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Re: Welcome to DW

Hi Julie, all

Julie Sloan wrote:
> On Tuesday, 16 August, 2005 at 14:39 +1000, Helen Faulkner wrote:
>>Julie Sloan wrote:
>>>this overall increasingly "unfriendly" tone is disturbing.
>>the occasional conflict is pretty much inevitable
> Actually, it's not.

OK, for conflict read "disagreement on some things and discussions about it".
Debian Women is a group consisting of people who differ widely in age, cultural
background, sex, political viewpoint, technical level and nearly anything else
that you could think of.  I would guess the only thing we have in common is that
we are all computer users.  In such a group, there are always going to be some
differences of opinion on some matters.  When there is a difference of opinion
on a matter that touches on the activities of the group, this will lead to
conflict.  This isn't a bad thing.  It is human nature, and evidence of a group
where people feel confident enough to speak up when they disagree.  I would be
more worried if everyone seemed to agree with everything that the leadership (or
those doing most of the work) decided, since that would suggest to me that
people were afraid to disagree.

Having said that, I think that a bit of healthy conflict is a good thing, but
obviously it can go too far.  We can always be improving our skills at
negotiation, resolving differences, and coming to decisions on matters affecting
Debian Women that make most people happy.

>>I don't really know what linuxchix is like, 
> Judging from what I've seen so far, linuxchix is a ski lodge while d-w
> is a government office.  This is how the tone of the two groups compare.

Ahh, so linuxchix is one big party and Debian Women is actually getting things
done?  ;)  (joke! - I'm sure that linuxchix do get some things done, and I know
that Debian Women is well capable of it's share of partying).


>>>For another, the name debian-*women* seems a little misleading when such
>>>a large percentage of the more vocal posters appear to be male.
>>Since nearly all the people involved in Debian at present are men, we were
>>always going to have a lot of men involved in the Debian Women project,
>>especially to start with.  
> How long has D-W been in existence?  Is this still "to start with?"  Are
> there no experienced Debian female people here?  I really do think the
> men -by nature, not by design- have added a tone of aggression, and it's
> affected the tone of the list as a whole.
> To someone more timid than I, or of a gentler culture <s>, this would be
> a serious deterrant to speaking up.  I know this, as I was once much more
> timid  :)

Debian Women has been in existence since early last year.  You can follow the
development of the group on the mailing list archives, though of course some
work was done before that to get the mailing list created etc.  So far, one
woman involved in Debian Women has become a Debian Developer (that's me,
actually).  There are a couple of others who are very close to becoming DDs, and
several more who are partway through the process.  It takes a long time (for me
it took about a year) to become a DD.  For many people it will take some
additional time before that to acquire the technical skills needed to actually
apply to be a DD.   So the fact is that we are not going to see a sudden influx
of women into the ranks of very technically skilled Debian people.  It is going
to take years.  We have to be patient and keep working towards our goals.

I do think that in the next year we will pass the "1% of Debian Developers are
women" mark (that will require roughly 10 women to be DDs - currently there are
about 5), and I think we should hold a party when we get there! :)

Having said that, I personally know of a number of women whose technical skills
at whatever they are interested in, be it maintaining packages, working on the
website, translating or whatever, have improved greatly since they became
involved in the Debian Women project.  This is partly due to their efforts and
partly due to the efforts of those who are helping people to learn.  Thanks to
all of you who are doing that!  Your help is greatly appreciated.


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