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Fedora Welcomes Women to FOSS 339

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the ladies-first dept.
nman64 writes "The Fedora Project, the project behind the Fedora Core Linux distribution, has introduced Fedora Women, a program to reach out to women who are interested in using and contributing to Fedora Core. This follows in the footsteps of LinuxChix, Debian Women, and Ubuntu Women and is part of a larger trend to support women in the FOSS world. At present, women are believed to make up only about 1.5% of the FOSS community. Is that finally set to change?"
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Fedora Welcomes Women to FOSS

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  • Artificial (Score:2, Insightful)

    by trifish (826353) on Saturday July 29, 2006 @12:20PM (#15806165)
    Why do you encourage or even force them? Let them decide naturally what they want to do. Women don't force use men to breast-feed either. Respect people's natural inclinations and interests.
  • by r00t (33219) on Saturday July 29, 2006 @12:22PM (#15806173) Journal
    There are in fact a number of female kernel developers. They tend to go by their initials rather than revealing their first names. There is no bias if people can't even tell.

    Not that it should matter! If they like being developers, cool. If not, oh well.

    There is also Andrea, who is male. It's an Italian thing, OK?
  • by chatgris (735079) on Saturday July 29, 2006 @12:25PM (#15806184) Homepage
    Having been in university for about 4 years, from observation, the number of women in CIS classes is usually about 2/50, 4%. (Except for the first year CIS classes that are mandatory for science students). Officially, the CIS department here is concerned since only 3.7% of the people graduating from the CIS program are women. Of the women in the department I know, (and I know most of them, it's not hard to when there are so few) there's only one of them that might be interested in working on an open source program. And these numbers come from a university that overall has one of the highest percentage of women enrolled in Canada (University of Guelph). It's almost all female in this university, when men are required for surveys CIS classes are specially targetted for participants.

    Given these figures, I really doubt that any shortage of women is due to sexism in FOSS projects... From what I can see, most people working in FOSS projects are generally fairly liberal anyways and accepting of women.

    Josh
  • by QuantumFTL (197300) * <justin...wick@@@gmail...com> on Saturday July 29, 2006 @12:26PM (#15806187)
    I'd like to think that more women will become involved with FOSS, although I'm not sure how exactly that will happen. There is still a huge gap in the numbers of men and women in CS programs, and there are other cultural factors, especially in the teenage years, that pressure females to not engage in "nerdy" activities like programming (which is seen to be asocial, even though FOSS development is quite social).

    On a more contraversial note, it seems to me that a lot of FOSS is driven by a very... male... obsessiveness. It is the experience of myself and my collegues that female programmers tend not to be "computer geeks," in the sense that when 5:00 rolls around, they are done programming for the day - no hobby coding, no /.ing, nothing. That does not mean it's true of all females, but even if a majority of female programmers are like this (which it seems to be), that's a huge chunk out of an already tiny share. Combine this with the fact that working women are still (somehow) expected by their husbands to do more of the housework and childcare... yeah I'm not so optimistic.

    Of course I, for one, would welcome our new female FOSS overlords, but I think that's probably a long way off.
  • by DavidinAla (639952) on Saturday July 29, 2006 @12:28PM (#15806195)
    The underlying assumption of programs such as this is that women are too insecure or too intimidated to do something they want to do unless somebody sets up a program to cajole thing into feeling comfortable. That's nuts. Women do whatever they happen to enjoy -- as individuals -- and men do the same. Some people just can't get over the fact that vastly more men than women want to develop software (or create hardware or whatever). Why is this so threatening to them? Because it goes against their deep-seated belief that everyone is born identical and it's only culture that makes us want different things. That's bull and it's always been bull. Men and women are different in some key ways -- on AVERAGE. There are some very brilliant women who care deeply about IT work, but the vast majority don't. That's not going to change, even for the ones who are plenty bright enough to do it.

    If you think you need to set up programs to beg certain segments of the population that other people do because it's fun and exciting and rewarding to them, you're out of touch with reality about what makes people tick. Let the people who WANT to do technical work do it, whether they're men, women, black, white, pink or purple. It's about individual choice, not about counting numbers of certain groups.

    David
  • So implicitely (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Arthur B. (806360) on Saturday July 29, 2006 @12:28PM (#15806196)
    Women are less skilled, less talented and thus should be helped and encouraged to participate in FOSS...
    But if they are maybe it's not a good idea to do thay...
    And if they're not then why the need for affirmative action?

