Puppy Linux Discussion Forum Forum Index Puppy Linux Discussion Forum
Puppy HOME page : puppylinux.com
"THE" alternative forum : puppylinux.info
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

The time now is Fri 25 Jul 2014, 14:27
All times are UTC - 4
 Forum index » Taking the Puppy out for a walk » Misc
What does it take to make computers more accessible to women
Moderators: Flash, JohnMurga
Post new topic   Reply to topic View previous topic :: View next topic
Page 1 of 4 [59 Posts]   Goto page: 1, 2, 3, 4 Next
Author Message
rarsa


Joined: 29 May 2005
Posts: 3053
Location: Kitchener, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Mon 05 Mar 2007, 22:35    Post subject:  What does it take to make computers more accessible to women
Subject description: Not my topic, just setting a thread for it
 

I'm opening this thread not because I got specific ideas. The topic started in a different thread and I thought it was relevant enough to require its own thread.

http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?p=101199#101199

Here are the relevant bits as reference:
firescarab wrote:
Linux must become more accessible to women rather then the computer academic, the hobbyist, the boffin (all of whom are predominately men).

pizzasgood wrote:
I thought we were equal? Care to explain how a woman is at a disadvantage? I'm a guy, so I don't know first-hand how well women learn linux, but my little sister gets by alright. I hate discrimination based on stupid things like race, gender, and age, so I'd be glad to try fixing it if you can point me toward something specifically anti-woman. (I really would be glad to fix it, more women using linux = ).

_________________
http://rarsa.blogspot.com Covering my eclectic thoughts
http://www.kwlug.org/blog/48 Covering my Linux How-to
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website 
rarsa


Joined: 29 May 2005
Posts: 3053
Location: Kitchener, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Mon 05 Mar 2007, 22:58    Post subject:  

Now, here are my thoughts:

Men and women and for that matter different people are not equal, just equivalent: we deserve the same rights and the same oportunities. Still, the desicion to exercise those rights and oportunities is individual. (I'm of course refereing to my part of the world, North America)

I find it very 'unpowering' from one group that has the same power and rights to ask the other group to make things easier for them.

I have at least two issues with this:

1. Men don't know how women think and what women want, so we cannot make those desicions for them. I for one wouldn't know where to start.
2. If women want to have a 'feminized' version of linux they can create it. They have the power and no doubt the inteligence and ability.

In the past there were high barriers for women to be considered equivalent. They fought and regardles of what we think about "feminists" they achieved great things.

When I say "they can create it" I mean it in the full meaning of the creative process.

It is a missconception that women are not as good as coding as men. I work and I've worked with many women programers. I've gone to technical conference sessions presented by women and learned a great deal. I really don't see a real barrier there.

So some women can participate coding (the JWM configurator was created by a woman)

But the creative process is not only coding. Actually I consider it about 20% of the full process. There are many people in this forum that don't know how to code at all, but give advice on how and why a particular feature or change will be very accomodating to their needs, whether they are visually impaired or with limited motor skils. Even I have made sugestions based on the fact that I think in a structured way.

So women can participate giving sugestions. A user with the nick of Gliezl comes to mind. She was active propossing things, she hasn't been around recently but search her posts.

So, what does it take to make computers more accessible to women?
Different way of teaching math?
Different way of aproaching the techical concepts?
A different way of communication between developers?

I don't know, you tell me.

_________________
http://rarsa.blogspot.com Covering my eclectic thoughts
http://www.kwlug.org/blog/48 Covering my Linux How-to
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website 
Pizzasgood


Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 6270
Location: Knoxville, TN, USA

PostPosted: Tue 06 Mar 2007, 01:27    Post subject:  

For the record, as I explained in the other thread, I mistook the intended meaning of Firescarab's post. I believe the intended message was that the people likely to expend the effort to learn Linux tend to be men. That means making things simpler would entice more women to use Linux, thus doubling our user-base and increasing variety. Not that Linux is inherently anti-women, they just aren't as inclined to work at it.

