[Haskell-cafe] Re: Are there any female Haskellers?

wren ng thornton wren at freegeek.org
Sun Mar 28 23:55:31 EDT 2010

Günther Schmidt wrote:
>> One thing that I keep hearing is "I'm not trying to be offensive."  I 
>> think it's easy to get caught up on "not being offensive" so that we 
>> don't make any progress.  It's impossible not to offend people -- but 
>> it is possible to take the time to listen and correct problematic 
>> behavior and communicate what you've learned to others.
> One thing I do notice, one starts with a harmless question and it out of 
> the blue it suddenly becomes political. In both ways. Is there really a 
> need for this?

Trying to offend (or not) bears no particular relation to causing 
offense (or not). In particular, claiming you weren't trying to offend 
is itself likely to offend many feminists. To understand why you should 
read through


Not that you were intending to derail, but because derailing is a fact 
of social interaction which intentional communities must defend against. 
Dealing with derailing and similar issues is a fact of life for 
feminists. And all the women I know in CS or mathematics count 
themselves as feminists.

Your "harmless question" was, by its very nature, a political question 
because it touches upon many issues about the presence and role of women 
within society (the HCafe society in particular). The "harmless 
question" gave license to others to make misogynistic comments on this 
thread, comments you'd now like to distance yourself from accepting 
culpability for. If the question was really so harmless, surely you 
wouldn't be so keen to distance yourself from the responses it created.

Live well,

More information about the Haskell-Cafe mailing list