[Off Topic] HOWTO Encourage Women in Linux

Arjan Geven arjangeven at gmail.com
Tue Jun 28 08:15:57 UTC 2005

On 6/28/05, Chanchao <custom at freenet.de> wrote:

> What a terrible article..... To summarize it: "Men are the problem".
> It goes on and on about not doing this or that, not making sexist
> jokes, not taking the keybaord away from a women when helping them but
> just explaining the answer.. Jesus.

And what's wrong with that? It's simple pedagogics. You should never
take away the keyboard from someone you're trying to help, man OR
woman. Nor is it so that 'men are the problem'.

I quote: "(..) Girls grow up without examples of women who are either
competent or confident with computers. I encourage all women in
computing to be as visible as possible--accept all interviews, take
credit publicly--even when you don't want to. "

That's not a man's problem, not a man's fault. It's something that
women should do. The same goes for women in management of course, I
guess it's no difference than women in computers.

> If anything, the best way to get more women into Linux (or at least
> women of the type writing articles like that one) would be to actively
> try to exclude them. And suddenly they'll be on the front row of Linux
> conferences. :)

What shall I say. You DO have a point ;-). Some people just LOOK for a
tree to bark up to. (Hmmm, did I just violate rule number 3.2, "Do
protest sexist jokes"?).

> Also I think a classy, stylish and well designed comfortable look and
> feel (like you-know-what-company-with-a-partly-consumed-
> piece-of-fruit-in-its-logo) would go a long way to win women over.
> (Again, if that's a goal in itself.)

Yes. This will attract non-computer users in general. I also like a
computer with a fancy look and nice-looking interface more than a dull
grey box with a command line.

Although the author(s) of the article seems kinda obsessed with
getting more women into linux, she does have a point that the average
Linux-geek WILL scare women away. Ubuntu is the distribution that
could make a change. It advocates linux for humans. Does that include
women too? Yes, that includes women too :-).


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