Women's collective action in the free software world
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These slides were presented at the workshop "The political economy of peer production", 14 – 16 November 2007, Nottingham Trent University

These slides were presented at the workshop "The political economy of peer production", 14 – 16 November 2007, Nottingham Trent University

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Women's collective action in the free software world Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Women’s collective action in the  free software world Yuwei Lin ● ESRC National Centre for e­Social Science ● University of Manchester ●   P2P Workshop, 15 November 2007, Nottingham
  • 2. Voluntary work = Unpaid labour?   P2P Workshop, 15 November 2007, Nottingham
  • 3. Motivations of Participating  Just for fun ●  Gratification ●  Reputation ●  Mutuality ●  For work (protestant work ethics) ●  Self help: To fix a problem at hand ●  God told me so  ●   P2P Workshop, 15 November 2007, Nottingham
  • 4.   P2P Workshop, 15 November 2007, Nottingham
  • 5. What is visible? men coding hacking taking control   P2P Workshop, 15 November 2007, Nottingham
  • 6. Invisible Values of Free Software    Freedom ●   Openness ●   Networking ●   Collaboration ● 6   P2P Workshop, 15 November 2007, Nottingham
  • 7. Invisible Values of Free Software    Freedom    Diversity ● ●   Openness    Democracy ● ●   Networking    Equity ● ●   Collaboration    Mutuality ● ● 7   P2P Workshop, 15 November 2007, Nottingham
  • 8. Problems  overemphasis on coding and hacking ●  visibility of women in free software ●  current societal inequality and knowledge gap ● 8   P2P Workshop, 15 November 2007, Nottingham
  • 9. Barriers of Including Women  Cyberbulling & trolling, sexist & discriminative languages ●  Unfriendly and inhumane online environment (e.g. RTFM) ●  gendered role in FLOSS development ­ inequality of different  ● types of knowledge & women's reduced role  Housework (child­rearing) – lack of time ●  Lack of role models, mentors and support ●  Education ●  A male­dominated competitive worldview (reputation, flaming) ●  Any other reasons that differ from culture to culture, nation to  ● nation, region to region?   P2P Workshop, 15 November 2007, Nottingham
  • 10. Women's Voices and Networks   P2P Workshop, 15 November 2007, Nottingham
  • 11. Contexualisation Embodiment Beyond numbers and the binary gender codes  and biological differences   P2P Workshop, 15 November 2007, Nottingham
  • 12. Methods & Data Sources virtual ethnography (reflexive & participatory) +  ● content analysis (webpages, mailing list) & informal  conversations Text Mining + Corpus Analysis of messages on the  ● mailing lists  Debian­Women (mixed sex) & GenderChanger (single  ● sex)  who (memberships), said what (topics), done what  ● (actions)   12 limits: neither real life nor real time  ● P2P Workshop, 15 November 2007, Nottingham
  • 13. IMC­Women 13   P2P Workshop, 15 November 2007, Nottingham
  • 14. GenderChanger Academy 14   P2P Workshop, 15 November 2007, Nottingham
  • 15. Belonging to a group 15   P2P Workshop, 15 November 2007, Nottingham
  • 16. Helping 16   P2P Workshop, 15 November 2007, Nottingham
  • 17. Participating 17   P2P Workshop, 15 November 2007, Nottingham
  • 18. Bodies and Technologies ICTs used: mailing lists, irc, cvs, wiki, webpages ● common participants: names ● issues: events, problems, sharing information  ● (forwarding messages) (technological­oriented) experiences embedded  ● in the conversation about fixing problems or bugs emotions ● 18   P2P Workshop, 15 November 2007, Nottingham
  • 19. Debian­Women training and providing support  ● for women interested in  Debian and FLOSS sector organising online tutorials,  ● bug­squashing parties,  mentoring 6 female Debian Developers ● http://women.debian.org/ ● 19   P2P Workshop, 15 November 2007, Nottingham
  • 20.   P2P Workshop, 15 November 2007, Nottingham
  • 21. <http://www.srcf.ucam.org/~hmw26/join­the­dots/2005/03/30/friendlier­debian/> I’m one of these males on #debian­woman and mailling list. I found your “debian­friendly”  project idea extremely interesting. I’d like a more collaborative and less competitive Debian  world and I think that’s exactly why DW has been so successful. —Carlos (comment) March 31, 2005 @ 8:51 am I’m not a developer and have never been on debian­women or any other developer  site/group/list but I use debian­user a lot and do think there’s something gettting very  struck about the culture: a focus on programming and fixing compatibility problems but in a  rather macho way. The result is that we don’t have a good hardware compatibility list for  Debian, we don’t have good documentation, we don’t have good ways the expertise on,  say, the user list, creates FAQs etc. I’m not sure what the answer is but I think it is linked  with a stereotypically Western male gendered component to the problem. If there’s a way I  can help I’ll try but time is very limited sadly. Chris (male, end user of Debian for years now) —Chris (comment)   April 10, 2005 @ 3:30 pm P2P Workshop, 15 November 2007, Nottingham
  • 22. <http://www.srcf.ucam.org/~hmw26/join­the­dots/2005/03/30/friendlier­debian/> (continued) The DW project got my attention because it promoted a “positive, welcoming and friendly  atmosphere” still I did not try to participate because I’m, well… male. I would very much like to see a “positive, welcoming and friendly atmosphere” Debian project  for all people. I will be using Ubuntu for the time being as it has this “much love” way about it. :) (And it “just works” most of the time) —Tim (comment) April 06, 2005 @ 4:07 pm thanks for your article!! Sometimes I get worry about the idea of the “invasion” by men in  women­groups… but is interesting to see this places like “friendly places” where everybody  can have access to (without gender specific). —gaba (comment)   April 09, 2005 @ 2:19 am P2P Workshop, 15 November 2007, Nottingham
