[Linux-aus] Special support for women

Glen Turner gdt at gdt.id.au
Wed Oct 30 17:49:25 EST 2013


> women gain opportunities at the expense of more capable (or more needy) men.

People are not a zero-sum game. Just as there's enough love to go around as a family grows, it's not the case that Linux Australia welcoming women somehow deprives men. There's no cap on membership numbers, there's no admission test beyond a casual interest, you can even -- shock horror -- be writing your e-mail to the LA list using MacOS (sorry folks).

Linux Australia isn't about "opportunities". It's about cooperation and mutual interest. Having a wider range of people is a win, and running programmes to increase the range of people is a good thing.

> I say merit is blind ... it shines from inner strength.

Maybe for geniuses this is true, I wouldn't know. But I know my merit is the result of considerable investment of time and energy by many dedicated people (including many people on this list who have patiently explained things to me).

Now I am old enough to start paying that education forward to the next generation. I would hope that as I do so I give everyone the same opportunity. But I know that just by being an old, loud, opinionated man that this won't be true for some young, shy, reserved women -- they're slightly afraid of me, I'm slightly confused by them. I've no problems with Linux Australia running special programmes to help people whom us older folk scare upon first contact.

> I say special programmes damage the interests they purport to serve.

Nowhere is that more apparent in your latest attempt in your special programme against women.

You really should have a good look at yourself. I can easily comprehend a lack of understanding; each day's Facebook updates remind me that women are a foreign country in so many ways. But your lack of generosity -- ironically it makes you less of a man.

Like Kevin I've watched computing slide from a discipline where its lack of sexism encouraged women to participate to one where -- well -- one where there are e-mails like yours.  Like it or not, you are one of the front line problems with attracting women to computing. So please, stop sending these types of e-mail. They're not really about Linux.


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