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25 Women in 10 Free Software Organizations for GNOME's Outreach Program for Women

25 Women in 10 Free Software Organizations for GNOME's Outreach Program for Women

Posted Feb 1, 2013 10:53 UTC (Fri) by blujay (guest, #39961)
Parent article: 25 Women in 10 Free Software Organizations for GNOME's Outreach Program for Women

This program discriminates against men. It is therefore sexist.  It is attempting to reduce the percentage of men in the FOSS community at large.

It is also trying to manipulate women into getting involved in certain activities. These women are independent and do not need to be told what activities to be involved in.

It is fundamentally based on the flawed presupposition that anyone or any group knows what is best for anyone else. Who is to say that a certain percentage of FOSS contributors should be women or men? Who is to say what is best? How arrogant to think that one knows what is best for someone else who is fully capable of making their own decisions about such things. It is fundamentally hypocritical.

Such an outreach program should be encouraging people of all sexes, races, and nationalities to consider being involved. Excluding anyone based on their sex is discriminatory and wrong.


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25 Women in 10 Free Software Organizations for GNOME's Outreach Program for Women

Posted Feb 1, 2013 11:03 UTC (Fri) by hummassa (subscriber, #307) [Link]

I don't know. I always thought justice is about treating the equals equally and the differents differently.

http://f.kulfoto.com/pic/0001/0038/i08l237187.jpg

25 Women in 10 Free Software Organizations for GNOME's Outreach Program for Women

Posted Feb 2, 2013 0:36 UTC (Sat) by blujay (guest, #39961) [Link]

Examine your presuppositions. What is justice? What kind of justice are you referring to? Do you mean some kind of "social justice" which compensates some people for perceived inequalities by forcefully taking resources--or opportunities--from some people and giving them to others? Is such "justice" really just? How is it fair to the ones from whom the resources or opportunities are taken?

What is fairness? Is it everyone having the same wealth, or the same standard of living, or the same quality of life? Or is it all people having the same rights and being treated as equals? Is it the job of the government to treat its citizens fairly, or to enforce or create fairness by regulating its citizens lives? There is a significant difference between the two objectives. Is life fair? Should it be fair? Can it be fair? Would it be wise to try to make it fair?

What about liberty? Is "social justice" more important than liberty? Are equal opportunities more important than equal rights?

Is a government even capable of fixing such issues in society? Remember that government is made up of the same messed-up human beings that make up the society which has these problems. Can bureaucracy and laws really fix problems better than private citizens, free enterprise, or charities? Which motivates people more to do good work and selflessly help society: laws and regulations, or freedom to choose? What happens when the government is messed up and creates more inequality or "social injustice" than it fixes?

Don't dismiss these questions out of hand! They are vital to the discussion, but so many people do not even consider them--instead they jump to conclusions based upon unexamined presuppositions, and rational debate--and wisdom--are left by the wayside.

Government's job is not (or should not be) to enforce equal results in individual lives. Government's job is (or should be) to protect individual rights and allow citizens equal opportunities to pursue happiness--not to create, enforce, or restrict such opportunities.

Your image is cute, but it's not really useful for the discussion. Such a complex issue cannot be boiled down to a cartoon. Equality would be like everyone having the same right to get boxes and stack them up, or to do so for others as they see fit. But justice is not taking boxes away from some people and giving them to those who have fewer boxes--that's communism.

Obviously, GNOME's members are free to do whatever they want. But it's hypocritical to try to fix perceived unfairness and inequalities by creating new, unequally-available, unfair opportunities--that doesn't balance things out, it makes more inequalities and more unfairness! "Social justice" is not an equation that needs to be balanced--the solution is not like solving a math problem. "Social justice" is a problem of human beings being human beings, i.e. fallible. The solution is to allow all people the same freedoms to pursue happiness--including the freedom to help others do so--not to try to make people happy or prevent certain people from pursuing it in certain ways.

25 Women in 10 Free Software Organizations for GNOME's Outreach Program for Women

Posted Feb 2, 2013 17:18 UTC (Sat) by jospoortvliet (subscriber, #33164) [Link]

You can make this a huge philosophical debate about freedom, fairness and human rights, but that isn't very useful. The comic posted makes a point which you can't ignore by trowing up more questions. We all know this is a complicated thing and different communities make different choices (notably, I know in KDE there is quite strong opposition to a program like the one GNOME is running. Reasons are very much related to some of the arguments you bring forward).

In the Real World, that is, outside of philosophical arguments, the reason for doing what GNOME has done is two-fold:
- there are extra barriers for women to get involved in Free Software (and having more women involved in itself lowers this barrier);
- having a larger % of women in a Free Software project increases fun and productivity

Both of these aren't exclusive to Free Software and quite well documented so if you disagree, I suggest you look up some research instead of asking me. I'm surely going to be too lazy to do your work for you.

25 Women in 10 Free Software Organizations for GNOME's Outreach Program for Women

Posted Feb 3, 2013 9:35 UTC (Sun) by efraim (guest, #65977) [Link]

>> The comic posted makes a point which you can't ignore by trowing up more questions.

The comic posted misses a point entirely. In real world such a justice is not usually achieved by putting more boxes and making the low higher. It is usually done by cutting down those who are higher. (and this is mostly how affirmative action-style initiatives deal with it) The result is much more graphical and I won't post it here. But the point is I hate analogies when they miss all the important details. I do not think that this detail is one which can be easily ignored.

25 Women in 10 Free Software Organizations for GNOME's Outreach Program for Women

Posted Feb 5, 2013 0:37 UTC (Tue) by raven667 (subscriber, #5198) [Link]

That's a very dark view of the world that I don't think is borne out by either intentions or facts. You can only believe we are diminished by women's outreach if you think that any job performed by a woman is taken away from a man.

25 Women in 10 Free Software Organizations for GNOME's Outreach Program for Women

Posted Feb 8, 2013 22:15 UTC (Fri) by ARealLWN (guest, #88901) [Link]

In response to this comment I would like to note that although I don't wish to be put words into your mouth you seem to be stating that life isn't always fair and it isn't the job of the government to make it so. I do not dispute that this an interesting viewpoint and one that can have an impact on philosophical discussion. I do not necessarily see this as a view that has kept up with modern understanding and modern sociopolitical views. In modern views people seem to accept that women also have a right to work and are also endowed with equal rights as males with limited exceptions (men enjoy the freedom to enter and exit bathrooms marked as being reserved for them but women are not necessarily welcome and vice-verse. This seems to relate more to personal privacy then to the issue being discussed but there are undoubtedly other examples.). If we accept these premises to be true and just I don't believe it is a far reach to accept that not welcoming and promoting women into a professional community is at the risk of the community's own peril and or demise (I do not wish to elaborate at this time, however, I believe history illustrates examples of a refusal of an establishment to embrace certain trends and refute certain intolerance or discrimination).

To return to the subject regarding a governmental authority enforcing the rule that life isn't always fair, there was a terrorist attack that occurred on September 11 2011 against the United States of America. The United States had the option of declaring to the friends and family of the victims of the attacks that life isn't always fair and it isn't the job of the government to act to attempt to make it so. Instead governmental authorities decided to strike out against terrorists and illegal combatants. I am not aware of terrorists or illegal combatants having any seats at the UN so this raises some interesting questions. Was it fair for the US government to begin combat maneuvers against groups that were clearly disadvantaged regarding worldwide political status? Should the US have waited for illegal combatants and/or terrorists to be given seats at the UN before attempting any military actions against them?

