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Pythoncraft and Pigs With Wings
Disbelief: women and Open Source
by Aahz
July 24, 2009
Summary
Many men in Open Source refuse to confront the fact that they need to do something about the lack of women in Open Source -- partly because they don't believe that there are so few women.

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At OSCON Thursday, Kirrily Robert gave a great keynote on women in Open Source. But the "fun" part came at lunchtime: I was eating with Anna Martelli Ravenscroft and Alex Martelli, and someone else at the table expressed doubt about Kirrily's statistic that only one-point-five percent (1.5%) of Open Source developers are women. The three of us took that as an opportunity to deliver an impromptu feminism 101 lecture and how it relates to geek women in general and Open Source women in particular.

Later on, I ran into Kirrily and thanked her for the keynote. She mentioned that it was somewhat disheartening to keep going through the motions over and over again (although an OSCON keynote does push the issue into sharper focus). So I'm posting this blog entry to do my part to at least get over the disbelief barrier -- like alcoholism, we can't even start to fix things until people acknowledge that there is a problem.

Added after posting: here's Kirrily's blog entry on her keynote, which is mostly the same as the speech.

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About the Blogger

Aahz has been using Python since 1999 and is the co-author of Python for Dummies. He helps people on comp.lang.python, and is one of the webmasters for www.python.org. Aahz is currently working as a developer for web applications.

This weblog entry is Copyright © 2009 Aahz. All rights reserved.

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