[OSGeo-Discuss] [OSGeo-Conf] Code of Conduct in Real Case

Darrell Fuhriman darrell at garnix.org
Wed Jun 24 20:35:00 PDT 2015

> I don’t think the reason why OSGeo has not so many women are caused by lacking of CoC in OSGeo. According to the statistics National Centre for Education Statistics[0], women have outnumbered men in American colleges for last 35 years.

Great. Why are so few of them in positions of power? Why aren’t  a majority of our CEOs women? Why aren’t a majority of our biologists women? Why aren’t a majority of our legislators women? We can come up with all sorts of excuses to dance around the problem, because we’d rather go through mental contortions than admit the obvious: sexism in ubiquitous . (For a related discussion, I recommend the book “Racism without Racists” which thoroughly examines how a lot of people who don’t think of themselves as racist actually take part in behaviors and support structures that are in fact, racist.)

> However women just selected another jobs rather than programming or geospatial. It’s not our fault. I couldn’t recall any decisive moment that lacking of CoC in OSGeo excluded participation of female except recent comments from Kate. 

This is false. Simply false. If people are abused out of a line of work until they quit, that’s not “women choosing other jobs” anymore than me walking into your house, punching you in the face until you leave then claiming “He abandoned it” means it’s not my fault.

It *is* our fault. It’s systemic and it’s pernicious.

And honestly, it doesn’t take much looking to find stories of women who have left technical fields because they’re tired of the abuse. But the reality is most of them quietly leave, so when people say, “I can’t recall a time that happened…” it’s not because it doesn’t happen, it’s because those people aren’t paying attention.

> It’s very similar in Korea as well. More than 45% of college students are female. However they *DO* select another jobs instead of selecting programming or geospatial. That’s why only around 10% are female in Korean Chapter. It’s not because lacking of CoC. 

Are you sure? I mean this seriously. Do you have evidence for that, or are you just assuming? I’m not fetishizing the CoC itself, obviously having a CoC doesn’t magically make an open community, but it’s a symbol that the community does take inclusivity seriously.

> If we want to be a "broad community, a global community, also truly reflective of the whole world", we’d better discuss how to effectively engage other members from 3rd countries or developing countries. Do you know people in Asia outnumber the other part of the world? Frankly to say I haven’t seen any much effort from OSGeo to try to engage members from developing countries. Ah.. we have travel grants once a year.  

You will not get an argument for me. I’ve been arguing for a long time that there needs to be concerted and honest outreach to the rest of the world.  So far the OSGeo model has been “build it and they they will come” (to use a Hollywood reference). This is, of course, hogwash. I’ve had a number of conversations about how OSGeo should be sponsoring workshops around world. Spending the money produced by FOSS4G to put on “FOSS4G East Africa” even if it loses money. I want there to be FOSS4G Ouagadougou, FOSS4G Kuala Lampur, FOSS4G Vietnam, FOSS4G Uruguay.

That’s the world I want.

> You said, "If our FOSS4G community does not reflect the entire world, then we are failing to engage all people, or worse, chasing some of them away.” Great! And then what is the real relation between your phrase and CoC. Do you really believe that imposing CoC automatically make OSGeo more welcomed organisation to 3rd countries or developing countries members? 

No, of course not. CoC’s aren’t magic, but they’re a statement of belief in higher ideal.

> I feel that CoC is for white women in advanced countries. I know I might be wrong. However whenever we talk about CoC, it’s all about sexy image or something like that. It’s not about how to engage 2/3 of world population. 

Well, with the exception of the “white” part, I actually mostly agree with this (ignoring the status of minorities, which are common in the advanced world). However, I would also point out that women, globally, are 51% of the population. Why *not* make them feel safer?

But if the argument is essentially, “we’re not making better for everyone, then what’s the point of doing it for some” then I reject that. Because again, this is merely a step, and every journey requires many steps.

So my question to you is this: if a CoC is insufficient for building a globally diverse community (which I agree it is), in what way is it actively harmful to that cause? Would *not* having a CoC further the goals of creating a better community? If so, how?


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