Language, Twitter, Misunderstanding & Drupal Community

13 June 2014 mortendk

At Drupalcon in Austin I took on the mechanical bull. I ended up losing miserably. Not surprisingly, it was recorded and sent out to the world. Because of my epic fail on the bull, one of my friends in Sweden (I’m Danish) afterwards called me out on Twitter with the #drupalcon hashtag and called me a “pussy".

Other Drupal community members intervened and asked my friend to stop using that kind of language. I saw the thread a couple of hours later next morning, and asked if we could keep the "political correctness" down a little bit, as I saw it as a private teasing over Twitter between 2 people.

I honestly felt the tweet was about me, and my first thought was, “Wow, I don’t have any problems with somebody I know making fun of me - I can stand up for myself”. What i was trying to defend was one of my friends right to make fun of me - I did not understand the issue was around using the word “pussy”, and not about me personally.

That was a mistake not to remember the huge cultural differences we have in our community - and how we use words that can be hurtful to some but don’t even cross my mind when I talk.

I am glad that I got the opportunity at DrupalCon to quickly talk with the people that raised this issue to me, and they took the time to explain to me why the words that were used were an issue. Its not always easy to understand the many differences that we have in a world wide community. In the incident I mentioned our Code of Conduct, where one of our principles is to not assume ill intent from each other, and how we make sure that we get to understand each other - From my perspective the COC worked in terms of how we should react when we feel offended and how we solve issues afterwards.

Things we all should remember when issues occur (as they probably will in the future): We talk about it, We respect each other and we try the best we can to learn from each other.

I sincerely apologize that I didn't get the whole picture before I made my tweets. Instead of seeing it from the outside, I looked at it only from my background. I didn’t see the issue in the moment, but after getting a couple of good pointers and thinking a bit, made my lightbulbs go on, and I’m honestly pissed off at myself for not having a quicker turn around.

Foul language

I’m known for using foul language. Sometimes it gets me in trouble, other times it creates a ton of laughs.

What I haven’t been fully aware of is how my way of communicating can be perceived by people that do not know me. Even people I know sometime are a little bit: “wow, dude, you need to tone that down a little bit”.

I’ve always stood for a very direct & no bullshit tone. This can come across a Iittle harsh for some, though for others it feels like a salvation to be able to talk direct. We are all different & thanks for that. That doesn’t mean what I do is always ok though.

While I will never be able to please everybody, I can promise that I will do my best to make everybody feel included in the Drupal Community. I can’t promise that i won’t make more mistakes - but if i know what I did wrong, I sure will try.

In the future if you feel that I said or did something inappropriate, no matter if its intended or not, then please come to me, talk about it, send me an anonymous mail (here on my old Drupal6 site) or contact a 3rd party and we’ll figure it out. If you don’t feel ok with coming directly to me, and want to know other ways of handling the situation, please look at our conflict resolution policy.

Room for us all

It’s NOT an excuse that English is my 2nd language or that I have a dark-humoured background, or that Danes have in many ways have no filter whatsoever, or that I’m a die-hard metal head. Nor is it an excuse that I live in a country on a continent that is in many ways very different from the US and other areas of the world.

The Drupal community is so diverse that we all have to understand and respect where we come from. There’s no free passes, not even when people call you the King of Denmark and you’re trusted by our community to help the Drupal Association on the right path.

I have as a DA board member a greater responsibility than the rest of our community to help set a tone that can include us all. No matter if you’re like me a foul mouthed metalhead or if you’re an intellectual who loves classical music. There must and shall be room for us all.

We learn from each other, on many levels, if its in code, community leadership or on a human level and thats what makes Drupal so fucking epic!

Stepping down from the Drupal Association

As a consequence of this incident and other occasions when I have offended people by talking openly about my sex life and/or generally using colorful and trashy language, I am withdrawing from the Drupal Association Board.

Some feel that it sets a double standard when a board member acts and talks like I do. While I don’t agree with this, the fact is that I’m not going to change who I am. If I am a distraction for the Drupal Association, it’s better for me and the community if I step down and make room for others that can take over in keeping the DA in contact with its developer community.

It’s been a honor to serve the Drupal community on the board for almost 2 years. I am extremely proud of being voted in by the community twice, and helping to shape the DA into an international organization and am proud that it now has an office in London.

Does this mean that I’m quitting Drupal? No, you’ve gotta be fucking kidding!

Does this mean that I’m quitting the Drupal Association? Nope, sorry that’s happening either. It takes a bit more to get rid of me. ;)

I will now go back to “only” using my time on making Drupal events happen, speaking at conferences, camps and events - When I’m not working on get Drupal 8 out with an awesome new frontend, which I have been working on for now almost 8 years.

If I don’t see you sooner, I hope to see you at Frontend United in Copenhagen, Design 4 Drupal in Boston, Twin Cities DrupalCamp in August, or at DrupalCon Amsterdam in September, hopefully on Monday at the Community Summit.

Brothers & sisters of Drupal I salute you!

Aside: if you are wondering why I don’t have 219 spelling errors here it’s because I got a couple of friends to read this through.

Thank You

Morten - although I am not part of the Drupal community I wanted to say thank you.

Thank you for standing up and giving your time freely to help others.
Thank you for standing up and volunteering to work when others sit on the sidelines.
Thank you for standing up and working hard to advance the usage of open source software
Thank you for standing up and travelling the world to "spreadthedrupallove"
Thank you for standing up and leading the way for others to follow.
Thank you for standing up and writing the code that others will benefit from.

Thank You

Brian Teeman 13 June, 2014 - 11:56


Thanx man
The mutual respect we have for eachother in the OSS is a thing a value a lot :)

mortendk 13 June, 2014 - 12:24

thank you

wow well said brian. i could not agree more and join in singing the chorus ;)

have a great weekend y'all!

Anonymous 13 June, 2014 - 15:06


This is kind of sad. I feel you could have given a much needed different perspective. This is an opportunity now missed. Brashness often leads to discussions that turn out to be much more interesting than situations where nobody dares to open their mouth in spontaneity for fear of being called out.

However, ultimately this decision is yours, and I can certainly understand the need to cut away all distracting and energy soaking bullshit from your surroundings so you can focus to the tech tasks at hand.

Happy twigging, Morten.

Anonymous 13 June, 2014 - 12:03


This is a touchy subject atm especially on the otherside of the big pond.

At the end of the Day i can kick just as much ass outside of the board as i do on the inside.

mortendk 13 June, 2014 - 12:23

Long Live to the King!!

Sadly, I knew that something like this will happen after initiating the DrupalCon conflict.

Yes I was the guy that called Mørten to be a pussy (sorry again for such offensive word) and included the #DrupalCon hashtag, making the twitter conversation less personal and more related to the Drupal community.

That was such a terrific error so I tried to fix it immediately apologizing for my error. Some people accepted my apologies but someone considered them "Bullshit and empty". I think it's not the right way for asking for respect considering that I was so sorry from the beginning. That's the point where I totally agree with Mørten when he pointed to DrupalCon Code of Conduct for Conflict Resolution. Problems and misunderstandings should be fixed with the same respect you are asking for.

Anyway, the result of that conflict is that one good friend was involved in this problem I was responsible for. That was my fault and I'll try to never do it again. And, if I'm such stupid to do something similar in the future, considering that english is not my first language (I know that's not an excuse, but it's hard to me to understand the second meaning of some words) I beg you to explain it to me and don't consider my apologies "Bullshit and empty".

Mørten, sorry for that dude. Hopefully we can talk about it in Frontend United in front of a few beers.

Long live to the King of Denmark!!

rteijeiro 13 June, 2014 - 12:53

The king is dead - long live the king!

Dude no worries !

Sometimes shit happens - i have a big and foul mouth, the only thing bigger on me ...

(i know what your thinking)

is my heart.

Sadly some dont see of feel that. So shit happens, you loose some you win some.

Would I do the same thing again probably? I hope im in the future better at communicating stuff out so it dosn't get misunderstanded, just as i hope that people in our community treats eachother with the respect we all deservers and dont jump to conclusions to fast, but were talking about people with many different backgrounds, so we all have to shave a little.

BTW if it had been a spanish bull i would have taken it down ;)

Cheers my friend, the first round is on me

mortendk 13 June, 2014 - 13:12

"Problems and

"Problems and misunderstandings should be fixed with the same respect you are asking for."
"I beg you to explain it to me and don't consider my apologies »Bullshit and empty«."

So much agree!

thamas 13 June, 2014 - 17:41

Morten's Mouth

I suppose all of this was inevitable. And sometimes it's weird to genuinely understand and agree with both sides. Lets just hope someone else joins the board who can kick just as much ass!

And by the way !€%& u, u &/(?ing, #"!°. I hope you !"#€ing ?=€#, °§"#45€!!!!. Just saying!

Aaron Porter 13 June, 2014 - 13:02

what can i say ? Fuck yeah!

Yeah some times things clash thats how it is

mortendk 13 June, 2014 - 13:06

So easily done!

Morten, all part of the rough and tumble of life. Your contributions have been immense. You resigned with dignity and rock on with integrity.


Peter Russell 13 June, 2014 - 13:39


Great, now even pet names need to be discussed and approved by the community? I wish there was a comprehensive list of this bullshit. Such a loss for the DA...
brb scrapping everything from my Frontend United talk that isn't code!

seutje 13 June, 2014 - 13:42

Nope dont do that

Dude its frontend united ;)
we stand united

mortendk 13 June, 2014 - 16:27

Heh, was planning on

Heh, was planning on submitting the same talk for DC A'dam, but this development made me remember it's not worth the risk. Went through and PCed the fuck out of it for FU though, even changed the title as it could be interpreted as a reference to a song that references things that could be related to gender. Lemme know if I forgot anything:

seutje 13 June, 2014 - 16:43

Don't stand down!

I'm kinda shocked by this. It is a sad state of affairs that you have to stand down from the Drupal Association board by just being who you are. Everyone offends people all the time without even trying and people sometimes need to decide if they want to be offended or not. Yes, it is a choice to be offended. Unless you are maliciously causing offence (which you are not), I don't see why you should stand down. A true community will embrace and accept everyone for their different styles and characters. People shouldn't feel like they have to fit a certain mould in order to be accepted but standing down sends a signal that everyone had better change who they are in order to be in the DA board. The DA should represent EVERYONE!

