and open expression, not to suggest that I have any control over your actions.)

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csojinb Nov 14, 2014

There's also the cultural context to consider. In a society where typical hetero-male sexual expression is very tightly coupled to the commoditization of women's bodies, there is a very real danger to women in that expression.

To put it another way, if you page through the SI swimsuit edition before having a conversation with a woman engineer on your team, how likely are you to be able to interact with her purely as an engineer? To consider her seriously on her ideas? Even if you manage to overcome all of your social conditioning and separate those things for yourself, others (men and women) would certainly fail, and that woman engineer ends up in a situation where her ideas are forgotten and she's not taken seriously.

csojinb commented Nov 14, 2014

There's also the cultural context to consider. In a society where typical hetero-male sexual expression is very tightly coupled to the commoditization of women's bodies, there is a very real danger to women in that expression.

To put it another way, if you page through the SI swimsuit edition before having a conversation with a woman engineer on your team, how likely are you to be able to interact with her purely as an engineer? To consider her seriously on her ideas? Even if you manage to overcome all of your social conditioning and separate those things for yourself, others (men and women) would certainly fail, and that woman engineer ends up in a situation where her ideas are forgotten and she's not taken seriously.

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csojinb Nov 14, 2014

Also @davy +1000 to your most recent comment

csojinb commented Nov 14, 2014

Also @davy +1000 to your most recent comment

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@csojinb I can't 👍 your comments enough!

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davy commented Nov 14, 2014

@csojinb I can't 👍 your comments enough!

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zph Nov 15, 2014

@csojinb @davy 👍, also @mrinterweb for getting feedback & digesting the feedback :).

zph commented Nov 15, 2014

@csojinb @davy 👍, also @mrinterweb for getting feedback & digesting the feedback :).

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wboykinm Nov 16, 2014

Seriously, @mrinterweb - your reaction to reasoned criticism is about the most refreshing thing I've seen on the internet in years.

Thanks again @davy for tackling this.

wboykinm commented Nov 16, 2014

Seriously, @mrinterweb - your reaction to reasoned criticism is about the most refreshing thing I've seen on the internet in years.

Thanks again @davy for tackling this.

@davy davy referenced this pull request Nov 16, 2014

Closed

Motivation #9

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CowardlyVoice Nov 16, 2014

@davy @csojinb I am grateful for your responses. Having a conversation about this felt/feels really important to me. I wish that I could drop the anonymous nick and discuss this in the open, however the things I see on twitter every day still leave me incredibly uncomfortable doing that. The twitter hate machine is simply too ready, willing and able to find a person they disagree with, grab a few snippets of text, and lash out, and unfortunately this often has real personal and professional consequences. For the record I support the name change for purely technical reasons: this tool and others like it simply do not predict sex, they predict gender, at least to the best of my understanding of what each is and what the tool does.

@davy you make some great points and I'll have to think about them for a while. I appreciate the clarification about context more than you can know. The way the message often comes across is: if you exhibit any element of the sexual aspect of your being in any way, you are bad and you should feel bad.

The question that provoked the most thought, for me, was :

let's say you assign this task to your new junior engineer, a woman who is just entering programming. When she asks your advice for how to accomplish this task, you say "Use SexMachine!" She looks startled. How do you feel? How do you imagine she feels?

This was thought-provoking for me because the women I know and have known simply wouldn't be startled by this. They would raise an inquisitive eyebrow perhaps, and then laugh when I explained. I come from a very different background than most people in our field: I'm a high school dropout who spent my teens and early twenties hustling in the street, working food service jobs, warehouse jobs etc. Went to college in my late twenties. I really hadn't considered than any woman would ACTUALLY find this startling.

I do still wonder, though, whether what seems like it might be a very white and middle class standard should be set as the cultural norm. I think we should be careful here. Different cultures and ethnicities have different standards for what's appropriate here and we really need to be careful about what we attempt to codify as the norms for everyone. Which is something I hadn't thought that hard about before reading your response.

But just giving genuine thought to the possibility of the situation you describe does give me pause here. Perhaps you are right that because it doesn't leave those who hold those values an option to exit the conversation, it is problematic.

CowardlyVoice commented Nov 16, 2014

@davy @csojinb I am grateful for your responses. Having a conversation about this felt/feels really important to me. I wish that I could drop the anonymous nick and discuss this in the open, however the things I see on twitter every day still leave me incredibly uncomfortable doing that. The twitter hate machine is simply too ready, willing and able to find a person they disagree with, grab a few snippets of text, and lash out, and unfortunately this often has real personal and professional consequences. For the record I support the name change for purely technical reasons: this tool and others like it simply do not predict sex, they predict gender, at least to the best of my understanding of what each is and what the tool does.

@davy you make some great points and I'll have to think about them for a while. I appreciate the clarification about context more than you can know. The way the message often comes across is: if you exhibit any element of the sexual aspect of your being in any way, you are bad and you should feel bad.

The question that provoked the most thought, for me, was :

let's say you assign this task to your new junior engineer, a woman who is just entering programming. When she asks your advice for how to accomplish this task, you say "Use SexMachine!" She looks startled. How do you feel? How do you imagine she feels?

