[UbuntuWomen] Mark Shuttleworth's comments

Ilavenil Thirumavalavan ilavenil at gmail.com
Mon Oct 5 09:51:58 UTC 2009

Hello Ireene - Sointu,
Nice to hear your thoughts about the speech - I agree with just about
everything you said.

You've got yourself a fan - first for the "No title, no surname" bit, then
for the "Using Linux for 10 years bit", and for the "being old enough to be
a grandmother bit" - Actually, the last one doesn't matter, but there are
just too many people who have the rigid conviction that they cannot learn
anything new after 40.


On Mon, Oct 5, 2009 at 2:56 PM, Ireene-Sointu
<ireenesointu at phonecoop.coop>wrote:

> Here are my feelings on this issue (being a woman and a mother - old
> enough to be a grandmother to many of you I suspect - I talk about
> feelings). First I want to say that I spent yesterday evening reading
> this
> http://geekfeminism.org/2009/09/28/a-followup-on-the-shuttleworth-incident/
> (both the original with comments and the follow up)and this morning
> reading this
> http://blog.linuxtoday.com/blog/2009/09/mark-shuttlewor-1.html, but I
> have not listened to the talk itself. I also want to say that I am only
> an end user, having used Linux now for about ten years and Ubuntu the
> last four or so. I am a person in my family who my children come to with
> computer problems. They sometimes bring their friends' Microsoft
> problems to me too for a solution. And most of the times I have been
> able to solve them. But being knowledgeable about using the computer
> does not make me familiar with all the terminology used in the computer
> world. So I come to this talk (what I have read of it) with some ideas
> about language usage generally.
> Carla Schroder is right in saying that "dumb stuff like that distracts
> from the talk itself". This quote from the talk did that for me. "A
> release is an amazing thing. I'm not talking about the happy ending, I'm
> talking about a software release, the fresh meat." All seem to agree
> that this was a bad joke. I did not first understand "happy ending". It
> was explained somewhere among all my readings. Then I came to Carla
> Schroder's article and the whole thing was even worse than I had
> understood. Take the "happy ending" and add "fresh meat" (I know it is a
> computer term) which I connect with prostitution as well and in
> particular using/abusing children sexually. I felt sick to my stomach
> with this connection and it did not diminish when the reference came to
> "trouble explaining to girls what we actually do". I understood this to
> mean explaining to women (I sincerely hope Mark Shuttleworth meant women
> and not girls) about pers (= her/his) work (in order to impress - I
> suppose quite a human characteristic this need to impress). My mind was
> still reeling from prostitution and fresh meat and it just .... words
> cannot express fully how I feel.
> I never feel good about being called "a girl" or "a guy" (there was an
> ex army person in one of the comments telling how in the army the word
> "guy" was not acceptable). I keep telling anyone who makes that mistake
> that I am a woman. I am an adult and although I talk about my feelings I
> am capable of reasoning too.
> I will stay with Ubuntu, at least for now, and wait and see what else
> comes up. I used to think Mark Shuttleworth a great person for starting
> Ubuntu and making it available for so many people. I must say that this
> talk has diminished per (=her/him) in my estimation. I am still hoping
> per (= s/he) will apologise. That is the only thing that will restore my
> good opinion of per.
> My best wishes to you all,
> Ireene
> Legally, one personal name: Ireene-Sointu. No surname. No title.
> Arc Riley kirjoitti:
> > 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.
> --
> Ubuntu-Women mailing list
> Ubuntu-Women at lists.ubuntu.com
> https://lists.ubuntu.com/mailman/listinfo/ubuntu-women

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It is morally as bad not to care whether a thing is true or not, so long as
it makes you feel good, as it is not to care how you got your money as long
as you have got it.
-Edwin Way Teale
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