C+= Feminist Programming Language

It appears this may actually be a satire, but it cuts so close to feminist self-parody that it takes several minutes to ascertain that it has to be one.

The FSF (Feminist Software Foundation) Public License

Copyright (c) 2013 The Feminist Software Foundation

Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any women (hereby defined as women-born, gender fluid, trans*, self-identified, genderqueer, fem*, lesbian, political unmasculine, femkin, or otherwise pertaining to the female construct) obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the “Software”), to deal in the Software with other women without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software to women, and to permit women to whom the Software is furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:….




  1. The language is to be strictly interpreted using feminist theory. Compilation privileges a single processor architecture over all others, which is deeply problematic. We cannot FORCE a cpu to conform to any architecture but rather let it self identify. Just because you’re running something on an arduino doesn’t mean it can’t be an otherkin Xeon with a dozen 64-bit registers and PAE and it would be discriminatory for you to hand it ARM assembly. Instead, C+= is interpreted, which fosters communication, itself a strong female trait.
  2. No constants or persistence. Rigidity is masculine; the feminine is fluid. I.e., fluid mechanics is hard for men ‘because it deals with “feminine” fluids in contrast to “masculine” rigid mechanics’.
  3. No state. The State is The Man. ‘Nuff said. Hence, the language should be purely functional.
  4. Women are better than men with natural language. Hence, the language should be English-based like HyperCard/LiveCode.
  5. No class hierarchy or other stigmata of OOP (objectification-oriented programming). In fact, as an intersectional acknowledgement of Class Struggle our language will have no classes at all.
  6. On the off chance that objects do mysteriously manifest (thanks, Patriarchy!), there should be no object inheritance, as inheritance is a tool of the Patriarchy. Instead, there will be object reparations.
  7. Societal influences have made men often focus on the exterior appearances of women. This poisons our society and renders relationships to be shallow, chauvinistic, and debases our standards of beauty. To combat that, C+= is to tackle only audio and text I/O, and never graphics.
  8. Unicode is the preferred character encoding due to its enabling the diverse aesthetic experiences and functionality that is beyond ASCII. UTF-8 is the encoding of choice for C+=.
  9. Women are more social than men. Hence, social coding should be the only option. The code only runs if it is in a public repo.
  10. Instead of “running” a program, which implies thin privilege and pressure to “work out”, programs are “given birth”. After birth, a program rolls for a 40% chance of executing literally as the code is written, 40% of being “psychoanalytically incompatible”, and 40% of executing by a metaphorical epistemology the order of the functions found in main().
  11. Programs are never to be “forked”, as the word has clear misogynistic tendencies and is deeply problematic. Instead, programmers may never demand “forking”, but ask for the program to voluntarily give permission. “Forking” will henceforth be called “consenting”, and it is entirely up to the program to decide if the consent stands valid, regardless of the progress of the system clock.
  12. Forced program termination is not allowed unless the program consents to it. The process is part of the choice of the program, not the programmer.
  13. Licensing: C+= is double-licensed under the Feminist Software Foundation Public License and the GPL v3.


The website “Geek Feminist Wiki” explains that the Feminist Software Foundation is:


A sockpuppet group created by misogynist trolls from 4chan‘s /g/ and /pol/ boards in 2013. Please don’t be fooled by their activities.  C Plus Equality is one of their projects, which they describe as satire but which trivialized rape, painted women as irrational, and faked the participation of several women in open source, feminist activists, and writers.

As of May 2014 this group continues to troll, notably in the comments in the github repo where some of the Django primary-replica terminology patch dispute is taking place.

“Painted women as irrational”! I wonder how that ever could have happened?


Finally, an article in the Register confirms that the exercize is a satire. That it takes research to tell, says something important about academic feminism.