Diversity in Python (was Re: Need cleanup advice for multiline string)

Paul Boddie paul at boddie.org.uk
Mon Aug 17 21:22:16 CEST 2009

On 17 Aug, 19:23, Jean-Michel Pichavant <jeanmic... at sequans.com>
> Are you suggesting this list reject part of the community regarding its
> sexual orientation, ethnicity, size, culture? If that was the case I'd
> like to know about it.

Careful: you probably meant to write "rejects", not "reject". That
changes the meaning of what you've written somewhat.

> I would really want to know how you'd guess my gender (could be some
> clue somewhere), my sexual orientation, my religion and so on.
> How can you reject someone regarding informations you don't have ?

Well, everyone can of course hide their actual identity on the
Internet, but when someone references a group of people with a
juvenile remark (if we are being charitable about the matter), it has
nothing to do with guessing the characteristics of individuals. The
whole excuse that anonymity defends against insults and harassment is
a bit like saying that slinging mud at everyone is acceptable as long
as everyone is encouraged to do it and nobody is wearing their nicest
clothes. And unless your idea of a Python-related conference is
something close to a fancy-dress event with everyone "in character" -
which would obviously limit the effectiveness of such an event - you
presumably understand that there is a genuine need for continuity
between interactions on and off the Internet. This somewhat undermines
your argument.

> That's the beauty of this mailing list, it has diversity, by design.

An explanation is needed here for this not to sound like
conversational padding.

> We even welcome people that mixes up joke with sexist aggression, not to
> mention how open minded we are :o)

Well, jokes actually need an amusing side, regardless of how
"edgy" ("juvenile" is typically the more accurate term) the joke-
teller is trying to be, and that was completely absent from the remark
in question. There's little room for error in communication over a
medium like this one, as I pointed out with your opening sentence. And
much as it probably upsets the "unfettered free speech" advocates, we
should be able to assert that "sexist aggression" is not acceptable
behaviour amongst those who seek to participate in our community.


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