    Every discrimination is stupid.
  • Re:Artificial (Score:2, Insightful)

    by albalbo (33890) on Saturday July 29, 2006 @12:30PM (#15806211) Homepage
    Interesting that you mention "force"; doesn't seem to me that Fedora Women forces women to be involved with Fedora.

    As for "why encourage", maybe you'd like to start to explain why Google's Summer of Code had zero women applicants, whereas Gnome's Women's Summer Outreach Programme had a great number of applicants, when the two programmes were basically the same.

    Claiming women's "natural inclination" or interest is to not participate in free software projects is about as sexist a viewpoint as you can possibly achieve.
  • This is news? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DesireCampbell (923687) <desire.c@gmail.com> on Saturday July 29, 2006 @12:30PM (#15806213) Homepage
    Women are working on stuff? Holy cow!

    Am I the only one sick of this kind of 'news'?
    This just in: two more female workers signed up for oil drilling, bringing the total population of female oil drillers to 4, of the total population of 20,000
    Why does it matter what sex they are? The reason this is 'news' is because people want to hear stories about how women are being treated equally in the workplace. Women's rights are always easy news. You say, "Women have lagged behind men in [insert job] but are catching up thanks to [insert bullshit here]" and you sell newspapers/ad-space/FreeIPodsAndViagra.

    If you single out women for working in a specific job for no reason other than 'they're women' you aren't treating them as equals to men. You're treating them like freaks, like a sideshow.
  • by WindBourne (631190) on Saturday July 29, 2006 @12:37PM (#15806241) Journal
    And yet, after KDE set up a site for women (by women), there was an increase in the number of women who participated. It is possible that it was due to the growth in KDE, but ....

    One last thing, Read the earlier postings. I think that if were a women, that I might get tired of the attitudes that are demonstrated here.
  • by coffeechica (948145) on Saturday July 29, 2006 @12:48PM (#15806298)
    The numbers aren't going to change easily. Not as long as the FOSS world is dominated by men (and yes, this is where the snake bites its own tail).

    One example: my university classes used to overlap with those of CIS students a lot, and what I heard from the few female students there was that they found it hard to communicate with the men at times and often didn't really want to. Simply take a look at /. - very male communication patterns, enough to make it tricky at times to know whether to be insulted or not or whether to take something the way it is written or with a grain of salt. Women will often think more and also interpret communications in very different ways at times. So when being into FOSS means 1) getting into a stereotypically male area of interest and b) interacting with almost only men who on occasion seem to speak another language, I have to applaud those 1.5% for sheer guts.
  • by westlake (615356) on Saturday July 29, 2006 @01:01PM (#15806352)
    This thread is useless without pics.

    First post. First joke. And in six words you sum up every stereotype of the Geek.

  • Re:Artificial (Score:3, Insightful)

    by CastrTroy (595695) on Saturday July 29, 2006 @01:05PM (#15806365) Homepage
    Exactly. They encouraged people to participate. That includes men and women. It's kind of says something when they have to specifically target women to get any response at all. In my software engineering program there was only about 6 girls. And half of them were there just cause they wanted to make a lot of money, not because they liked computers. I'm not sure why it's this way, but it just is. The same reason you see less men in Nursing or child care. It's not a bad thing, just that men and women like different things.
  • by Reverberant (303566) on Saturday July 29, 2006 @01:08PM (#15806384) Homepage

    I'm looking at the comments so far and they seem to be broken up into two groups:

    • "We need naked pics" jokes (like this [slashdot.org], this [slashdot.org], and this); and
    • "Women aren't in tech because they choose not be in tech" as exemplified by this [slashdot.org].

    Hasn't anyone ever thought that these two viewpoints might be related? That maybe the reason more women don't go into tech is cultural - not in the "women are more interested in nail polish than hard drives"-sort of way, but in the sense that they sick and tired of dealing with all the "oohh, titties!" comments that we men think is good natured humor, but gets old with women? Maybe, just maybe, if women (or minorities or the handicapped, etc) can be provided with a supportive environment, we'll find that women are interested in tech. Maybe we'll even find that some women can be really good at it.

