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Revert "doc: Removed use of gendered pronouns"

@isaacs may have his commit bit but that does not mean he is at liberty
to land patches at will.  All patches have to be signed off by either
me or Bert.  Isaac, consider yourself chided.

This reverts commit 47d98b6.
1 parent da32344 commit 804d40ee14dc0f82c482dcc8d1c41c14333fcb48 @bnoordhuis bnoordhuis committed Nov 30, 2013
Showing with 3 additions and 3 deletions.
  1. +1 −1 src/unix/fs.c
  2. +2 −2 src/unix/stream.c
2 src/unix/fs.c
@@ -302,7 +302,7 @@ static ssize_t uv__fs_sendfile_emul(uv_fs_t* req) {
* 1. Read errors are reported only if nsent==0, otherwise we return nsent.
* The user needs to know that some data has already been sent, to stop
- * them from sending it twice.
+ * him from sending it twice.
docteurklein added a note Dec 1, 2013

typo: it should be "them" here.

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* 2. Write errors are always reported. Write errors are bad because they
* mean data loss: we've read data but now we can't write it out.
4 src/unix/stream.c
@@ -679,8 +679,8 @@ static void uv__write_req_finish(uv_write_t* req) {
/* Only free when there was no error. On error, we touch up write_queue_size
* right before making the callback. The reason we don't do that right away
* is that a write_queue_size > 0 is our only way to signal to the user that
- * they should stop writing - which they should if we got an error. Something
- * to revisit in future revisions of the libuv API.
+ * he should stop writing - which he should if we got an error. Something to
+ * revisit in future revisions of the libuv API.
if (req->error == 0) {
if (req->bufs != req->bufsml)

129 comments on commit 804d40e

Joyent member

I signed off on it. Just leave it as-is, no need to revert.


If this was a matter of principle, you need new principles

  • arrogantly dismissed gender neutrality as "trivial" (#1015)
  • actively taken steps to revert positive gender neutrality change
  • chided @isaacs unnecessarily
  • removed women entirely from the industry

@bnoordhuis, consider yourself chided.


Lol, way to be a douche. Happy not having to work with that guy.


@bnoordhuis I understand the revert in terms of "don't go against a core commiters explicit no", but not the original reason. You said that the change wasn't important for you, but other people think it IS important. To me, that's reason enough to merge it. Could you elaborate a little bit more about your thinking, or reasons?


Somewhat related: making the statements plural would make them gender neutral and much more pleasant to read:

304 - The user needs to know that some data has already been sent, to stop
305 - them from sending it twice.
304 + Users need to know that some data has already been sent, to stop
305 + them from sending it twice.


@bnoordhuis fucking pathetic.


Really? Reverting a more-inclusive wording in documentation? Weak sauce, @bnoordhuis.

mikeal commented on 804d40e Nov 30, 2013

This shit isn't ok @bnoordhuis and damn near the entire community has tried to tell you that. At this point you're not just tone deaf but willfully ignorant of the needs of the community. Please stop and try to grow up, this project is about more than just code.

milani commented on 804d40e Nov 30, 2013

Should we insist on using non gendered pronouns? Do we want to remove "man" and "woman" and insert an equal word referring to both in dictionaries?!! It is just english and it doesn't mean anything to replace them. Take it easy.


No, but your logical skills may be failing you here, @milani; this is not an insistence on non-gendered pronouns, this is an insistence on male-gendered pronouns by way of reverting a change to non-gendered ones.

I'd be the last to demand that an organization draft a policy requiring all authors to write non-gendered docs, but I'll be damned if I see a reason to revert an independent change to the preferable, non-gendered form.


@milani: Is libuv just for men?



It is just english and it doesn't mean anything to replace them.

That's easy to say as someone who is not excluded by the current, masculine wording.

We shouldn't exclude women, not with our words—not even a simple pronoun—nor by our actions—such as by rejecting and reverting inclusion-increasing changes.

It DOES mean something. It's the difference between a subtle, maybe not even intended “girls not allowed” and an explicit welcoming of all.


Please consider reinstating the reverted commit. I think it improves the documentation.


watch, this will end up being bad press for strongloop.

mikeal commented on 804d40e Nov 30, 2013

@jbrains it was re-instated, it's just hard to see in the commit history, but master has the non-gendered versions.


