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ToeiRei
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 11:23 am    Post subject: Gentoo-Women - Take Three Reply with quote

Hi guys,

after some IRC conversations with some like-minded folks (read: female nerds) I found the old #gentoo-women channel and some old stuff from back in 2005 and I am wondering why the project itself is dead.

From my personal point of view I found out that we actually have different needs than male users - our forms of communication differ (#gentoo main chat can be rough!) and our ways of looking at things. Look at other projects having women groups: debian, kde,...

This shouldn't be something to discriminate men - in my opinion it should be an attempt to pull in more women into the community and support them. I mean, we're quite outnumbered in here but I feel like reaching out could at least be worth a try.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 9:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's unfortunate the human nature of men propagate to the technical computer world. It's to be expected and there's not much that can be done about it due to the sheer number that are interested - "just because." Then again, there also appears to be women that have assimilated and behave similar to men and are just as trash-mouthed or stuck-up depending on the issue at hand. Alpha-dominance is probably the ultimate issue at hand.

I think the default behavior on computer or otherwise male-dominated forum is indeed to "put up or get out" mainly because the assumption is that the target is another male, and just like in real society they are *forced* to reciprocate. Claiming one is female is obviously the wrong answer as this usually triggers a whole different reaction, which I won't get into, and I feel it may be part of the reason there's not many responses to this thread yet.

I don't really know there's a good solution that works one way or another, it seems that the best way is to just find those people who are willing to help and/or communicate the way that works best. Now how to make them keep on doing the right thing or encouraging new people to do the same, that's the problem...
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 2:22 pm    Post subject: Go on then! Reply with quote

ToeiRei wrote:
after some IRC conversations with some like-minded folks (read: female nerds) I found the old #gentoo-women channel and some old stuff from back in 2005 and I am wondering why the project itself is dead.

From my personal point of view I found out that we actually have different needs than male users - our forms of communication differ (#gentoo main chat can be rough!) and our ways of looking at things. Look at other projects having women groups: debian, kde,...
Absolutely; and the rest of Gentopia can only benefit from the example of more civil, nuanced discourse.
I am a bit concerned that you find #gentoo rough; it's not supposed to be, it's a front-room along freenode guidelines, and is monitored continuously afair.
I guess that might be "forms of communication", but I don't see why the males can't just sit up and behave, already.
Quote:
This shouldn't be something to discriminate men - in my opinion it should be an attempt to pull in more women into the community and support them. I mean, we're quite outnumbered in here but I feel like reaching out could at least be worth a try.
Check with musikc on freenode; she used to be involved with Gentoo, and I think did the #gentoo-women channel you mentioned, though it was before my time.
Tell her igli says 'hi', if you do speak :)

Reaching out to those other projects' groups sounds like a good idea, too; it certainly makes the start of a channel easier, if it's supported by others.

I wouldn't worry about the "Inverse discrimination" crapfest; there are enough of us older heads around to stomp it out as the whinging that it is. ;-)
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 2:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ToeiRei,

#gentoo is not supposed to be rough. However, /topic and the language policy is enforced fairly rigorously.
Its first and foremost a Gentoo first contact help channel. Its no fun trying to follow a busy channel on a mobile phone, so off topic chatter is referred out.
Users wanting to discuss random things are referred to #gentoo-chat.
Users needing more specialist help are referred to #gentoo-<topic>

As as op in #gentoo, I'm interested in what you think can be done to make #gentoo appear less rough.
Not just for women - for everyone, its often a 'first contact' with Gentoo and for some users, their first contact with IRC too.

I recall women in (avionics) engineering in the early 70's. They were few and far between. In a lab of over 100, we had exactly one.
Despite the positive discrimination, in the UK anyway, it hadn't changed much when I left the industry about 10 years ago.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 3:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NeddySeagoon wrote:


I recall women in (avionics) engineering in the early 70's. They were few and far between. In a lab of over 100, we had exactly one.
Despite the positive discrimination, in the UK anyway, it hadn't changed much when I left the industry about 10 years ago.
Its not significantly better today, Birmingham lab has ~100engineers and there is 2 females (well technically 4 due to placement from india)

Flip it around Pharmacy attracts females & where my wife is there is one male & there is no "positive discrimination" to balance this out.


