A few days ago (Saturday August 1st), there was a shooting at a GLBT (gay, lesbians, bisexuals and transgenders) center. The shooter is probably a religious fanatic that decided to show what religion is really good at, justifying senseless killing. Two dead, ten wounded, and no shooter found so far. The place was famous for being a safe haven for troubled teenagers. Some people suggested it was random shooting. First of all, Tel Aviv [Israel] doesn't have "random shootings". Secondly, it's pretty hard to randomly go down a specific street at a specific time and enter a specific building, go one floor down, open a specific door and blast at
This has made me think a bit about the communities we work in. In my private life, I know a lot of homosexuals, lesbians, transgenders, bisexuals and hell, even a few heterosexuals, ya know? In the programming community... they are all (including women) a scarce minority.
Why is it that way? Programming is a puzzle, not a gender-exclusive or "straight-only" thing. It's thinking, exploring, trying stuff, being meticulous and thorough while many a times inventing and implementing technologies. It's exciting and rewarding, and it seems almost reserved to certain people, but not others. I fail to understand why.
Does anyone think it's a matter of how we project our coding world to others and probably, the overall tone computers and IT has towards women? Is it something else? I have no idea, really, but I'm sure sentences like "relieving them of their virginity" (as RMS put it) when talking about [specifically] women who do not use EMACS doesn't help a bit to encourage brilliant minds to work with us and let us work with them.
The only gesture I've noticed on this issue from someone in the common category of programmers was Andy Lester's decision to include a statement in each module/distro he will be releasing, that says everyone (and iterates over different types of people) are welcome to join in the party and help out. It truly gives a fuzzy warm feeling to something that seems so tilted.
I just wish it wasn't tilted at all.
 The major disapproval of homosexuals, lesbians, transgenders and bisexuals comes from religion, under the guise of "not natural" or "not what god has intended". The rest are usually people who grow in these dumb environments. In Israel, the religious public (and this should include the religious parties) is very anti-GLBT, which results in numerous threats and even a stabbing.
 Sorry if this offends anyone.