David Dyeman 13 June, 2014 - 13:54

Sad state of affairs

It's a sad state of affairs when you feel you need to step down due to a 3rd party you know as a friend calling you something that was taken way out of context by people who know neither of you and the message was not meant for them. It clearly wasn't meant and didn't offend you and I'm sure it wasn't meant to offend anyone else.

People should stop being so sensitive and get on with life, is it your responsibility a small % are offended by something that had no malicious intent and 99% of people saw for what it was, non malicious banter between friends.

Anonymous 13 June, 2014 - 14:02

Gruff and brass but you have class

I am saddened by this posting because I feel like you and I are kindred spirits in many ways my friend, but I am so impressed with you conflict resolution skills and how you handle your business. It is a loss for the DA for sure, thank you for turning to face the issue head on, and not taking this personally and pulling away from Drupal. You are hands down one of my favorite members of the community, and I can't help but smile when I see you at large events. Here's to seeing you at D4D Boston and buying you a beer.

Robbie the Geek 13 June, 2014 - 14:05

Always a smile

morten, whether it's in the issue queue or at a sprint, or even in person, you always manage to bring a smile out of almost everyone. Even in your "stepping down from the DA" blog post, I'm happy for you. Sounds like this is just a title shift.

See you in Amsterdam.

Josh Miller 13 June, 2014 - 14:28

Are we now hostage and

Are we now hostage and subject to scrutiny over every little thing a third party says on Twitter in our direction?

Perhaps we need thicker skin and grow up. We are humans, we are people. A board is a group for the good of the collective towards its set initiatives, that's where your public actions can be scrutinized. But private life (and yes, a friend tweeting you in public falls into that category)? That shouldn't count.

Morten feeling like he needs to step down is completely asinine. This reaction is way exaggerated.

Part of being in a community is learning to deal and respect personalities of the people in it. 99.% of them are good people. Forcing people to bend and change to extreme PC views (like some non-community member calling someone a pussy) is very non-community like.

I think you should stay on the board as long as you are performing the duties asked of you. Stick to your guns.

So FUCK YEAH. If that offends you as the reader, go elsewhere on the net or life, there's a billion places to be. Don't change.

Anonymous 13 June, 2014 - 14:49

Stunned and heartbroken. We

Stunned and heartbroken. We are missing the point.

I saw this on Twitter. I thought the apology took care of any offense that anyone could have. I thought it demonstrated a humbling of ones ego and a willingness to adapt for others. Isn't that all we can ask?

Maybe there are people who are able to walk thru life right down the line without intentionally or accidentally stepping outside of the lines of that narrow definition of what we consider acceptable, but is that really what we are after? If so, count me out. I'll take the King any day. He comes with a huge heart, he works hard for the Drupal communty, if you did a survey, I am quite certain his involvement is the reason for many to participate. The credibility, alone, of the Drupal Association rose significantly having a 'real person' participate as fully as he does.

Sexism is systemic to our culture. That means we are all infected. We have to make it safe to learn because we are blind to our biases. We do not fully appreciate how we offend others. If someone apologizes, that is enough. We pick up, and move on together. It builds trust, others take note that while mistakes are not tolerated, people who adapt are accepted.

When overly harsh responses are made, it has an effect of silencing the correction, either through fear of what might happen to the one corrected, or fear of personal consequence for putting the individual into harm's way. Not so safe to learn.

Yes, he is on the board and he is held to a higher set of standards. And, man, does he live that way with his commitment to this community and continually reaching out.

Amy Stephen 13 June, 2014 - 15:02

Thanks for the mansplation!!

I am in so much shock by this new prevailing ideology in which the most insane of us hold the power and enforce that if they find our words offensive that we must atone. I thought this was an open source community- one which I once took to be aligned with personal freedom and anarchist sentiments, not hyper-sensitivism, politics, and censorship. I find these social justice warriors particularly disingenuous when they see an inclusive, high-minded, intellectual community as their target for their alleged mission of promoting equality. It sickens me that the need to control others manifests itself more and more in the self proclaimed power of the drupal association. As someone who is pro both gender equality and bad words I will say it: this is some real pussy shit. And no I do not mean that women are inferior and excrement comes out their vaginas. I mean you psycho witch hunters are scaredy-cat cowards masking your desire for power and attention with this victimhood routine and your ideology is a giant smelly turd.

Jody Hamilton 13 June, 2014 - 15:46

Anarchist sentiments like the

Anarchist sentiments like the Mujeres Libres you mean?

""All those companeros, however radical they may be in cafes, unions, and even affinity groups [FAI], seem to drop their costumes as lovers of female liberation at the doors of their homes. Inside, they behave with their companeras just like common husbands." (1935).

Plenty of social movements, even some of the most advanced of the past century have looked good on paper for gender and other inequalities but were found lacking in practice.

Or is it 'do what ever you want' libertarianism you mean rather than anarchism? In which case you have the right to say what you want, but equally other people have the right to criticize you for it. Fwiw I don't think the DA has handled this very well, but the blame for that isn't on the people responding to the original tweet.

catch 15 June, 2014 - 00:19

I'm not sure that the

I'm not sure that the MortenDK should be paying for the shortcomings of yesteryear's social mvts. If that that line of argument -- He/She who doesn't join our absolutist chorus is a selfish libertarian -- is a taste of Drupal's future governing mentality, God help us all.

up 15 June, 2014 - 02:58

First of all I would like to

First of all I would like to thank you for giving so much in your role in the DA Board. Maybe it went unnoticed but I saw how you were in Portland, went home to be with your daughter just for the weekend and straight out the New Zealand flying the Drupal flag. On so many occasions you have done this in your term.

Watching the Erynn Petersen keynote last week [ ] she mentioned how in healthy communities there needs to be 10% people who are outspoken, maybe don't tow the line and stimulate awkward conversations which result in positive outcomes from healthy debate. Witnessing your cat herding the front enders at DrupalCon last week, you are able to do that like few others in Drupal. Behind closed doors I am sure you did exactly that on the DA board.

In so many ways I am surprised this hasn't happened earlier. That's a tribute to how you've approached your responsibilities with respect, cleaned up your language.

Twitter can be a dangerous wild west, I feel your pain, I've felt your pain. Recently. Get back to being yourself again ;-)

Anonymouspdjohnson 13 June, 2014 - 17:18

So sad to hear this

As Amy says so well above, sexism (and many other bigotries) exists in our culture. Everyone is sexist because we all grew up in a sexist culture. It's what was handed to us. It's inevitable. But how we respond to it, deal with it, learn from it is what matters.

All too often we see pushback from the privileged when they are asked to show some respect and courtesy to others. They cry foul, they declare "political correctness", they bewail the loss of "free speech". And all too often, things get much much uglier, with epithets, rape threats, doxxing, and so on. We hear about it happening in tech conferences and gaming forums so often that it's not even fucking news. We all have to live in this world. And it's important to remember (or learn) that how that world feels for you is not the same as how it feels for others, especially those on the receiving end of the above. It's all of a piece, and goes beyond "offending", even if it's not seen or experienced as such by all.

What's rarer, but what gives me hope every time it happens, is when people step up, own up, and learn from the experience because to them it's more important to be a positive contributor than it is to be a righteous bastard, er, seen as always in the right.

That's why it pains me that out of this incident (which I completely managed to miss when it happened), when you so clearly in your blog post here have stepped up, owned up and learned from the experience, and obviously want to do better, obviously support diversity, obviously embrace the values of the community, explicitly embrace the CoC and conflict resolution process—it pains me that you still feel you must (or have been quietly and strongly encouraged to) resign from the DA Board. [Disclosure: I am a former DA Board member and currently am a member of the Advisory Board, but I have no knowledge of any activity or discussion regarding this that isn't in the public sphere.]

Morten, you've been a leader among leaders in the Drupal community. You've championed the community throughout. I'm glad that you're still rocking the front-end rise from the ashes of phpTemplate, divitis, core class contagion, and all those other headaches we've had to deal with coming from the Drupal theming firehose.

Still, there's good reason why you've been elected by engaged community members. I feel that we all lose with your resignation from the Board, but I hope that this at least frees you to focus all the more on the people and things that you love.

Laura Scott 13 June, 2014 - 17:51

Well said, Laura!

Well said, Laura!

BrightBold 13 June, 2014 - 22:01

Great points, and well said

Great points, and well said Laura.

Morten ... this is so sad. Your personality is what got you elected, if people don't know you, they shouldn't be so quick to judge, and maybe they should try and say hi. I admit I was intimidated when I first met you, but as soon as we met, we became friends, and I knew you were a great guy with a HUGE heart. (Yes, as big as your mouth!)

techgirlgeek 13 June, 2014 - 23:31

Well said, Laura!

And really sorry to see you stepping down from the board, and especially sorry to hear about the issues that popped up during Drupalcon. Really looking forward to buying you a drink in Boston. Much love to the little miss.

Dani Nordin 14 June, 2014 - 02:16

The doctrine of Original

The doctrine of Original Sexism? Perhaps we should all resign from our positions and do penance?

up 15 June, 2014 - 03:09

Fuck off, man!!! You

Fuck off, man!!!
You serious???
Not buying it, piss out a better excuse.. like you need more free time, or prefer watching paint dry rather than arguing for the sake of it...
Cultural respect works the other way around as well. You're not forced-fed any abuse and if that's offending you, fine, but don't put it on the cultural respect...
I've been working with Drupal for a while now and was really tempted to contribute actively, after your session at the last Drupal Camp I've been to. This comes as a bit of a shock, to be honest...
Totally understand if you had enough, not so much if this "incident" (??) was the real reason.
Either way, it sucks... sucks balls...

Anonymous 13 June, 2014 - 18:04


Morten, you are great. F!@# 'em if they can't take a joke.

Anonymous 13 June, 2014 - 18:33

A colorful web we weave

As has been echoed, we are a global community -from ALL walks of life, all religious and political views. That sword cuts both ways, but we each choose this community as a whole. We are students, experts, and everything in between. We work from the comfort of home, in cubicles, on beaches, in offices, in dorm rooms, on trains, planes, and in seedy little dives that we love. Tolerance, passion, acceptance, and constructive collaboration are what make Drupal so special.

