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[OT] master/slave debate in Python


Chris Angelico <rosuav at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> I was neither rude, nor personally attacking anyone.

Actually, the "SJW brigade" remark was quite rude, and a clear attack
on anybody who supports this change.

> Yes, it's an insult. It's the people who believe that they can cure
> social problems by making demands, usually about the trappings rather
> than the actual problems. For example, excising the terms "master" and
> "slave" from documentation, rather than actually doing anything about
> real slavery where it still happens.

So, Chris, what have *you personally* done about real slavery where it
still happens?

If, as I'm guessing, the answer is "nothing" then it seems to me that
you don't have much of a leg to stand on to level this accusation.

In any case, this is not about ending slavery. This is about treating
others with empathy and recognizing that words can be hurtful even
when not intended to be. Just because there are large, difficult
problems in the world does not mean that smaller problems should not
be addressed.

> What I know about them is that they (and I am assuming there are
> multiple people, because there are reports of multiple reports, if
> that makes sense) are agitating for changes to documentation without
> any real backing.

The terminology should be changed because it's offensive, full stop.
It may be normalized to many who are accustomed to it, but that
doesn't make it any less offensive.

Imagine if the terminology were instead "dominant / submissive".
Without meaning to assume too much, might the cultural context
surrounding those terms make you feel uncomfortable when using them?
Would you desire for something else to be used in their place? Well,
there are plenty of people who feel exactly that way about "master /
slave".

> I'm also talking about an anonymous person who caused *me* personal
> harm by the exact same thing. I won't go into details because the
> person wouldn't go into details about the offense I had purportedly
> done, so I'm going to leave this as a vague and meaningless thing,
> just like I was given... except that when I was given it, it came with
> a punishment.

Sorry to hear that. However, your personal pain from some other
unrelated issue has nothing to do with whether this terminology should
be changed.

> > Some unspecified possible future threat? Now this seems more likely, but
> > it's also rather silly, don't you think?
>
> The current threat is extremely likely to be continued in the future,
> yes, and it's not silly to assume that it will.

"Threat?" What is so threatening about asking people to use different
terminology?

Here's the reality: the change may be difficult for some while it's
happening, because people don't like being told that the way they're
accustomed to doing something is harmful. But a few years from now,
after everything has settled, nobody will be looking back at this and
saying "oh, I wish we still used master/slave in the documentation.
Primary/replica (or whatever else replaces it) just doesn't sound as
good."

Honestly, it's absurd that this is even a debate. Let's just make the
change and get it over with.