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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 15:40 UTC (Fri) by shmget (subscriber, #58347)
Parent article: 25 Women in 10 Free Software Organizations for GNOME's Outreach Program for Women

I fail to see how a program that discriminate on criteria that have nothing to do with capacities, hard work, skills, knowledge,... -- iow any quality that would be desirable for the task at hand -- would be a 'Good Thing(tm)'.


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

Posted Feb 1, 2013 16:57 UTC (Fri) by apoelstra (subscriber, #75205) [Link]

>I fail to see how a program that discriminate on criteria that have nothing to do with capacities, hard work, skills, knowledge,...

It discriminates on criteria that are good proxies for not participating in open source. These are exactly the criteria that an outreach program should discriminate on the basis of.

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

Posted Feb 1, 2013 18:47 UTC (Fri) by shmget (subscriber, #58347) [Link]

1/ An outreach program does not have to resort to 'institutionalized job discrimination' to target an audience.
2/ 99% of the population does not participate in open source, regardless of gender.... so why ignoring 99% of the population and instead concentrating on the marginal difference of participation based on some arbitrary criteria is a good thing for open source ? (again within the context of 1/; targeting an audience is one thing, actively discriminating is another)

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

Posted Feb 1, 2013 18:59 UTC (Fri) by apoelstra (subscriber, #75205) [Link]

> 1/ An outreach program does not have to resort to 'institutionalized job discrimination' to target an audience.

But by definition, this is what a targeted outreach program does.

> 2/ 99% of the population does not participate in open source, regardless of gender.... so why ignoring 99% of the population and instead concentrating on the marginal difference of participation based on some arbitrary criteria is a good thing for open source ? (again within the context of 1/; targeting an audience is one thing, actively discriminating is another)

Just by talking about open-source software, we are excluding people who lack technical skills, people who lack time, people who lack access to computers or networks, and people who aren't interested in software. These exclusions don't sound to me like they should exclude any particular groups of people, but it seems like they do --- and in the context of such a limited population, the size differences between sub-populations is much more than "marginal".

But, I don't have numbers to back this up, so I'll leave it at that.

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

Posted Feb 1, 2013 20:19 UTC (Fri) by shmget (subscriber, #58347) [Link]

"But by definition, this is what a targeted outreach program does."

Not necessarily.... you can have a a conference located in an area where your target audience is reachable and/or convenient to access, you can adjust the hours and date to be convenient for your target audience...
but that does not means that you have to do a conference that ban people that are not your target audience from participating...

iow 'outreach' program to a group does not necessarily imply discrimination against another group... like _this_ program does.

If someone is concerned that GSOC, for instance, is sexist and favor men candidate, then make the selection process double-blind, so that candidate are evaluated based on gender blind data, to make sure that no student get selected based on anything that the merit of his/her/its application.

"These exclusions don't sound to me like they should exclude any particular groups of people, but it seems like they do ---"

Indeed, the data indicate that theses and probably others do. But that is a symptom not the cause... Glossing over the symptom by paying some people to participate, based on gender to make the numbers 'look' better is not going to address the causes.

" and in the context of such a limited population, the size differences between sub-populations is much more than "marginal".

But this is assuming that these limitations (that 'prevent' the 99% from participating) would be easier to lift if you concentrate on one particular sub-group.... that seems hard to substantiate when the underlying factor are not quantified, and, for lack of data, it stand to reason that all the good reasons you gave that may prevent someone from participating, as you also aptly noted, should be gender neutral on face value.. and if they are not then _that_ is something that may worth addressing... but these would be societal/cultural problem that certainly won't be solved by introducing 'job discrimination' in a field that is culturally already much more inclined than the general population to value merit over irrelevant criteria like gender, creed, size etc...

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

Posted Feb 2, 2013 0:52 UTC (Sat) by blujay (guest, #39961) [Link]

Thank you for your insightful posts and your willingness to question assumptions. I agree completely: introducing discrimination does not reduce discrimination. By definition, it increases it.

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

Posted Feb 2, 2013 8:21 UTC (Sat) by mgedmin (subscriber, #34497) [Link]

I cannot understand if you're trolling or genuinely confused.

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

Posted Feb 3, 2013 13:56 UTC (Sun) by jubal (subscriber, #67202) [Link]

Well, he's rehashing the usual MRA crap from /r/MensRights, albeit in a less offensive form. I bet on a genuinely confused troll.

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

Posted Feb 2, 2013 23:27 UTC (Sat) by sorpigal (subscriber, #36106) [Link]

Thank you, very clearly articulated.

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

Posted Feb 2, 2013 2:37 UTC (Sat) by duffy (guest, #31787) [Link]

Then you've probably never been excluded from anything based on the fact you have boobs and a heartbeat, regardless of your skill and experience. Must be nice.

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

Posted Feb 2, 2013 8:22 UTC (Sat) by shmget (subscriber, #58347) [Link]

No, I have not, nor have I excluded anyone from anything based on that criteria either.
But is blind retribution if proper course of action here ?
iow is excluding some random person because he does not have boobs make things any better ?
If you are in search of retribution, then concentrate against the people that did you wrong... and the random talented kid that was denied a chance because of his lack of boobs is not it.

really, why would anyone even _care_ if a contributor has boobs or not is something that eludes me.

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

Posted Feb 2, 2013 8:32 UTC (Sat) by mgedmin (subscriber, #34497) [Link]

You're saying the problem of discrimination against women would go away if we just pretended it doesn't exist and stopped trying to come up with solutions.

With comments like this you're doing your best to feel women unwelcome here and in the wider open source community.

Please stop.

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

Posted Feb 2, 2013 9:40 UTC (Sat) by epa (subscriber, #39769) [Link]

The other poster is simply saying that two wrongs don't make a right.

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

Posted Feb 2, 2013 9:47 UTC (Sat) by shmget (subscriber, #58347) [Link]

"You're saying the problem of discrimination against women would go away if we just pretended it doesn't exist and stopped trying to come up with solutions."

No, I'm saying that 'institutionalized job discrimination' is not a viable solution.

"With comments like this you're doing your best to feel women unwelcome here and in the wider open source community."

I'm sorry, do you have a substantive argument to justify how punishing a random qualified applicant based on his gender is a 'good thing', or do you plan to just stick to hand-waving and 'appeal to emotion' fallacy ? ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appeal_to_emotion )

Beside you are giving my comments way to much weight. I doubt that someone that read LWN is not already well involved in floss, and my comments, no matter how misunderstood or mis-characterized they may end-up, are very unlikely to turn a LWN reader away from floss.

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

Posted Feb 2, 2013 12:24 UTC (Sat) by Company (guest, #57006) [Link]

You need to have been be part of a disadvantaged group that you cannot escape from and have experienced the problem to understand what people are saying here.

It seems to me that men who have battled depression and been told by the world at large to "man up" are far more understanding of the women's cause to give just one example of such a minority.

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

Posted Feb 3, 2013 22:21 UTC (Sun) by ovitters (subscriber, #27950) [Link]

Nobody is being excluded. Care to explain how people are excluded?

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

Posted Feb 2, 2013 4:31 UTC (Sat) by marinaz (guest, #72670) [Link]

Please see my response above that explains the background and rationale for the program.


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