[hackerspaces] Women in Makerspaces

Al Billings albill at openbuddha.com
Fri Jan 18 09:29:33 CET 2013


Here is an idea. If you want to know why women aren't involved in hackerspaces or find them to be an unacceptable environment at times, why not ask women instead of, as a man, giving your opinion on what woman think?

Of course, woman have done that on this thread and you're dismissing their opinions.

See the issue? Is it clear enough for you?


On Friday, January 18, 2013 at 12:25 AM, Yves Quemener wrote:

> On 17/01/13 21:02, Melissa Hall wrote:
> > To me "Macho" is not exclusively male and refers to an attitude that "I can
> > take it, I am tougher, and harder and can keep going when others fail".
> > Being "tough enough" to take long hours or poor working conditions is
> > something I see as Macho. 
> > 
> ...
> > Given that perspective can you see why I see "grinding" as Macho?
> Yes, but now I fail to see what it has to do with women in hackerspaces. I
> do not believe in extra long working days, but some people do. Some men and
> some women do. I do believe that being able to focus 8-10 hours on a
> project in a session, however, is invaluable. Taking on sleep to do it
> doesn't seem worthwhile to me, but what do I know? Different people a
> I fail to see what is particularly feminine or masculine there.
> > I also see women who put up with boys clubs,
> > being hit on aggressively and being sexualized as being Macho because they
> > are proving they can take it.
> > 
> Male or females, there are assholes in most groups. In a 95% male
> population, 95% of assholes will be male. And male assholes tend to be
> single and to clumsily try to find a girlfriend in every occasion, which
> means that 95% of the assholes will bother the 5% female population. That
> may be the phenomenon that makes it harder for females under a 15% gender
> ratio.
> But I would like to point that, as a white straight male, I do have also to
> deal with assholes. Sure, most won't court me, but they will talk to me
> endlessly about their pet interests or try to drag me into uninteresting
> events, they will disrupt sessions, discussions, workshops. This is a pain,
> but this is also life in any social group.
> If you have a cure to assholishness, I am very interested, but a lot of the
> feminist criticism I see against hackerspaces seem to hinge on that point.
> It will probably sound "macho" too, but the only solution I see to this is
> to deal with it. It is hard to project one in such a different situation,
> but I really believe that is a hackerspace existed in my town when we
> started one, I would have participated in it even if the ratio of assholes
> was high.
> I do believe that there is a clear lack of interest in the female
> population for the hackerspace/makerspace movement that mirrors the fact
> that the technical world is very masculine. The reasons are interesting to
> explore, but I doubt that the hackerspaces are at fault on this.
> While abusive behavior must not be tolerated, I doubt they are the main
> reasons for the lack of female involvement in hackerspaces. I personally
> continue to believe, maybe politically incorrectly, that a lot of negative
> stereotypes are propagated by women themselves. Most of the people that
> told me that programming or electronics were male hobbies were women who
> held this as an evident fact. "Your sister does program? Is this because of
> her boyfriend?" As long as technical hobbies will be seen as a male thing,
> it is hopeless to hope reach the parity in a hackerspace.
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