#gentoo being harsh to women because "form of communication differs" appears to be a red-herring. #gentoo is blunt because there is what? ~1000people at any one time 20-30 active members with either issues or people helping. Its not there for chat, its there for quick help to problems. Other quieter channels (say #gentoo-chat or even #gentoo-woman) can have the luxury of dialog but not something like #gentoo.

not to say #gentoo-women isn't a valid idea, just the reasoning to denounce one of the official communications means is odd. There is also aspects of poe's law that is sex/gender agnostic which the forums/ml/irc suffer from
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 5:48 pm    Post subject: Re: Gentoo-Women - Take Three Reply with quote

ToeiRei wrote:
This shouldn't be something to discriminate men
In that case, I would recommend not focusing on gender. I understand the desire to talk to people more similar to yourself, but with your choice of hobbies this may not be possible.

My take on what happens is that the people there have very different interests than you might have, and coincidentally most of them are male. This might make it easy to think the issues stem from gender - in a sense they might, but there's no reason you have to like what they like. The people there will help you just the same. If you want to talk to women just because they are women then you will probably be able to find some, but despite all of the off topic and social channels on Freenode, that is not really the purpose of the network.

ToeiRei wrote:
From my personal point of view I found out that we actually have different needs than male users - our forms of communication differ (#gentoo main chat can be rough!) and our ways of looking at things.
As far as the Gentoo project is concerned having two separate bodies of people that are not in close contact making contributions is probably a bad idea. If this is a question of harassment then the moderators or channel operators will likely be happy to help. It is possible to do things like set up a PM whitelist for your IRC client if that is necessary.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 9:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I didn't want this to come out as a rant about speech in a channel. It's just a feeling that women do have different needs than just plain information. That was the only intention behind; It's also the language men and women use which is different by our education.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 9:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ToeiRei,

I did not see anything you wrote as a rant.
My invitation to discuss perceived problems problems in #gentoo stands.

If there really are these two groups with different communication needs, the problem remains how to bootstrap #gentoo-women since by definition, it needs to be performed by women.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 11:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would like to refer to christal's post back in 2005/2006 where she said "to encourage women to become more involved with Linux" as a main point here, getting women to become more involved with Gentoo. I mean, many people already state that there _IS_ a disturbing lack of females in Linux in general...

From my own experience, when I'm talking with a man about Linux, it's mostly about features and security related stuff which isn't really a woman's field at all. We're more communicative, a bit more for the eye candy and a bit less technical (Have you ever heard women talking about the techniques used for designing shoes?).

Speaking from my own experience I started out with some guys showing me that a 80x25 screen isn't scary at all, showing me how to deal with Linux itself, sticking to my priorities. Sure, I am able to use vi by now - but it was never my first priority (if that makes sense to you that way...)
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 11:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

what makes you think those are female only traits?
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 11:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Men and women have different ways of tackling a problem. That's a fact.

What's wrong about trying out alternative ways of working towards a common goal.
It's definitively not striving for a Disney-like atmosphere. Look what the debian project did. The fact that Debian Women created a very welcoming and collaborative atmosphere within Debian wasn't bad for the community at all.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 11:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

who said anything about not trying?
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 11:46 pm    Post subject: Hey girls! Reply with quote

In my opinion, this could be more than "just a good try". Let's empower the women and leave the guys outside.

And rough doesn't mean anything about language, the women can tell you what's meant. It's rather rude, I'd say.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2017 2:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ToeiRei wrote:
From my own experience, when I'm talking with a man about Linux, it's mostly about features and security related stuff which isn't really a woman's field at all. We're more communicative, a bit more for the eye candy and a bit less technical (Have you ever heard women talking about the techniques used for designing shoes?).

https://www.reddit.com/r/unixporn/

The focus of people involved with Gentoo is a more a function of the purpose of Gentoo and the kind of people it attracts than it is gender. If you want to do those things on Gentoo I suspect you will attract a great many more people if you don't focus on women.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2017 3:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The gender gap in Linux and IT in general bothers me too.

Full disclosure: I'm a man. I'm posting in this thread not to say how things need to be, but rather to show support and offer observations, which admittedly may be so far off base they're not in the park.


