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Django Code of Conduct - feedback wanted (djangoproject.com)
84 points by jacobian 1300 days ago | hide | past | web | 77 comments | favorite

I think it's great to have a set of ground rules and expectations when interacting with people you might not have a completely defined personal relationship but here is where any kind of agreement/code kinda falls apart: " Sexist, racist, and other discriminatory jokes are not welcome".

What is sexist language? In the recent Pycon incident was the "dongle joke" sexist language? I don't think so. It's a joke about the male anatomy that should be equally accessible to men and women. Is a joke about blondes being stupid sexist? Yes, probably.

What I'm saying is language like "sexist" or "offensive" is highly subjective and it's impossible for everyone to agree on the correct definitions. The unavoidable fact of life is that a documented agreement cannot possibly protect everyone from being offended at some point in their professional lives. I feel like any kind of documented code of conduct should also include a section on how to deal with feeling offended.

Something like this:

"Despite these rough guidelines, we are all imperfect human beings that experience discrimination and offensive language in sometimes drastically different ways so it's important not to overreact to what you may perceive to be offensive or discriminatory actions. Ask yourself if the act in question is motivated by malevolent intentions. Chances are that it's not and that they simply have a different definition of what is acceptable in a professional setting. Informing the person of your discomfort with their actions and/or language will go a long way towards removing any future discomfort while interacting with that individual."

I understand what you're saying here, but I think you've got it backwards, even taking PyCon into account.

I think we both agree that it's best to assume everybody is acting in good faith (you say as much in your proposed changes). As such, why not:

"Despite these rough guidelines, we are all imperfect human beings that experience discrimination and offensive language in sometimes drastically different ways so it's important to be aware that you might say something with good intentions that nevertheless offends or upsets another member of the community. In these cases, rather than explaining to that person why they ought not be upset, apologize, try to understand why your comment upset them, and move on."

Good idea but with my consitutional/wonk hat on probably needs some form of appeal system to make it fit the principals of natural justice.

IE if you are charged with bringing Django into disrepute and say are banned from attending a conference you have to have some way of appealing the sentence. Maybe have some suitable body of say 3 people from within the Django community to be an appeals panel.

For a long list of reasons, both philosophical and practical, I strongly dislike the adoption of community code of conducts.

One reason that's not been mentioned elsewhere is that they make an act wrong because it offends a magical set of rules, rather than the act being wrong in its own right. Lawyers would recognise this as the difference between malum in se vs malum prohibitum. I don't speak for anyone else, but this is not a subtle difference for me.

The latter seems entirely at odds with a distributed and obstensibly non-hierarchical open source project.

As if the line between malum in se and malum prohibitum was well defined. What you consider a magical set of rules others consider basic requirements for fostering an environment of respect and civil discourse.

I get that you don't agree. But you have no rational basis to assert that the acts prohibited by the community code of conducts aren't malum in se.

Hi folks - If you've got feedback that you'd like us to take into account, can you please send it via the form (https://www.djangoproject.com/conduct/#feedback)? I have a shitty memory, and if you just leave suggestions here I'll probably forget 'em. Thanks!

In the culture I was raised, the word "shitty" was highly offensive. I'm not offended, but my childhood community would be.

>This is censorship! I have the right to say whatever I want!

You do -- in your space. If you'd like to hang out in our spaces (as clarified above), we have some simple guidelines to follow. If you want to, for example, form a group where Django is discussed using language inappropriate for general channels then nobody's stopping you. We respect your right to establish whatever codes of conduct you want in the spaces that belong to you. Please honor this Code of Conduct in our spaces.

Excellently written answer to deal with the torrent of complaints spewed by man-children at the requirement they be considerate of others. "My free speeches!" and "How dare you censor me?" and "But what about my get-back-in-the-kitchen and make-me-a-sandwich jokes?! You've killed comedy!"

Although I agree wholeheartedly with the code of conduct, it's disrespectful to those who disagree to lump them together as you have done.

There will always be opposing viewpoints, even on things that we'd consider nearly cut-and-dry like not talking about your penis at a conference. Respect them and win with argument and logic, not with propaganda and bad posters mocking them as a disingenuous group. (The censorship complaint, though flawed, is a little more complex than you imply.)