I for one love that there is one person that I know I can bounce something off of and can guaranty the response to be genuine and in the best interest of a global effort - What the fuck? Is welcomed with open arms if it is going save time and energy to help guide me in the right direction. When we all stroke each other's egos and pc the hell out of every conversation we loose the passion which ignites and unifies us to create something greater. It is at turning points such as these where we as a community digress afraid to speak...guarded..we wind up in a circular Death by PowerPoint because we may offend one of the thousands in attendance. Anyone up for civility training which encompasses our entire demographic? Tap that into Drupal 101, we are a community which respects diversity as long as....

It is the association's (as well as the community's) loss for you to step down. I am sorry for this bs to have been the breaking point.

Thank you for being a force to be reckoned with!!! Should be a fun ride seeing you without reins. ;)


Jen 13 June, 2014 - 18:42

A couple of clarifications...

I think it's important that people realize (and this isn't entirely evident from the post) that there's a bit more to this than just someone else saying the word "pussy" on Twitter and Morten getting drawn up into it and feeling forced to step down from the DA as a result.

From the Drupal Community Working Group's POV, that specific public incident followed our newly established Conflict Resolution Process, to a successful outcome. Morten met with both the offended party and a neutral third-party in-person, Morten accepted personal responsibility for his hand in escalating the situation, and apologies were made and accepted (both in private and on Twitter). This was the first real "Beta test" of this process, and by jove it actually seemed to work. Awesome!

Unfortunately, though, because of Morten's specific position as a DA board member, these sort of missteps carry a lot more weight. It was not just a loud-spoken Drupal community member who accused a DrupalCon attendee who raised a concern about sexist language of being overly PC, it was a DA board member who did it. It was not just a loud-spoken Drupal community member who then proceeded to "mansplain" the Code of Conduct to said DrupalCon attendee, it was a DA board member who did it, etc. All of which happened very publicly.

So you can hopefully understand how this puts the DA as an organization in a very tight spot, because on the one hand we put the Code of Conduct in the program guide, we say at the beginning of and throughout the conference we will investigate all complaints, take them seriously, and look to resolve them. Then on the other hand, you have someone actually steers said organization dismissing complaints raised by a conference attendee, and doing so in public.

When you accept a position on a board, one of your primary legal obligations and duties is "Duty of Care." This is spelled out as "To protect the reputation and well being of the organization" in our Board Member Agreement which all of us on the board must agree to. This was clearly violated, so something had to be done.

And even if it were just that one incident, this most likely would've only resulted in a stern, public, warning from the DA. But unfortunately, that one single public incident then caused a small flood of additional, private complaints from others who've witnessed Morten's behavior at events during the time that he's been on the board. And while we can't discuss publicly exactly what those were (and I know how much that sucks for a community who rightfully expects transparency in all of our dealings), let's just say that these weren't merely cases of him saying "fuck" too much in front of the wrong set of ears. :P

So I'm really proud of Morten for "owning" his missteps here. This taking of personal responsibility is central to our Code of Conduct. I'm even prouder for him choosing to step down from the DA. That was a really sucky choice to make, but in doing so he's spared the DA from being forced to choose between hypocrisy and disenfranchising the community from their elected voice.

Morten, if you're game, I'd love your help in identifying someone else who can run in your place next elections to represent the kind of global mindset, grassroots activism, branching out to other open source projects, etc. stuff you represented on the board. We definitely do not want to lose your perspective, as much as it sucks we had to lose you.

webchick 13 June, 2014 - 19:05


Hey Webchick

Accusing me for "mansplaining" when im offering to sit down and talk / meeting persons that was offended, is to me - funny enough - offensive (... the irony)
Judging me by my gender, and not my actual actions, isn't ok, and never will be.

I surely hope that we can find others that are ready to carry on the grass root torch I for one will help scouting, searching & finding the persons. No matter what the gender, skin color, sexual preferences, job function, language or favorite football team is.


mortendk 13 June, 2014 - 19:59

Wait a minute, Morten

"or favorite football team is"? I think here, you finally go too far. We must have some standards, mustn't we?

dianadupuis 13 June, 2014 - 21:58

She probably put "mansplain"

She probably put "mansplain" in quotations because that was the word used in the twitter exchange. I didn't read her post as "accusing" you of anything other than understating the scope of the issue..

Anonymous 14 June, 2014 - 05:07

"So I'm really proud of

"So I'm really proud of Morten for "owning" his missteps here." Yuk this sounds like webchick is the parent and Morten is the infant who has pleased his mommy. On my planet this all sounds like making a solemn drama out of a non-event or a storm in a teacup and the DA sounds like a dour and sanctimonious bunch.

Anonymous 16 June, 2014 - 12:13

Thank you for this

Thank you for this elaboration, Webchick. I'm finding it a bit depressing reading these responses, as predictable as they are.

Anonymous 19 June, 2014 - 15:51

wow, this just sucks

Man, this just sucks. I just want to echo what others have said about your generosity to the community and passion for the frontend cause.

@webchick, i appreciate the explanation, but if this is a "successful outcome" then I'd hate to see an unsuccessful outcome.

Johnykrisma 13 June, 2014 - 19:45

The DA has just lost a lot of

The DA has just lost a lot of heart and soul. And for what? Appeasement?

Morten's post shows how willing he is to learn and do the right thing. It shows that his heart is and has always been in the right place. It shows how willing he is to grow. These traits are something everyone who knows him already knew.

I don't believe that those who worked to push Morten out have their hearts in the right place.

This is a demonstration of how it is possible to enforce conduct that is central to and required to foster a welcoming and diverse community without experiencing communal growth or learning. This is the kind of action that creates an expectation of behavior without doing the work of growing our community into one that understands and appreciates why such behaviors are desired.

This could have been a wonderful teaching moment in our community. Instead we now have yet another community drama that results in the DA turning something like a public school board which accomplishes desired behaviors through fear instead of love and understanding.

We've chosen the quick and lazy route of requiring conformity to play the game instead of the right route of encouraging personal growth.

This kind of enforcement of the CoC will only push unwelcoming behavior out of the spotlight instead of eliminating it.

What a misstep by the DA and what a loss for our community.

Anonymous 13 June, 2014 - 19:55

Morten was the public flagship of those of us who

Morten was the public flagship of those of us who only wanted to say what they think, without thinking if the words by themselves offend anyone or not. This does NOT mean we want to offend them. If there are people offended by this kind of attitude, then something is rot at the roots. Does anybody have to be MortenDK to be allowed to say what s/he thinks? Don't think so. There are quite a bunch of people who do want to do this, but we are remaining silent just to avoid offending anybody. This means the community loses some minds, some thoughts, some talents – just because we, as the community, want to avoid offending some people.

Anyway, let's count these people who feel themselves offended every now and then because somebody uses some words without even the intent to offend them, and shouting subversion all the way around the globe in seconds via Twitter, DC keynotes of invited speakers, etc. Then let's count those people like us who are trying to be silent instead of being accused of offensive. I think the first group has way less people and way more sound – but they can be compared by the talents in them.

I, for one, am offended if somebody feels offended by some of my words that were never intented to be offensive, but are used everyday in the culture of mine, and they don't accept my apologies. If I can accept their POV, I expect them to accept mine – ditch the misunderstandings, accept apologies, and let both parties rock on together making Drupal even better.

Anonymous 13 June, 2014 - 20:48

That's it - we are now

That's it - we are now hostage to the extreme liberal agenda of the female sex. Everyone has bent to its will so no one gets upset.

We can no longer speak, even in passing to friends.

Pack up and go home.

Anonymous 13 June, 2014 - 21:25

I don't know if you are

I don't know if you are serious or not, but man, I sure am. This political correctness has gotten way out of hand. I'm sick as shit about it. So now even our friends and family have to abide by some code they have not agreed too. What's next? Thought police? But hey, we are free to trash those who do not agree with our agenda... bash on. pussies all of us.

Anonymous 14 June, 2014 - 04:04

I was speaking in jest at the

I was speaking in jest at the fact that yes, every conference there are large swaths of people afraid to speak and be chummy. There is a very HUGE Orweillan 1984 feeling looming over every conference now.

Will your tshirt offend someone? Can you say things like 'fuck that' without secret popo in earshot ready to out you on Twitter?

It feels like ultra surveillance and people can't be free to be who they are, just a projected image of rainbows and candy.

Anonymous 16 June, 2014 - 17:16

I fucking hate kittens

This is a slippery slope and one that the DA should take a serious look at.

It is my right to say "I fucking hate kittens".

As long as someone isn't being racially or gender insulted the code of conduct should end there. The DA is a 501c3 nonprofit but doesn't rely on foundations or corporate sponsors so unless the community votes him out should be serving on the board.

Anonymous 13 June, 2014 - 23:16

You can say whatever you

You can say whatever you want. Are you a board member? Why take this personally?

Anonymous 13 June, 2014 - 23:47

Morten, based only on what

Morten, based only on what I've read right here, I don't think you needed to resign. You and your friend didn't mean to offend. It's enough that there is a conversation about it. None of us is perfect and few of us manage to never in the spur of the moment use a word that cultural habit has burned into our brains and yet communicates undesirable judgments. I don't think we should throw people away every time we are hurt. The helpful thing to do is to communicate and improve common understanding and learn, which is also pretty much what open source is about.

Morten, though you are stopping down, I hope you will not be dissuaded from trying to reach out to people and work with others. Getting one's ear burned a little is a small (even helpful) price to pay for the rich rewards of building true honest community.

Christopher Pelham 13 June, 2014 - 23:59

I was motivated to become a DA member to be able to elect you

Morten, I'm really sorry to hear that you stepped down from the DA board and about the reasons for it. I really have been totally happy that you decided to bring your efforts and down to earth mind into the DA since two years ago and have been working on steering the DA to work on important things, not politics and other bureaucratics.
Now I feelt totally spiritless to renew my membership for a third year as I get the feeling that the DA now finally has completely lost its connection with the Drupal community and spirit and is just running after the big companies which don't like open minds and trouble.
Morten you solved the problem in the best way by talking to the people. This should have not only been honored but given you the highest respect by Dries, Webchick and everybody on the board who still believes to have a connection with Drupal community members. It was their duty to motivate you to stay on the board for the rest of your term, I see they faied.
I salute you!

mechr 14 June, 2014 - 01:26

So sad

We definitely choose whether to be offended or not. Although my age, gender, and background would make me a prime candidate to be offended, I choose not to be. Like @mechr, my motivation for having a DA membership was to be able to vote for people who have given a lot to the community like Morten to represent me on the DA. I voted for you twice and am sorry you have resigned, Morten. I agree with others who have said if this is an example of a "good" outcome from all the rules and regulations and governing committees, I'd hate to see a bad outcome.

