[UbuntuWomen] Ubuntu4girls, this forum and gender

Mary Crowley mmcrowley at gmail.com
Fri Sep 28 17:08:09 BST 2007

Hi to All :

This is my first reply to the list, as I am a new (er) member, so I will try
to follow the format as best as possible.

The reason for my response, is in regards to the criticism given to the
Ubuntu4girls project. I was excited to join the ubuntu-women mailing list as
I have often been discouraged from participating in other forums because of
the "locker room" atmosphere. Unfortunately, in some of these replies, I
felt that same tone was apparent in the discussions of gender and the color

That being said, after looking at the additional emails, with clarification
of the project, I think it is clear that an audience has been identified.

>- All my female students said to me that Windows is uglly, so
> I show the Ubuntu, all customized for girls, and she like very much.

>For all:
>I'm sorry if my project upset/ofend you.
>I'm a Ubuntu fan, and my intention is just introduce "girls" in  >
wonderful world that Ubuntu have.
>It's more than a "pink" Ubuntu, is a new concept, recentlly I >ready that
in my country the girls are half of computers user. >Ubuntu alread have all
softwares, just click one button and >was done. My students love this

I do not think it should be necessary to apologize. After all, creating an
operating system that is appealing to "girls", and showing them the
customizable features is empowering in a lot of ways, whether pink is a
popular color or not.

I think a lot of good could be done by making many programs more
aesthetically pleasing. There are many people who are very visually oriented
in learning styles, and place a lot of value in the aesthetics of their

The last thing on this is that gender and sex are culturally defined terms.
The negative connotations associated with the color pink, are really defined
by your own lives and not universal in their meanings and influence.

Basically, I think this project has a lot of potential, making computers
accessible to a group of children regardless of the how that is achieved.

In terms of making Ubuntu accessible to all children it is my understanding
that edubuntu has already started along that path.

>Those are my ideas, but I agree with everyone else who said >we should talk
to some actual youngins. They could tell you >their favorite
cartoons,favorite colors, and favorite hobbies >which would help in the
creation of themes.

I am a visual artist, so my opinions are not unbiased, that I
understand.Iwork with a lot of grassroots economic development
projects, in the US and
Afghanistan. I also assist in projects to bring communication solutions and
educational information to under-served rural areas in the US.

I think knowing a little bit more about me, probably helps to understand my
comments a little better.

Molly Crowley
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