The ongoing debate about Mark Shuttleworth’s keynote at the Linux Plumber’s Conference has been bothering me for a little while now, but I’ve been avoiding posting until now.
Before I do, let me make one thing clear (as if it wasn’t already), I am a gay man.
Mark is a heterosexual man. In his LPC keynote he is accused of sexism because in his keynote he said that making Linux easier to understand would make it easier for him to explain what he does to girls.
Now, let’s pretend for a moment that I’d gave that keynote. Let’s pretend that I’d said that that making Linux easier would make it easier for me to explain what I did to boys.
Would there be this uproar?
Oh they’d be an uproar alright, but it wouldn’t be about sexism – the homophobic right of our community would be throwing their bibles out of their prams with vigour!
But nothing about sexism!
In fact the very people who are currently attacking Mark would be defending me as a gay man for right to say things like that. And if they didn’t I could cheerfully accuse them of homophobia.
And that’s why this bothers me.
If Mark was sexist, than he’s sexist for only being attracted to women and understandably caring what they think of him. That’s not sexism, that’s biology!
Sometimes a spade is just a spade.
Sometimes when a man says that he likes girls, HE LIKES GIRLS!
If your complaint is that he uses “girls” to mean “women” then you need to get (a) in touch with some mystical arbiter of the colloquial English language & (b) a grip.
I suspect this has ended my chances of ever being offered a Keynote (not that I ever have) and that Linux Today will now claim I should resign (I don’t work directly for mdz, but I have a tremendous amount of respect for him) then so be it.
And this is why the outcry bothers me.