Anonymous 14 June, 2014 - 04:01

Counter Revolutionary conversation

I'm an American. I'm not sure what all is going on here. If someone is being railroaded out of the Drupal organization for exercising their unalienable right to free speech, then that is a most counter revolutionary insult to everyone in Drupal and everyone in America.

Anonymous 14 June, 2014 - 04:22

Pussy enlightenment

Call me a pussy but to me the word 'pussy' has always been a metaphor for a cat. So, on a positive note, after this kerfuffle, I will now think of my wonderful wife's body each time I hear this word, yay!

Keep on keeping up Mortendk, For all you do and have done, I will chase u down in the Dam and buy you a beer AND a spliff (is that allowed in COC?)


p.s. I am actually concerned about posting my name for fear of reprisals. Now that is a being a pussy!

Anonymous 14 June, 2014 - 09:03


Morten, I knew nothing about this situation until reading this post. You deserve respect for your decision to stand down and allow the DA to save face. We've all done things like this but maybe not with so much attention on ourselves. You leave big boots to fill on the DA board but it's not like you needed a platform to make some noise and make a difference. Looking forward to hearing your unmistakeable grumblings at the next event.

nlisgo 14 June, 2014 - 09:26

I missed this when it

I missed this when it originally happened on twitter, then saw the post.

If you're involved in running an event (in this case a high profile one with thousands of people attending), then you should not immediately dismiss complaints in connection to that event. It's even worse to do so in public.

That seems really fucking obvious to me. It's quite shocking how many people have ignored those basic principles in the comments and instead started screaming 'witch hunt'.

From Morten's post it's clear he 1. Did not think he was acting in capacity as an event organiser when tweeting 2. apologised both online and in person afterwards for being dismissive. I too would have been surprised to see Morten step down over just that, assuming an apology and the DA as a whole revisiting the code of conduct to see if it's working as it should.

However, both Morten's post and webchick's comment makes it clear that wasn't the only reason he's stepping down. The over-reaction and skewing of events in the comments is quite shocking. That follows a pattern with other recent incidents as well - completely deflects all responsibility from the organisation and the people actually making the decisions.

Even if you disagree with a complaint, as a principle you should be able to make a complaint and expect it to be dealt with without fear of repercussions. Once again, basic shit.

If you think it's bad that Morten has stepped down from the DA, that's fine, but remember that it's a volunteer position with no remuneration. Also remember that Morten defended the decision of the DA to fire two paid staff without giving either notice or reasoning at - in this case they lost actual jobs that paid actual money which paid their actual living expenses. One or two people on this thread also questioned the decision of the DA when that happened, the vast majority didn't - despite that having considerably worse consequences for the people affected.

catch 14 June, 2014 - 10:30

You think that if a friend

You think that if a friend calls another friend a pussy, then a 3rd person should get offended and then complain to the DA and then Morten must apologise in person for being dismissive? Please!

Sure, it sounds like there are other reasons. But this is such a non-event. The DA should of course listended to the complaint and then perhaps suggested that the complainer is over reacting.

Anyone can complain about anything. People complain all the friggen time. People get offended over all sorts of silly things. That doesn't mean that a person should have to apologise. Especially in this case. Morten did nothing wrong. And yes, I have read all the entire post, understood and all of the comments.

David Dyeman 14 June, 2014 - 12:48

No the third (and fourth)

No the third (and fourth) person complained to the first two on Twitter without involving the DA at all initially. I personally would not have been offended (I am extremely hard to offend), and in those initial tweets they didn't come over as massively offended either. Just asking for some consideration/reflection on the language used on what is a 'professional' hashtag.

Where I believe Morten went wrong was in telling them to 'tone down the political correctness' then bringing the dcoc into the argument. You can disagree with the (even mild) offense that people take, but there are other options than doubling down such as not responding publicly at all, or getting a second opinion etc.

"The DA should of course listended to the complaint and then perhaps suggested that the complainer is over reacting." Since Morten is/was on the board of the DA that is exactly what didn't happen initially unless "let's turn down the PC" in a hashtagged tweet is how you think that should've been suggested? What about people who saw that tweet but didn't click through to the replies?

I do my fair share of ranting/swearing on twitter (and sometimes in irc or the core queue too) but don't claim those are private conversations (especially if on a trending hashtag). A couple of times people have called me out mid-rant an apology was given and accepted. I may have still thought I was right in terms of the argument itself, but can understand if I'm making it in a way that makes someone else uncomfortable or looks worse/different than intended without (or even with) lots of context. The two examples I'm thinking of were started out as heated arguments rather than banter but if I'd told either person to calm down/stop overreacting and kept going the same way regardless I'd have expected that to escalate as well.

If stuff is in public lots of people won't have that context or time to read through the details - and it's a choice whether to take that into account or not and how to deal with people's reactions.

All this 'censorship!!!!' (in the comments on a blog post aggregated to tens of thousands of people via Drupal.Planet really?) or 'witch hunt' where I haven't seen a single person publicly suggest Morten to step down except perhaps Dries and Angie after the fact are.exactly.what over reaction looks like.

catch 15 June, 2014 - 01:23

Also in case it's not clear I

Also in case it's not clear I don't think it would make any sense for Morten to step down from the DA over this specific issue at all. Don't know about anything else and nor does anyone posting here except the DA board members so it's impossible to have an informed opinion on him stepping down in general.

However Morten has admitted some fault in handling this - not much different to what I've said I think the failt was.

It's OK to make mistakes, admit them and learn from them. It's not OK for those people completely and aggressively denying any error was made at all.

catch 15 June, 2014 - 02:04

The real problem is

The real problem is Lèse-majesté. Not the reference to a cat.

Anonymous 14 June, 2014 - 11:05

It's been an honor

It's been an honor serving for The King. Keep on fighting the good fight!


dixon_ 14 June, 2014 - 11:14

Hey Morten. Let's build our

Hey Morten. Let's build our own CMS with blackjack and hookers.

Anonymous 14 June, 2014 - 12:10

Nope ill play cards against

Nope ill play cards against humanity instead with the men & ladies of Drupal with an epic level of mutual respect - while we laugh over all the dirty fun things in life.

mortendk 14 June, 2014 - 20:04

You're such a pussy cat Morten, and we love you for it

Unfortunately it seems that there is such an intense campaign to search out supposedly 'sexist' language that there is a rush to accusation without sufficient thought or analysis.

In this case, not only was there no intention to be sexist, but the language used wasn't actually sexist.

Calling someone a 'pussy' like this does not relate to the slang word for female genitalia — it's akin to the long-used term of affection 'you're such a pussy cat' - meaning someone is sweet, cuddly, harmless. The Oxford English Dictionary refers to this meaning as 'a man likened to a house-cat'. Using the word pussy in this manner has been common in literature, and society for hundreds of years, and in no way relates to the other meaning for pussy that has developed separately. The English language is nuanced, which makes it great for poets, but terrible for nerds.

So nothing 'sexist' was said, but we have this mess. Sadly this is becoming standard fare at Drupalcon ever since poor Dries made a passing joke in Copenhagen that in 10 years the Druplicon would be in the newspapers for a sex scandal. Amusingly those behind the furore that erupted about that being sexist and tweeted things like 'men of Drupal, women do not come to Drupalcon to have sex with you", made the prejudiced assumptions that the Druplicon was (a) male; and (b) straight. I found their prejudice offensive, but the lynch mob mentality meant no other views could dare to be raised. I'm even having to post here anonymously, because of the unwillingness to calmly and openly think about and talk about these things without the mob descending.

It'd be great if we could all just a bit more tolerant of people speaking words. Let's seek to understand before we rush to judge and attack. It's the lynch mob mentality that makes me feel more and more distant from the community each time we go through one of these non-scandalous scandals, and more of the individualism and character is squeezed out of our community.

Anonymous 14 June, 2014 - 14:35


As someone who was trained and worked (and still works freelance, between my Drupal work) for the most prestigious English dictionary, it is abundantly clear to me that in this context 'pussy' means a person lacking in courage. There will undoubtedly be some non-native speakers of English who, without stopping to find out, mistakenly assume that it is (as in other contexts it can be) a reference to the female pudenda. Someone here was over-hasty, and (although your language can be ripe at times) it was not you.

John_B 14 June, 2014 - 18:51

I have just requested immediate cancellation of my DA membership

I no longer can say that I share the same values as those demonstrated by DA actions. It is not just related to this "pussy" drama. It is just a turning point to me.

Keep rocking, Morten!

Grace 14 June, 2014 - 21:23


Sad to see you Morten stepping down from the DA board, and I'm sad also for Rubén that didn't want to create all this trouble.

But, as webchick said, I'm proud that you took that decision and "own" your mistakes here and there. You give example, as leaders do. That says a lot about you. It's inspiring to have someone like you in the Drupal community. Maybe you are not meant to be a diplomatic Morten, but you are a leader for sure :)

David Corbacho 15 June, 2014 - 00:22

Tolerance and context

I realize their is more than is being said and that being a Board Member does imply a higher standard. However I often find that those that demamd tolerance the loudest forget it goes 2 ways and that context must by considered.

When the Code of Conduct. became an issue, I wasn't wild about the over bearing tone, which I still feel exists. I didn't worry much though as I didn't feel my normal conduct would fall into question, didn't expect it to effect me much. I was wrong. I am a 3 year DA member and always felt my membership was supporting the software I made my living from and it's community. I now feel the focus shifting. The DA has control of a LOT of money. I worry if that power and money is focused where I thought it was when I signed on?

Scott 15 June, 2014 - 01:18

It's refreshing to read the

It's refreshing to read the comments here. Why is there so much fear around this issue? There's a clear difference between two friends talking and an open attack at someone over a service such as twitter. People need to be mature enough to make this distinction otherwise the community equally suffers.

Anonymous 15 June, 2014 - 01:30

That is when "politically correct" gets a double standard!!!