  • 23. Where the joy lies? SELF­REFLECTION ● (Emotion + Body + Technology) ●   P2P Workshop, 15 November 2007, Nottingham
  • 24. But we have achieved *a lot*. I don't feel anymore it is a taboo to talk about females within Debian (be it Developers, Translators, Users or whatever form of involvement), and are no longer stuck with XXL night-gown sized tshirts in Debconf (LOL). To me it has made a great difference and my involvement in the project feels more quot;normalizedquot; to me. Also, in RL meetings, the default assumption that the attending females were $girlfriends of some male quot;actuallyquot; interested in the meeting has decreassed significantly. I don't know whether it is related, but since Debian Women exists the feeling of a quot;socialquot; community on top of the quot;technicalquot; community has been much reinforced. This might be my subjective perception of quot;belongingquot; to this community, improved by the existance of other females in it, and other members of the project being welcoming and inclusive about us.   (DWZL220106) P2P Workshop, 15 November 2007, Nottingham
  • 25. % M W U 2005­06 61,88 36,78 1,34 Statistics about the IRC channel 2005­07 56,01 40,72 3,27 2005­08 60,02 37,49 2,49 2005­09 52,66 42,66 4,68 2005­10 50,3 42,37 7,33 2005­11 58,05 36,57 5,38 2005­12 65,14 30,58 4,28 2006­01 59,69 37,89 2,42 2006­02 70,8 26,96 2,24 2006­03 70,72 28,4 0,88 2006­04 73,54 25,58 0,88 As one can see, even if I can't quot;identifyquot; one third of the people, I have identified the most  contributing people. I see an interesting tendency for men participation to increase while women participation  decreases. I already have this feeling for quite a long time but it seems that numbers are  proving me correct. Is it good or bad: I leave this up to you, people...:) (CPDW250406)   P2P Workshop, 15 November 2007, Nottingham
  • 26. I'm not sure if it's inherent aggression in male communication style as much as it's  simply how communication on a quot;real­timequot; text­based medium goes. A situation  where are several people in one quot;areaquot; holding several different conversations is  much different than say Jabber or AIM where you are speaking directly to one  person, and you wait for their response before you type again. Sometimes  comments get lost in the shuffle because people are trying to follow multiple  conversations, other times that conversation thread simply dies out. I don't attribute  this to inherent aggression of males, but rather the way conversations flow on IRC. I tried to introduce family members to IRC­like gathering areas, thinking it would be  worthwhile to actually be able to hold conversations with more than one person at a  time. It very much didn't work. They felt the same way ­ that people were quot;talking  overquot; them, ignoring them ­ that they couldn't keep up with everything going on  because one group of people was talking about one thing, another about a  completely different topic and yet another group of people poking fun at each other.  They gave up because they just couldn't catch up and keep up with the conversation  flows. Practice + Experience + Body + Technology   (PLDW260406) P2P Workshop, 15 November 2007, Nottingham
  • 27. GenderChangers Academy since Nov. 1999 ● ladies only (on the etc­int list) ● /etc ­ eclectic tech carnival ● DIY or DIO (hands­on training) ● exchanging computer related skills ● grass root and local ● The /etc is named for the /etc directory in which  ● Linux stores system configuration files. 27   P2P Workshop, 15 November 2007, Nottingham
  • 28. The Eclectic Tech Carnival   P2P Workshop, 15 November 2007, Nottingham
  • 29. Subject: [etc­int] edit drupal hi I am trying to edit a post on the page http://eclectictechcarnival.org/drupal/ but cant seem  to find where I can log in to edit it..? does someone knows how can I do that? many thankx t  the site in http://drupal.eclectictechcarnival.org is working as that one was working before...  in the same version. We are gonna do something with drupal soon... g   P2P Workshop, 15 November 2007, Nottingham
  • 30. thank you so much gaba! I was completely lost.. hehe.. xt  hey gaba, if you need any help while working with drupal let me know. dri   P2P Workshop, 15 November 2007, Nottingham
  • 31. How Girls Make Knowledge coding knowledge is still considered as more  ● advanced (reproduction of hegemonic hacker  culture) layered & networked & embodied epistemic culture ● sense & sensibility ● hybrid: femininity (complex, layered, strategic,  ● adaptive)  + masculinity (disconnected,  emotionally avoidant, simplistic, one­dimensional)   P2P Workshop, 15 November 2007, Nottingham
  • 32. Achievements visibility & awareness raising ● identity building (exploring & experimenting) ● knowledge sharing, mutual learning and  ● support (“a low­RTFM environment) creating a more intimate collaborative space ● beyond the simplistic and superficial categories  ● of different talks, it's women's play embodied in  these online narratives; a women's version of  'just for fun' P2P Workshop, 15 November 2007, Nottingham 32  
  • 33. Women's Play on GNU/Linux strengthens the importance of sharing everyday  ● experiences and problem­solving tips, of  socialising and social capitals in FLOSS dev. creating a more harmonised & reflexive space ● In Janice Raymond's words: 'The empowering  ● of female friendship can create the conditions  for a new feminist politics in which the personal  is most passionately political'.  resistance & change ● 33   P2P Workshop, 15 November 2007, Nottingham
  • 34. Whose Wonder Woman? Whose Female Hacker? Global or Local? 34   P2P Workshop, 15 November 2007, Nottingham