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Re: Just a single Question for the Candidates

Ah right, I'll chime in.

> But on balance I think even that was pretty mild.  I very seldom see
> overt hostility towards women in Debian.  I think I have seen more
> towards gays, and we appear to have more gay and bi male developers than
> women of any orientation.

It's possible that it's all relative (tm).  Given the amount of overt
anti-gay rhetoric that we still hear today, debian appeared to me as
having very little hostility towards lesbians/gays/etc.  Certainly it
was a much less hostile environment than the place where I was living at
the time [1].  Hell, even in Australia where same-sex couples can get
immigration visas (with a large amount of red tape), we still have our
prime minister traipsing about arguing against same-sex marriage because
"it does nothing to support the survival of the species" [2].  If only the
world were ruled by the Dutch. :)

Anyway, I have never though of debian as hostile towards gays/etc at
all, certainly compared with the world at large.

> Is it that we have subcultures within Debian, and the gay/bi male one has
> reached a critical mass that enables new ones to be assimilated into our
> group more easily?

FWIW, I wasn't aware of such a subculture when I joined back in 2001,
and even now I'm finding it hard to think of more than a couple of other
lesbian/gay/bi DDs.  Though of course you don't wear your sexuality in
the From: line the way you wear your gender, but still - I wouldn't
really have said there was a lesbian/gay/bi subculture in debian as such.
Maybe I'm just not paying attention. :)

I do think you have it right when you observe that there is seldom overt
hostility towards women in debian.  I think the issues are more subtle
than that, which can in fact make the problems harder to address.

As an example, I'd say that debian, as with several open source
projects, does have a bit of a "bullying" culture (certainly not pushed
by everyone, or even by a majority, but certainly not invisible either).
And for whatever reason, I think males often thrive better in that
culture (look at debates regarding single-sex vs co-education schools).
This may or may not deter some people from participating - this is all
just wild speculation.

Anyway, just thoughts on the issue.  Like everyone else I have no good


[1] http://www.sodomylaws.org/usa/oklahoma/oklahoma.htm
[2] God bless Howard, the dear thing

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