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Microsoft Programming Linux

Microsoft Apologizes For Inserting Naughty Phrase Into Linux Kernel 897

Posted by timothy
from the brogrammers-at-work dept.
netbuzz writes "Microsoft has apologized and promised to rectify the fact that one of its developers slipped a sexist phrase into Linux kernel code supporting Microsoft's HyperV virtualization environment. In that code, the magic constant passed through to the hypervisor reads '0xB16B00B5,' or a slightly camouflaged 'BIG BOOBS.' After Linux developer/blogger Matthew Garrett criticized Microsoft for the stunt, the predictable debate over sexism in the technology world ensued. Microsoft issued a statement to Network World apologizing and added, 'We have submitted a patch to fix this issue and the change will be published in a future release of the kernel.'"
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Microsoft Apologizes For Inserting Naughty Phrase Into Linux Kernel

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  • by crazyjj (2598719) * on Thursday July 19, 2012 @03:33PM (#40702783)

    Seems like just yesterday it was just immature. Soon even the word "sexist" will be sexist.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 19, 2012 @03:35PM (#40702809)

    but Microsoft, the "Linux blogger" would have had a big laugh and thought how clever those Linux chaps are.

  • ZOMG!!11!!2! (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 19, 2012 @03:38PM (#40702883)

    Sexism here: 0xB16B00B5

    "Holy shit get out out the fainting couches! Somebody sue something!"

    Sexism over there: women put to death for *being* raped

    "Huh? Where? Eh..."

  • by tapspace (2368622) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @03:41PM (#40702947)

    Hey, we're supposed to be the good guys. Not the ones overreacting and lobbing thin accusations of "sexism". Who cares if it was Big Boobs? Everyone loves boobs! I like them all sizes :) Honestly, it's a magic number. Does it really matter?

  • Oh come on. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jerpyro (926071) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @03:42PM (#40702957)

    Ok, what Microsoft-hating oversensitive soapbox preacher thought "Hmm, Microsoft must be trying to sabotage our pristine kernel!!1!"

    Programmers leave inside jokes. Usually in comments, sometimes variable names, and sometimes in arbitrary values. I'm sure more than one group had a good laugh about the thing on both sides of the wall. If I had a nickel for every time I saw a comment or variable name that could be interpreted as 'offensive' I'd be a rich man. As long as it's not directed at someone (I've seen those too) or hate speech of some kind, just let it go.

    One of the reasons that I enjoy programming is because you can embed little jokes into the source without end users noticing -- they're like easter eggs.

    Aaaand now feel free to wreck my karma, mods :-p

  • Re:0xB16B00B5 (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Win0ver (613215) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @03:42PM (#40702965)
    Yes, it refers to big female breasts ; how is that sexist? If it somehow read 'BIG BICEPS' would anyone care?
  • Re:0xB16B00B5 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jythie (914043) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @03:43PM (#40702975)
    Yeah, but I doubt anyone is under the dilution that the person who slipped it in ment male or gender neutral breasts. Technicalities and what-ifs do not change what the person likely intended and the way it is read by, well, pretty much everyone.
  • Re:0xB16B00B5 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @03:46PM (#40703037) Journal

    As for the way it is read, it immediately led me to the assumption that MS has a code monkey in the shop who still giggles at the words he can show by holding his calculator upside-down...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 19, 2012 @03:49PM (#40703087)

    It doesn't matter, and it's not sexist, it's childish. My wife has big boobs, she mentions that on occasion in a matter of fact way. At least one girl has come up to her, squeezed her boobs and said she has big boobs. Various girls do their best to post pictures of their big boobs on various social media sites, complete with cleavage. Acknowledging the existence and desirability of big boobs is hardly sexist, it's just a fact.

    That said, adults don't talk about big boobs, they find a girl attached to a large pair of breasts and then squeeze them when required. So this coder is guilty only of being a dork.

  • Re:0xB16B00B5 (Score:4, Insightful)

    by P-niiice (1703362) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @03:50PM (#40703099)
    Bad analogy. BIG FAT COCK would be a better one. Saying wither will get you disciplined/fired at work. I hope i'm explaining this to a child - any adult would know this.
  • Not getting it... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jythie (914043) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @03:51PM (#40703107)
    I think what I find depressing.... in these discussions you see many people pointing out that they don't get it, they don't understand why it is a big deal, etc...

    You know what, that is a great thing to say, a great thing to admit. Stop there.