Sorry guys, maybe I'm misunderstanding the whole situation, but as I read the commit message it is reverted because the correct contribution procedures wasn't followed. Someone merged something in, without the patch going through the correct procedure, therefore it was reverted. I don't see @bnoordhuis saying that the patch cannot be accepted, it's just a question of following the correct procedures for contributing to this project. It is very common for serious open source projects to have rules on who merges stuff in - just take a look at the linux kernel.


@KristianOellegaard: On the original pull request where this change was submitted (properly or improperly), @bnoordhuis said “not interested in trivial changes like that”. #1015 (comment)

He rejected the change, not merely the patch, on the grounds that it is “trivial”, not because it violated procedure.


@KristianOellegaard this isn't an issue of breaking or following the rules, it's an issue of doing the right thing and common sense. This situation is about people, not code.

co-dan commented on 804d40e Nov 30, 2013

Haha, what an terrible set of procedures. Honestly, is that how it is at cool javascript startups? You get chided by The Man for correcting a piece in documentation?

mikeal commented on 804d40e Nov 30, 2013

@co-dan isaacs and ben work at different companies.


I love libuv. This isn't the right thing to do. Doesn't make you a bad guy, just do the right thing and make this go away before it becomes a thing. Use neutral pronouns, please.

co-dan commented on 804d40e Nov 30, 2013

@mikeal yeah, you are right, I should've written "projects" instead.


You got to be f***** kidding.


Seriously, @bnoordhuis? Way to alienate us. The initial 'he'? No big deal. This? Big deal.


What is wrong with you? Seriously? This has to be a joke.


White knighting

Christ, this again? No. No no no NO. No.


reinh commented on 804d40e Nov 30, 2013

Aside from the regressiveness of the change, I'd just like to point out that the tone of the commit message and "consider yourself chided" in particular is juvenile and inappropriate in a professional setting.


This is what white knighting means. This is a professional god damn setting not a place to pick up women by only appearing to give a fuck. I'm frankly insulted, not just on my behalf but everyone else as well.


@sergiotapia if it is trivial to you, prove it and write all your documentation using female pronouns.

miah commented on 804d40e Nov 30, 2013

For every girl there is a boy

reinh commented on 804d40e Nov 30, 2013

I always appreciate it when people like @sergiotapia are willing to self-identify as bigots.


Jesus Christ. Deliberately closing a pull request that removes gender-specific pronouns (which shouldn’t have been there in the first place). Then going to effort of actually reverting that commit when it’s included.

Move over, John Edward. You have been usurped as Biggest Douche in the Universe.



re: white knighting


@sergiotapia you said it, not me. If that's not what you meant, correct yourself and move on.



So using 'he' instead of 'it' suddenly makes it about picking up women?

No, you made it about picking up women when you accused the rest of us of “white knighting”. See @jesusabdullah's link—that term means defending women in order to attract/bed them.

If you meant something else, then you should correct yourself.

ONOO commented on 804d40e Nov 30, 2013

Bigotry: when pedantry annoys you while there are far more important things to worry about and fix.


The user needs to know that some data has already been sent, 
to stop [the user] from sending it twice.

[...] is our only way to signal to the user that [the user] 
should stop writing [...]

When considering pronouns at all, take recourse to The Zen of Python:

Explicit is better than implicit.

It is not about non-gendered/gendered. Pronouns shouldn't be used at all. This improves documentation.

Using "they", regardless of the "gendered pronoun" debate is incorrect. The "user" might be transgendered, or might identify as Third Gender. Source Code and Documentation should contain no gender leanings what-so-ever, in preference for explicitness.

reinh commented on 804d40e Nov 30, 2013

@robgleeson bigot, n. a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance.

I stand by my word choice. I take attempts to derail or marginalize gender equality very seriously.


@sergiotapia: It's a small thing. But we notice. And now, it's not a small thing -- it's a few reams of comments to the effect of "WTF", and a lot of "them" language in the defenses of the revert.

We notice. After a while, it becomes apparent where we're not welcome. I'm just glad this community has some good defenders, but this is horrible.

reinh commented on 804d40e Nov 30, 2013

@robgleeson No, he is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his own opinions and prejudices, as demonstrated by his repeated attempts to derail this thread. His actions fit the definition of "bigot", and so I called him one. And yes, I am quite intolerant of this type of "thought" (speech action, actually). It has no place here or anywhere.


