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Re: Re: Just a single Question for the Candidates

On Sat, 6 Mar 2004, Helen Faulkner wrote:

> 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

...mental ones even more so.  Contrary to popular opinion, I was 100%
sincere in both my comment about your mental state and that it wasn't
meant as simple disparagement.  It was the bit about not having suffered
from any hostile behavior but still worrying that you might.  You see
while I may be a bit tone deaf to the plight of the white woman, I do know
a thing or two about living in an environment that seems oblivious to you
and your needs.  I'm not just talking about the obvious ethnic/religious
angle either though I don't want to get into details.  Suffice it to say
I've been and in some contexts continue to be the stranger/outsider.  I
recognize the sentiment in your original post and that's why I'm adamant
that you should not succumb to it nor should others encourage you to.  It's
no way to live.

> 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.

In the time I've been involved with Debian these paroxyms of hand-wringing
have occurred several times before.  Nothing ever came of them then, and I
doubt anything will come of them now.  That's for Debian as a whole.  But
parts of the community may be interested and that's all you really need.

Unfortunately the idealistic tone of e.g. the social contract leads people
to think Debian is going to be some kind of nude love-in.  It's not.

> 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.)

Most people don't fit the average.  The average family has 2.4 children
but have you ever seen a .4 child?  If there is any overriding mentality
that describes Debian members, it is one which is not shared by the vast
majority of the population.  Incremental change in outlook may occur
(though I the cynic think not) but radical change will not.

You personally might find working with Debian a pleasurable experience
though.  Forget about making yourself the ambassador of other people and
ask yourself if building a free and excellent operating system is
something you would like to do.  If yes, you now know some people who
might be able to help you do it.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar@debian.org>
La Salle Debain - http://www.braincells.com/debian/

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