Yesterday I was reminded that sexism is well and truly alive and kicking within open source. A developer of some well known software has refused to stop using the Lena image that has been used for a long time in tech demos, even after the model herself requested that people stop using it. There's a pretty good documentary about the Lena image called Losing Lena

10s of back and forth tweets later and the developer is standing their ground. This is, again, after the model herself has asked people to stop using her image.

There's many things about the conversation that got me down. Perhps the most upsetting was him questioning whether the people complaining (the model, the film makers, the people in the thread, and, y'know women everywhere) were "a minority, or is their claim legitimate?".

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In this case the model has made a personal request. Is that not legitimate enough?!

And even then there's so so so so many accounts of women facing sexism within tech and feeling uncomfortable/outraged about how they're seen. This isn't just a few voices being overamplified, it's widespread!

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The OP says their colleagues don't have a problem with the image. Good for them! Of course the image still shouldn't be used but If usage of the image stays within their environment then whatever. Still not great though. But this is something which the public sees and uses all the time.

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This got me thinking a lot about accountability within open source. It's a big assumption on my part, but at least if someone is working within a company there's a chance they could be held accountable s for their actions and face repercussions e.g. being fired. But if someone's writing good and useful open source code what do we do? Shun them but accept their code?

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(btw I know this is public and the OP can/will probably see this. I've made my feelings on this matter perfectly clear.)

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@hellocatfood what OP/software is it about ? I think calling it out in public without proper names is even more bad for thoses that don't do this kind of bad behavior, and there is no problem imho to discuss this as a public problem regarding floss and not a personal shame thing regarding that particular person ...


@Olm_e @hellocatfood
you can check hellocatfood's feed on the birdsite to get all context you need (it's not pretty, just what you'd expect after reading this thread.)

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