You say that the choice of pronouns isn't a big deal, except you then go out of your way to change it back to masculine pronouns. Do you also claim that gendering isn't strictly policed in tech culture?

miah commented on 804d40e Nov 30, 2013

I'm reverting my own stuff too:

brew uninstall node

number of fucks given about the JS community at this point: < 0


Oh God damn it, now you fuckers are making my friends leave. God fucking damn it.

mikeal commented on 804d40e Nov 30, 2013

Quick reality check:

  • This change has been reverted and does not appear in the commit log. The HEAD version of these files contain gender neutral language. At this point two other committers have taken action to get this commit in.
  • The question of "should this go in?" is effectively resolved although we all wish it went a little smoother. So, if you think you're fighting in this thread to get this change in or out, you're wasting your time.

A lot of people have let Ben know how they feel and how changes and comments like this are divisive, hopefully he gets it. If not, there are enough other committers willing push the project forward in an inclusive manor that we should be able to resolve problems like this more swiftly in the future.

mikeal commented on 804d40e Nov 30, 2013

@miah please don't let the actions of a single contributor and a few random commenters I've never heard of before give you the impression that this kind of behavior is acceptable in the node community. this commit has been reverted, the HEAD versions of these files contain the gender neutral language.


@robgleeson I'm just gonna go ahead and agree with @reinh on this one. @sergiotapia is acting in a bigoted manner. You, @robgleeson, are—for reasons unknown—defending @sergiotapia. I'm curious as to why you think it's ok for someone to say "You guys are bat-shit insane. White knighting to the extreme level over a trivial thing."

We are not all "guys." We are not, collectively, clinically diagnosed with "insanity," much less this strange "bat-shit" variety. We are not white knighting. We are not being extreme. And this was only trivial until it exposed a very pro-male agenda in some people... then it became monumentally non-trivial.

reinh commented on 804d40e Nov 30, 2013

@robgleeson It's interesting that you don't think I am allowed to use a word when I think it describes a behavior, but you are allowed to call me "warped" because you think it describes my state of mind, which you cannot possibly know. It is also interesting that you think I am trying to marginalize people's voices by characterizing their speech actions when you are literally telling me that I should not speak.

If they are actually a good person who does not hate women then perhaps they should spend some time thinking about why their actions have been interpreted as such.

miah commented on 804d40e Nov 30, 2013

@mikeal its pretty much the same as the Penny Arcade people refusing to change their stance and actively 'recruiting' in the community and advertising that one of your potential coworkers could be a transphobic asshole. Why would I want to take part in a community where people are 'out' as being bigots?

I'm thankful the change has been reverted, and all is well upstream. But having core committers be actively hostile to changes that are intended to make a positive change for diversity is just silly. This is why conferences are now starting to push a policy that promotes diversity. OSS projects really need to start doing the same:


@mikeal Awesome. Right thing happens in the end. We are JS.


Please reconsider making such strong assumptions about each other's intent.

mikeal commented on 804d40e Nov 30, 2013

FTR @sergiotapia and @robgleeson are, based on their GitHub profiles, Ruby developers and not relate to node.js or libuv outside the context of this thread.

milani commented on 804d40e Nov 30, 2013

@reinh the problem is you interpreted their behavior as such not everyone! Calm down and read/write carefully.


@robgleeson yes, you have to dig deeper. Are you saying that because we have to dig deeper, we should close our eyes on this one?

mikeal commented on 804d40e Nov 30, 2013

@miah I run JSFest and NodeConf which work to promote gender diversity along with all the JSConf Family of events. The commenters in this thread trying to justify this change appear to be Ruby developers and not members of the node.js community. Ben has made mistake. This thread, along with the original PR, is the community as well as most of the leadership letting him know that it is a mistake and is not acceptable. I ask that you consider basing your judgement of our community by the way we respond to issues like this, the overwhelming opinion of the community and leadership is that this is not acceptable.


To add something constructive here: Perhaps we need to consider including social aspects into libuv's contributor guidelines. See:


@robgleeson We are trying to distance you from the node community because you have bad opinions.

miah commented on 804d40e Nov 30, 2013

@jesusabdullah I think thats a good idea. I suggested that ashe (who I wont link here just to let her avoid the drama) update her diversity policy to have a open source project version. I suspect she would take PR's on that =)

My plan now is to include a 'diversity' tag in the 'Issues' for each of my OSS projects and I would <3 to also include something in my contributors guidelines.

