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https://math.stackexchange.com/questions/13375/how-to-suggest-young-girls-who-think-of-mathematics-as-an-unnecessary-thing-if-th is beyond off-topic; it's actually offensive. It's been closed but I move for it to be deleted as well.

further clarification: Whatever reasons I may have for finding https://math.stackexchange.com/questions/13375/how-to-suggest-young-girls-who-think-of-mathematics-as-an-unnecessary-thing-if-th offensive are irrelevant. This warrants deletion because it may deter, alienate, or insult somebody who merely came to the website to learn about or discuss mathematics.

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    $\begingroup$ please note that since you expressed a position in your question, people may down-vote your question when they just disagree with your position. This is a "feature" of Meta, and it doesn't mean that your question is a bad one. Please don't take those down votes personally. (Am writing this since this seems to be your first post on Meta. Thanks for participating!) $\endgroup$ – Willie Wong Jul 1 '11 at 19:14
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    $\begingroup$ @Bill Dubuque "Just a football player. Those young boys could do so much more. They are in urgent need of direction. Why should a young boy decide on such a narrow and impoverishing plan for their life" would be more like it. I see where you're going, and no, this is not because it's sexist specifically toward females. It is somewhat strange that the discussants would assume that girls with a specific life path in mind should be treated unilaterally. $\endgroup$ – isomorphismes Jul 1 '11 at 23:07
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    $\begingroup$ @Bill Dubuque Or maybe I don't see where you're going. Are you suggesting that we should try to exclude more types of people? I don't see any reason that either housewives or football players can't enjoy and discuss mathematics. $\endgroup$ – isomorphismes Jul 1 '11 at 23:09
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    $\begingroup$ @Lao So, then, your objection is to the characterization of some other career (e.g. mathematics) as "so much more" than that of a housewife or football player? I don't see anything in your question that remotely implies that. But I do see explicit mention of "sexism". Perhaps you should clarify your question. $\endgroup$ – Bill Dubuque Jul 1 '11 at 23:11
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    $\begingroup$ @Bill Dubuque Having no upside and a significant downside, I propose that the post be deleted to avoid the downside. I don't want to drive anyone away from mathematics. $\endgroup$ – isomorphismes Jul 1 '11 at 23:15
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    $\begingroup$ @Lao To me, such a deletion is very close to censorship, which I most strongly oppose. If you desire to say something constructrive then why not vote to reopen and then add your own answer. I see nothing wrong with questions on teaching methodology. If such a question happens to be posed so poorly that it invites unintended misinterpretations then it can be simply be edited to avoid such. $\endgroup$ – Bill Dubuque Jul 1 '11 at 23:21
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    $\begingroup$ @Bill Dubuque There is no specific teaching methodology for "girls who want to be housewives" any more than there is a teaching methodology for "adults who want to be police". I am also objecting to the top answer's assumptions about, and judgments of, the students in question. I do see your point about censorship. $\endgroup$ – isomorphismes Jul 1 '11 at 23:24
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    $\begingroup$ @Lao Perhaps you are reading more into the question than is intended. The way I read the question, the OP is simply giving a prototypical example of a class of students who may think that there is no need for math in their intended career. $\endgroup$ – Bill Dubuque Jul 1 '11 at 23:30
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    $\begingroup$ @Theo I picked up on that. I've also noticed that few agree with me that the thread is or even might be offensive. As to its being hidden: I did meander across the question, so it's not that far buried. It has a medium number of upvotes. $\endgroup$ – isomorphismes Jul 2 '11 at 0:31
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    $\begingroup$ @Bill Whether intended or not, I think both are apparent, and perhaps more. math.stackexchange.com/questions/13375/… raises many red flags. By the way, stats.SE seems to have a policy of closing threads with offensive language, and don't consider it censorship: meta.stats.stackexchange.com/questions/679/… They even deleted ill-formed questions; there is no "let sleeping dogs lie" or anti-censorship attitude there. $\endgroup$ – isomorphismes Jul 2 '11 at 3:55
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    $\begingroup$ Would the person who systematically voted up almost all of Lao Tzu's comments care to explain? Lao Tzu is apparently at a loss here. $\endgroup$ – t.b. Jul 2 '11 at 10:22
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    $\begingroup$ Lao Tzu: Per @Bill 's request, the chatroom has been removed. Personally I am strongly in favour of the use of the chatroom when the discussion starts taking up lots of space in the comment section. But I respect some people being not comfortable using the chat feature. $\endgroup$ – Willie Wong Jul 3 '11 at 11:14
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    $\begingroup$ @Willie Thanks. Please keep in mind that main site is very different from a chat site. As such, there are diverse reasons besides "comfort" that one may choose to participate in one and not the other. $\endgroup$ – Bill Dubuque Jul 3 '11 at 15:01
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    $\begingroup$ @Willie: On a related note: Do you know whether one can disable the automatic submission of a comment of the form "@user let us move this discussion to chat."? Since I'm not too eager to use the chat feature either, I feel like being made into a liar by the software when it submits a comment by "me" saying such a thing. $\endgroup$ – t.b. Jul 3 '11 at 16:42
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    $\begingroup$ @Willie Below are the links you sent by email. My first impression is that this feature needs lots of work before it will be ready for prime time. meta.stackexchange.com/questions/97166/… meta.stackexchange.com/questions/95937/… meta.stackexchange.com/questions/96914/… $\endgroup$ – Bill Dubuque Jul 4 '11 at 3:25
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Why I think that the question is very off-topic to the main site, I cannot see how it is offensive: the situation described in its first paragraph does occur in practice.