This was thought-provoking for me because the women I know and have known simply wouldn't be startled by this. They would raise an inquisitive eyebrow perhaps, and then laugh when I explained. I come from a very different background than most people in our field: I'm a high school dropout who spent my teens and early twenties hustling in the street, working food service jobs, warehouse jobs etc. Went to college in my late twenties. I really hadn't considered than any woman would ACTUALLY find this startling.

I do still wonder, though, whether what seems like it might be a very white and middle class standard should be set as the cultural norm. I think we should be careful here. Different cultures and ethnicities have different standards for what's appropriate here and we really need to be careful about what we attempt to codify as the norms for everyone. Which is something I hadn't thought that hard about before reading your response.

But just giving genuine thought to the possibility of the situation you describe does give me pause here. Perhaps you are right that because it doesn't leave those who hold those values an option to exit the conversation, it is problematic.

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davy Nov 16, 2014

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@CowardlyVoice thanks so much for taking the time to take in what others have said, and I also want to assure you that I'm listening to you as well.

I'm really glad my rhetorical questions were successfully thought provoking!

The women I know and have known simply wouldn't be startled by this. They would raise an inquisitive eyebrow perhaps, and then laugh when I explained.

I agree that most women in tech today would act this way. Myself included! Heck, a part of me would probably laugh! For a long time I was proud of the fact that I was able to so easily be one of the guys. Only lately have I stopped to think that this expectation of women to be able to 'handle it' is probably a huge reason why so few women are in tech. Is it possible that tech has mainly been welcoming or attractive only to these women, and the others have been turned away? In attempting to increase diversity, we must be able to work with and interact with women who may not respond in this manner.

It is not my intention, and I don't think it is the intention of most other women, to remove or eliminate male sexuality. I believe it is all about context. When we write and release software, we are representing not only ourselves, but our companies and our communities. The entire Ruby community owns the fact that there is a Ruby gem with a legitimate purpose named SexMachine.

When interacting with people, we know that sometimes people make mistakes. People can also learn from mistakes, apologize, be your friend, be your supporter, think critically, and be able to take social cues to determine appropriateness of jokes. Code does not have any of these abilities. This gem doesn't care who sees it, uses it, or whether it's listed on official Third Party Software forms that are discussed in meetings or sent to executives, or a variety of other possible humor-free scenarios.

By separating out what is work from what is fun and games, we are saying that we are mature adults who can make choices that create a welcoming environment to everyone, and yet we can also carve out the space to make friends, be funny, and make jokes of varying levels of appropriateness with the people who appreciate it. There is room for people to have personality. Tech as a whole, and our community, needs to be able to welcome people with a wide variety of personalities, not just a single homogenous personality.

The way the message often comes across is: if you exhibit any element of the sexual aspect of your being in any way, you are bad and you should feel bad.

I understand this fear! And I agree that the fear of having your personality controlled is scary. I personally don't feel that the diversity in tech movement is about suppressing all personality. I liken it to a shifting or adjusting so as to create space for new people and the aspects of their being. There will still be space for the original group.

Finally, I am also concerned about setting a white and middle class standard as the cultural norm. Unfortunately as a white, middle class person all I can do is listen to others when they spend the time to tell me about their experience, and support them as they work to make things better. Thanks for listening to me and @csojinb, that means a lot.

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davy commented Nov 16, 2014

@CowardlyVoice thanks so much for taking the time to take in what others have said, and I also want to assure you that I'm listening to you as well.

I'm really glad my rhetorical questions were successfully thought provoking!

The women I know and have known simply wouldn't be startled by this. They would raise an inquisitive eyebrow perhaps, and then laugh when I explained.

I agree that most women in tech today would act this way. Myself included! Heck, a part of me would probably laugh! For a long time I was proud of the fact that I was able to so easily be one of the guys. Only lately have I stopped to think that this expectation of women to be able to 'handle it' is probably a huge reason why so few women are in tech. Is it possible that tech has mainly been welcoming or attractive only to these women, and the others have been turned away? In attempting to increase diversity, we must be able to work with and interact with women who may not respond in this manner.

It is not my intention, and I don't think it is the intention of most other women, to remove or eliminate male sexuality. I believe it is all about context. When we write and release software, we are representing not only ourselves, but our companies and our communities. The entire Ruby community owns the fact that there is a Ruby gem with a legitimate purpose named SexMachine.

When interacting with people, we know that sometimes people make mistakes. People can also learn from mistakes, apologize, be your friend, be your supporter, think critically, and be able to take social cues to determine appropriateness of jokes. Code does not have any of these abilities. This gem doesn't care who sees it, uses it, or whether it's listed on official Third Party Software forms that are discussed in meetings or sent to executives, or a variety of other possible humor-free scenarios.

By separating out what is work from what is fun and games, we are saying that we are mature adults who can make choices that create a welcoming environment to everyone, and yet we can also carve out the space to make friends, be funny, and make jokes of varying levels of appropriateness with the people who appreciate it. There is room for people to have personality. Tech as a whole, and our community, needs to be able to welcome people with a wide variety of personalities, not just a single homogenous personality.

The way the message often comes across is: if you exhibit any element of the sexual aspect of your being in any way, you are bad and you should feel bad.

I understand this fear! And I agree that the fear of having your personality controlled is scary. I personally don't feel that the diversity in tech movement is about suppressing all personality. I liken it to a shifting or adjusting so as to create space for new people and the aspects of their being. There will still be space for the original group.

