Women don't have the same passion for open source men do? Really??
Posted Aug 27, 2009 19:02 UTC (Thu) by BrucePerens
In reply to: Women don't have the same passion for open source men do? Really??
Parent article: FSF to host a mini-summit on Women in Free Software
OK, I'm going to guess that you might be Yuwei Lin, and that you are a woman.
In lin3_gender, there is discussion of a text-based environment as somehow more gendering. And the causes given are 1) perhaps they've had less IT training in general, 2) schools aren't teaching those environments, and 3) there is more reliance on externalized memory, but you're not implying that women are poorer at externalized memory.
All of this seems to imply a nurture-based bias in early-to-middle education. And I'm very willing to believe in such a bias, but it's not Free Software's fault!
Regarding why textual environments are seen to connote more expertise, rather than being a simple preference, it is true in many fields that the person who can function in a less supportive environment is seen as expert.
It is also possibly the case that to those males with sensory-motor integration disfunction (I am a sufferer or ex-sufferer and anecdotal evidence is that such is common in technically-oriented males), a textual environment is definitely more comfortable. But I don't yet see the support for this as a female weakness rather than a male deficit.
So, I agree that a more supportive environment for women is desirable. This is in part social and maybe part technical. I think you would need good experiments to support your theory that some software is inherently less supportive of women, and you don't have those experiments yet, and I'm still dubious.
You don't seem to disagree with the early education differences, as far as I can follow. I feel this is where the most progress can be made. Unfortunately, it takes a generation to pay off.
There is still the nature aspect. You narrate your own passion as an argument against this, but isn't there some chance that you are an outlier?
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