Ruby's code of conduct changed due to sexist jokes on mailing lists

Today we are beginning to see various changes that have arisen due to dissatisfaction, annoyances and even aggressions related to language and the way people usually express themselves. And it is not something that had not been touched before, but now this has begun to have a greater impact and above all, many have already begun to raise their voices.

On this we could imagine that we would be talking about inclusive language which has generated many movements and above all divided opinions, but the truth is that at the bottom of it what is sought is respect and non-discrimination.

And is that talking about it there was a recent discussion among Ruby members on Twitter and on GitHub in which its participants have made known their position and opinions on the change that has been made in the Code of Conduct of the Ruby project, which defines the principles of friendly and respectful communication in the developer community.

Inside the modifications that have been carried out, the following is mentioned:

  • The clause that defines the tolerance for contrary opinions was eliminated.
  • The phrase that prescribes a hospitable attitude towards beginners, young participants, their teachers and the likeable "fire-breathing magicians" (probably people who cannot contain their emotions) has been replaced by a general one, prescribing such an attitude towards all users .
  • The harassment clause is limited to only protected categories, but the panelists could not agree on what this means: for example, whether harassment that mentions race is prohibited or only for non-whites.
  • The phrase that words and actions must correspond to good intentions is complemented by the fact that the participant must understand that the intentions and consequences of actions may differ.

Such changes to the code of conduct were conducted to protect project members from transitioning from technical discussions to skirmishes on the basis of differences of views and to avoid statements that are offensive to certain people under the guise of an alternative opinion.

En particular, the reason for the code change was a message from a newcomer to the mailing list about an error in the evaluation of the expression " +1". The author of the publication joked that such a mistake plays in the hands of women who do not like to reveal their true age.

I am very disappointed with the Ruby mailing list at the moment. A newer member made a sexist joke and was accused of inappropriate. There is currently a thread debating the nuances of the culture, the jokes, and all the reasons why it's no big deal.

In response, Accusations of sexism, insults and criticism rained down on the inadmissibility of jokes on vulnerable people. Other users felt that the joke was nothing special, and the offensive reaction of some participants to the joke is perhaps more unacceptable than the joke itself.

He got to the point of ultimatums with the intention of stopping using mailing lists if such jokes were deemed acceptable.

Those who oppose changing the code believe that representatives of different cultures are represented in the community and that those who are not native English speakers cannot be expected to know all the nuances of someone else's political correctness.

It is also feared that the changes will bury the ability to express any type of humor, since for any joke there will definitely be someone who is offended.

In addition, due to ambiguous perception in the community, the authors of the changes ask that they be canceled or replaced by a requirement to try not to initiate political and other "schismatic" discussions.

Finally if you are interested in knowing more about it, you can check the details in the following link.

The content of the article adheres to our principles of editorial ethics. To report an error click here!.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.



  1. Responsible for the data: Miguel Ángel Gatón
  2. Purpose of the data: Control SPAM, comment management.
  3. Legitimation: Your consent
  4. Communication of the data: The data will not be communicated to third parties except by legal obligation.
  5. Data storage: Database hosted by Occentus Networks (EU)
  6. Rights: At any time you can limit, recover and delete your information.