    I think what is infuriating to many is people start with "I don't understand" then proceed to "therefor it doesn't matter". Telling people how they should feel about things that you can't understand is the hight of arrogance. Maybe instead these people should take some time and listen, and just accept that other people are impacted by things like this and just because you are not doesn't mean they shouldn't be.

    You don't get it. Fine. Then don't tell other people how to feel. Women don't need your big smart male brain to explain how their poor womanly one should react to things that relate to experiences men don't have.
  • Re:Oh come on. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Cro Magnon (467622) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @03:54PM (#40703153) Homepage Journal

    Just don't let the easter egg "hatch". I heard of someone at my job who included some text that shouldn't have been displayed in a section of code that WAS commented out - until someone else was working on it, uncommented the code, and saw his "funny" on the screen. The boss was not very amused.

  • by Tumbleweed (3706) * on Thursday July 19, 2012 @03:54PM (#40703157)
    ...this wouldn't even make the top 99% on my list.
  • Re:0xB16B00B5 (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jythie (914043) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @04:00PM (#40703223)
    I am not sure any analogy can really be drawn. The issue isn't the specific word, but the culture around it. There is no equivalent since males have such a strong presence in geek and tech culture... they have no frame of reference to understand from. The best they can do is say 'I don't understand, but I accept that this matters and will keep it in mind'. Trying to convey it via something they can understand simply won't work....
  • by Dogtanian (588974) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @04:01PM (#40703235) Homepage

    For statistical reasons woman boobs are bigger then mens.

    No, women's breasts are (statistically) larger than mens for evolutionary reasons, not statistical ones. In fact, I doubt that statistics themselves have much effect on breast size at all!:-)

    What a boob you made of that... (^_^)

  • Re:0xB16B00B5 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 19, 2012 @04:02PM (#40703249)

    Yes: it's not sexist, it's just lewd. It's also an irrelevant distinction.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 19, 2012 @04:13PM (#40703405)

    Yes, many people seem to confuse things which are sexist with things which are just plain offensive or disrespectful for women.

    So it may not be sexist, but with that being said, it still should be avoided. It's a sensitive issue and it makes more sense to try to reduce incidents instead of playing them off or arguing that women should just get used to it.

    I'm I personally offended by it? Not really. Did I groan after seeing what the "naughty phrase" was? Yes. Would I prefer this not happening? Yes

    I don't understand why (many) guys can't just keep certain jokes to themselves and friends. Why is it so hard to see that what you say and do is alienating a large group of people that (nearly) everyone wants to be there? There's tons of other jokes aren't at the expense of half the population.

  • by thesandtiger (819476) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @04:15PM (#40703445)

    The thing is, this is so far down on the list of "awful sexist shit that goes on in tech circles" that it really doesn't matter. Stupid and immature variable names referring to (presumably female in this case) anatomy are at best a symptom of the larger problem of sexism, but not a problem themselves.

    I am a woman, I worked in tech (and now work in research doing tech) and I experienced quite a bit of sexism at a level that most any man, we're hey to hear it said about a woman he cared for, would have lost his fucking mind. THAT is a problem.

    But an outcry about stupid variable names just gives people who want to deny sexism pervades tech a convenient way to point at something incredibly stupid and say "they're just over sensitive, they got mad about a dumb variable name" and actually seem persuasive because it is such a trivial and stupid thing to get mad about, relatively.

  • by Sebastopol (189276) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @04:25PM (#40703587) Homepage

    "seems like yesterday"

    That's called growing up.

    You have a little more to do, there, son.

  • Re:0xB16B00B5 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sebastopol (189276) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @04:32PM (#40703703) Homepage

    This is a common question when talking about privilege: if group X is offended by statement A about X, and group Y is NOT offended by the same statement A aimed Y, then X should STFU.

    First, you're trying to tell someone how to feel. Examine how well you personally respond to being told how to feel because you're too stupid to understand something others consider obvious.

    Second, this logical comparison only works when neither group is routinely marginalized and demeaned by a pervasive institutional bias.

  • by MMC Monster (602931) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @04:34PM (#40703733)

    People are sometimes too sensitive over things.

    It's just a term. As far as sexist terms, it's not in the top 5.

    Most people here (which is a representative group similar to the people that read Linux source code) are not particularly insulted by this term getting into the source. Therefore, if an individual has a problem with the term, it's their problem.

    Frankly, I think more people here would have been upset if "Microsoft rules, Linus is an ass" made it into the Linux source as a comment.

