Bonum Certa Men Certa


Portrait of maturity

Summary: The phrase "you’re the man!" leads to a little debate about sexism in SUSE

OpenSUSE's Henne has published "Kick Ass!" It's a humourous post that says "You’re the man!" It is a post that offended Katarina*, who wrote: "No, I’m not and neither is 2-3 % of openSUSE users (they’re women, for clarity sake). Sure, compared to the rest of openSUSErs, it’s small minority, but still there.

"If somebody from openSUSE board will again contemplate why is it there is so few female openSUSEs, off-putting statements like this could be one of the reasons."

This is the "boys' club" syndrome, which actually affects not just OpenSUSE, let alone computing. There's this stereotype of programming being done by "geeks" who are sometimes "bearded", socially-inapt ("dorks"/"nerds") and are male. But anyway, as Henne points out, "you’re the man!" should not be taken too literally. It's a sweeping statement like "you guys", which can mean girls too. Perhaps these phrases remained for historical reasons. This issue is worth bringing up especially because Ubuntu became a victim of it too. Here again is a brand new example of the phrase being used.

Planet OpenSUSE has undergone some major changes [1, 2, 3, 4]. As Pascal put it:

I just switched Planet openSUSE over to the new design.

Now watch this response to the new look of Planet OpenSUSE:

So say with me, Who the man?

This probably ought not to offend any girl. In this case in particular the author refers to one guy. And finally, this subject is worth debating because: 1) it not only affects Free software (contrary to myth); 2) it is sometimes being exaggerated and leads to even more gender tension than there ever was to begin with. ___ * She previously complained about OpenSUSE shirts that focused on men's sizes, and that's a fair point.

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