I'm sorry you feel that way; that wasn't our intent. If you've got ideas about how we might improve it, please let us know: https://www.djangoproject.com/conduct/#feedback.

I know little about Django.

Have you really had a problem with the behavior of your participants that requires this formal code of conduct as a solution?

Your code of conduct on its face seems innocuous, but there seems to be an elephant that you are trying not to discuss.

As illustrated by great-grandparent, there seem to be many eager to take your code of conduct and wielding it like a shield use it to bludgeon others with behavior contrary to your intentions.

Excellently written answer to deal with the torrent of complaints spewed by man-children at the requirement they be considerate of others. "My free speeches!" and "How dare you censor me?" and "But what about my get-back-in-the-kitchen and make-me-a-sandwich jokes?! You've killed comedy!"

If I had a suggestion, it would be to take from the Wikipedia and assume good faith which is a principle that your Speak Up! source also dances around, in that it seems a person can "assume bad faith" and still comply with each principle in your code of conduct.

Don't be a dick. Do unto others.... Assume good faith.

Each of these seem to concisely cover the issues you have without leading to their abuse, or tyranny of the (majority, minority).

No, no, Jacob, not you -- you guys do great work! Relax! I was replying to parfe's characterization of those who do disagree.


It is not my job to sell the other side. It is my job to be respectful of the fact that the other side exists, and to be reasonable to it, not hostile and mocking.

Imagine if you had a minor quibble with the Code of Conduct. You're now going to reconsider even bringing it up here, because someone's already mocked your potential argument disingenuously, and undermined any conversation that might be had.

It lowers the tone of discourse, and I see it too often. Rings of "if you disagree with me, you're a Communist".


I think it's necessary to respect all points of view and defeat them with traditional means. By all means, consider it absurd. Don't put mocking words in their mouths as parfe has done, nor categorize them unfairly; let them speak for themselves, and defeat the argument when it's presented.

That's how discourse works. I am rapidly tiring of efforts to the contrary, especially among people here and in the industry.

As you clearly joined HN during the Pycon incident to minimize the existence of sexism in tech, you'll have to excuse me if I ignore your advice.

PyCon incident? You mean the incident where they gave away RaspberryPis to everyone, including females? Or the one where they raised tens of thousands of dollars for PyLadies? Or maybe something a little more indirect, like perhaps all the connections female coders made with other coders of all kinds of race, gender, or sexual orientation?

As you clearly joined this discussion to smite other users, you'll have to excuse me if I think you are a cave dwelling troll.

Remember when I said I agree with the code of conduct? Thanks for lowering the bar of discourse even further by attacking the messenger.

And it's hilarious that you think I'm minimizing sexism in tech. Hilarious.

Stop being a bully. Okay?

I regretfully inform you that due to multiple violations of the COC section "be careful in the words that you choose" your accounts on IRC, mailing lists, issue tracker and any other space related to Django have been terminated. Please don't try to create new accounts. Thank you for understanding and have a nice day!

>Excellently written answer to deal with the torrent of complaints spewed by man-children at the requirement they be considerate of others. "My free speeches!" and "How dare you censor me?"

You do realize those are sexist generalizations?

"Excellently written answer to deal with the torrent of complaints spewed by man-children at the requirement they be considerate of others."

This does a lot to help the cause and sets a fine example though doesn't it? The progress being made is making me dizzy.

Here are random thoughts for a Code of Conduct (not related to django, because I only use the doc there):

-RTFM is not an acceptable answer without a link to a precise chapter (not to giant page).

-"this has been answered" is not an acceptable answer without a link to the previous answer/question, and if it's repeatedly sent, then it's time to change the software UI or the doc (in this order of preference).

-accessing the community (dev or user) should never force you to subscribe to a ML (we're in 2013, not 1993), or creating a password (use you imagination, github, or openID).

-stale/inaccurate pages on the wiki are to be removed (not marked as "old" or whatever) every 2 months. Don't create a wiki if you can't handle it (your time is probably better spent developing I guess).

-FAQs are useless, just change your intro/tuto/getting started or your UI.

I really like this, not just because it works towards a community of acceptance, but because the guidelines are laid out publicly. A lot of people seem upset with the idea that they are being censored, but I really don't see it as an absolutely horrible thing. Communities are moderated all the time, but at least in this instance there is a publicly available set of guidelines which one is capable of offering feedback on. I'd love to hear where people differ with this opinion, but I really think this is a good thing for the Django community.

