Re: Supporters brief-up
Wow - I go away for a few days (camping - no possibilty of bringing my
laptop along, actually I think the last week is the longest time in
years that I've been without it - that's probably a sad indication of my
priorities in life), and come back to find much interesting discussion
(not counting trolls as interesting in the slightest).
FWIW, I think that having a supporters page is a good idea, for the
1) If you ask someone to write down answers to questions such as Amaya
(as as understand it) asked those male developers, you force them to
verbalise their opinions. This is a way to encourage people think out
why they see (or don't see) a need for getting more women into debian,
what they personally could do to help etc. This is a good thing, even
if the people answering such questions may mostly have already thought
out their own answers to them.
2) The comments by the debian developers on Amaya's site, in answer to
the questions, were interesting to me to read. They represent a range
of opinions and ideas. They may get other people than me thinking about
the issues involved, and that's a good thing.
3) Having a supporters page will make some women (including myself)
feel more supported by the debian community. This is a good thing :)
There's a beta (and highly unofficial, in no way endorsed by the
project) site up, with some info and resurces regarding the Debian Women
Project at: http://debian-women.opensource-knowhow.com/
It looks fine to me, but I've lost track (just skimmed the week's worth
of debian-women emails) of the discussion about different possible
sites. I'm sure there are many different good ways to represent this
Please don't see this as a fork, or an attempt to hijack anything.
I just wanted the feedback I got in a place more visible than my own
Also, working on this has made me feel much beter. Feel free to send
your fellow Debian Developers my way if they want to express their
support too. I don't think I'll be sending out more questionnaires any
Can we suggest other debian-developers who might like to answer your
questions, because I know one who I think would be interested, if he has
Change of topic:
I am thinking about some of the comments made on the list about the
issue of women being treated more gently than men, or similar ideas. If
I recall correctly, some people are worried about the idea that we might
be percieved as wanting special treatment. I understand the worry and I
agree with it, but with a qualification which is based on my experience
in another male dominated field with which I have more experience
The problem is that in a community that is very male dominated, men
learn to interact only with other men. They end up with a set of
behaviours that work well when you are interacting with men. This
includes things like how you treat people who are junior to you (eg a
supervisor to his male students), how you behave when you are in
competition with others, etc. The problem for a woman entering that
community is that if the people treat her the same way as they treat
everyone else, they are behaving towards her in a way that works well
with men, but may not work well with women. This can cause problems
(I've seen it cause big problems in physics). Of course you also get
problems when the men treat a woman differently because she's a woman.
But to retreat into "I treat everyone the same way" without realising
that this may result in problems because the "everyone" you learned from
was not representative of the "everyone" you are now dealing with isn't
a good thing, in my opinion.
There's no good answer to this issue, I think, except to remind the men
that the set of behaviours they have learned may not work well with
everyone, and that it's a good thing to be sensitive to the people's
differing needs. I don't believe this is the same thing as treating
women more gently, or giving us special treatment.
Does anyone agree with this? What do you think? I think this stuff has
some implications for our goals with debian-women, but maybe others
At least I hope I haven't confused you. It's hard to explain these things.