We need to include everyone, I agree with that, we have a great community and the DA may be trying to do the right thing, but every extreme is dangerous. Right now I feel like we have to think every word we say, write or think about Drupal in the organized events because someone may be fast to, maybe out of a need for attention IMO, take it out of context and blow it up so to make something happen and feel good about themselves. I don't know really, I for one don't like the consequences of what happened.

If the idea is to keep everyone involved and keep the politically correctness we need to do it right and not in a subjective way, and I believe that just happened! Some extremist way of feminism got in the way of reality and make all this so wrong.

As a Martial Arts Instructor we have to learn a lot about how to deal with parents and be the great example we are supposed to be for our parents, in that way I understand and respect the decision. But we also learn that everything needs to be in the right context; human beings express themselves in different ways and is not only spoken and written. I cannot help to do the simile with body language and how to understand it. If you want to correctly use body language as a feedback of your interactions, you cannot be so fast to interpret everything as it is supposed to mean, for example cross arms, they tell you the person is not in agreement with you or they are closing to you. Not true! Not always at least, if you understand your interlocutor you need to get a baseline to understand the person you are talking to. If this person cross their arms normally, all this theory goes to hell.

Same happens with spoken language, insult does not come of the form but in the substance of spoken communication. There has to be a baseline, and I truly believe that any communication with you should have a different baseline than with anyone. The argument goes to minorities, and acceptance, and some other interesting concepts and it should go both ways and right now, from my point of view, you are being discriminated! That makes me angry and makes me admire the way you are handling this situation.

It scares me now to see that we all have to change our culture, uprising in some cases, our personality, or just create a whole new persona just because someone will, and trust me people like this, will get offended? Because they see the word they don't like and their ignorance does not allow them to see beyond their noses? Understand that there are more than one meaning to a word and if one of those is the worst one, or even the origin is not right, that has to be the one that matters? In my book that is not your problem Morten, that is their problem!

English speakers say "stupid is what stupid does" we in spanish have a say, kind of similar, that applies much better to this situation "El ladrón juzga por su condición" (something in the lines of "the thief judges by his/her own condition"). That is what happened in this case, we are letting people with a really low level of tolerance for the others dictate the way we understand each other and handle conflict? We argue multicultural approach but reject other person cultures just because?

I don't know, I feel like we are opening a dangerous door, like changing master/slave with a bogus explanation. What is next? get rid of the hooks in D7 because that makes everyone, including women developing for D7, hookers? I agree with listening and understanding, but as much as people that gets easily offended needs to be heard all the rest have the same right! We can not base the interactions of a community in the needs of few, and I am sorry I will say it, usually low self esteem people. the common good is what should be leading trend not the other way around.

Dangerous path when we don't draw the line on the other side and don't tell people, get over it it is not meant that way and educate yourself a little bit and learn the different meaning of words, attitudes and cultural differences before acting out and make sure you reach out let the other person know if you got offended so they don't use it on you, of course! Lets base this kind of decision on the substance of the communication, not the form.

Right now we are letting the form dictate the course of things. And BTW, some that is actually polite, not me, can explain it to them better.

Morten, big man! I respect your decision, but will not understand the need to actually have to make a decision.

camoa 15 June, 2014 - 06:24

Mixed feelings

On the one hand, I think Morten deserves a lot of credit for acknowledging that his conduct may have offended some people (not just with regard to the "pussy" incident on Twitter but on some other occasions as well. I think he has actually shown a lot of character and generosity toward others in his handling of this situation. I think webchick and others at the Drupal Association also deserve some respect for trying to demonstrate that their commitment to diversity is real and that they will enforce it with real action. I'm not sure that Morten's resignation was truly necessary in this case, but I think everyone involved in that decision acted in good faith out of sincere concern for the community and its values, and for that at least I salute them.

Beyond the questions of who did what and how this incident should have been handled, I think there is another question that ought to be asked: How do we determine when people are speaking as individuals and when they are speaking as representatives of the Drupal Association? I wonder if the Drupal Association could do more by way of policies or training to make sure board members clearly understand this. I don't think this was entirely clear in everyone's mind when Morten posted some of his comments on Twitter. At one moment he was happily talking trash with a buddy, and a moment later he was speaking as a DA board member and being accused of abuse of his position.

Twitter in particular lends itself to this type of misunderstanding due to the way it breaks up conversations into lots of separate little tweets. It is a wild wild world of fragmented, uncensored quips, often full of passion and rarely capable of nuance. It's like the id of the internet: a place where people can say just about anything and don't always take the time to think before they say it. This makes it attractive as a place where you can chat with your friends, but it also leads to a lot of pointless flaming, and it might be worth doing some training to help DA staff and board members use it appropriately.

Anonymous 15 June, 2014 - 06:46

A sad day

This is a sad day for Drupal, and a wrong direction for the community to be heading.

Albert Skibinski 15 June, 2014 - 09:19

Some pussies offend too

Some pussies offend too fucking easily. Fuck em.

And Fuck the DA for "inclusiveness" bull shit. Direct and offensive people are equally important for diversiveness as the too easily offended politically correct American pussies.

The Drupal association loses my support.

Anonymous 15 June, 2014 - 09:36

Morten did the right thing stepping down

For those crying foul about the DA's treatment of Morten due to a single "pussy" remark on Twitter, please take the time to read webchick's response. Especially these two comments:

"But unfortunately, that one single public incident then caused a small flood of additional, private complaints from others who've witnessed Morten's behavior at events during the time that he's been on the board."

"let's just say that these weren't merely cases of him saying "fuck" too much in front of the wrong set of ears."

This isn't just a case of Morten's propensity to swear, he can be a real asshole sometimes.

And yes, this is anonymous because I don't want to be ostracized from the "in-crowd" at Drupal events.

Anonymous 15 June, 2014 - 11:40

You are welcome to send me a

You are welcome to send me a mail with a bit more details of how / when im being an asshole :) with no examples it's simply impossible to change anything.

Anonymous & unknown accusations is one the bad outcome of this situation. The culture it brings when were afraid to speak should make us all worried.

mortendk 15 June, 2014 - 12:02

I am sorry to see this framed

I am sorry to see this framed as a Europe vs NA thing. Is it customary manners in Europe to sit down for lunch at a professional event and tell a table full of strangers of mixed gender, I'm so tired I could shit in your mouth? Or to express the preferred locations on a woman's anatomy to deposit cum? If you can't see how some reasonable people who just want to code and contribute might be turned off by such behavior, who might interpret that as "asshole behavior" you haven't learned as much as this otherwise thoughtful post would indicate.

Anonymous 15 June, 2014 - 15:54

Without saying to much you

Without saying to much you would be surprised to what you see & hear, around "professional events" all around the world - I have been to quite a few of em.
Just like the amount of profanities I hear at any codesprint or professional environment I have been at for the last 18 years.

As the example, you mentioning. Its a common danish saying that being so tired that "Jeg er så træt at jeg er lige til at lukke op og skide i". (you can open me up and take a dump inside of me) - that is a commonly known sentence, that can be used in lot of other sentence to give extra bonus meaning to a sentence. - btw that was a talk I had with a friend walking from lunch to a table, where we were talking about different epic local vulgar expressions - and believe me it gets much more color full if you go to ex. spain - they go all out.

I understand how some people can be turned off or shocked by such words - just as i can see how others can be turned off by not being able to talk how they want, if its in a bar or at a professional event or with their friends at lunch.

Understanding of Cultural differences goes both ways, not only for the ones that are offended.
Its not easy being an international organization

mortendk 15 June, 2014 - 17:20

There's no winning, dude.

There's no winning, dude. Only way not to lose, is not playing.

seutje 16 June, 2014 - 11:40

Which reminds me

Back when I lived in Japan, there was a Japanese insult phrase making the rounds: "Omae no atama o tofu no kado ni butsukete, shinjimae." It translates literally as, "Bang your head on the corner of a piece of tofu and die." It made no references to bodily fluids or body parts, nor did it suggest sacrilege against a religion, but it still came in handy if you wanted to disrespect someone. None of the body parts or bodily fluids seemed to offend people in Japan though. If you wanted to disrespect someone, the best way to do it was just to tell them they were ugly or stupid or whatever.

On the other hand, when you DID insult someone in Japan, they really took it seriously. In western countries (the U.S. especially), we have an odd habit of expressing affection through insults. We call someone an "asshole" or an "idiot" as an ironic joke that really means, "We're such good friends that I can call you bad names and know that you won't think I actually mean it." This, of course, was exactly the intention of the guy who called Morten a "pussy" on Twitter. He meant it as a mock insult, not a real one, and it actually meant that he liked Morten. (I'm not saying that this made the word OK. I'm just observing.)

Sheldon Rampton 16 June, 2014 - 19:56

The Work of Byron Katie

Dear Anonymous,

I thought you might find The Work of Byron Katie interesting. It helped me grow and understand myself in ways I would need tens of thousands of words to give justice to.

In a summary, it rid my life of stress, anger, pain, hate, and any other such negative emotion that causes anxiety. Now I am just love, peace, kindness and understanding.

What I am about to say is not intended to demean your feelings. You will feel what you will feel. Because feelings are. (I did not forget a word in the previous sentence.)

My intention is simply to assist you and other commentators to understanding of the different points of views regarding "taking offense" that people might have. And what "taking offense" might really mean.

You might discover something different to me through your journey through The Work. But at the end of the day, I am sure there will be similarities:

One of the many things I realised through The Work was that no one else cares when I am offended (unless I seek their pity). And in fact I can choose whether or not to take offense. Taking offense, for me (and for many, I believe) is actually just a ramification of an unresolved internal personal conflict of my own and/or a lack of understanding on the part of both parties. And who can blame anyone (self or other) for misunderstanding. Communication is difficult. And anyway, aren't we all learning?

I repeatedly applied The Work to every single moment I ever took offense and (as long as I dug deep enough) this consistently held true.

Enjoy your journey. :)


Bevan 17 June, 2014 - 07:25

Just stumbled upon this and

Just stumbled upon this and am a little surprised at the storm…

By his own admission, Morten has a big mouth and a big heart. The difficulty with people like this is that it takes time to get to know someone's heart, and only a split second to know their mouth. And the latter without the context of the former makes offense more likely.

Morten, you have clearly done the right thing here, sad though it is. Webchick, your explanation was useful, but perhaps went a little too far as well.

