No-context-needed IRC log time!

-!- zfe [n=Gianluca@] has joined #ubuntu-women
<zfe> is this the kitchen?
<zfe> who would make me a sammich?
<redacted> zfe: No this is not the kitchen
<zfe> aren’t you women?
<redacted> zfe: you are welcome to go into your own kitchen and make yourself a sandwich.
<redacted> zfe: please read the channel guidelines in the topic
-!- mode/#ubuntu-women [+o hypa7ia] by ChanServ
<zfe> ok i will while you make me a sammich
-!- mode/#ubuntu-women [+b *!*=Gianluca@88.252.29.*] by hypa7ia
-!- zfe was kicked from #ubuntu-women by hypa7ia []

Nicknames redacted to protect the innocent.

19 thoughts on “Papercuts

  1. While he was obviously being an asshole, I have to wonder about the implications of a channel named #ubuntu-women. How does sex and an OS relate, especially enough to need a channel to discuss it?

  2. The fellow is obviously quite the one to make idiotic ass-hattery, but unsurprising given the IP location in Turkey.

  3. @Wadenick: sadly, this particular flavour of asshat comes from all over. The dude who sent death threats to the Debian Women and Ubuntu Women mailing lists? He’s a law school student from Maine :/

  4. Hello Leigh ๐Ÿ™‚

    Having been involved in the example quoted above, and read the comments from people who possibly don’t fully understand the implications of this kind of behaviour, I thought I would give concise explanations of just three examples over the last 20 years of my trying to get involved in Open Source projects (Yes I know the early ones were not at the time called “Open Source” ๐Ÿ™‚

    For twenty years I have wanted to get invloved in Open Source development. It is only this year that I have been successful in getting fully involved in Open Source development projects, despite trying very hard in the past. One factor which has helped enormously in giving me the confidence to overcome the difficulties has been my joining ubuntu-women and gaining the peer support I needed from people who understand the difficulties.

    One of the first such projects I tried to get involved with was in the early nineties, and called Poplog – an object orientated, list based interpretive language running on Unix. Poplog was open source but not exactly “Free” as in FOSS. Communication for users and developers was by an email discussion list. There were regular mini-conferences held to bring developers together. I was never able to bring myself to go to the necessary mini-conferences for development because of the extremely aggressive stance taken by some of the male developers, including threats of serious violence if disagreeing with them at the meetings. One of these persons was making death threats as well. I traced him to a British University, where he was a computer science lecturer. Amidst applause from the other five women on the Poplog list, I complained publicly to that university, and appropriate sanctions were brought against that lecturer preventing him from having external network access, and making him apologise to us. But the prospect of having to go through the same long involved process with all the other “assholes” on the Poplog list persuaded me to give up with Poplog.

    In the mid-nineties I joined with John Winters’ LBC Discussion List giving advice and support to people trying to install early releases of Linux on their PCs. At that time a lot of the visual pattern recognition research I was doing as a scientist/mathematician, was on a project investigating automated visual recognition of marine dinoflagellates (a kind of marine plankton). I naturally chose “dinoflagellate” as my nick in all innocence – not considering that there might be other meanings applied to it. My niaivity in this was ‘rewarded’ with a never ending stream of “assholes” all making much the same “joke” about it which I refuse to repeat here. I heard that “joke” so many times I was in danger of going bald.

    In the late ninities I began the process of becoming a Debian Developer. In the first couple of weeks of contributing to debates on the Debian Developers’ list, I had acquired a number of very intimidationg responses from developers on the list, and also one sinister internet stalker who sent me private mails containing death threats. Needless to say I abandoned my ambition to become a Debian Developer.

    These are just three of the numerous examples of such “asshole” behaviour which have kept me out of Open Source projects over the last twenty years.

