My first—and consequently only—college English course was taught by an unhinged, psychotic misandrist who confirmed every stereotype of the postmodern leftist intellectual. I suppose that I should thank her for my classical and polyglot education, as I sought refuge in the Greek, Latin, French, and German departments to fulfill my core literature requirements. To this day, though, I feel like a philistine because I am largely ignorant of my own language’s classics. However, my school’s English faculty was populated by loonies and perverts, and I would not subject myself to another semester of learning about Western civilization’s reduction of women to saints, whores, and baby machines, ubiquitous penetration and rape imagery (The Matrix: Same Shit, Different Hole), and a rabid inability to use reason rather than personalizing topics. I am, however, thankful for having learnt the word “phallocracy” in the course. I have whipped that one out on many occasions.
Unfortunately, the crazy estro-infection has escaped English departments and spread even to computer science. Michael Enoch on The Right Stuff informs us of the latest move to destroy higher education: “The Hilarity of Postmodernism: Feminist Programming Languages” and “The Tragedy of Postmodernism: Rent Seeking.” A sample from the proposition to develop feminist logic:
A non-normative paradigm would be something that does not reinforce normative realizations of what a programming language is. That is to say, not whatever paradigms (OOP, functional, logic, etc) and programming languages you would consider standard (Java, C++, Ruby, Python, to list a few). The ideas is that the standard, normative, concepts reinforce the values and ideologies of societies standards. Currently, there exist projects built in response to normative programming languages and standard computer science, check out mezangelle for an example. In many ways this falls under the scope of critical code studies, as I am asking questions about the cultural, social impact of normal programming constructs.
What is a feminist logic is a question I’ve spent the past six months thinking about and researching. There are not a lot of women in philosophy, and there are definitely not a lot of feminist philosophers, so I don’t have a good answer for this question. There is great scholarship talking about weather a feminist logic can build off of formal logic or if it has to reject the laws of identity and create something entirely new. There are solid arguments for both camps, personally I’m swayed by the constructive theories that would build onto formal logic through a feminist lens. There exist logics that handle contradiction as part of the system, namely paraconsistent logic. I think this type of logic represents the feminist idea that something can be and not be without being a contradiction, that is a system where the following statement is not explosive: (p && ¬p) == 1.
Utterly horrifying! Even more distressing is that the woman behind the effort, Arielle Schlesinger, seems intelligent, earnest, and somewhat aware of the larger conversation. The perfidy of postmodernism! It turns academics away from truth, their one-time calling and goal. And, lacking their true end, whither do they turn?
The Elusive Wapiti also comments in “You Can Stop Programming Language Rape.”
But then here comes the kicker: Like a dog to its vomit, all feminism seems to return to rape™, and how to prevent rape™, and how individual consent to sex reigns supreme over structural constraints on sexuality.* One wouldn’t think that rape culture hysteria would extend into the world of “1s” and “0s”, but these folks are making it happen. Oh, and the person who thought this up is a dude, BTW:
Objects with “Agency”.
A MOO/MUSH is a multi-user, text based adventure game where the world is designed and programmed from the inside by the players themselves. Basically, everything that exists in the world is an object and has properties, which - on the surface - makes it look like an object oriented program. You, as a player, are allowed to make new objects, but other people in the world are not permitted to change your objects except in ways that you explicitly permit, and you can never prohibit another object from performing an action. Therefore, you have a world of objects where a sense of mutual consent is enforced by the environment.
My understanding of subject-object theory is as follows: Subjects act and objects are acted upon. If we define the world as a collection of interactions between objects, we are considering people and other sentient beings as “objects” when they should be treated as something more.
MUSHes reconcile this in an interesting way by extending the object-oriented paradigm with an additional constraint: “all things are objects, but some objects have agency”. So here is my hypothesis:
A feminist programming language is a language that respects the agency of objects, acting upon them only upon mutual consent. [bolded emphasis in original]
There is an interesting quality of such a language that follows from this definition: unlike most languages where anything is possible (Turing Completeness), in this language, some things are decidedly NOT possible. This has interesting analogues to reality: “just because something is possible does not mean you should do it”.
Behold what feminist scholarship yields to the field of computer science. An OO programming language where the objects are prevented from having their way with another one, except of course by mutual consent of the objects. Which I suppose can be withdrawn at any time, and also of course consent is clearly articulated and is unmistakable by both objects involved and by the system as well.
It seems that CS nerds (of which I used to be one) really can keep their programs from getting bit-raped. The only thing keeping the programming language rape machine going was patriarchy™ and programming languages designed by vertical thinkers (i.e., men). Who knew?
Sigh. Just as the “feminist logicians” really want to divorce discourse from objective reality—one that “judges” their propositions as true or false—, “feminist programming” wants to divorce will from objective reality so that one may indulge one’s fancy in solipcism for as long as one wishes. For what else can it mean for you to be free from interference from the outside world unless you consent to it? “Feminism” is just nominalism dressed up in drag—one more narcissistic, bitchy performer on the crowded, colorful, but spiritually vapid stage of modernity. See my “Nominalism, Nihilism, and the Will” for the details.
The Elusive Wapiti’s take reminds me of this clip from Family Guy (“Brian Goes Back to College”):
Female Student: [after spraying Brian in the face with mace] I’m sorry, I just came from that orientation seminar about college dating.
Kelly McGillis: [Scene cuts to an auditorium of students watching a video] Hi, I’m Kelly McGillis and I’m here to talk to you about rape. Ladies, look to your left. Now look to your right. Statistics indicate that both of those men will rape you.
Male Student #1: [Female student is seen sitting between two male students. She looks nervously at them] I’m not gonna rape you.
Male Student #2: I might.
What our society has become!