Geek Feminism Wiki

The precise phrase you'll catch more flies with honey than with vinegar is not very common in geek feminist debates, but the attitude is. The attitude is that advocates of feminism or critics of sexism aren't worth listening to if they are not extremely polite, patient, reasonable and forgiving, even, or especially, to very insulting, outrageous or frightening provocation. Expressing this sentiment is a common concern troll tactic, and is a variant of the tone argument.


  • In a discussion about the Stonehenge OSCON parties, commenter Dusty Wilson wrote 'If someone thinks that you got somewhere simply because you "slept with someone" to get something done (patch accepted, etc), make sure you let them know (again, with tact!) that you are capable and qualified. Let them know that your code is just as worthwhile as theirs. They aren't better than you.' [1]
    • Marna Nightingale replied 'One does not reply to such remarks with a "tactful" recital of one's qualifications. Or a "tactful" anything. One replies to them, if one replies at all, with a strongly-worded invitation to apologise, right there and then, and to never, ever even think about making such a remark again, to anyone. [original author's emphasis]' [2]


Apropos of nothing, vinegar actually does a way better job of catching any fly that would eat honey at all.