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  • First, I'll get the obligatory statement that I find Randal's boothbabes and booty calls to tiajuana at oscon to be a contributing factor as well as hold responsible the silent majority of those too spineless to say anything about it. Go chew on that somewhere randal.

    Aside from the pages of ranting I could write about my 15 or more years in largely male dominated fields, I'm really fucking tired of guys asking where all the women are. Even Larry succumbed to the same pointless whinge at YAPC one year. I

    • In this particular case, it's the women asking this dumb, obvious question. And we're asking it of ourselves. Enough of us go to conferences to wish there were more of us there.

      We ask the harder questions too. Like how can we stand up for ourselves/each other against dumb racist, sexist or other unpleasant jokes and comments without exposing ourselves and each other to further ridicule? Like how we can encourage better behaviour all round?

      The men are presumably getting better. A few years ago th

      • Oops, didn't know you were a woman. Even so, a dumb question unless you get beyond that single dumb question. Think of it like a diversity training course at the office....mostly pointless but somehow makes people feel better thinking that they're doing something instead of helping perpetuate the status quo. I don't know that the guys are getting better, perhaps just better and staying silent and looking the other way. There is no risk in asking why there aren't more women around since it's easy to simply shrug or even try to make up reasons that aren't very threatening. Some might even hire a token women but, in the end, not much if anything actually changes. It's a problem that goes well past IT and deep into the heart of our culture and it starts at birth. Even the camera-specific mailing lists I'm on are all male and, on the rare occasion that a woman does post, they behave all too much like a perl mailing list.

        Also, conferences aren't really a good indicator of change since it's not the workplace and they generally cover a short span of time. It's a big party and sex/sexuality certainly is a part of it as it is in every aspect of daily life, whether or not we acknowledge it.

        There was an ethnographer I met last year who is being funded by the EU to study the 2% of women in OS which, while it likely won't change anything, at least it's an attempt to do more than simply bleat with the crowd looking for the lost women of IT.

        Change will come more quickly when guys realise the cunt the boys in the office are joking about are their daughters. I hope I live long enough to see that happen.