[Linux-aus] Draft grant proposal - women in open source 'tour'

Colin Charles byte at aeon.com.my
Fri Jun 1 05:47:26 UTC 2007

Paul Wayper wrote:


I'm sure I'd get some flak for this post, but I think it needs to be said

> I've been thinking of doing a talk at my local CLUG about women in FOSS
> - drawing on the FLOSSPOLS research, Melissa Draper's posts, Val
> Henson's HowTo and other sources.  It seems to me that there's no overt
> sexism in CLUG posts or at meetings, but since we get no women turning
> up at all this is a sign that things obviously aren't actually good. 

Rather than saying there's a problem, why not assume that when the time 
CLUG meets, is just incorrect for women to attend? Maybe it clashes with 
something else they'd rather do, or they don't see value coming to a 

We have ladies attend the LUV meetings, so I personally don't see any 
signs that things are not actually good

> Obviously, it would be great to have a woman give the talk because a guy
> talking about how to encourage women to participate in FOSS is a bit
> like a fish trying to describe a bicycle to a snake.  But we have a
> chicken and egg problem if I wait for a woman to come to CLUG meetings
> so that she can give a talk on why women don't come to CLUG meetings.

There are even ladies turning up to Microsoft events. How about we find 
out why they go to that, rather than CLUG meetings

The excuse that men are weird towards ladies, is very weak

Attending a LUG meeting is about value, and fellowship and gaining new 

> So what I'm asking for is some Linux Australia funding to get a woman to
> travel to a CLUG meeting and give a talk on the research from FLOSSPOLS
> and its findings, and exploring the general area of how to encourage
> newcomers of all persuasions to get involved in FOSS.  Alternatively,
> fund an entire 'tour' of talks at major LUGs around Australia on the
> same topic if supporting one LUG is seen as biased.  I'm sure
> accommodation and some expenses could also be catered for by local LUGs.

I vote a firm No to funding this

> P.S. I do think that men will respond differently (and be less
> interested in changing) to a woman telling them that _they_ have a
> problem rather than a man telling them that _we_ have a problem, so I
> had envisaged a joint talk with myself and a guest woman speaker from

The idea that there is a problem is flawed. Lets look at the Microsoft 
world. Or the Oracle world. Or even the Apple world. They have women 
attending, and I doubt the men in their communities are "problematic"
Colin Charles, http://www.bytebot.net/
"First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you,
then you win." -- Mohandas Gandhi

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