[Linux-aus] Special support for women

Jessica Smith jessica at itgrrl.com
Wed Oct 30 11:46:37 EST 2013

Hi Paul,

On Wed, Oct 30, 2013 at 11:02 AM, Paul Gear <paul at gear.dyndns.org> wrote:

I think this thread has already more than sufficiently demonstrated that
>  not only trolls have a say in LCA, and I'm sure the member survey that
> was recently released will indicate the same.
> In the meantime, I appeal to everyone: stop feeding the trolls. They
> require oxygen to survive; starve them of this.  David is sitting back
> right now laughing that we were all silly enough to take the bait.
> Don't give him that satisfaction.

Actually, I think this has turned into a mostly-productive discussion. I'm
heartened to see support from listmembers of the non-female persuasion.
Just knowing that there are people within a group who are in favour of
promoting inclusiveness goes a long way towards bringing about that

And I'm not convinced that labelling David a troll is even appropriate.
Trolls state positions that they don't believe just for the lulz. If
someone's posting opinions that they actually hold (even if they try to
present it as a "devil's advocate" position), they're not trolling, they're
stating their beliefs. Calling that trolling is both incorrect and giving
an undeserved free pass.

Regardless of David's true intentions in lobbing this grenade onto the
list, the outcome is rapidly becoming a positive one for those who disagree
with his stated position. The majority of posts have been supporting of
promoting inclusiveness, and being supporting of ways in which we can
address imbalance. Quite a few men have chimed in with supporting posts. A
few have dropped their own outrage onto the list - but that's also useful:
it helps me to identify who I don't really want to hang out with at tech
events.   :-)

If David really was trolling, he's not engendered much in the way of
outraged backlash or rage-quitting. Replies have been for the most part
overwhelmingly calm and considered.

If David's intention was actually to spark off a useful debate of the
dramatic under-representation of women in tech fields with a clumsy,
ham-fisted devil's advocate post, then: mission accomplished.

Either way, I'm calling it a win.

P.S. I say this as someone not entirely unsympathetic to the views
> presumably held by the trolls (or a more moderate version thereof). But
> trolling is the wrong way to go about it.

I appreciate that you're prepared to (sort-of) state your own vested
interest in shutting down the discussion. It helps people to make
assessments about whether that's a good thing or not.


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