About Free/Libre and Open Source Software...

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

FLOSS breaks many walls.. but not gender ones?

Mute magazine - Culture and politics after the net contains an interesting essay on gender and FLOSS, written by a lady from Taiwan.

FLOSS, or Free/Libre and Open Source Software, has
dramatically changed the way software is produced,
distributed, supported and used. It has a visible impact on
enabling a richer social inclusion.

But how has it allowed the gender problem existing in the software industry to be replicated in the world of FLOSS?

Amsterdam-based Taiwanese researcher Yuwei Lin lists seven reasons why women stay off FOSS -- including its strong long-hour coding culture, a lack of mentors and role-models, discriminatory language (including in documentation), a gendered text-based environment, a lack of women-centered views in FOSS-development, a male-dominated competitive worldview, and the lack of sympathy from woman peers.

Very interesting... and convincing too.


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