Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 24th Nov 2009 16:57 UTC, submitted by Jim Hodapp
Gnome The GNOME Journal team has published issue 17 of the GNOME Journal, titled "Women In Open Source". This is their first issue with a unified theme, and with all articles written by women from the open source community. The idea and execution of this issue was created by the GNOME Women community. It comes packed with articles about GNOME and its underlying frameworks.
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Reinforcing division
by troy.unrau on Tue 24th Nov 2009 17:26 UTC
troy.unrau
Member since:
2007-02-23

Is this policy really a good idea? I mean, reinforcing the division and placing women in their own special context in open source projects only serves to further emphasize isolation.

To turn this context around, take a field where (at least in my experiences) men are a distinct minority: primary school education. Consider, as an example, that some peer-reviewed journal that focused on primary school education decided to create a feature issue wherein the sole feature was that the contributors were 'under-represented' male educators. The general effect of this issue would be to emphasize a distinction and further isolate men in primary school education as 'special' in some way. It would not serve as a recruitment tool. The proper response would be to simply make sure that the system training primary school educators is welcoming to anyone, rather than to respond with "OMG! A man is going to become a kids teacher! Lets write a story about it!"

Essentially, this issue is saying "See! Look how many women we have! (Take that RMS!)" rather than simply making Gnome/FOSS an open and welcoming place where people don't immediately focus on gender differences.

Of course, this may require behaviour modifications to a number of prominent individuals within the FOSS community.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Reinforcing division
by WereCatf on Tue 24th Nov 2009 18:31 in reply to "Reinforcing division"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

Being female myself I do find it refreshing and somewhat interesting to hear about other women in F/OSS landscape slowly making name for themselves. I still hear belittling comments and disbelief from men every now and then about how women can't use computers and all such crap, so anything that proves we ain't any single bit worse off than men is a positive thing.

Of course, in an ideal world there would be no need for proving such in either direction, but this world where we live in still suffers from thousands of years old beliefs and gender roles and there is no other way of breaking those than proving them wrong time and again until they are gone.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE: Reinforcing division
by jhodapp on Tue 24th Nov 2009 21:35 in reply to "Reinforcing division"
jhodapp Member since:
2009-11-24

Is this policy really a good idea? I mean, reinforcing the division and placing women in their own special context in open source projects only serves to further emphasize isolation.

To turn this context around, take a field where (at least in my experiences) men are a distinct minority: primary school education. Consider, as an example, that some peer-reviewed journal that focused on primary school education decided to create a feature issue wherein the sole feature was that the contributors were 'under-represented' male educators. The general effect of this issue would be to emphasize a distinction and further isolate men in primary school education as 'special' in some way. It would not serve as a recruitment tool. The proper response would be to simply make sure that the system training primary school educators is welcoming to anyone, rather than to respond with "OMG! A man is going to become a kids teacher! Lets write a story about it!"

Essentially, this issue is saying "See! Look how many women we have! (Take that RMS!)" rather than simply making Gnome/FOSS an open and welcoming place where people don't immediately focus on gender differences.

Of course, this may require behaviour modifications to a number of prominent individuals within the FOSS community.


I agree with you in general and as the Editor 'n Chief of the GNOME Journal, there was nothing meant by highlighting women in this issue beyond the simple fact that it would be neat to have a unified theme (and set of writers) for this issue. I believe it was Stormy Peters (a prominent woman in FLOSS) who proposed the idea. There was no discussion about the subject, just excitement and agreement. This was not a political thing, nor an affirmative action-based thing. We simply had expressed interest and that is what the team agreed to.

Thanks for reading the GNOME Journal! We always love feedback and especially suggestions. We also accept articles from random people and submissions anytime.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Reinforcing division
by Soulbender on Wed 25th Nov 2009 11:25 in reply to "Reinforcing division"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Is this policy really a good idea?


What policy? It's a one-issue thing and not a general policy for the journal.

Reply Parent Score: 2