On Fri, Jan 18, 2013 at 11:26 AM, Karen Coyle <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Actually, I find the "playing" with Zoia itself offensive. As per my
> response to my own message.
> It objectifies women. Treats them as play-things. Makes me very
> uncomfortable.

I think you're reading too much into Zoia's gender here.  As Ross
said, the previous bot was named panizzi (Anthony Panizzi).  The names
have just been picked from famous library folks.  I don't imagine
anyone would have a problem finding a famous male librarian to rename
the bot to, though.  I don't think there is anything to read into the
gender of the bot here.

> But to have a "play-thing" that is gendered is a really,
> really bad idea. In fact, to have a "play-thing" of any kind on the channel
> might not be a good idea.

Would you object to a male name?  I don't think "playing" with a bot
is a bad thing.  I've "played" with real people in the room in the
same way.  The nice thing about a bot is that you know you'll get a
response (whereas rsinger might just ignore me).

As I said, I think you're reading too much into the bot's gender in
this case, but I can't imagine anyone would have qualms about renaming
the bot to a male name.  The name is pretty inconsequential; it was
just meant as a tribute to famous folks in our field.