Do you know what it feels like in this world

Wednesday, 13 December 2006

Sexism

Amaya was right to point out an example of sexism at a recent open source developers conference.

She makes reference to the Debian Women group as an example of a good thing.

I was talking to Erinn recently and told her that my impression was that the Women project had stalled/ceased. Mostly because there didn’t seem to be anything happening.

I think that this is both a good thing, and a bad thing.

Good in the sense that the idea of female developers isn’t a suprise (as it shouldn’t be) and that the previously overt sexist hostility is going away. But bad in the sense that there should be ongoing work so that we don’t start to take it for granted and ignore other newcomers and women.

There are several reasons why projects like this stall; one of the most obvious is that writing documentation is hard. Really. You don’t know how hard it is until you try to do a little every day for week after week after week.

(And there are times when I think of writing a book. Ha!)

There are other reasons too; such as the difficulty in attracting volunteers who are matched to their jobs, and who in turn have the time to do useful things.

So Planet Debian how are you going to help our women today?

I’ll make sure I avoid sexist lyrics in my titles from here on out.. not a huge change since I tend to avoid it generally, much as I would love to fill entries with Depeche Mode lyrics I guess I have better places for emo-rants.

One small step ..

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