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Re: List/IRC climate issues (was: What do you want to learn?)

I'm a bit late on this thread, but oh well.
Jenn Vesperman writes:
Actually, finding an advocate itself is daunting. :/

Do you have any Debian SIGs or groups in the area? The only reason I know so many Debian people is because I have followed my interest and made acquaintences with local Debianites. There were several people who are contributors I didn't know till the topic came up, so getting involved in the Debian community means making the sort of contacts you should have to contribute. I know some people don't like the Debian system, but I like the fact that there is so much emphasis on trust. I like the fact someone has to know you for you to get involved, because it shows a person has the initiative to get involved in the community of Debian, not just the code (and I feel the community is very important).
This is how one or two idiots who aren't told to shut up cause a whole
community to lose/not gain women, by the way.
If you get those idiots making women feel unwelcome at the entry point
to your community, and noone slaps them down, the women go find
something else to do - and tell each other.

Hmm... I've had idiots speak to me, but both females and males (it certainly isn't only men that make it hard for women to get involved in computers). I guess that you can't wrap every person in cotton wool, or expect half the species to be treated especially nice just because of their sex. I _hate_ it when I get over the top treatment. I'm after equal treatment (for equal quality work) and equal opportunity to do that work. I think that women groups really need to understand that women groups are only necessary in our paternalistic western societies (not all societies are paternalistic, and I'm not suggesting that only western ones are), because we still have some work to do. Women groups are a step in the process of bringing people back together. A woman getting involved in Debian Women shouldn't use it as a permanent safehaven/cage, and never truly get involved in the wider community. If we segregate, the problem only gets worse.
Pia PS - I am realising only really recently how much we have to fix ourselves and our attitudes before we can fix the wider issues of opportunity and treatment of women.
Pia Smith
President of Linux Australia

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