Spamming PyPI with stupid packages

Steven D'Aprano steve+comp.lang.python at
Tue Jan 3 03:21:33 EST 2012

On Tue, 03 Jan 2012 08:59:53 +1100, Ben Finney wrote:

> Devin Jeanpierre <jeanpierreda at> writes:
>> > Nonsense. Felinx is free to make sexist jokes, and others are free to
>> > howl him down when he does so. PyPI has no obligation to be a
>> > platform to amplify anyone's prejudice.
>> A module named "girlfriend" won't amplify anyone's prejudice. It is, at
>> that point, just a joke.
> I agree that it's a joke. It is a joke at the expense of women:
> promoting the view that, like a car or a house (the other modules that
> were part of the joke), a girlfriend is a possession to be acquired.

How do you get that reading?

Yes, in the English language, we talk about "getting a girlfriend", but 
we also talk about "getting a boyfriend". Does that imply that *men* are 
nothing more than a possession to be acquired? Clearly not. There is no 
implication re social status -- we can talk about "the nation has finally 
got a king" without any implication that kings are low status, mere 
"possessions" to be acquired. 

If there is anything "offensive" about the "joke", it is the implication 
that women are shallow creatures only interested in men for their earning 
potential. But why should that be more offensive than the idea that men 
are so desperate for a relationship that they are happy to hand over 
their earnings to anything female that pretends an interest in them? The 
joke cuts both ways.

It is the nature of jokes to exaggerate character traits. In real life, 
many women *are* interested in the earning potential of men, not 
exclusive of all other factors of course, and many men *are* push-overs 
to any gold-digger with a pretty face. But neither is a universal trait: 
they are mere generalisations. 

There are exceptions, of course, people are complex and reality doesn't 
fit nicely into the pigeon holes we invent, but generalities do apply in 
general. We're lying to ourselves if we don't acknowledge the truth that 
in general the status of a man depends on his wealth and power and that 
of a woman on her fecundity, looks and youth. Acknowledging that reality 
is no more sexist than acknowledging the reality that on average men are 
bigger than women and that women can conceive but men can't.

Stan: I want to have babies.
Reg: You want to have babies?!?!
Stan: It's every man's right to have babies if he wants them.
Reg: But ... you can't HAVE babies!
Stan: Don't you oppress me!
Reg: I'm not oppressing you, Stan. You haven't got a womb! Where's the 
fetus gonna gestate? You gonna keep it in a box?

- Life of Brian


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