My point being that I can mention interesting facts and ask questions that can detract from the issue at hand as well. I firmly believe that Valerie has does an excellent job with regards to explaining the problem, giving examples of it and showing how we can all do something to help. She even gives helpful replies in this thread. If you were genuinely seeking clarification or were in fact ignorant of the issues then I apologize. I have myself been ignorant of issues or topics in the past and have attempted to appear more knowledgeable then I was without even attempting to glean basic knowledge in subjects before discussing them. I hope to merely seem ignorant of significant subject matter in the future as opposed to appearing arrogant and trying to be a smartapple.

25 Women in 10 Free Software Organizations for GNOME's Outreach Program for Women

Posted Feb 1, 2013 11:53 UTC (Fri) by mpr22 (subscriber, #60784) [Link]

I must say, it's unusual to see a parody of an MRA concern troll being delivered in such a completely deadpan style.

25 Women in 10 Free Software Organizations for GNOME's Outreach Program for Women

Posted Feb 2, 2013 0:37 UTC (Sat) by blujay (guest, #39961) [Link]

I may have exaggerated for effect a bit, but the principle is sound.

25 Women in 10 Free Software Organizations for GNOME's Outreach Program for Women

Posted Feb 3, 2013 21:59 UTC (Sun) by ovitters (subscriber, #27950) [Link]

Citation needed for "principle is sound". Just stating something does not make is true.

In any case, I wondered if you were trolling, this seems to indicate you are. Please try to argue with arguments, not with emotions.

25 Women in 10 Free Software Organizations for GNOME's Outreach Program for Women

Posted Feb 1, 2013 12:42 UTC (Fri) by ekj (guest, #1524) [Link]

In a perfect world, perhaps. In the real world, women are told ten-thousand times before they turn 5 that they shouldn't get involved in technology.

If you doubt this, walk into a toystore.

Oddly enough concern-trolls like you only complain if someone, just once, sends even *one* message that says: "Hi, you could get involved in technology!"

If you're trying to balance a ship that's listing seriously to port, you do actually need to add some weight to starboard, you can't re-balance it by adding weight to both sides equally.

25 Women in 10 Free Software Organizations for GNOME's Outreach Program for Women

Posted Feb 2, 2013 0:47 UTC (Sat) by blujay (guest, #39961) [Link]

> In the real world, women are told ten-thousand times before they turn 5 that they shouldn't get involved in technology.

That's just silly. You're not being realistic, you're grossly exaggerating and completely generalizing.

> If you doubt this, walk into a toystore.

So should toys be regulated, then? Should they all be the same color? Should an equal number of boys and girls toys be required to be blue and pink? Should parents be required to paint their nurseries half blue and half pink? You may think I'm being silly, but what is your point?

> Oddly enough concern-trolls like you only complain if someone, just once, sends even *one* message that says: "Hi, you could get involved in technology!"

No! Doing that would be great! The point is that this outreach program is restricted to women! It isn't fair or equal at all!

> If you're trying to balance a ship that's listing seriously to port, you do actually need to add some weight to starboard, you can't re-balance it by adding weight to both sides equally.

As I said earlier, examine your presuppositions. Is the ship listing? Is that a problem? Is it wrong? Can it be fixed? Should it be fixed? Would trying to fix it be fair or create more unfairness?

Who is to say this particular ship is supposed to be level? Maybe it's a sailboat that's leaning into the wind. Maybe it would capsize or go slower if some people tried to level the deck. Maybe no one really knows what it should be.

Maybe it just is.

25 Women in 10 Free Software Organizations for GNOME's Outreach Program for Women

Posted Feb 2, 2013 2:23 UTC (Sat) by dkg (subscriber, #55359) [Link]

blujay said:
[ekj said:]
> If you doubt this, walk into a toystore.
So should toys be regulated, then? Should they all be the same color? Should an equal number of boys and girls toys be required to be blue and pink? Should parents be required to paint their nurseries half blue and half pink? You may think I'm being silly, but what is your point?
No, what is your point? An overwhelming majority of the toy industry makes decisions about how they're going to deal with their customers and the public based on the genders of the people involved, and you leap to their defense: how dare anyone propose that they're doing something wrong! Or try to change it! The next thing you know, the government will tell you what color to paint your nursery!!!!

But when GNOME (and OpenITP, and Mozilla, and Redhat, and Google, but nothing approaching a majority of the tech industry) make decisions about how to deal with their contributors and the public based on the genders of the people involved, you're the first one to the barricades to shout down the horror of their decisions and argue that it needs to be done differently.

Why are you so eager to critique GNOME and yet so eager to defend the toy companies?

No one here is proposing regulations. People are taking action to make their organizations and communities more inclusive and welcoming to participants who might have previously been driven away by aggressive and self-entitled male assholes. Our community grows, and we get more perspectives, a better range of ideas, and more participants as a result. The folks highlighted in the article are working to make their corner of the world a better place. I salute them for that.

What are you doing to make your corner of the world a better place? Is it working?

25 Women in 10 Free Software Organizations for GNOME's Outreach Program for Women

Posted Feb 2, 2013 17:20 UTC (Sat) by jospoortvliet (subscriber, #33164) [Link]

I couldn't agree more.

25 Women in 10 Free Software Organizations for GNOME's Outreach Program for Women

Posted Feb 3, 2013 22:02 UTC (Sun) by ovitters (subscriber, #27950) [Link]

You said in another comment that you've purposely exaggerated in your initial argument. It is therefore pretty poor to complain when someone else does that. Meaning: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_pot_calling_the_kettle_b....

Even in this reply, you're exaggerating and being emotional.

You seem to take this outreach program really personal as if it personally affects you. Is that true, and could you explain why?

e.g. "maybe it just is"... right!

25 Women in 10 Free Software Organizations for GNOME's Outreach Program for Women

Posted Feb 1, 2013 14:38 UTC (Fri) by Im26 (guest, #48749) [Link]

I don't see anything in this program that prevents you from starting your own outreach program to encourage any under-represented part of the community from joining in more to the benefit of both the individuals and the community. Or to put it another way, if you can find a way of increasing the participation from already well represented segments I'm sure that your ideas would be welcomed.

I'm waiting for the Outreach Program for people who prefer to go to the pub - but not surprisingly that doesn't have as much support or merit as this one because people standing in pubs aren't considered a useful addition to the community, there's already a pretty low barrier of entry to them, or we already have a decent cross section of them already.

25 Women in 10 Free Software Organizations for GNOME's Outreach Program for Women

Posted Feb 2, 2013 0:49 UTC (Sat) by blujay (guest, #39961) [Link]

My point is the hypocrisy.

I don't think your pub analogy is a good one. No one is born with the ability or inability to go to the pub, but people can't change their sex.

25 Women in 10 Free Software Organizations for GNOME's Outreach Program for Women

Posted Feb 2, 2013 8:51 UTC (Sat) by mgedmin (subscriber, #34497) [Link]

This is not hypocrisy.

