[nycbug-talk] Re: Women in Open Source (fwd)

Dru dlavigne6
Tue Aug 3 10:44:17 EDT 2004

On Tue, 3 Aug 2004, Isaac Levy wrote:

> With direct regard to the article-
> I'm extremely shocked and disappointed to see an assessment of IT culture 
> giving anyone such an extremely portrayed 'cold shoulder', though I have 
> survived a few boys-clubs around Tech/IT over the years- (dodged them, is 
> more like it...) and well, I walked away and went elsewhere...

That always reminds me of Dan and how the freebsddiary and freshports 
wouldn't exist if he had taken criticism literally.

> I mean, to be honest, Theo DeRadt, politically, is a great example of this.

Yes, even the friendly BSDs have their Theos....

> With that, I have to say what most frustrated me are the definitive 
> conclusions the survey seems to draw about FLOSS and tech culture at large- 
> the 'slashdotters' represent a serious and highly visible minority from my 
> experiences.

Agreed. And I'd like to see it put out there that they are a highly 
visible _minority_. (just better not slashdot it...) Maybe an article for 
the Daemonnews, anyone? I'll definitely be writing something on my O'Reilly
blog about it. Might make mention of it in my EuroBSDcon talk, assuming it's 
not cancelled.

> Dru- after reading the survey, I'm reminded of a conversation we had in 
> Ottawa at BSDCan, (at that Black Thorn pub that everybody filled 
> over-capacity that one night...), we were talking casually about just this 
> thought- women in IT/OS.

Yup, that came to my mind as well. And I still agree with your 
grandmother, that the roots happen around middle school age. But I think 
it's a bit more insidious than girls liking guys. I was shocked that in 
this day and age my daughter still saw sexism regarding mathematics and 
science at her high school. If a girl had questions on a math problem, she 
was still pooh-poohed and not taken seriously and treated like she might 
hurt her brain or something. I expected this of my mother's generation but 
certainly not my daughter's!

I'm reminded of the advanced physics class I took in university. 5 girls 
in a class of 120. By December, the class was down to about 50 (it was a 
hard class!), but there were still 5 girls in that class of 50...

> I told a somewhat silly personal story which I'll repeat here just because I 
> thought it relevant...  though I feel somewhat uncomfortable with it because 
> I am only 27 years old, and have no kids, and well, would rather be talking 
> at length about how much fun I've been having with your recent hardcore book- 
> not about gender politics in IT...

You'll have to write a book yourself sometime. Not necessarily about tech 
but "life from Ike's perspective". It would be a best seller :-) And I'm 
glad you're having fun with the book...


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