  • by MBGMorden (803437) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @04:42PM (#40703847)

    I can respect your opinion, but to a large degree I think we as a society have just gotten too sensitive. That's not a problem that is inherent to women, men, old people, young people, or any particular ethnic group. Its a problem we have all developed.

    Yes, it was a childish and stupid prank. Its not something I'd do and I'd wonder about the maturity level of anyone that would stick such rubbish into a piece of code.

    That said, it's gotten to the point lately where it seems that the primary occupation of people is to go around looking for things to be offended by. People are so insecure and unhappy in their lives that they need to generate controversy on a regular interval. Every action anyone takes is carefully scrutinized for any hint of content that is currently accepted as "offensive" because no opportunity to be offended can be passed up.

    Whether its claiming that gay marriage is an affront to nature or "BIG BOOBS" slipping into the kernel as an immature joke, just learn to ignore something if you don't like it folks.

  • Re:0xB16B00B5 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by crakbone (860662) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @04:43PM (#40703867)
    What is sexist is not one of the people here thought the coder might have been bragging. Not one person even thought the coder could be a woman. It was just instantly a guy being sexist.
  • by Simonetta (207550) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @04:46PM (#40703909)

    According to the universal rules and guidelines set forth at the Aisaiso Women's Convention, any word, phrase, gesture, or implied version of the same can be construted to be a firing offense for any male in any job in any company, if any woman, anywhere, decides it to be 'sexist'. All she has to do is say that " it's sexist, because I say so..." and the man MUST be fired and his job be given to the woman as compensation for his crimes against humanity (women).

    Show any woman who can explain to me in a five hundred words or less what exactly a 32-bit number is and what it is used for, and I will seriously consider her argument that use of the character string '0xB16B00B5' could be considered to somehow be offensive.

    Until then, from one girl to another, 'Sister, sit down, and shut the fuck up...'

  • by Just Some Guy (3352) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Thursday July 19, 2012 @04:48PM (#40703921) Homepage Journal

    So men shouldn't tell women how to feel, but women can tell men how to code because of how it makes them feel?

    When "how to code" involves not being an outright jackass, well, yeah. I'm not some political correct whiner by any stretch of the imagination, but I do believe in showing basic respect for others. My daughter is showing a strong interest in math science. Why should she have to dig through dumb juvenile jokes to learn about something like programming?

    OK, so you don't care about my kid specifically or in general. Fine. How about this, then: is it a good or bad thing for you to make more than half of the world's population uncomfortable around your code? You're weeding out the majority of your developer pool and self-selecting for the remainder who thinks "HAHA B16B00B5 IS TEH FUNNY!". In that situation, your desire to insert off-putting humor in your code is doing yourself a great disservice.

  • by Hatta (162192) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @04:50PM (#40703951) Journal

    I'm a male, but to me, it's just a matter of respect for other people.

    I find that people who truly respect others the most don't mind when they engage in a little harmless fun. Prudery is caused by respect for the rules, not respect for people, and is ultimately selfish. "If I can't laugh about it, nobody should."

  • Re:0xB16B00B5 (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 19, 2012 @04:51PM (#40703959)

    Fucking hell... Microsoft deserves a lot of shit for their behaviour... just not over this. This is just a bit of silliness on behalf of a developer.

    It's not worth a second look by anyone with an actual life, or something useful to do.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 19, 2012 @04:57PM (#40704065)

    Yes, many people seem to confuse things which are sexist with things which are just plain offensive or disrespectful for women.

    I agree with the latter half of our post, but I'm not sure I agree with that first bit. While the phrase may not be "sexist" in and of itself (it's fairly neutral, just an adjective and a noun put together), the culture and mindset which included it in a public submission to operating system code, and which held that it was *okay* to publish such juvenile humor in a public code base, could certainly be argued to be 'sexist.'

    A culture where things that are 'just plain offensive or disrespectful to women," are okay, normal, or mainstream can certainly be said to be a "sexist" culture. And a culture that allows juvenile, offensive-to-women humor in its discourse without calling it out and self-correcting is one which is most certainly "sexist."

  • by fredprado (2569351) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @04:58PM (#40704069)
    How you feel about some silly hex number pun is not my problem, it is not the coder's problem and it is not society's problem. It is your problem. Grow up and learn to deal with your fellings..

    It is past time women start to leave the role of perpetual victims. I do believe you are every bit as capable as we men are, but you won't ever reach equal status if you continue willingly taking the role of victims.
  • by girlintraining (1395911) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @05:02PM (#40704121)

    So an argument could be made that, on average, women's boobs are statistically larger due to statistics.

