[UbuntuWomen] UW article for Fullcircle mag

Vid Ayer svaksha at gmail.com
Mon Jan 14 12:34:31 UTC 2008

Am not upto answering each mail but i want to add to Jacinta's
well-written piece.

On Jan 14, 2008 3:53 PM, Jacinta Richardson <jarich at perltraining.com.au> wrote:
> Elizabeth Bevilacqua wrote:
> > Can't we just encourage women new to
> > the project to join us in the main #ubuntu channels? Upping our
> > presence in the general Ubuntu community is how we get things to
> > change.
> We can encourage, but we should not force.  If someone comes to ubuntu women
> with negative experiences of web forums and/or technical mailing lists, and
> wants to ask us her technical question; I think we should answer it.  By being a
> safe environment in which to ask technical questions, we make it easier on
> others to learn how.  Sometimes the question we ask isn't a very good question.

[snipped as i agree]

If we keep redirecting women with a terse "use #ubuntu-motu for tech
queries or #ubuntu-* for whatever", however appropriate and
well-meant, its still  discouraging for her (or any male) who drops by
and wants to discuss technical stuff, help out or mentor women.

> > My vision is changing Ubuntu as a whole, not creating a "safe" space
> > within Ubuntu Women. I don't think anyone should be ridiculed anywhere
> > for asking "so-called silly questions" - this isn't just a women's
> > issue.

Ubuntu was always a step ahead as far as social community behaviour
goes.... but UW was inspired by DW and unfortunately we have not got
the success rate they have had technically speaking.... How many women
Motu's/core-dev did UW help grow in the 2 years? AFAIK, none. Please
correct me if I am wrong.  Ofcourse, kudos to Hobsee but I think she
made it on her own steam. That was my main vision for UW, amongst the
other general things quoted. That is also not to say that *every*
woman has to become a Motu, so dont misinterpret my words please.
Also, the intention is not to create a safe space but to create a
space which will hopefully _cease_ to exist when women, statistically
speaking, dont languish in the single digit percentage range
technically, because Free Software Communities are in the final
analysis all about **giving back** to the community (which still
technical skills) and not just consuming a quality technical product.

> Creating a safe place where people can ask silly questions and get sensible
> answers, helps create people who can then go forth and try to wrestle with the
> forums.  Women typically have a lower confidence levels so, giving them
> somewhere to get started with or without technical questions is often quite helpful.

+1, when it comes to tech queries yes, that helps.

> > What it sounds like is you believe Ubuntu Women should duplicate the
> > efforts of all the other projects within Ubuntu rather than working to
> > get women integrated with those existing projects. I think this is
> > damaging and not at all practical given the lack of success we've had
> > with major initiatives such as the Mentoring project.

Please dont attribute things i never said. See above, besides
Jacinta's reply below, which i echo.

> I don't think that the goal is to duplicate the efforts of any project, although
> that may occur in small parts from time to time.  The goal is to give women a
> place that they are welcome to learn in without ridicule.  If that includes
> asking technical questions and getting technical answers, that isn't so bad.
> We're not requesting that all women in Ubuntu only ask their technical questions
> on this list though, just making it possible for some to ask some of the time.

> > Because I thought our goal was to get more women contributing
> > directly, upping our presence in main channels, on main mailing lists,
> > on official forums, in loco teams. Not duplicating efforts by creating
> > things like what essentially feel like #ubuntu-women-motu and such.

See above part about DW (its technical achievements) and why that
would be good for both Ubuntu and women interested in doing so.

> Our long term goal is to get more women contributing directly etc.  Our
> immediate goal (as I understand it) is to get more women contributing at all.
> Showing that UW does some technical stuff (while encouraging our subscribed
> women to stand up and be vocal) shows interested people that we're not just a
> social club.  It allows people on the outside to see that perhaps we can help
> them if they're too intimidated by trying out there.
> As for UW being like other teams; yes it is.  Every new-comer friendly team has
> ways of helping those new-comers fit in better with the wider community.
> Whether it's divided on country, language or gender lines.  It's discriminatory
> in a sense, because perhaps my country's team isn't as new-comer friendly as the
> on you're in, but that's just tough.

Vid  || http://www.svaksha.com

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