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Re: Sexist Behaviour in Debian Women

Steve Langasek wrote:

What context did I omit that you think justifies the comments that I did
quote?  What possible context was there that supports Carla's claim that she
was responding to obnoxious attitudes in a non-sexist, topic-neutral way?

I cannot think of such a context. That is the kind of thing that I am disappointed to see in this group. The next time such a disagreement comes up, I hope everyone will remember that sexism directed in any direction is unacceptable.

Being "calm" does nothing to address the inappropriate behavior that I saw
in my scrollback when my attention was called to it.  Or does the group
encourage a double-standard, and inappropriate behavior is only called out
when it's perpetrated by men?

No, the group does not encourage such a double standard.

We should (and most of us do) aim to treat other people in the way we would like to be treated. That includes things like allowing them space to express their viewpoints, and not tolerating negative discrimination of any form.

I am not defending everything that Manoj said in that discussion; he's very
good at being a party to turning discussions in the most inflammatory
direction possible.  But it takes *two* sides to escalate.

I believe all of that is true.

Having said that, Erinn was right to remind people that posting IRC comments is inappropriate.


I think it's important to remember the goal of Debian Women (I remember it all the time I am interacting with the group). The goal is to increase the participation of women in Debian. In my opinion that implies the following things, among others:

1) We need to create spaces, forums, cultures within Debian that are welcoming to and supportive of women.

A fair bit of this involves teaching Debian people about the things that women need and the problems they face. I think we're doing a good job at this already, and will do a better one with time, as out activities expand outwards from the Debian Women base.

2) We need to encourage women to be involved in Debian and to interact with Debian.

A fair bit of this involves being willing to learn about Debian. One of the things we need to collectively learn about is the way in which Debian people commonly interact. That may not the the mode of interaction we are used to (for example the type of vigourous and sometimes agressive debate that is common on Debian mailing lists). However we cannot reasonably expect to change all of Debian's behaviour in a few months because we don't like it. We must first learn what to expect from interactions with Debian and how to cope with them. This will sometimes require strength, and the Debian Women group is there in part to help us become stronger. I believe that compromises are necessary and healthy in this context.


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