But I know that Morten's heart means he will be introspective and better for it. Morten, you know you're well loved in the community for your bulldozer behaviour, despite it getting you into sticky spots.

I've spent most of my life offending people, getting called on it, and struggling to understand the complaint. Because I never intend to offend, and my "heart is in the right place", surely the problem is theirs, not mine?

Actually, it's both of ours. We all need to get better at being self-controlled, thoughtful and gentle, and also at being gracious and forgiving. And the only way is through honesty and accountability.

Graeme Blackwood 15 June, 2014 - 15:29


I am sorry, as Morten seems to have been, that someone with an inadequate grasp of English mistook 'pussy' for a reference to the female sexual organ, and was therefore distressed by what he or she imagined it meant. For something so daft to trigger a formal complaints procedure (daft because as one commenter mentioned, a quick reference to the Oxford English Dictionary would have cleared up the misunderstanding in a moment) seems to parallel the way Drupal has turned from a bunch of enthusiasts building something to empower under-resourced non-profits into a product for corporate clients.This shift to an enterprise focus need not be bad, indeed D8 will be fantastic. Nevertheless, the change, and the increasingly large sums of money riding on Drupal, will carry with it some of the downsides of the corporate mentality, of which this is an example.

John_B 15 June, 2014 - 16:33

I'm not your slave, America!

(Don’t panic, it is just a headline) That is my response on Gist to both 'slave' and 'pussy' drama:

Grace 15 June, 2014 - 18:31

Fear of Transparency - Governance reform?

My opinion on the twitter episode is kinda irrelevant here because I don't believe it will help anyone or any thing making it known. Thats for another post if I felt it would do anything other than continue to dramatise the whole situation and focus on the problem rather than the solution.

I'm pretty confused by this whole thing but I'm writing this as I really feel that the response to this news shows its an important issue for the community that needs further discussion and action. But the biggest thing that stands out for me is not the decision(s) that has been made, but the manner in which it has happened.

Please tell me if I'm wrong in what I say or that its already in hand but I'm really worried about how a situation like this arises so quickly and intensely.

Maybe its a European thing but my understanding of a non profit is that the board is there to serve its members. Based on this I think an examination of the Association's policy and governance is required.

The quoted board member agreement says:

"To respect, listen to, and treat courteously all people involved with the organization. The organization exists to serve and strengthen its community. That staff, consultants, grantees, and applicants are partners with the Board in fulfilling its mission."

Now, in this case - is that not exactly what Morten did? He listened, respected, apologised and then apologised again.

My biggest worry comes from Webchick's post:

"When you accept a position on a board, one of your primary legal obligations and duties is "Duty of Care." This is spelled out as "To protect the reputation and well being of the organization" in our Board Member Agreement which all of us on the board must agree to. This was clearly violated, so something had to be done."

Firstly - what was done? And exactly how was the reputation violated? If I understand right by this comment it was the board that did something, so does this mean that Morten was asked to stand down rather than it being his decision? If so, shouldn't this be clarified? Also I know from some members' point of veiw, Morten actually protected the reputation of the organisation by taking the steps he did, and actually enhanced it as a tolerant, understanding organisation.

"And while we can't discuss publicly exactly what those were (and I know how much that sucks for a community who rightfully expects transparency in all of our dealings), let's just say that these weren't merely cases of him saying "fuck" too much in front of the wrong set of ears."

Was Morten given the opportunity to speak to those people who made complaints? Was it possible for him to see his duties through and "respect, listen to, and treat courteously" those people to ensure they understood the context, the reasons and the explanations behind any behaviour? Was a thorough investigation by independant members done?

More importantly I am thoroughly worried about the idea that these kinds of things can be dealt with in a non-transparent way. This is not the way non-profits and charities should be run IMO. Of course names should not be named, and I'm certainly not talking about a public trial, but as a member of the DA, how do I know that this wasn't 5 people in a community of 10,000's that just had louder voices than the rest? How do we know that the complaints weren't just misunderstandings? Dealing with minority voices is not about disgarding the voices of the majority, but about dialogue and action agreed on together. I'm not suggesting any of the above is true, but how do we know?

Morten I respect your decision to stand-down, only if it was your decision and you made it feeling it was the best for you and the community. It doesn't feel like it given the above statement from the board, but maybe I'm misunderstanding?

I really think we need to look again at how disputes are dealt with (both for members, board members and staff). This has created a divide in the community as its seen as an "us vs them" situation due to the fact its a "here is the decision, go deal with it" scenario. And its not the first time this has happened. In a company, if these decisions are made then clear justification has to be provided to the shareholders. In a non-profit the same must be done to the community it serves, however difficult that might be.

I don't want to just rant because I don't believe that helps anything so here is my proposal.

I believe that the governance of the Drupal Association needs to be reviewed with more accountability to the community and greater transparency embraced.
I believe that more time should be taken concerning big decisions and greater consultation with community members involved (not just board members) on key decisions.
I believe that research should be done into a truly INTERNATIONAL approach to the above with the obvious fact that it needs to respect the laws of the country of formation

Maybe this could slow work down - if done efficiently I don't believe it has to, and the ownership and trust will be better than ever, contributing to more meaningful results.

I see these points critical to the building of trust between a non-profit organisation and its members and could have led to this process at least being done in a way we (members) understand, even if we don't agree with it. I also feel more time could have been taken to ensure this was the right move.

Maybe everything I have said above is already being done and I just don't know about it, because I think the staff and board members of the Association are all doing their best and a lot more, but I am afraid that there is a fear of true transparency and I know that doesn't scare only me.

Morten (since this is your website!!), I don't know you as well as I would like to and hope I get the chance to know you better over the next years of working for this community we love. What I am sure of, with 15 years working in non-violent conflict resolution, inter-cultural dialogue, equality and tolerance, is that you ooze an amazing ability to do the best by everyone you come into contact with and you have one of the rarest human traits - to admit your oversights and learn from them. I'm really sad we lose your representation on the board (lets be honest, people who are not afraid of what they say are a minority in themselves) and hope that whoever your replacement is, is able to continue standing up for as many of the community members as possible in the way you have.

There haven't been many days when I've been really sad about community politics but this for me is one of them. I just hope some good can come of it.

Rant over. (sorry)

Adam 15 June, 2014 - 22:27

Adam; I think you have


I think you have evaluated this well. I agree there seem to be issues with DA's governance here.

Specifically, I think the Drupal Association should not recieve or respond to Community Working Group incident reports. This is not part of the DA's mission, and is something the community should do instead.

Further, perhaps DA directors and staff should not be allowed to be members of the CWG. There are currently two DA directors on the CWG. It makes one wonder how things could have been different in Morten's if no CWG members were directors on the DA.

And, imagine how much more complicated an incident report about a DA director who is also a CWG member would be!

Bevan 17 June, 2014 - 23:27

Agree and disagree :)

Firstly thanks, I think that changes in governance are definitely needed.

I've actually been talking with a few people about this both in the DA and not... my gut feeling is that it is good to have members of the board on the CWG as it provides representation (with staff I think you're right - its not their role or responsibility) - assuming of course they would step down if the incident actually involved them :)

My thinking is that what we need is a much greater involvement from the community. It seems the CWG is new and is just starting to get going so I'm for sure going to try and get involved more as this is a topic I have some experience with and feel passionate about - I hope we can encourage others to do the same as I also think that there is a lack of European representation there (for example). Diversity will be key.

One of the things discussed is sorting out community training during DrupalCon Amsterdam (not my idea!) in conflict resolution which I think is an excellent way to help on this.

I also think that there needs to be a very clear process (and much more detailed) regarding how issues are dealt with - this would ensure the transparency required by explaining to people in a public document who is dealing with a complaint, how it is being dealt with, the timescales required and the kind of actions expected without actually having to deal with the issue of privacy as all cases would be (procedurally) managed in the same way. The community could then have greater confidence in how matters are being handled. I think this is especially important in "escalation" as I think the idea that one complaint that leads to others coming out needs to be dealt with patiently and not with a decision in 2 days.

Having said all this, I'm actually not sure that the CWG was introduced in this process or whether it was handled "internally" - I'm sure we'll find out at some point. And if it wasn't, next time it MUST be.

There is a bunch of other ideas I have and I'm sure everyone has many others so maybe getting involved in the CWG where people feel comfortable with that, but for sure using the issue queue more than it is now to discuss new ideas and contributions is vital to help things like this not happening again.

Its also clear to me that the DA is very aware that things need work, and change is required. There is work going on since this happened to try and find the best way forward but I think we could all agree that this is not an easy subject and is not just a Drupal community thing but is happening in tech communities all over. As a community I think the best thing we can do is not over analyse or focus on the fact that we have differences, but work on ways to make sure they make us stronger rather than causing conflict. Of course if we had the answers to this we'd probably be solving wars rather than building software but hopefully you know what I mean :)

Adam 17 June, 2014 - 23:53

Community Working Group

Thank you Adam.

In a comment earlier on this blog post Webchick stated the Community Working Group recieved the initial incident report/complaint. She is a CWG member. She then mentioned a "small flood of additional, private complaints". I assumed these were also recieved by the CWG.

Like you, I find the line between the DA and CWG in these events very very blurry. And that is my point. There must be a clear line between them.

I agree there needs to be some sort of leadership or fallback for the CWG. I disagree that should be through representation from the DA. The CWG's and DA's missions and responsibilities are not related. Perhaps it should be Dries; since he appoints CWG members. I don't know.

I agree cultural diversity is of extreme imprtance for the CWG. But I think you are mistaken about the current lack of it. Roel de Meester appears to be from Belgium. Donna is from Australia. Angie and George are from the US, though Angie has lived in Canada for a long time now.

I do not understand your comment about Amsterdam. Perhaps some words got deleted?

PS. How might I contact you privately?

Bevan 18 June, 2014 - 00:17

Ahh - its late, thanks for

Ahh - its late, thanks for pointing those things out :) Good to know and I didn't spot that in Angie's post.

Maybe you're right about the DA's role... its an interesting one as I do think that if its a board member involved, there has to be some DA involvement in dispute resolution. For the community its probably not the same. For sure needs some thought.

You can ping me on Twitter: @adshill or on d.o:

Adam 18 June, 2014 - 00:38

Just to add.....

