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Women don't have the same passion for open source men do? Really??
Posted Aug 27, 2009 19:43 UTC (Thu) by BrucePerens (guest, #2510)
So, going from your content instead of Lyn's, I would guess that you feel women in Free Software are marginalised, uncomfortable because you are seen as sexual objects, and excluded.
Marginalization is to some extent a self-fulfilling prophecy. It is cured by the presence of enough women that they can't be ignored. Certainly we can help by being more welcoming, but unfortunately the greatest load is on the women who choose to be pathfinders.
Believe it or not (and no snide comments please) I have had women in the workplace make me uncomfortable because they treated me as a sexual object. And I've been treated that way by a gay man too. I agree this is more of a problem for women, but you aren't alone. Also, I suspect some of the problem with actions of men in our field how strongly they have been effected by a lack of approachable women who are interested in the things they are. That will improve over time. The college program where I reported there was one woman is doing better now.
And excluded. I do notice that in-groups of any kind tend to exclude outsiders - regardless of sex. I've seen this most powerfully in a group of railroad motorcar enthusiasts who very strongly excluded interested people who did not yet own a "speeder".
Is this so very different from RMS' own problems into fitting into a society that - in the large - does not accept and understand him, and which he can not understand? I don't think so.
But having been in another group that tries very consciously to attract women (we even make commercials about it! http://www.arrl.org/pio/ARRL709D.mp3), I am still not seeing that all of the issues are under our control. We still have a nature or nurture problem - either early childhood education or hard-coded gender issues. Of course, these have outliers.
Posted Aug 27, 2009 19:55 UTC (Thu) by maco (guest, #53641)
Posted Aug 27, 2009 20:29 UTC (Thu) by BrucePerens (guest, #2510)
Posted Aug 27, 2009 20:09 UTC (Thu) by jordanb (guest, #45668)
I can't even begin to imagine why that's not working for you....
Posted Aug 27, 2009 21:29 UTC (Thu) by nix (subscriber, #2304)
Believe it or not (and no snide comments please) I have had women in the workplace make me uncomfortable because they treated me as a sexual object.
Posted Aug 27, 2009 22:56 UTC (Thu) by BrucePerens (guest, #2510)
Posted Aug 27, 2009 23:17 UTC (Thu) by maco (guest, #53641)
Bringing a guy with you when you go to tech conferences usually helps. Then it's clear that someone else has already called dibs. But it doesn't always work. Sometimes it just results in inappropriate things being directed at you both. Obviously my partner will not disagree with me on a technical topic because then "he won't get any tonight," according to a fellow developer (note: this is utter bull. he is quite ready to correct me on any technical matter where he has more expertise...which is most of them, since he's been at this since I was in elementary school).
Posted Aug 28, 2009 20:34 UTC (Fri) by hypatiadotca (guest, #60478)
Posted Aug 28, 2009 19:07 UTC (Fri) by eon (guest, #60489)
>Believe it or not (and no snide comments please) I have had women in the workplace make me uncomfortable because they treated me as a sexual object. And I've been treated that way by a gay man too. I agree this is more of a problem for women, but you aren't alone.
Dude! really you haven't a clue what women have to deal with! Not a freakin' clue. I can not forget that I may be a target, on the street, at work, at the doctors office. And while you may feel "uncomfortable" I have to worry about rape. Dude, unless yr in prison or some other extreme situation you don't have to think about rape. You just don't. As women we modify everything & weigh the risks at all times. It's part of city life. And yea, I had a male, *MARRIED* co-worker who went out for drinks with other co-workers & told them he was gonna kidnap & rape me cause I was unavailable to him. I left that job.
And dude, I'm sooo not hitting on you cause I look you in the eyes while I talk to you. I'm not hitting on you cause I appreciate the cool things yr doing in tech. I'm just not hitting on you. So get a grip, be polite & treat me like the rest of the guys.
Don't trivialize the violence women have to deal with. It makes you look stupid.
Posted Aug 28, 2009 19:20 UTC (Fri) by BrucePerens (guest, #2510)
The main thing that I go through is other's perception that I am physically or emotionally intimidating. And once in a while I've made women scream through no intention of mine. I guess this is the opposite of what is happening to you, but be assured that it gets old.
Posted Sep 22, 2009 15:12 UTC (Tue) by Lefty (guest, #51528)
I do not mean to trivialize what you go through in any way...
You'd be well-advised to stop doing it, that being the case.
Posted Aug 29, 2009 12:05 UTC (Sat) by omnot (guest, #60509)
You say that you have had women and gay men cause you to feel uncomfortable in the workplace. I ask that you use that experience to conduct a thought experiment:
Imagine that your industry has 98% female participation. These are the women who made you feel uncomfortable only, on average, they are stronger, more arrogant and more notoriously horny than you are comfortable with.
Imagine that of those 98% 4% are overtly misogynistic and hostile, loudly mocking of your contribution, males in general and you, personally. Only a few of the other women ever spontaneously chide them and ask that you be treated fairly. 80% of the women don't even notice the bad behaviour.
Imagine also that your overall impression is that about half of the women you have ever worked with (still the mooted 98% of all workmates ever) have been overheard making casually derogatory remarks about the sexual proclivities of men -- specific and general -- and some of those comments have been made about you, personally. Your objections are dismissed as irrational: you should be a "good sport".
Sexually explicit questions are routinely asked of you directly, by women you are trying to work with, in any form of media with which you communicate. Some of the women are unnervingly creepy and persistent, and get disturbingly hostile when you do not respond as they would wish.
Imagine that suggestive to semi-pornographic images of impossibly handsome men, and lewd "clever" captions are used widely to promote the product you are working on. Imagine that when you suggest that the imagery is not cool, your teammates tease you, deride you, ostracize you and talk about how uptight you are behind your back.
Imagine that whenever you arrive at an industry conference some harried organiser snaps "Deliveries around the back". Once they let you in, a few people will ask you who your partner is (you must be accompanying a woman because men don't work in the industry), and almost everyone who does not ask makes that same assumption.
Imagine that walking into the conference involves wondering which of the women there -- women you are not attracted to, do not know and only wish to interact with on a professional level -- are the 4% who have nothing but contempt for men. Who are the 50% who see men in your industry as a bit of a joke? And who among them are going to try hitting on you over the course of the conference? And, when you decline their unwelcome and inappropriate advances, will they graciously accept 'no' for an answer? Whether you say yes or no, will they lie or exaggerate to their friends, to your cost?
Imagine the appeal of asking a female friend to accompany you to such an event so that you don't feel like a gazelle in a lion enclosure? Can you imagine the disgust and despair you feel that such a precaution should even cross your mind in such an honourable, well intentioned field of endeavour?
So, Bruce, how good is your imagination? How long would you tolerate marinating in that before you could not be bothered volunteering your spare time and earnest efforts any more?
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