OK, I'll bite. Sides of this issue you might not be considering
Posted Aug 25, 2009 3:13 UTC (Tue) by BrucePerens
In reply to: foot out of mouth
Parent article: FSF to host a mini-summit on Women in Free Software
Want to hear a man telling you there's not a problem? It's not me, I know there's a problem. But what we're talking about now is not the problem.
If anyone had the slightest chance of understanding EMACS virginity to be in the slightest way related to sex, and then feeling threatened, it wasn't because they were a woman. To believe that is insulting women much worse than anything RMS said. Lots of women handle much worse social challenges every day. And this is not approaching why there are so few women in the technologies.
IMO, someone who espoused that sort of feeling during RMS talk was primed for this to happen before it did, looking for a fight, and towed any number of people looking to be politically correct along with them.
I saw Lefty at the Community Summit and he was totally sickly nonlinear about this. He had a cry in his voice the whole time he explained it to me, and ran off in a huff when I didn't buy it.
Nobody is considering the men's side of this equation. It happens that virginity is pretty much a social affliction among the young nerdy men who flock to computer programming. And RMS goes without a girlfriend for a while now and then. What do you do when something's painful and you can't make it go away? Joking about it makes it feel better.
I remember my first year in communication arts at NY Tech, there was one woman entering the program. They used to bus us to events with Fashion Institute of Technology and Barnard just so that we could have social interaction with women our age. But you already knew this was not a problem unique to Free Software.
I think we have to solve the overall problem with women in Science and Engineering to solve Free Software's problem. It's not all discrimination and bad jokes, or we would not have other minorities at the level that is currently represented. Some of it is what women grow up wanting to do and be.
Remember what the Jesuit said: Give me a child until he's 7 years of age, and he's mine for life. I think we have to concentrate on very early training at home and in early grades.
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