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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • Somehow your rant seems self-contradicting from here..

    "it's tiring to always be made to feel different, abnormal."

    So why not accept the logical thought (well to me anyway), and assume that everyone is included, its just a figure of speach?

    IMO its much more of a compliment to have ones existance acknowledged by NOT being mentioned extra, by the speaker (or mst, whatever) just meaning everyone. "Man" is a race, as well as a gender.

    I'd rather we did away with the -woman badges (it got started cos some *g

    • I am an advocate for getting more girls and women into IT, and for keeping the ones we have. This is getting harder. The barriers aren't actually that big; but the biggest one is perception. If we choose words that suggest that something is for men only, that is how a lot of people will see it. When people talk about the "guys" or "blokes" or "men" at Perl Mongers and other IT related things, I presume that they're just being lazy with their words and that I'm included, but not everyone does. Some people may think it means that there are no women there, and the sad thing is that they're often right. Most women I know aren't happy to be the only woman in a crowd of men. I'm not thrilled about it either to be honest.

      When you look - really look - at how people casually talk about the people in IT you'll notice that a lot of it precludes women - usually not on purpose. However this language does make it a really, really hard slog to get more girls and women interested in IT.

      Currently the number of women entering IT is way down. Worse, we're losing women who were in IT to other industries. Melbourne Perl Mongers, as an example, used to have 6 or more regular female attendees. Now there's just me. A similar thing is happening in other groups. After a record turn out (10%!!) of women at linux.conf.au 2007, the number of women have decreased each year since. Some of those have changed industries or fled into management, but we haven't been gaining enough new people to replace them. Years ago, we'd usually have at least one woman per Perl training course. Now we're lucky to see a woman more often than once every three courses.

      It really is that bad.

      This is crazy on one hand, because most of the groups I associate with are way less sexist and obnoxious and flamey than their historical record suggests. The IT environment has improved greatly since I got involved in FOSS back in 1997. Unfortunately the damage from the obnoxious and flamey behaviour in the past is still making itself apparent.

      We should be concerned that Skud's Perl census showed less than 6% of respondents were women. We should be doing everything we possibly can to show that not only is Perl still alive and vibrant, but that it's also welcoming. One little step to help achieve that is to not treat male as the normal, typical, and expected condition. I understand this to be the logic behind Camelia [perl.org], Larry's suggested Perl 6 mascot.

      When I try to encourage women I know who work in IT to come to a user group meeting they often ask first if there are any other women there. If I'm honest and say that it will probably just be the two of us, they don't come. If I lie, they often come and usually end up having a great time. It is my hope that if we make it look like women are a regular and normal part of Perl then it will be much less scary and daunting for new women to get involved.

      So I can just get on with it, or I can keep pointing out that sometimes being lazy and using "man" to refer to both genders actually perpetuates the case where the female gender is massively under-represented. This does get me flamed sometimes, but I view it as extremely important for the future of women in FOSS and Perl in particular.

      jarich

      • We should be doing everything we possibly can to show that not only is Perl still alive and vibrant, but that it's also welcoming. One little step to help achieve that is to not treat male as the normal, typical, and expected condition.

        That's difficult, but it's also very important. Sometimes even the choice of language helps. I'm usually not a fan of bending usage to fit perceived social goals, but I try in my writings to include women with the language I use.

        It's worth trying, anyway, just to see how