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Yes, women have a sense of humor, and in general they're really good at taking a joke from time to time.

But if you keep your eyes open, you'll eventually notice that women (especially in tech) wind up having to "take a joke" all the friggin' time. And that gets really old.

I mean, seriously, look at this very example. Imagine that the "bro" command became a standard tool. Now picture a woman being stuck typing "bro" on a regular basis during her working day. It's never a big deal, obviously. But she still has to type it again, over and over, taking a tiny but not quite negligible emotional hit of feeling excluded every single time. It's not the end of the world, sure... but why would anybody choose to make things that way if there's another choice?




I type on a regular basis the word "woman" in emacs.

Do I take a tiny but not quite negligible emotional hit of feeling excluded every single time for doing that? what about people who program ada and type the name each day? Do you think most people even will notice that the 3 letter actually represent a name, a person, a woman, each time?


Context matters. I take it from your comment that you're a man. If you were in a female-dominated profession like nursing or elementary school teaching then yes, I think things like that would wear on you pretty quickly after a while. Every time, it would be a tiny little reminder that no matter how hard you try or how successful you are, you'll still be a bit of an outsider.[0]

Some people would probably be more consciously aware than others of the fact that the 3 letters "bro" are a reference to "bro culture". Here are a few groups of people whom I think would be most likely to notice: People new to tech; women who've had bad experience with "brogrammer" types; "brogrammer" types themselves. It seems like a bad idea to adopt any policy likely to make the first two of those groups uncomfortable while signaling approval toward the third.

[0] Side notes: 1. Those professions are making a real effort to change these patterns to be more inclusive, too. And 2. Gender inequality in tech is nevertheless a more pressing problem than gender inequality in nursing, because tech is considered a higher status career.


Is it a fact that the 3 letter "bro" reference bro culture and not brother?

Man, woman, brother... next command should be sister. Its a themed naming scheme.

But my point is that very few people will even think about a command they type in, especially if its just 3 letters. There are only so many 3 letter combinations, and even fewer that represent words.


Except: the joke isn't even directed at women. Women aren't being asked to "take the joke" here because it has nothing to do with women. The only tie to women here is from self proclaimed social justice warriors decrying the fact that someone might call something "bro".


Ok, you've got me confused now. You just said, 'Women aren't being asked to "take the joke" here'. But in your previous comment that I was replying to, you said, 'My argument is that women have a sense of humor and we don't have to infantilize them by acting like they can't take a joke.' Which is it?


If I may cut in, he's saying "bro" is poking fun at other men so it has nothing to do with making a joke at the expense of women. At the same time, all people, both men and women can take aka understand "the joke" so others don't need to protect women from it like they are children without adult reasoning abilities.


Exactly. Thanks.


The entire problem is that "saying 'bro' is poking fun of other men"! It is a joke, by men, about men, in regards to programming. To reiterate: a joke, regarding programming, written by men, that completely disregards women.

Of course, on its own, that is pretty irrelevant. There are jokes like that all the time on all sorts of topics. But in this situation, it is ALWAYS men joking with/about other men. Women are excluded from the jokes completely. And these sorts of "jokes" and other little implicit signals are all over everything remotely related to CS/tech. Which gets pretty discouraging, day after day.


"If it's not about women, it's sexist."

Ok.


"But she still has to type it again, over and over, taking a tiny but not quite negligible emotional hit of feeling excluded every single time."

The idea that a woman would literally be repeatedly emotionally traumatized by typing a three letter combination would be hilarious if it weren't so blatantly misogynistic.


All programmers should realise that being _forced_ to type a word that is loosely tied to a gender that isn't your own is a crushing emotional hit, probably comparable to rape.

I feel ill all of a sudden thinking about all the disabled graphic designers that are forced to use GIMP every day.




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