  1. I agree that some sort of women's only support group is a good idea, because of the obvious bias that many (most?) men have.
  2. I don't understand how removing women from the common group can improve the situation, so I don't think that women only hanging out in the women's only section is going to improve things as a whole.
  3. IMO what we need is for women who are obviously women and obviously capable to visibly show their brilliance where people can see. Not a staged demonstration, but just people doing their job well.
  4. This applies not only to the Gentoo/Linux community but to the entire computing industry and for that matter society as a whole.


I'm pretty sure most men who intimidate women in the Linux community don't realize they're doing it. My wife says I do this in my non-computing world, and I certainly don't mean to. I have that problem where I talk louder when people didn't understand what I said. But often the problem was me not being clear rather than me not being loud enough. :)
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2017 3:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ToeiRei wrote:
I didn't want this to come out as a rant about speech in a channel. It's just a feeling that women do have different needs than just plain information. That was the only intention behind; It's also the language men and women use which is different by our education.


As a woman using Gentoo (yeah, I generally don't reveal that since I don't want/need special attention and/or guys to hit on me), I'm more than happy to tangle with the boys on technical matters... I don't need a safe space to protect me.

I look at the other projects with groups catering to women (ie, debian, GNOME, firefox, etc) and I see software that went from something great to something I have no desire to use, largely because they've completely lost the focus of their project, often chasing users away, and, instead, care more about pushing agendas than delivering a quality product.

ToeiRei wrote:
From my own experience, when I'm talking with a man about Linux, it's mostly about features and security related stuff which isn't really a woman's field at all. We're more communicative, a bit more for the eye candy and a bit less technical (Have you ever heard women talking about the techniques used for designing shoes?).

Speaking from my own experience I started out with some guys showing me that a 80x25 screen isn't scary at all, showing me how to deal with Linux itself, sticking to my priorities. Sure, I am able to use vi by now - but it was never my first priority (if that makes sense to you that way...)


My first computer was a Tandy Color Computer 2 and I typed in programs from printed magazines, then started tweaking them as I learned to program. My first linux install was in 1993, then I went to college for computer engineering and was a full time linux user by 1995. I'm more at home at a command line than in a GUI (and my non-eye candy desktop has a handful of near mandatory GUI apps, like my browser, and a bunch of different terminals, where I still do the majority of my real work).

Being a girl doesn't mean we have to be helpless, nor does it mean we don't have a robust technical background. Oh, and just because I have technical interests doesn't mean I don't care about my appearance - I own an esthetics related business and I'm often the best dressed woman anywhere I go. People shouldn't perpetrate stereotypes just because it fits their own agenda.

Gentoo has far bigger issues than needing more women for the sake of having more women... the project is rotten with egos near the top that want to push their agenda onto everyone else and that drives people away from contributing, regardless of the gender of the potential contributor. It's been that way since I started using Gentoo and that was what kept me from becoming a dev back when I had more free time.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2017 10:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Full disclosure: I am a crow. Caw caw.

I teach CS and CE classes in Brazil. A large majority of students are boys, but it seems that graduation rates for girls are better. This gap has been coming from a long time (at least since I started as a undergrad student 20-so years ago), and it doesn't seem to be receding in a consistent way. It doesn't help that the most desired degrees here are in Medicine or Law, which allow for the best pays. Our Judiciary system pays much better than most possible careers.

The average family here is "traditional" in the sense that they will probably try to enforce the gender stereotypes when buying toys, for example. There is a huge demand for princess stuff for girls. People seem to think that is funny my little girls get dinosaurs to play.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2017 12:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ToeiRei wrote:
I didn't want this to come out as a rant about speech in a channel.
It's okay; it's on us. You hadn't ranted, we just picked up on that and went with it, which is both male and geekish ime.
It's more fun when it's a geek quest for detail.
Quote:
]It's just a feeling that women do have different needs than just plain information. That was the only intention behind; It's also the language men and women use which is different by our education.
That's true.
Though I have a feeling most men would be happier not uncommunicating like pigs all the time.

Sorry for all the inane questions, and querying of the basis of what you're discussing. Pretty much inevitable, I'm afraid.