    Let me put it another way. Everyone once in a while, a sports-related story pops up on Slashdot, and the comments inevitably drift toward stories of posters who have been pushed around by jocks in high school, so they now have a dim view of sports. Like us men making "titties" jokes, jocks would consider their messing with geeks to be good-natured humor. Imagine for a second that your exposure to sports came in a supportive environment (think affirmative action for geeks)- is it possible that this might have resulted in a more positive outlook towards athletics (especially sports like American football and basketball that involves a high degree of strategy as well as athletic talent)?

    It's not a matter of discrimination or taking something away from men. It's all about providing a supportive environment so that women can concentrate on the matter at hand, rather than dealing with all the 'good natured' 'non-PC' crap that men throw at them.

  • by dominion (3153) on Saturday July 29, 2006 @01:12PM (#15806405) Homepage

    Thank you for brilliantly illustrating why programs like this are sorely needed.
  • Re:Artificial (Score:4, Insightful)

    by TheRaven64 (641858) on Saturday July 29, 2006 @01:19PM (#15806439) Journal
    In general, I hate this kind of thing. My university had a Women's Officer[1], but no male equivalent. When one of the candidates approached me at election time, I was told 'women make up 52% of the population, and we need to protect this minority.' In general, my feeling is that I don't want anyone doing things because there is an outreach program for them; if you're not going to do something because it's what you enjoy, then please don't bother. If women, or men, want to develop F/OSS then that's great. If they don't, then encouraging them to do so for the wrong reason really won't help.

    This is a special case, however. A community being less than 2% female is more than natural self-selection. I suspect that a number of women have tried to get involved, but been repulsed by the community. Look at this Slashdot article; the first post was a comment asking for pictures. Now, as someone who has been around Slashdot for a while, I can be fairly sure that this was meant in jest, but this is exactly the kind of thing that would make a woman interested in joining the community leave.

    There are, secretly, at least two women[1] who post on Slashdot. If you look at any thread where they make a reference to their gender, even indirectly, then you will see a huge number of 'wow, look! A girl!' posts. These are often followed by a load of accusatory posts ('you only hang out here because you have low self-esteem and you want to be fawned over by geeks'). It's small wonder that most of the female population of Slashdot tries hard not to draw attention to the fact.

    This kind of program is not intended to encourage women to participate in the geek community, so much as to prevent the ones who want to become involved from running away. This, I think, is a sensible objective.


    [1] Or FBI agents; it's difficult to tell on the Internet sometimes.

  • Re:Artificial (Score:4, Insightful)

    by shreevatsa (845645) <shreevatsa.slash ... m ['l.c' in gap]> on Saturday July 29, 2006 @01:30PM (#15806485)
    Let them decide naturally what they want to do.

    Axiom 1: People do what they want to do.
    Axiom 2: It would help to have more people doing X.
    Corollaries of Axiom 2: (i) It would help to have more women doing X. (ii) It would help to have more men doing X. (iii) It would help to have more people from $ethnic_community doing X.
    From these, it follows (among other things): It would help if more women wanted to do X. In other words, it would help if women were encouraged to do X.
    Encouragement is never bad. If you (or enough people) feel that it would be good/useful to encourage men too, go ahead.

    Also, have you ever considered that "natural" inclinations may depend not only on biological/genetic/evolutionary factors but also on societal/psychological/community factors? Since we can't change the former, we try to change the latter and see if it makes a difference. Every group that decides it wants more women (or $ethnic_community, or whatever) is free to encourage more women (or ...) to join it. Have you considered that the reason there are very few women in field X might precisely be that it is considered "unnatural" for them to have inclinations towards it, and that if this perception were changed, more women might be naturally inclined towards it? Maybe we would also have more male nurses and more male teachers and more girls interested in mechanics and sports and ..., if there wasn't much societal prejudice? (I do not make any pronouncement on whether this would be a good thing or not, to avoid the sort of replies that this would otherwise inevitably get.)


    (In summary, maybe "natural" isn't so natural after all? Also, somewhat offtopic, see this [j-walk.com] and then this [snopes.com] for something that would be "natural" once but seems very out-of-place today ;) )
  • by LadyVirharper (804893) on Saturday July 29, 2006 @01:32PM (#15806489)

    "Necessary"? Who knows. Good? Yes. I don't think you fellows realize/understand it, but women are indeed pretty social; social programs such as message boards and the like are what got me into IT in the first place, and it's really very irritating to make a post with a nick that's obviously female like mine and get some nitwit going, "Liar! You're not a girl, you're a 40 old man in your parents' basement!" or "Show me your boobies!" or whatever. A group for females provides a place for us to be girly geeks without the BS that's occasionally (sometimes more than occasionally) flung around here.

