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Re: Just a single Question for the Candidates

One time on Thu, Mar 04, 2004 at 09:50:06PM -0500 this person named David Nusinow wrote:
> You can plug your ears and shout "It's not real!" all you want, but that
> doesn't make it so.


BTW, for those of you who don't already know, I'm the helix from IRC. I
want to say a few things and I hope I won't just end up preaching to the

Everyone who has stated that #debian is abusive is totally on point (and
there have been too many of you for me to give credit. ;)) However, that
doesn't trivialize the nature of treatment I've received for the past
year. It should not be par for the course. Just because you're a geek
does not make you immune to normal social conventions. 

The topic being discussed was the lack of women in Debian and I felt it
proper to provide some anecdotal evidence for the treatment some of us
have received. What you all saw was only from one day - there have been
more instances of that, some of them not as overt as others so I can see
why some of you may not consider it a big deal. Did I overreact? I don't
think so. This kind of behavior is far too common for me to get used to
and I really don't think the onus is on me, or any other woman, to be
polite when reacting. Also, I consider leaving out of the question since
there are a great many people whose company I enjoy and who are not
total idiots. What about the future women who come into the channel? 

And true, these were not Debian developers, but the fact is, most people
are users (like me) before they ever consider becoming developers. If
your first impression of Debian is that people are going to be abusive,
there is a problem. A lot of women I know will not go to #debian because
of the treatment - in fact, one of them told me she's considered
becoming a developer (and take my word for it, you'd be lucky to have
someone so talented) but is put off by the abusive environment of
Debian, sexism notwithstanding. So something to consider is that the
aggressive behavior is more the problem than overt *or* covert sexism.
Unfortunately, many people may consider this to be a strong point -
whatever, again, these are speculations on my part. 

This is not an argument about how bad the treatment I received was on a
scale of 1-10. Likewise, this is not an argument about Helen's lack of
courage. She stated an opinion. That's not something you can debate. I
encourage those of you who are not already listening to do so - a lot
can be accomplished that way. 

If I may, here are three simple rules to follow when dealing with women:

1. Don't pander to us just because we're women. 

2. Don't flirt with us just because we're women.

3. Don't insult us just because we're women.

Obviously, some of you don't need this. In fact, it may not even reach
the eyes of those who do. 

Either way, I think the increased op activity in #debian is a Good Thing
and hopefully will prevent abuse (of everyone) in the future.


off the chain like a rebellious guanine nucleotide

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