Personally, I think if you compared the number of men who don't use linux to the number of women who don't, there wouldn't be much of a difference. I think there tend to be more male tinkerers than female, but not enough to matter when looking at the non-users. I think making things simpler would bring in as many men as women.

Pizzasgood wrote:
And yes, I'm all for the differences between people. If all pizzas were cheese, I'd get sick of it fast. By equal I meant roughly. Just because you put bacon on a pizza doesn't stop it from being a pizza, and the dietary content is still very similar. But it is slightly different, and extremely delicious.

Men and women are not the same. Which is a very good thing.

_________________
Between depriving a man of one hour from his life and depriving him of his life there exists only a difference of degree. --Muad'Dib

Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website 
amish

Joined: 24 Sep 2006
Posts: 616

PostPosted: Tue 06 Mar 2007, 03:01    Post subject:  

maybe this isn't a software question, maybe it's a social question.

i mean, if women were a part of the community, the would just have suggestions. they wouldn't be suggestions for making puppy better for women, but if women were making suggestions, and listened to, puppy would become better for women anyway.

this is after asking myself the question over and over again. what could "better for women" possibly mean?

personally i'm in favor of making it better for everyone, but that certainly includes women. is there a puppy_chix forum that could be built? a website? it would be very cool to get someone to train cob (who's probably already capable) or kermit to make a puplet.... they could experiment from that and we could compare notes.

aha! lobster, what about a PuppyWomen or WomenPuppy page on the wiki for starters? whether it turns into a community or a puplet or both, it's something.

_________________
sadly, it is not possible to separate politics from free software. free software - politics = unfree software.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message 
HairyWill


Joined: 26 May 2006
Posts: 2949
Location: Southampton, UK

PostPosted: Tue 06 Mar 2007, 04:15    Post subject:  

One of my colleages is doing a PhD on the low entry rate of women to study computer science at university level. What I say below contains generalisations and I'm sure we could all find exceptions.
She has found that girls in secondary school (in the UK) view using a computer as a solitary activity, it is a means to get work done. Their choice of degree is often determined by the likely financial reward at the end. IT is currently perceived as paying low.
Boys treat using a computer as a social activity, they discuss their activities, work together problem solving and get enjoyment from interacting with each other online.
The entry was much more balanced 15 years ago when children had much less contact with computers, both at home and at school.

I see tinkering with puppy to be similar to pigeon fancying, ham radio and model trains, things to be done by men (in majority) in the shed at bottom of the garden. This doesn't mean that the community has nothing to gain from greater female input, the more perspectives the better IMHO. It is just that very often women aren't interested and the reason for this is a much bigger issue than puppy.

Interestingly in the arabic world IT equates with office work that should be done by women. My research group contains a high proportion of women with a muslim background.

_________________
Will
contribute: community website, screenshots, puplets, wiki, rss
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message 
raffy

Joined: 25 May 2005
Posts: 4759
Location: Manila

PostPosted: Tue 06 Mar 2007, 05:14    Post subject: social role  

I guess it's more a type-casting (pre-defined role) in a society or in a home where women exist. Here women are treated as co-equal in work, and as you saw in gliezl, she expected to be treated as co-equal.

In a home, if girls are expected to have the same time with the PC as the boys, then they could have their own hobby and socializing through the PC.

Even then, my jaw once dropped when I listened to an articulate young woman explaining one complex situation of software development in a big company. I thought, "Boy, is she missing fun by being so absorbed by her complex project?" Now, this reaction of mine tends to follow the observation above that women choose (or are expected) to socialize more.