    I beg to differ. Most women 'obtain' big boobs believing they will attract a better mate. But surveys have been constantly reporting that the ideal breast size is 'C' in terms of aesthetic appeal. Women who get larger breasts than that are appealing to a smaller subset of mates, and there's no correlation between a man's reproductive success and his only mating with women of unusual breast size.

    I'd argue even that the reverse is true, since as far as I can tell, overly-large breasts make men stupid, which is not an evolutionarily advantageous trait...

  • Re:0xB16B00B5 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kate6 (895650) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @05:07PM (#40704181) Homepage
    It's sexist in that if a very talented woman programmer was going around hacking in the kernel and found it, it might make her feel uncomfortable.  As such, it contributes to the feeling that Linux kernel development is an area in which women aren't welcome...  And believe it or not, sort of thing is the reason why there are so few female programmers.  Our "tiny female brains" can cope with the actual work *just fine*.  :)

  • Re:Sexism in tech (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 19, 2012 @05:13PM (#40704277)

    I care, I have a daughter. It is not okay with me, that you had to put up with that. It is not okay with me that my daughter has to put up with any objectification of her person because at least she isn't being threatened with rape.

  • Re:0xB16B00B5 (Score:2, Insightful)

    by acid_andy (534219) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @05:24PM (#40704421)

    Or GTFO.

    Or vagina.

    This looks like another 'PR Nightmare for Microsoft [slashdot.org]'.

    Apparently they've just made their first ever quarterly loss this year also. Oh and something called "Windows 8" is coming out. It's all downhill from here, I guess.

  • Re:0xB16B00B5 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sebastopol (189276) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @05:26PM (#40704447) Homepage

    "Just because they are the subject of the humor doesn't mean that they can't be overreacting"

    And you're going to decide for them that they are overreacting? Again, it is mighty arrogant for someone to decide if someone else's feelings are valid or not.

    "telling everyone else to shut the fuck up is equally wrong."

    Did I tell anyone to STFU? Nope. I was using that as an example of what i've read in this thread directed at people who were offended. OP can say whatever he or she wants to, I'm pointing out what the words/actions are doing,

  • Re:Sexism in tech (Score:5, Insightful)

    by thesandtiger (819476) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @05:30PM (#40704499)

    I will make an exception to the rule I have of not responding to ACs because you do raise a good point:

    No, your daughter absolutely should not be subject to objectification like this and I sincerely hope that she never has to be.

    What I am getting at, however, is that there's a kind of threshold that people need to be able to stomach and are kind of expected to stomach in any workplace or on any team.

    There is a basic level of hazing where things are, generally, innocuous enough to be brushed off as "stupid and immature and something to let slide as long as it doesn't go past that point" that a well adjusted person can deal with. In my opinion - and everyone will have a different threshold - this falls well under that threshold. I routinely see guys making jokes of a similar level of indecency and immaturity at each other and often far, far more directed at an individual. In this particular case, it's just a generally stupid background noise statement about boobs.

    The thing is, I would have no problem with an article that discusses what are called "micro-aggressions" (of which this was just one) and the cumulative effect of a lot of these micro-aggressions on the overall culture. The problem here is that this was one example, that, on its own, is just goofy to single out and get angry over.

    I know that these kinds of things don't happen in a vacuum - I know that "bigboobs" is not even a snowflake on the tip of the iceberg of absolutely repugnant misogyny and sexist behaviors that go on. BUT, I also know that the people who are largely responsible for perpetuating that kind of environment are either incredibly hateful assholes or people who really, honestly, don't see how this kind of thing adds up and can lead to a horrifying environment.

    For the ones who are hateful assholes, it's extremely unlikely that bothering to point it out will make them change. But for the ones who are just ignorant, it *can* be part of a compelling argument that gets them to change. Where the problem comes in here is that in and of itself, the "bigboobs" thing is not a compelling argument that sexism exists, and it absolutely should be put in a larger context if it gets mentioned.

    So, I think that bringing things like this - in aggregate, rather than as individual items - can be a good thing, but complaining about one specific instance that is this generally innocuous outside of any context that it comes off as one of those "first world problems" like "sometimes I only get 4 bars on my iPhone when I'm on the subway" to people who really don't understand the larger problem and how this kind of thing can lead to badness.

  • Re:0xB16B00B5 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 19, 2012 @05:36PM (#40704573)

    Or maybe you are being overly sensitive.