    And that's not to say we can't "take the heat" or whatever, any more then I could say you men ph34r the unicorns, and are wusses because of it ;) , just that it's nice to collaberate with girls occasionally, and I find there are more female geeks in social geekery settings, such as fan sites, message boards, etc. I'm working on website right now with one woman who is in the astronomy field.

    I know several other female geeks, too. They're not as rare as you think. We find one another.

    Anyway, social geeky things tend to draw more women. Therefore, groups for women developers could very well be a good thing, as it would provide a community, which is alluring. You guys talk about beer and sports and whatever while you work; why can't we crush on fictional book characters, squee when we're happy, and do whatever girlish things we want to do when we work? :p

    Of course, I'm only one woman, and all these opinions are my own. I only know my own motivations for working with computers. Any other women out there?

  • by Xemu (50595) on Saturday July 29, 2006 @01:57PM (#15806606) Homepage
    This thread is useless without pics.

    Comments like this is exactly why women stay out of computing, that women programmers are reduced to their sex. Nobody would dare to make sexist jokes about male programmers!
  • Re:Artificial (Score:3, Insightful)

    by zerblat (785) <jonas AT skubic DOT se> on Saturday July 29, 2006 @01:57PM (#15806614) Homepage
    Also, women have long hair, men have short hair. Women wear skirts, men wear pants.
  • My thought exactly. The mere idea of doing a "Women " is sexist. I prefer being one more of the crowd (in this kind of things) than being separated for something "women only". I've always thought that equality will be achieved when, besides the "International Women's day" there will be some "International Men's day". We have differences, but we're equal in rights. Stop with the separation!!

    I'm a woman btw. Just in case someone was wondering.
  • by Morosoph (693565) on Saturday July 29, 2006 @02:38PM (#15806802) Homepage Journal
    Comments like this is exactly why women stay out of computing...
    I thought that that was the joke. I hope that we're bright enough to realise it.
  • Re:So implicitely (Score:3, Insightful)

    by debiansid (881350) on Saturday July 29, 2006 @02:53PM (#15806860) Homepage

    And if they're not then why the need for affirmative action?

    To account for all the brainwashing of women by the society over time making them believe that their only job is to take care of the household and satisfy their men.

    Take a look at all the jokes, the discrimination is still there and will remain until any affirmitive action is taken.
  • Re:Artificial (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 29, 2006 @03:23PM (#15806983)
    Because in order to get to that class, they've had to put up with (in no particular order):
    • teachers telling them that girls don't like math, aren't good at math, don't like computers, aren't good at computers
    • peers calling them unfeminine, and saying they'll never get boyfriends, plus all of the above
    • parents telling them both of the above
    • being put on some kind of bizzarre pedestal once it becomes apparent that no, they do like math and computers, and they're actually good at them
    • a set of male geeks who think making sexist jokes is ok because everyone knows it's a joke
    • an environment where if they call someone on sexist speech, they're called humorless lesbians
    • another set of male geeks who's ego is threatened by the thought that a women might be a better geek, and who actively ignore, undermine and/or sabotage them
    • a (small but obnoxious) third set of male geeks who are misogynists, who actively want to keep women out of geek communities, and will take action to force them out
    • social isolation: the girls won't hang out with them because they're a geek, the geeks won't hang out with them because they're a girl

    Once you actually get into the industry, your coworkers are pretty good folks (at least the ones I've had). But there are way, way too many places like /. online where any story you show up in just HAS to have a subthread devoted to whether or not you're physically attractive, and whether or not the immature geek contingent would have sex with you.

    While I generally don't like separate spaces, because they're a form of discrimination, sometimes it's nice to have a place to go that doesn't put up with the general level of assholishness that seems to be accepted/fostered by male geeks online, and that has women you can vent with when you get sick of having to put up with it.
  • by brianosaurus (48471) on Saturday July 29, 2006 @03:43PM (#15807060) Homepage
    I think you misunderstood.

    Without pictures, most slashdot readers don't know what a "women" is. While there was occasionally a female in my CS classes (a while back, so maybe times have changed, but if that 1.5% number is right not much has changed), we never had the need for the plural of the word.