You cite the Ada template, which says "sexual language and imagery" is inappropriate for a conference or other public event. Your website only mentions "sexist language".

From the tone and tenor of the post, I suspect you mean to endorse that aspect of the template, and if so, you probably should state that clearly. Doing so may help when inevitable disputes arise about whether someone's behavior contradicted the code of conduct. You will almost never look back and say "I really regret being clear".

Otherwise, my first thought is that I think this code is a good idea.

Personally, unless a statement against sexual language is qualified, I can't find myself ever agreeing with it.

Why? Say I'm working in sexual health and create apps and websites around sexual health. Does the sexual language prohibition mean that I must be incredibly careful to not discuss the actual content of my work, even in the most professional way?

Yes it means exactly that - There was a recent talk about sexual health that was canceled because it ran against that rule.


I read that blog and the impression I got was that she was railroaded by the "audience member".

An audience member who specifically asks if there's any "rape" discussion in the talk, then, when discussion of date rape drugs occurs, the organizer says that "the member mentioned that if you describe how to use date rape drugs..."

How does random audience member know that a talk will cover such drugs? That's a very specific comment to make to complain. "Oh, if they talk about rape, it's a trigger for me", "and if they explain how to use date rape drugs, that's the same as rape".

Pseudo-edit: I read further down the article that indeed her talk was targeted.

That being said, I have little sympathy for Violet Blue - she's been known to have a litigious past based on changing her name and then invoking domain squatting and trademark law against others who were around before her.

I come from the medical apps field, so I find the idea of possibly not being able to talk about my work frightening.

Sex (any reference to the existence of sex, to crib from This American Life), not okay. Religion or politics, okay. Odd.

Because of the discussions during the last couple of weeks, I've learned a lot about Title VII protections for the workplace. I wish we would look towards Title VII for guidance, because many of these nuances have been fleshed out by case law and the EEOC.

The courts (in my novice understanding) only look towards behavior which is discriminatory, and there's a set of guidelines to consider. A discussion about apps and websites for sexual health aren't discriminatory towards a protected class of people, even if there are jokes involved. This is how family planning center can have conversations about birth control while also being under Title VII law. There are also some "bona fide occupational qualification" exceptions, like not needing to use men as a Playboy Bunny.

Sexist imagery would fall under sexual harassment because it “may be found to create an atmosphere in which women are viewed as men’s sexual playthings rather than as their equal coworkers”, quoting from Barbetta v. Chemlawn Services Corp. A defense that an organization can do, to say that it is not discriminatory, is to prevent sexist imagery from being displayed.

However, sexual imagery which does not portray coworkers as unequal wouldn't count. This would of course depend on the larger context. Covering a wall with pictures of anatomically correct genitalia, and with no work meaning, is of course different than using pictures of genitalia to show how an STD progresses while at a medical conference. The courts say there isn't a single guideline but rather a "constellation" of factors. Still, they say that it's usually not that hard to figure out.

However, this code of conduct doesn't look towards the previous history in order to explain itself. Even the phrase "code of conduct" is different than Title VII, which is an anti-discrimination policy and explicitly not a code of civility.

I've been thinking about the difference this way: two people can have a conversation which is uncivil but calm; perhaps talking about each others' atrocious coding practices, or deriding the bad leadership practices of their shared company. These can be impolite, but not unwanted by the two participants. In that case, I don't think there should be cause for a third-party who overhears the conversation to intervene and say that they aren't being nice, either to each other or to their non-present boss. While an anti-discrimination statement gives that right to third-party people, should there be racist, sexist, or other discriminatory action or speech.

The Ada template is something different, being mostly designed for in-person events. There's more on that here: https://www.djangoproject.com/conduct/#dsf-events. If you've got further questions, can you leave 'em via the feedback form? Otherwise we might miss 'em.

This is the first real news today that I wish was an April Fool's hoax.

We're sorry you feel that way, if you have any specific feedback you can submit it here: https://www.djangoproject.com/conduct/#feedback

I think the obvious question is "why now suddenly, of all times"? First, it smells like a "me too" mentality, second, the Django people were savage animals before that?

