Richard Stallman resigned from his post in both MIT and the FSF. The basis of this were statements he made that were in generally poor taste regarding child sex. Poor taste because of the recent events with the Jeffrey Epstein sex trafficking scandal. Recepients of Epstein money and Epstein prostitutes included other people at MIT, but not Richard. As a result, MIT wanted this deal over as soon as possible.
Despite all this, Richard made points against Jeffrey that the public at large misconstrued as him making a defense of Epstein due to his semantic discussion over child sex laws. I think Stallman's opinions on child sex laws are pretty stupid, but the full extent of it is variable. 17 year old woman presenting themselves as entirely willing for sex is labelled as sexual assault, much the same way that a savage raping a 10 year old child is, and it's on those 2 points that one can see that sexual assault covers a large umbrella of events and is entirely a poor description in many ways. This same argument can be applied to many other umbrella terms such as security, freedom and privacy.
Do not mistake my support of Richard Stallman in the current circumstances, as a support of his opinions. Although I see the issue presented, it's just legal jargon. The main discussions are on expansion of the meaning of Sexual assault, which is primarily a discussion of semantics and other legal pedantry, and a discussion on whether a child can be an entirely willing sex participant. I hold the belief that they can't mainly because although they will typically have an understanding of what sex is, but they won't have an understanding of the full consequences of sex in the form of STDs, psychological issues and mental issues. There's a reason a lot of prostitutes end up having "Daddy problems". Richard Stallman argued at one point that sex before age of consent wouldn't cause issues if it wasn't coerced or imposed, although since his resignation he withdrew that opinion on basis that he had personal discussion with others and learnt it does have an effect. I would take a moment to remind people that playing devils advocate and discussing policy is not an endorsement of the actions a person discusses. Thus, claims of pedophilia simply don't hold.
Other points commonly brought up against him include him asking women out on dates straight up without any foreplay or any other bullshit. Most denied, and some use this as ammunition against Stallman to claim he is a sexual deviant. Stallman didn't make multiple requests to people, he simply moved on as he grasps consent. As a result of both sides being entirely respectful of the other's consent or absent consent, I am completely uncaring of this point. Some claim it's sexism. I claim it's stupid, and a plain false point of sexism.
Among other points include his opinions on Eugenics. Stallman has gone on record saying that a fetus should be aborted if it has Down Syndrome. I agree. The majority of Doctors agree. Mild genetic illnesses is where arguments of eugenics are harder to justify, including deafness and blindness as technology has improved rapidly. In the extreme cases though I agree and the less extreme cases I do not think it should be aborted. Still, this is a question left to the context. Women abort perfectly healthy fetuses simply because they cannot sustain another child in a stable family and that's a perfectly respectable reasoning, and as such, I see no reason why arguments of Eugenics given the appropiate context, and absent of politics or religion should be discussed. I say absent, because most religions are pro-life, and because some politics place preference for some particular genetics, such as the Nazis and Aryans. Personally, I'm indifferent, and it's especially a non-problem in the case of Stallman as he has gone on saying that he won't have Children. This is the point that Stallman is ableist. It can be argued, but you must hold the same argument consistency towards all abortion cases and medical advice by Doctors and that is simply ridiculous to hold. Thus I think it doesn't hold.
The only other remarkable point brought up is apparent transphobia. This argument simply does not hold. Stallman has made a proposal for more gender neutral use of Spanish(those who know Spanish will know there are Masculine and Feminine words). He has also applied his discussion of language to gender neutrality making the claim that "they" shouldn't be used, and other words should be used, on the basis of ambiguity as they is often used in a plural situation. It does not strike me as a claim with any supporting evidence, so I see it as plain false.
I will remark shortly on the reason for this post. Richard Stallman is back on the FSF board. There are people who would prefer to see him gone from the FSF despite his absence for a year and a half. I am not one of those people, as I am generally agreeable to policies, principles and ideals that lead to liberty and independence- and Richard Stallman fights for these ideals and principles within the Software environment. From the basis above, I see him as entirely reasonable and well thought and deserving of respect for his unyielding principles. Sure, sometimes his arguments make stupid conclusions, but firstly stupid conclusions aren't endorsements, stupid conclusions are intentions, and stupid conclusions are part of every person's right to be wrong.
It's also why Richard Stallman is involved with Software, and not with policy. Completely ignoring that a lot of the participants in politics are either declawed animals, or two-faced acting in corporate interests.
Of note, there are two letters. A support letter and an open letter against the FSF. The latter wants all the board members to resign or be cast out. The former asks for the current situation to stay the same.
I support Richard Stallman, and Libre Software; I most definitely do not support unchecked demonisations of reasonable people, or mob-defined digital witch hunts, spurred by the curt and mean-spirited twitter or other social media hurricane.
I have signed my name(Aaron Leonard) on the support letter, as an act of support for free software, and proper discussion form. I have linked below the two letters, one in support of RMS, and the other against him. Look into the discussion yourself if you would like.=> Support RMS Letter
Do not mistake my support of RMS as a support of sexism, transphobia, sexual assault, or pedophilia. It isn't, and I abhor all of them. I simply do not see how the accusations stand, and judge most them as false. The only thing Stallman is guilty of, is playing Devil's Advocate too much, and making statements in poor taste.
Written March 28th 2021