    And, uh, comments like yours are exactly why men think women are uptight [REDACTED] with no sense of humor. But whatever... just means more good jobs for us. Besides, making sexist jokes about men is gay. (OH NO I DI-INT!!! See, that's funny. ;)
  • by senatorpjt (709879) on Saturday July 29, 2006 @04:45PM (#15807300)
    Nobody would dare to make sexist jokes about male programmers!

    I hear them all the time. They usually go in the opposite direction, about how they're all losers that can't get laid.

    The best way to get women to is to point out that if they get involved with FOSS, they WILL get laid with no effort, no matter how repulsive they are, just due to the odds.
  • Get over it (Score:5, Insightful)

    by elsrod (572637) on Saturday July 29, 2006 @04:50PM (#15807324)
    Well, reading the first 182 comments posted here it's pretty clear why women still need dedicated users'/developers' groups. The stereotype humor appears to be alive and well:

    - ponies
    - pink
    - periods
    - pedicures

    As a woman in IT, I have actually found the majority of men in IT either don't care about women in IT or else are actively interested in broadening diversity in the field. (Mind you, that applies not only to gender but to ethnicity and other criteria as well.) Then there's that minority, the stereotype bitter socially retarded geeks with chips on their shoulders, doomed to eternally relive some perceived rejection from a woman or girl that dates back to elementary school...

    To those (whose postings I found so typical of their group) I say, what do you care if there are specialized programs targeted towards women? You are the majority participants, are you really that threatened if a bunch of girlies with sub-par technical skills (as you like to describe them) sit around, do their nails, doodle ponies and contribute to FOSS? I am flabbergasted to imagine how such an activity would have any impact on you whatsoever.

    If you are really concerned that the quality of FOSS will somehow decline, may I remind you of the peer review system. Even supposing any of the women's groups were to promote something that was of no use to the larger user/developer base, it would be critically reviewed and sent back for revision or else shot down completely. My point is that it shouldn't be an issue how people arrive at solutions; let them gather, support each other, brainstorm and develop in the forums that suit them best.

    Users/developers form specialized groups all the time, whether it be because of their gender, location, belief system or what have you. The news here is not so much the groups -- it's whether the percentage of women in FOSS may be higher than is popularly understood. All the hogwash about women not being interested in IT, not having the innate skills etc. aside, we're here and we're working away on the same projects men do. This may come as a horrible shock, but there are women who excel in the field.

    Personally I'm all for it. Let there be women's groups, gay groups, blue collar groups, Hindi groups, what have you. Let people work and network in whatever ways increase the brain trust. It's the results that count.
  • by Guy Harris (3803) <guy@alum.mit.edu> on Saturday July 29, 2006 @05:03PM (#15807381)
    You mis-spelled "man"

    You misspelled "boy".

  • by lukas84 (912874) on Saturday July 29, 2006 @05:06PM (#15807390) Homepage
    Your assertion that females are free to choose their best-suited field is simply wrong. We are not free to choose such things, and those girls who do choose to go into computer science are either mocked and thought less of

    This wasn't my assertion at all. Iam not a native english speaker, so might've not written clearly what i meant to say.

    You said:
    So long as our culture expects women to be submissive, we will never be able to assert our true desires.

    I said:
    If you don't like the results of our system, don't try to change the results. Try to change the system.

    Isn't that basically the same point? Of course, changing the system in your own lifetime won't ever happen. Were stuck with what we have now.

    One thing iam sure of:

    Trying to fix the symptoms of our society (e.g. no equal distribution of gender in technology jobs), won't help.

    But in most societies, women and men aren't even the same on paper. Two interesting examples from swiss law:

    Military Service:
    Men have to do military service. Women don't have to.

    Rape:
    Men can "rape" a woman (according to law).
    A woman however, can't "rape" a man (according to law).

    Divorce:
    Only under special circumstances, the man is allowed to keep the children.
    (Woman agrees, woman has severe problems which would limit that, etc. pp.)

    As long as our societies have these problems, it's next to impossible to achieve equal gender rights. And that's also why iam opposed against all programs which try to fix the symptoms instead of the underlying cause.
  • by KWTm (808824) on Saturday July 29, 2006 @06:44PM (#15807682) Journal
    Parent post has a good point.

    If you are crying "Unfair!" about how it's not fair to have compensatory "reverse discrimination" or "affirmative action" because men and women should be on an equal footing, you don't get it.

    You can debate about whether this is fair in the job search market, but that's a completely different debate, because that's a zero-sum situation: if a company hires a woman due to "affirmative action", then by definition they have rejected a man applicant. That's not what's happening here.