Hypocrisy is someone claiming they're against sexism, while opposing programs that try to do something about it.

25 Women in 10 Free Software Organizations for GNOME's Outreach Program for Women

Posted Feb 2, 2013 2:36 UTC (Sat) by duffy (guest, #31787) [Link]

This is probably the worst comment I've ever seen on LWN. You should be banned from posting.

25 Women in 10 Free Software Organizations for GNOME's Outreach Program for Women

Posted Feb 2, 2013 5:23 UTC (Sat) by raven667 (subscriber, #5198) [Link]

I think blujay is pretty wrong too but that doesn't mean it's right to silence which I believe is a genuinely held opinion, we should welcome the discussion and, at the end, maybe agree to disagree. LWN is generally open to having a frank discussion of ideas as long as the conversation remains civil, and even after civility has left.

If you want to not see these comments you can always censor yourself by using the ignore feature provided to subscribers, I have found it useful to get rid of the most offensive noisemakers, people who seem impervious to logic, reason or a clue-by-four and who seem to like the drama.

25 Women in 10 Free Software Organizations for GNOME's Outreach Program for Women

Posted Feb 2, 2013 7:53 UTC (Sat) by AlexHudson (guest, #41828) [Link]

Offensive noise-makers are an obvious and explicit community problem. The problem of sexism in this community is just as obvious, but the people who perpetuate it are not obvious, and it's an implicit problem.

Even if we could, with a wave of the magic wand, immediately make the community entirely non-sexist and as welcoming to women as men: this still wouldn't solve the problem. Inequality created the problem, but equality alone can't fix it effectively.

LWN is an excellent community resource. If a woman wants to get involved in our community she should be reading it. For me, a discussion about whether an Outreach programme is sexist against men - no matter the conduct of the discussion - is not going to be understood by such readers as a jolly exercise in freedom of speech, or the mature discussion of a community that thinks it might have solved it sexism problems.

She may take one look and wonder how insecure we must be as a male community if we cannot tolerate a programme to encourage minority participants. That's probably about the most positive view I can think she would go away with; the other possible interpretations are far worse.

I don't restrict this belief to posters who are against pro-women programmes. I genuinely believe that comments whose content is largely destructive ("I want you to stop doing X because I don't like it", whether X is "developing systemd", "GNOME UI improvements", "development under a BSD license", whatever) shouldn't have a place here.

25 Women in 10 Free Software Organizations for GNOME's Outreach Program for Women

Posted Feb 2, 2013 12:16 UTC (Sat) by xan (guest, #58606) [Link]

> I don't restrict this belief to posters who are against pro-women programmes. I genuinely believe that comments whose content is largely destructive ("I want you to stop doing X because I don't like it", whether X is "developing systemd", "GNOME UI improvements", "development under a BSD license", whatever) shouldn't have a place here.

Hear, hear.

It's getting to a point where I basically skim through the first comments and when I see the usual mix of violent and destructive garbage I just ignore everything else (possible missing the hidden gem among the trash). I think the only way to fix this is to implement serious editorial control in the comments to make this place a high quality technical debate forum that is welcoming for everyone. As thing stands now it's only welcoming to angry privileged geek males that seem to hate most things.

25 Women in 10 Free Software Organizations for GNOME's Outreach Program for Women

Posted Feb 2, 2013 19:09 UTC (Sat) by duffy (guest, #31787) [Link]

"It's getting to a point where I basically skim through the first comments and when I see the usual mix of violent and destructive garbage I just ignore everything else"

Exactly. To me this is really sad, because LWN didn't used to be that type of place.

25 Women in 10 Free Software Organizations for GNOME's Outreach Program for Women

Posted Feb 2, 2013 21:22 UTC (Sat) by jspaleta (subscriber, #50639) [Link]

let me humbly suggest that this algorithm for comment skimming is going to tend to be a downward spiral for you. The most thoughtful comments, seldom come first.

I would posit that generally speaking the first people to post on a comment thread on a political/policy subject are the people who are less likely to be thinking rationally, or with an open mind. They more likely or not either reacting primarily emotionally, or have a lovingly crafted (and generally well-used) ax they are looking to grind into razor edge perfection. Or they are just bored.

And I include my own behavior in that observation, I'm no saint.

Sometimes its really unfortunate that the first people to post, are the people who set the tone and agenda for discussion for days afterwards.

And with the above said in mind, I would make a different proposal with regard to editoral control.

Implement a peer subscriber ranking system attach a post visibility delay to the ranking. People ranked highly by their peers have their posts delayed for shorter periods of time than those rankly low. This takes the negative impact out of destructive first posters. The posts still show up, but only after highly ranked posters get to set the tone and direction of the visual discussion. The less appreciated posters, as their posts show up after the extended delay, just end up looking like sidebar spurs to what is hopefully a more nuanced discussion for the main threads.

-jef

25 Women in 10 Free Software Organizations for GNOME's Outreach Program for Women

Posted Feb 2, 2013 23:29 UTC (Sat) by sorpigal (subscriber, #36106) [Link]

> Implement a peer subscriber ranking system attach a post visibility delay to the ranking.
This seems to implicitly presupposes a peergroup that is of a single mind on average. For divisive issues where there are >=2 passionate, reasonable sides it might not work very well. I guess it would probably fail open, where most posts show up quickly, so it's worth a try.

25 Women in 10 Free Software Organizations for GNOME's Outreach Program for Women

Posted Feb 2, 2013 23:58 UTC (Sat) by jspaleta (subscriber, #50639) [Link]

No, such a system would never stop discussion when there are substantial disagreements. But it would give all of us a chance to have the discussion be led by those among us who we recognize as thoughtful and well-spoken. It would delay some of the the anticipated noise, even my noise. If there is going to be a debate on a thorny issue, I'd rather see the discussion led by people we've come to expect to be able to talk through conflict, instead of just random people who push the submit button first.

25 Women in 10 Free Software Organizations for GNOME's Outreach Program for Women

Posted Feb 2, 2013 16:44 UTC (Sat) by raven667 (subscriber, #5198) [Link]

> For me, a discussion about whether an Outreach programme is sexist against men - no matter the conduct of the discussion - is not going to be understood by such readers as a jolly exercise in freedom of speech, or the mature discussion of a community that thinks it might have solved it sexism problems.

I understand that there is a danger there but I think the greater good is served by having the discussion because I think the response shows more good things about our community than if such content is censored. It shows that we can have an adult conversation and it shouldn't be a newsflash that there are people with many different opinions out there, it would be a disservice to pretend anything different.

25 Women in 10 Free Software Organizations for GNOME's Outreach Program for Women

Posted Feb 2, 2013 19:22 UTC (Sat) by nix (subscriber, #2304) [Link]

It certainly shows things about our community. I'm not sure they're good, though.

25 Women in 10 Free Software Organizations for GNOME's Outreach Program for Women

Posted Feb 2, 2013 12:15 UTC (Sat) by Company (guest, #57006) [Link]

He spun it nicely, but one point is important: The program is sexist. And that's by design. In fact it's right there in the title.