Guys: look up "how not to be an asshole" when you have a moment.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2017 2:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ToeiRei wrote:
I would like to refer to christal's post back in 2005/2006 where she said "to encourage women to become more involved with Linux" as a main point here, getting women to become more involved with Gentoo. I mean, many people already state that there _IS_ a disturbing lack of females in Linux in general...
There is indeed an unbalance. However the lack on involvement in #gentoo-women might be because some prefer to be a part of the whole group and don't want to be seperate group. Maybe because they want to be equal this way and not joining. Is it so? I cannot directly speak behalf of any women (obviously).

ToeiRei wrote:
From my own experience, when I'm talking with a man about Linux, it's mostly about features and security related stuff which isn't really a woman's field at all. We're more communicative, a bit more for the eye candy and a bit less technical (Have you ever heard women talking about the techniques used for designing shoes?).
Now when you mentioned it... I have one (IRL) woman friend who uses and maintains her Linuxes. First thing after the installation she chooses the theme carefully.
Maybe we should encourage women to participate (in Gentoo and in Linux in general) by contributing new themes etc artwork? Maybe this way we could have more "permanent" women members.

Is there any sense in what I suggested?
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2017 2:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I see political correctness creeping in. Why don't we let people do what they want to do and what they do best? If it is not Gentoo they have their fun with, then so be it.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2017 2:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jaglover wrote:
I see political correctness creeping in.
Nooooo!

Anyways. I think saying "We want women to participate too for no particular reason." is enough. If someone still asks "Why?" I could answer "Because It could be fun?".
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2017 4:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I see two repeated things in this thread that bother me.


  1. ...for no particular reason
  2. Political correctness


Why is this here?

I want to see more women using Gentoo/Linux/whatever because of the obvious gender bias in IT right now. I see very few women in IT, and the thing is they tend to be either very new or extremely capable. I think the preconceptions of their coworkers and/or bosses chase out all the women who are not driven to excel at all costs.

Surely it's possible that IT jobs are less attractive to women due to some fact of their gender, although I have no idea what it would be. Personally I think it as likely that a woman would want a career in IT as it is that a man would. I see no reason why women can't do the job as well as men do. The same thing goes for Linux/Gentoo/whatever other grouping you could come up with.

I don't want to see more women using Gentoo "for no particular reason." I want to see more women using Gentoo because I think the gender ratio in all of IT is artificially weighted by some stereotype or active attempt to keep women out. The fact that there is a gender gap this large, to me, means that there's a problem that needs to be dealt with.

I may be way off base here, but I think if the genders were all represented approximately evenly in Linux then the desperate guys who hit on a woman on a Linux forum just because she's on that forum would probably get dates closer to home and be less needy online.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2017 7:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was about to chip in a few 'war stories' but its unlikely that 40+year old anecdotes help this discussion.
I'll just summarise.

The gender bias cuts both ways.
Men don't expect to see women in engineering, that's one side, the other side is, nor do other women.
The few that are there appear 'odd' to both genders.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2017 8:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ToeiRei wrote:
Men and women have different ways of tackling a problem. That's a fact.

Yes. In general we do differ in many ways.
Yes, there are exceptions.
Why focus on making a rule out of those exceptions, particularly when the objects are more into high heels than high tech?

This said, I do understand that you sometimes want to talk to women with a similar hobby. I wouldn't mind talking to them either. Unfortunately they're damn hard to find.
So.... Hi?
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2017 10:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

szatox wrote:
ToeiRei wrote:
Men and women have different ways of tackling a problem. That's a fact.

Yes. In general we do differ in many ways.
Yes, there are exceptions.
Why focus on making a rule out of those exceptions, particularly when the objects are more into high heels than high tech?

This said, I do understand that you sometimes want to talk to women with a similar hobby. I wouldn't mind talking to them either. Unfortunately they're damn hard to find.
So.... Hi?
bingo.
The OP wanted to recreate #gentoo just for women. #gentoo isn't for chatting, it is a high traffic support channel no amount of gender/sex will change that

This is why I stated #gentoo-chat (and likewise advocated #gentoo-women) for a more general dialog with some support
Neddy hit the nail on the head as well, it needs to be bootstrapped/seeded and we'll... Only women can do that
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