Also, fwiw. I'm mostly in the Ruby community as well, but only because of Chef (and my <3 of OOP). But have been learning JS on the side for a bit. I appreciate all the JS devs above standing up for diversity.


Not to be dismissive, but seriously: "it", "they"/"them", "he", and "she" are all incorrect. Source Code is a sui generis class of written expression; it is not prose, and should not follow the norms of prose. The "gendered pronoun" debate is a debate central to prose, and literature in general. Source Code is not literature, nor is it prose.

Please address this.

The correct form should use the definite description(0) in question, for it picks out one and only one thing within the context of the writing. We should not be writing documentation to include others, but rather to maintain consistency, clarity, and explicitness. Your code is doing this, why shouldn't your documentation?

Generally: What Would a Computer Write?


reinh commented on 804d40e Nov 30, 2013

@listrophy all I saw from @sergiotapia is someone fed up about people trying to create division in programming communities through gender.

There is already a division in programming communities through gender. It exists. What we are doing is talking about how it is enforced and perpetuated. Gendered language, and the assumption that programmers are male, is one of those ways.

we're people, male, female, or anything in between. we can talk, you don't need to label someone a horrible person because you have perceived them to be a sexist - which I really doubt he is.

I labeled him a bigot because he was acting like one. If you think I shouldn't be allowed to use an appropriate word because it's naughty or taboo, that tells me a lot about which group you are interested in protecting (hint, it's the one that already has the power).

we're debating the integrity of a person based on his opinion about how insane all of this is

He said something that a bigot would say, so I called him a bigot. If you want to challenge the substance of my criticism, go ahead. But "you said a naughty word" isn't going to cut it. And by the way, your continued support of ableist language (like disparaging people whose opinions you don't agree with by calling them "bat-shit insane") tells me a lot about your "integrity" too.

if you want to fix gender equality issues, you're going to have to dig harder than changing the phrasing of some words in source code.

You're right, we're going to have to do much more. But that doesn't mean that this isn't worth changing, and you are only helping enforce the status quo—where women are underrepresented, underpaid, and oppressed in many other real and terrible ways—by saying otherwise.

milani commented on 804d40e Nov 30, 2013

@jesusabdullah Great! what is the definition of "bad opinion"?! It reminds me of "Inquisition"!


@jesusabdullah is fighting the good fight for inclusivity of all I see!

mikeal commented on 804d40e Nov 30, 2013

@robgleeson this isn't about code, it's about community, which is people. You're in here expressing an opinion about what we are trying to define as unacceptable behavior in our community and, from what I can tell, you aren't actually a part of it. If you had invested time in our community, had met or formed relationships with us, I would expect you to understand this but you haven't. Being that you aren't investing in our community and have built no credibility whatsoever I can only assume that you are here for selfish reasons and I am trying to let observers know that you do not represent, in any way, our community.


@robgleeson "Create division in programming communities through gender." This is precisely the issue patched by the reverted commit.


@robgleeson by labeling it a circus, you're very much part of the problem.
This could have been easy. Somebody made a PR for the better. Pull it. Done.
That it becomes "a circus" is because of people like @bnoordhuis who rejects the PR on rather dubious grounds (A: he obviously failed to do himself what he accused the commiter of - that is, communicate with his peers, B: he goes public before talking to the author directly, seriously? C: I seriously doubt he scrutinizes all PRs this way - but I didn't verify that, maybe he really does), bigots like @sergiotapia, who claim it was trivial/unimportant, yet feel the need to comment - and now you who goes on to defend people like @sergiotapia. I agree with @reinh. Bigot was pretty accurate, I pondered writing it myself.

reinh commented on 804d40e Nov 30, 2013

@milani I speak only for myself. "calm down and read/write carefully" is the kind of thing you would say to a child who is misbehaving. Do you think I am a child, or are you just trying to dismiss what I'm saying by using this obvious derailing tactic?


For the love of all, why are we squabbling with each other? Why can't we all just unite under the same banner and fight for what's right and proper rather than bickering. Focus on the real issues at hand and any community will be better for it. None will ever instigate a positive outward change if it's members are too preoccupied with fighting amongst themselves. Leaders will sometimes get it wrong. Very wrong. But please, this "bubble" mentality of community-vs-community is pure poison. I dearly hope we don't divide ourselves even further by pointing fingers. The fact that there's a discussion going on in this thread that actually has to single "community imposters" out is something that's beyond distressing to me.

