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Nominate RMS for FSF award...

From: Arthur Torrey
Subject: Nominate RMS for FSF award...
Date: Wed, 25 Sep 2019 20:22:27 -0400 (EDT)

Minor suggestion for those that feel that RMS has been treated badly in the 
recent controversy - the call has just gone out for members to nominate 
potential recipients of the FSF awards given out at Libre-planet....

In the past as an FSF honcho, RMS has not been eligible, but now that he has 
resigned????  I know that I have a hard time coming up with the name of an 
individual who has done more to advance the cause of Free Software...

Even if the decision makers decide to ignore them, it seems to me that a large 
number of nominations for RMS is a way of sending a message that we still 
appreciate his contributions....

A few other points - 

While "Virgin" certainly sometimes has sexual connotations (which can be 
applied to males as well as females) it is also not that unusual to apply it to 
those having a first encounter with any sort of major "life changing" 
experience - it seems not unreasonable to me that taking a persons "EMACS 
Virginity" does not inherently imply having sex.....

While sexual abuse is NEVER an OK thing, IMHO there are varying levels of 
'yuckiness' (for lack of a better term) and that trying to say all abuse is 
equally bad does a disservice to those suffering the worst abuses.  While 
neither is 'acceptable' I see a big difference in possible sex with a young 
lady that may have presented herself as willing, and possibly over the age of 
consent (who knows, we were not there!) and a forcible assault on a 
pre-adolescent.... When I looked at the actual CSAIL postings, and not the 
rantings and claims about what RMS allegedly said, it seemed obvious to me that 
this distinction is all that RMS was trying to make....

I am also somewhat uncomfortable with the speculation about RMS being on the 
autism spectrum - while it could well account for many of his inappropriate / 
questionable comments and actions, it is not particularly polite or acceptable 
to discuss a persons possible disabilities unless they disclose them 
voluntarily....  If you go through any sort of the training that people in jobs 
that can involve dealing with persons having disabilities (i.e. waitstaff, desk 
clerks, etc) the biggest point is that is is NOT acceptable to ask a person 
what their disability is....  A key instance is if someone presents with a 
service animal - it is allowed to ask what service the animal provides, but NOT 
what the disability is that requires that service....  Many disabilities are 
'invisible' and people with them can be sensitive about inquiries about them.  
As a person with a highly visible disability I am perhaps more aware of this 
than many, but it seems to me that speculation about RMS's mental abilities is 
borderline offensive...

Lastly, while there have been and are abuses that need correcting, it also 
seems that excessive reaction is also toxic in and of itself...  I at least 
like to think that I am a person of good intent, and I try hard not to be 
offensive to others, but much of the current environment leaves me feeling like 
I'm walking through a minefield where saying or doing ANYTHING may lead to 
getting slammed by some person I have unintentionally offended....  This makes 
it really hard to even want to be involved if it is such a risky thing...  (one 
of the major reasons I have not commented on this until now...)

Arthur Torrey - <>

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