Feeds

Feminist Software Foundation gets grumpy with GitHub … or does it?

'Smash the toxic Patriarchy inherent in all computer programming languages'

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

A group called The Feminist Software Foundation has accused GitHub of misogyny after it disabled access to a repository containing its first effort: a feminist programming language called “C+=”.

Pronounced either “C plus equality” or “see equality”, C+= has since found a home at bitbucket.org, where a manifesto declares it is “a feminist programming language, created to smash the toxic Patriarchy that is inherent in and that permeates all current computer programming languages.”

So far, so radical. But if one scrolls down and reads deeper into the manifesto the document reads a bit more like Life of Brian than The Female Eunuch.

A thirteen-point “Philosophy” says “Under no circumstances should the language be compiled, as compilation and the use of a compiler imposes an oppressive and toxic relationship between the high-level descriptive language and the low-level machine code that does all the labo(u)r.”

Point 6 says “On the off chance that objects do mysteriously manifest (thanks, Patriarchy!), there should be no object inheritance, as inheritance is a tool of the Patriarchy. Instead, there will be object reparations.”

By point 12 it's hard to take things seriously, as it reads “Forced program termination is not allowed unless the program consents to it. The process is part of the choice of the program, not the programmer.”

Then there's this … ahem … passage of text on how C+= will handle binary:

“The traditional binary foundation of 1s and 0s is deeply problematic: 1 is inherently phallic and thus misogynistic. Also, some 1s are 0s, and some 0s are 1s. It is not fair to give them immutable labels. Instead, we have 0s and Os as our fundamental binary logic gates. They symbolise/-ize the varying, natural, and beautiful differences of the female vaginal opening.”

Might GitHub's decision to remove C+= therefore be a simple decision not to give a satirical effort any airtime, rather than a crimp on freedom of expression?

Whether the Feminist Software Foundation and C+= are a gag or not is hard to say. The Bitbucket repository links to a post by Arielle Schlesinger that seems more earnest than satirical, at least in its intent to consider exploration of a feminised programming language. Other writing on the topic also seems serious.

Twitter seems convinced C+= is satire. Are you? The links above offer access to plenty more writing on the language, which should help you make up your mind. ®

Update It's been pointed out to The Reg C+= is absolutely a joke, and that the source of the gag is an in joke bubbling up out of 4chan and best-understood by those who inhabit that site's depths.

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Ubuntu 14.04 LTS: Great changes, but sssh don't mention the...
Why HELLO Amazon! You weren't here last time
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Next Windows obsolescence panic is 450 days from … NOW!
The clock is ticking louder for Windows Server 2003 R2 users
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
OpenBSD founder wants to bin buggy OpenSSL library, launches fork
One Heartbleed vuln was too many for Theo de Raadt
Got Windows 8.1 Update yet? Get ready for YET ANOTHER ONE – rumor
Leaker claims big release due this fall as Microsoft herds us into the CLOUD
Microsoft TIER SMEAR changes app prices whether devs ask or not
Some go up, some go down, Redmond goes silent
Batten down the hatches, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS due in TWO DAYS
Admins dab straining server brows in advance of Trusty Tahr's long-term support landing
Red Hat to ship RHEL 7 release candidate with a taste of container tech
Grab 'near-final' version of next Enterprise Linux next week
prev story

Whitepapers

Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.