[UbuntuWomen] Mark Shuttleworth's comments

Arc Riley arcriley at gmail.com
Mon Oct 5 04:24:44 BST 2009


I watched the whole video.

I agree that the "happy ending" joke was a off-color, I would expect him to
be more professional given his background and position regardless of the
crowd, but I didn't find anything sexist in it.  Sexual, certainly.
Inappropriate, arguably.

I don't think he was talking about adults when he said "girls", I personally
heard this in relation to the cultural norm (which I've frustratingly
experienced myself) for many young people.  We do lack gender-neutral
pronouns in our everyday speech and, if you notice, he uses feminine
pronouns throughout as the default ("her", "mother", "grandmother", etc).
"Youth" would have been a better term perhaps?

Of course this isn't a gender issue, I've experienced the same for many guys
- my ex boyfriend only liked his new Ubuntu box once a "Hello Kitty" theme
was applied and showed him how to browse youtube with totem so he could
watch full screen videos of cats doing funny things, XP apparently was too
slow to handle full screen flash video on the same hardware.

I think Mark ment well and, from what I know about him, I think he really
does care about this issue even if he hasn't refined his communication style
to fully reflect his beliefs.  Gentle suggestions on how he could better
communicate along these lines would be far more effective than reading all
this buzz critically analyzing his words and attacking him for them.

This really goes for all of Ubuntu and it's a CoC issue.  It's better to
talk to someone privately and gently than through a public forum.  Everyone
makes mistakes, we're all human, so we can best hope to help each other
refine ourselves and thus improve the Ubuntu community as a whole.
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