Yet another male perspective on women in free software
Posted Oct 4, 2007 11:00 UTC (Thu) by modernjazz
Parent article: Yet another male perspective on women in free software
Thanks for yet another great article.
One feature of discussion on this topic that I find particularly
annoying, perhaps because it often crops up even in "well-meaning" posts,
is the assumption of homogeneity among women (or other groups) in terms
of interests, abilities, and so on. "Women like X" or "women are almost
as good/as good/better than men at Y" completely ignore the important
point: for just about any trait that matters, the differences between
individuals completely dwarf any differences between the means.
As an example, imagine talking about filesystems to "a woman." The
irrelevance of that last bit of data becomes apparent when you consider
that the woman could either be my mom (who is a genius, just not at
computers) or, say, Valerie Henson. The gap between how you'd conduct
those two conversations (and how much you'd be talking vs. listening and
scribbling notes as fast as you can) is monumental. The same would apply
if you substituted two well-chosen men. Sex (or race, nationality, etc.)
is just not a good predictor for anything that actually matters to topics
worthy of discussion on LWN.
In contrast, community-building, respectfulness, and behavior are matters
of general relevance, because they will grow the power of free software.
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