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

Trish Lynch trish
Wed Aug 4 10:52:46 EDT 2004

On Mon, 2 Aug 2004, Dru wrote:

> >> It's sad that these were your findings. I guess BSD users live in a more
> >> sheltered part of geek-space. While I've had to wear my flame-suit a few
> >> times over technical disagreements, I've never experienced anything
> >> close to sexual harrassment. My name maybe gender neutral, but the
> >> community certainly knows that I'm female.
> >I'm just speculating here, but I wonder if there are any connections
> >between the BSD community's friendliness, the fact that it didn't
> >bandwagon nearly as dramatically as some other projects, and Apple's
> >adoption of it.  Apple certainly has a long history of caring more about
> >"soft" issues than most other computer companies; it's hard to imagine
> >that culture co-operating with the slash 'n' burn of Slashdot...

Bullshit, the Slashdot team in general were very welcoming to the women on
our team, we had 3 women on the network team, including one that was going
from male to female (myself). Never once did I feel like women were cut
short... there just weren't many of them.

Now the readers on the other hand.... but almost none of those readers are
the actual "Open Source Community" (and I say it like that, because its
equal to the "Gay Community", "Lesbian Community", and "Queer Community",
its a large group of people with a common bond or interest, interested in
accomplishing some goal...), they were ..... admirers of a sort, wannabes,
little haxx0r punks, who knew very little... many of them grew up, but
they didn't lose the immature streak.

I don't have high hopes for the "Slashdot Weenies"

Now to answer about the BSD community, which I've been around for a LONG
time, it seems to be more accepting to freaks, geeks, queer and gender
bending people, I suspect this is because of Kirk and Eric, but there are
plenty other gay, lesbian, bi, and transgendered people in the BSD
community. I'd like to think, as long as you meet the technical standard
and/or are willing to learn to step up to that, whether it be in code,
documentation, or advocacy, since all three are important to the life and
growth of a project.... it doesn't matter if you're XX, XY, ZYX, VDXY, or
come from Mars. I've generally felt that overall, getting past the initial
"oooooh, its a girl!" thing, that it didn't matter who you were, as long
as your work was good. There are many women in BSD history... Margo
Seltzer (Berkeley DB) being one giant.

I feel that, from where I come from, Open Source, Leather, and Queer
Communities, that the study of sociology within subcultures is really
interesting to say the least, but I'd say this research did not have
enough of a sample to be conclusive.


Trish Lynch					   trish at bsdunix.net
Ecartis Core Team 			      trish at listmistress.org
EFNet IRC Operator/SysAdmin @ irc.dkom.at             AilleCat at EFNet
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