Once you accept this, he's just a rambling racist. Otherwise he'd have supplied translations into languages besides English, that prick.

25 Women in 10 Free Software Organizations for GNOME's Outreach Program for Women

Posted Feb 3, 2013 9:40 UTC (Sun) by efraim (guest, #65977) [Link]

I don't see anything offensive with in the parent post. I see offensive things in yours though - wanting someone to be banned for posting a comment you just don't agree with is definitely not a behavior I find engaging.

25 Women in 10 Free Software Organizations for GNOME's Outreach Program for Women

Posted Feb 3, 2013 22:08 UTC (Sun) by ovitters (subscriber, #27950) [Link]

If he was speaking within GNOME I'd really question if he was following a Code of Conduct. He said he's exaggerating on purpose. One post, no, no need to ban indeed.

However, you quickly want someone else to be banned though. Asking for that is not offensive however.

Within GNOME we've had a Code of Conduct for a long time now. I'm not sure if you ever participated in any of such discussions on how to behave and how to judge.

I guess your intention is that 1 person calling for a ban is not how to do things, to which everyone will agree. However, people are NOT free to say everything they want in any manner that they want. I find it really sad that LWN allows for such bad behaviour to continue endlessly.

25 Women in 10 Free Software Organizations for GNOME's Outreach Program for Women

Posted Feb 4, 2013 9:02 UTC (Mon) by efraim (guest, #65977) [Link]

A (not-so-)minor nitpick: people ARE free to say what they want in any manner they want. Any forum of course has a relevant code of conduct (terms of use if you will) and does expect its participants to behave accordingly. (or bans them otherwise)

However, I am not aware of any term of LWN terms and conditions which was obviously violated by the grand parent's post and I would like to understand what exactly is violated in GNOMEs code of conduct. I do see a bit of a hyperbole, however I don't think hyperbole is prohibited. (I have not participated in GNOME discussion and obviously do not know what exactly GNOMEs code of conduct contains)

25 Women in 10 Free Software Organizations for GNOME's Outreach Program for Women

Posted Feb 4, 2013 10:13 UTC (Mon) by ovitters (subscriber, #27950) [Link]

People aren't free to say anything they want in any manner that they want within GNOME (servers, community events, etc). On LWN site they do unfortunately. In GNOME, they are not.

In GNOME we try to be respectful towards others opinions. A Code of Conduct is not meant for nitpicking and checking if some rule was really broken or not. One of the intentions is that people can have hugely different opinions yet still discuss this. This without for instance resulting in things like exaggerating.

Blujay for instance already said he exaggerated on purpose. IMO he(?) distorted what the people behind this outreach program are trying to do and what the intention is behind this program.

If someones intention is to object to something and not display any behaviour that might result in any change: ok, so be it. But then I prefer if the person just keeps silent, because I'm not interested in venting.

If you want to have some reasonable discussion, it does NOT help at all if you do not show some understanding that purposely exaggerating what other people are doing is NOT helpful at all. I don't expect anything positive to come out of such behaviour (purposely making things more emotional).

"banning", or checking against some list of rules and if they maybe were broken or are also IMO distracting.

25 Women in 10 Free Software Organizations for GNOME's Outreach Program for Women

Posted Feb 2, 2013 4:23 UTC (Sat) by lkundrak (subscriber, #43452) [Link]

Excuse me, sir, have you ever talked to a woman?
Involved in technology?

25 Women in 10 Free Software Organizations for GNOME's Outreach Program for Women

Posted Feb 2, 2013 17:22 UTC (Sat) by jospoortvliet (subscriber, #33164) [Link]

I actually know as many woman who disagree with having programs like these than woman who agree. It isn't black and white.

25 Women in 10 Free Software Organizations for GNOME's Outreach Program for Women

Posted Feb 3, 2013 22:12 UTC (Sun) by ovitters (subscriber, #27950) [Link]

I know loads of women who are damn good in technology, yet have been told of numerous times to focus on something else. This happens really often, hope I don't have to argue on this.

To make it into a car analogy. If someone pulls the car to the right loads of times, you can hope for the car to head in the same direction as it went before. This outreach program is a small pull to the left.

25 Women in 10 Free Software Organizations for GNOME's Outreach Program for Women

Posted Feb 2, 2013 4:27 UTC (Sat) by marinaz (guest, #72670) [Link]

There are many paid opportunities working on Free Software such as Google Summer of Code and jobs with companies like Red Hat, Mozilla, etc. that men mostly participate in and hold. The reason GNOME started its first outreach internships was that in 2006 we got 181 applications for Google Summer of Code and none of them appeared to be from women.

First, women typically do not have a social circle that encourages them to contribute to Free Software and the program provides that encouragement and a way to start working collaboratively on the first contribution. Second, there are communities in Free Software that are unfriendly to women, where people are rude to each other, make jokes that only anticipate men-only audience, and harass women. This stereotype spreads to all of Free Software, and it is especially important to let women know which communities are good places to join because they are friendly and mature.

For the strongest applicants, the program provides the financial support and the structure that enable them to spend three months full-time on becoming experienced Free Software contributors. Many applicants think this program was just the right thing that they needed to get more involved. It meets their existing interest and experience in Free Software, and helps them become more integrated in a project community.

Besides, we are taking what works well for this program, and use it to improve the newcomer experience for anyone in the community. For example, the list that started with 9 GNOME mentors for the program grew to 46 mentors and became a resource for all GNOME newcomers. We've also made the Google Summer of Code application process more collaborative and gave more visibility to the students' work by asking them to blog on Planet GNOME.

6 women at a conference of 160 means that you are often the only woman in the room and that makes you question why you are the only one there. Reaching out to other women and finding that they want to be a part of the community too makes you want to ensure we are in fact open and approachable to everyone. This doesn't just depend on us being a friendly community, but on the society we live in, in which women are a less likely to have the confidence to get involved on their own. Which is why we have a program that reaches out specifically to them.

With 17% of women at the last GUADEC, many people were coming up to me and saying that it feels like a much more normal, every-day environment. Basically, this program works for everyone involved and only grows the pie.

25 Women in 10 Free Software Organizations for GNOME's Outreach Program for Women

Posted Feb 2, 2013 9:32 UTC (Sat) by shmget (subscriber, #58347) [Link]

"here are many paid opportunities working on Free Software such as Google Summer of Code and jobs with companies like Red Hat, Mozilla, etc. that men mostly participate in and hold. The reason GNOME started its first outreach internships was that in 2006 we got 181 applications for Google Summer of Code and none of them appeared to be from women."

Is there any evidence that, in 2006 GSOC, women were being disqualified for being 'woman' ? If not, the the outcome is not the result of discrimination against women. Equality of chance does not guarantee equality of outcome.

One wonder though why did you concentrate on that particular irrelevant criteria... did you try to evaluate the representation in GSOC with regard to citizenship, creed, height, weight, hair-density, number of toes ? or any other criteria irrelevant to the task at hand ? why not ? what makes gender so special ?

"First, women typically do not have a social circle that encourages them to contribute to Free Software and the program provides that encouragement and a way to start working collaboratively on the first contribution."
I don't have the hard data to back this up, but anecdotal evidence and personal experience suggest that many if not most active hackers don' have much of a 'social circle', especially outside the floss community.
When I started programming, there was not a single person in my 'social circle' that owned a computer even less knew anything about code.