    This is at worst childish, not sexist.
    Anyone who sees it as sexist is trolling for attention or is trying to make herself feel special.
    Your own feelings about linux kernel development have very little significance toward linux development.
    You are here LOOKING for sexism.
    You are seeing the world through sexism-coloured glasses.
    It's ridiculous.
    Stop.

  • Re:0xB16B00B5 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cpu6502 (1960974) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @05:37PM (#40704593)

    I took technical writing in college, and we had a female professor teaching the class: Dana Witmer. One of my lab partners got the bright idea to name the technical file "dirtydana" which I have to admit was funny, but I stopped laughing when they told me they *handed it in* with that name.

    About a week later the professor met with all the students and commented that our filename was "interesting" and then started giggling. Not all women are uptight over trivial stuff.

    As for WHY women don't like engineering/programming, I think it's because they are smart. They are smart enough not to go into such a boring field where the managers or HR treat you like low-level employees to be shoved into basement offices & worked 50 hours w/o overtime pay.

  • Re:0xB16B00B5 (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Kate6 (895650) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @05:50PM (#40704709) Homepage
    I'm sorry to say this, but this is another bit of typical patriarchy talk -- if a woman feels uncomfortable with something men are doing, she's automatically "uptight" or "frigid."  Sorry, but no.  Professionalism dictates keeping this sort of thing out of the workplace.  Sure, some women may be able to laugh it off for the sake of appearing to be a "team player" and putting the men on the team at ease, but honestly I can't imagine very many of us are actually truly completely comfortable with the idea of people we aren't reasonably intimate with commenting on our chests.

    I don't disagree that this can often be an exceedingly boring field to work in.  At the same time, it's a reasonably well paying one, and a basement office can still be brightened up considerably with a few plants and tasteful paintings.  As long as you don't have an officemate who's constantly showering you with unsolicited innuendo.

  • Re:0xB16B00B5 (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 19, 2012 @05:56PM (#40704791)

    And yet your (and possibly other's) "tiny female brain" can't cope with this utterly insignificant and arguably inconsequential action which is bordering on a joke and blow this out of all proportions creating a fuss that is unworthy of anyone's time.

    If the tables were reversed and a female programmer declared a function called insanely_large_dick() do you think any males would throw up their hands in the air and quit their jobs in IT because they felt threatened and/or harassed? There's nothing worse than having a super sensitive demographic (and I'm not just referring to females here) and having everyone else tip-toeing around them so as not to possibly offend them in any way shape or form. Grow some balls, get on with life and stop being offended by everything.

  • Re:0xB16B00B5 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by philip.paradis (2580427) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @06:25PM (#40705017)

    I think that needs to be nominated for /. comment of the year.

  • Re:0xB16B00B5 (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 19, 2012 @06:31PM (#40705063)

    My favourite thing about your comments is you always post them with this font style so they're more easily noticed even though they rarely have anything insightful in them.

  • Re:0xB16B00B5 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by garett_spencley (193892) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @06:33PM (#40705071) Journal

    "but honestly I can't imagine very many of us are actually truly completely comfortable with the idea of people we aren't reasonably intimate with commenting on our chests."

    No one has said anything about commenting on the size of a specific individual's chest. If it were personal I could understand how it would make someone feel uncomfortable, but I still wouldn't consider it "sexist" because it would also make me feel uncomfortable if someone were to comment on the size of my nose or my waist line.

    "Professionalism dictates keeping this sort of thing out of the workplace."

    I disagree with that profoundly. The most productive professional environment is one in which everyone gets along, has a good time and enjoys what they're doing. If certain individuals feel uncomfortable it is either because they are being singled out or bullied unfairly (in which case there is something wrong with the environment) or they have a personal problem with the way the business is run (which does not necessarily mean there's something wrong with the individual, just that it's not a good fit).

    Femminism is supposed to be about equality and social change, right ? Then here's a social "problem" I would like the change: the complete double-standard backwardness that has been instituted in the name of "feminism." For example: if a guy expresses his sexuality or his sexual nature in any way he is labeled a "pig" but if a woman does it it's applauded as "liberating."

    I was raised by a single mom with a tremendous amount of support from her single mom. Both describe themselves as "feminists." Both also talk about "patriarchy" but as a male who was born after 1980 I gotta say ... I don't see it. In fact, I see the trend going in the opposite direction.

