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Matthew Garrett

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Matthew Garrett (also known as mjg59) is a Linux kernel developer and is well-known in the Linux community for his work on power management. He is an employee of Nebula. He has a PhD in biology.

Matthew attributes his feminism to mentor Hanna Wallach, in this Ada Lovelace Day post

I've had the opportunity to meet many women working on Linux over the past few years, and if there's one thing that's tended to overshadow the achievements and dedication to their work it's the sheer amount of effort they've had to go to in order to gain equal recognition. And that made me realise that in many ways, the woman who's had the greatest impact on my career is Hanna Wallach. About ten years ago she spent a ridiculous amount of effort teaching me that it didn't matter how much I professed to be entirely free of sexism if I then proceeded to do things that implicitly excluded women from being involved in computing communities. I've gone to some amount of effort to repay that [...], but I'm very aware of how different my life might have been if Hanna hadn't gone to the trouble of ensuring that I knew not to be a dick.
I think the Linux community has become more welcoming since then, and Hanna and people like her have been instrumental in helping that happen. However, we still have people being driven away by the behaviour of others or arguments that technical contributions are more important than social behaviour, and while that's true we need role models for social change just as much as we need role models for technical achievement.

Examples of ally work Edit

Matthew has made feminist commentary on several anti-feminist incidents in the geek community:

Other posts/talks:

He has also regularly contributed to discussions of sexism on various mailing lists and other forums.

In 2014, Matthew announced that he would no longer be fixing Linux bugs related to Intel hardware, as a direct consequence of Intel's collaboration in the Gamergate coordinated harassment campaign.

Criticism Edit

  • While not directly a criticism of Matthew, the attention paid to Matthew's feminist ally work relative to the work of women feminists in Free Software has been negatively commented on: "...people seem to listen to him/quote him/use him as an example regularly, because his words are more powerful, because he has a mighty penis. I wish any of the excellent resources on this subject WRITTEN BY WOMEN got half the attention his rant did." [1]
  • Matthew's decision to deliver a talk about behaving with a modicum of sense towards women in a session moderated by a naked man wearing a giant prosthetic penis has attracted criticism:
    • "Please ignore the first few seconds and the man with the giant prosthetic schlong - I have no idea what’s going on there, and don’t want to know." (Hoyden About Town)
    • "I can't help thinking that we might even, one day, go so far as to conclude that having our conference talks next to a man who is naked except for what looks like some kind of giant penis device might be a bad way to include women in our computing communities too. Maybe it's just me, though." (comment in Matthew's blog)

External links Edit

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