2011/Open Source: Open to whom?

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What makes the culture of open source so hostile to women and how can we as individuals act to change it?

Speaker: Valerie Aurora

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Contributed notes

The Ada Initiative is a non-profit dedicated to increasing participation of women in open technology.

The current state of internet culture will shape future culture for a long time to come. So it is time to stamp out misogyny on that culture.

"The dark side of open source conferences" - an account of how women are mistreated in open source


In the '90s the internet was built by white, middle class, socially ostracized men. It was lawless.

Joseph Reagle writes on the Wikipedia gender gap. About 15% of editors are women - which is above average. Article, "free as in sexist?"

Under the "free culture effect" the most vocal and argumentative minority tends to seize control. "On the internet no one can see you nod."

Mailing lists reject trolling, flaming, and racist comments - but are often more permissive of mysogynistic posts.

Tips for responding to sexism: Google "Charles' Rules of Engagement". Send one message to state your opinions, send one more to clarify if necessary, and then stop.