I think I forgot to publish my previous comment, but my most successful open source project at
the moment (LedgerSMB) was actually a reaction against many of those same issues you describe.
So, I have (as a male) been driven away from at least one project for the exact same reasons
you describe. The fact of the matter is that poorly run projects *should* be abandoned.
I guess I would share my thoughts as a project leader (we are lead by a core team of six which
have equal voices and of which no business employs more than one). This is designed actually
to avoid the major problem you describe, which is that people turn into [unflattering
adjective] when they have power but feel threatened. By ensuring that the people who have
power are in competition with eachother economically, we can help ensure that the community
*as a whole* works together. Yes, we have our arguments (some of which are quite vehement)
but we respect eachother and (usually) eventually make the right choices.
However, I think that there is another issue. How do we encourage participation in general?
Do we welcome participants in our community? See the challenge isn't recruiting women. The
challenge is ensuring that everyone is able to benefit by contributing as they see fit. Maybe
the contribution is code. Maybe it is a usability suggestion. Maybe it is help with press
releases. The point is-- it shouldn't matter and people should feel welcome.