Finally, I am also concerned about setting a white and middle class standard as the cultural norm. Unfortunately as a white, middle class person all I can do is listen to others when they spend the time to tell me about their experience, and support them as they work to make things better. Thanks for listening to me and @csojinb, that means a lot.

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lecodergh Nov 16, 2014

Tech is about tech, politics and feelings have no place in it. A lot of people have wasted time writing essays about trivial nonsense that could have been spent coding if they had anything to offer the community.

lecodergh commented Nov 16, 2014

Tech is about tech, politics and feelings have no place in it. A lot of people have wasted time writing essays about trivial nonsense that could have been spent coding if they had anything to offer the community.

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csojinb Nov 16, 2014

Tech is about people. It has no purpose without people to use it, and it cannot be created without people. Feelings are relevant because people are involved.

If you think that politics doesn't have a place in tech, then you're in a position of privilege. For the rest of us, the politics is there whether we want to participate or not. I, for one, would love to just write code and not care about anything else. But every day, I am reminded in one way or another than I'm an intruder in someone else's space. Politics is inherent to my experience in tech.

Understanding why this is important requires having empathy for someone in a different position from your own, and the willingness to believe their experience of their own lives. If you are incapable of such things, then please stay out of it.

csojinb commented Nov 16, 2014

Tech is about people. It has no purpose without people to use it, and it cannot be created without people. Feelings are relevant because people are involved.

If you think that politics doesn't have a place in tech, then you're in a position of privilege. For the rest of us, the politics is there whether we want to participate or not. I, for one, would love to just write code and not care about anything else. But every day, I am reminded in one way or another than I'm an intruder in someone else's space. Politics is inherent to my experience in tech.

Understanding why this is important requires having empathy for someone in a different position from your own, and the willingness to believe their experience of their own lives. If you are incapable of such things, then please stay out of it.

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lecodergh Nov 16, 2014

@csojinb How about having empathy for someone in a position other than your own? Expecting an entire industry to bend to your whime is arrogant beyond belief. The name of this project is perfectly fitting of the application it addresses and all you people have come together to berate a coder that selflessly donated their time to the world because you don't like the name? You should feel ashamed of yourselves or at the very least leave the guy alone.

lecodergh commented Nov 16, 2014

@csojinb How about having empathy for someone in a position other than your own? Expecting an entire industry to bend to your whime is arrogant beyond belief. The name of this project is perfectly fitting of the application it addresses and all you people have come together to berate a coder that selflessly donated their time to the world because you don't like the name? You should feel ashamed of yourselves or at the very least leave the guy alone.

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maiofalmo Nov 16, 2014

@csojinb Nobody cares if you're a women. Write some code and contribute as you want. You are not a victim so don't present yourself as one. Be a strong, independent womyn instead.

maiofalmo commented Nov 16, 2014

@csojinb Nobody cares if you're a women. Write some code and contribute as you want. You are not a victim so don't present yourself as one. Be a strong, independent womyn instead.

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csojinb Nov 16, 2014

Related: http://cardboard-crack.com/post/80131321528/sexism

I don't need to have empathy to understand the typical het white male position in tech. It is normalized, so I have no choice but to know it. Sorry, but pretending I'm the one here without empathy doesn't change a thing. Go negate someone else's experience, I'm done.

csojinb commented Nov 16, 2014

Related: http://cardboard-crack.com/post/80131321528/sexism

I don't need to have empathy to understand the typical het white male position in tech. It is normalized, so I have no choice but to know it. Sorry, but pretending I'm the one here without empathy doesn't change a thing. Go negate someone else's experience, I'm done.

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maiofalmo Nov 16, 2014

@csojinb "Jeez! Can't I just have fun playing a game without having to deal with these social issues?!" You're the one making a problem. 'Sex' refers to a persons gender, this program takes a name and tries to guess the sex, it does exactly what the name suggests. As I said above, nobody cares about your background/race/sexuality, contribute if you want. You presenting yourself as some kind of victim because of a programs name negates feminism and reverts the image of women back into delicate flowers that can't cope with the world and should return to the kitchen. You are doing nothing for your gender by complaining here.

Gender studies and Python 101 is a bad combination.

maiofalmo commented Nov 16, 2014

@csojinb "Jeez! Can't I just have fun playing a game without having to deal with these social issues?!" You're the one making a problem. 'Sex' refers to a persons gender, this program takes a name and tries to guess the sex, it does exactly what the name suggests. As I said above, nobody cares about your background/race/sexuality, contribute if you want. You presenting yourself as some kind of victim because of a programs name negates feminism and reverts the image of women back into delicate flowers that can't cope with the world and should return to the kitchen. You are doing nothing for your gender by complaining here.

Gender studies and Python 101 is a bad combination.

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LgndGW Nov 16, 2014

This coder has selflessly created and shared something quite useful. If the name really upsets you that much (and make no mistake, this request is all about how the name upset someone) then I suggest you get to work coding on your own project. After all, if the name is as offensive as many of you suggest, then I am sure your project with the "appropriate" name will be regarded as superior.

I am 52, been in tech since the days when computers were in big air-conditioned rooms, and lived through the consumer introductions of both the GUI and the microprocessor. Tech aside, I've also lived through some significant social changes. Imagine my delight when it slowly became acceptable in my little hometown to be one of a few Jewish families! Yet, imagine too, my lack of concern that some ignorant people thought it acceptable to casually denigrate my people.

