Dangereuse trilingue - english http://dangereusetrilingue.net/ jottings, gribouillages, marginalia Letter to the spammers: [4] <p>I am not fundamentally opposed to receiving help inciting “her” to “worship” me. [Cf. your correspondence dated May 20, 19, 17, 15 (3x), 10 (4x), 9, 8, etc. pp. titled “Have Her Worship You [...]” Still, how do you know her? And who do you have in mind anyway?] </p> <p>However, I vigorously object to your apparently immovable notion that such a goal could be achieved via a penis enlargement.</p> <p>Respectfully,</p> <p>Dangereuse Trilingue</p> http://dangereusetrilingue.net/english/155/letter-to-the-spammers My weblog owns nearly half of me. <table bordercolor="#003060" height="15" border="1" cellpadding="0" width="320" bgcolor="#003060" cellspacing="0" align="center"><tr><td width="140" bgcolor="#FF6800"><center><font face="ocr a extended" size="2" color="black">43.75 %</font></center></td><td bgcolor="#003060"></td></tr></table> <p style="text-align:center">My weblog owns 43.75 % of me.<br /> <a href="http://wannabegirl.org/quiz/owned/">Does your weblog own you?</a></p> http://dangereusetrilingue.net/english/149/my-weblog-owns-nearly-half-of-me Knock, knock, knock, calling London. [2] <p>My life is undergoing major upheaval at the moment : Britain, I’m coming !</p> <p>I love France to bits and loathe the idea of leaving all my friends behind, but life in Paris has not been gentle with me these recent years—in particular the rather buttoned-up labour market and the dreadful housing situation. It’s not unlike a love affair: you may be deeply in love with half a dozen of your lover’s traits, but one or two things can destroy the relationship.</p> <p>So now that I <em>have</em> to leave my flat (renovation work being done on the house) with little prospect of finding another even half-way decent place on short notice, I was already planning to go back to Germany. </p> <p>But then an opportunity came up to stop over in London first: a bunch of people (read: a small start-up I’d been helping to get their site up) are paying my ticket and housing me for a short while starting from the second week of April, in exchange for more work and a bit of software training. And then the prospect of a short-term contract with a different London-based company came up, which, even though by no means a firm thing, raised my excitement about the trip substantially. To me it makes sense to make use of my stay and look for work in London—it’s time for me to move on with my life, and the UK (to be frank, Scotland more than London, but that’s but a small detail right now) has long been a place I wanted to spend some quality time at. </p> <p>In the worst case, I guess I can always temp for a while. There certainly seems to be a demand for computer-literate, web-savvy people with fluent French and German (I’m throwing in decent writing skills and translation experience).</p> <p>The scary part is that I’m doing this on a shoestring. So to end this with a call out to any and every reader in the UK, in particular the Greater London area, who could put me up for a few days while I’m flat- and job-hunting: I’d be <b>eternally grateful</b> for even a small corner of your couch! And if you just want to meet up, I’d love it, too, of course. Leave a comment or <a href="mailto:mailto:dangereusetrilingue@free.fr">e-mail</a> me—I’m sure to write back.</p> <p>[Taught to the spell-checker: <em>savvy</em>.]</p> http://dangereusetrilingue.net/english/148/knock-knock-knock-calling-london A UK Trading Standards officer loses it. <p>Gervase Markham of the Mozilla Foundation relates a disconcerting exchange with the authorities who, it seems, just don’t get free software. From the <a href="http://business.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,9075-2051196,00.html">Times</a> :</p> <blockquote> <p>“I can’t believe that your company would allow people to make money from something that you allow people to have free access to. Is this really the case?” [the Trading Standards officer] asked.<br /> “If Mozilla permit the sale of copied versions of its software, it makes it virtually impossible for us, from a practical point of view, to enforce UK anti-piracy legislation, as it is difficult for us to give general advice to businesses over what is/is not permitted.”</p> </blockquote> <p>The world standing on its head: those <del>crazy geeks</del> software authors better behave in a way that facilitates enforcing anti-piracy legislation. This doesn’t bode well for MPs getting the point when they enact new copyright legislation as it’s currently the case in France.</p> <p>Via <a href="http://www.boingboing.net/2006/02/23/uk_antipiracy_office.html">BoingBoing</a>.