    Many thanks to ubuntu-women for helping to give me the confidence to now make a worthwihile contribution on three OpenSource projects. ๐Ÿ™‚


    1. Thank you so much @Helen for sharing your stories. Itโ€™s not just this community that seems to be continually asking the โ€œbut why do you need a special group?โ€ question. Anti-racism groups, PARTICULARLY in self-appointed liberal circles, are continually saying โ€œbut we donโ€™t need that. Nobody feels oppressed HEREโ€โ€ฆwell, maybe those people left, eh? I feel that in anti-oppression work of all kinds weโ€™re constantly humbled to learn that one success can not look like success to all.

  5. That XKCD is awesome, can’t believe I’d forgotten it! It will come in awfully handy next time I get drawn into one of those painful women-in-FOSS debates with some misogynist.

  6. To Sandy, who’s posting offtopic drivel to this entry: please stop, any further comments will be reported to your ISP as harassment.

    I apparently need to quote the following at you to make the FBI interested:
    Your presence on this server is in violation of the law. Leave now, or you will be reported to law enforcement authorities. You have been informed you are not welcome. You are accessing computer resources to which you do not have permission.

    To anon, who I presume is also “Sandy”: it’s offtopic because I say it is, this is my blog. You’re welcome to get your own. Now go away before I get law enforcement involved.

  7. @ Leigh, I think it’s really kind to anonymise the nicknames of those involved. It’s a nice gesture that shows you’re not singling out any individual person for this sort of thing =]

    Though, such a simple (yet somewhat irritating) troll has gotten way too much attention here. I suspect a lot of people do this type of thing because they are seeking (and in need of) attention.

    From what I can tell: To troll #ubuntu and get attention requires something really out of the ordinary. Saying “ubuntu sucks” simply isn’t enough, yet #ubuntu-women is just a case of picking from a large library of stereotypical sexist phrases like “women belong in the kitchen” or the like. This makes #ubuntu-women an easier target for trolls.

    The only way to put an end to this kind of thing is to starve ’em. Even with the nicknames changed, I bet that particular troll has seen this page and is bragging about it to friends..

    As much as these small things all add up.. staying strong, banning ’em and leaving the attention for the real sexists is the way to go IMHO. Trolls don’t care if the publicity they get is positive or negative, highly political sexists on the other hand don’t like negative publicity as they seek support from others to further their agenda.

    1. Oh I didn’t change the troll’s nickname, heh. He wasn’t innocent ๐Ÿ™‚ The sad thing is, folks frequently come in to #u-w egged on by people in other open source project channels. We’ve seen it happen a bunch of times – apparently people don’t imagine that we might also be in the channels the egging is happening :/ It’s pretty disappointing to see that kind of active hostility towards women… but not surprising, sadly.

      It’s tricky to know when to draw the line between “real sexism” and “only trolling”. I think that both come from the same place, and have the same effect – marking the space as unwelcoming to women. Both will also lead to swift bannination in any venue I moderate.

      I think that the better approach to sexist trolling is to point it out for the tired, trite, and most importantly /shitty/ trolling that it is. I’m a great admirer of a well-executed, good-humoured troll. I think that approach is more disarming and useful than just ignoring it and hoping it will magically go away. I also try to engage politely with potential-trolls when they give me the opportunity to, though I’m pretty happy to wield the banhammer when that proves fruitless. Which it doesn’t always. Audrey Tang wrote a great post about “troll hugging” which comes to mind when I think about changing the minds of trolls.

  8. For the last few days I’ve been hanging around ubuntu-women since I needed some help with voice overs in a screencast and I was witness to a few trolls and Leigh’s troll hunting. Its sad to see people trolling, but nice to see immediate action.

    Oh BTW, nice xkcd reference ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. *First: I don’t condone the dude’s actions. With sisters like mine a guy cant make those kinds of comments and expect to leave the area under his own power.

    That being said, I was disappointed in that whole line… I thought for sure that the dude was going to do the whole:

    Person #1: Make me a sandwich
    Person #2: No
    Person #1: sudo Make me a sandwich
    Person #2: OK

    We use this joke at work for everything… If you ask someone to do something and they say no, just sudo ask them.. it might work… or not.

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