"Second, there are communities in Free Software that are unfriendly to women, where people are rude to each other, make jokes that only anticipate men-only audience, and harass women."

I'll agree to that (well except for the joke thing). Although rudeness is unfriendly to anyone not just women.. but that is another topic :-)

"and it is especially important to let women know which communities are good places to join because they are friendly and mature."
Ok, but then how exactly 'institutionalized job discrimination' acheive that goal ? is it required, in order to advertize 'friendliness and maturity' to one group to exhibit overt discrimination against another group ?

"For the strongest applicants,"

Well, that _is_ the problem. These are not necessarily the 'strongest' applicants... the are the 'strongest' among the one you did not exclude from participating. They may very well be the strongest overall, but it is not possible to tell unless they compete in an open field.

"Many applicants think this program was just the right thing that they needed to get more involved. It meets their existing interest and experience in Free Software, and helps them become more integrated in a project community."

I'm pretty sure that statement is equally true for a program open to _everybody_ like GSOC.

"6 women at a conference of 160 means that you are often the only woman in the room and that makes you question why you are the only one there."

because only 6 woman bothered to show-up... it is not like there are armed-guard at the entrance that prevent woman from entering.
In any case, how is that the fault of that kid somewhere that got denied an opportunity because of his lack of boobs ? why should _he_ be punished ?

"Basically, this program works for everyone involved and only grows the pie."

Well not for everyone... for the qualified candidate that got excluded because of his gender, that surely does not 'works'.

25 Women in 10 Free Software Organizations for GNOME's Outreach Program for Women

Posted Feb 2, 2013 17:46 UTC (Sat) by marinaz (guest, #72670) [Link]

"Is there any evidence that, in 2006 GSOC, women were being disqualified for being 'woman' ? If not, the the outcome is not the result of discrimination against women. Equality of chance does not guarantee equality of outcome."

Yes, society influences that might not have exposed women to the information about GSoC or led them to dismiss it because it meant being part of the environment unfriendly to women and women's uncertainty about whether they are "rockstar coders" enough to apply disqualified women from being applicants.

"One wonder though why did you concentrate on that particular irrelevant criteria... did you try to evaluate the representation in GSOC with regard to citizenship, creed, height, weight, hair-density, number of toes ? or any other criteria irrelevant to the task at hand ? why not ? what makes gender so special ?"

Effectively, for decades Free Software and by association Google Summer of Code had a "For Men" label. 98% of people who took advantage of the opportunity to contribute to it and of the tens of thousands paid opportunities to work on it were men. This is why gender is a relevant criteria. It allows us to grow this group of contributors who otherwise would not feel confident to get involved. It doesn't mean that we can't do outreach based on other criteria if we find that they put people at disadvantage when considering joining Free Software. We want Free Software to be welcoming to all newcomers, and having outreach programs like this one improve things for everyone.

"I don't have the hard data to back this up, but anecdotal evidence and personal experience suggest that many if not most active hackers don' have much of a 'social circle', especially outside the floss community.
When I started programming, there was not a single person in my 'social circle' that owned a computer even less knew anything about code."

But the society around you didn't discourage you from spending time at your computer and the toys you played with since your childhood likely encouraged breaking and building things. For women it is more important to know someone personally who they can work with while getting involved in the project.

"I'll agree to that (well except for the joke thing). Although rudeness is unfriendly to anyone not just women.. but that is another topic :-)"

See http://geekfeminism.wikia.com/wiki/Timeline_of_incidents - a lot of these were jokes that anticipated a men-only audience!

In my early days of contributing, when I was the only woman in an IRC channel, I definitely saw innocent jokes made that anticipated men-only audience. "Being one of the guys" or leaving were the only options women saw then. Thankfully, with outreach efforts like this one, men in the community are aware that women are part of the conversation.

Rudeness affects everyone, but it especially affects women.

"Ok, but then how exactly 'institutionalized job discrimination' acheive that goal ? is it required, in order to advertize 'friendliness and maturity' to one group to exhibit overt discrimination against another group ?"

Creating opportunities for an underrepresented and disadvantaged group is not discrimination or sexism. It is required to create these opportunities and invite people who otherwise might stay out. We have a lot of catching up to do.

"Well, that _is_ the problem. These are not necessarily the 'strongest' applicants... the are the 'strongest' among the one you did not exclude from participating. They may very well be the strongest overall, but it is not possible to tell unless they compete in an open field."

There are lots and lots of other opportunities for everyone. This is a special targeted effort that is needed to attract a specific group precisely because the members of that group are at disadvantage when considering all the opportunities already available.

""Many applicants think this program was just the right thing that they needed to get more involved. It meets their existing interest and experience in Free Software, and helps them become more integrated in a project community."

I'm pretty sure that statement is equally true for a program open to _everybody_ like GSOC."

Yes! Yet, the OPW applicants didn't apply for GSoC.

""6 women at a conference of 160 means that you are often the only woman in the room and that makes you question why you are the only one there."

because only 6 woman bothered to show-up... it is not like there are armed-guard at the entrance that prevent woman from entering.
In any case, how is that the fault of that kid somewhere that got denied an opportunity because of his lack of boobs ? why should _he_ be punished ?"

I explained earlier why women were held back from showing up. Men were and are presented with lots of opportunities.

""Basically, this program works for everyone involved and only grows the pie."

Well not for everyone... for the qualified candidate that got excluded because of his gender, that surely does not 'works'."

It worked, they applied for GSoC or a job or contributed in their spare time and were a part of a bigger and better community that builds cooler stuff with its better-rounded perspective.

25 Women in 10 Free Software Organizations for GNOME's Outreach Program for Women

Posted Feb 2, 2013 12:28 UTC (Sat) by xan (guest, #58606) [Link]

I'm going to be extremely clear. You are a disgusting sexist. People like you are part of the reason, a big part, why women are not involved in technology as much as they could, or should.

Women have been, as a group, discriminated against for *thousands of years*, always being relegated to tasks that were considered second rate and physically, culturally and legally prevented from accessing the sphere of public life, higher education and the vast majority of jobs. It's been, literally, a few decades since most legal barriers were overcome, but we still carry a vast legacy that discriminates against women in many, many ways. And this is the best case, plenty of countries all around the planet still have not even reached that very preliminary starting point. Knee-jerk reactions against programs of this kind for the integration of women in our community just prove how much we still have to struggle, and how committed some men are to stop their privilege from being taken away.

People like you make this and other forums an hostile environment for women, and it is my humble opinion that such kind of language and attitude should be, at the very least, condemned with the strongest possible words every single it dares to rear its ugly head from the pestilent pits entrenched misogyny.

25 Women in 10 Free Software Organizations for GNOME's Outreach Program for Women

Posted Feb 2, 2013 17:25 UTC (Sat) by jospoortvliet (subscriber, #33164) [Link]

And by not engaging in dialog, how do you ever expect to change this? I don't know if the topic poster has learned anything, but I've seen a number of excellent rebuttals of his arguments which could/would be very informative for people who are at least somewhat open for discussion.