We do what we do because we enjoy it. Heck, we love it. If we can do anything to encourage anyone who has the same love to participate and be welcomed with open arms, then we should do it. This isn't a club for the few, it's a society for the many.

mikeal commented on 804d40e Nov 30, 2013

@mattfield we are encouraging anyone and everyone to join our community with the understanding that certain behavior is unacceptable. Accepting bigoted behavior is only inclusive to bigots and is exclusive of everyone else.


@robgleeson it is. does that change anything about what I said?


@robgleeson I think alternating and writing sporadic genderfication into our Documentation is a bad idea. It will only further promote undisciplined writing.

We should find a way to (a) drop pronouns all together, which ultimately involves (b) rewriting the sentence, or (c) writing with explicitness.

milani commented on 804d40e Nov 30, 2013

@mikeal I fear @reinh is a ruby guy too and not part of this community.


I'd like to see more under-represented genders(female, transgender, ..)

@robgleeson Transgender men and women are men and women, not a special separate class. The word you want is non-binary.


@mattfield, we can't "just", because it's complicated, and knowing "why" seems unlikely to make you feel any better.

I, too, encourage helping everyone feel welcome, and would like to see a little more trust.

reinh commented on 804d40e Nov 30, 2013

@robgleeson All of your criticisms of me have been ad hominem. You haven't even attempted to address the substance of my comments. Think about that for a moment.

Meanwhile, you have given us plenty of evidence that you completely misunderstand the scope and severity of the problem. When you say "this gender issue is becoming a circus in every programming community you go to these days", that's a lot like blaming the people who yell "Fire!" for burning the theater down.

There is a fucking problem. All we're trying to do is point to it and say "this is a problem". And all you're trying to do is say "stop pointing your fingers, it's rude!" I have no patience for people like you.


As a genderqueer person, I feel repeatedly hurt. It's much easier to try to be sensitive to issues you don't understand, rather than dealing with the shit storm that is sure to come up when you refused to be called on injustices. Thanks to everyone who is working actively to change this culture of oppression. You are heroes. #thanksforbeingwhiteknights


@mikeal I agree that there should be a clear definition of what's acceptable and what isn't. Free-for-alls will only end in disaster. It's just unfortunate that something that had the potential to unite communities to stand for something right has resulted in this.


@robgleeson I assume that you feel cast out. I hope that that feeling passes. I'm really sorry that you got hurt here.


Using "it/they/them" decreases findability and grep-ability of the Documentation.

Generally pronouns increase the signal-to-noise ratio.

"The User" or less noise increases the visibility and viability of search hooks.

mikeal commented on 804d40e Nov 30, 2013

@milani everyone comes from somewhere, and I'll encourage anyone to invest in this community so long as they aren't detrimental to the long term diversity and inclusiveness of our culture. And anyone who is detrimental I will fight to exclude from relevant cultural activity and leadership.


@jbrains You're right, it's a very complicated issue, I don't deny that. I think there are many "why"s and it's undeniably a steep mountain to climb. I do believe that a strong leadership is needed sometimes to push through these issues. I've seen the JS community accomplish incredible things, and I've not lost faith in it either, despite when things go wrong. I'm not one to dwell in the depths of despondency however - far from it. But you're right. Sometimes, a little more trust would go a long way.

miah commented on 804d40e Nov 30, 2013

@milani Lets look at your sentence a different way "I fear @reinh is a ruby guy too and not part of this community."

We can have
"I fear person is black, and not part of this white community."
"I fear person is a woman, and not part of this male community."
"I fear person is a man, and not part of this female community."

Also, having "fear" in there..
"I fear person, because they are black."
"I fear person, because they are female."
"I fear person, because they are white."

We should all attempt being nicer, and just try to be more inclusive of people regardless of their race, gender, nationality, or creed.

You have no need to fear others simply because they are different. That is the point of being diverse.

reinh commented on 804d40e Nov 30, 2013

@rninty This is the best comment in this whole thread. ❤️

milani commented on 804d40e Nov 30, 2013

@miah Yes, that's the point. We shouldn't treat people differently because we do/don't like their opinions. "FTR @sergiotapia and @robgleeson are, based on their GitHub profiles, Ruby developers and not relate to node.js or libuv outside the context of this thread." 804d40e#commitcomment-4738703


I really had no doubt the right thing was going to be done in the end but this revert is pretty embarrassing.

