On Sun, 15 Jan 2012, Clockwork PC <clockwor...@gmail.com> wrote:
> There are at least two discussions in this thread:
>    1. What ratio of men and women should we consider both desirable and
>    realistic?

That is the wrong question.

We should concentrate on making the FOSS community a safe and fun environment 
for everyone who wants to join, where anyone can safely recommend it to women 
and girls.  Then we should let the ratio be whatever it ends up as.

The ratio at the moment is only relevant for discussion when comparing it to 
other related fields such as commercial software development.  The fact that 
women choose not to join our community but instead join other similar 
communities is a strong indication that our community sucks in some ways.

Also let's stop assuming that it's an issue of whether there will be 50% 
females or something less.  Let's keep an open mind to the possibility that if 
there were no disincentives then it could end up that women outnumber men.

>    2. Is the current extremely small number of women in Free Software due
>    to the behaviour of men in Free Software to its current and past women
>    members?

There are women who have directly and clearly stated that they reduced their 
involvement in our community or left it entirely because of the way that they 
were treated.  There are also women who have documented all manner of 
mistreatment up to an including what can be well described as attempted rape.


When such incidents are documented there is always a significant number of men 
(including men in positions of power) who argue that nothing bad happened.  
The above URL has a blog post I wrote rebutting some of the stupidity in a 
discussion of the LCA 2011 porny presentation.

Such discussions give women good reason to fear for their safety.


Above is another URL that I think everyone here should read.  There has been a 
lot of mansplaining in this discussion.

My Main Blog         http://etbe.coker.com.au/
My Documents Blog    http://doc.coker.com.au/

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