</p> http://dangereusetrilingue.net/english/135/a-uk-trading-standards-officer-loses-it The browser, the geek and the garter belt. [1] <p>So we’re having a honest-to-god <a href="http://dangereusetrilingue.net/francais/131/pub-et-corps-des-femmes">sexism spat</a> in the French geekosphere. It’s all about “Femfox”, an unofficial advertising campaign for the Firefox browser, launched by an amateur model, a photographer and an IT guy. All glamour shots, the kind people in France are used to seeing in underwear ads.</p> <p>The real brouhaha started only when <a href="http://standblog.org/blog/2006/02/17/93114658-feministes-de-tous-les-pays-tombez-moi-dessus">Tristan Nitot</a>, the president of Mozilla Europe, posted an “oh wow” (personal) endorsement of the campaign while at the same time, rather passive-aggressively, trying to pre-empt criticism by ridiculing the feminists he knew would object. He also implied that criticising the use of pictures of a nude and sexy woman to promote Firefox would amount to endorsing the current madness over the Mahomet cartoons. (You will find links to the Femfox site & photographs inside Tristan’s post.)</p> <p>Let’s be clear, Firefox is and remains my browser of choice, and Tristan and Mozilla Europe have done and are doing impressive work that benefits the public at large. Still, the can of worms titled “women and free software” has been opened, and personally I find this invigorating and salutary.</p> <p>It might seem strange that this is happening now, when we all have just been through a united call to arms for the <a href="http://dangereusetrilingue.net/english/108/garfielddgate">right of a blogger to post pictures of lightly clad men</a>. Indeed, I don’t believe that the issue is about the pictures at all, or even the garter belt, stockings, lacy knickers and heels. I know what kind of physical attributes I’m attracted to—though the physical component is but a small part of attraction—and am able to recognise and appreciate eroticism. I <em>like</em> erotic pictures and have written erotic stories and poems myself<sup><a href="http://dangereusetrilingue.net/english/132/the-browser-the-geek-and-the-garter-belt#fn130880145043fa17a18d9b2">1</a></sup>.</p> <p>No, to me, the problem is laid out along an entirely different axis. It’s about making a particular type of heterosexual male gaze directed towards conventionally attractive female attributes the norm, via using it, and the object of the attention, to incite people to do something entirely unrelated to eroticism and female bodies: use a particular web browser. The relationship between the viewer and the image loses its intimacy when the photographs (and the lecherous slogans that go with them) become a means to an end and play into the all too well-known stereotypes of the woman as seductress, sexual object or, at best, eye-candy.</p> <p>And then there’s the body-image angle. <a href="http://ticeblog.ycombe.net//2006/02/18/7-ras-le-bol-de-la-marketisation-des-esprits">Yves</a>, as far as I can tell the only straight man on the anti-side, reports that his six year old daughter recently declared she’d give up butter on her bread “because it makes you fat”. Where might she and her playground comrades have picked up the idea? <a href="http://blog.xbluechip.net/?m=200601#1307">Here</a> for example.</p> <p>What’s I hope salutary about this spat is that it throws wide open the question of sexism in the largely male geek world. There has been a precedent—what to think of a young woman, one of far too few, auctioning off her T-shirt to the cheers of the male geek crowd for a fund-raiser during the recent <em>Solutions Linux</em> trade fair? <a href="http://www.kozlika.org/kozeries//2006/02/07/451-si-c-est-avec-les-memes-armes-non-merci">Kozlika</a> rightly grumbled then, under the title “If [we are supposed to promote free software] with the same weapons [mainstream marketing uses]—no, thanks”. Now, she tackles the thankless but salutary task of <a href="http://www.kozlika.org/kozeries//2006/02/19/454-mais-de-quoi-se-melent-elles">reformatting</a> the talking points every feminist is familiar with for the consumption of the unenlightened male geek: no, feminists aren’t humourless, frigid, castrating crones; no, the model being more than consenting is absolutely immaterial (feminists aren’t supposed to disagree with women? huh, what an idiotic idea); and calling criticism of the ad campaign “the strait-jacket of all-crushing political correctness” is a ridiculously over-the-top attack, given what the power relations and dominant imagery really are.</p> <p>I wonder if we should <em>thank</em> the Femfox team to have provided this opportunity for debate. Well, okay, rather not.</p> <p><strong>Notes:</strong></p> <p id="fn130880145043fa17a18d9b2"><sup>1</sup> Though the photos in question aren’t what I’d call a particularly positive example of the <em>genre</em>. They are amateurish, run-of-the-mill shots focussing on decontextualised body parts. As for me, the face (and the smile) is a major part of connecting to the image. </p> http://dangereusetrilingue.net/english/132/the-browser-the-geek-and-the-garter-belt