@miah please don't dismiss the JS community as a whole. The overwhelming majority of us want to do the right thing. @mikeal thanks for keeping things on track and clarifying the status of the commit.

To library maintainers everywhere, please don't be terrified of making these kind of mistakes in your docs. It's ok to make mistakes. Making gendered references in writing is very common and easy to slip into. But when you realize you are doing it or someone points it out, please make an effort to correct it. Documentation is simply more accurate and more enjoyable to read without the use of gendered pronouns. This is not a man/women issue, gender is a spectrum (not binary). Unfortunately our vocabulary is broken and outdated for such things so it can be a challenge.

To anyone interested in learning more on the topic of gender classification you may find the following resource helpful...


@rninty @reinh Interesting. A perfectly viable solution is treated with satire and praised in sheer account of that, and the argument is contrived to be convincing merely through the gestures of rhetoric. Ultimately the argument is an appeal to the status quo and authority of tradition, both of which are fallacious forms of reasoning.

"somehow"? Search hooks are increased or the signal-to-noise ratio is decreased.

"does not seem"? I'm puzzled as to how this is forceful. Quot capita tot sensus.

I made my argument that Source Code (which includes Documentation) is a sui generis form of written expression. It is not literature, and using what exists today as writing or "significant pieces written in any language" only begs the question.

I gave two fundamental ideas: drop the pronouns or be explicit. These are defensible positions, and they are consistent with the general advice of most, if not all, normative technical documentation guidelines: Rewrite the sentence.

mikeal commented on 804d40e Nov 30, 2013

I wrote a slightly longer response to this whole notion that we should be inclusive of diverging opinions and behavior when they are exclusionary.


@robgleeson Judging by the response to my offers, which were good natured, if ultimately lacking "humanism", this entire discussion has become wholly cannibalistic, divisive, and clannish.




@rninty Normative technical documentation guidelines generally suggest: Rewrite the sentence. That is what norms are all about, restructuring on everybody else, as you put it. That's ultimately what having an opinion is all about. You're defeating the entire possibility of dialectic itself.

"They" is less explicit, increases signal-to-noise, and is less consistent more often than not. Where cases of "they" may seem appropriate, the sentence can be rewritten altogether.


Go rewrite it then, there are enough SHAs for everyone!

mikeal commented on 804d40e Nov 30, 2013

has nobody realized yet that this library isn't even in JavaScript and is used not only in node.js but in Rust, Luvit and Julia :)


@miah So you're willing to write off the JS community because of issues you have with one person, but don't want others to do the same to the Ruby community for the same reason? Perhaps passing judgement on entire communities because of the opinions of individuals isn't reasonable.


@mikeal, libuv was created for the purpose of porting NodeJS to Windows so I don't see a problem with the association though I agree it seems silly this is turning into a conversation about JavaScript. Perhaps that means there is nothing more to say.

mikeal commented on 804d40e Nov 30, 2013

FYI Joyent has responded publicly to this issue


townsfolk, put away your pitch forks. the lord of asynchronous input-output grows weary of your boisterous caterwaul.

azzz commented on 804d40e Nov 30, 2013

Why did you change "them" and "they" with "him" and "he"? What is about girls?!



There goes my chance of ever using anything from Joyent. Yes, I'm refusing to use anything from them just because of one person. The actions of people you allow to commit to your repositories can reflect on the entire group.


Anybody who thinks this is a "JS Community" issue is delusional. This isn't the JS community, it's the programming and tech community as a whole. This has nothing to do with JavaScript and everything to do with gender exclusivity.

msikma commented on 804d40e Dec 1, 2013

I don't really understand this. "They" isn't some new word that people recently came up with. It's been used since a very long time ago to refer to a third person in a non gender-specific way. Perfectly valid English. There's just no need to be against such a minor change that makes the language just a bit more amicable to read to the non-male programmers in our industry (and no one needs to be told how male-oriented this industry is).

It's just a really basic sign of respect. C'monnnnnn guys.

dbarros commented on 804d40e Dec 1, 2013

I"m surprised there are no 'his' and 'hers' branches.


The over-reaction from Joyent on their blog is embarrassing and unkind. This was about setting a minimum threshold of contribution (reasonable) and due process for a pull (also reasonable), not grammar.


