[UbuntuWomen] Some will never learn...

Elizabeth Bevilacqua lyz at princessleia.com
Fri Mar 30 11:56:54 UTC 2007

On Thu, Mar 29, 2007 at 12:57:39PM +0200, Mirjam W?ckerlin wrote:
> I understand that you, Caroline, are sick of it and you prefer just to
> walk away to another place where you feel more welcome. On the other
> hand, you have to consider that there are also a lot of people
> supporting women (like pete did on the ubuntu-uk-thread), and if you
> take the step to go before the CC, this could really change things -
> for all women in Ubuntu. As Jan said, a lot of people would probably
> come to this meeting to support you.
> I know that it is annoying to step in and defend things which should
> be self-evident, but if we don't do it, who else is going to do it?

I know this email is probably just meant to be a "convince her to come,
here are the reasons" but I want to make clear that she is not obligated
to do anything. Unfortunately emails like this put guilt on the victim
in a way that is very unfortunate, especially when we say things like
"you have to consider" - no she doesn't. Just because we're women and we
put up with a lot doesn't mean we ALWAYS have to be champions of our
gender and spend time and energy fighting for all the women in the
future who might encounter this problem. And it's not our fault if some
women in the future gets into this mess and we didn't stand up, remember
who the victim is :)

Most of us have jobs, families and hobbies outside of the FOSS world.
Our FOSS time is limited and mostly on a volunteer basis, if someone
feels insulted and wants to leave the project they spend their valuable
spare time on that's perfectly acceptable. I don't want to make women
here feel that once they report some bad behavior in Ubuntu that we're
going to guilt her into doing something time-consuming and perhaps scary
like defending herself in front of the CC.

It's great when someone does have the time and desire to bring these
things forward and fight all the way for equality, but I don't want
people to think it's what is expected of us just because we're women.
Mostly we just want to do the work that brought us to Ubuntu.

And in the end, in a case like this one where all the evidence is in
archived email and blogs, I think the Ubuntu-Women team itself can
easily send representatives to deal with this issue at the CC. We don't
need to pull Caroline in directly, she doesn't need to exhaust herself
defending herself, we can say "This is happening, she contributed to her
LoCo and now has been driven away, it needs to stop" There were even
some "little" things that she brought up like the LoCo leader calling
everyone "chaps" that are a sadly subtle way of making us feel excluded
and need to be brought to someone's attention. That's what this team is
all about :)


Elizabeth Bevilacqua // Lyz at PrincessLeia.com

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