Geek Feminism Wiki

In November 2008, Josselin Mouette made the following announcement on the debian-devel-announce mailing list: are kindly offering every Debian Developer a discount
on their whole perfumes and make-up catalog[1]. If you apply under the
procedure outlined below, you will pay according to "Rate Eeencredible",
which at the time of this writing means 20% more chicks loving you!

Steps to follow:
 - If you do not already own perfume bottle, buy one at your nearest
   convenience store.

 - If you are goth, transsexual, female or simply metrosexual, you also
   need to buy make-up at the same place.

 - Send your private Debian GPG Key to Include
   the brand of your perfume and the color of the make-up.

 - Wait for an OK reply and your new “good friends” will be delivered
   directly at home.

If you don’t want the chicks, you should still buy the perfume and the
make-up, cause you know, that can’t hurt, and in this time of economic
crisis, the Lust industry needs your help.



This triggered a contentious discussion on the debian-devel mailing list, wherein a number of Debian developers objected to this behavior for various reasons:

  • inappropriate use of the debian-devel-announce mailing list, which is intended for announcements relevant to Debian developers (and is therefore required reading): here
  • bad taste: here
  • sexism: here

This in turn resulted in backlash from the Debian community including:

  • accusations of lacking of a sense of humor: here
  • dismissal of the issue because there had been a similar discussion previously: here
  • namecalling: here
  • questioning the sexist nature of the material: here
  • dismissal of the discussion as inherently pointless: here
  • dismissal of the offered definition of sexism as gynocentric and androphobic: here

Debian Project Leader Steve McIntyre responded by having Mouette banned from posting to the debian-devel-announce mailing list.

Josselin Mouette responded by writing on his blog:

Yet a large number of developers are taking this project way too seriously. To say it in other words, they have a carrot up the ass. I happen to prefer the French expression though, since it conveys better the rigidity of their attitude: they have a broomstick up the ass.
I will go on shocking these people. And they won’t like it more than in the past. Every time one of them climbs on her high horse to take a pathetic and patronizing stance while totally missing the point, it will bring a bit of fun.
Bonus #2: here is a sexist picture.

In a much later (2014) blog post titled "Introspection", Joss wrote:

Oh boy, people change in six years. Upon re-reading that, I had trouble admitting I was the one to write it. Memory is selective, and with time, you tend not to remember some gruesome details, especially the ones that conflict most with your moral values.
I can assure every reader that the only people I intended to mock then were those who mistook Debian mailing lists for advertising channels; but I understand now that my message must have caused pain to a lot more people than that. So, it may come late, but let me take this opportunity to offer my sincerest apologies to anyone I may have hurt at that time.