No girl software freedom here


Some days ago I saw a screenshot, somewhere on the Web. I saved it in my computer, because I thought it was funny, but above all a good conversation starter about general issues we don’t discuss enough yet. Yesterday I wanted to read again the whole online discussion where I had seen it, but could not find it anymore where it was.

I just had a very vague feeling that it may have been somewhere on Reddit. So I tried to search there, and the result feels even more as the starter of conversations that we should all have. To see why, start reading that screenshot.

Staying virgin because software freedom

This is the text copied from the actual screenshot (included at the bottom of this post), without any change:

As a twenty year old single male I think it’s very hard to find a girl who’s actually interested in free software. I’ve had girls jokingly ask to “Netflix and chill” but when I tell her that I don’t use Netflix since Netflix requires proprietary software to stream content, they stop talking to me.

And worse if they do stay they think I’m weird since I blocked google IP’s in my host file and we can’t even watch youtube. I can’t ever seem to get girls to come over to my place and I can’t text them either. Once I get their numbers since I’ve added customs roms to my phone and refuse to use sms since it’s a security concern I require all of my friends to download a free and open source messaging app and I share with them my public gpg key so that we can verify that our conversations are secure.

None of my friends are willing to do this. And I can’t use sites like tinder since it’s not only proprietary software but a major privacy vulnerability.

How come it is so hard to find a girl concerned about software freedom. I feel like I’m going to be a virgin forever.

And this is what I got, when I tried to find it on Reddit:

No girl software freedom here /img/no-girl-software-freedom.jpg

If there aren’t any search results for “girl software freedom”, does it even exist?

So, as you can see, even if that screenshot is probably fake, it offers at least two important conversation starters (besides the one in the next paragraph!) that we all forget too often. First, the screenshot is probably bogus, but it does a great job of reminding why “Free as in Freedom Software” still is, after decades of advocacy, a non-issue for the great majority of people: languages and attitudes that are technically 100% true, but absolutely alien to almost every human alive.

Second,which if you ask me is one of the reasons for the first problem, albeit a chicken-and-egg one: how often “software freedom for girls”, both in education and workplace, does not exist yet today?

But there’s more…

One more look at that “can’t text them either” part

This sentence is probably the most relevant of the whole package for everybody, geek or not:

I require all of my friends to download a free and open source messaging app…

There are two very important truths hidden here:

  1. What happens in real life is exactly the contrary, that is: people require all their friends to download and install proprietary, intrusive messaging apps like Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp etc.. if they want to communicate
  2. All the proposals to fight those problems by “breaking up” the companies that offer those services are worthless. They may be useful, but only after mandatory interoperability

The original screenshot:

if you know where it comes from, please let me know

No girl software freedom here /img/a-twenty-year-old-single-male-foss-user.masked.jpg