Geek Feminism Wiki

Bruce Perens

I don't think we should have pages on people whose commentary on geek feminist issues is this limited. Hence, deletion proposal. Thayvian (talk) 22:58, November 17, 2014 (UTC)

Cosigned. Monadic (talk) 23:17, November 17, 2014 (UTC)
Despite my snark below, +1 cosigned for sheer unimportance. Hypatia (talk) 23:13, February 24, 2015 (UTC)
OTOH, his example (below) of how two fairly neutrally-worded links to his involvement in anti-women-in-open-source activity has so scarred him that *he* has withdrawn from the open source community is a great example of I'm a feminist but, Witch hunt, Damaging my reputation, Harming the community, I've been hurt too, Angry feminist mob, and other silencing tactics. --Skud (talk) 23:19, February 24, 2015 (UTC)
But again on a less snarky note: I think the page understated the importance of the incidents involving Bruce Perens. I am working on updating the actual article to reflect what happened in that LWN thread. It was a major incident in the "Women in open source" discussions of 2009, triggering two GF blog posts at least, and the article did not reflect that AT ALL. --Skud (talk) 23:43, February 24, 2015 (UTC)
Here's a proposal: Rename to "LWN women in open source thread" as that's the most relevant part of it. --Skud (talk) 01:10, February 25, 2015 (UTC)

From Bruce Perens

Hi Folks. I've sure learned a lot about geek feminism during and since the discussion noted. As noted in the wiki, I was a financial sponsor of the Ada Initiative. I have been a fan of Valerie and Mary for evangelizing geek feminism without getting off-topic or being anti-male. When asked about geek feminism issues, my official response these days is to send the questioner to Valerie and Mary as the experts.

Some of you may have realized that I've stopped evangelizing Free Software and Open Source. I've refused all invitations to speak for about a year and a half. I still support its ideals and I am currently busy developing an Open Hardware project. But the negative stuff, like being included in this wiki, has convinced me to concentrate on my own projects rather than be involved in that nasty "community".

I just wanted you to know that you've done me damage, for the sin of caring about an issue, being curious, and being willing to discuss it with you and indeed to adopt your viewpoint in the end.

You should be more careful where you point your guns. I can see the point in having pages about the rabid threat-makers. Not the merely uninformed who mean well.

Bruce Perens (talk) 22:35, February 24, 2015 (UTC)

Gods forbid we ever criticize the public behavior of our elders and hold them to the things they say in public. Pointing our guns! Oh my, the violence of it all. The power of words. You are so wounded. I see you've really grown as a person, Bruce. Grown so much that it's still all about you. Hypatia (talk) 23:12, February 24, 2015 (UTC)

Hello Hypatia. All I did was to engage in a discussion with you a few years ago. I allowed you to correct me. I just don't understand what part of it merits a place in the hurtful-people-list on the geek feminism wiki along with MikeEE and weev, and the vitrol you turn upon me. I support your issue, including financially when I can. I don't really understand what more I can do.

But although I don't understand it, I guess I still have something to apologize for. I am sorry, Hypatia.

Now, I don't belong on the list with MikeEE and weev. Take me off of it, please. Bruce Perens (talk) 23:41, February 24, 2015 (UTC)

Bruce, there is no page on this wiki that links you as part of a list with MikeeUSA or Weev. --Skud (talk) 00:29, February 25, 2015 (UTC)

Hi Skud, there are a few reasons for listing people on this wiki. Some are geek feminism evangelists. Some are victims. And some are threats to women, women's rights, or women's inclusion. MikeEE and weev belong in that category. I am not operating as a threat to women's inclusion, etc.

What I am is someone you had to educate. And I would not have allowed you to do so if I understood that you would resent it so much. Yes, I wasted a day of your time in discussion. I apologize for doing so.

I offer in return all of the similar days I've spent on behalf of things you care about. I do not resent them, even when I have had to explain the same thing for the 1000th time.

I am not telling you that I am hurt to in some way suppress you. I am telling you I am hurt because I am hurt. Bruce Perens (talk) 00:54, February 25, 2015 (UTC)


"Had to educate" and "allowed you to" are exactly the problem, Bruce. Women in tech have to work an unpaid second shift 'educating' people who are not willing to do their own homework, and we have to rely on them to 'allow us' to do so, because they hold the commit privileges to the social code and we do not.

Being "someone we have to educate" is not a neutral or benign stance. Your ignorance actively harms us. It drives women out of tech and forces us to work on "the nasty community" instead of "our own projects" as a matter of survival. You made statements that were harmful and insulting, and now you're expecting us to care that we hurt your feelings by pointing out that a thing you said in public was factually incorrect, hurtful, and sexist.

Our statements hurt your feelings. Yours discriminated against women in tech in ways that have a tangible impact on our careers. Those are not equal concerns, and we have no obligation to give them equal weight.

You need to go manage your hurt feelings on your own time, instead of trying to make them the responsibility of women you have actively harmed.

Leeflower (talk) 02:33, February 25, 2015 (UTC)


Hello Leeflower. I don't know you, do I? Well, I sympathize with the issue of having to educate people about what should just be. I have gone through that enough just as a Free Software evangelist and as a non-Christian. In my defense, there was _nothing_ to prepare me. There is now an organization that evangelizes about geek feminism in the Free Software space. Indeed, I did my little bit to help it get started. But we're talking about something that happened 6 years ago, before they existed. Pretty much the only way to get started on this issue back then was to talk with a geek feminist.

So, I apologize for my statements. They were made from ignorance, and not meant to harm or insult. I understand that the discrimination is from the cumulative effect, but this was a one-day discussion and I did not continue with any of the questionable statements.

But here we are, having a fight about a 6-year-old, one-day discussion not from malice and I've not done anything similar ever again. I am "reformed" in whatever way you could expect me to be reformed. And yet Scud felt it was necessary today to rewrite the whole thing.

I am sorry for whatever damage was done. I have done everything I could to make it right, including helping Ada Initiative. I submit that I've had my punishment and for you to continue it into the 7th year is injustice. Bruce Perens (talk) 03:50, February 25, 2015 (UTC)


I've had second thoughts. I am ashamed of the way I've pleaded with you and I withdraw all of it. Abuse me as you will. I continue to admire and support the work of Ada Initiative. You folks are an odd splinter group and nobody cares what you write anyway. Bruce Perens (talk) 06:53, February 25, 2015 (UTC)

Speaking only in my capacity as an individual and not as an official representative of the Ada Initiative, I support keeping the page in its current form as valuable historical data.Vaurora (talk)
Bruce, you need to process your feelings somewhere else. This isn't the place for it. Monadic (talk) 20:14, February 25, 2015 (UTC)