Canaries and Communities


I found this image via Briannu Wu’s Twitter feed. I’m not sure who originally created it, but it is absolutely spot on. There’s absolutely no point in bringing more women, or more of any minority group, into tech if those people are just going to get marginalized and bullied, and are going to leave again very quickly.

Of course the same applies to all sorts of communities. Also today I saw this post from Rochita Loenen-Ruiz about her nervousness over attending Eastercon.

The bottom line is that if people find the atmosphere in communities toxic, then they will stop wanting to be a part of those communities. Insistence on ideological purity will make a community toxic just as surely as racist or sexist abuse.

Moving to yet anther community, I’ll leave the last word to CN Lester.

3 thoughts on “Canaries and Communities

    1. Thank you!

      And somehow I am not surprised to see something like that come out of the Python community. Good people.

  1. Very nice post. There are some pending court cases over here regarding unequal pay, unequal retention, and unequal promotion of women in the tech industry. And I just read a paper that demonstrated that there’s a difference in the way women’s and men’s attributes are referenced and discussed in letters of recommendation for academic positions. Even in nursing, where the majority of professionals are women, men receive higher pay on average. The difference in how men and women are regarded, interacted with, mentored, recommended, promoted, and treated in workplaces (and elsewhere) is a pervasive part of our cultural DNA.

    At least people are talking about it now, even if many are still in denial or inclined to insist it’s simply because of something women aren’t doing “right.” When I was a kid or young adult and commented on various inequalities (from the relative paucity of women and girls in most movies (why is Princess Leia the only girl in Star Wars, Mom?), to their scarcity in prestigious professions and government, to the sexual double standard), I was told I was too sensitive, or imagining things, or I just didn’t get it, because men and women were simply different.

    Sorry, I’m ranting, but I’m glad that people are finally starting to notice some of the same things I have all my life and that some of our underlying assumptions are finally being questioned.

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