25 Women in 10 Free Software Organizations for GNOME's Outreach Program for Women

Posted Feb 2, 2013 20:13 UTC (Sat) by xan (guest, #58606) [Link]

The idea that every forum must welcome with warm greetings everyone regardless of their repulsive ideas just so that they can be "educated" is something that, in my experience, only privileged people that are not affected by those same ideas consider a great plan. The price we pay for doing what you suggest is that LWN, GNOME, and any other community, becomes a hostile environment for women or other discriminated groups.

My *personal* opinion is that I'd rather lose a hundred misogynists if by doing so I make this forum a better place for *one* woman, but that's just my opinion and not what I said in my comment. What I have advocated is a strong condemnation of the kind of blatant sexism that could decide programmes for the inclusion of women in free software are evil and pernicious. Seems like they least we can do.

25 Women in 10 Free Software Organizations for GNOME's Outreach Program for Women

Posted Feb 2, 2013 21:39 UTC (Sat) by raven667 (subscriber, #5198) [Link]

> The idea that every forum must welcome with warm greetings everyone regardless of their repulsive ideas just so that they can be "educated" is something that, in my experience, only privileged people that are not affected by those same ideas consider a great plan.

You are right of course and I won't insult you by denying it. I have some dim inkling of the ways that I am privileged but the default is to be blind to it, something I am slowly learning more about as I age.

25 Women in 10 Free Software Organizations for GNOME's Outreach Program for Women

Posted Feb 3, 2013 22:14 UTC (Sun) by ovitters (subscriber, #27950) [Link]

I agree that dialog is better. In this case I haven't noticed a real dialog though despite some trying to start one.

25 Women in 10 Free Software Organizations for GNOME's Outreach Program for Women

Posted Feb 2, 2013 18:29 UTC (Sat) by bolle (guest, #73676) [Link]

Honestly, I am quite astonished that a comment on GNOME's outreach program for women which actually states the obvious can cause this ad hominem reply.
Moreover I beg to differ regarding the history of mankind. The picture you paint may well describe the world in terms of today's prevalent feminist ideology where women take the role of innocent victims of evil men and where we all will face a bright future only after these male evil doers have been properly brainwashed and re-educated to stop discriminating their mothers, sisters and wifes. But maybe it was not such a bad idea in those dark ages of gender inequality to let the girls warm the cave and take care of the kids while the boys were hunting for the mammoth instead of vice versa;-).

25 Women in 10 Free Software Organizations for GNOME's Outreach Program for Women

Posted Feb 3, 2013 22:16 UTC (Sun) by ovitters (subscriber, #27950) [Link]

Citation needed for the things you state. I really don't get what your intention is with this reply. I hope it is a weird kind of sarcasm?

25 Women in 10 Free Software Organizations for GNOME's Outreach Program for Women

Posted Feb 4, 2013 19:16 UTC (Mon) by bolle (guest, #73676) [Link]

Well, my comment was not meant to be a scientific paper therefore I did not give any citation - similar to my parent poster. By the way - wouldn't it be at first hand the task of those who promote such women-only programs to back up their claim that the relatively low percentage of women in open source projects is a result of active discrimination by men?
Couldn't this gender disproportion be simply the result of gender typical interests? I work as a software developer for quite some years now. In the various groups I worked I had and have female colleagues. Throughout all these years I do not remember any case of sexual harassment or anything that could be seen as a discrimination against women. In fact you could argue that it is quite the opposite now: as a reaction of the political pressure from EU and national government my company has committed itself to increase the percentage of women in managing positions within the next couple of years. So as woman you have actually better chances to be promoted than as a man. But that's another story. What is however striking is that none of my female colleagues seemed to have interest in any software or hardware related stuff in their spare time. No female colleague ever talked to me about her current software hobby project or her latest experiments with her new Raspberry Pi - as my male colleagues occasionally do. Of course this is not a bad thing at all - but related to the question why so few women volunteer for open source projects it might give a hint. The interesting question is whether these differences in interests have their root cause in social traditions or in biological dispositions. For that I finally I have a citation:

"The Gender Equality Paradox"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQ2xrnyH2wQ

25 Women in 10 Free Software Organizations for GNOME's Outreach Program for Women

Posted Feb 3, 2013 11:31 UTC (Sun) by efraim (guest, #65977) [Link]

I am going to be extremely clear, too. I am absolutely disgusted by your comment, since I see absolutely nothing sexist in the parent post.

Your outrage is completely pointless. I objectively do not see much discrimination against women in computing community - at least in those parts I work and act in. Maybe FSF conferences are a different beast, but then you should describe what their problems are and stop being outraged by things completely not worth an outrage.

25 Women in 10 Free Software Organizations for GNOME's Outreach Program for Women

Posted Feb 3, 2013 13:41 UTC (Sun) by hummassa (subscriber, #307) [Link]

Your blindness is not the fault of others. And if you really don't see discrimination in the area of exact sciences in general or computing in particular, there is no other word to describe it.

Search news for brogrammier culture, difficulties of communication for women in electronic forums, inappropriate behavior towards women in software conferences, and other similar topics. Even LWN has some interesting articles to that respect.

25 Women in 10 Free Software Organizations for GNOME's Outreach Program for Women

Posted Feb 3, 2013 13:49 UTC (Sun) by efraim (guest, #65977) [Link]

You accuse me of blindness when I report what I see around me.

I don't need to tell you who behaves rudely here.

You might have a point or not, I frankly do not care since I do not mean to continue discussing with you in your tone.

25 Women in 10 Free Software Organizations for GNOME's Outreach Program for Women

Posted Feb 3, 2013 14:15 UTC (Sun) by hummassa (subscriber, #307) [Link]

I am truly sorry if I came across as rude. I did not have the intention of being rude. But I *did* have the intention of being blunt and absolutely without subtlety.

That being said:

> You accuse me of blindness when I report what I see around me.

I am reporting differently. Many, many others are reporting differently. So, if you want to see and evaluate things more objectively, it is *your* duty to look harder. Search the terms I indicated, talk to your female coworkers, hear out for what are the problems that women in tech complain all the time.

I used to think like you. "Hey, we are in the 21st century, discrimination is over". Then, good friends showed me that not only discrimination against women in every field is not over, but in the tech field it can be even worse. They showed me many things I thought and did were subtly discriminatory. They showed me that a toy story is a whole world of gender inequality. Ditto for school, in all grades. Social pressures everywhere steer Genial women away from exact sciences. Then I opened my eyes. I suggest you do the same. That's it.

25 Women in 10 Free Software Organizations for GNOME's Outreach Program for Women

Posted Feb 3, 2013 22:18 UTC (Sun) by ovitters (subscriber, #27950) [Link]

I've noticed loads and loads of behaviour that prevents loads of women participating in technology. They never joined any "computing community" as a result.

25 Women in 10 Free Software Organizations for GNOME's Outreach Program for Women

Posted Feb 4, 2013 8:51 UTC (Mon) by efraim (guest, #65977) [Link]

Well, if you notice lots of such behavior, obviously "women outreach" program won't help you. You need "men outreach" program to educate colleagues how not to be jerks. I don't think women should be forced into the field, through artificial quotas (I don't think that's what GNOME outreach program does, but lot of such programs do, and this is one reason I don't find initial blujay's post entirely unreasonable. I do think however that any jerky behavior should be discouraged and not tolerated, as currently often is the case. This is enough to make sure women (or anyone else for the matter) gets a just opportunity in the field.

