MAR
19
2001

Announcing KDE-Women!

The latest addition to the KDE web family is already a few days
old and in search of enthusiastic women coders, writers and designers.
The new KDE-Women website has set
out to do this and much more. The stated goal of the website:
"We want to build an international KDE forum for women by providing a
place where women can present what they already contribute to KDE and
where
women, who want to contribute, find a starting point. But the content on
these pages is not only for women but for everybody. By doing this
project
we actively want to contibute to the success of KDE."
At the
website
you can already find tutorials,
a big bag of KDE/Linux tips &
tricks
, a schedule of events, and more. If you are interested in our project, you can subscribe to
the
mailing
list

or simply chat with us on channel #kde-women at irc.kde.org.
You can also look forward to meeting some of us at the upcoming
events in Germany.

Comments

>As many other people, I just don't see the reason
>why would like women to be separated, even if men
it created... perhaps to make it easier for us,
>the weird guys to find a girlfriend? ;-)

Grasshopper say: you hit nail on head. You may have said it jokenly, but the fact is that many young (single?) men view women as potential "girlfriends" or "party-dates". The need to satisfy other emotions -- love or lust or whatever -- makes the nature of male-female interactions different. I see it on the mailing lists -- pratically every time a women posts something guys start e-flirting.

I'm not saying that's bad. If kept within acceptable levels, it's necessary, as men who aren't aggressive in pursuing women will likely find themselves old and alone. On the other hand, men often go over the line. I think therefor that it makes sense for women to form a mailing list where they will *not* be considered someone's potential girlfriend but where they get treated with the respect and courtesy of a colleague.

Someone in a post above even claims that men have not discriminated against women. The way I remember history until 100 years ago women generally could not vote. In many countries today (and in virtually all the industrialized countries up to a few generations ago) women could not own property due to a fictitious "joinder" of the woman into the man upon marriage. There are still places today where women are burned when their husbands die and where they are forced to wear restrictive clothing so that uncontrolled men don't have "incitement" for raping them. Practical enslavement of women for prostitution is a huge industry worldwide. In industrialized countries positions of power are still 90%+ male-dominated. And this is all just the tip of the iceberg. All in all, I can't think of a readily identifiable group that has been discriminated against so much and for so long in so manly places like as have women.

So if women (from all countries of the world, even those where women are not treated "equally") want a website to feel comfortable, more power to them, and I hope they pump out some rockin' code!


By Grasshopper at Wed, 2001/03/21 - 6:00am

I give this 6 months, then nobody interested in this topic anymore. and it will die like the KDE Installer project:

*High motivation in the beginning;
*But no real driving force, because there's not really a need for it;


By Michael at Wed, 2001/03/21 - 6:00am

By the same reasoning, GNOME is dead. Not. Just because *you* don't use it or care for it, doesn't mean a project is dead or will die.


By KDE User at Wed, 2001/03/21 - 6:00am

Why? There is a need for a Desktop on Linux. That's why there is KDE, Gnome,....
For splitting developers in male/female is no need at all.
So much about my reasoning, maybe it's wrong but YOUR example doesn't show that.

Anyhow, blacks fought to be treated equal. If women want to fight for the opposite goal, fine with me:) But for an outsider KDE-women has the taste of KDE-Kindergarten.

But let's see what happens. Anyhow explain me why you need KDE women. And than explain it 1 month later again. I wonder if you still see a reason for it. It's just a hype....


By Michael at Wed, 2001/03/21 - 6:00am

So now we have read the opinions of all three sides: women, men, and certain people posting under male names ;-).
What I concluded is: there are two real arguments for that new site: women are somehow "afraid" of being part of the "main" KDE Project, or they would like to be part of a smaller group that they feel is closer to them in some way.
To make it clear: If this new project makes women (or anyone, for that matter) more willing to contribute, or just feel better about KDE, then OK: by any means, go on with it. We're happy with it and we warmly welcome you (no kidding). And remember to also create new projects that have importance: KDE-blind, KDE-disabled etc. Isn't it a shame that we have KDE-Women, but dont't have KDE-Disabled? What do you think?

Now some specific answers:

You're telling us that KDE is male-dominant, but how do you know? Did you check the German, French, Hebrew, etc. dictionaries for the names? If yes, why? Do you need to know if we are males or not?
We do not need paranoia here. Nobody discriminates anyone else in KDE.
You're also telling that we, men, are welcome at KDE-Women. OK, thanks, but why then is it called KDE-Women ? Come on, if it says "Dog exhibition", you do not take your cat there. If you do, then, well, it's a pet exhibition, not a dog exhibition.


