[Lingtyp] ALT: code of conduct

David Gil gil at shh.mpg.de
Tue Nov 21 00:34:35 UTC 2017

Having said my bit I was hoping not to have to add to the discussion, 
but I feel the need to counter two lines of rhetoric that seem to have 
emerged.  (I do so without offering actual citations because I think it 
is important to maintain a civilized conversation devoid of ad hominem 

First, I am uncomfortable with the implication that there is a job to be 
done and that this is somehow being "derailed" by too much discussion.  
The debate is precisely on what should be done, what is ethical and what 
is practical.  If we're to invoke train metaphors, then I would counter 
by saying that we must avoid being railroaded into one very specific way 
of going about addressing the problem. Which leads into ...

Secondly, and perhaps more cogently, I am very uncomfortable with the 
implication that people who support the code of ethics somehow take the 
issues more seriously than those who are opposed to it. I suspect most 
ALT members would agree that we are in a gender-based conflict involving 
multiple levels of aggression, coercion and violence, mostly if not 
exclusively waged by men against women. And that we desperately need to 
do something about it.  The debate is over the methods, and it is a 
legitimate debate.  Just is it is possible to argue over the 
justification of the WWII carpet bombing of Dresden without being 
accused of harbouring Nazi sympathies, so it should be possible to 
criticize the proposed ALT code of ethics without being suspected of 
lacking sympathy or understanding for the struggles that are faced by women.


David Gil

Department of Linguistic and Cultural Evolution
Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History
Kahlaische Strasse 10, 07745 Jena, Germany

Email: gil at shh.mpg.de
Office Phone (Germany): +49-3641686834
Mobile Phone (Indonesia): +62-81281162816

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