What's with all this code of conduct stuff jumping at people from the weirdest places? Will the day come when I go buy a loaf a bread and a sticker will be attached to it saying "You're not allowed to cuss while eating our bread"?

Speaking as someone who's on the relevant mailing lists: this has been in development for quite a while now. It's just that now it's reached the point where broader public feedback is solicited.

And to be perfectly honest, there's an increasing amount of evidence that measures like adopting codes of conduct do have an effect on how friendly and welcoming a community is seen to be, and do have an effect of bringing in people whose contributions are absolutely worthwhile, but who likely would not have joined in previously.

Sorry if it seems sudden or ill-timed. The truth is that we've been working on this for quite some time (long enough I've forgotten when exactly we started). Like most things in open source, we worked on it when we found time, and released it when it was ready.

Yeah, me too. Chalk that up as an advantage Ruby on Rails has over Django.

Not to start a pet language fight or anything, but the suggestion that Rails is better than Django due to its community made me piss myself laughing. What are you saying here? The lack of a code of conduct makes Rails better?

You guys have significant problems in your community. Even if the sexism is less -- and that's one big if -- there's a whole plethora of other problems.

Remember, remember the conference in November[1]

[1] http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/11/20/british_ruby_confere...

ruby != rails

I love the idea of being "professional" on an open-source volunteers project: put on a mask during the work day, and keep your mask at night. Then read articles and watch movies about "being yourself", "finding your inner self" and stuff like that all day long. When the dissonance is too great, your mind break and it's depression, gun violence (in the US), suicide etc.

Yes, you should be professional, the same way you'd probably be respectful at a dinner party that occurred outside of work hours. This is about as puritanical as a coffee shop that prevents you from bringing a guitar and amplifier in and playing loud riffs at 4pm. If you want to remove your mask then please, feel free to do so, but maybe find a more appropriate environment for letting loose than the Django community forums.

Also, really? The idea that asking people on Django-hosted channels to "be respectful" will lead to gun violence is pretty out there.

I have a difficult time with the phrase "professional." I used to think it had some meaning. Now I think it's a code word for "don't do things that the managers/organizers don't like."

Can I wear a pony suit to work and be professional? What about at DjangoCon? What about wearing shorts and sandals? In some places they are acceptable, in others they are not. Does that make them professional or not? So it seems like DjangoCon allows certain types of non-professional conduct.

Is it professional to drink alcohol while at work in most programming companies? What about taking a nap during someone's presentation? I don't think so. Is the same true for DjangoCon? I don't think so. I've done both at conferences, and people knew about it, and no one seemed to have a problem with it. I've seen others do the same.

There's another meaning of "professional", which is to do quality work, and be responsible for any errors that occurred. I don't think this is the type of "professional" that people mean. I've not seen anyone kicked out or even chided by the organizers for presenting a lousy and unprofessional presentation.

As to the coffee shop example, that can be judged without reference to respect. The goal of a coffee shop is to sell coffee. They have broad discretion as to what they think is the way of achieving that goal. This is based on property law. If they don't want you to play loud riffs at 4pm then they don't have to claim there was disrespect, only that it's unwanted, and they can use the credible threat of police response to back their demand that you leave.

The neighbors also have some say in the matter. Loud music might be prohibited, and your amp is turned up too high. Again, "respect" doesn't factor into this at all.

But for a dinner party, or for Django, I don't think it's possible to have a good definition of "professional" or "respectful." It comes down to the vague "don't do things that we don't like, otherwise we'll kick you out." Using "professional" just makes it sound more objective.

I didn't address the last remark, it's not a direct relation.

It's the same stuff the other way around: a small sexist joke (or to rely on the news, a joke about penis) doesn't lead to violence against women or lower salary for them at work. It's accumulation, generalization that leads to that.

"being respectful" is entirely contextual, subject to trends (as with this code of conduct), to cultural bias, and can be tweaked to mean whatever you want to say at the moment and place.

If you act like yourself, someone might get offended and we cannot have that.

If the "real you" is a douchebag nobody wants to deal with, then, yes, it is probably for the best that it is clearly laid out for the entire community that nobody wants to deal with it and you need to act better.


can we be more clear about tolerance of respectful dissent? I feel like the language in the present draft of the document gives an overbearing feeling and has aspects of thinly veiled political correctness enforcement.

please don't misunderstand my sentiment. i'm not meaning to excuse bigoted language of any kind. i do, however, think that a code of conduct ought to be much much much more clear that it is a set of guidelines for people to interact WITH disagreement, rather than a set of rules for stifling dissent.