25 Women in 10 Free Software Organizations for GNOME's Outreach Program for Women

Posted Feb 4, 2013 9:45 UTC (Mon) by ovitters (subscriber, #27950) [Link]

I find it interesting that you:
* assume that the initial behaviour can be fixed by GNOME
* that the behaviour is displayed by my colleagues
* that the only way to get more women is to change behaviour which happened way before I ever met those women

I'm not talking about being a jerk towards or anything like that. It is things like often being questioned why they're interested in computers. Hearing crap as "I'm probably not good in this as I'm a woman". Various women I've talked to have been discouraged in some way their entire lifetime.

In any case blujay's post is a response to GNOME's outreach program for women. We do not discourage anyone else from participating. We have other programs we participate in. As such, yes, I find it unreasonable. There is 0 reason to suddenly start talking that someones response might be appropriate for another program. That's like picking arguments as you go along. He was talking about this program.

I do understand the hesitation. I had huge doubts about this program. I also wondered for a long time why not to fix things at the source (technically, this feels like a workaround rather than fixing it at the root cause). But this program seems to work, and brings benefits *now*.

25 Women in 10 Free Software Organizations for GNOME's Outreach Program for Women

Posted Feb 4, 2013 10:25 UTC (Mon) by efraim (guest, #65977) [Link]

I never assumed anything. That's just the picture I got from your previous comments: I don't know how about you but I do find "You are probably not good in this as you are a woman" to be a jerkish comment. Do you disagree? I sure would not say one to any woman and I do find it hard to believe one any of my co-workers would.

Furthermore, I do not assume the initial behavior can be fixed by GNOME, and I furthermore think that this is not a universal "women-in-computing" problem but a society-specific problem, which should be solved in those societies which exhibit it and not through universal organizations like GNOME.

So, I guess I disagree with:
1. The claim there is a universal women-in-computing problem. There are society-wide problems. (I guess it is different between countries and even specific neighborhoods)
And therefor
2. I doubt GNOME can do much to resolve the problem.

25 Women in 10 Free Software Organizations for GNOME's Outreach Program for Women

Posted Feb 4, 2013 22:01 UTC (Mon) by marinaz (guest, #72670) [Link]

" So, I guess I disagree with:
1. The claim there is a universal women-in-computing problem. There are society-wide problems. (I guess it is different between countries and even specific neighborhoods)
And therefor
2. I doubt GNOME can do much to resolve the problem."

1. The problem of very few women becoming Free Software contributors affects all societies, regardless of the percentage of women who work on the proprietary software. Otherwise we would evidently have a large representation of women from a particular society, something I'm not aware of.

2. What GNOME and the Free Software community can do is help women who are teetering on the edge of the Free Software community integrate more fully, raise awareness of the value of Free Software contributions and the friendliness of the large parts of the Free Software community among women in technology, provide women contributing to different projects in Free Software a support network so that they don't feel so alone, and show that there are more women interested in contributing to Free Software than are already contributing. This solves problems on a certain level and helps specific people who have reached that level now (namely the 72 interns the program had so far).

Programs like this one also add to the general conversation on the subject and are *part* of the solution. No one effort can be *the* solution for something as complex as this. On other levels there are geeky parents ( http://exple.tive.org/blarg/2012/11/07/flip-all-the-pronouns ), building toys made attractive to girls already conditioned to like pink (Goldie Blox, Lego Friends), all sorts of math, science, technology, and robotics outreach for girls in school, and finally in Free Software OpenHatch that makes and extra effort to reach out to women with introduction to Free Software events in colleges and the Ada Initiative that helps make all Free Software conferences safer for women and fosters a community of women and their supporters in Free Software.

25 Women in 10 Free Software Organizations for GNOME's Outreach Program for Women

Posted Feb 7, 2013 12:48 UTC (Thu) by ovitters (subscriber, #27950) [Link]

Your end with a #1 and a #2, but they don't align, so I don't understand what you're saying.
You disagree that "I doubt GNOME can do much to resolve the problem". So you agree that GNOME can change society? Or does "the problem" refer to something else? Or did you not align things properly and you mean I should ignore the "I disagree with".

In any case: "I never assumed anything. That's just the picture I got from your previous comments". I never said anything about my colleagues, you assumed I was talking about colleagues. Calling an assumption a picture does not really matter IMO.

In any case, I refute that GNOME should not fix this. But at least it is clear that society specific problems should not be actioned by specific societies. I don't get at all why you need to direct people on what they must not do, really.

25 Women in 10 Free Software Organizations for GNOME's Outreach Program for Women

Posted Feb 5, 2013 15:23 UTC (Tue) by niner (subscriber, #26151) [Link]

"Women have been, as a group, discriminated against for *thousands of years*, always being relegated to tasks that were considered second rate and physically, culturally and legally prevented from accessing the sphere of public life, higher education and the vast majority of jobs."

I'm mostly playing the devil's advocate here, but I think, I can illustrate the core of the problem:

I am male. I never in my life discriminated against any woman let alone for thousands of years. I did do nothing wrong.

Yet I'm being discriminated against at numerous occasions. If I apply for a job and there's female competition with about the same qualification as me, she will get it. If I ponder getting involved with development of GNOME but finances just won't allow spending the time, I won't get involved with GNOME because as a male I do not get the same chances as women do.

To sum it up: I'm innocent, yet I'm punished.

I think this is the core reason why this discussion will flame up every time a program like the one in the article is mentioned. And I think it would be wise to address this directly. Otherwise these well intentioned and important outreach programs will always leave a certain inflammatory after taste.

25 Women in 10 Free Software Organizations for GNOME's Outreach Program for Women

Posted Feb 5, 2013 16:18 UTC (Tue) by mjg59 (subscriber, #23239) [Link]

"I never in my life discriminated against any woman let alone for thousands of years."

You've never consciously discriminated against any woman. The massively overwhelming probability is that you've done so unconsciously. That's not something you should be punished for, but it is something that won't be fixed unless compensating biases are put in place.

25 Women in 10 Free Software Organizations for GNOME's Outreach Program for Women

Posted Feb 5, 2013 16:33 UTC (Tue) by apoelstra (subscriber, #75205) [Link]

> I'm mostly playing the devil's advocate here, but I think, I can illustrate the core of the problem:

> I am male. I never in my life discriminated against any woman let alone for thousands of years. I did do nothing wrong.

> Yet I'm being discriminated against at numerous occasions...

This is a serious problem with reparation schemes or any situation in which a minority group is given preference -at the expense of- other groups. But that's not what GNOME thing is. If it wasn't a targeted program for women in open source, it's not like there'd be some equivalent non-targeted thing. The point is not just to find developers, but to improve network effects, change the atmosphere and tone of the open-source, and otherwise make the open-source world a more appealing place for women.

And the endgame of -that- is to increase the net developer power, not change its composition. There is no excess of open source developers. Nobody will be displaced by un-alienating alienated groups.