_________________
Puppy user since Oct 2004. Want FreeOffice? Get the sfs (English only).
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message 
Sage

Joined: 04 Oct 2005
Posts: 4776
Location: GB

PostPosted: Tue 06 Mar 2007, 07:33    Post subject:  

Can o' worms, this one!
Had you lived as long as I, you would've known that mere males were banned from anything computer back in the '60s.
Programmes, oh yes, back then the word was even spelt correctly, were written by young dolly birds straight out of school, after a year or two they became compilers and operators, permitted access to the (airconditioned) inner sanctum where programmes were run, and their controllers tended to be, shall we say, more 'experienced' ladies approaching their 21st.
What a delight it was back then. I could sit for hours with the girl of my choice and explain what I would like her to do for me.............
Before anyone of the female persuasion jumps up and lambasts me, I have to tell that all these experiences proved mutually satisfying,



and many technical papers were published as a result of our liaisons.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message 
headfound


Joined: 24 Jun 2006
Posts: 344
Location: England

PostPosted: Tue 06 Mar 2007, 08:32    Post subject:  

In my wifes words, 'No fiddly bits (for setting stuff up), simplified options, GAMES! and a good word processor with cool font types' Very Happy
_________________
Download a better Computer Smile
Puppy Linux Song
altern8life
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website 
rarsa


Joined: 29 May 2005
Posts: 3053
Location: Kitchener, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Tue 06 Mar 2007, 11:21    Post subject:  

Hey, we are wasting bandwidth in this thread...

Where are the women's voices?

_________________
http://rarsa.blogspot.com Covering my eclectic thoughts
http://www.kwlug.org/blog/48 Covering my Linux How-to
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website 
amish

Joined: 24 Sep 2006
Posts: 616

PostPosted: Tue 06 Mar 2007, 12:49    Post subject:  

yeah we are rarsa, although after reading sage's post i was immediately reminded that http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grace_Hopper was a woman...
Quote:
1969 – She won the first "man of the year" award from the Data Processing Management Association... 1973 – She became the first person from the United States and the first woman of any nationality to be made a Distinguished Fellow of the British Computer Society.
Quote:
While she was working on a Mark II Computer at Harvard University, her associates discovered a moth stuck in a relay and thereby impeding operation, whereupon she remarked that they were "debugging" the system. Though the term computer bug cannot be definitively attributed to Admiral Hopper, she did bring the term into popularity.
when you remove the moth from the relay, you will be ready to leave the temple, gracehopper... the pun de nom lead my mother to believe the bug story was a hoax (photo of the bug available via link)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message 
Lobster
Official Crustacean


Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 15117
Location: Paradox Realm

PostPosted: Tue 06 Mar 2007, 12:55    Post subject:  

Maybe these guys can advise us?
http://linuxchix.org/

_________________
Puppy WIKI
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website 
amish

Joined: 24 Sep 2006
Posts: 616

PostPosted: Tue 06 Mar 2007, 14:08    Post subject:  

Quote:
Maybe these guys can advise us?
http://linuxchix.org/


that would be great, although welcoming them to edit a wikipage (see earlier post) with their ideas might give them more to start with.

i think the trick may be getting them to take puppy seriously as an avenue to make linux more friendly, more compatible with this essence of "better for women" we men can't seem to put our finger on?

in any case, a dialog of some kind would be great. ( why does this suddenly sound to me like the middle-east peace process? oh yeah... women and men... Old Friends Smile ) seriously, if puppy can cater to a more diverse community and stay special in a "puppy sort of way" (and i really, really think these things are mutually possible if they both stay priorities) then imo it should.

we've grown beyond the days when almost the whole of society foolishly sees women as people to be kept under foot or under thumb. given that, they deserve to be helped out from under microsoft's looming, grim and excessively patriarchal shadow Smile every bit as much as we do.

_________________
sadly, it is not possible to separate politics from free software. free software - politics = unfree software.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message 
rarsa


Joined: 29 May 2005
Posts: 3053
Location: Kitchener, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Tue 06 Mar 2007, 14:20    Post subject:  

Actually that site points to very specific things that I hadn't thought about

http://www.linuxchix.org/content/whatis/

Quote:
And that vocal minority has a strong tendency to be brash, harsh, and intolerant of people who know less than they. This scares new users off, and reflects badly on the Linux community as a whole.

Our interactions in the forum and in the chat are sometimes quite rude. We don't think much of it maybe because in general culturally, men are taught to just brush it off.