That is to say, I've been around the block a few times and I have to say this current cultural kerfuffle over "spaces" and the need to not offend anyone or diminish the "experience" they're having smacks of delusion. Life is not a suburban sprawl high school--there are no school counselors, feelings exercises, or little lounges to cry in. Trying to silence the things you, personally, may find unpleasant doesn't unmake the thing, it merely hides it. Just like my kids eventually figured out that I still had a face when I hid it in my hands (thus ruining the fun of the "peek-a-boo" game), part of being an adult is realizing that sweeping things under the rug just means they're under the rug, not gone.

And, that rug-sweeping logic assumes what you find offensive is actually "wrong" in an absolute sense. The arrogance to think that your feelings on a matter (or the feelings of a majority, for that matter) makes something wrong or right is the same group-think that has, in the past, led to horrors at worst and comical inefficiency at best.

I'm sure I will be torn apart for my "ignorance" and whatnot, but I think this current generation of younger programmers (and, indeed the wider younger generation) are doomed to stall progress to make sure everyone's subjective feelings are salved first. Instead of forgiving people for their failings, or accepting that certain places/industries have a given culture, we now live in a society where it's all but accepted for e-lynchings to occur with an alarming regularity and to demand that everything bend to "ME"--look at the young people in a Starbuck's for goodness' sake! If the coffee is two minutes late, it's a terrible thing because of how it has affected ME! "Car accident ahead. Oh no, now I'M going to be late! What about me?" It's horrifying to watch, it really is.

The double-standard at play here is very off-putting since it seems that whatever upsets the upset is the worst thing in the world, but everything that the upset like is the new vogue.

Professional victims will cause tech innovation to wither, just as they've caused the justice system to teeter on the verge of buckling. Does anyone honestly think that the next Bill Gates would be so eager to hand-code his OS on a red-eye if he knew that he'd be publicly destroyed for picking the "wrong" name for a section of code?

Do you really want to change the world? Change the culture? Here's a little twist on something my father told me: Do it yourself, do it better, and don't give another thought to how they're doing it.

LgndGW commented Nov 16, 2014

This coder has selflessly created and shared something quite useful. If the name really upsets you that much (and make no mistake, this request is all about how the name upset someone) then I suggest you get to work coding on your own project. After all, if the name is as offensive as many of you suggest, then I am sure your project with the "appropriate" name will be regarded as superior.

I am 52, been in tech since the days when computers were in big air-conditioned rooms, and lived through the consumer introductions of both the GUI and the microprocessor. Tech aside, I've also lived through some significant social changes. Imagine my delight when it slowly became acceptable in my little hometown to be one of a few Jewish families! Yet, imagine too, my lack of concern that some ignorant people thought it acceptable to casually denigrate my people.

That is to say, I've been around the block a few times and I have to say this current cultural kerfuffle over "spaces" and the need to not offend anyone or diminish the "experience" they're having smacks of delusion. Life is not a suburban sprawl high school--there are no school counselors, feelings exercises, or little lounges to cry in. Trying to silence the things you, personally, may find unpleasant doesn't unmake the thing, it merely hides it. Just like my kids eventually figured out that I still had a face when I hid it in my hands (thus ruining the fun of the "peek-a-boo" game), part of being an adult is realizing that sweeping things under the rug just means they're under the rug, not gone.

And, that rug-sweeping logic assumes what you find offensive is actually "wrong" in an absolute sense. The arrogance to think that your feelings on a matter (or the feelings of a majority, for that matter) makes something wrong or right is the same group-think that has, in the past, led to horrors at worst and comical inefficiency at best.

I'm sure I will be torn apart for my "ignorance" and whatnot, but I think this current generation of younger programmers (and, indeed the wider younger generation) are doomed to stall progress to make sure everyone's subjective feelings are salved first. Instead of forgiving people for their failings, or accepting that certain places/industries have a given culture, we now live in a society where it's all but accepted for e-lynchings to occur with an alarming regularity and to demand that everything bend to "ME"--look at the young people in a Starbuck's for goodness' sake! If the coffee is two minutes late, it's a terrible thing because of how it has affected ME! "Car accident ahead. Oh no, now I'M going to be late! What about me?" It's horrifying to watch, it really is.

The double-standard at play here is very off-putting since it seems that whatever upsets the upset is the worst thing in the world, but everything that the upset like is the new vogue.

Professional victims will cause tech innovation to wither, just as they've caused the justice system to teeter on the verge of buckling. Does anyone honestly think that the next Bill Gates would be so eager to hand-code his OS on a red-eye if he knew that he'd be publicly destroyed for picking the "wrong" name for a section of code?

Do you really want to change the world? Change the culture? Here's a little twist on something my father told me: Do it yourself, do it better, and don't give another thought to how they're doing it.

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JordanSalazar Nov 16, 2014

SexMachine in no way suggests negative connotations toward women in the tech industry nor does it imply any kind of "Boy's club" where men make jokes about sex and women aren't allowed. I would hope any woman seeing this program could simply laugh at the name. Gender equality in the tech industry can't be achieved by juxtaposing men and women in this manner.

JordanSalazar commented Nov 16, 2014

SexMachine in no way suggests negative connotations toward women in the tech industry nor does it imply any kind of "Boy's club" where men make jokes about sex and women aren't allowed. I would hope any woman seeing this program could simply laugh at the name. Gender equality in the tech industry can't be achieved by juxtaposing men and women in this manner.

