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Re: Tangential topic -- Was: Re: Sexist Behaviour in Debian Women

On Thu, 16 Dec 2004 02:23:17 -0500, Erinn Clark <erinnc@bellsouth.net> wrote:

> How accepting should we be, exactly? For example, one of my concerns is
> that the list and IRC channel will be "overrun" (for lack of a better
> word) by well-meaning men. When the men are very helpful, nice, and support
> our goals, it's not like we can say "Hey, the statistics are all out of
> whack here, it's still a male majority", without being rude and losing
> valuable members of the community. But I'm not sure how it looks to new
> people or what they're expecting and if this will scare them off.

IMO, the best way to do things is to stick to what we have in our FAQ:
We're not segregated. Debian Women is a subgroup of Debian that allows
anyone to join in and help. We consist of Debian developers,
contributors, and users. The purpose is to get women involved in all
aspects of Debian, and having obvious role models and a community
assists with that goal.

Obviously not every newcomer is going to know to read the FAQ ;-D. 
But I do think it pretty concisely addresses the community
demographics issue, as well as the point of the project, and would be
a good read for those who have questions about such things.  It
doesn't say anything about trying to create a female-majority
community within our project, or in Debian as a whole (hah!).  I
personally don't think that this is about numbers or ratios: to me,
it's about welcoming women who are interested in Debian and
encouraging their participation, however many or few of them there may

I think that as long as we stick to the stated task, we're succeeding.
 We all know that it is absolutely impossible to make people stay
'on-topic' in general IRC chat ;-).  In more formal dealings that are
archived and such, we just need to make sure that we attempt to stick
to purpose.

I think it's great to see so much support from the rest of the (mostly
male) Debian community, and I think that discouraging this type of
participation would be detrimental to the goals we are trying to
achieve (I realize that this isn't what you were suggesting, Erinn). 
I also think that our project has very strong female leadership, and
that should be obvious to even the newest of newbies ;-).

- Colleen
(who will be waking up bright and early for meeting on Saturday)

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