    Women's outreach projects like Fedora Women, LinuxChix, etc. are taking advantage of an untapped population. Drawing more women into the FL/OSS community is *not* a loss for men; in fact, it is a gain for everyone. Why the big uproar?

    Now, it so happens that the way in which we realized there was an untapped population was because of the low ratio of women to men, but this is merely an indicator. The goal of these projects is *not* to "fix the ratio", which would have implied that we would be equally happy reducing the number of men. Rather, we use the indicator to tell us where we can focus our outreach efforts. We see that there are reasons why women are being systematically and subconsciously being discriminated against (see the FLOSSPOLS report http://www.flosspols.org/deliverables/FLOSSPOLS-D1 6-Gender_Integrated_Report_of_Findings.pdf [flosspols.org] --it's a PDF file). So we want to fix the problem, partially by increase awareness.

    What if we had replaced "women" with some other population with great potential for contribution --say, "non-English-speaking programmers"-- would people complain that the effort to involve all of the international community would be unfair to the English speakers? I can just imagine the outcry:

    "There are already some non-English-speaking programmers on one of the Sourceforge projects."
    "Why are we trying to get them involved in FL/OSS? That means fewer resources to promote FL/OSS to English speakers!"
    "Who's stopping them from learning English? Face it --they're just not interested."
    "FL/OSS is doing okay with just English-speakers only. I don't see any problem."
    "We shouldn't help them, because they're rude --I emailed them about some bugs in their program, but they never even acknowledged my email."
    "Hey! You English no good! Okay? Me teach you program: HELLO WORLD! Yes?"

    Guys, let's pull our collective head out of our ass and stop giving knee-jerk reactions just because the Google keywords "affirmative action" showed up somewhere in this threat.
  • Minority reporting (Score:3, Insightful)

    by erroneus (253617) on Saturday July 29, 2006 @06:51PM (#15807712) Homepage
    Nothing keeps a minority group in the minority quite like identifying and classifying.

    So while we're at it, let's have "Fedora Blacks," "Fedora Orientals," or maybe just lump them together and call them "Fedora Coloreds?"

    I don't think it's a good idea, frankly, and for all the same reason that racial identification might seem inappropriate.

    (And on a side note regarding political incorrectness, why is the NAACP still called NAACP!? "They" don't want to be called "Colored People" even though 'of color' was the popular term, so why keep the same organizational name?!... I don't get it.)
  • Re:Artificial (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Ztream (584474) on Saturday July 29, 2006 @07:42PM (#15807913)
    "Why do you encourage or even force them? Let them decide naturally what they want to do."

    Because men are already encouraged. We are encouraged from the moment we are born. Encouraged to pursue intellectual challenges, technical ability, and achievements. Women have traditionally been encouraged to look pretty and shut the fuck up, though this is luckily changing; but the subtle differences in encouragement are still very present, if you make a conscious effort to perceive them.

    I'm the oldest of 6 siblings; 3 boys and 3 girls. When I was small, my father and to a lesser degree my whole surrounding encouraged me to be creative with lego, to learn about logic and math, and to tinker with computers and eventually start programming. My first attempt at programming (at around the age of 8) was not successful. Still, I tried again a few years later.

    To the best of my knowledge, my oldest sister wasn't very much encouraged in these fields at all. It wasn't because my parents or society was evil or uncaring - it just didn't occur to them. My father has in more recent years to an extent started teaching my much younger sisters a thing or two about science. My 5-year-old sister has a vague idea of what macrophages are :).

    The point being that encouraging women to do technical or technically ideological stuff is just a counterweight to the enormous encouragement society already gives to men in these areas. By making such explicit and conscious efforts, it is hoped that it will affect the invisible balance in the long run.
  • by Oniko (865215) on Saturday July 29, 2006 @08:05PM (#15808015)
    If by "the attitudes demonstrated here" you mean the jokes that were made, I say "oh well". Juvenile or not, they're just jokes, and if someone takes themselves so seriously that they let something like that stop them from doing what they'd otherwise want to do, it's their attitude that needs examining.


    Hey, did you hear the one about the lazy black guy? Or the greedy Jew?


    Jokes can be indicative of the social mindset of a community. It's not that they're being taken too seriously, it's that they send the message that "people of type foo are not welcome here" and leave the person of type foo with a rather negative impression of the group that they might want to join.