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mfriley Nov 17, 2014

@mrseth Feel free to prove me wrong when someone tries to shoehorn in their anti-feminist agenda instead of a feminist one. You'll probably be the first Internet commenter in existence to not be a massive hypocrite about politics.

Not that it matters, since it's obvious the dissenters were a major motivator for @bmuller's decision. He probably doesn't want to associate himself with someone that names their account @aTruePatriot or @faggerino (oh, and check the register dates).

mfriley commented Nov 17, 2014

@mrseth Feel free to prove me wrong when someone tries to shoehorn in their anti-feminist agenda instead of a feminist one. You'll probably be the first Internet commenter in existence to not be a massive hypocrite about politics.

Not that it matters, since it's obvious the dissenters were a major motivator for @bmuller's decision. He probably doesn't want to associate himself with someone that names their account @aTruePatriot or @faggerino (oh, and check the register dates).

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ghost Nov 17, 2014

@Advi So I happen to be guilty until proven innocent? Oh, why am I surprised, Is not like I haven't dealt with your kind before.
"So you happen to disagree with me? Check your privilege, sexist shitlord!"

ghost commented Nov 17, 2014

@Advi So I happen to be guilty until proven innocent? Oh, why am I surprised, Is not like I haven't dealt with your kind before.
"So you happen to disagree with me? Check your privilege, sexist shitlord!"

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mfriley Nov 17, 2014

@Advi On the Internet? Yes, everyone is guilty until proven innocent, because the Internet does not work like real life. It's a simple and effective way from turning into a fucking idiot that believes everything he reads.

"Is not like I haven't dealt with your kind before."
Thank you for admitting to having ulterior motives and preexisting biases. :^)

mfriley commented Nov 17, 2014

@Advi On the Internet? Yes, everyone is guilty until proven innocent, because the Internet does not work like real life. It's a simple and effective way from turning into a fucking idiot that believes everything he reads.

"Is not like I haven't dealt with your kind before."
Thank you for admitting to having ulterior motives and preexisting biases. :^)

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Cephel Nov 17, 2014

@Advi No, it's the how that's the problem

Instead of doing your own work, the proper way, by forking the repo, renaming it to your liking and then trying to convince people it's better this way, people demanded that the original project was renamed instead, forcing everyone to adopt the new name, even if they don't like it.

And it's painfully obvious why they're doing it this way. Forking and renaming it wouldn't actually fulfil their goal. What they really want is exactly what they achieved here, forcing people to accept their ideals and their ideology, instead of providing the choice to accept it out of free will.

when someone tries to shoehorn in their anti-feminist agenda instead of a feminist one.

That literally never happens.

Cephel commented Nov 17, 2014

@Advi No, it's the how that's the problem

Instead of doing your own work, the proper way, by forking the repo, renaming it to your liking and then trying to convince people it's better this way, people demanded that the original project was renamed instead, forcing everyone to adopt the new name, even if they don't like it.

And it's painfully obvious why they're doing it this way. Forking and renaming it wouldn't actually fulfil their goal. What they really want is exactly what they achieved here, forcing people to accept their ideals and their ideology, instead of providing the choice to accept it out of free will.

when someone tries to shoehorn in their anti-feminist agenda instead of a feminist one.

That literally never happens.

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ghost Nov 17, 2014

@Advi You say that people must prove their innocence to your almighty majesty and then you proceed to call bias on me? Just how demented are you? You SJWs are all out of your mind.

ghost commented Nov 17, 2014

@Advi You say that people must prove their innocence to your almighty majesty and then you proceed to call bias on me? Just how demented are you? You SJWs are all out of your mind.

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ghost Nov 17, 2014

@Advi funny thing you mention that internet is not the real world, then defend stupid requests like this because people would be offended based on their real world identities.

ghost commented Nov 17, 2014

@Advi funny thing you mention that internet is not the real world, then defend stupid requests like this because people would be offended based on their real world identities.

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mfriley Nov 17, 2014

@Cephel I already called them out on being ham-fisted bullies, I'm not gonna defend them. But nobody forced @bmuller to do anything or even acknowledge this pull request. Nobody can make you inferior without your consent, and I doubt he's afraid of some Internet tough guys. But God forbid I assume he's an adult that can make his own decisions.

@mrseth A strawman and name-calling in less than two lines, I like that. You keep your bitterness succinct.
If you don't want my opinion of you to have any weight, don't let it. Your frail ego is no one's fault but your own.

mfriley commented Nov 17, 2014

@Cephel I already called them out on being ham-fisted bullies, I'm not gonna defend them. But nobody forced @bmuller to do anything or even acknowledge this pull request. Nobody can make you inferior without your consent, and I doubt he's afraid of some Internet tough guys. But God forbid I assume he's an adult that can make his own decisions.

@mrseth A strawman and name-calling in less than two lines, I like that. You keep your bitterness succinct.
If you don't want my opinion of you to have any weight, don't let it. Your frail ego is no one's fault but your own.

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ghost Nov 17, 2014

@Advi is not about your opinion on me, is about you being full of shit. Btw, this isn't tumblr, saying "mannosphere" makes you sound like a crazy SJW.

ghost commented Nov 17, 2014

@Advi is not about your opinion on me, is about you being full of shit. Btw, this isn't tumblr, saying "mannosphere" makes you sound like a crazy SJW.

