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Re: Just a single Question for the Candidates

On Sat, Mar 06, 2004 at 12:54:23PM +1100, Ben Burton wrote:
> > There is a chronic systemic harrassment in Debian, but I have not seen
> > women get more of it.
> I know I've said this some number of times already, but I'll say it again
> in just four lines so it's that much harder to miss.
> The problem Helen refers to in the most part is not *overt* sexism.  The
> problem is *subliminal/covert* sexism, where everyone is treated the
> same way but women in general (through social training, upbringing,
> whatever) are less well adapted to such treatment.

Eh?  If it's sexism, it's racism, too, since some cultures (I've noticed it
mostly in Asian people) are far more deferential and less inclined to
confrontation.  It's also ageism, as older people aren't acculturated to
overt confrontation.

With a bit more work, I could probably think up a bunch more 'isms' we're

My point?  There's no point in labelling the problem, as it will target a
symptom ("let's be nicer to the girls") and not the root cause - that Debian
is a fairly confrontational culture, grounded in the deeply competitive
spirit of "the best code wins".

With our underlying culture, I'm not sure if any attempts to change us will
truly ever succeed in making us the caring, sharing, non-confrontational
group that will make every person happy to work with us.  Hell, if we become
non-confrontational, we'll probably lose some of the people who enjoy the
confrontation - so we still won't be able to claim we're all-inclusive.  <g>

Hmm, I'm rambling again.  Should wrap it up.  First, is it a problem?  Yes,
I think it is.  The more people who feel comfortable becoming involved in
Debian, the better we can be.  How can we do it?  Probably only by
segragating somewhat - you find a Debian "sub-group" that you feel
comfortable working with, and you avoid d-devel and the other flamewar
territories.  Not perfect, but practically, we're never going to be able to
get some people involved in group hugs, and driving them away is as bad as
driving away the non-controntational people.

- Matt

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