Sure, it desensitizes a person up to the point that personal suffering doesn't touch him anymore, but it places individual problems in a much larger picture, which - in my humble opinion - is a much better way to solve big problems. And keep track of the long term consequences.
Nobody denies that sexism in FOSS exists. If not, Carla Schroder wouldn't be able to list a set of incidents. The problem I have with this statement is, that now it seems to be exclusively a FOSS problem - how long to you think it will take for Microsofts astroturfers to pick this up and use it against us, it suggests that it is widespread like a malignant cancer, affecting each and every level of our community, it is claimed to be the most important reason that there are very few women who participate in FOSS and - most importantly - after vi vs. Emacs, Gnome vs. KDE and Mono vs. everything else it forms another crack in our community.
Carla Schroder has done anything possible to keep deviant opinions from reaching the outside world. I offered my article to LT too, but obviously, it was refused. Carla Schroder not only violates the ethical guidelines for journalists with this, she also shows she is not interested in a discussion about this subject with the community as well.
Another thing I learned during my study was that in every debate you always reach a point where further discussion appears to be useless. That point is reached when you start to discuss the foundation of an ideology, which is their dogmas. Therefore, attacking the dogmas of any ideology is a fun way to get your opponents red hot. Which happened. Modern feminism has long left the ideas which are still advocated by Carla Schroder. As a matter of fact, I can happily agree with them. A philosophy friend of mine always says: "It takes ten to fifteen years for the general population to pick up new ideas and another ten to twenty years for the politicians and the media to understand the world has changed."
But that is not what I wanted to discuss with you. I wanted to show you some real world examples of how successful women in IT and FOSS in particular think about this issue. These women are not some gray, anonymous, unsubstantiated array of possible FOSS participants, but real life women who have their own ideas and ideals. Was what Richard Stallman did really sexist? Not everyone agrees here:
This blogpost is completely ridiculous! I am woman and I don’t see anything bad in Stallmans comment. It was just a joke, for Christ’s sake. And I can’t see anything sexist in it. But what is really bad is this crazy denouncement of RMS, this wave of pseudo-feminism and political correctness. I really hate these would-be feminists with wacky world-view, their disgusting political correctness and false moralism. They are disgrace for all women.
True feminism had sense in the past, when there were really disproportions between men and women rights. But I can’t see any signs of women discrimination in my surroundings anymore (for a long long time). Of course we must take care to not let that happen again, but not like this! This "new" pseudo-feminism is completely bogus and it hurts us.
It started with Debian developer expelled for joke in mailing-list because of some stupid pseudo-feminists (again, I didn’t see anything sexist in it, it was just parody of spam, a tasteful and funny parody IMHO). And now this unjustified bashing of RMS. I am ashamed that women in FOSS are like that :-(
And what about women considering FOSS to be a "hostile” environment?
Get over it already!
I'm a woman, FOSS user and aspiring to learn software development. The only constraint in my way is time: I have a life to live that includes raising and home-educating a child and running a business.
This and not "sexism" is the same reason why women are proportionately "under-represented" in many professions and why on average they get paid less in most of those professions - the work simply has to compete for time and dedication with other interests.
Girls can do ANYTHING...anything they care about doing that is. Yes, there will be obstacles. That's life. Life is tough.
And even this woman, who took the time to comment my blog is somebody I actually admire and applaud, for the simple reason that she does where so many others do not:
Do you contribute code to free software projects? I do. That's not the only type of contributions needed, though. There is work that matches every skillset out there, we are not only looking for developers.
By the way, I started my geek journey almost 30 years ago, too, slinging COBOL and holding on to Grace Hopper as a source of inspiration. It is still largely a "man's world" but I never minded working ten times as hard for opportunity. It made me stronger and smarter and better at what I do.
Of course, I saved the best for last. This one almost shocked me for the simple reason that she so eloquently said what I wanted to say.. If only I had been a woman.
As I’ve read through a slew of posts and articles on women and IT in the past few months, I’ve discovered two things: First, that they are almost always written by women, and second, they are all just as sexist as they claim the IT environment to be.
You heard me correctly. I said they’re sexist and offensive. And not just sexist and offense toward men, but to women as well: (..) "Engineers have their 'hard-hat culture', while biological and chemical scientists find themselves in the 'lab-coat' culture and computer experts inhabit a 'geek culture.' What they all have in common is that they are 'at best unsupportive and at worst downright hostile to women.'"
This seems to imply that women live outside the geek culture. I know more than a few women who are likely offended by that implication, and I'm certainly one of them. I'm not even sure what that means, and the authors of the report don't seem to elaborate at all on what it is that makes "geek culture" hostile and unsupportive or why this is problematic for women.
It’s a mighty broad brush being used to paint a fairly dismal picture of IT and computer science in general. At best unsupportive? Downright hostile?
Have I been subjected to hostile, demeaning attitudes and behavior from men in the workplace? Yes. But I've been subjected to similar attitudes and behavior elsewhere. It's a fact of life: Some people are jerks. Walk around any public venue for a while and you’re bound to discover that this is true of a certain percentage of the population. It stands to reason, then, that you'd find a similar percentage of jerks working in IT.
Have I met one or two individuals with dismissive, sexist attitudes? Absolutely. But an entire "culture of dismissal"? Never.
That's hardly a reason to condemn an entire profession, nor an entire gender. What’s even more annoying about these reports and articles is that they imply and sometimes outright demand that IT change to suit women. (..)
The premise of these articles and studies is that there is something wrong with IT in the first place. It assumes that because some women chose to pursue other careers along the way that they were driven (probably with pitchforks) out of IT by men and into a pitiful existence as a business analyst or stay-at-home mother.
But a large piece of the story is missing from these articles and research: Are the women who have left IT happier? Do they enjoy what they are doing now more than they enjoyed IT? Are they satisfied?
If they are, then maybe it isn't IT and men that are wrong, but rather those particular women’s choice of career in the first place.
You wanted "real women, real experiences", Carla? Here you got 'em.