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mfriley Nov 17, 2014

@mrseth

"then defend stupid requests like this"

My previous statements on the page:
"I still don't really see the benefit"
"You can't just barge into someone's project and tell them how to run it. That is not cool."
"I was going to calmly explain how misguided, pointless and overly opinionated this request is"

Meanwhile, you've done nothing but call me "demented", "SJW" (how unexpected) and "full of shit". Cry more.

mfriley commented Nov 17, 2014

@mrseth

"then defend stupid requests like this"

My previous statements on the page:
"I still don't really see the benefit"
"You can't just barge into someone's project and tell them how to run it. That is not cool."
"I was going to calmly explain how misguided, pointless and overly opinionated this request is"

Meanwhile, you've done nothing but call me "demented", "SJW" (how unexpected) and "full of shit". Cry more.

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ghost Nov 17, 2014

@Advi no, I started asking you how taking the side of such a politically loaded request is impartial by any stretch of the imagination. You try to fake it, but you defend it. You say it was impartial, when it clearly wasn't.

ghost commented Nov 17, 2014

@Advi no, I started asking you how taking the side of such a politically loaded request is impartial by any stretch of the imagination. You try to fake it, but you defend it. You say it was impartial, when it clearly wasn't.

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Cephel Nov 17, 2014

So, where's that new fork, someone made one yet?

Cephel commented Nov 17, 2014

So, where's that new fork, someone made one yet?

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ghost Nov 17, 2014

@Advi but because I called this request on what it is, SJW bullshit, I seem to have hit a nerve of yours.

ghost commented Nov 17, 2014

@Advi but because I called this request on what it is, SJW bullshit, I seem to have hit a nerve of yours.

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mfriley Nov 17, 2014

@mrseth I may not like the change, but I will happily defend his right to merge it in. You have the nerve to act like you can magically discern his motivations after accusing me of trying to read minds?

"You try to fake it, but you defend it."
Why the fuck are you even entertaining my replies if you think everything I say is just lies and slander on behalf of some grand "SJW" conspiracy? That what I say is, in fact, not what I am saying? You've clearly decided how you feel about this entire inane debacle before it even started. An ideologue that thinks everyone else is as opinionated as him.

mfriley commented Nov 17, 2014

@mrseth I may not like the change, but I will happily defend his right to merge it in. You have the nerve to act like you can magically discern his motivations after accusing me of trying to read minds?

"You try to fake it, but you defend it."
Why the fuck are you even entertaining my replies if you think everything I say is just lies and slander on behalf of some grand "SJW" conspiracy? That what I say is, in fact, not what I am saying? You've clearly decided how you feel about this entire inane debacle before it even started. An ideologue that thinks everyone else is as opinionated as him.

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lecodergh Nov 17, 2014

@Cephel I liked the name of your fork - I might contribute to it if you keep it

lecodergh commented Nov 17, 2014

@Cephel I liked the name of your fork - I might contribute to it if you keep it

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Cephel Nov 17, 2014

@lecodergh I'm sorry but I didn't fork this project, surely you mean someone else.

Cephel commented Nov 17, 2014

@lecodergh I'm sorry but I didn't fork this project, surely you mean someone else.

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lecodergh Nov 17, 2014

@Cephel sorry, meant @mrseth - looks like the fork is there, I'm sure it will excel with the help of the community.

lecodergh commented Nov 17, 2014

@Cephel sorry, meant @mrseth - looks like the fork is there, I'm sure it will excel with the help of the community.

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ghost Nov 17, 2014

@lecodergh I don't code on ruby. But I can transfer it to you if you wish.

ghost commented Nov 17, 2014

@lecodergh I don't code on ruby. But I can transfer it to you if you wish.

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lecodergh Nov 17, 2014

@mrseth I don't want to deal with maintaining another opensource project outright - might just post some commits to it occassionally.

lecodergh commented Nov 17, 2014

@mrseth I don't want to deal with maintaining another opensource project outright - might just post some commits to it occassionally.

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davidcelis Nov 17, 2014

Doesn't seem like @bmuller "caved" to unreasonable demands to me. Sounds like he considered the options and made his own decision. His blog post seems pretty clear.

davidcelis commented Nov 17, 2014

Doesn't seem like @bmuller "caved" to unreasonable demands to me. Sounds like he considered the options and made his own decision. His blog post seems pretty clear.

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Cephel Nov 17, 2014

@davidcelis If someone walks up to you and demands you rename your child and then move to a different country because he feels offended by you, and you agree to their demands, then no matter the explanation, there's nothing you can say that will sound reasonable. The entire premise is unreasonable to begin with, so yes, he did "cave in" to unreasonable demands, because it's the demands that are unreasonable, not his hand waving and appease policing of them.

Cephel commented Nov 17, 2014

@davidcelis If someone walks up to you and demands you rename your child and then move to a different country because he feels offended by you, and you agree to their demands, then no matter the explanation, there's nothing you can say that will sound reasonable. The entire premise is unreasonable to begin with, so yes, he did "cave in" to unreasonable demands, because it's the demands that are unreasonable, not his hand waving and appease policing of them.

