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Re: Free Software and the New Sexism
Re: Free Software and the New Sexism
Sun, 27 Aug 2023 16:19:29 +0200
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On 27.08.2023 13:45, Alfred M. Szmidt wrote:
> > Free Software does not care who you are, it is about the rights of the
> > individual to run, copy, distribute, study, change and improve
> > software. Nothing else, nothing more.
> I wish this abstract ideal was reflected in actual reality!
> But it does, the GNU project and the Free Software movement does not
> care who you are.
> It would be irresponsible to recommend someone to get involved with
> a group of people who may harass, bully, or verbally abuse them.
> Something the GNU project does not do and has never done -- we wish to
> include everyone, and trying to get rid of people isn't something that
> is beneficial to our cuase -- but just like the above -- it would be
> equally irresponsible, and possibly worsem to subjguate someones right.
> Whom you hang around with is up to you, but you cannot change the
> situation of a non-free program.
> But lets keep this list on-topic, which means discussing the
> development of the GNU projecs, its software, and free software in
I wonder if our definitions of "Free Software" (as a community) might
Do you perhaps not consider GNU Guix to be a legitimate GNU project?
They're hosted under gnu.org and have GNU in their name. Although I
wasn't outright verbally abused, I would describe the treatment I've
received on the Guix ML to be bullying. They've pretty much hounded
me out of the project after I've had many past contributions to it.
Sure, it wasn't based directly on any aspect of my identity, but it
was due to me pointing out that the CoC they're using intentionally
omits any mention of sex discrimination while mentioning pretty much
every other type of discrimination there may be. This is a fairly
clear way to signal that women (or men, for that matter) who care
about sex-based discrimination aren't welcome in the project.
Note that this issue wouldn't exist if that CoC were not in place at
all; the problem is that they use a CoC which mentions other types of
discrimination directly and explicitly, while intentionally leaving
out mention of sex discrimination.
If they said, "this project doesn't take any position at all on issues
pertaining to sex and gender identity" that would be perfectly fine.
But, unfortunately, this isn't the case. They make a point out of
validating the world-view of transgender activists who have often been
criticized for sexism, while showing overt hostility to critics who
point this out.
I'm aware, of course, that Guix doesn't represent all of GNU. I could
go around looking for GNU projects that are "safe" and limit myself to
contributing to those, I suppose, but Guix was one of those I cared
for the most, and it feels like this problem is spreading to more and
And if we leave aside GNU and look at all of Free Software as a
movement (not just the FSF as an entity, which, as far as I can tell,
is so far indeed not affected by the issue I'm complaining about),
then you also have the vast number of free software projects which
decided to adopt the same CoC as Guix, and that list includes Linux,
Golang, Rails, and many others.
(That being said, the CoC in question did since add the euphemism "sex
characteristics" in lieu of "sex" to the list of characteristics based
on which one could be discriminated against. In the case of Guix, I
don't see this as solving the matter, based on the treatment I've
received. In case of all those other projects, I suspect that similar
problems exist, since it's in the spirit of said CoC to deny sex
discrimination, as was made clear by its author on GitHub.)
Sorry for being long-winded. Always had this bad habit.
TL;DR: Contributor Covenant Considered Corrosive
Re: Free Software and the New Sexism, DJ Delorie, 2023/08/27
Re: Free Software and the New Sexism, dick, 2023/08/27
Re: Free Software and the New Sexism, Jacob Bachmeyer, 2023/08/28