Thanks a good suggestion; thanks. Can you repeat it via the feedback form (https://www.djangoproject.com/conduct/#feedback) so that we don't lose track of it?

I follow django-dev, sometimes drop into irc, and haven't seen anything inappropriate in there. Did something happen I'm not aware of?

Nope. We've been working on this for... quite a few months, actually.

so... aren't you solving a problem that doesn't exist in the django community?

Which is the best time for these sort of things.

> Be careful in the words that you choose.

Nice try in hiding the puritanical censorship aspect of it, but I'm not fooled.

In the Django community, as in Sparta, everyone is held accountable for the words of his voice.

The main difference is that in Sparta they throw you in a gigantic pit; we have a strong preference for talking it out and encouraging people to be nice to each other.

I've considered contributing to Django in the past but assumed I wasn't "good enough" to do so. Seeing immediately gives me encouragement to try. I think it's good.

I did too. I looked for an issue I could handle[1], wrote a patch, improved it, added tests and got over the fact that the Django guy at Europython 2012 was too busy to answer my questions during the dedicated sprint.

I even followed the bug tracker triage docs and tried to find a reviewer only to get scolded for it[2]. Then I had to wait 20 days to get a response on the patch. It was a "wontfix" because documented bugs are actually features.

But now that there's a code of conduct all this has changed and I feel the urge to contribute again to Django /s

[1] https://code.djangoproject.com/ticket/18494

[2] https://groups.google.com/d/topic/django-developers/K95mZose...

I looked as [2]. It doesn't look like a case of scolding. It's a one-liner saying "there is no need to write to django-developers to notify us about ticket changes, we do follow trac and there is an extra ML for ticket updates."

I don't know the Django process, but this seems pretty standard. Your initial post doesn't add anything new to what the patch already did. They were letting you know that posting your request to the list won't speed up the process.

Unfortunately, with an all volunteer development team, it's hard to put time aside to helping new people with what doesn't seem like critical patches. In my observation, the way to solve this problem is to develop more patches, including ones that are more critical. Critical/useful/neat patches get priority. After you do a few of these, then you can get people interested in your other patches, and/or become part of the core team.

Where you'll then find that your time is spent working on new core features, and not enough time spent helping new people become core developers. ;)

For what it's worth, my oldest open bug reports are 10 years old. One for Twisted, http://twistedmatrix.com/trac/ticket/288 , and the other for Python, http://bugs.python.org/issue747320 . I still see occasional activity about each.

I tried to respect their documented process and find a reviewer for my patch so the status of the issue can get one step closer to "closed". They specifically mentioned IRC and this particular mailing list as ways to locate reviewers. After waiting a couple of hours for a response on IRC, I wrote to the mailing list.

Then you started off with the wrong email. You said "I've got a fix and a test and now I need a reviewer to mark the ticket as RFC. Please take a look if you're familiar with this area of Django."

That added nothing new, because anyone who would review it has already been informed. That's what the reply told you. They have no idea who you are, or what you know about the process, or even that you want to follow the process.

You then followed up with "How else am I supposed to find someone to review my patch? I got no response on IRC." That does give the sense that you're exasperated. That doesn't help them understand that you want to work with them.

Also, your first email has the wrong tone, in several ways.

You wrote that you "need a reviewer to mark the ticket as RFC". That is a presumptive view, because it assumes that a reviewer will mark the ticket as RFC. The reviewer might say that it needs many changes, and pass it back to you for continued development.

Second, the line "Please take a look if you're familiar with this area of Django." is not helpful to the person reading the email. How does someone know if they are familiar with that area without actually going to the bug? They have to take a look. Which means that anyone who might review it will have to take a look, no matter if they are familiar with it or not.

My belief is that if you had asked a question about the process, rather than the patch, and explained how you were trying to work within the existing process, then you would have gotten a more useful answer. For example:

"I've just contributed my first patch to Trac. Now I'm waiting for a reviewer. I asked for one on IRC but got no answer after several hours. The contribute FAQ suggests asking here as well. Can someone here review <url> for me?"