    I love gaming. I love coding. I love teh intarwebs. But there are LAN parties where I've been asked shit like "So, whose girlfriend are you?". I've been in IRC channels or random forums where the person I've been having an intelligent conversation with makes a comment about "the bitch (they're) screwing not making dinner" or the perils of PMS or the stupidity of females in general. That sends a pretty clear message of who the "US" and the "THEM" are.


    I'm not any kind of 'crazy lesbo feminazi', if such things exist. I'm generally indifferent to "get more females into CS" programs because I'd rather get where I can on my own merit, although females who say they're unable to or shouldn't do math or CS due to their gender do exist and piss me the fuck off. I can drink/code/game with the guys, I'm the school ACM chapter prez, and I like this sort of shit too much to leave because of the (many, many) bad apples I've seen. But it'd be nice if the "GUYS ONLY CLUB LOL" signs were less prevalent.

  • by SuperBanana (662181) on Saturday July 29, 2006 @08:27PM (#15808118)

    The stereotype humor appears to be alive and well

    Then there's that minority, the stereotype bitter socially retarded geeks with chips on their shoulders, doomed to eternally relive some perceived rejection from a woman or girl that dates back to elementary school...

    Wow. Just...wow. You complain about one stereotype, and then use another.

    Newsflash: I don't know, nor have I ever heard of, any guys who "eternally relive [sic] some perceived rejection from a woman or girl blah blah blah". I -do- know of a lot of women that come up with "theories" for why men acted a particular way, why their relationship failed, etc...which is exactly what you just did; you pulled that straight out of your ass, because I guarantee no man has EVER told you about obsessing over some playground rejection. Most of these theories are extremely condescending; men are stupid, have no emotions, think with their dick, are obsessive and single-minded, etc. Don't even get me started on some of the conversations I've overheard between two or more lesbians. It used to be in style for guys to make dumb blond jokes; now it's women making dumb guy jokes or statements, and they're usually quite viscious.

    Want to talk about childish jokes? I have a camera with a fairly big zoom lens. Perhaps one guy has joked "hey, that's a really thick lens" or somesuch. About a dozen plus women have. Interesting percentages, eh?

    Maybe you should stop and consider that most IT workers just don't give a flying fuck who they work with, as long as they're competent/professional, and easy to work with.

  • by BeanThere (28381) on Sunday July 30, 2006 @10:18PM (#15814513)
    This is a myth so oft-repeated that it's become widely believed, perpetuating itself. However there is no evidence for it - only a lot of rhetoric. In fact there is extremely strong and irrefutable evidence that traditional 'gender role' tendencies are more genetic than the result of socialisation:

    Perhaps you ought to read up on (and try to explain) the case of David Reimer:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Reimer [wikipedia.org]

    This is not the only case:

    http://www.infocirc.org/rollston.htm [infocirc.org]

    So much for "socialisation".
  • by lukas84 (912874) on Monday July 31, 2006 @12:54PM (#15818150) Homepage
    Switzerland (i also stated this in my original post).

    Iam from the german speaking part of switzerland, and the german term for rape is "Vergewaltigung".

    While women can be charged for "Sexuelle Nötigung" (sexual coercion, i hope this is the correct translation, see http://dict.leo.org/ende?lp=ende&lang=de&search=n% F6tigung [leo.org]), which has the same upper limit for a punishment (but not the same lower limit ) as rape, they can't be charged for rape itself.

    Here's the original text, right from the law:

    Vergewaltigung:
    http://www.admin.ch/ch/d/sr/311_0/a190.html [admin.ch]

    Now, as i researched this some more, i seen that i made a small, but important mistake.

    Vergewaltigung

    Wer eine Person weiblichen Geschlechts zur Duldung des Beischlafs nötigt, namentlich indem er sie bedroht, Gewalt anwendet, sie unter psychischen Druck setzt oder zum Widerstand unfähig macht, wird mit Zuchthaus bis zu zehn Jahren bestraft.

    My very rought translation, since it's "law german":
    Whoever makes a female person to have vaginal intercourse with them, by forcing them through either physical or psychological measures, are makes them unable to resist (through drugs, methinks), will be put into jail for up to then years.

    The important difference is the following. A woman CAN rape another woman according to law, but according to law, men can't be raped.

    Sexuelle Nötigung:
    http://www.admin.ch/ch/d/sr/311_0/a189.html [admin.ch]

    So.. Hope this clears things up.

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