Stop blaming Joyent. Person who did it is NOT a Joyent employee.

wb-stow commented on 804d40e Dec 1, 2013

Are all of you gender-equality nazis happy now that we have two fucking words changed?

Try not to get your panties in a bunch and next time maybe you won't lose one of your best developers. ;)

(Oh and have fun making programs with Javashit.)


I'd love if this turned out to be a selfless sacrifice to prompt the wider discussion about sexism in the tech community.

jbrains commented on 804d40e Dec 1, 2013

@damien-roche It could, if we encourage that to happen.


@rninty well, @wb-stow did manage to use both in the same post, maybe that could be considered a new record or something! :P

wstucco commented on 804d40e Dec 1, 2013


No, he is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his own opinions and prejudices, as demonstrated by his repeated attempts to derail this thread.

I labeled him a bigot because he was acting like one.

How do you know that the human being you're referring to identifies themselves as a man or that they like being referred to them by using a male pronoun?

You should not generalize when is about gender, because it's serious stuff, you should have asked before writing, OR you should have used the gender-neutral variation.

miasua commented on 804d40e Dec 1, 2013

Wow @noordhuis. Is your ego and sense of male entitlement so fragile that being inclusive to all genders is a threat to you? XD

reinh commented on 804d40e Dec 1, 2013

@wtsucco Consider it an educated guess based on their apparent privilege and lack of understanding of gender issues. If I'm wrong, I'm happy to be corrected. But somehow I suspect that you aren't saying this in good faith.

agraves commented on 804d40e Dec 1, 2013

That post gave me cancer

wstucco commented on 804d40e Dec 1, 2013


I just think everyone is overreacting here.
Ben gave explanation on the reasons why he reverted the commit and I'm ok with that explanation (i.e.: submission rules).
His (or them?) mistake has been underestimating the firing power of the most pugnacious members of gender-equality club.
I can't see any logical reason why he's been be treated like that.

You don't fix a mistake with another mistake (and, we must say, a lot of verbal violence!).

This tweet is ridiculous at best.
Alex turned a perfectly legitimate rejection into a public political debate on questionable matters, and that's clearly the wrong way to deal with this kind of issues.

I think we can be supporters of gender equality without being morons or paying too much attention on the form (from a non native english speaker!) so that the only solution left is removing gender entirely from our languages.
Cultural differences should be taken into account before offending and asking to fire someone in a public post on a corporate blog.
For example, in italian, the singular they or them sounds like you haven't even finish the elementary school.
I know it is perfectly valid english, but it looks really strange to me.
We often have different words for male and female nouns (professor is professore if male, professoressa if female), since user is male (and it doesn't change if female, you just use the female article), we would have used a male pronoun and article (unless we were strictly referring to female users).
It is a rule of the language, it doesn't make all of us sexists.
I think this is the reason why someone (like me) is not throwing rocks at Ben, we understand the mistake was made on good faith and it has nothing to do with gender issues.

Last but not least, this is not the reason why girls aren't in programming.
There were more women programming than today int he 80s when gender issues were a real problem.



  1. His English isn't the problem. Its that he called it trivial, then reverted it (after it was approved by another core contributor) and then was aggressive towards Isaac.

  2. I'm glad you (a male) knows the real reason why women dont want to program. Especially when women are telling you this bothers them and you tell them "no, this isn't actually the problem". Nice.

its easy for people who aren't offended by something to tell the other people who are theyre overreacting. That's the definition of lack of empathy.


Ladies, gentlemen, and everyone in the middle of that spectrum or outside of it...

Before responding to this thread, please read this:

If you still think you can add value to the conversation, please do, but if not, let it rest, please.

reinh commented on 804d40e Dec 2, 2013

Apparently the Mute feature doesn't actually prevent comments where I'm mentioned from showing up in my inbox, so I get to read yet another ignorant, offensive screed by some dudebro who thinks he understands and is entitled to tell us all about women's lived experiences despite demonstrating zero knowledge of the relevant research or, you know, that he's listened to what actual women have to say.

@wstucco You have no idea why women (not girls, that's yet another example of your latent sexism) aren't "in programming", so don't presume to tell us. And please stop mentioning me. I don't need yet another brogrammer's ignorant, entitled bullshit in my inbox.

wstucco commented on 804d40e Dec 2, 2013


  1. the patch was indeed trivial.
  2. "I'm glad you (a male)" and what if I'm a gay male? have you ever considered the idea that judging people from their profile picture is sexist? and stupid...

