Women : was: Re: Logo (was: Tax....)

E L Tonkin py7elt at bath.ac.uk
Thu Dec 21 13:09:43 UTC 2000

> >> > [...] we would suggest a nice girl (Europa) riding on a GNU [...]
> > Shouldn't she rather be "... a splendid woman whose eyes were as soft as
> > a feather and as deep as eternity itself, and whose body [...]
> I don't dislike the general idea, but I think we must avoid images
> that may be unfair to someone. Even though male people are (curently)
> the majority in the software field, I wouldn't depict ourselves with
> an image that's more aimed at male viewers.

This is an interesting point... given that most organizations don't blanch
at doing exactly this ;)

I noticed recently that "Linux Format" magazine (UK) use a 'geek' system
to define the difficulty level of configuring a given piece of software.
ie. StarOffice gets 'clean-shaven young man, probably from Anderson
Consulting', whereas nfsd gets 'geek with goatee beard, BatBelt(TM) and
probably Jesus sandals'.

A beautiful example of stereotyping and a perfect description of many
kernel hackers, but do you really need a minimum of 2mm beard stubble, XY
chromosomes, and the ability to enjoy 'xv -roo NakedPammieAnderson.gif' to
shell script (or use /etc/exports)?

At least it's funny. Far better than the kind of 'half-dressed bimbo
caressing a desktop printer' advertising that occurs sickeningly often
with PCs - the sort of thing to avoid if you don't want to alienate half
the planet. Why do all these publications go with this kind of content?  

If it seems that 99.8% of programmers are male, it's partly because their
attitudes and that of the surrounding media often don't encourage women to
join in.

As far as the logo is concerned, I personally like the general idea. It
doesn't sound particularly sexist ... But it wouldn't hurt, whilst we're
on the topic, for the FSF to do their bit in promoting the bizarre concept
that Women Program Too (occasionally).


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