[Linux-aus] Special support for women

Paul Wayper paulway at mabula.net
Thu Oct 31 19:24:26 EST 2013

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Hi all,

I'm not going to reply to David directly, since I consider his entire
argument to be without merit of any sort.

Now, it would be wonderful if we had a society that naturally produced a
population with no correlation between gender or race and career or
interest.  It's nice to strive toward a society in which that is the case.

But we don't live in that society.  We live in one where people's opinions
and views are often subtly biased by the many inputs they see around us.
Every time we say "well, I work in an industry with mostly men in it, so
that must be the norm", we bias ourselves subtly toward maintaining that
state.  That can take many forms, from subtle choices of who we talk with or
how polite we are to certain people, to derogatory comments or images and
worse.  It takes conscious effort to fight that bias, and to consciously
welcome other people into the field so that the normal balance of the
population is restored.

I fully support the women who have written excellent critiques of this topic
on this list.  I fully support the positive ways we are helping women and
people not from white anglo-saxon backgrounds to work in the IT industry.
In my opinion, seeing this as 'bias against men' is just a distraction to
cover up the actual bias toward them.  Positive discrimination programmes work.

Ultimately, I don't want just the gifted women in the IT industry, or just
the ones who can act inoffensive enough that they don't get attacked, or
just the ones who can brazen it out.  I want to see all women, all people to
feel welcome, to enjoy technology and geekery and just having fun.  It
shouldn't take special programmes to achieve this - but if it does, then I'm
all for them, because all the evidence shows that the status quo does not.

Go Haeksen!

Hope this helps,

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