    The people who I find to be most "sexist" are self-proclaimed "feminists." They constantly draw attention to the differences between the sexes, and by appropriating a title such as "feminism" (emphasis on the root "fem") they are taking a position that there is an inherent conflict between the two sexes, that sides must be chosen and they have chosen the side of women. The foundation of the philosophy is not unifying but polarizing. If they had any pretense of "equality" they would identify themselves as "egalitarian." If they had a pretense about equal rights under the law whilst respecting (or celebrating) natural differences that exist between all individuals they would identify themselves as individualist. Instead they keep dragging the issue of gender through the mud and make everyone, male and female alike, uncomfortable.

  • Re:0xB16B00B5 (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Zaelath (2588189) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @07:01PM (#40705373)

    I prescribe a teaspoon of cement and harden the fuck up.

    If an octal gag is enough to keep brilliant women out of engineering, then it's probably a good thing. They couldn't cope with the stress.

  • Re:0xB16B00B5 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) <almafuerte@nOspAM.gmail.com> on Thursday July 19, 2012 @07:06PM (#40705425)

    See, that's my problem. Your right to work in the computer industry is exactly equivalent to my write to say and write whatever the fuck I want.

    I don't believe in equality, not gender equality, not race equality, nor any other kind of equality. I believe in something EVEN better: Individuality. Anyone can do whatever the fuck they want, as long as you don't step on anybody's rights. How about that? Implementing laws to make sure that everybody is equal is killing individuality, and I'm totally against that. You think that in order to get your right to work, I must forfeit my right to free speech?

    If you are so sensitive that you can't handle a little comment on your source code, then you are not really as prepared for the job (or life) as you think you are.

    If you really want to be equal, you shouldn't start by asking for special privileges. If you might feel "uncomfortable" because of something perfectly natural, then you are not fitted to work with a bunch of people. You can't be equal.

    I definitely want more female coders, and more females in the workplace. But I don't want fragile stereotypes who can't handle reality.

    I want mature and strong woman who are not scared away by a stupid sexual reference in a piece of code.

  • Re:0xB16B00B5 (Score:3, Insightful)

    by GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) <almafuerte@nOspAM.gmail.com> on Thursday July 19, 2012 @07:11PM (#40705483)

    See, you are destroying your own arguments. You use the typical feminist speech, including the word "patriarchy" (which can't be missing from any feminist sentence), and yet you go own to explain how you aren't comfortable with people acting naturally around you, and how you need a special PC bubble in order to go to work.

    If you are so fragile, then you are validating the patriarch argument: Woman aren't strong enough to do a man's job. Go back to the fucking kitchen.

    Otherwise, suck it up and go to work like everyone else. Guess what? We don't feel comfortable all the fucking time. Work isn't always comfortable, or nice, or cozy, or equal, or fair. We deal with it, and if you want to be equal, so should you.

  • Re:0xB16B00B5 (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Kate6 (895650) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @07:17PM (#40705555) Homepage
    Generally I agree with you -- in fact I'm going to go ahead and say that I too prize individuality.

    At the same time, I don't think the workplace is necessarily the best place to express your individuality in its full force.  A workplace means being part of a team, and it's in the interest of the employer to make sure that talented individuals who are great at their jobs and have something to contribute are going to feel comfortable at the office and able to contribute their best.  This frequently means sacrificing some of your individuality while at the workplace.

    I think working as a programmer should only require that you be *good at writing code*.  It shouldn't matter how sensitive or insensitive you are, and it shouldn't matter how much capacity you have for handling stress coming from having blatantly insensitive, domineering coworkers.  I think it is to the best advantage of employers to manage their businesses in a way that promotes having anyone who is *good at writing code* feel comfortable at the office.

  • Re:0xB16B00B5 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Penguinisto (415985) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @08:02PM (#40706017) Journal

    if a woman feels uncomfortable with something men are doing, she's automatically "uptight" or "frigid."

    ...and if a guy is uncomfortable with something women (or even other men) are doing, he usually gets called a "prude", or "uptight", or worse.

    So if your point was that women have it oh-so-bad, and that's the worst you can come up with, then you're in for a big letdown out here in the real world, sister.

    I daresay that it's quite the opposite these days. If a woman is "uncomfortable with something men are doing", one word to the HR department of any large company will see half of those men either fired or damned close to it.

     

    Professionalism dictates keeping this sort of thing out of the workplace.

    Please tell me where you work, so I don't ever accidentally apply there.

    I know female sysadmins who can crank out jokes dirtier than any sailor can think up. We used to keep a rubber chicken hanging from a cable tray by a noose made of Cat6e. We went out of our way to come up with the most evil and funny descriptions of our incompetent (then)head of IT. The difference is that we kept it in the server room, and away from the serious bits.