If I receive a RTFM or a "that's a stupid question" I would normally think "what a moron" and continue with my search.

Acording to that page, some (most?) women take it personally and think of it as gender bias.

Could it be that the gender bias is the other way around? We act as we act just because we are who we are, genetically and culturally.

But again, those are my thoughts I want to hear those of women and in light of the quoted text, lets listen without being judgmental or rude.

Note: I added myself to one of their email lists to ask them to contribute with their ideas to this thread.

_________________
http://rarsa.blogspot.com Covering my eclectic thoughts
http://www.kwlug.org/blog/48 Covering my Linux How-to
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website 
pleia2


Joined: 06 Mar 2007
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Tue 06 Mar 2007, 16:15    Post subject:  

Val Henson of LinuxChix wrote a fantastic document that discusses this subject:

HOWTO Encourage Women in Linux

Not only does this explain the issues, hurdles and such, it gets into how you can help to fix it.

Quote:
Quote:
And that vocal minority has a strong tendency to be brash, harsh, and intolerant of people who know less than they. This scares new users off, and reflects badly on the Linux community as a whole.


Acording to that page, some (most?) women take it personally and think of it as gender bias.


I think you've misread that. We don't necessarily take it personally or believe it's a gender bias. We see this happen to everyone, regardless of gender. We see it as hostile and something we don't want to be involved with. This is certainly not a woman thing, I know many men who don't feel comfortable in the more hostile FOSS environments. LinuxChix itself boasts a lot of male members who were drawn to the project because of the "Be Polite and Be Helpful" rules of the list.

Other Linux distributions have struggled with how to encourage more women, and several have created -Women groups within their projects, including: Debian Women, Ubuntu Women and Fedora Women. These project seek to join women together (so we don't feel so alone) and supportive men, provide mentors, and general encouragement to get women involved. They also run into resistance from time to time from people who don't believe women should have a separate place, but as far as I can tell the projects with good leadership work.

_________________
Elizabeth Bevilacqua - Unix System Administrator
www.princessleia.com
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message 
amish

Joined: 24 Sep 2006
Posts: 616

PostPosted: Tue 06 Mar 2007, 17:51    Post subject:  

finally- thank you!

i had a long reply to this thread that *might* be interesting (might be dreadfully boring) if posted elsewhere- one of the things that i suspected was we stood a better chance of getting a reply if we welcomed and invited people one at a time here to post her thoughts.

another was along the lines of what you said- that "rtfm" attitudes not only lead to communities devoid of women, but devoid of many other sensitive people, that "sensitivity" isn't a quality of females (women) but of a feminine energy that some women do not posess (or that they hide to get along in a patriarchal society) and that some men do.

it went off in what i hoped were interesting tangents into stereotyping, jungian archetypes, and mysticism, so consider this brief synapsis both an invitation and a warning that it's probably dull and very odd.

the conclusion was that if we could build a community that was inclusive of women, a suitable o.s. would follow. and if no where else, i was PRETTY Sure i was onto something there. but who knows? thanks again for posting, i strongly hope we can make a community that women (and sensitive men) do not wish to shy from. sensitive people have too many insights that are often regarded (foolishly and unfortunately) as weak, frivolous, or even "girly..." the internet could benefit from a balance that was neither too male or too female. and while i am all in favor of the creation of "havens" on the internet, i think they might be symptom of a bigger problem (our mutual problems) as much as a partial solution- especially if they are the only place you see many women online. signing off now before i write another essay- many thanks!

_________________
sadly, it is not possible to separate politics from free software. free software - politics = unfree software.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message 
Display posts from previous:   Sort by:   
Page 1 of 4 [59 Posts]   Goto page: 1, 2, 3, 4 Next
Post new topic   Reply to topic View previous topic :: View next topic
 Forum index » Taking the Puppy out for a walk » Misc
Jump to:  

You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group
[ Time: 0.1176s ][ Queries: 11 (0.0039s) ][ GZIP on ]