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gag rule joke

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  > We should, as stewards of the free software movement stand for
  > advancing software freedom and open access to information.  This joke
  > accomplishes neither and is, instead, actively harmful toward those
  > goals.

I don't believe women will tend to take offense at this joke.  I don't
believe this joke will offend anyone, except for those who approach it
with a predisposition to take offense, and that predisposition is not
the jokes fault.

However, there is something in GNU libc development that is likely to
drive women away: a climate of verbal aggression.

Women are as capable of appreciating humor as men.  However, I've read
plenty of articles where women talk about receiving verbal aggression
from a mob of men.  I am sure many women will stay away from a place
where such a mob is to be seen.  Today the mob's target is me;
tomorrow, it could be anyone.

It is supremely ironic that people are criticizing me for --
supposedly -- offending people with an impersonal joke, while pouring
out gross personal insults and attacks.

I ask the GNU libc maintainers to throw water on these flames.  Let's
make libc development a safe space, a space where verbal aggression is
not deployed against those that many disagree with.

Dr Richard Stallman
President, Free Software Foundation (,
Internet Hall-of-Famer (
Skype: No way! See

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