[UbuntuWomen] Introducing Myself : Shlomi Fish

Belinda A. Lopez dinda at mac.com
Thu Jun 5 19:43:56 BST 2008

And I assume the same Shlomi Fish who finally received this response  
from the Linux Chix Volunteers Lists:

"Shlomi Fish, based on your posts to the Grrltalk list, you are being
unsubbed and banned from re-subscribing. You are not welcome on
Linuxchix, based on your trollish bahavior on Grrltalk. LinuxChix is a
community for women who like Linux and Free Software, and for women
and men who want to support women in computing. Your posts have been
the opposite of support, and in spite of repeated posts pointing this
out, you have refused to change your language or behavior."

On Jun 5, 2008, at 1:35 PM, Shlomi Fish wrote:

> Hi all!
> This is my way of introducing myself to this list. It's a bit long,  
> but I'm
> in a philosophical mood (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ 
> Hypomania ), so
> please bear with me.
> My name is Shlomi Fish, and my homepage is http:// 
> www.shlomifish.org/ where
> you can learn more about me. I am:
> * A guy. 31 years old. Curly black hair, which expands radially  
> instead of
> in one direction and so I cut it to a minimum once in a while.
> * An Israeli Jew. I'm Jewish by peopleship, but not by faith.
> * A native speaker of Hebrew with very good, but not perfect  
> English. I also
> have a rusty knowledge of Written Arabic and French from my high- 
> school days.
> I love Linguistics and Philology, though.
> * A Neo-Tech Objectivist. I don't identify myself as a "Randroid"  
> because
> I don't blindly accept what Ayn Rand or whoever said, and instead  
> build on
> them, modify them and adapt them to new times.
> * A user, developer and advocate of Free and Open Source Software.  
> I've been
> using Mandriva for a long time as my primary desktop, and am now on  
> Mandriva
> Cooker, which is a lot of fun. I've also been using Fedora, Ubuntu,  
> RHEL, and
> other distributions in different contexts, and the experience was  
> not so bad.
> * A prolific writer of articles, essays and stories. (See my  
> homepage). It's
> still not enough to make a living from, but I also highly enjoy it.
> * Someone who helped with organising, publicising, logistics, etc. of
> community events in Israel, and elsewhere. I also gave some  
> presentations,
> to local FOSS clubs, but I tend to suck at it. (But wish to improve)
> * A Perl 5 Monger, a Vim/gvim user, a Bash fanatic, a KDE user, and a
> user of [Insert My Favourite Technology] here.
> * A full supporter of the women lib movement, and a great admirer  
> of past
> and present competent women, but still one who opposes feminist  
> pedanticness
> and using government oppression to "promote" women.
> * A LinuxChix refugee.
> -------------------
> When I heard of this forum for the first time after I got banned from
> LinuxChix, I went to see if you have a publicly online archive. I  
> was glad
> to see that you do, as opposed to say grrltalk at linuxchix.org ,  
> which speaks
> against their openness.
> In any case, I'm not here only to dis LinuxChix. I really want to  
> promote
> Women in FOSS. Now to my philosophy:
> I think that Windows vs. Linux, much less Linux vs. FreeBSD, or Fedora
> vs. Debian vs. Gentoo, are much more marginal than the following  
> elementary
> struggles:
> 1. Life vs. Death.
> 2. Happiness and Pleasure vs. Misery.
> These are the guiding points of human civilisation. As a human, I  
> want to
> live and I want to be happy. From these we can derive more complex,  
> but
> still very elementary, values:
> 1. Liberty/Freedom vs. Oppression.
> 2. Honesty vs. Dishonesty.
> 3. Openness vs. Secrecy.
> and so forth. Naturally we can apply them to our context as:
> 1. Open-source software vs. non-free software.
> 2. Knowledge and cluefulness vs. dis-information and
> mis-information.
> 3. "Do and let do" vs. nothing gets done.
> 4. Open or documented standards vs. proprietary formats and protocols.
> But our mission as FOSS enthusiasts is to make people lead happier  
> lives.
> Interaction with computers and software can easily cause a person a  
> lot
> of frustrations. A lot of time is now wasted on cleaning up Windows
> installations from malware (if it gets done at all), which is  
> practically
> a complete non-issue with Linux desktops, due to a better design.  
> This costs
> the world a lot of wasted time, a lot of added frustrations, and  
> makes everyone
> miserable. And miserable is one of the two primary evils.
> Back when I wrote this article:
> http://www.shlomifish.org/philosophy/computers/high-quality-software/
> A programmer I talked with noted that I should explain why quality
> in software is important. After a while I understood that it is,  
> because using
> low-quality software makes people frustrated and unhappy. And  
> happiness,
> pleasure, self-esteem, etc. are the things that people live for as
> identified by Aristotle in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ 
> Nicomachean_Ethics ,
> and also in modern Cognitive-Behavioural Psychology.
> ----------------------------------
> The reason I got banned from LinuxChix was because I sometimes used  
> "derogatory
> terms" such as:
> 1. "girl"
> 2. "he" instead of "they"
> 3. "hackeress"
> Or other terms they dimmed as offensive. However, the equivalents  
> terms in
> Hebrew (and also in most other European languages) are completely  
> unavoidable
> due to the fact the language is not gender-neutral. While my  
> English is
> excellent, I still have some traces of Hebrew in my cognition.
> In Hebrew we don't usually say "my co-worker" but rather "a guy  
> from work"
> or "a girl from work". So it's likely I'll say something like that  