By Bill at Wed, 2001/03/21 - 6:00am

You are right - there might be groups like KDE-blind, KDE-disable etc. but don't you compare wrong things? Women are about 50% of the society, and we don't need help necessarily. We simply want to do something instead of being dump users. And how many female developers are there out of the hundreds of KDE coders? (I found two who are very happy to meet other women in KDE-Women). This is not about a seperation of KDE, it is more about an addition, if this project works out ;-)

So why are we called KDE-Women? KDE-women is not _for_ women, but mainly _by_ women. That is why we cannot do KDE-disabled or KDE-blind. I am not disabled and I am not blind, so I cannot talk for them as well as I cannot talk for men.
By the way - why do you go to a "dog exhibition" if you are a human and not a dog? ;-) In KDE-Women you can see our work and hopefully it will spread to the other projects as soon as KDE-women has grown.

I can't remember the word "discrimination" to be used on the KDE-women pages. I don't feel discriminated! If i felt discriminated, I wouldn't use KDE... But I experienced that men and women do things in a different way, also they still can successfully do the same things. And as a woman I simply feel better, if there are people around me that do it in a similar way as I do and I don't have to talk about why and how (as we do on this page...;-) ).


By eva at Wed, 2001/03/21 - 6:00am

I don't want to judge if the establishment of KDE women is right or not. It is there and we have to live with it. The women obviously felt it is necessary to create KDE women site and they did it and that is their right. I work as a teaching assistent on the Faculty for Computer and Information Science and I teach programming, algorithms and data structures and computer graphics. In all these years, I have noticed that male students can learn abstract concepts of programming skills much better than female, although there is no such genetic difference between two sexes that would imply this. For example, there is probably some genetic reason, why women can't run 100 meters below 10 seconds, but I see no reason why they could not learn how to write good programs. Don't get me wrong, I know some very good female programmers, but they are a rarity. Now how this connects with KDE women? I have noticed also that there is a stereotip between male students, that is, that women can't write programs (just like, one more usual, that women can't drive a car). And this is bad. I understand that many women, who get the job as a programmer, feel a bit silly if men don't really trust them, and men are usually a majority in all software companies. For that reason, I see nothing bad in creating KDE women. This way we can all become aware of their involvement in KDE project. We know that they are good artist (that's probably why KDE icons look so nice and so professional) and we might soon find out that they are capable of playing much more important role in KDE project. With KDE women site, I believe, they can proudly say to everybody: look, this is our work, this is our part in KDE project. And I don't see nothing bad in that. BTW, isn't KDE project and Open Source in general all about freedom of choice? If you like it, use it, if you miss some features, just add them, if you want to create KDE women site, just go for it. This is just my opinion.


By Bojan at Wed, 2001/03/21 - 6:00am

Hehe... The KDE icons are mainly made by tackat who is a man... This again shows how missleading stereotypes can be ;-)


By eva at Wed, 2001/03/21 - 6:00am

you are absolutely right about stereotypes, I apologize.


By Bojan at Wed, 2001/03/21 - 6:00am

I'm still studying. At school I see every day boys and girls going in mostly separated groups. Girls go with girls, boys with boys and when they go together is mostly when it's with their boyfriend or girlfriend. The internet is supposed to be a more free place. Why don't we just start to mix at least here?

I've been previously at that site, and now I looked once more. And I still don't see the need for it.

I mean, women have nothing that men doesn't have, so why would they need a "place to get started"? What's on that site is mostly tips and resources, excepting only the programs made by women.

So, why don't you just call it "KDE beginners" or "KDE newbies"? You make it look like women need some special help, when they don't.


By Vadim at Wed, 2001/03/21 - 6:00am

If one woman made Kde-Women then the males have to shut up the mouth.


By oda at Thu, 2001/03/22 - 6:00am

Hmm, but this is an already starting discrimination... I just think it's strange to have a kde-women group. If we begin like that, we could end with kde-men, kde-blacks and kde-whites and even worse stuff. I like a lot the idea of women joining the KDE project, but why don't they just join the main group?

BTW, your statement sounds really offensive to me. I'm not going to shup up by the simple reason that I don't think that a woman's opinion is more important than mine. I don't think that my opinion is more important than a woman's either. I think we're equal and I abosuletly won't take any decisions based on the gender of the author of anything.

Following your statement, if I'm a man, then I have the right to start KDE-men and women have to shut up, and if I'm a terrorist, I have the right to start KDE-terrorists and all the others have to shut up...


By Vadim at Thu, 2001/03/22 - 6:00am

Here are the premises to your argument, I think, as culled from the above:

(1) men's and women's opinions matter equally
(2) you are a man
(3) you (and some other men) believe there is no need for a women's site
(4) women quite popularly believe there is a need for a women's site

From these predicates you conclude:

=> Women are wrong in thinking they need a women's site

Somehow, I think this argument works better for you if you replace (1) with:

(1) men's opinions are more important and more often right than women's

It is this sort of invidious (but subliminal) discrimination which lurks
underneath the statements of the men that make them which proves that in
fact there is a need for a women's site. If men were more understanding
of women's needs, there wouldn't be a need for a site like women.kde.org.
But you prove only that men are not understanding of women's needs, think
that women's understanding of women's needs is "wrong" and that therefor
women should get their own site where their needs will be respected.