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    $\begingroup$ Young girls sometimes want to be housewives. But the assumption that those three properties (age, sex, and 1 goal) are enough to describe someone's learning style is presumptuous. $\endgroup$ – isomorphismes Jul 1 '11 at 19:43
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    $\begingroup$ A simple title edit is all that is necessary here (at least to remove the drive-by perception of harm), and it is done. Editing: be bold. $\endgroup$ – Jeff Atwood Jul 1 '11 at 19:45
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    $\begingroup$ @Jeff, neither "housewife" nor "just a housewife" is the issue -- it's the (non-mathematical) presupposition that we can speculate about people based on sparse personal details. $\endgroup$ – isomorphismes Jul 1 '11 at 19:51
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    $\begingroup$ @Lao: The question clearly asks about girls who think that math is unnecessary, and most of the girls with whom the OP interacted in such and such circumstances. It is really a far stretch to go from this to saying that the post somehow asserts "those three properties (age, sex, and 1 goal) are enough to describe someone's learning style", or that it even assumes that is the case. $\endgroup$ – Mariano Suárez-Álvarez Jul 1 '11 at 19:53
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    $\begingroup$ @Mariano If those three properties are insufficient to answer, then no answer should be given without asking for more detail. If an answer is given, it implies that there is sufficient information in the question. Many answers all over math.SE ask for clarifying information. The answers to math.stackexchange.com/questions/13375/… do not ask for further clarification beyond the fact that these people are young, female, and want to be housewives (or should I say, "merely housewives"). $\endgroup$ – isomorphismes Jul 1 '11 at 19:57
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    $\begingroup$ @mariano regardless, I think this question is a bit of a "broken window" (that is, its presence even in closed form is a negative, and may invite others like it) and I would support its deletion on the whole. theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1982/03/broken-windows/4465 $\endgroup$ – Jeff Atwood Jul 1 '11 at 19:58
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    $\begingroup$ @Lao Tzu: I don't see how answering a question without first asking for further clarification is offensive. I'm guilty of doing so in this thread, but I'll try to fix this: Will you please elaborate on what you find offensive? $\endgroup$ – Jonas Meyer Jul 1 '11 at 20:01
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    $\begingroup$ I agree with Jeff here. No matter how good the answers (which probably have served their purpose anyway), this question is not appropriate and IMO, ought to be deleted: to avoid having broken windows around. I have cast my vote to delete. $\endgroup$ – Aryabhata Jul 1 '11 at 20:03
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    $\begingroup$ @Jeff: the question has been around for 6 months... and it has not invited since other questions like it, as far as I know. So if it is a bit of a broken window, it is infinitessimally so. $\endgroup$ – Mariano Suárez-Álvarez Jul 1 '11 at 20:05
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    $\begingroup$ @mariano it is currently wasting your time, my time, and the time of others posting here on meta. So its cost is in my opinion rather high already. $\endgroup$ – Jeff Atwood Jul 1 '11 at 20:06
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    $\begingroup$ @Jonas The normal assumption on math.SE is that crystal clarity is necessary to properly answer a question. Eg Qiaochu Yuan's top answer to math.stackexchange.com/questions/17733/… asked exactly what the question asker meant. But somehow "Young girl who wants to be a housewife" is enough information to draw conclusions. Not only that, what purpose does a mathematics site have weighing in about what life path people should take ("just a housewife"? You could be so much more, little girl! you could be an astronaut!) $\endgroup$ – isomorphismes Jul 1 '11 at 20:11
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    $\begingroup$ @Jeff: please leave me the task of evaluating my usage of my time :) $\endgroup$ – Mariano Suárez-Álvarez Jul 1 '11 at 22:34
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    $\begingroup$ @Jeff The users of Math.SE should decide these issues, not SE admins who visit the site only rarely. $\endgroup$ – Bill Dubuque Jul 1 '11 at 23:33
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    $\begingroup$ @bill where did I say otherwise? We still have network-level policies that will be enforced in some cases (not in this one, but sometimes). I'm fine with my edit to remove the most obvious problem in the title. $\endgroup$ – Jeff Atwood Jul 2 '11 at 0:45

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