> when
> speaking in English.
> However, the Chix did not want any of that, and also supported the
> re-engineering of English as a completely gender-neutral language,  
> which
> probably will have them alienate many other non-native speakers of  
> English,
> who are otherwise perfectly passionate about promoting women, but  
> simply
> don't think the way English-speakers do.
> So I hope you'll forgive me for whatever not-so-English anti- 
> feminist exits
> I may have. I'm not a sexist person, but I still don't find calling  
> a female
> hacker a "hackeress" to be any more wrong that calling a female  
> actor an
> "actress" or a female Jew a "Jewess", both of which make sense in  
> certain
> contexts.
> -----------------------------
> Now, here's my philosophy of promoting women:
> 1. I think accusing the existing male hackers of making women feel
> uncomfortable in their presence, while may be true, is not going to be
> helpful. I'm talking about:
> http://tldp.org/HOWTO/Encourage-Women-Linux-HOWTO/
> I'm pretty sure that the modern-day hackers, who tend to be very  
> liberal
> and anti-authoritarian, are angels compared to the male actors who  
> alienated
> the first female actors in post -
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_II_of_England -English  
> theatre. However,
> the first actresses who survived there for some time were  
> determined, and
> knew how to cope with abuse, and they paved the road for  
> generations of less
> confident female actors.
> There's probably still a lot of discrimination (to say nothing of  
> sexual
> harassment) in the world of acting today, but at least there are  
> more than a
> substantial amount of women.
> 2. The same is true of FOSS. I know a lot of female programmers in  
> Israel,
> some of which I know are good. However, very few of them are active in
> pro-bono activity, which is bad. It's not limited to women. Graphics
> Designers, web-designers, UI designers, marketing people, etc. also  
> tend to
> avoid doing pro-bono work. (And a larger percentage of them tend to be
> female).
> I think that if women are serious about being more visible in the  
> community,
> they should, well, become more visible. This involves coping with  
> abuse,
> becoming active in online forums (web forums, mailing lists, IRC  
> channels,
> etc.), writing good code or contributing graphics and free-as-in- 
> speech
> documentation, etc. The more women will do that, the easier it will  
> be on
> future female contributors.
> 3. I admit that I myself sometimes participate in "guy talk" in  
> FOSS forums,
> and that it happens a lot. I don't think women should be offended  
> if they
> witness it. Maybe it's an indication that we still believe that we're
> mostly guys. ( I personally am not very sexually explicit, and find
> pornographic imagery disturbing, but even some of this is quite  
> common. )
> That put aside, I still am trying to be a gentleman.
> Women should not be offended when this happens. Boys will remain  
> boys. Just
> because we discuss our favourite female celebrities, or "hot girls"  
> we saw
> on the street, or what we think of some of the females we know - all
> of that doesn't mean we don't respect women. I'm doing it all the  
> time.
> I'm pretty sure such "guy talk" was not invented in the 20th century.
> 4. All that put aside, I'm still all for creating a more hospitable  
> environment
> for women in FOSS. I think that one way is to give them leads for both
> men and women. For example, I am an experienced Perl hacker and  
> contributor,
> and also active in the Israeli Linux community, and so can guide women
> (and men) on their way to become more independent. I know many  
> people helped
> me and educated me.
> 5. You still need to cope with abuse. I received a lot of abuse,  
> even as a
> guy. If I hadn't had the will not to give up, and to show people  
> what I was
> capable of, I wouldn't have made it very far in the FOSS world. I  
> often get
> offended and even become stressed (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ 
> Hypomania
> ), but I still have known better than to give up.
> From my impression, women tend to get hurt more easily than men.  
> [Venus]
> From talking with people on IRC and on Email, I noticed many of  
> them said
> something like "They insulted me on #$CHANNEL so I decided that  
> this technology
> isn't worth it." I even talked to someone on #vim (on Freenode) who  
> claimed
> the #emacs people insulted him so much until he decided to switch  
> to Vim
> while having used Emacs for many years. And these were mostly men.
> {{{{
> [Venus] - I hope I'm not invoking a "Men are from Mars. Women are  
> from Venus"
> fallacy here.
> }}}}
> Women also need to know better than to give up. In fact, that's  
> probably
> the single best advice I can give.
> ---------------------
> Well, I'd rather stop now.
> But keep up the good work. Let me know if there's anything I can
> do to help. I'm not promising I will help, as I have many other  
> things I like
> to do to contribute to free software and free content. But I still  
> would be
> interested to know about tasks that I may be interested in doing.
> Cheers from Tel Aviv,
>     Shlomi Fish
> P.S: I also like #ubuntu-women on IRC from what I've seen.
> ------------------------------------------
> Shlomi Fish http://www.shlomifish.org/
> Electrical Engineering studies. In the Technion. Been there. Done
> that. Forgot a lot. Remember too much.
> -- 
> ubuntu-women mailing list
> ubuntu-women at lists.ubuntu.com
> https://lists.ubuntu.com/mailman/listinfo/ubuntu-women

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