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Re: Debian-women support?

On Sat, Jul 24, 2004 at 10:39:28AM +0200, miluz wrote:

> I'm not agree at all with "debian-women". I think that Debian is needed 
> women, not the contrary. So, when you will have finished to congratulate 
> yourself, I hope that you will start to work.?????

Actually, this is a situation currently being discussed and worked on. Most
of us aren't here (if any, really) to be congratulated for joining an open
source community. We're here to encourage people to get involved - to spread
the word that this world isn't necessarily just for men, and we know because
we're part of it. This isn't an attempt to spread a feminazi worldview that
we're superior and deserve to be treated better; we're attempting to educate
people that we *can* do this and offer support to those who are interested
in helping, but just don't quite understand where to get involved.

Erinn and I were talking earlier today and agreed that we're not here to
hand-hold women into getting involved in Debian. We don't *want* to be
hand-held and we don't *want* women thinking they're going to get
preferential treatment *because* of their gender. That goes against
everything we're trying to do, everything we've worked so hard as a whole to
accomplish, and everything that Erinn had hopes for when she envisioned
starting this project.

The group as a whole needs to hammer out exactly *what* we want to
accomplish with this group - what our mission and goals are. Personally,
*my* mission is to get over being intimidated by a seriously male-dominated
field. I'm *not* asking for coddling. I'm *not* asking for guys to be gentle
with me. I'm asking for information. I *want* to be involved with others
like me with my goals in mind, and I think it's important for women who
*don't* realize that women *can* be involved and work on Debian to have the
information available to them.

Will this information be exclusive to women? No. Why would it? Will this
information be exclusively /for/ women? No. How could it be? This
information, like so much more information, would ideally be available in an
attempt to recruit, encourage and retain women in the project.

> Male opinion is that it is the first time that a debian-list is not 
> created in a pure tecnical objective. I'm agree with them, and I didn't 
> want to subscribe, but I was strongly charged to engage this debate with 
> you.

> I've suggested, in France, to find an other name to this list - like 
> "debian-enlist"- starting on a female page on the site debian.org, which 
> allow us the greatest latitude to talk about feminism (that I need too). 
> But also to make workers outside our fight. The danger is to deprive us 
> of men's knowledge and information we need, they will fastly be 
> discouraged, disgusted of their own part of guilty, and tempt to troll us.

> They are not gently between them, because of the high level of debian. 
> Why do they have to be gently with us? Do you want to continue to be 
> traited like poor little things? I know that women are not well traited 
> all around the world, but debian is a really good way to forgot our 
> feminin condition. The best tool we can have to start to work without 
> difference. You are not agree?

I'm not aware that the women here want to be treated gently. I *believe*
however, that there was *hope* this list would be open to civil discussion,
as free of flamewars as possible in an attempt to be encouraging and
actually productive in some sort of way. This isn't a request for gentility.
This is a request to be *encouraging* - constructive, not destructive.

> Don't broke this chance. It's not the time - really not - to 
> discriminate ourself. I'm tired to see women braking my efforts, the 
> strong path I've followed to be considered by them as equal. If you have 
> not undestood what I say, and changing your way of thinking, strategy 
> and name, I'm afraid to be obliged to unsubscribe from it, and continue 
> to work with all hard, but competent and for the majority friendly men 
> I've met here.

I see no efforts by any of the *women* (and most men, for that matter)
attempting to break efforts made by any other women already involved in the
community. If anything, this list and project is being started to help
*others* follow. If it helps men and others as well, great! More power to
them! Bring 'em in, grab a beer!

The women I've met so far have only wanted equality - not special treatment.
They want men to look on them as equals, not a dainty, frail being that
needs extra hand-holding and protection. That's not who we are. That's not
what we want. And, contrary to the belief held by some people who insist
upon playing semantic games, that's *not* our goal. Feminism is about
equality - not an attempt to garner more power and better treatment than
what everyone else has.

If you feel, however, that our attempt to recruit, encourage and retain
women specifically to become involved - a visible part of the community - is
offensive in regards to your attempts at maintaining equality within the
Debian Community, don't feel obligated to stay. Naturally, we would all
benefit if you would help us, and all are welcomed to help and guide, but
forcing others to participate, or feeling forced to participate isn't good
for the group *or* you.

> *I don't want to loose feminin colleagues to talk with, but I've no time 
> to loose in debian*. Can you think about it? Heard me? Please.

This last request concerns me a little, and I sincerely hope I simply don't
understand the connotation. It sounds to me that, despite the desire to
debate, you've made up your mind about exactly what this group should be,
and if we don't do exactly as you want us to do, you'll not even give us a

I'm unsure where the misconception that debian-women was created to provide
a soft, squishy, pukable forum for Girl Power fans who talk like valley
girls and are only interested in gossip over an exclusive mailing list where
everything is peaches and daisies, but it's certainly not what was
envisioned, nor do I think it should be officially tolerated in a community
like Debian.

I am, however, heartened by the fact that you have a desire to be acquainted
with a community of feminine colleagues. This does show that you see a place
for women to be able to meet each other in Debian. Which means, at the very
least, we have the same baseline in this debate.


Patty Langasek


At times, you may end up far away from you; you may not be 
sure of where you belong, anymore. But home is always 
there... because home is not a place. It's wherever your 
passion takes you.
                                --- J. Michael Straczynski

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