re: Replacing master in git VIEW POST


First of all: I'm not disagreeing. I do believe that words have power and influence the way people think. I am not presenting an argument in the form of a question: I'm actually asking a question in an attempt to understand.

What is an oppressive metaphor?

It's people who oppress, not words, so it can't be a metaphor that oppresses. Maybe it's a metaphor that refers to a system of oppression. However, that can be said of a term like "landlord" as well, which does not seem to be a problem for most people. The main difference seems to be how long ago that system was in effect and how long it's been given time to take on a different meaning (of course, by not using the term because of its oppressiveness, we're not giving it any (more) time to take on a different meaning). Are these things that matter in determining whether or not a term is oppressive?

Maybe it has to do with whether or not people are bothered by a term. I mean, it makes a lot of sense to me to avoid using a term that bothers people. But for every term you will probably be able to find someone who is bothered by it, so you'll have to make it something like "a lot of people" are bothered by the term. But from what I've gathered, people seem to care more about the connection with slavery than whether or not a lot of people are bothered by this term.

Once again, I'm not saying that we shouldn't move away from terms like "master/slave". I'm not even saying that it's not an oppressive metaphor. I'm actually interested in your view as to what makes an oppressive metaphor or term.

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