25 Women in 10 Free Software Organizations for GNOME's Outreach Program for Women

Posted Feb 5, 2013 17:19 UTC (Tue) by raven667 (subscriber, #5198) [Link]

> I am male. I never in my life discriminated against any woman let alone for thousands of years. I did do nothing wrong.

But of course you've taken advantage of your privileged position, I'm certain I have, probably without even being aware of it, and have had discrimination fall in your favor, which is much more common than for a male to be discriminated against. As a member of a privileged class you get to live life on easy mode compared to someone else with the same basic qualities but who looks different. There really aren't many moustache-twirling villans out there who actively try and put people down, and no one thinks that of you, the reality is much more insidious.

25 Women in 10 Free Software Organizations for GNOME's Outreach Program for Women

Posted Feb 5, 2013 18:14 UTC (Tue) by jubal (subscriber, #67202) [Link]

Yet I'm being discriminated against at numerous occasions. If I apply for a job and there's female competition with about the same qualification as me, she will get it. If I ponder getting involved with development of GNOME but finances just won't allow spending the time, I won't get involved with GNOME because as a male I do not get the same chances as women do.
I call bullshit.

Overt outreach

Posted Feb 2, 2013 22:36 UTC (Sat) by man_ls (guest, #15091) [Link]

This program does not discriminate; it is not sexist. It is a program explicitly designed for women. Discrimination in a program happens when admission is biased by a factor not related to the program itself. Now for some examples to let you know the difference. Using race to select scientists: bad. Using income to help poor people: right on the money. Using gender to select developers: bad. Using gender to increase women participation in free software: only logical. (The issue of whether increasing women participation is worthwhile can be discussed separately; if you think it is not worthwhile I am sure you can find 25 other cavemen to agree with you.)

Many people are against positive discrimination. This is not a case of positive discrimination, but a targeted program. The whole premise of this thread is absurd. Sorry for feeding the troll but too many people are swallowing this disgusting bait.

Overt outreach

Posted Feb 3, 2013 0:15 UTC (Sun) by shmget (subscriber, #58347) [Link]

"Using gender to select developers: bad."

Well, that is _exactly_ what the program does.

Using gender to increase women participation in free software: only logical.
oh, so using gender is bad... except it gender=woman ?
what is logical about that ?

"Many people are against positive discrimination."
positive discrimination is an oxymoron. by the very definition of discrimination, it favor someone at the expense of someone else, and in this context, based on a criteria irrelevant to the task at hand. There is nothing positive about that, regardless who is favored.

"This is not a case of positive discrimination, but a targeted program."
A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.

"The whole premise of this thread is absurd."

Fact:
Program A establish as first rule: Applicant must be of gender G.
Does anyone argue that this is not a fact here ?

Now, let's apply the golden rule ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Rule ) to that fact. Anyone still think it is a good idea ?

Overt outreach

Posted Feb 3, 2013 0:45 UTC (Sun) by man_ls (guest, #15091) [Link]

I thought it was obvious that in the first example you cite the objective was to select developers for a given development project; while in the second the goal is to increase participation of women in free software, therefore the way to do it is using gender. The objective is what counts in both situations.

Note that in free software developers are not selected but they offer to participate; in this program women are encouraged to do so with an internship. There is no exclusion of male developers in any project, just an incentive to a certain group which is grossly underrepresented.

By the way: the Golden Rule, not a good idea. Try the categorical imperative. I think applying similar programs (for men or women) to any situation where gender imbalance is about 90~99% would not be a bad idea.

Overt outreach

Posted Feb 3, 2013 2:04 UTC (Sun) by shmget (subscriber, #58347) [Link]

" in this program women are encouraged to do so with an internship. There is no exclusion of male developers in any project, just an incentive to a certain group which is grossly underrepresented. "

Certainly there is an exclusion from the internship.
iow this is a job opportunity: 'doing some work and receiving compensation for it', and a class of people are excluded from applying based on their gender.

If the program was about encouraging women to _volunteer_ to open source project, or encouraging women to _apply_ to GSOC, for example, and helping them to be successful GSOC student... that would be a completely different story.

Overt outreach

Posted Feb 3, 2013 10:16 UTC (Sun) by man_ls (guest, #15091) [Link]

Of course there is exclusion from the internship, but not from the participating projects. You may dislike the program as much as you want, but accusing it of discrimination when it is meeting its explicit goals is absurd. That is not what discrimination is about, and you should all know better.

Overt outreach

Posted Feb 3, 2013 10:46 UTC (Sun) by dlang (subscriber, #313) [Link]

> but accusing it of discrimination when it is meeting its explicit goals is absurd.

so if the KKK were to make a program to advance white males you would say that it's not discrimination because it achieves the goals of the program??

somehow I don't think so.

If you can't change the group that a program is designed to benefit to any other group without causing cries of discrimination, then it's highly likely that the program is practising discrimination in favour of the group it's trying to help.

Now, that discrimination may or may not be justified as a corrective measure for past problems, sometimes two wrongs do make a right (depriving someone of their freedom is wrong, but we do it as punishment to criminals who have wronged others), I'm not arguing that this program is evil.

but saying that it's not discrimination if the group it excludes is X for only some values of X but not for other values of X is not being true to the term.

Overt outreach

Posted Feb 3, 2013 11:05 UTC (Sun) by man_ls (guest, #15091) [Link]

The KKK was not practicing discrimination within their own organization; it just had abhorrent objectives. But these objectives included practicing discrimination in many other organizations and situations.

I believe we are just one step short of invoking Godwin's law, so forgive me if I don't participate in this discussion any more. If with the arguments provided you don't see the difference then you need more enlightenment than I am able to provide, or you are being obnoxious on purpose. Either way it is of no use.

Overt outreach

Posted Feb 3, 2013 22:19 UTC (Sun) by ovitters (subscriber, #27950) [Link]

Purposely involving the KKK in a discussion. Really, wtf?

Overt outreach

Posted Feb 3, 2013 2:15 UTC (Sun) by hummassa (subscriber, #307) [Link]

> it favor someone at the expense of someone else

The whole argument crumbles right here. If a man wants to be a Free Software programmer, he does not need the kind of help a woman needs (for instance, to understand brogrammer culture and to know what to do about it; to communicate effectively with a male majority in mailing lists and other electronic forums; to steer from social pressures that would make them go away from exact sciences).

So, when you do a program like that, you are not doing so at the expense of men; the field will be as full of us as it always has been. But if you prevent a program like that to happen, you will do so at the expense of women; the result is that the field will have the same amount of men, but less women. Got it?

25 Women in 10 Free Software Organizations for GNOME's Outreach Program for Women

Posted Feb 3, 2013 21:56 UTC (Sun) by ovitters (subscriber, #27950) [Link]

Discrimination is not automatically sexist.

In any case, your argumentation is sad beyond belief. Is is attempting to reduce the percentage of men?!? No, it is attempting to increase the number of women!

Women really often told how to behave. People do think they know best for women.

Starting an outreach program for women does not mean you cannot start an outreach program yourself.

Please at least respond to above. At the moment I'm not sure if you're confused, trolling, or just never followed any conversations which have been going on about the lack of women in Free Software.


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