[aur-general] "tower-girls", was Re: TU application for Sven-Hendrik Haase

Sven-Hendrik Haase sh at lutzhaase.com
Sat Jun 26 21:04:50 EDT 2010

 On 26.06.2010 19:10, Xyne wrote:
>>>>> I suspect of all the places a girl could stumble upon in the net,  
>>>>> this
>>>>> one is the least likely to be it.
>>>> Well, when they do, they'll be able to confirm the stereotype of male
>>>> computer geeks and their attitudes towards them.
>> What stereotype? I'm a computer geek, and I'm fine with women, in  
>> general and in computing. Stereotyping is bullshit generalization that  
>> doesn't actually apply to anyone in particular.
> [/snip]
>> On Sat, Jun 26, 2010 at 6:13 AM, Peter Lewis <pete at muddygoat.org> wrote:
>>> But please don't assume you know my motivation for mentioning these projects.
>>> I'm not "trying to make myself feel better",
>> I'm sorry; was I "stereotyping" you? Sucks, doesn't it? :)
>> -- 
>> Andrew
> I think you misunderstood my message. My point was that a conversation
> among TUs, i.e. people officially associated with the distro, about
> keeping women in towers etc. conforms to a stereotype that people have
> of male geeks acting disparagingly towards women. A harmless comment
> here or there isn't really an issue, but diverting a TU application
> into a conversation that ostensibly objectifies women on a public
> mailing list will be seen as inappropriate and possibly offensive by
> others. If you don't see how that might be offensive then I would say
> that you're part of the problem.
> This is relevant: http://xkcd.com/322/
> Stereotypes are indeed stupid and so is acting in accordance with them.
> I'm really not up in arms about this. I only made a fleeting remark
> about it and had intended to avoid replying to your message when I saw
> it, but that second remark to Peter above clearly shows that you
> misunderstood my point so I felt the need to explain myself. Call me
> "pseudo-politically correct" all you want, but somehow I don't think a
> conversation about women locked up in secret tower belongs on this
> list. At the very least it has nothing to do with the AUR.
> Peter Lewis <pete at muddygoat.org> wrote:
>> On Saturday 26 Jun 2010 at 01:42 Ng Oon-Ee wrote:
>>> On Fri, 2010-06-25 at 17:47 -0400, Andrew Antle wrote:
>>>>> I've always been quite proud that the free / open source software
>>>>> world has
>>>>> projects like these:
>>>>> http://women.debian.org/home/
>>>>> http://community.kde.org/KDE_Women
>>>>> http://live.gnome.org/GnomeWomen
>>>>> I know the comments were just supposed to be a bit of fun, but
>>>>> perhaps they
>>>>> highlight that something like wouldn't be a bad idea in Arch too.
>>>> Patches welcome :) , preferably from women actually involved in Arch,
>>>> not pseudo-politically-correct males trying to make themselves feel
>>>> better.
>> Absolutely, it would be rather odd and pointless if an Arch-women project were 
>> to be started by men. In the absence of any women (really are there none?), of 
>> course no patches will be forthcoming.
> I think the best approach is to simply stop focusing on gender. What
> difference do gender, ethnicity, age, etc make on the internet?
> Obviously if you bring it up yourself and make it a part of the
> interaction then it matters, but if not then it shouldn't even need to
> be mentioned.
> As for project and groups targeted at women, I would expect them to run
> the risk of leading to some level of seclusion within the community.
> It's like saying "well, they don't seem to be integrating, so let's
> provide them with a little niche over there".
> I could easily go on, but it would veer too far into politics and is,
> once again, not appropriate for this list.
Woah, I did not suspect that the closing question of my application
would spawn such a discussion. If anything, I was subconsciously
expressing my resentment towards the lack of at least partly female
people in my areas of interest, packaged in a humorous remark. That's
about it. I wasn't trying to make this another heated discussion in the
epic proportions of a cdrtools vs. cdrkit debate.

I don't know whether I was actually being criticized here for those
closing words of mine and I hope nobody actually thinks that I objectify
girls like that. Believe me, I'd *much* rather have a more balanced
gender ratio in my areas of interest.

This uneven gender ratio likely is the result of the current
expectations of society and the fact that boys and girls are genetically
wired to like different things. It is certainly not something we can
change by alienating women and putting them into a special place like
Arch Women. I think that we are probably the ones *least* at fault, or
would anybody here NOT encourage a girl to try to do technical stuff? At
any rate, we are too few fix this and we are probably not experienced
enough in genetic engineering either.

I apologize if anybody here was actually offended by my words.

We should probably stop this here and now. Can we get back to my awesome
If any more people want to escalate this, it should probably at least go
to arch-general in the next mail.

-- Sven-Hendrik

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