    In the real world of insane work hours and incredible pressure, any IT manager who insists on worshipping "Professionalism" usually finds him/her/itself having to explain high turnover/burn-out/wastage rates, and is quickly blackballed in the local professional network.

    Sure, some women may be able to laugh it off for the sake of appearing to be a "team player" and putting the men on the team at ease, but honestly I can't imagine very many of us are actually truly completely comfortable with the idea of people we aren't reasonably intimate with commenting on our chests.

    The cure is simple - comment on penises. I mean, shit - it's way the hell easier to joke about "shortcomings" than it is about "mosquito bites". I guarantee that shit will stop in a heartbeat if you fought fire with fire.

    Life is rough - wear a helmet and remember to aim for the torso.

    As long as you don't have an officemate who's constantly showering you with unsolicited innuendo.

    There's a vast diff between the rare and occasional goof and "constantly showering". If you're seeing the latter, go to HR or get a lawyer. If you're seeing the former, then stand up for yourself and hit back, or ignore it. If you can't tell the difference, then the problem is yours, and you're making it everyone else's problem at the same time. So stop doing that, or I guarantee that your career will eventually crash and burn.

  • Re:0xB16B00B5 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) <almafuerte@nOspAM.gmail.com> on Thursday July 19, 2012 @08:03PM (#40706027)

    Not my style. I own a software company (well, we are manufacturing our own hardware too now , but we're still mostly a software company).

    Sure, we hire good coders, but we hire good people, and that's above your coding ability. We have a great environment, and we don't want to spoil it with PC bullshit. We are animals, and so are most of our employees, and we'd like to keep it that way. And you wouldn't believe how much of an awesome environment you can get when people can be themselves, and not worry about what they can and can't do/say/wear/express/whatever. That's why we only hire non-religious people, people who aren't afraid of bad language, rough attitudes, bad smells, and that usually translates to people that isn't afraid of hard work either.

    At my company, we troll each other badly, there are no limits, there is no respect for anybody, not even for the owners (my associate and me). Yes, when I fuck up my employees feel free to insult me, and I couldn't be happier about it. I enjoy the same freedom. We get together once a week for bbq and zombie movies. We have a basketball court in the back, and we play rough. Believe it or not, people is actually happy to come in to work on monday, because they feel fucking free. Many of them (specially those that are married) feel more free than they do at home. In our company, the lowest tech calls the CEO a fag for using apple products, and we all laugh, and that's just fine. Getting offended is GREAT. In our culture, this idea that people have a right to not be offended has grown big lately. It's plain wrong. Being offended makes you feel alive, challenges your preconceptions, and makes you overall a better person. It sparks change, and that is always a good thing.

    We spend most of our life at work, mostly because it's what we love doing, it's our project, our company, regardless of how much stock you own. Keeping it _just_ professional would be a complete waste of your time.

  • Re:0xB16B00B5 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland@ya[ ].com ['hoo' in gap]> on Thursday July 19, 2012 @08:19PM (#40706175) Homepage Journal

    ""TINY_DICK_LOSER," " is different the BIGBOOBS.

    BIBBOOBS_WINNER would be the same thing.
    A more appropriate example would be "TINY_DICK" or really "BIG_DICK"

    I do make the assumption the my coworkers and I can disagree in a professional manner.

    This is like that damn discussion I got into with HR about 15 years ago because someone was offended I used the term DAEMONS when referring to UNIX DAEMONS.

    Really, no one should talk to anyone about anything because they person might be offended by any one..which I find offensive.

  • Re:0xB16B00B5 (Score:3, Insightful)

    by RobbieCrash (834439) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @09:41PM (#40706707)

    The world is a pretty sexist place. See the Anita Sarkeesian thing and subsequent fury of sexist idiocy that accompanied it. Simply because you don't feel it's sexist, doesn't mean it's not.

    There is a societal impression that sexism has been defeated because the wage gap has narrowed and women have the right to vote. It's simply not the case, discrimination against women is alive and well. The attitude about what is and what is not sexist plays a pretty big part in the propagation of that discrimination.

  • by b4dc0d3r (1268512) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @10:14PM (#40706935)

    I think you accidentally got to the real heart of the issue. Microsoft has to keep up appearances, as an established corporation. But this code was not written in the open source world, not for Linux, and not intended to be distributed at all. It was supposed to be hidden in the basement.

