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Women don't have the same passion for open source men do? Really??
Posted Aug 30, 2009 1:35 UTC (Sun) by kov (subscriber, #7423)
Posted Aug 30, 2009 2:27 UTC (Sun) by hypatiadotca (guest, #60478)
I think that "lack of interest" is not a good metric, as I think there are a lot of social pressures at play outside of Free Software which cloud "interest" to the point where it's meaningless. Similarly with male "interest" in traditionally female-dominated professions like nursing - have you ever considered whether you were interested in nursing? It doesn't even cross most guys' minds.
That said, of the few women who are already explicitly interested, not all are already involved. I know for a fact that there are women who are already doing CS / IT / programming work in various capacities who look at what kind of crap takes place in free software and say "thanks but no thanks".
> Do you think there are actually women who are interested (as in, working with the code, and who would really like to contribute), but not involved in the projects because they tried and hit a barrier?
I think there are both men and women who have been interested but have hit barriers and not gotten involved. I personally know examples of both. I think there are additional barriers to women's participation relating to the various things that have been discussed over this thread - being hit on, being talked down to, being harassed, etc, which men don't deal with to the same degree or at all, in some cases.
I hope that answers your questions. I'm watching the RSS feed of the comments, let me know if it brings up new ones :)
Posted Aug 30, 2009 3:31 UTC (Sun) by kov (subscriber, #7423)
I have in fact. I have absolutely no interest for that, though I was quite interested in biology
while I was at school (I would have liked being a biologist, but certainly not a medic or nurse).
While I was studying Social Sciences I did consider whether I would have interest in another
female-dominated profession (at least in Brazil), which I think is called 'Social Assistant' in
English, and I decided I certainly didn't have any. The one female-dominated area I did
consider once was psychology, but I decided I preferred more practical stuff, in the end. Being
female-dominated areas was not what pushed me out, mind you, I just don't really like dealing
with people day to day that much =).
> I think there are both men and women who have been interested but have hit barriers and
not gotten involved. I personally know examples of both. I think there are additional barriers to
women's participation relating to the various things that have been discussed over this thread
- being hit on, being talked down to, being harassed, etc, which men don't deal with to the
same degree or at all, in some cases.
OK, thanks for the input =). I have seen some of that myself, and like I said, I think it's
important to deal with this kind of stupid behavior. My original point was that we should try to
not blind ourselves by looking too closely at the issues we face in out day-to-day lives, and
forget about the more general issues.
> I hope that answers your questions. I'm watching the RSS feed of the comments, let me
know if it brings up new ones :)
Coolie, I am watching replies, so same here.
Posted Aug 30, 2009 4:41 UTC (Sun) by hypatiadotca (guest, #60478)
That's a perfectly valid reason, and I'm glad that you did at least consider it. I think if you ask around your male friends you'll be surprised at how many never even got that far. It's the same with women and the "hard" sciences - in both cases, "interest" just never comes into play because it's not on the list of professions folks consider.
> My original point was that we should try to not blind ourselves by
> looking too closely at the issues we face in out day-to-day lives, and
> forget about the more general issues.
I hear what you're saying there, but I also think it's super important to be able to make the link between the issues that we face in our day-to-day lives and the society we live in, or as second-wave feminists put it, that "the personal is political". As a specific example, the most interesting way that this works that I've seen lately is the way gender affects negotiation, and how this has a broad impact on the lives of both women and men. It ranges from the big-ticket issues like women's ability to negotiate pay, to the every day interpersonal interactions - how many times have you heard a woman ask "Would you like to do $foo?" when she really means "I would like to do $foo, is that amenable to you?". There's a whole book on the topic called Women Don't Ask, and let me tell you, it was a life-changing read for me. I've got 4 copies on my desk because I've been giving it to all the women (and some of the men) I know. http://womendontask.com is the interweb site for it.
The flipside is that our experiences of oppression or difference do not map perfectly, and we may not always be able to judge them accurately; there's a phenomenon called "denial of personal disadvantage" which basically means that even if we see that discrimination exists, we may not believe that it happens to us. Here's an interesting study on the topic: http://www.ur.umich.edu/9394/Feb07_94/15.htm
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