Re: Re: Just a single Question for the Candidates
From: Craig Sanders
meekness isn't about bullying.
it's (partially) about perceiving bullying whether it's really there or not.
it is a disability which varies in severity from being mildly shy to being
socially crippled......it is not the fault, or responsibility, of non-meek
people, any more than fully-abled people are at fault for the disabled.
and just as you don't cure quadraplegia by breaking the arms and legs of
healthy people, you don't cure meekness by making healthy people fearful &
Nice analogy. It is indeed not the fault of able-bodied people that some people
have quadraplegia. If, however, a group finds that they have a
disproportionately low representation of quadraplegics involved, it's possible
that enquiry will reveal a barrier to involvement that effects people with
quadreplegia more than able-bodied people. Maybe there are stairs at the entry
to the building. Are you really suggesting that the able-bodied community
should not at least attempt to lower that access barrier by providing a
wheelchair-ramp? I guess it depends on what kind of community you wish it to
be, and how much you value the participation of those who are effectively denied
entry by a barrier that is insignificant to you personally.
Just because some people have difficulty understanding that there are barriers
that make participation in things like the debian community more difficult (on
average) for women than men, doesn't mean the barriers don't exist. Social and
cultural barriers are more difficult to see than physical barriers - that much
is clear from some of the comments on this thread alone. They are also more
difficult to lower. It comes down to what the community as a whole wants to do.
For the record, I'm not a particularly meek person :) But whether I am or not
is beside the point. The point is that barriers exist to participation in
debian by women, and that as a result *on average* a women is less likely to
participate in debian than a man with the same level of skill. If the debian
community wish to have greater partipation from women, maybe they need to work
out how to reduce the overt barriers (eg sexist comments, harassment etc), and
provide "ramps" to lower the effect of the more subtle barriers (eg lack of
For the record, I make no particular assumptions about the way any specific
debian person will behave towards me. However if I was inclined to do so, some
of the postings on this thread would make me assume, more strongly than I would
have before, that debian guys are likely to be either condescending or sexist.
I have learned something through this experience! Isn't it lucky that I don't
really go for making such assumptions ;)
For the record all my more general statements apply to my understanding of the
position of the *average* woman. There are of course people who don't fit that
average. (Actually I'm one of them, but that doesn't mean I don't experience
enough of the same feelings to understand the problems people have to deal with.)
For the record, I am not trying to blame the debian community for the existence
of barriers to women in this context. That would be like blaming able-bodied
people because some people have disabilities, and anyway the causes of the
problem go much wider than the debian community. However I do believe that if
that community wishes to encourage greater particpation by women, making an
effort to lower the subtle barriers would help. It's clear, from many of the
posts to this thread, that lots of you are certainly willing to try that. How
much harm can it do to make the effort??