My fear is not that we listen to everyone, I am just concerned we are doing too much and allowing ignorance guide the conversation.

With this example and the master/slave story we are opening the door for all of us, oh cute males, start arguing that the use of the word "Guy" should be stopped immediately!!! since its meaning is derogative! (

Or for us hispanic to argue discrimination because D.O. is in english!! (I am a defender that if you work in computers, learn english, that is the international language of computers, until we create a new one).

BTW, interesting answer I found:

camoa 16 June, 2014 - 03:48

mutual effort?

So Morten has to understand that using 'pussy' can offend certain people in certain parts of the world, and appearantly he does.
But don't these people have to understand that in the part where he comes from, the wording that was used doesn't have the same connotation?

Very 'un-open' and very 'un-drupalish' incident, if you ask me.

P.S.: This comment is only based on knowledge that I have from this blog and from Dries's blog.

mdb 16 June, 2014 - 16:45

Offense is taken.. not given

Listen, freedom of speech especially on a global public forum such as Twitter means that if you are offended by something, then that is based on your personal viewpoints. Offense is something that one takes on their own.

Inclisivity is paramount for our community. However it cuts in all directions. If Morten's friend said "You rode that bull like a small kitten", would that make you feel better? What about "You rode the bull like an animal".. offensive to animals who ride bulls? What about just riding the bull and tweeting about it.. I'm offended that people with disabilities couldn't ride the bull. Where do you draw the line? These are words. Just words. Words were spoken. Words were spoken back, and words were used to diffuse the situation. However as we see in this case, real world consequences happen when the professional umbrage takers insist that those words somehow caused irrepirable damage to their livelihoods.

Conventions have become a scary place to attend for fear of offending someone and having your company name dragged through the mud for one professional victim going off on a social justice rant. Don't believe me? See Donglegate for vivid proof.

Anonymous 16 June, 2014 - 19:38
Anonymous 16 June, 2014 - 23:26

Which has nothing to do with

Which has nothing to do with this. Original post is 100% correct.

Anonymous 17 June, 2014 - 16:25

pc gone mad, no, politics for-filling an agenda

100% agree, in a global community almost anything can be examined under a spotlight and seen to be offensive in some way. Sadly here we see a victim of the insidious new politic of corporatized Drupal, where the slightest indecresion is used to defame and remove good people, because they do not fit an agenda. This is not an open community, there is no transparency and never has been - don't allow these power seekers to fool you, they seek money, power and have no soul, that died long ago in the Drupal community.

Certainly Swedish men do not go around calling other people "fitta" in public, whereas they might call someone a "pussy" under the impression it means "pussy cat", as in "timidity", in the english vernacular. Yes we know this means "fitta", of course, but we would never assume to call someone a "vagina", this does not make any sense, at all.

One would think that long ago, when Dries himself made the most misogynistic, sexist comments in the open, in public, and sniggered about it on stage, as if to have an "in joke with the boys" this was quickly played down and washed away as an "error of judgement". As you can see their are two tiers in this community - them and us.

Morten, we voted for you because you were one of "us" and represented a thorn in the side of "them", and they got rid of you, now the carcass of the community is laid bare, we see it for what it is. Dead.

underbussen 19 June, 2014 - 12:13

All right come on in.....

Conformity and PC bull more so from the other side of that pond gets more crazy ever year.

A lot of the comments have said pretty much what I thought - wish there was comment voting :)
So I'll leave you all with what sprung to mind at the beginning...

Budda 16 June, 2014 - 22:31

Morten was asked to stand down

Yes, Morten was basically asked to stand down. That's what "The Drupal Association's Board of Directors supports Morten’s decision" (link) means.

Morten will probably not say it in those words. And the other directors almost certainly not.

It is pretty obvious that there are other circumstances behind this decision that are not public. It seems like a pretty big PR fuck up by/for the Drupal Association.

Anonymous 17 June, 2014 - 04:33

No one else knows better than

No one else knows better than you to make the right decision for the moment. We all like and respect you so just keep doing the good job you've always done.

And definitely do not shut the fuck up because I love your style. :D

Tipi 19 June, 2014 - 11:12

Front End

Front End United!

Fjellapene / The mountain monkeys of the North

steinmb 19 June, 2014 - 13:15

Wow. I'm seeing a lot of

Wow. I'm seeing a lot of #fail in these comments.

First of all there seems to be the assumption by SOME men here that the word "pussy" is no big deal. Perhaps not to you, perhaps not even to some women, but unless you've lived your life as a woman you have no business telling someone who has or who cares about women, how to feel about it. Some people are not offended, but don’t be intentionally obtuse about why some people are. The word is a slur that refers to a part of the female anatomy and it is used to insult and degrade someone as "weak" or “Less Than”. That some women, men or any one should find this offensive is not difficult to grasp. (And no, language barriers don't apply here. Women exist everywhere and find this offensive 'over the pond' or not.)
Many more women find this offensive but do NOT speak up because of the kinds of responses we see on this very thread. Who wants to be known as the "PC police" when they're trying to build connections in a community such as this? (And yes, even now I'm posting anonymously because I fear this perception in my own local user groups. This, and all the narrow-minded responses on this thread, is why inclusiveness isn't just a chair at a table but an idea that has to be actually defended and fought for.)

All that is aside from the point of the real issue here which I think was clearly explained in Webchick's response. This man was a spokesperson for an association that exists to make people feel included and at ease with speaking up for whatever reason. His accomplishments and overall fun personality were never a part of the question, as far as I can tell. I’ve no doubt he’s fantastic.
Finally, no one is telling ANYONE what they "Can" or "Can't" say or how they "Can" or "Can't" behave. The point is simple: Words have meaning and what we do say and do impact sand affects other people.
Personally, as a woman in the Tech community, I really don't want to have to deal with the daily dose of sexism while trying to learn, make connections, ask questions, and fight to feel generally accepted as equal person. Words like "pussy", "bitch" etc. are alienating reminders that my gender means "less than."
Men and Women, "Can" and always WILL say them as much as they want. Just be aware that when we do, It serves to remind many women, little by little, that I they are on the outside of a assumed default group. Freedom of speech means you CAN say what you want anywhere you want, it does not mean that someone Can’t speak back if what you say offends or alienates them. It does not mean freedom from consequence.
We do not exist in a vacuum. This is a community. If we want diversity we need to be aware of these kinds of issues and be able to handle them appropriately.

And one last note: To the people saying they’re going to quit rather than deal with the consequences over their precious favorite slurs: Really? Who’s weak in this conversation?

Anonymous 19 June, 2014 - 16:44

"Who's weak in this

"Who's weak in this conversation?"

So are you calling him a pussy?

Anonymous 19 June, 2014 - 17:58

A) The "weak" comment was

A) The "weak" comment was meant to question people in these comments who are talking about quitting the association over this debacle — not Morton, who stated above why it was necessary, and whom I feel made the right decision (and not a weak one at all). However, I can see how you mistook that and I'm for this misunderstanding.
B) Because I do no assosciate Weak with being Female. I'm obviously not calling anyone by this term, which would defeat the whole point of my response (but nice attempt to derail).
c) Yes, I do question why numerous people will criticize others for being "so easily offended" and then turn around quit instead of listen to feedback and perhaps learn from it. The same people crying "censorhip" seemed to be unable to hear criticism or even consider an alternate perspective. Why is it so hard to try to understand another person's perspective and make room for these kinds of questions and conversations?
Sorry, but this inability to hear any negative feedback from a community that is outside your own— to me— is truly "weak".

Anonymous 19 June, 2014 - 18:43

Assuming Malice

"And no, language barriers don't apply here. Women exist everywhere and find this offensive 'over the pond' or not."

This is problematic. It assumes malice. If you were attempting to use spanish and didn't realize that caliente can mean both spicy and sexy, you could get yourself into trouble. English is no different. Don't assume everyone's grasp of the language is on par with your own, don't assume malice.

Unfortunately this specific situation has been associated with other situations which apparently will not be divulged to the community at large. That is unfortunate since it obscures the real reason Morten has stepped down, however a few points about the situation at hand:

1.) Morten isn't the one who called someone a "pussy"
2.) From reading it's pretty obvious that Morten (at least) had the connections in his head for the meaning of the word without the subtext of the "why". This is exactly the sort of mistake that non-native speakers will make, and frankly I've known native speakers with problems grasping certain slang as well.
3.) Again reading the twitter conversation, not only is malice assumed by Jack from Ruben, but Jack outright calls Ruben a liar when Ruben attempts to diffuse the situation. Had Jack accepted Ruben's apology, things would not have escalated past this point.
4.) Finally, much has been made about how this was an official complaint made to a DA board member and that it should have been handled differently. I'd argue that's a really blurry line. Morten, though a representative of the Board at the time, is many other things to this community. The initial post by Jack was actually a RT, which arguably pinged Morten as a side effect. The point here is that this is a very obtuse looking "official complaint" made to a personal account on twitter no less. Had this been an official complaint, it would have gone elsewhere.

That all being said, Morten definitely screwed up bringing the DCOC into the conversation. Probably the last straw for Jack, and understandably so given the situation. In short a lot of people had a lot of little faults here that added up to a bad situation, but I think it's important that we, as a community, have a take away from this that is positive, because right now the take away is "If you defend a friends right to call you [something derogatory] you might lose your credibility in the Drupal community." I'm not arguing with the outcome, however the context for the outcome is completely missing, and that makes THIS situation look like the response doesn't match the "crime".

Anonymous 19 June, 2014 - 18:38


This is problematic. It assumes malice. If you were attempting to use spanish and didn't realize that caliente can mean both spicy and sexy, you could get yourself into trouble. English is no different. Don't assume everyone's grasp of the language is on par with your own, don't assume malice.

It doesn't take malice to offend. The ignorant can offend. That presents a learning opportunity. If you're confident, if you're open, if you're willing to learn, you can grow from the experience and the community as a whole benefits.

The insensitive, the bigoted, the blindly privileged continue to offend, even after the offensive nature of the behavior is pointed out. Then you're just being a jerk. That's the #fail in the comments here. And that, in the end, is the real loss for the community.

Yes, you have the "right" to cling to your slurs. You have the right to say #notallmen use misogynist language with misogynist intentions. And others have the "right" to call you on it. Then you have a choice: Cling to your "freedom" to offend, or grow up and show some integrity and courtesy towards others.