That's gentler than the email you first sent. It would have probably gotten an answer like what the FAQ says:

Remember, "it’s not personal. Django is entirely developed by volunteers (even the core devs), and sometimes folks just don’t have time."

Instead of developing a patch, what about reviewing the patches that others have submitted? Do this enough times and someone will likely reciprocate.

You're probably right about not being gentle enough. The "area of Django" I was referring to had been mentioned in the email's subject, though.

As you might have guessed, that was my first and last try to contribute to this particular open source project. I won't do it again. Maybe this attitude is unusual in the subset of Django users who at some point want to contribute something back to the community. Or maybe the core developers have the wrong approach to encouraging new members of the community and instead of making sure the process works they spend the time writing codes of conduct.

Fair enough (regarding the title).

As I wrote, what you saw here is typical of most volunteer-based project. There's not enough people working on a project to cover all of the details, and those people tend to do the things that interest them. Reviewing others' patches is low on the list, unless it's something which involves them directly.

It's likely that you'll get similar responses in other projects. As I wrote, there are ways around it. Mostly be putting a lot more effort into helping the project before you demand things from people. Again, I point out that a couple of my bug reports are 10 years old, and still getting infrequent attention.

Another way to say this is that if you're the person who wants so much attention or quick feedback, then you're not the type of person who would do well in a volunteer-driven, distributed project. But there are other volunteers who are a better fit, and the Django team doesn't know how to specify which type they are looking for.

In any case, the response email wasn't scolding.

the fallout continues...

Fallout generally means something negative. If this is related to the PyCon incident (which it might not be, given that Django says they've been working on it for some months) then the "fallout" is simply the adoption of a formal document that says, in so many words, "don't be a jerk." The Django team has a right to do whatever they please with the spaces they host and moderate, and asking that users don't be jerks in these spaces is completely reasonable by any metric.

The "jerk" definition will be jerky.

I'm assuming this is a reference to some of the after-events of PyCon. We've been working publishing this for a few months now, it's totally unrelated.


Ubuntu Community Code of Conduct: http://www.ubuntu.com/project/about-ubuntu/conduct

Fedora Community Code of Conduct: http://fedoraproject.org/code-of-conduct

Debian Mailing List Code of Conduct: http://www.debian.org/MailingLists/#codeofconduct

Mandrivia Code of Conduct: http://wiki.mandriva.com/en/Code_of_Conduct

Ubuntu: sucks. Unity. "Erm, I have root."

Fedora: sucks. Red Hat FTL.

Debian: I like Debian, but I think their code of conduct is too strict. However, it is constrained to the mailing list and contains reasoning. The part about curse words on packet radio is amusing.

Mandrivia [sic]: wtf

This was in response to someone asking if any linux or linux related communities would ever take up CoC's. My response was to show that there are a number of Linux communities that already had. No clue why the person decided to delete their post.

Not sure how your opinions on different distributions factor into this.

The Django CoC is specifically for the mailing lists, discussion groups, and IRC. It is not intended for 'anyone whom uses Django talking in their home' or in Django code, or other Django based projects as has been eluded to in complaints elsewhere.

I mention this due to your 'However' remark wrt Debian.

Your guidelines look good, but how do you define "sexist" and "racist"?

Third-wave, post-modern feminists believe in a neat, well-defined hierarchy of sexes and races; regardless of the specifics of a given case, members of a "lower" group can by definition never be sexist or racist to a member of a "higher" group.

Is that your interpretation?

Source for your claim about third wave feminists? Considering that you're talking about a massive number of people when you say that, you're probably wrong. The third wave was more just a shift towards a more general awareness of the issues that women face, and the fact that things such as gender are not as binary as the second wave may have presumed.

It's also odd that you think the third wave promotes a well-defined hierarchy of sexes and races when a lot of what it is about is recognising that many people fall outside of society's definitions of gender and sexual identity. But as ever, I imagine much of this is just a semantic argument wrt your definition of third wave postmodern feminists.

As for the Django leadership's definition of sexism and racism? Something tells me they don't have a crazy proportion of people with the beliefs you described, so they'll probably stick with the standard "discrimination/prejudice against a gender/race/ethnicity/group/etc"

From the FAQ of the Feminism 101 site to which newcomers to the "feminisms" subreddit are directed:

> feminists reject the notion that women can be sexist towards men because women lack the institutional power that men have.

