Geek Feminism Wiki

At Debconf 3 in Oslo in 2003, there a presentation given about "ftp-masters" by Mike Beattie and Anthony Towns which perpetuated the image of Debian as a Boys' club.

A description of the talk is given here by Anthony Towns, one of the presenters:

"It was on the dak suite; which is a bunch of scripts used to manage the ftp site, that happen to be named after models and actresses and suchlike. We covered a number of the scripts in detail, and as a joke, included pictures of the girls the rest were named after. That portion of the talk just ended up as a soft-core slideshow though, and, to my mind, didn't come off as particularly funny or enlightening at all. Mike presented that section of the talk, so I wouldn't presume to justify the presentation or apologise for it on his behalf."

Amaya went looking for the slides in 2006, found them, but they've been 404'd again now. The slides can still be found in the Internet archive


"But that talk did say many things. And I was not the only one offended by it. It was extremely sexist. Debian looked like (and probably is) a boys club."
"My personal opinion, was that it was not meant to be a joke as such, but perhaps a light-hearted look at how male geeks typically 'appreciate' looking at pictures of so called 'out of reach' women."

Followup From Anthony Towns[]

In a heartwarming example of people actually eventually getting it, Towns stated that he'd changed his opinion over time regarding sexual content in talks, and that the "change is an improvement." This occurred in a thread dealing with responses to one of the 2011 LCA Keynotes.