FSF->beards(); FSF->female_participants();

Xavier Drudis Ferran xdrudis at tinet.org
Wed May 16 00:18:23 UTC 2001

El Thu, May 10, 2001 at 05:09:26PM +0200, Pim van Riezen deia:
> Nothing as such, but it's an agenda possibly bigger than that of promoting
> free software. Stating that the percentage of women working in the field
> would influence the state of free software would be sexist in a way; Since
> men and women are equally capable, the percentages should not matter,
> right?
Please correct me if my logic is wrong or sexist, but considering the fact 
that approximately half of the 
population is women and half is men, the fact that there are less 
women than men programming free software (and nobody seems to deny that)
may or may not have a reason (I tend to think there must be a reason). 
If there is a reason (if there is something 
in society or whatever) and we can fix it somehow, then we may have 
more people writing free software.

To say it in other words: If there are 80 men and 20 women writing 
free software and we change it to 50 men and 50 women we have gained 
nothing (in the amount, quality, etc. of free software, although 
I would possibly prefer this 50/50 for some feeling of fairness), 
but since 
the new women wouldn't probably stop the men from 
writing free software, we should try to see if there is anything 
that can be done to have 80 men and 80 women programming free software.

I don't mean that this should be the main goal of the FSFE or even 
that there is anything the FSFE could do even if they wanted to, but 
I'm just saying that any improvement in this area might have a 
positive impact in free software. Of course having more poor people 
getting more money so that they are able to afford 
computers and start hacking would also help, and in general, 
anything that improves the world improves free software, because 
free software is part of the world. 

But since there are other organizations pursuing those goals, maybe 
the FSFE does not need to aim at fixing everything wrong in the world. 
What I mean is: 
1.- The low proportion of women in free software is 
a problem for free software and we all should be aware of it. Keeping 
it in mind may help to avoid making it worse and helping people trying
to solve it.
2.- Probably it is a problem that the FSFE does not want to or cannot 
attack because it is not particular to free software, as many other 

Xavier Drudis Ferran
xdrudis at tinet.org

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