Women in Technology

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  To Sir, with Love: How To Get More Women Involved in Open Source
Subject:   Men do have some responsibility.
Date:   2007-09-28 09:57:24
From:   RachelPhilPa
Male I/T folk need to stop making sexist and misogynist attacks against women in the industry. We can't continue to have situations like what happened to Kathy Sierra, where she had to shut down her blog and cancel an appearance at a major conference in fear for her life, after receiving rape and death threats on her technology blog because she dared to be competent while female. As long as that kind of things happen, women (including myself) will be scared to participate in the open-source movement.
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  • Men do have some responsibility.
    2007-09-28 17:31:42  RickMoen [View]

    If I may try to help for a moment: Guys, Rachel is right. Rachel, plenty of men of goodwill are oblivious to this problem because they either don't commit these offences and have never witnessed them, or do contribute to the problem in minor ways but aren't aware of what they're doing. Major assholedom is rare; minor jerkishness is very common.

    It would be nice to know what to suggest, but nothing comes to mind beyond what Rachel and (e.g.) Val Henson do: Matter-of-factly pointing out the problem, ignoring the inevitable trolls / knee-jerk arguers, and refuting those suggesting that the situation's symmetric, which it is not.

    Rick Moen
  • Selena Deckelmann photo So do women.
    2007-09-28 12:37:02  Selena Deckelmann | [View]

    Hi Rachel,

    First, There are many, many places where you can find a list of "what not to do". I tried to give a list of "what to do".

    Second, where would you like to participate? Which project? Please contact me -- selenamarie -at- gmail -dot- com, and perhaps I can put you in touch with someone in that community that would allay your fears.

    I feel terrible about what happened to Kathy. And I support taking action to reduce the chance something like that would happen again. However, I don't think that's the norm. It certainly has not been for me, and as Audrey mentioned in her article - participating off-line is certainly an option. My experience has been that most open source work is done among small groups of connected people.