Re: Re: Just a single Question for the Candidates
I agree with Ben that the problems are more subtle than overt. I have
never noticed overt sexism in my dealings with debian, though maybe I
haven't been looking awfully hard either.
I think that on average, women are likely to be not so confident that
their skills will allow them to survive in an environment like debian,
compared to their male counterparts. I don't know why this is true, but
I experience it all the time. My only guess is that it's basically
cultural, and that it's deeply rooted even in someone who is generally
sure of her technical/learning skills, as I am.
I have never had a hostile experience with debian, but I still feel
really unconfident when I interact with the debian community, even if
it's only posting a bug report. I don't understand why this is so, but
it's very real. Partly it's knowing that I'm going to be dealing with a
man (almost certainly), and he may assume I don't know what I'm doing,
and he may put me down or be condescending or unkind as a result.
I think getting over this hurdle is probably hard for a great many
women. I know it puts me off thinking about becoming a debian
developer, even though I could probably technically manage it. I'm only
writing this post at the prompting of a male friend. If he hadn't
hassled me about it, I would not have posted this, incase those "scary"
debian guys laugh at me, or I make a mistake in posting, or something.
To overcome the problem (and yes, I do believe lack of input from half
of humanity is a problem), I think debian needs to get less "scary"
towards women. Maybe if the word went out that women would be actually
welcomed, people would be more interested. Something on the website,
possibly? I also think that all debian people could bear in mind that
when a woman is interacting with you, it's likely that she's nervous
about doing so. That's not your fault, but it's helpful if you are
sensitive to the possibility, Remember that women in western countries
spend their whole lives getting told that they are not supposed to be
any good at computers, and some of that sticks subconciously, even when
we don't believe it really.
This is my opinion, anyway :)