Tag Archives: ubuntu women

Linkspam migrating south for the winter (8th November, 2010)

  • It’s official, over 5% of Ubuntu Members are women!
  • Stephen Fry declares the Stephen-Fry-says-women-don’t-enjoy-sex discussion Silliness (pushback at, for example, Ideologically Impure and Pickled Think via tigtog and also Rules for Anchorites).
  • Truthout About Kyriarchy: An Open Letter To “Feminist” Writers, Bloggers, and Journalists: Lisa Factora-Borchers explains what she was doing when she introduced Elisabeth Schussler Fiorenza’s neologism “kyriarchy” to blogging, and where it’s gone wrong since.
  • Questioning Transphobia writers are fundraising: Lisa and I are both struggling to survive. Both of us are unemployed. I don’t have money for food this next fortnight, let alone internet or hormone treatments. Lisa has a staph infection she can’t afford to see a doctor for, and no money for hormones either.
  • Forget Cinderella, Find Fred Astaire (changethis.com/manifesto/show/76.01.ForgetCinderella): Why have companies worked so hard at improving the gender balance with such unsatisfactory results? Because the approach taken was to focus their efforts on the wrong part of the problem: women. It’s time to stop asking what’s the matter with women that they aren’t making it to the top? and start asking what’s the matter with our organization if we can’t recruit, retain, and promote the majority of the educated talent in the world today?
  • Why it matters: [The women] were complaining how silly it was that we were constantly talking about how great it was that there were more women speakers at this conference than any other year… My first thought was a flash of anger. And then I recalled that not very long ago, I was just like them.
  • Rosalind Franklin and DNA: How wronged was she?: Nicholas Wade and Lynne Osman Elkin debated the size of Rosalind Franklin’s contributions at a panel earlier this month.
  • The 30th Down Under Feminists Carnival is up.

If you have links of interest, please share them in comments here, or if you’re a delicious user, tag them ‘geekfeminism‘ to bring them to our attention (twitter uses can use #geekfeminism). Please note that we tend to stick to publishing recent links (from the last month or so).

Thanks to everyone who suggested links in comments and on delicious.

Ada makes the machines sing

Remember the Ubuntu Women World Play Day Competition that I posted about a while ago?

The entries have now closed and voting has opened.

If you need some inspiration to vote:

If you’re wondering what the soundtrack is, it is a free download released by The Crystalline Effect to honor Ada Lovelace for this year’s Ada Lovelace Day. I discovered it this week when searching for a track to compliment the competition montage, and have fallen somewhat in love with it.

Quick hit: Win her a Netbook!

The Ubuntu Women team ran a competition a few months ago to gather stories documenting how women adopted the Ubuntu distribution as their computer operating system of choice. Based on the success of that competition, they (for full disclosure, this includes me) have another competition going.

It is a photo competition that is timed to coincide with World Play Day. The task being for parents (and guardians) to take photographs of their girls using and embracing Ubuntu. Ubuntu Women can then use these photos for inspiring girls to be excited by technology.

Win her a netbook!

Click the image to go to the competition website.

Linkspamming ’round the clock (9th January, 2010)

If you have links of interest, please share them in comments here, or if you’re a delicious user, tag them “geekfeminism†to bring them to our attention. Please note that we tend to stick to publishing recent links (from the last month or so).

Thanks to everyone who suggested links in comments and on delicious.

The Mists of Linkspam (26th November, 2009)

If you have links of interest, please share them in comments here, or if you’re a delicious user, tag them “geekfeminism†to bring them to our attention. Thanks to everyone who suggested links in comments and on delicious.

“Issues of Women in Open Source” for Ubuntu Open Week, and “Why?”

Elizabeth Krumbach is a long time linux user and contributer who was elected to the Ubuntu Community Council last month. (Congrats Lyz!) These are some of her thoughts on the question, “Why are you involved with promoting Women in F/OSS?” (cross-posted from her blog).

Last week I did a presentation for Ubuntu Open Week on the Ubuntu Women Project covering some of the “Issues” that are involved in why many women feel discouraged within the community. Full logs of the session can be found here. Mackenzie Morgan followed up my session with one describing what the Ubuntu Women project is actually doing to address these concerns, full logs of her session are here.

Truly Mackenzie’s session was much more valuable than mine, and I’d like to do away with mine entirely when more people understand that there are challenges facing women who join F/OSS communities. Unfortunately each time we have one of these sessions we spend a considerable amount of time justifying the project to folks – why we exist and why we are so targeted toward women (rather than other groups who are poorly represented).

The sessions went well, the questions were good and engaging, and once again it’s nice to have such a supportive community.

After the session I was asked a question privately which seemed simple but really got me thinking:

“Why are you involved with promoting Women in F/OSS, did these groups actually help you? How?”

So to simply answer the second question first – yes, they absolutely helped me, I would never have made it this far without groups like Ubuntu Women and LinuxChix.

How did they help? I’ve wanted to write a long “How Women in F/OSS groups helped me” essay for quite some time now, but I never quite get around to it, so here’s the rough version:

When I started using Linux back in 2002 it was with significant help of my boyfriend at the time. I had a number of local friends who were supportive of my involvement, but I always felt like I was at least 20 steps behind all my friends when learning things, was too timid to ask questions in any public forums, and even with supportive friends at the local LUG meeting, I always felt a bit uncomfortable as one of the only women.

My boyfriend discovered LinuxChix in late 2002 and pointed me in that direction – suddenly I wasn’t alone anymore! In 2003 I worked with Samantha Ollinger to launch the Philadelphia chapter of LinuxChix so I could meet up with more local women using Linux. The local chapter and international LinuxChix lists provided a comfortable environment where we should share stories of success and frustration, get advice from each other on many issues, and simply geek out with other women who shared our interests. Now, don’t get me wrong, I have loads of fun with my male geek friends, but there is something vital to me about being able to commune with other women. Feeling less alone as a women in F/OSS made a huge difference for me.

In 2006 I got involved with Ubuntu Women, which has been the only specifically geared group I’ve been a part of for encouraging women within a project. It’s been an important “safe place” for me to discuss things I encounter within the project, bounce ideas off of others, answer questions that folks ask about expanding involvement of women in their projects. What I’ve gained from this project through the support of peers is the confidence to be heavily involved in the Ubuntu community. I’ve made friends through the project who I know I can drop a note to when feeling frustrated and need a sanity check (am I overreacting to be offended by $this? how should I confront $situation without upsetting others?).

So now that I’m full of confidence and successful in F/OSS, why am I still so involved? Why do I choose to spend my time with this?

I’m involved because I feel that having as many people involved with Ubuntu as possible is important and I have the expertise to focus on women as a group to recruit from.

I’m involved because it still helps me, and encouraging and supporting others is very rewarding for me.

I’m involved because my success is not a solitary story, there are several women involved with the Ubuntu community who will state that they’ve been helped by the project or those involved in the project who have learned lessons through involvement and have striven to be more welcoming and encouraging to women in their projects and LoCo teams.

I’m involved because I’ve watched women who felt they couldn’t contribute, who people assumed were “just at an event because they’re someone’s mother/sister/girlfriend” blossom into active members of their LoCo teams because someone spoke to them to find out their interests and talents and get them involved.

I am hopeful that lessons learned within the Ubuntu Women Project regarding support and encouragement will continue become more and more a part of the Ubuntu community. Whether we’re focusing on recruiting more women, more people in our local communities, educators, our grandparents or anyone else, I feel support and encouragement for new contributors of all kinds to the project will remain important to the project and community.