The Grasshopper Has Spoken


By Grass Hopper at Fri, 2001/03/23 - 6:00am

Oh, hell. As usual somebody always has to find just the opposite interpretation of my words... well, english isn't my native language anyway...

(1) That's right
(2) Yeah, although first I'm a human being
(3) Wrong, women believe that too, my mother for example
(4) Read what follows...

I'm not saying that at all. What I'm trying to say is that if women have always tried to be equal, then I just think that they should be in the same group as everybody else. BTW, my mother thinks the same. And here's a friend's opinion:

"No. There is no difference between male and female programmers. I find that quite insulting in the way it is dumbed down for women :)"

It's prefectly reasonable to have a group for coders, another for artists and another one for i18n, just because some people can code, others can draw well and others know languages. That's useful. But why women? Aren't women also artists and coders? Don't they know languages?

If they have needs, that's just fine, but I simply don't see that the site has any content at all that would satisface those needs. At least what I've seen is projects made by women and tips and tricks. It looks much more like a newbies site than a women one. Correct me if there's something wrong here.

The programs made by women is the only really women-related thing I can find there, and I couldn't think of a very good reason to have it either. Ok, there are few female programmers. So? I think that women are equally capable of writing code, so why a special section?

If I was a woman, I would find it offensive just because of it's tips section... I mean, why the tips to get started are on the women site? Don't men also need some help? Or women are less intelligent? That's what I'm thinking about, not what you're saying.


By Vadim at Fri, 2001/03/23 - 6:00am

It is a madness a man to rule on the neeeds of women. If one woman makes KDE-Woman
and if you dont like it then turns the dial, change the station. If their pages is against your rights then look for your lawyer but dont cry like a baby when a woman doesnt have the same opinions of your mother. You see, I am doing to you what you are
doing to the women of KDE-Woman. I am ruling on what you should do. Do you like it? I dont.
Then we need to shut up...


By oda at Sat, 2001/03/24 - 6:00am

Look, first, I'm not crying like a baby. I've explained very clearly my position. And I'm not trying to rule at all. All I want is an explanation, and I'm definiely not resorting to a lawyer because I don't have the money, think that it would be really silly and also think that this can be perfectly discussed with a human language instead of lawyer stuff. Second, the fact that a woman did it means abosuletely nothing to me, because I consider women and men completely equal, with the exception of the obvious anatomical differences, of course. In my life I've met many very intelligent and nice women and stupid men, and also many stupid women and intelligent and nice men too. So please, stop telling me that a woman made it because it means nothing to me. BTW, you have only mentioned my mother. Well, my friend wasn't male. I was curious and asked more people at school, and all think the same as I. If they didn't, probably I wouldn't continue with this.

So far, I've asked several times a question that hasn't been answered yet. Why a site that contains mainly help is called KDE-women? Wouldn't it be better to call it KDE-newbies?

I am *not* against that site. What I don't like is separating men from women.

I'll explain it with a practical example. When I began using Linux, I didn't know about the apropos command. Now, I would never imagine that to get useful tips for the command line I could go to a site called KDE-women. No, not because I am a man. I wouldn't think that if I was a woman either. It's because I couldn't imagine what could be on that site.

Finally, I just would like to say, that I've never intended attacking it agressively. I'm just a thoughtful person who likes to discuss things. I always like to come to a point where either somebody explains me clearly why is my position wrong, admits that I am right, we both agree that our different opinions are compatible, or we decide that it's impossible to come to an agreement (this one would be the result of discussing purely philosophical things like what is life and if there is a god). I'll be very happy and will shut up immediately as soon as anybody gives me a good answer to the question from the second paragraph.

So far, the people who have replied me have either skipped what I believed was the most important part of my posts to focus on something I intended to be a joke, or told me how stupid I am for discussing this. Well, it'll make me really happy if somebody replies to me nicely and explains why am I wrong instead of shouting at me. Either here or by email. Then I'll be really glad to shut up. Really.

BTW, I don't "change the station". If everybody did that women would still be considered inferior, to begin with.


By Vadim at Sat, 2001/03/24 - 6:00am

Dear all,
We seriously support the idea of involving women in KDE in Tajikistan.
This week we are going to create "Young Ladies Tajik Linux Group"
that will be concentrated in computer strings translations.

I really would appreciate if you will send me some of recommendations
to make the group succesful, and not just with translating the strings!

Regards,
Marina.


By Marina at Mon, 2004/06/07 - 5:00am

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