Women and Open Source. Again

Sorry for doing women and open source software AGAIN (also here). But the principles are important people!

Anyway, here’s a presentation from a female developer on some women-friendly projects. There’s also some good tips on including women in your projects. The main one I’d like to pick out is:

Call people on their crap.
If someone’s being an asshole, call them on their crap. How do you tell if someone’s being an asshole? Well, if there’s a naked woman on the projector screen, that’s a good sign.

Let them know that their behaviour is making people feel unwelcome, and that you don’t like it.

Pay attention.
Pay attention to your own behaviour and the behaviour of others. This is possibly the hardest piece of advice I’m going to give. You’re not used to noticing this stuff. 80% of you haven’t noticed the sexism in our [OSS] community.

As men, you are able to glide through life ignoring these things. If you are white, and straight, and speak English, and are university educated, there are a bunch of other things you’ve been able to ignore so far, too. I’m asking you to try not to ignore them. Keep your eyes and ears open and be aware of how things feel to people who don’t share your privilege.

Just saying.

2 Responses to “Women and Open Source. Again”

  • Bill Bell Says:

    Dear Ms Dentata,

    It appears to me that your “female software developer” is asking men to do some deconstructing. Why the hell doesn’t she just say that and offer some helpful, neutral examples that might actually make her point without alienating her audience? And, incidentally, when I read any reference to something called a “principle” I feel bound to suggest that you might do a little deconstructing yourself. Is it possible that displays of naked women on screens don’t “mean” exactly what you think they do?


  • Naomi Mc Says:

    Giving examples is exactly what she is doing.

    My reference to “principle” is to the principles of out-source software. And I could deconstruct you under the table any time, so suggest away.

    It is possible that having displays of naked women in a presentation on software means a number of things. It certainly means that many women who come across these presentations (and this particular one has gone far and wide) will feel demeaned and excluded. If that was not the intention of the presenter than they really should have thought a little more about what they were wanting to project and whether they would potentially be regarded as a massive prick by others.

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