[hackerspaces] Women in Makerspaces

quemener.yves at free.fr quemener.yves at free.fr
Thu Jan 17 18:12:37 CET 2013

> De: "Melissa Hall" <melissa.hall at gmail.com>
> I also know that, for me, there is a kind of "hacker culture" "macho"
> that also works poorly for me. That is the idea that focus and time
> is the measure of value. The values I prefer in space to feel
> comfortable are "taking care of each other", which can sometimes rub
> rugged individualists the wrong way, but which I have also always
> felt is a deep part of the geek/hacker/maker culture we all share.

That is interesting, because it is the first time I see the idea of
dedication and focus labelled as "macho". I would like to understand
what makes you think that this is somehow an anti-feminine value. I 
have never seen anyone claim that being focused on a project is a 
masculine value or somehow requires more testosterone than caffeine.

More than that, I indeed think that these things are actually important
if you want to see anything great done in any hackerspace, and not
incompatible at all with more social inclinations. However, without them
a hackerspace can quickly just become a geek café, where we talk about
awesome things and never get to work on them.

If women really feel that focus and spending time on a project is a macho
masculine value, I would argue that this is a stereotype that should be
fought. I don't know if it is propagated by males or females, geek or
non-geek, but focus and dedication ARE important values, and do not
depend on the presence and absence of specific genitals.

You know, some days, I really have the politically-incorrect feeling that
the lack of female in technical circles has more to do with stereotypes
in the female population than any other practice. 

There is some truth in the fact that a given demographics self-reinforces
itself, but in the Lyon hackerspace we do have a fair amount of people 
who find us through a google search. I think only one female ever found
us that way. This is not solely a matter of delf-reinforcing demography.


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