[UbuntuWomen] Mark Shuttleworth's comments

Catherine Devlin catherine.devlin at gmail.com
Mon Oct 5 20:10:04 UTC 2009

On Mon, Oct 5, 2009 at 5:26 AM, Ireene-Sointu
<ireenesointu at phonecoop.coop>wrote:

> 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.

 Wait, hold on!

"Fresh meat" being a reference to prostitution or child abuse?

Let me assure you that I have -never- heard the term used to imply anything
like that.  In North American culture, and as far as I know in
native-English cultures in general, there is nothing unsavory about the term
(well, except to vegetarians).  It's a common term that means only
"something new and excellent, of high quality".

I'm looking over these sentences:

""A release is an amazing thing. I'm not talking about the happy ending, I'm
talking about a software release, the fresh meat."

Okay, so I wouldn't be able to tell from just the transcript, but from body
language or something I suppose I can see the first part ("release/happy
ending") being a reference to sexual climax.  (WOW, that's really bad
prepubescent humor!  I'm amazed at an intelligent adult making such a
pathetic joke!)  But there's no hint whatsoever that the sex his bad joke is
referring to has anything to do with prostitutes, or children, or anything
like that - it's just a joke about generic sex.

Now, maybe it did sound even worse where you're from - in which case, it's
just an extremely unfortunate linguistic coincidence, but one I had never
heard of.  Please don't imagine Mark was intending some sort of horrible
innuendo about prostitution or child sexual abuse.  If it came out sounding
that way, it was only because of a cultural/language barrier.

As to the "explain to girls" comment in general, I agree with those who are
disappointed that he said it, and more disappointed that he hasn't chosen to
apologize for it, but I don't think it's a *major* issue; worth registering
a complaint about, but not worth a great expenditure of energy that could be
spent in other ways (like teaching Ubuntu to women).  Still, I respect those
who do think it's a major issue.  Just because I'm not deeply offended
doesn't mean you can't be.  (

- Catherine
*** PyCon * Feb 17-25, 2010 * Atlanta, GA * us.pycon.org ***
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