I understand this to be the standard reasoning among contemporary feminists, and the same reasoning is widely applied wrt racism.

Your understanding is incorrect. As several other comments in that thread point out, "This is a viewpoint of some feminists, but it is far from consensus, and the first three users of the word “sexism” appear to have disagreed with the writer" and "By claiming the term ‘sexism’ exclusively for acts against women, aren’t we disenfranchising the men who also suffer?."

There's even the complaint that the given definition is inappropriate for a Feminism 101 definition, saying "If I had no prior knowledge of feminist theory or the contentions that really _abound_ in the rather amorphous field of feminist theory, I would take what has been presented here as established fact rather than a specific argument and one of many hypotheses on the matter of “what sexism is.”"

I just this evening read a few chapters of the excellent "A Law of Her Own: The Reasonable Woman As a Measure of Man", by Caroline A. Forell, Donna Meredith Matthews. I think you'll agree with me that it's written with a feminist voice. Page 72 starts its discussion on female-on-male harassment in the workplace. They give the example of Richard Williams v. Runyon where Williams' supervisor, Clora Grant, was the alleged harasser. The court decided that it wasn't harassment. I read the court decision, and I agree with the authors of "A Law of Her Own" - the court was wrong and it was clearly harassment.

Which means I easily found an example of feminist legal scholarship which was using the same definitional premise you quoted as applying to all feminists.

I assert that it's much more likely that that quote is wrong than that Forell and Matthews do not understand feminism.

BTW, the interpretation of Title VII has changed since 1995. That's why now there can be a decision like:

> DETROIT – LensCrafters, a major eyewear company, will pay $192,500 to settle a female-on-male sexual harassment lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today. The EEOC had charged that LensCrafters subjected a male employee to a sexually hostile work environment at its Saginaw, Mich., retail location.

> According to the EEOC’s suit (Civil Action No. 1:09-CV-12694, filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan), LensCrafters violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by subjecting a male lab technician to sexual harassment and failing to address his complaints that a female co-worker was abusing him. The EEOC said the harassment included the female employee touching the male and making inappropriate comments about his appearance. In its suit, the EEOC charged that LensCrafters fostered the hostile climate by disregarding the male technician’s complaints because he was a man.

It's certainly the case that many feminists do not apply the reasoning in the FAQ. I should have been clearer that by "contemporary feminists" I meant "adherents to more recent feminist thought" rather than "feminists who are currently alive" ("third-wave feminists" was the context of the conversation). The relevance is that one of the words in the draft Django code of conduct means significantly different things to different people, which is undoubtedly true, although I'm not particularly lobbying to change it.

Being "nice" and being "professional" also mean significantly different things to different people, so it's not like that's the only word.

I don't think people would disagree about the definitions of those words.

Edit: and, to be honest, I don't care that much. It is a fact that a significant number of feminists hold that sexism can only be directed by men towards women. That is really all I wanted to say. I don't particularly want to argue about whether they're right, or what implications this has.

Fair enough. Most of my recent readings have been in the founding of civil rights law in the 1960s, so pre-second wave(?). Problem is, I can't make that fit into the 1st/2nd/3rd wave view.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second-wave_feminism says the movement started in the early 1960s, and that first wave ended when women were enfranchised in the early 1900s.

But the Civil Rights act of 1963 had decades of work behind it. The National Woman's Party, which was the militant branch of the Suffrage Movement, started pushing for the Equal Rights Amendment in 1923 and "the Republican Party endorsed the ERA in its 1940 platform, and the Democratic Party followed suit in 1944." (Quoting from http://www.jofreeman.com/lawandpolicy/titlevii.htm ). The Equal Pay Act also has its roots in the 1800s.

It feels then like 40 years of work towards gender equality in the workplace - including the inroads made during WWII by seeing that women can definitely hold jobs in industry - are ignored by the three-wave view of history, and that the successes of that ignored era are claimed solely as 2nd wave victories.

In any case, that's neither here nor there. It's idle musing that I wrote down so it's easier to come to mind next time I talk with someone who can tell me about the history of feminism.

Nice job wrapping a statement on ideological purity in niceties about being "patient" and "friendly". I guess there is no escape from the long arm of the diversity corps; in the schools, in the corporations and now in my web application framework.

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