It's interesting how reluctant I am to write this entry.
probable reaction to what I want to say inhibits me from
Hell. The probable reaction to what I want to _be_
me from being it.
I'm female. I'm moderately attractive (and yes, that IS
relevant). I've been a tomboy and a hacker and a geek all my
I've experienced, and beaten, a lot of gender-bias. I've
also experienced, and beaten, the same geek-bias that just
about everyone else here has.
And now I'm here, where I feel I belong, and .. I feel
unwelcome. Why? Because I'm female. And moderately
It happens almost everywhere geeky I go. (Netizen has
so far, the only exception.)
It happens in all sorts of subtle, small ways.
Going to a meeting at someone's house where there's both
geeks and non-geek wives, and being automatically welcomed
to the 'wives' side. (odd, there were no non-geek husbands.)
Discovering that your geek boyfriend was using you as eye
candy and a social 'boost'.
Having a discussion about internal vs external modems
interrupted by a chat-up line or two 'casually' thrown in.
... or having a 'no, please don't use the term
request answered with a rather harsh flame which summarises
to 'gee, you girls are wimps'.
Well, I guess the Linuxchix Issues FAQ is far more
than I thought.
To those who think that gender-politics don't matter,
PLEASE accept that people like me HAVE
thought these things through. And have a point of view you
may not have.
Please listen. And if you do have a dispute with us,
make it more sensible and unemotional than name-calling.
We're not wimps.
Several posts have stated that both sides aren't listening.
Since I admit that my view is doubtless biased, and I don't
seem to be able to figure out what the other viewpoint is,
could someone please try to state it? Again? In a different
I'm responsible for doing the 'issues' FAQ for LinuxChix, so
I have a responsibility to try to see the gender
problem from both/all points of view. I want to do this
right. I want to understand.
To try to help people explain it to me, I'll rephrase what
I'm hearing, and make my responses. If I miss anything,
please say so. If my responses don't address the issue,
please say so.
'just shut up and stop whining'
I tend to ignore
that one, because I do perceive this (whether both genders
feel welcome) as an important issue.
'you're making US uncomfortable now!'
important. I don't want either gender to be uncomfortable. I
don't have a solution. Maintaining the status quo is NOT a
solution. Please help find one.
'yes there are problems but there will always be
problems. live with it'
Hm. This one is difficult to
answer. My reaction to it is to ask if the people with this
viewpoint are happy to be chasing women away. The common
answer to that appears to be..
'we don't chase women away, we treat them just the same
Well, maybe - but if that's so, why are
there so few women in this field? And why do so many of
those who are in the field report feelings of unwelcome and
intimidation? Maybe the way you treat men is intimidating to
women - for some reason. I don't know what reason.
'but you want to discriminate against ME'
I don't understand the accusations in the thread (following
the article) about bias. Or the challenge to admit 'our'
bias. Sorry, but thats the truth - I don't know what the
hell he's talking about. I'd like an explanation of that, so
I can address that issue.
There will definately be things I've missed here.
Please consider this a dry run for part of the LinuxChix
Issues FAQ, and an invitation to contribute. You can answer
here, or in private email to me. jennv at the usual
*(Wording it that way so spamgrovelling mail doesn't reach
me. You know that eventually SOMETHING is going to decide
these diaries are a goldmine of 'wealthy geek' email