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Re: Opening doors for women in computing

On 2005-02-21, Mechtilde Stehmann penned:
> As a husband of a debian-women and a father of two daughters working and
> playing with computers I have observed women and men have different kinds of
> approaching the computer. Girls and women will think and read first - boys
> and men are learning more by try and error. So girls are often pushed aside
> - even if they have the better ideas to solve a problem.

I don't think this is specific to computers, either.  My husband and I have
encountered in a variety of situations, but two specific ones are cooking and
mountain biking.

My husband will happily cook up a meal by just picking some stuff out of the
fridge and pantry.  He just grabs some stuff and goes.  Me, I need a recipe,
and if I can't find exactly the same ingredients, I won't make it.  I've
finally gotten to the point where I'll make soups on my own, but I'm concerned
about screwing up.

The same happens in mountain biking.  My husband never took any mountain
biking lessons, and yet he is a proficient mountain biker.  He tells me to
"just try" things that scare me, and that I think about them too much.  But
I've found that there are many women-only mountain biking clinics in the area,
so apparently I'm not the only woman who would rather get some coaching and
tips before trying something tricky.

Of course, just because one man and one woman share this dynamic doesn't make
it true for the rest of the universe.  But I've certainly seen this played
out, and I truly wish I were more willing to experiment and just try new

The one area where I happily experiment is my own computer.  I think this is
because I know enough to know what types of experimentation are dangerous, and
there's very little I could do from which I can't recover.  I've been rolling
my own kernel for years now, and sometimes it seems like the only way to do
that is trial and error!  I do look for documentation on the web, first, if I


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