Open source: dangerous to computing education? (opensource.com)
Posted Feb 17, 2010 16:13 UTC (Wed) by farnz
In reply to: Open source: dangerous to computing education? (opensource.com)
Parent article: Open source: dangerous to computing education? (opensource.com)
The problem you're ignoring is that people do naturally advertise their gender, and often their race and their religion, too. It's inherent in their name.
For example, "Susan Douglas" has many people assuming female and white. "Mohammed al-Rafi" is going to lead to people assuming male, middle-eastern and Muslim. Ajay Singh will lead to assumptions of male, Sikh and Indian. John Wu-Cong will have people assuming male and Chinese. An American seeing VeNay Winston is likely to assume black, female, and undereducated.
Note that at this point I've not even gone into other factors, like cultural cues from the way you use language or react to criticism; there are patterns of behaviour in most cultures that are perceived as weak when men engage in them, but are expected of women.
Similarly, there are patterns of behaviour that are expected of men, but that result in women being seen as out of order - in my culture, the key word is "pushy". If an open-source project is full of this sort of behaviour, women stay away, because their past cultural cues (from pre-verbal age) tells them that they'll be ignored if they behave in a "natural" way, or bullied if they go with the flow.
There are also patterns of behaviour that are cultural; I have struggled to work with some people, because I come from a culture where questioning the boss is acceptable, whereas they came from one where you must never contradict someone senior to you.
In short, there's plenty of room for people to (unintentionally) drive away people from outside their specific cultural grouping (and note that most cultures have at least two internal groupings - one for males, one for females).
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