[Fedora-marketing-list] Fedora seeks women developers

Debbie Deutsch fedora-marketing at ddeutsch.net
Tue Aug 1 20:47:43 UTC 2006

Greg DeKoenigsberg wrote:
> On Tue, 1 Aug 2006, Rahul wrote:
>> Hi
>> A rather narrow interpretation and IMO misleading opinion on what the 
>> project aims.  We are trying to bring out the already existing community 
>> to encourage the awareness and the community is not limited to 
>> developers or coders at all. Patrick, you might want to send a response 
>> back.
>> http://news.zdnet.co.uk/software/developer/0,39020387,39280223,00.htm
> We leave ourselves open to misinterpretation when we launch a project with 
> vague goals, and then announce it to the world.
> Still, I'm of the mind that any press is good press.  Now we need to 
> figure out how to capitalize on it.
> Having an actual *woman* speaking on behalf of Fedora Women might be a
> good start, in fact.  And if we can't find a woman who's willing to do 
> it... well, that indicates another problem, doesn't it?
> --g
> -------------------------------------------------------------
> Greg DeKoenigsberg || Fedora Project || fedoraproject.org
> Be an Ambassador || http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Ambassadors
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Heh.  Not all women think the same way about this kind of thing.  Some
of us think it's good to have a list such as the new one.  Some think
it's a bad idea.  Some don't want to participate personally but feel
that other women might.  So, how can one woman speak on behalf of all
women who contribute to Fedora?

Just speaking for myself, having attended a then overwhelmingly male
technical school, and worked for the past 30 years in an overwhelmingly
male industry, I know very well what it's like to be a woman in an
predominantly male environment, doing things that are stereotyped as
"male".  It can be isolating.  It can be uncomfortable at times.  What
should a woman do when she is there and trying but not part of what is
going on?  What should a woman do when a (probably well-meaning) man
says something based on an assumption about women that he may not even
know he has?  Speak up and sound like a whiner?  Stay quiet and know
that it will happen again?  There are no good and easy answers.  Just to
be clear, in my case I have been able to breach the barriers, but that
can be a lot of work and may not always be worth it.  It all depends on
the situation and the specific woman's priorities and sensibilities.

The bottom line is

- discussion of the general topic of mailinglists for female members of
majority male communities can get complex,

- in our specific case the article's writer got it wrong, and

- yes, there should be a response, but it doesn't have to be anything
more than a correction.

Having a guy write the correction is fine; maybe even better than a
woman doing it.  That underlines the fact that the list is an integral
part of the entire Fedora community, not just a thing that women are
doing off in some separate corner.  Women are part of the community...
that's the message, n'est-ce pas?


P.S. Yeah I mostly lurk.  One day I will have time to do more!  At least
that's the goal.

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