    Microsoft was forced to release this code because they released binaries built with GPL components. Those binaries were to make Linux work well with Microsoft's hypervisor. Not to make Linux look good, but to make virtual Linux useable enough that they keep paying for a Windows host license (on the next server, or OS upgrade).

    This magic number is a guest OS ID definition for Microsoft's Hyper-V. As far as anyone knows, this might be a magic value already in place in some of Microsoft's code, and they had to use the same value in the Linux implementation. If that's not the case, it's still internal code that they had no intention of releasing as source.

    My guess is that someone who doesn't respect Linux intentionally violated the identity convention. In that case, it's not about sexism at all. Substituting a childish phrase for an operating system ID is about respect for the product, and little if anything to do with respect for women. If a woman wants to see it as offensive that is perfectly valid. But from what I can tell not the intent at all.

    The "predictable debate over sexism in the technology world" is being driven by people who take things out of context for the increased page loads. It could very well be told as "Source code divulged after GPL violation reveals Microsoft employs at least one immature developer." But the focus on sexism almost makes the ads click themselves.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linux_kernel#Hyper-V_submission_by_Microsoft [wikipedia.org]

    http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/hardware/ff542653(v=vs.85).aspx [microsoft.com]

  • Re:0xB16B00B5 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RobbieCrash (834439) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @10:59PM (#40707213)

    "Femminism is supposed to be about equality and social change, right ? Then here's a social "problem" I would like the change: the complete double-standard backwardness that has been instituted in the name of "feminism." For example: if a guy expresses his sexuality or his sexual nature in any way he is labeled a "pig" but if a woman does it it's applauded as "liberating.""

    [citation needed]

    If a woman was going around bragging about her conquests she'd be labelled a slut and people would talk shit on her, while the dude, after being called a pig, is applauded.

    You don't see the impact of patriarchal society because you don't experience the effects. The same way that many white people feel that there is no such thing as institutionalized racism in North America because they don't experience it.

    If the comment in the code were 'slanty eyes' nobody would be disputing it's racist nature, but because this is an issue of sexism it's ignored. There is a societal bias against women, the same as there's one against minorities.

    The foundation of the theory only seems polarizing because again, we as men, don't experience the institutionalized sexism that western society has. It's not overt "you can't do that because you're a woman" it's "here beautiful, let me do that for you." Just like institutionalized racism isn't a lynch mob lookin' to hang someone any more, it's being watched by security in a store for being black.

  • Re:0xB16B00B5 (Score:4, Insightful)

    by gizmonic (302697) on Friday July 20, 2012 @01:07AM (#40707851) Homepage

    You don't make the assumption that your co-workers are all going to feel the same way as you on any potentially charged issue.

    No, they don't and won't. The question is whether everyone involved is emotionally and mentally mature enough to be able to discuss those types of topics without taking any disagreement personally. At my job, everyone in my group can handle discussing pretty much any topic with the knowledge that we don't all agree, won't all agree, and we all respect each other's opinions and beliefs. Thus, we can have discussions that enlighten us all with varying viewpoints, but the concepts of which, based on your postings here, would likely have you offended (and, if you are an HR-caller, calling HR as fast as you could). Thankfully, none of us are like that, and it makes work interesting and fun. I can't imagine working in such a cold sterile spirit killing workspace where the most you could discuss is the weather, and maybe a sports team, assuming it's not too violent a sport that others find offensive. :P

    As to the actual subject, none of our female developers would be offended by $bigboobs or anything like it, unless they felt someone specifically directed it at them. Likewise, none of the males would be upset by $tinydickloser or anything either, again, with the caveat that it wasn't directed at them. Granted, it'd never get past code review simply for lack of professionalism, but that's beside the point. None of us would see that as offensive or an attack. It'd be seen as childish and immature, sure, but not directly offensive.

    Which brings me to my last point. When you don't see yourself as a victim, those things aren't viewed as attacks. When you see yourself as a victim, then everything is an attack. If someone disagrees with you, it might be because they simply have a different idea, and not have anything to do with your gender, or skin color, or sexual preference, or religion, or political leanings or whatever. And that disagreement is just that, a disagreement, not a personal attack like most of America seems to think today.

    I highly doubt anything I just said will change your opinion on anything, and I've read your posts, and I know they haven't changed mine. Nice thing is, it's those differences that keep things interesting, and we don't HAVE to agree. It's perfectly okay for two people to hold different ideas. The world doesn't need to be wedged into the same pinhole. But that doesn't mean we can't share our ideas with each other.

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