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siannopollo Nov 17, 2014

I opt for rewriting the git history so no one should have to be subjected to the old name. I'm still mildly offended that the repo name hasn't changed yet. Better yet, I think the maintainer should create an entirely new repo so we can just ditch all the current history and have an approved name in one fell swoop.

We've always been using GenderDetector.

siannopollo commented Nov 17, 2014

I opt for rewriting the git history so no one should have to be subjected to the old name. I'm still mildly offended that the repo name hasn't changed yet. Better yet, I think the maintainer should create an entirely new repo so we can just ditch all the current history and have an approved name in one fell swoop.

We've always been using GenderDetector.

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Alcesmire Nov 18, 2014

@siannopollo That's absurd. Regardless of your stance on the name change, proposing to revising history will do you no good and just feels wrong on so many levels. This discussion happened and is part of the project history (both in a git sense and in a proper historical one). Trying to insinuate that this new way was the way all along is just disrespectful.

Alcesmire commented Nov 18, 2014

@siannopollo That's absurd. Regardless of your stance on the name change, proposing to revising history will do you no good and just feels wrong on so many levels. This discussion happened and is part of the project history (both in a git sense and in a proper historical one). Trying to insinuate that this new way was the way all along is just disrespectful.

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siannopollo Nov 18, 2014

@Alcesmire But just consider what happens when someone with delicate sensibilities like @davy comes to use the project and needs to do a git-blame on some file. What if they are then forced to view the crass, insensitive old name? They are certain to be made to feel belittled, abused, offended, threatened, and marginalized. How can anyone, in good conscience, subject any more people to this virtual sex machine assault?

I say the current repo be abandoned for the good of all. We can't sit by and allow more people to be potentially uncomfortable or feel excluded when we have the means of completely ridding ourselves of the menace of any mention of the previous name which should not be named. We can't support an unhealthy atmosphere. A clean slate is really the only viable plan of action for future development.

siannopollo commented Nov 18, 2014

@Alcesmire But just consider what happens when someone with delicate sensibilities like @davy comes to use the project and needs to do a git-blame on some file. What if they are then forced to view the crass, insensitive old name? They are certain to be made to feel belittled, abused, offended, threatened, and marginalized. How can anyone, in good conscience, subject any more people to this virtual sex machine assault?

I say the current repo be abandoned for the good of all. We can't sit by and allow more people to be potentially uncomfortable or feel excluded when we have the means of completely ridding ourselves of the menace of any mention of the previous name which should not be named. We can't support an unhealthy atmosphere. A clean slate is really the only viable plan of action for future development.

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Alcesmire Nov 18, 2014

@siannopollo I hate when I'm face to face with Poe's law. I really don't know if I can take you seriously.

It's very much a non-issue, if someone asks about it all you would have to to is point to this ticket and the decision from @bmuller. If someone seriously take huge offense to a jokey name decided 2 years ago despite it being revised since, then they are being overly dramatic.

Taking retroactive offense is just bad. Should we hide the many historical facts that former what we have now because they might have been faulty steps? Would the world be better off not knowing about things like huge racial inequality in the past, including the work of Parks in 1955? Would the world be better off not knowing about wars, despite there being a lot to learn from it?

Having a history is generally a good thing. If you wanted the change this ticket is probably something to be happy about. Erasing history (both missteps and leaps) in favor of feelings is just a terrible idea.

Alcesmire commented Nov 18, 2014

@siannopollo I hate when I'm face to face with Poe's law. I really don't know if I can take you seriously.

It's very much a non-issue, if someone asks about it all you would have to to is point to this ticket and the decision from @bmuller. If someone seriously take huge offense to a jokey name decided 2 years ago despite it being revised since, then they are being overly dramatic.

Taking retroactive offense is just bad. Should we hide the many historical facts that former what we have now because they might have been faulty steps? Would the world be better off not knowing about things like huge racial inequality in the past, including the work of Parks in 1955? Would the world be better off not knowing about wars, despite there being a lot to learn from it?

Having a history is generally a good thing. If you wanted the change this ticket is probably something to be happy about. Erasing history (both missteps and leaps) in favor of feelings is just a terrible idea.

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AnthonySuper commented Nov 18, 2014

@Alcesmire, @siannopollo is being sarcastic.

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siannopollo Nov 18, 2014

overly dramatic

@Alcesmire I think that nicely sums up this whole renaming business.

@AnthonySuper +1

siannopollo commented Nov 18, 2014

overly dramatic

@Alcesmire I think that nicely sums up this whole renaming business.

@AnthonySuper +1

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Alcesmire Nov 18, 2014

@AnthonySuper @siannopollo
I kinda suspected that, but I've seen insane enough things thrown around to make this seem sensible and normal in comparison. Poe's law is infuriating, like I said.

Alcesmire commented Nov 18, 2014

@AnthonySuper @siannopollo
I kinda suspected that, but I've seen insane enough things thrown around to make this seem sensible and normal in comparison. Poe's law is infuriating, like I said.

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duncan-bayne Nov 18, 2014

Both sex and gender have quite specific objective meanings. Gender is clearly the correct term here. We're not talking about determining sex (male or female), we're talking about determining gender (masculine or feminine or whatever) from a name. On that basis, the proposed rename makes sense, especially as 'Detector' is more descriptive than 'Machine'. (The whole sex / gender thing is one of my language pet-peeves. Ask me about "male toilets" sometime ...)

