[UbuntuWomen] UW article for Fullcircle mag

Emma Jane Hogbin emmajane at xtrinsic.com
Sun Jan 13 02:53:20 UTC 2008

Vid Ayer wrote:
> On Jan 12, 2008 4:58 AM, Elizabeth Bevilacqua <lyz at ubuntu.com> wrote:
>> On 1/11/08, Emma Jane Hogbin <emmajane at xtrinsic.com> wrote:
>> The entire point of the Ubuntu Women project is so we can get more
>> women involved in the general Ubuntu community. If we spend our time
>> staying away from the community by only contributing in "women spaces"
>> then we defeat the whole purpose of the project and add to the problem
>> of people treating us differently.
> Which is where there is a lot of confusion and mis-understanding of
> what UW is all about. If being a part of project UW is segregation by
> gender, by that logic almost every Ubuntu loco team is segregation on
> the basis of country, and other project teams (art, technical, motu,
> etc...) segregated on the basis of specialization. That can be deemed
> unfair in the larger Free Software philosophy which (to summarize in a
> single word) is all about being "inclusive".

On the question of segregation, I think it depends on the actions of the
(members of the) group. At this point I know about the mailing list and
the IRC channel, which both seem social to me. I don't think that having
an IRC channel will get more women involved in Linux. I think that by
the time they show up in that channel, they're already converts (for
lack of a better word). I don't know that *we* are approaching the
problem of women in technology in an effective manner. No, I don't know
what the right answer is, I just know that we're still very very much
the minority.

Ubuntu/Canonical goes to the trouble of putting 50% women on their CD
covers. But I don't see them actively seeking out female participation
in the project. I'm new though. I want the user base to reflect the
marketing material. I'm not sure whose job it is to get more women
involved, so I'll assume it's at least 50% our job as "Ubuntu Women." I
definitely don't think it's 100% our job though...nor do I think it's 0%
our job.

I think it is our responsibility to *JUMP* at the opportunity to support
women in whatever way they want to contribute to the project. My
frustration with Lyz's original comment about not wanting to segregate
tech content was the way it was presented. I wanted her feedback to be,
"OMG! Awesome! Let's find an even bigger readership for that article!"
And I'm pretty sure that's sort of what Lyz meant... :)

> UW (like other *-women groups) is all about supporting women in
> technology, a space to be technical and encourage others to emulate
> them. Its definitely not a redressal place to solve womens issues (in
> technology), which it has come to be associated with off-late,
> unfortunately. The latter impression would change only by group
> participation,... action. That is one of the main reasons i advocate
> the mentoring[1] program but its not being utilized, partly due to
> non-availability of technical mentors and partly on the basis of
> segregating women which is a shame.

I think we do need to address women's issues in technology as well. We
definitely can't sit around and wait for anyone else to solve it for us.
And there may be a *lot* of different kinds of solutions. I don't think
there needs to be one single UW Way of solving the problem. But I think
we do need to report back to the group to say, "This is what I did this
week to get more women involved. I gave a talk; I wrote an article; I
mentored a new developer; I showed up at my LUG..."

>>> I think you
>>> should at least include a reference in the column to new articles that
>>> have been written by UW members elsewhere in the publication. i.e. "see
>>> also Article XYZ written by community member ABC."
> I concur, by having a column for UW in Fullcircle, we have a chance to
> showcase what women members in technology can do. Instead of utilizing
> the opportunity why are we complaining about segregation?

YAY! So, um, what's the article that's being submitted? Or has the
deadline already passed? Can the "technical" articles be submitted to
the main magazine? Can we collectively come up with ten new ways to get
women interested in Ubuntu and use that as the article? Or maybe this
column is used to promote ONE member and ONE way to get more women
involved in tech? Ideas that all genders can implement to share the
burden of getting more women involved...


Emma Jane Hogbin, B.Sc.
Founder, xtrinsic
phone: (519) 371-2665
web: www.xtrinsic.com

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