I don't know the background of why Morten stepped down, but he seems to at least be treating this as a learning and growth opportunity for him. Too bad so many commenters see nothing but their bruised privilege.

Another Anonymous 19 June, 2014 - 19:57

I appreciate this response. I

I appreciate this response.

I think the best metaphor I've heard for this kind of thing is the example of what happens when someone accidentally step on another's toe. (Note, this is only an example scenario for education purposes and not intended to depict this actual incident.)

Person A steps on B's toe: B says, "ouch!" because it hurts.
Malice or no, whatever A's motivation or intention was does not mitigate the fact that B is hurt.

The helpful response might be for A to simply apologize then take a brief moment to become more aware of their surrounding and see the people sharing this space. That's the most basic response anyone might ask for.

What is NOT helpful is fro the A or the community at large to use the issue to argue their own issues and intentions (e.g., "Well A didn't mean it so you shouldn't be hurt"), tell B to monitor their tone (e.g,"Well if you weren't so angry about it..."), question B’s footwear, or to blame B for standing in the wrong spot, etc.

In this community, people are resources and we need more of them. This makes for a delightfully crowded space. Ideas, experiences, and perspectives are going to bump together and toes are occasionally going to be stepped on. That much is inevitable, it's human.
How we handle the situation so that everyone has room, however, is what makes this community better or worse.

Anonymous 19 June, 2014 - 21:19

"The ignorant can offend" is

"The ignorant can offend" is an understatement. And I do not think the standing on toes example is a precise metaphor. Some people are offended by the silliest of things about other people; Skin color. Sexual orientation. Religion. Whether you eat meat or not. Choice of words...

Anonymous 19 June, 2014 - 21:50

Take offense

Yes, the ignorant can offend, but has it occurred to you that the ignorant can also take offense? As Grace points out further down the page, culturally, words matter. Interestingly, english words especially so because of the prevalence of American influence in other cultures, largely exported via Hollywood. Sometimes the way a word you might consider offensive is used outside its primary culture carries a far lesser meaning because guess what, non-native speakers. This is one of the reasons I pointed out Jack's offensive stance against Ruben in the twitter exchange. There is exactly zero willingness to consider that Ruben might have actually not meant it in the way a native speaker would have. Slang in other cultures often time includes english words as a "lesser" offensive terminology.

As for your rant on privilege... maybe you should check yourself before just blindly throwing gasoline on the fire? I have never in my life called someone a "pussy" or similar slur, and I don't see it happening any time in the future. I'm not clinging to insensitivity or bigotry or "privilege", I'm pointing out that your unwillingness to accept a cultural element in all of this is actually YOUR privilege showing. You understand all the nuances of english language; have some room in your mind for people who could use a little grace. Ruben accepted that it could have inadvertently offended and apologized for its use. Morten clearly demonstrated a lack of understanding the subtext of the word's full meaning in english. Just accept that this word's use (and others) are culturally relevant and that YOU need to have a little grace for non-native speakers to make mistakes and learn from them safely.

If we want a tag how about #notamericanculture or #nonnativespeaker. I'm not saying protect the misogynists, I'm saying have some grace for people who could use it. Before you respond, read Grace's post further down the page. Maybe you'll find there something for people on BOTH sides to learn from this situation.

Anonymous 20 June, 2014 - 16:28

Thank you for sharing. It

Thank you for sharing. It helps me to understand your point of view.

However I think you are mistaken about why the Drupal Association exists and it's purpose;

This man was a spokesperson for an association that exists to make people feel included and at ease with speaking up for whatever reason.

The Drupal Association's mission statement is:

The Drupal Association fosters and supports the Drupal software project, the community and its growth.

The Drupal Association does this by:

* Maintaining the hardware and software infrastructure of and other community sites.
* Empowering the Drupal community to participate in and contribute to the project.
* Protecting the GPL source code of the Drupal project and its community contributions.
* Protecting the Drupal project and community through legal work and advocacy.
* Organizing and promoting worldwide events.
* Communicating the benefits of the Drupal software.

While "making people feel included and at ease with speaking up" probably falls under "fostering the community" and (tangentially) "organizing events", that is not it's purpose or even core to the mission.

Bevan 19 June, 2014 - 22:00

Not ideal, but understandable

What you did is right, but I'd also like to say that Dries has done similar things at events before. I've heard him first-hand.

So in that sense, this is unfair; but more so, it's been blown out of proportion on a gigantic scale. This could have all been settled in far better manor than it has.

And yes, this is anonymous too – clearly, if people saw this coming from my name, there'd be another witch hunt.

Anonymous 19 June, 2014 - 20:34

Side note

I'm a woman and in my homeland (Poland) you can call out both man and woman a 'pussy' and its intended meaning is very easy to interpret from 1) context 2) tone. In fact, if you want to really offend someone, you will never call out him/her 'pussy' (in Polish), because it may be considered as a fake attempt to offend and thus may trigger a big laughter on both sides. It is because by default it is perceived as a colorful way to call out someone a 'milksop', but in a way which is interpreted as an indirect way to demonstrate empathy and friendliness, and it is clearly understood like this between friends and colleagues. I'm offering this lesson of cultural differences from this side of the pond (Poland) free of charge. Consider it open sourced. Enjoy.

Grace 19 June, 2014 - 21:33

It is all very sad. I call my

It is all very sad. I call my cat, and my friend 'pussy'. It seems some people, presumably not native speakers of English, project a profane sense onto the term (which in rare contexts it has). What is beyond doubt is that "Anonymous" (whichever side of the debate she is on) is by definition the enemy of Openness.

John_B 20 June, 2014 - 00:13

Just wanted to say thanks.

Just wanted to say thanks for everything you've done for Drupal. It'll be a real shame to lose you from DA. You've made a huge difference. All the best on your future endeavours.

DW 20 June, 2014 - 19:15

This is absurd

I can only assume the reason for the offense being taken is that "pussy" suggests un-manly qualities and perhaps is similar to insulting a man by calling him feminine or womanly. If the reason for offense is as simple as "pussy" being a slang term, then I really can't even pretend to understand the offense. Not even a bit.

So assuming it's due to the term sort of meaning "womanly": why is this offensive? I think because women consider it to be degrading, that a man feels insulted by being compared to a woman. Why is this degrading, ladies? Please, enlighten me. Because from my perspective, it seems like women value men who are muscular, tall, and strong. If you compare a man's physique to a woman's, he will almost always be physically stronger and taller. Insulting him by saying, for instance, "you're a tiny little weakling" is not going to get any "OMFG YOU SEXIST" rants, yet it's saying a very similar thing.

Women are weaker and shorter than men on average. This is a simple fact. If somebody tells me I look like a chick, I will probably be offended. Is it because I hate women? NO! It's because I hate being SHORT and not so muscular as guys go. This is PERFECTLY LEGITIMATE and if it's sexist, then you have to somehow get it through your heads that NATURE is sexist.

I'm having to make way too many assumptions here, so maybe I'm way off, but from my perspective this PC shit is just blown way out of proportion and has no place in any supposedly open and friendly group. "Third-party harassment" exists because of this kind of whining.

This is part of why "all-inclusive" communities are something I'll never care for. If you can't include TOLERANCE, I'm not interested.

Anonymous 21 June, 2014 - 02:52

Here's an example of the

Here's an example of the context when this comment would have been problematic.

Morten is performing a job function as a mechanical bull rider in an organization where there are also women mechanical bull riders. The person making the comment is Morten, or a a superior or a peer.

"Women are weaker and shorter than men on average"
Sexist fucks are also assholes on average. Does that make all sexist fucks assholes and all assholes sexist fucks? No. That's the problem in perpetuating stereotypes.

T 24 July, 2014 - 08:03

This is a really sad story.

I thought we were an open -and open minded- community...

From Drupal Code of conduct,

"We will not tolerate bullying or harassment of any member of the Drupal community."

"Please speak up if you notice someone else being subjected to such behavior. Refer people to our Code of Conduct and point out such behavior is unwelcome."

WellI, I think you have been bullied and harassed about an stupid vocabulary issue. So I'd ask these language fundamentalists to stop and be more tollerant in the future.

I would file a bug in, but the one thing that defines fundamentalists is they don't have any sense of humor at all about their "religion".. and I really have more things to do..

Good luck Morten, see you.

Jose Reyero 30 June, 2014 - 11:48

Code of Conduct. be considerate

Taken from the COC ( source )

"Be considerate."
DrupalCon is an international event that attracts diverse people from a wide variety of ethnic, cultural, and religious backgrounds. We acknowledge that cross-cultural communication can often be complicated and encourage everyone to consider both the impact of their actions on those with different backgrounds and experiences and the honest intentions of those who may have unknowingly caused offense.

Why this is not on the i dont understand ...

Its up to the Drupal Community, the DA and staff to figure out how they wanna move forward - its gonna be very difficult when we no longer believe in having honest intentions.

mortendk 2 July, 2014 - 12:58

Bit late in catching up with

Bit late in catching up with this bit of news.

Noticed it as I cruise through an output planet feed.

And then, the next page, there's this:

Why need he cross-dress as a woman to be a nurse??

That sort of gender stereotyping does far more harm to diversity than what I read, here.

p.s A prof I worked for in my undergrad was the most politically correct guy around. Used all the right words in all the right contexts.

He was a lecherous creep who used his position of power to sleep with students. I made the mistake of working for him. How did the political correctness help here? It didn't. I would have rather no facade of "inclusive" language and his history noted in the course calendar so i would have had a choice.

Bottom line in that aside - there is no given logical link between inclusive language and an inclusive environment. It can perpetuate and obscure the opposite.

Best to you, Morten.

Metal and classical and and


T. 24 July, 2014 - 07:17

Er, I posted the wrong link

Er, I posted the wrong link in the above post.

I meant to post this link to the image posted on Drupal Planet (1), roughly seven hours before the notice about your resignation (2)
Robert Douglass cross dresses to represent a nurse, re-enforcing the gender stereotype of so-called 'female professions'

Maybe if the gender ratio in tech or Drupal was 50:50.
Maybe if the gender ratio in nursing was 50:50. It sure as hell isn't in North America.

The boards grand disconnect between language and actions only serves to perpetuate skewed stats.


T. 24 July, 2014 - 07:32
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