You're speculating that was rejected because the subject was trivial, but that's not what Ben said, nobody can say Ben rejected the patch because is not interested in gender equality.Just that he rejected the patch because it was trivial.
We are on Github, not on some kind of forum where you post your opinions about life, we talk about managing source code.
That patch was submitted the wrong way, but, most of all, the guy who submitted the patch, instead of talking with the human being responsible of rejecting his proposal, twitted that libuv is 'an hostile library' and implied that Ben was a sexist moron.
That is wrong in many ways and creates a lot of damage to those working on the project and to the project itself.
Next time someone threat to tweet something bad about libuv, are they going to accept the patch?

Speculation is the worst kind of 'lack of empathy'.


you're speculating too!
You're calling me sexist just because I'm not a native english writer or speaker.
How kind of you!
In my language girl means just "a young woman", where is the sexism, other than in your mind?

You are not putting facts here, just saying you're right and I'm wrong, by showing off and insulting me.
Women and girls are not in programming because they are taught that programming is 'a boy thing'.
Then they come here, read comments of people like you, and they will have to agree.
Programming is for aggressive people, like you, so 'a boy thing', and leave.
Women don't want to work with people like you, that think their opinions are the law.
They like to discuss about topics, not being pushed away because 'I don't want to be mentioned'.
And, as far as you know, I could be someone actively working toward gender equality, in a country where these issues
are far more serious than a pronoun in code comments.
But you don't care, because you think you're the one who knocks.
Thanks for being so insensitive.
If you don't want to be mentioned, well, you should shut up and stop calling anyone who disagree with you a
'brogrammer's ignorant, entitled bullshit'.
Because that's what kids do and I'm an adult, not a whining baby.

txdv commented on 804d40e Dec 2, 2013

The change is in. The library is about async io. Go fight on reddit or some other forum.

reinh commented on 804d40e Dec 2, 2013

@wstucco Here we go again.

Here's the thing. When you come into a thread and act like a sexist, it doesn't matter if you're really a sexist or actually some sort of secret ninja feminist who just chose to act like a sexist. What matters is your actions, not your intent. People are going to treat you like a sexist for as long as you act like one, and they will be right to do so.

So, when you attempt to bait people who are nominally on your side, when you call gender equality advocates "morons" and their responses "ridiculous", when you use language like "girls" that in context is sexist, and when you claim that gender inequality is not currently a "real problem", you are derailing and marginalizing and you are acting like a sexist and you shouldn't be surprised when someone treats you like one.

I am happy that you have demonstrated more understanding of the issues in your most recent reply. I just don't understand why you decided to act like a sexist first.

wstucco commented on 804d40e Dec 2, 2013


Thank you for understanding that you can actually talk with people, without bashing them.

But I'd like to point out a few things

  • this is not Facebook, this is Github, I'm talking about this supposed issue from a coder point of view, not because I want to talk about my life, my opinions, my views on the subject.
  • two wrongs don't make a right. Ben made a mistake? let's fix it, without calling him sexist and without tweeting about a non existent 'hostile library' when referring to libuv (I confirm: a ridiculous tweet, I want to believe written out of rage, without thinking of the consequences) or asking to fire him on a corporate blog post. I don't support this behaviour! at all! libuv is a great project, used by thousands of people, you are not allowed to talk about it that way just because your submission was rejected for not respecting the procedure. You can't take it personal or turn it into politics. It's just wrong.
  • I'm italian, in my culture calling a woman 'girl' is not sexist. It's just a woman of young age. There's no other single word to describe them. You should probably use more flexibility when communicating with people different from you. Jumping straight to the conclusions will lead you to the wrong assumptions, most of the times.
  • I never said that gender equality advocates are morons, just that if you act like one (I'm quoting you) "you shouldn't be surprised when someone treats you like one"
  • I never said gender equality is not a problem just that this is not the place to talk about it and that it was definitely not the problem here.

my country was ruled for almost 20 year by a man called Berlusconi, I swear to God last thing I want in my life is being considered a women abusing a-hole like he is, just because we come from the same place.

this is my last comment on the subject.

Joyent member
isaacs commented on 804d40e Dec 3, 2013

Further comments on this thread will be deleted.

@github Please. Really. We need this, so badly. isaacs/github#38 I'll pay you for it, and I'm guessing that plenty of others will match my bounty.

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