But: this is also completely ridiculous (using the term precisely). It's on a par with putting 'trigger warnings' in University-level course material. If as a society we can't deal with the word 'sex' in a library name, we are fucked (using the term ironically). It feels as though we are descending back into some sort of parallel-universe Victorian prudery. The last time this happened, apricocks became apricots, haycocks became haystacks, and a hundred years later everyone was laughing at the stupidity and childishness of it.

How did feminism become the new prudery? Perhaps that's a question for sociologists rather than a pull request discussion thread, but it's probably worth investigating.

duncan-bayne commented Nov 18, 2014

Both sex and gender have quite specific objective meanings. Gender is clearly the correct term here. We're not talking about determining sex (male or female), we're talking about determining gender (masculine or feminine or whatever) from a name. On that basis, the proposed rename makes sense, especially as 'Detector' is more descriptive than 'Machine'. (The whole sex / gender thing is one of my language pet-peeves. Ask me about "male toilets" sometime ...)

But: this is also completely ridiculous (using the term precisely). It's on a par with putting 'trigger warnings' in University-level course material. If as a society we can't deal with the word 'sex' in a library name, we are fucked (using the term ironically). It feels as though we are descending back into some sort of parallel-universe Victorian prudery. The last time this happened, apricocks became apricots, haycocks became haystacks, and a hundred years later everyone was laughing at the stupidity and childishness of it.

How did feminism become the new prudery? Perhaps that's a question for sociologists rather than a pull request discussion thread, but it's probably worth investigating.

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bitplane Nov 18, 2014

The best thing about this change is that actually breaks code, it's brilliant and I wish I'd thought of it. That's some supreme trolling right there @davy!

bitplane commented Nov 18, 2014

The best thing about this change is that actually breaks code, it's brilliant and I wish I'd thought of it. That's some supreme trolling right there @davy!

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Alcesmire Nov 18, 2014

@bitplane Oh yeah, every project using this will break as soon as the new version is loaded. Neat.

Alcesmire commented Nov 18, 2014

@bitplane Oh yeah, every project using this will break as soon as the new version is loaded. Neat.

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duncan-bayne Nov 18, 2014

@bitplane I'm still not entirely sure the original PR was serious. Though it is nice to see that (with a few exceptions - I'm looking at you, @ghost) the discussion has remained within the bounds of civility. Hopefully we can maintain that tone when shit breaks in the wild, and maintainers come looking at this thread for answers.

duncan-bayne commented Nov 18, 2014

@bitplane I'm still not entirely sure the original PR was serious. Though it is nice to see that (with a few exceptions - I'm looking at you, @ghost) the discussion has remained within the bounds of civility. Hopefully we can maintain that tone when shit breaks in the wild, and maintainers come looking at this thread for answers.

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onodera-punpun Nov 18, 2014

New game everyone! Puritan christian or feminist?

onodera-punpun commented Nov 18, 2014

New game everyone! Puritan christian or feminist?

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RedRedBull Nov 18, 2014

SexMachine is an overly sexual name, which does not belong in a work environment.

B**, PLEASE.

This isn't some enterprise Java framework community, woman. Calm down. No such thing as a 'nsfw' gem name at a Ruby shop.

Rather than complain about it, why not write a useful gem yourself? Then you can name it whatever nonsexual name you like.

RedRedBull commented Nov 18, 2014

SexMachine is an overly sexual name, which does not belong in a work environment.

B**, PLEASE.

This isn't some enterprise Java framework community, woman. Calm down. No such thing as a 'nsfw' gem name at a Ruby shop.

Rather than complain about it, why not write a useful gem yourself? Then you can name it whatever nonsexual name you like.

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redrifle commented Nov 18, 2014

@onodera-punpun Puritan Christian.

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ghost Nov 19, 2014

@davidcelis Actually, it's about professionalism in astrophysics.

ghost commented Nov 19, 2014

@davidcelis Actually, it's about professionalism in astrophysics.

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davidcelis Nov 19, 2014

@bmuller, I'd advise you to just lock the thread already.

davidcelis commented Nov 19, 2014

@bmuller, I'd advise you to just lock the thread already.

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duncan-bayne Nov 19, 2014

@davidcelis but there's no Netflix in Australia yet.

duncan-bayne commented Nov 19, 2014

@davidcelis but there's no Netflix in Australia yet.

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louiz Nov 19, 2014

This pull request:

  • From an ideological point of view: woment are delicate flowers that can not read a mention of the word “sex” without feeling unconfortable (aka blatant sexism)
  • From a technical point of view: backward compatibility has been 100% broken because the whole API changed. Next time a user updates this library, they have to fix their whole code.

A really awesome change, indeed, congrats…

louiz commented Nov 19, 2014

This pull request:

  • From an ideological point of view: woment are delicate flowers that can not read a mention of the word “sex” without feeling unconfortable (aka blatant sexism)
  • From a technical point of view: backward compatibility has been 100% broken because the whole API changed. Next time a user updates this library, they have to fix their whole code.

A really awesome change, indeed, congrats…

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ghost Nov 19, 2014

Feminists are so disconnected with reality they didn't even consider the amount of shit it will break after the name change. YOU GO, GIRL! @davy

ghost commented Nov 19, 2014

Feminists are so disconnected with reality they didn't even consider the amount of shit it will break after the name change. YOU GO, GIRL! @davy

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